Wheat One of the earliest cultivated grains. It bore the Hebrew name hittah, and was extensively cultivated in Palestine. There are various species of wheat. That which Pharaoh saw in his dream was the Triticum compositum, which bears several ears upon one stalk (Gen 41:5). The "fat of the kidneys of wheat" (Deu 32:14), and the "finest of the wheat" (Psa 81:16; Psa 147:14), denote the best of the kind. It was exported from Palestine in great quantities (Kg1 5:11; Eze 27:17; Act 12:20). Parched grains of wheat were used for food in Palestine (Rut 2:14; Sa1 17:17; Sa2 17:28). The disciples, under the sanction of the Mosaic law (Deu 23:25), plucked ears of corn, and rubbing them in their hands, ate the grain unroasted (Mat 12:1; Mar 2:23; Luk 6:1). Before any of the wheat-harvest, however, could be eaten, the first-fruits had to be presented before the Lord (Lev 23:14).
Wheel (Heb. galgal ; rendered "wheel" in Psa 83:13, and "a rolling thing" in Isa 17:13; R.V. in both, "whirling dust"). This word has been supposed to mean the wild artichoke, which assumes the form of a globe, and in autumn breaks away from its roots, and is rolled about by the wind in some places in great numbers.
White A symbol of purity (Ch2 5:12; Psa 51:7; Isa 1:18; Rev 3:18; Rev 7:14). Our Lord, at his transfiguration, appeared in raiment "white as the light" (Mat 17:2, etc.).
Widows To be treated with kindness (Exo 22:22; Deu 14:29; Deu 16:11, Deu 16:14; Deu 24:17, Deu 24:19; Deu 26:12; Deu 27:19, etc.). In the New Testament the same tender regard for them is inculcated (Act 6:1; Ti1 5:3) and exhibited.
Wife The ordinance of marriage was sanctioned in Paradise (Gen 2:24; Mat 19:4). Monogamy was the original law under which man lived, but polygamy early commenced (Gen 4:19), and continued to prevail all down through Jewish history. The law of Moses regulated but did not prohibit polygamy. A man might have a plurality of wives, but a wife could have only one husband. A wife's legal rights (Exo 21:10) and her duties (Prov. 31:10-31; Ti1 5:14) are specified. She could be divorced in special cases (Deu 22:13), but could not divorce her husband. Divorce was restricted by our Lord to the single case of adultery (Mat 19:3). The duties of husbands and wives in their relations to each other are distinctly set forth in the New Testament (Co1 7:2; Eph 5:22; Col 3:18, Col 3:19; Pe1 3:1).
Wilderness (1.) Heb. midhbar , denoting not a barren desert but a district or region suitable for pasturing sheep and cattle (Psa 65:12; Isa 42:11; Jer 23:10; Joe 1:19; Joe 2:22); an uncultivated place. This word is used of the wilderness of Beersheba (Gen 21:14), on the southern border of Palestine; the wilderness of the Red Sea (Exo 13:18); of Shur (Exo 15:22), a portion of the Sinaitic peninsula; of Sin (Exo 17:1), Sinai (Lev 7:38), Moab (Deu 2:8), Judah (Jdg 1:16), Ziph, Maon, En-gedi (Sa1 23:14, Sa1 23:24; Sa1 24:1), Jeruel and Tekoa (Ch2 20:16, Ch2 20:20), Kadesh (Psa 29:8). "The wilderness of the sea" (Isa 21:1). Principal Douglas, referring to this expression, says: "A mysterious name, which must be meant to describe Babylon (see especially Isa 21:9), perhaps because it became the place of discipline to God's people, as the wilderness of the Red Sea had been (compare Eze 20:35). Otherwise it is in contrast with the symbolic title in Isa 22:1. Jerusalem is the "valley of vision," rich in spiritual husbandry; whereas Babylon, the rival centre of influence, is spiritually barren and as restless as the sea (compare Isa 57:20)." A Short Analysis of the O.T. (2.) Jeshimon , a desert waste (Deu 32:10; Psa 68:7). (3.) 'Arabah , the name given to the valley from the Dead Sea to the eastern branch of the Red Sea. In Deu 1:1; Deu 2:8, it is rendered "plain" (R.V., "Arabah"). (4.) Tziyyah , a "dry place" (Psa 78:17; Psa 105:41). (5.) Tohu , a "desolate" place, a place "waste" or "unoccupied" (Deu 32:10; Job 12:24; compare Gen 1:2, "without form"). The wilderness region in the Sinaitic peninsula through which for forty years the Hebrews wandered is generally styled "the wilderness of the wanderings." This entire region is in the form of a triangle, having its base toward the north and its apex toward the south. Its extent from north to south is about 250 miles, and at its widest point it is about 150 miles broad. Throughout this vast region of some 1,500 square miles there is not a single river. The northern part of this triangular peninsula is properly the "wilderness of the wanderings" ( et-Tih ). The western portion of it is called the "wilderness of Shur" (Exo 15:22), and the eastern the "wilderness of Paran." The "wilderness of Judaea" (Mat 3:1) is a wild, barren region, lying between the Dead Sea and the Hebron Mountains. It is the "Jeshimon" mentioned in Sa1 23:19.
