Thunder [N] [S]

often referred to in Scripture ( Job 40:9 ; Psalms 77:18 ; 104:7 ). James and John were called by our Lord "sons of thunder" ( Mark 3:17 ). In Job 39:19 , instead of "thunder," as in the Authorized Version, the Revised Version translates (ra'amah) by "quivering main" (marg., "shaking"). Thunder accompanied the giving of the law at Sinai ( Exodus 19:16 ). It was regarded as the voice of God ( Job 37:2 ; Psalms 18:13 ; 81:7 ; Compare John 12:29 ). In answer to Samuel's prayer ( 1 Samuel 12:17 1 Samuel 12:18 ), God sent thunder, and "all the people greatly feared," for at such a season (the wheat-harvest) thunder and rain were almost unknown in Palestine.

These dictionary topics are from
M.G. Easton M.A., D.D., Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Third Edition,
published by Thomas Nelson, 1897. Public Domain, copy freely.

[N] indicates this entry was also found in Nave's Topical Bible
[S] indicates this entry was also found in Smith's Bible Dictionary

Bibliography Information

Easton, Matthew George. "Entry for Thunder". "Easton's Bible Dictionary". .

Thunder [N] [E]

is hardly ever heard in Palestine form the middle of April to the middle of September; hence it was selected by Samuel as a striking expression of the divine displeasure toward the Israelites. ( 1 Samuel 12:17 ) Rain in harvest was deemed as extraordinary as snow in summer, ( Proverbs 26:1 ) and Jerome states that he had never witnessed it in the latter part of June or in July. Comm. on ( Amos 4:7 ) In the imaginative philosophy of the Hebrews, thunder was regarded as the voice of Jehovah, ( Job 37:2 Job 37:4 Job 37:5 ; 40:9 ; Psalms 18:13 ; 29:3-9 ; Isaiah 30:30 Isaiah 30:31 ) who dwelt behind the thunder-cloud. ( Psalms 81:7 ) Thunder was, to the mind of the Jew, the symbol of divine power ( Psalms 29:3 ) etc., and vengeance. ( 1 Samuel 2:10 ; 2 Samuel 22:14 )

[N] indicates this entry was also found in Nave's Topical Bible
[E] indicates this entry was also found in Easton's Bible Dictionary

Bibliography Information

Smith, William, Dr. "Entry for 'Thunder'". "Smith's Bible Dictionary". . 1901.


thun'-der (ra`am (1 Samuel 2:10; Job 26:14; 39:19; 40:9; Psalms 77:18; 81:7; 104:7; Isaiah 29:6), qol, "a voice" (Exodus 9:23; 1 Samuel 7:10; 12:17; Job 28:26; 38:25)):

Thunder is the noise resulting from the lightning discharge. It is very common in the winter storms of Syria and Palestine and occurs in the extra-season storms. Thunder accompanied the storm of hail in Egypt at the time of the plagues: "The Lord sent thunder and hail" (Exodus 9:23).

Lightning and thunder are indications of the power of Yahweh and His might. "The thunder of his power who can understand?" (Job 26:14); "The God of glory thundereth" (Psalms 29:3). Yahweh also confused the Philistines with thunder (1 Samuel 7:10), and His foes were "visited of Yahweh of hosts with thunder" (Isaiah 29:6). Thunder was regarded as the voice of Yahweh:

"God thundereth with the voice of his excellency" (Job 37:4), and God spoke to Jesus in the thunder (bronte, John 12:29).


Alfred H. Joy

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.

Bibliography Information
Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. "Entry for 'THUNDER'". "International Standard Bible Encyclopedia". 1915.