Genesis 41:6 MEANING

Genesis 41:6
(6) East wind.--In Palestine the prevalent winds are those which blow from the west or east, and the latter, coming across arid deserts, is injurious to vegetation. In Egypt the winds generally are from the north or south, but the south-east wind, called Chamsin, blowing from the deserts of Arabia, has even more disastrous effects upon plants than the east wind in Palestine, and from the small dust with which it is laden is baleful also to human life. As there are no words in Hebrew for any except the four principal winds, this south-eastern wind may be meant; or as k?dim, east wind, became the usual name of every wind that burned up vegetation, the term may be employed in a general sense.

Verse 6. - And, behold, seven thin ears and blasted with the east wind sprung up after them - literally, burnt up of the east, קָדִים being put poetically for the fuller רוּחַ קָדִים. It has been urged that this displays a gross ignorance of the nature, of the climate in Egypt (Bohlen), since a wind directly east is rare in Egypt, and when it does occur is not injurious to vegetation; but, on the other hand, it is open to reply

(1) that direct east winds may be rare in Egypt, but so are dearth and famine such as that described in the narrative equally exceptional (Kalisch);

(2) that the Hebrews having only names to describe the four principal winds, the kadirn might comprise any wind blowing from an easterly direction (Hengstenberg); and

(3) that the south-east wind, "blowing in the months of March and April, is one of the most injurious winds, and of longest continuance" (Havernick). Hengstenberg quotes Ukert as saying, "As long as the south-east wind continues, doors and windows are closed; but the fine dust penetrates everywhere; everything dries up; wooden vessels warp and crack. The thermometer rises suddenly from 16° 20°, up to 30° 36°, and even 38°, Reaumur. This wind works destruction upon everything. The grass withers so that it entirely perishes if this wind blows long" ('Egypt and the Books of Moses,' p. 10).

41:1-8 The means of Joseph's being freed from prison were Pharaoh's dreams, as here related. Now that God no longer speaks to us in that way, it is no matter how little we either heed dreams, or tell them. The telling of foolish dreams can make no better than foolish talk. But these dreams showed that they were sent of God; when he awoke, Pharaoh's spirit was troubled.And, behold, seven thin ears, and blasted with the east wind,.... Which is very fatal to corn, to dry, burn, smite, or blast it; and especially to the corn in Egypt, whither it blew from the desert of Arabia: these

sprung up after them; after the seven full ears, in the same place the other did, or near unto them.

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