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whirlwind


A violent, destructive windstorm, common in Israel during the rainy season. True whirlwinds, i.e., swirling winds or tornadoes, are unusual, but sometimes they appear near the coast during the early winter. Whirlwinds and storms usually accompanied a theophany such as God’s appearance to Job (Job 38:1; Job 40:6) and Ezekiel’s vision of God (Ezek 1:4; Nah 1:3; Zech 9:14). According to (2Kgs 2:1, 2Kgs 2:11), the prophet Elijah did not die, but a whirlwind, accompanied by a chariot and horses of fire, carried him up to heaven.

  • Powell, Mark Allan, ed. HarperCollins Bible Dictionary. Abridged Edition. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2009.