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Tempests

The English word "tempest" originated from a Latin word, tempus, meaning time (i.e. tempus was pronounced as tempest by English speakers). Why did a word that means time come to mean storm? Certain kinds of storms were called tempests because of the time of year that they usually happen e.g. an Atlantic hurricane is a tempest because it happens in the time of summer and autumn.

There were three great tempests recorded in Bible History. The first, involving Jonah, wasn't of nature alone: "the LORD sent out a great wind into the sea, and there was a mighty tempest in the sea."

"1:3 But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD, and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD.

1:4 But the LORD sent out a great wind into the sea, and there was a mighty tempest in the sea, so that the ship was like to be broken." (Jonah 1:3-4 KJV)

The second, in order of occurrence, happened with Jesus Christ on The Sea Of Galilee. The tempest was natural in starting (the Sea of Galilee can experience powerful storms that can form suddenly when dry, cold air from the surrounding heights flow down to meet the moist, warmer air over the lake - technically, the "sea" of Galilee is actually a freshwater lake, not a saltwater sea), but was ended miraculously.

"8:23 And when he was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him. 8:24 And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep. 8:25 And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish.

8:26 And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm." (Matthew 8:23-26 KJV)

"There arose against it a tempestuous wind, called Euroclydon"

The third recorded tempest involved the apostle Paul (see Paul's Ministry) when he was being taken to Rome as a prisoner. As the Scriptures themselves state, the cause of that tempest was natural. It was due to a Euroclydon, also known as a gregale (i.e. a "Greece gale") - a strong wind system that blows down from Europe into The Mediterranean Sea, mostly in autumn and winter.

Red Sky In Morning, Sailor Take Warning

"27:13 And when the south wind blew softly, supposing that they had obtained their purpose, loosing thence, they sailed close by Crete.

27:14 But not long after there arose against it a tempestuous wind, called Euroclydon. 27:15 And when the ship was caught, and could not bear up into the wind, we let her drive.

27:16 And running under a certain island which is called Clauda, we had much work to come by the boat: 27:17 Which when they had taken up, they used helps, undergirding the ship; and, fearing lest they should fall into the Quicksands, struck sail, and so were driven.

27:18 And we being exceedingly tossed with a tempest, the next day they lightened the ship; 27:19 And the third day we cast out with our own hands the tackling of the ship. 27:20 And when neither sun nor stars in many days appeared, and no small tempest lay on us, all hope that we should be saved was then taken away." (Acts 27:13-20 KJV)

Although the storm itself would not be miraculously stopped, the lives of Paul and all others aboard the ship would be miraculously preserved: "27:23 For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve, 27:24 Saying, Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Caesar: and, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee."

"27:21 But after long abstinence Paul stood forth in the midst of them, and said, Sirs, ye should have hearkened unto me, and not have loosed from Crete, and to have gained this harm and loss. 27:22 And now I exhort you to be of good cheer: for there shall be no loss of any man's life among you, but of the ship. 27:23 For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve, 27:24 Saying, Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Caesar: and, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee. 27:25 Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me. 27:26 Howbeit we must be cast upon a certain island." (Acts 27:21-26 KJV)

Fact Finder: What are two of the most famous incidents of drowning, as recorded in the Holy Scriptures?
See The Depth Of The Sea


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