Was There Snow in Israel?

One of the commenters wondered about snow in Israel. The fact that God uses snow as a symbol indicates that the common Israelite would have seen it or at least heard of it. Here’s the entry from the New Bible Dictionary, published by IVP:

“The few references to it indicate its rarity in Palestine, where it is scarcely ever found S of Hebron and is unknown along the sea coast and Jordan valley. Only twice is a snowfall recorded (in II Sam. 23:20 = I Chr. 11:22) and in I Macc. 13:22. But the snow cover of Lebanon, “the white mountain,” is proverbial (Jer. 18:14), and lower down in the Hauran it is not infrequent (Ps. 68:14). Elsewhere it is a rare feature, as the biblical incident of Benaiah would suggest (II Sam. 23:20).

“Snow as a symbol is variously employed. It is God-given and controlled (Job 38:22), one of the wonders of God’s power (Job 27:6; Ps. 147:16), and given for fertility (Isa. 55:10ff.) and to accomplish moral ends (Job 28:22-23). It expresses whiteness (Exo. 4:6; Num. 12:10; II Kings 5:27; Lam. 4:7; Dan. 7:9), and therefore moral purity (Dan. 7:9; Mark 9:3; Matt. 28:3; Rev. 1:14). It describes the complete acceptance of the penitent sinner (Ps. 51:7; Isa. 1:18).



One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Katy and Daniel on February 5, 2010 at 10:36 am



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