Ice

ICE (קֶ֫רַח, H7943). Because of the mildness of the climate, ice is almost never seen in Palestine and Syria except on the highest mountains. Hail is common in the winter, and is sometimes very destructive. The pools at Jerusalem have sometimes been covered with ice, but this is rare. At heights of about 4,000 ft. a little ice sometimes forms during the night in winter, but it melts in the sun the next day. Ice is mentioned in the Bible three times in connection with the power of God. “By the breath of God ice is given, and the broad waters are frozen fast” (Job 37:10). “From whose womb did the ice come forth, and who has given birth to the hoarfrost of heaven?” (Job 38:29). “He casts forth his ice like morsels; who can stand before his cold?” (Ps 147:17). The word is used once in a fig. sense to describe treacherous friends, who are like torrents of water “which are dark with ice” (Job 6:16). See PALESTINE, V, CLIMATE.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

Ice is almost unknown in Palestine and Syria except on the highest mountains. At moderate heights of less than 4,000 ft. a little ice may form during the night in winter, but the warm rays of the sun melt it the next day. A great quantity of snow is packed away in caves in the mountains during the winter, and is thus preserved for use in the summer months. The word is found in the Bible in three places where it describes God’s power. "Out of whose womb came the ice? And the .... frost" (Job 38:29); "By the breath of God ice is given" (Job 37:10); "He casteth forth his ice like morsels" (Ps 147:17).

Figurative: Untrue friends are compared to streams "which are black by reason of the ice" (Job 6:16).

Alfred H. Joy