wheels in the Bible

Hebrew: גַּלְגַּל —transliteration: galgal —meaning: a wheel, or something whirling like a wheel (e.g., whirling dust and whirlwinds)

Chariot wheels

Chariot wheels are mentioned in various Scripture, including Isaiah 5:28; Jeremiah 47:3; Nahum 3:2; etc.

He [God] caused their chariot wheels to swerve, and He made them drive with difficulty; so the Egyptians each said, “Let me flee from Israel, for the Lord is fighting for them against the Egyptians.” —Exodus 14:25 NASB

Cart wheels

…the wheel of his cart… —Isaiah 28:28 NASB excerpt

Potter’s wheel

A horizontal wheel was used to turn a lump of clay in forming pottery.

So I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was, making something on the wheel. —Jeremiah 18:3 NASB

Solomon’s Temple

For the temple, Hiram contructed 10 bronze stands each with 4 wheels, to hold large basins.

Then he made the ten stands of bronze; the length of each stand was four cubits, its width four cubits, and its height was three cubits. …Now each stand had four bronze wheels with bronze axles… The four wheels were underneath the borders, and the axles of the wheels were on the stand. And the height of a wheel was a cubit and a half. The workmanship of the wheels was like the workmanship of a chariot wheel. Their axles, their rims, their spokes, and their hubs were all cast. —1 Kings 7:27-33 NASB excerpts

Threshing wheel

Proverb’s mentions the wheel used for threshing grain.

A wise king scatters the wicked,
And drives a threshing wheel over them. —Proverbs 20:26 NASB

Wheels for lifting water at cisterns and wells

…the wheel at the cistern… —Ecclesiastes 12:6 NASB

The whirling wheels

Four strange whirling wheels are associated with the cherubim.

Then I looked, and behold, in the expanse that was over the heads of the cherubim something like a sapphire stone, in appearance in the likeness of a throne, appeared above them. And He spoke to the man clothed in linen and said, “Enter between the whirling wheels under the cherubim

…Then I looked, and behold, four wheels beside the cherubim, one wheel beside each cherub; and the appearance of the wheels was like the gleam of a Tarshish stone. As for their appearance, all four of them had the same likeness, as if one wheel were within another wheel. As they went, they went in any of their four directions without turning as they went; but they went in the direction which they faced, without turning as they went.

And their whole body, their backs, their hands, their wings, and the wheels were full of eyes all around, the wheels belonging to all four of them.

The wheels were called in my hearing, the whirling wheels. And each one had four faces. The first face was the face of a cherub, the second face was the face of a man, the third the face of a lion, and the fourth the face of an eagle.

…Now as the cherubim went, the wheels went beside them; also when the cherubim lifted up their wings to rise from the ground, the wheels would not turn from beside them. When the cherubim stood still, the wheels would stand still; and when they rose up, the wheels would rise with them, for the spirit of the living creatures was in them.

…When the cherubim departed, they lifted their wings and rose up from the earth in my sight with the wheels beside them… —Ezekiel 10:2-20 LSB excerpts

These wheels are also mentioned in Ezekiel 1 LSB.

Throne wheels

In the prophet Daniel’s vision of the Messiah’s future kingdom, he attempts to describe the throne he saw.

I kept looking
Until thrones were set up,
And the Ancient of Days took His seat;
His garment was white as snow,
And the hair of His head like pure wool.
His throne was ablaze with flames,
Its wheels were a burning fire. —Daniel 7:9 NASB

Whirling dust

The word “wheel” appears in the King James Version of Psalm 83:13 KJV, and “a rolling thing” in Isaiah 17:13 KJV. However, the Revised King James Version for both says “whirling dust,” as does the New American Standard Version (Psalm 83:13 NASB; Isaiah 17:13 NASB).

More information

Article Version: December 16, 2021