Rolling Thing

Rolling thing,

גִּלגִּל, galgal', Job 17:13; rendered by the A.V. "wheel" in Ps 83:13. Gesenius (Thesaur. s.v.) prefers chaff, stubble, in both passages. The same word is used for wheel (q.v.) in Isa 5:28; Eze 10:2,6; Eze 23:24, and for whirlwind (q.v.) Ps 77:19 ("heaven"); Eze 10:13 ("wheel"). There is, however, a wild artichoke (Arab. akkub) in Palestine which the Arabs chew with relish, and which in growing throws out branches of equal size and length in all directions, forming a globe a foot or more in diameter. In the autumn this becomes dry and light, breaks off at the ground, and flies before the wind. Thousands of them leap and roll over the plain, and often disturb travelers and their horses. This plant is thought by Thomson to correspond better with the galgal' of Isaiah and the Psalmist than anything before suggested (Land and Book, 2, 357 sq.). Some (Smith, Bible Plants [Lond. 1877]) have held the galgal' to be the so called "Jericho rose" (Anastatica Hierichuntina), a small, ligneous, cruciform plant, which has the singular property of reviving and expanding when placed in water. In the summer it dries up into a ball, which might readily roll before the wind, except that it is held fast to the earth by its strong tap root.

See also the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

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