Willows (1.) Heb. 'arabim (Lev 23:40; Job 40:22; Isa 15:7; Isa 44:3, Isa 44:4; Psa 137:1, Psa 137:2). This was supposed to be the weeping willow, called by Linnaeus Salix Babylonica, from the reference in Psa 137:1. This tree is frequently found "on the coast, overhanging wells and pools. There is a conspicuous tree of this species over a pond in the plain of Acre, and others on the Phoenician plain." There are several species of the salix in Palestine, but it is not indigenous to Babylonia, nor was it cultivated there. Some are of opinion that the tree intended is the tamarisk or poplar. (2.) Heb. tzaphtzaphah (Eze 17:5), called by the Arabs the safsaf , the general name for the willow. This may be the Salix Aegyptica of naturalists. Tristram thinks that by the "willow by the water-courses," the Nerium oleander, the rose-bay oleander, is meant. He says, "It fringes the Upper Jordan, dipping its wavy crown of red into the spray in the rapids under Hermon, and is nurtured by the oozy marshes in the Lower Jordan nearly as far as to Jericho.... On the Arnon, on the Jabbok, and the Yarmuk it forms a continuous fringe. In many of the streams of Moab it forms a complete screen, which the sun's rays can never penetrate to evaporate the precious moisture. The wild boar lies safely ensconced under its impervious cover."
Wimple Isa 3:22, (R.V., "shawls"), a wrap or veil. The same Hebrew word is rendered "vail" (R.V., "mantle") in Rut 3:15.
Window Properly only an opening in a house for the admission of light and air, covered with lattice-work, which might be opened or closed (Kg2 1:2; Act 20:9). The spies in Jericho and Paul at Damascus were let down from the windows of houses abutting on the town wall (Jos 2:15; Co2 11:33). The clouds are metaphorically called the "windows of heaven" (Gen 7:11; Mal 3:10). The word thus rendered in Isa 54:12 ought rather to be rendered "battlements" (LXX., "bulwarks;" R.V., "pinnacles"), or as Gesenius renders it, "notched battlements, i.e., suns or rays of the sun" = having a radiated appearance like the sun.
Winds Blowing from the four quarters of heaven (Jer 49:36; Eze 37:9; Dan 8:8; Zac 2:6). The east wind was parching (Eze 17:10; Eze 19:12), and is sometimes mentioned as simply denoting a strong wind (Job 27:21; Isa 27:8). This wind prevails in Palestine from February to June, as the west wind (Luk 12:54) does from November to February. The south was a hot wind (Job 37:17; Luk 12:55). It swept over the Arabian peninsula. The rush of invaders is figuratively spoken of as a whirlwind (Isa 21:1); a commotion among the nations of the world as a striving of the four winds (Dan 7:2). The winds are subject to the divine power (Psa 18:10; Psa 135:7).