That the Hebrews recognized the existence of four prevailing winds as issuing, broadly speaking, from the four cardinal points, north, south, east and west, may be inferred from their custom of using the expression "four winds" as equivalent to the "four quarters" of the hemisphere. (Ezekiel 37:9; Daniel 8:8; Zechariah 2:6; Matthew 24:31) The north wind, or, as it was usually called "the north," was naturally the coldest of the four, Ecclus. 43:20 and its presence is hence invoked as favorable to vegetation in (Song of Solomon 4:16) It is described in (Proverbs 25:23) as bringing rain; in this case we must understand the northwest wind. The northwest wind prevails from the autumnal equinox to the beginning of November, and the north wind from June to the equinox. The east wind crosses the sandy wastes of Arabia Deserts before reaching Palestine and was hence termed "the wind of the wilderness." (Job 1:19; Jeremiah 13:14) It blows with violence, and is hence supposed to be used generally for any violent wind. (Job 27:21; 38:24; Psalms 48:7; Isaiah 27:8; Ezekiel 27:26) In Palestine the east wind prevails from February to June. The south wind, which traverses the Arabian peninsula before reaching Palestine, must necessarily be extremely hot. (Job 37:17; Luke 12:55) The west and southwest winds reach Palestine loaded with moisture gathered from the Mediterranean, and are hence expressly termed by the Arabs "the fathers of the rain." Westerly winds prevail in Palestine from November to February. In addition to the four regular winds, we have notice in the Bible of the local squalls, (Mark 4:37; Luke 8:23) to which the Sea of Gennesareth was liable. In the narrative of St. Paul's voyage we meet with the Greek term Lips to describe the southwest wind; the Latin Carus or Caurus, the northwest wind (Acts 27:12) and Euroclydon, a wind of a very violent character coming from east-northeast. (Acts 27:14)
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