The Winds of the World

"The wind goeth toward the south, and turneth about unto the north; it whirleth about continually, and the wind returneth again according to his circuits." (Ecclesiastes 1:6)

This is one of the Bible's many scientific insights, written long before such a process was discovered in the modern science of meteorology. The basic circulation of the atmosphere (which generates the winds of the world) is "toward the south" near the ground, which then "turneth about unto the north" aloft. The heated air near the equator expands and rises, then flows north to replace the colder, heavier air which has descended to the ground in the polar regions.

This simple north-south-north cycle is complicated, however, by the earth's rotation. Further complexities are introduced by the different topographical features of the surface (oceans, mountains, etc.), but the end result is a general circulation of the whole atmosphere, which "whirleth about continually, and . . . returneth again according to his circuits."

None of this was understood at all until very modern times, but this ancient verse in Ecclesiastes corresponds beautifully to modern science. In fact, it was not even known until recent times that air had weight, but the patriarch Job had noted about 4,000 years ago that "He . . . seeth under the whole heaven; To make the weight for the winds" (Job 28:24-25), and this fact is essential to the atmospheric circulation.

This is only one of many scientific principles implied in the Bible ages before men discovered them in their scientific research. In contrast, there are no demonstrable scientific errors in the Bible. This is not really surprising, for the same God who wrote the Word made the world! In Jesus Christ "are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge" (Colossians 2:3). HMM

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