Wednesday, February 22, 2017

λαῖλαψ: theophanic storm?

It is a rare word, λαῖλαψ (lailaps, rhymes with prolapse). Essentially meaning a whirlwind of hurricane it is sometimes associated with God's wrath against evil (Job 21:18; Jer. 32:32), or the destructive effects of evil (Wis. 5:23), or used in describing evil's temporary nature, frost (Wis. 5:14) or clouds (2 Pet. 2:17) carried away by a storm.

But in Sirach 48:9, 12 it is the whirlwind which takes Elijah "up" and in Job 38:1 it is the wind out of which God speaks. So it seems appropriate that it is also a λαῖλαψ which reveals Jesus' God-like powers of weather control when he clams the storm (Mk. 4:37, Lk. 8:23).

And that my friends is all ten uses of λαῖλαψ in the Bible.

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