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Bible Encyclopedias

Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature

Cloud

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The allusions to clouds in Scripture, as well as their use in symbolical language, must be understood with reference to the nature of the climate, where the sky scarcely exhibits the trace of a cloud from the beginning of May to the end of September, during which period clouds so rarely appear, and rains so seldom fall, as to be considered phenomena—as was the case with the harvest rain which Samuel invoked (), and with the little cloud, not larger than a man's hand, the appearance of which in the west was immediately noticed as something remarkable not only in itself, but as a sure harbinger of rain ().

As in such climates clouds refreshingly veil the oppressive glories of the sun, clouds often symbolize the Divine presence, as indicating the splendor, insupportable to man, of that glory which they wholly or partially conceal (; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; , etc.; ; ; ; ). Somewhat allied to this use is that which makes clouds the symbols of the Divine power (; ; ; ; ).

Clouds are also the symbol of armies and multitudes of people (; ; ).

There are many other dispersed symbolical allusions to clouds in Scripture not coming under these descriptions; but their purport is in every case too obvious to need explanation (see particularly ; ; ; ; ; ).

 

 

 

 


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Kitto, John, ed. Entry for 'Cloud'. "Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature". https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/kbe/c/cloud.html.

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Sunday, January 19th, 2020
Second Sunday after Epiphany
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