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Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible
WHIRLWIND represents two Heb. words sÃ»phÃ¢h ( Job 37:9 , Proverbs 1:27 etc., also tr. [Note: translate or translation.] ‘storm’ in Job 21:13 , Psalms 83:15 , Isaiah 29:6 etc.), and sa‘ar or sÄ•‘Ã¢rÃ¢h ( 2 Kings 2:1 , Job 38:1 , Jeremiah 23:19 etc., also tr. [Note: translate or translation.] ‘tempest,’ and ‘stormy wind,’ Psalms 55:8; Psalms 83:15; Psalms 107:25 , Ezekiel 13:13 etc.) The words do not necessarily mean ‘whirlwind,’ and are applied to any furious storm. From the context, however, in certain passages, we gather that whirlwind is intended a violent wind moving in a circle round its axis ( 2 Kings 2:1; 2 Kings 2:11 , Job 38:1 etc.). It often works great havoc in its path, as it sweeps across the country. Drawing up sand, dust, straw, and other light articles as it gyrates, it presents the appearance of a great pillar an object of fear to travellers and dwellers in the desert. Passing over the sea, it draws up the water, and the bursting of the column causes the water-spout. God spake to Job from the whirlwind ( Job 40:6 ); the modern Arabian regards it with superstitious dread, as the residence of demons.
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Hastings, James. Entry for 'Whirlwind'. Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/hdb/w/whirlwind.html. 1909.