For to snow He saith, 'Be on the earth.' And the small rain and great rain of His power.
Job 37:6 Additional TranslationsClarke's Commentary on the Bible
For he saith to the snow, Be thou on the earth - Snow is generally defined, "A well-known meteor, formed by the freezing of the vapours in the atmosphere." We may consider the formation of snow thus: - A cloud of vapours being condensed into drops, these drops, becoming too heavy to be suspended in the atmosphere, descend; and, meeting with a cold region of the air, they are frozen, each drop shooting into several points. These still continuing their descent, and meeting with some intermitting gales of a warmer air, are a little thawed, blunted, and again, by falling into colder air, frozen into clusters, or so entangled with each other as to fall down in what we call flakes.
Snow differs from hail and hoar-frost in being crystallized: this appears on examining a flake of snow with a magnifying glass; when the whole of it will appear to be composed of fine spicula or points diverging like rays from a center. I have often observed the particles of snow to be of a regular figure, for the most part beautiful stars of six points as clear and transparent as ice. On each of these points are other collateral points, set at the same angles as the main points themselves, though some are irregular, the points broken, and some are formed of the fragments of other regular stars. I have observed snow to fall sometimes entirely in the form of separate regular six-pointed stars, without either clusters or flakes, and each so large as to be the eighth of an inch in diameter.
The lightness of snow is owing to the excess of its surface, when compared with the matter contained under it.
Its whiteness is owing to the small particles into which it is divided: for take ice, opaque almost to blackness, and pound it fine, and it becomes as white as snow.
The immediate cause of the formation of snow is not well understood: it has been attributed to electricity; and hail is supposed to owe its more compact form to a more intense electricity, which unites the particles of hail more closely than the moderate electricity does those of snow. But rain, snow, hail, frost, ice, etc., have all one common origin; they are formed out of the vapours which have been exhaled by heat from the surface of the waters.
Snow, in northern countries, is an especial blessing of Providence; for, by covering the earth, it prevents corn and other vegetables from being destroyed by the intense cold of the air in the winter months; and especially preserves them from cold piercing winds. It is not a fact that it possesses in itself any fertilizing quality, such as nitrous salts, according to vulgar opinion: its whole use is covering the vegetables from intense cold, and thus preventing the natural heat of the earth from escaping, so that the intense cold cannot freeze the juices in the tender tubes of vegetables, which would rupture those tubes, and so destroy the plant.
Mr. Good alters the punctuation of this verse, and translates thus: -
Behold, he saith to the snow, Be!
On earth then falleth it.
To the rain, - and it falleth:
The rains of his might.
By the small rain, we may understand drizzling showers: by the rain of his strength, sudden thunder storms, when the rain descends in torrents: or violent rain from dissipating water-spouts.
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
Job 38:22 Have you entered into the treasures of the snow? or have you seen the treasures of the hail,
Psalm 147:16-18 He gives snow like wool: he scatters the hoarfrost like ashes...
Psalm 148:8 Fire, and hail; snow, and vapors; stormy wind fulfilling his word:
likewise to the small, etc. Heb. and to the shower of rain, and to the showers of rain of his strength
Job 36:27 For he makes small the drops of water: they pour down rain according to the vapor thereof:
Genesis 7:10-12 And it came to pass after seven days, that the waters of the flood were on the earth...
Ezra 10:9,13 Then all the men of Judah and Benjamin gathered themselves together to Jerusalem within three days. It was the ninth month...
Proverbs 28:3 A poor man that oppresses the poor is like a sweeping rain which leaves no food.
Ezekiel 13:11,13 Say to them which daub it with untempered mortar, that it shall fall: there shall be an overflowing shower; and you, O great hailstones...
Amos 9:6 It is he that builds his stories in the heaven, and has founded his troop in the earth; he that calls for the waters of the sea...
Matthew 7:25-27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat on that house; and it fell not: for it was founded on a rock...
Job 37:6 Parallel CommentariesDownpour Earth Fall Great Likewise Mighty Pouring Power Rain Rains Shower Showers Small Snow Strength Strong WetDownpour Earth Fall Great Likewise Mighty Pouring Power Rain Rains Shower Showers Small Snow Strength Strong WetTHE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica®.
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