SEPH.) Famines are mentioned in the time of the judges (Ruth i:z), and in the time of King David (2 Sam. xxi :1 ), but it is not until the time of Elijah that any account is given of the failure of the pasturage and springs. 'There shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word' (t Kings xvii :r). 'And Ahab said unto Obadiah,: Go through the land, unto all the foun tains of water, and unto all the brooks; perad venture we may find grass and save the horses and mules alive, that we lose not all the beasts' (xviii :5).
Several causes of famine are given: (1) God's blessing withheld (Hos. ii:8, 9; Hag. i:6); (2) v;ant of seasonable rain (1 Kings xvii:r; Jer. xiv:1-4; Amos iv:7, sq.) The most terrible results of famine related in the Bible are due to the hand of man, and this was well recognized by King David. 'And David said unto Gad, I am in a great strait ; let us fall now into the hand of the Lord, for his mercies are great; and let me not fall into the hand of man' (2 Sam. xxiv :t4). 'And he shall eat the fruit of thy cattle, and the fruit of thy ground, until thou be destroyed; which also shall not leave thee corn, wine or oil, the increase of thy kine, or the young of thy flock, until he have caused thee to perish' (Dcut. xxviii :51). 'And thou shalt eat the fruit of thine own body, the flesh of thy sons, and of thy daughters, which the Lord thy God hath given thee, in the siege, and in the straitness, wherewith thine enemies shall straiten thee' (verse 53). 'And there was a great famine in Samaria, and, behold, they besieged it, until an ass's head was sold for fourscore pieces of silver, and the fourth part of a cab of dove's dung for five pieces of silver' (2 Kings vi :25). 'And she answered, This woman said unto me, Give thy son, that we may eat him to-day, and we will eat my son to-morrow' (verse 28)• FiguratiVe. The prophets and our Lord him self use highly figurative language regarding fam ine, in their righteous endeavors to turn wicked men and wicked nations from the evil of their ways (Ezek. vi :rt ; Matt. xxiv :7). In Amos
viii :11 sq., a heavier woe than even the want of bread is appropriately spoken of under the ap pellation of a famine: 'Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land; not a famine of bread nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the word of the Lord; and they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the Lord, and shall not find it ; in that day shall the fair virgins and the young men faint for thirst.' In Zeph. :t i it is sym bolical of the destruction of idols.
FAN (fan), (Heb. zaw-raw', to toss about; miz-reh' ; Gr. rniov, fitoo'on).
An instrument used in the East for winnowing corn. Fans are_ of two kinds--one a sort of fork, having teeth, with which they throw up the corn to the wind, that the chaff may be blown away; the other is formed to produce wind when the air is calm (Is. xxx :24; Luke iii:z7).
FiguratiVe. (i) God's judgments are com pared to a fan; by these he turns up persons and nations to the winds of his retributive provi dences, and scatters and disperses them for their sins, and his thus scattering and overturning them is called his fanning of them (Jer. xv :7; comp. Is. xxx :24). (2) The Medes, Persians and others, by whose means he executed his scatter ing and overturning judgments, are called fan ners (Jer. :2). (3) Christ's fan is in his hand, with which lie will thoroughly turge his floor ; by the gospel dispensation and spiritual influence which he introduced, men were or shall be put to the trial, and the evil be separated from the good (Matt. iii :12).