The brilliant flashes of light resulting from the discharge of atmospheric electricity between clouds or between the clouds and the earth. This phenomenon accompanying a thunderstorm is common in Israel during the rainy periods of spring and fall, especially reaching a peak in the cool months of November or December.
As Creator of the elements necessary for producing lightning, Jehovah is its source. (Job 37:3, 11) He can also control it and apparently has used lightning and means comparable to it to deliver his servants from their enemies as well as to execute his judgments. (2Sa 22:1, 15; Ps 18:14; 77:16-20; Zec 9:14; compare Job 36:32; Ps 97:4; 144:6.) Appropriately, therefore, lightnings are associated with God’s throne (Re 4:5; compare Re 11:19) as well as with expressions of divine anger (Re 8:5; 16:18) and are figuratively represented as reporting the accomplishment of their task. (Job 38:35) At Mount Sinai, lightning flashes accompanied awesome physical manifestations of God’s presence.
Lightning (Heb., ba·raqʹ) is used figuratively to represent the glittering of polished metal. (De 32:41, ftn; Eze 21:10, ftn; Na 3:3; Hab 3:11) At Nahum 2:4 either the glitter or the great speed of the enemy chariots on Nineveh’s streets is meant by the words, “Like the lightnings they keep running.” And the radiant faces or appearance of angelic creatures is compared to lightning.
Christ Jesus showed that his presence would not be kept secret, even as it is impossible to conceal lightning that “comes out of eastern parts and shines over to western parts.” (Mt 24:23-27; Lu 17:20-24) Earlier, when the 70 disciples he had sent out returned with the report that even the demons were subject to them by the use of his name, Jesus alluded to the future ouster of Satan from heaven as a certainty, saying: “I began to behold Satan already fallen like lightning from heaven.”
In Luke 11:36 the Greek word for lightning (a·stra·peʹ) refers to the light or flashing of a lamp.