Matthew 24:31. The winds which most commonly prevail in Palestine are from the western quarter, more usually perhaps from the southwest, Luke 12:54. Not infrequently a north wind arises, Job 37:9, which, as in ancient days, is till the sure harbinger of fair weather; illustrating the truth of the observation in Proverbs 25:23, "The north wind driveth away rain." For the tempestuous wind called EUROCLYDON, see that article.
But the wind most frequently mentioned in the Bible is the "cast wind," which is represented as blasting and drying up the fruits, Genesis 41:6 Ezekiel 17:10 19:12, and also as blowing with great violence, Psalms 48:7 Ezekiel 27:26 Jonah 4:8. It is also the "horrible tempest" literally the glow-wind, of Psalms 11:6. This is a sultry and oppressive wind blowing from the south-east, and prevailing only in the hot and dry months of summer. Coming thus from the vast Arabian desert, it seems to increase the heat and drought of the season, and produces universal languor and debility. Rev. Dr. Eli Smith, who experienced it effects during the summer, at Beyrout, describes it as possessing the same qualities and characteristics as the Sirocco, which he had felt at Malta, and which also prevails in Sicily and Italy; except that the Sirocco, in passing over the sea, acquires great dampness.
This wind is called by the Arabs the Simoom, by the Turks the Samuel; and by the Egyptians the Camsin; and has long been regarded as a pestilential wind, suddenly overtaking travelers and caravans in the deserts, and almost instantly destroying them by its poisonous and suffocating death. But late and judicious travelers find no evidence that this wind is laden with any poisonous influence. It is indeed oppressively hot and dry, rapidly evaporating the water in the ordinary skin bottles, stopping the perspiration of travelers, drying up the palate and the air passages, and producing great restlessness and exhaustion. As it often blows with a terrible roaring and violence, it carries dust and fine sand high up into the air, so that the whole atmosphere is lurid, and seems in a state of combustion, and the sun is shorn of his beams, and looks like a globe of dull smoldering fire. Both men and animals are greatly annoyed by the dust, and seek any practicable shelter or covering. The camels turn their backs, and hide their heads from it in the ground. It is often accompanied by local whirlwinds, which form pillars of sand and dust, rising high above the ground and moving with swiftness over the plain. Such a tempest may have suggested some features in the prophetic descriptions of the day of God’s power: "wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood and fire and pillars of smoke: the sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood," Joel 2:30,31 Acts 2:19,20.
Dr. Thomson describes another variety of hot winds or siroccos, often more overwhelming than those just mentioned. The sky is covered with clouds, and pale lightning play through the air; but there is no rain, thunder, or wind. The heat, however, is intolerable; every traveler seeks a refuge, the birds hide themselves in the thickest shades, the fowls pant under the walls with open mouths, and no living thing is in motion.