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Holman Bible Dictionary

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Additional Resources
• Nave's Topical Bible
• Easton's Bible Dictionary
• International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
Hebrew - wheels, wheel
Hebrew - wheel(s), wheel, wheels
Hebrew - wheel, wheels, whirling wheels
Hebrew - wheel, wheels
Hebrew - wheel

A disk or circular object capable of turning on a central axis. Archaeologists and historians believe that the wheel was probably invented in Mesapotamia before 3000 B.C.

The Bible describes both a functional use and symbolic meaning for the wheel. The wheel was indispensable for transportation. It was used on wagons, carts, and chariots, and the word wheel could be a synonym for any of these vehicles (Ezekiel 23:24; Ezekiel 26:10; Nahum 3:2). In Solomon's Temple, there were ten stands upon which rested ten lavers. Each of the stands were adorned with four wheels each (1 Kings 7:30-33).

Ezekiel's vision of the great wheel in the sky (1 Kings 1:4-28; 1 Kings 10:1) was a symbol of God's presence. There were four cherubim around the throne. Beside each, there was a wheel which “sparkled like chrysolite” (1 Kings 1:16 NIV). Ezekiel described the rims of the wheel as “high and awesome,” and “full of eyes” (1 Kings 1:18 NIV). The exact meaning of these mysterious images is unknown. Perhaps they represented the wheels of God's invisible chariot moving across the sky (“chariots of the sun,” see 2 Kings 23:11) or the wheels of God's throne (Daniel 7:9).

Other symbolic uses of the wheel are a whirlwind (Psalms 77:18 NIV) and God's judgment, as a wheel is driven over the wicked (Proverbs 20:26). Jeremiah described God's redemption as the reshaping of marred clay on a potter's wheel (Proverbs 18:13). See Chariots.

Brad Creed

Copyright Statement
These dictionary topics are from the Holman Bible Dictionary, published by Broadman & Holman, 1991. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman & Holman.

Bibliography Information
Butler, Trent C. Editor.. "Entry for 'WHEEL'". "Holman Bible Dictionary".
<>. 1991.


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