White crystals of frozen water that form from water vapor in the atmosphere. Each descending snow crystal washes out the atmosphere and carries with it compounds of elements such as sulfur and nitrogen, thus contributing to soil fertility while supplying moisture. (Isa 55:10, 11) Snow can be a source of clean water for washing. (Job 9:30) Though either rare or unknown in certain areas of Palestine, it sometimes falls during January and February in hill country, as at Jerusalem. (Compare 2Sa 23:20; 1Ch 11:22.) During most of the year there is snow in the heights and ravines of the Lebanon Range; lofty Mount Hermon is snowcapped nearly all year long. (Jer 18:14) Psalm 68:14 refers to snow in Zalmon, which is part of Mount Hauran (Jebel ed Druz), located E of the Jordan.
Illustrative Use. Snow is used in Scriptural similes to help convey the idea of whiteness. (Ex 4:6; Nu 12:10; 2Ki 5:27; Da 7:9; Mt 28:3; Re 1:14) Sometimes it is associated with purity. (Isa 1:18; La 4:7) For example, David begged God to purify him from sin, washing him so that he might become “whiter even than snow.”—Ps 51:7.
Job’s three companions, being no source of true comfort to him, were likened to a winter torrent, swollen by melting ice and snow in the mountains but running dry in the heat of summer. (Job 6:15-17) Sheol is said to snatch away sinners as drought and heat do snow waters. (Job 24:19) Just as snow is unnatural and would harm crops in summer, so “glory is not fitting for a stupid one.” (Pr 26:1) However, a faithful envoy, one who would fulfill his commission to the satisfaction of those sending him, is likened to a drink that is cooled with snow from the mountains and that brings refreshment on a hot day of harvest.—Pr 25:13.