A circular frame of hard material that may be solid or spoked and that is capable of turning on an axle. Anciently, wooden planks were pegged together, rounded, and furnished with a rim (felly, or felloe) to form the early wheel. The spoked type was used on chariots, wagons, and other vehicles. (Ex 14:25; Isa 5:28; 28:27) The ten copper carriages that Solomon made for use at Jehovah’s temple each had a copper axle and four chariotlike copper wheels 1.5 cubits (67 cm; 26 in.) high, with hubs, spokes, and rims.—1Ki 7:27-33.
The potter fashioned earthenware vessels on a revolving horizontal disk called a potter’s wheel. (Jer 18:3, 4) Also, a bucket might be lowered and raised in a cistern by means of rope attached to some type of wheel or windlass.—Ec 12:6.
Illustrative and Figurative Use. According to the Hebrew Masoretic text, Proverbs 20:26 reads: “A wise king is scattering wicked people, and he turns around upon them a wheel.” This seems to allude to an action of a king comparable to the use of the wheel in threshing grain. (Compare Isa 28:27, 28.) The metaphor appears to indicate that the wise king acts promptly in separating wicked persons from righteous ones and in punishing the wicked. Thereby evil is suppressed in his domain. (Compare Pr 20:8.) However, by a slight alteration, this verse says that a wise king turns around upon the wicked “their own hurtfulness.”
The uncontrolled tongue is a “fire” that “sets the wheel of natural life aflame.” The entire round or course of natural life into which a person came by birth can be set aflame by the tongue, making life become a vicious circle, possibly even resulting in its own destruction as if by fire.—Jas 3:6.
By the river Chebar in the land of the Chaldeans during the fifth year of King Jehoiachin’s exile, Ezekiel envisioned Jehovah riding upon a swift-moving chariotlike celestial vehicle. Its four wheels had rims filled with eyes, and within each wheel was another wheel apparently at right angles, making it possible to go forward or to either side without changing the angle of the wheels. Beside each wheel was a cherub, the cherubic living creatures and wheels moving in unison as they were directed by the spirit. (Eze 1:1-3, 15-21; 3:13) The following year, Ezekiel had a similar vision, this time being transported, evidently by the spirit of inspiration, to a place before the temple that Solomon had built in Jerusalem. The vision that he saw indicated that soon that city and the temple would be destroyed in execution of Jehovah’s judicial decision. (Eze 8:1-3; 10:1-19; 11:22) Some 60 years thereafter, Daniel envisioned the Ancient of Days, Jehovah, seated upon a heavenly, wheeled throne. Both throne and wheels were aflame, suggesting the approach of fiery divine judgment upon world powers.—Da 7:1, 9, 10; Ps 97:1-3.