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Bible Dictionaries

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible

Lightning

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LIGHTNING. Our colloquial use of ‘fire’ for ‘lightning’ had its counterpart in Heb., e.g . in such a phrase as ‘fire ( ’çsh ) and hail’ ( Exodus 9:23 etc.; cf. Genesis 19:24 , 1 Kings 18:38 etc.). The Heb. ’ôr ( Job 37:3 ) is lit. ‘light’; bâzâq ( Ezekiel 1:14 ) should probably read bârâq; lappîd , lit. ‘torch,’ is used in the plur. for ‘lightnings’ ( Exodus 20:18 ); a word of uncertain meaning, châzÄ­z ( Job 28:26; Job 38:35 , Zechariah 10:1 ), is evidently related to thunder , and should probably in each case be tr. [Note: translate or translation.] ‘thunder-cloud.’ The usual Heb. word is bârâq , Gr. astrapç ( 2 Samuel 22:16 etc., Matthew 24:27 etc.). It is used fig. for the glitter of bright metal ( Deuteronomy 32:41 , lit. ‘the lightning of my sword’; cf. Ezekiel 21:10 , Nahum 3:3 , Habakkuk 3:11 ), and for the glittering weapon itself ( Job 20:25 ). It is suggested, either by the flash of polished metal, or by the speed of the chariot ( Nahum 2:4 ). Lightning is associated with the appearance of God ( Exodus 19:16 etc.), and He alone can control it ( Job 38:33 , Psalms 18:14 ). With lightnings as with arrows, God scatters His enemies ( Psalms 144:5 etc.). A radiant face ( Daniel 10:8 ), and gleaming garments ( Matthew 28:3 ), are like lightning. There is vivid suggestiveness in the comparison of Satan’s overthrow with the descent of lightning ( Luke 10:18 ). Cf. the name Barak ( Judges 4:6 ), with the Carthaginian Barca .

W. Ewing.

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Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Lightning'. Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/hdb/l/lightning.html. 1909.

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