Black Sunday and the winds that destroyed the west

Chapter eight of the book of Hosea sets out the following stark warning:

“For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind: it hath no stalk: the bud shall yield no meal: if so be it yield, the strangers shall swallow it up.”

This biblical admonishment is usually interpreted in a metaphorical sense as a warning for those who do evil. In its simplest sense, what goes around, comes around – although, in line with the Old Testament’s characteristically hard edged morality, with devastatingly disproportionate consequences.

In America’s mid-west of the 1930s, the verse had a terrible and terrifying literal significance. The whirlwinds that came to destroy American farms and farmers would also have a wide-ranging and devastating impact far beyond the borders of both the mid-western states and the USA.

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