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Does the Bible Really Talk About Snow?

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I’ve had people ask me if the Bible ever talks about snow and ice, considering that it was written by people that lived in the Middle East and neighboring lands.  Most people think of the areas around Israel and the eastern Mediterranean Sea as being warm to hot dry deserts.  They don’t think of it getting cold enough to snow.

So let’s be like the Bereans and turn to the Scriptures to see just what God’s Word tells us about snow and ice.

If you look up the first reference to snow, you will find it in Exodus 4:6 that says:

Again, the LORD said to him, “Put your hand inside your cloak.” And he put his hand inside his cloak, and when he took it out, behold, his hand was leprous like snow.

But is that the oldest reference to snow?

Many Bible scholars believe that Job lived during the time of the patriarchs mentioned in Genesis.  Some even say it is the oldest book of the Bible while others say it was written after the first five books of the Bible which are referred to as the Pentateuch (‘five books’).

If Job was written before Exodus, then the oldest or first mention of snow in the Bible (date wise) takes place in Job 6:15-16 which says:

My brothers are treacherous as a torrent-bed, as torrential streams that pass away, which are dark with ice, and where the snow hides itself.

Depending upon which Bible version you use, you will find either 24 or 25 verses that mention snow.  Most of those verses refer to real snow that is cold and falls from the sky like Job 6:15-16.

There are about 10 verses that use the word snow to describe something that is ‘as white as white can be’ like in Exodus 4:6.  If you have ever lived or visited any place that just got a fresh coat of snow, the first thing you notice is how white everything looks.  New snow is so white that it can reflect the smallest amount of light and make the nighttime seem brighter than it would be without the snow.  In some areas of the world, the reflection of light off snow can be so bright that it can actually cause damage to your eyes and may temporarily blind you.  This is called snow blindness.

After Jesus had been crucified and buried in the tomb, He rose from the dead on the third day.  When He appeared, His radiance was described as being as bright as lightning and his clothing as white as snow, as we read in Matthew 28:3:

His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow.

The Bible talks about how filthy or tarnished we are because of our sins.  Some verses describe our sinful nature as being red or scarlet, indicating the necessity of a blood sacrifice to pay for our sins.  Then the Scriptures talk about how our faith in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior will wash our sins away and make us as white as snow, indicating how clean and pure that faith will make us.  One such verse is Isaiah 1:18 which says:

Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.

The Bible not only talks about snow, but does so in three different ways.  It talks about the cold stuff of winter.  It is used to describe how white something like clothing and leprosy can be.  Most importantly, snow is used to describe how clean our sins will be when they are washed clean by Christ’s blood when we confess our sins and believe in Him as our Lord and Savior.

 

Sammy and His Shepherd

In Sammy and His Shepherd, veteran children’s writer Susan Hunt takes youngsters on a delightful trip through Psalm 23 from the point of view of a sheep named Sammy.

Sammy lives happily under the care of his faithful shepherd. But one day he meets a sheep from another flock, one who lives in misery because her shepherd is not so caring. Eventually, to the delight of both of them, Sammys shepherd buys the needy little sheep for his flock and gives her a name Precious. Thereafter, Sammy tells Precious all the wonderful things about their shepherd. At first, Precious has a hard time believing that the shepherd can be so good. But eventually, as she sees the shepherd pouring out his energies for the good of his flock, she comes to trust him, for she sees that he loves his sheep unconditionally and sacrificially.

Each chapter of Sammy and His Shepherd is an exploration of a passage from Psalm 23. As they work through the book, children will grow in their understanding of the metaphors the psalmist used in composing this beloved poem. But more important, they will gain a deeper appreciation for the one who is the subject of the psalm: the Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ. Captivating illustrations by Corey Godbey help Sammy and Precious come to life for children. A special section in the back of the book provides Bible passages, discussion questions, and activities to reinforce the lessons of each chapter.

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  • David Oberpriller

    The Jerusalem of today gets occasional winer snow. Why would anyone think that the climate was much different a few thousand years ago (at least since some time after the Flood — oh, yeah, the ice age followed that). So the people of the biblical age very likely experienced snow — why not write about it?

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