1 Kings 17:1 And Elijah the Tishbite, [who was] of the inhabitants of Gilead, said unto Ahab, [As] the LORD God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word.
Scriptures Mentioning The Absence Of Dew
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the wool of a sheep, whether shorn off or still attached to the skin (Deut. 18:4; Job 31:20). The miracle of Gideon's fleece (Judg. 6:37-40) consisted in the dew having fallen at one time on the fleece without any on the floor, and at another time in the fleece remaining dry while the ground was wet with dew.
father of dew; i.e., "fresh", David's fifth wife (2 Sam. 3:4).
heap of ruins; dew, a station of the Israelites in the wilderness (Num. 33:21, 22).
kinsman of the dew, the daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah, wife of king Josiah, and mother of king Jehoahaz (2 Kings 23:31), also of king Zedekiah (2 Kings 24:18).
"There is no dew properly so called in Israel, for there is no moisture in the hot summer air to be chilled into dew-drops by the coldness of the night. From May till October rain is unknown, the sun shining with unclouded brightness day after day. The heat becomes intense, the ground hard, and vegetation would perish but for the moist west winds that come each night from the sea. The bright skies cause the heat of the day to radiate very quickly into space, so that the nights are as cold as the day is the reverse, a peculiarity of climate from which poor Jacob suffered thousands of years ago (Gen. 31:40). To this coldness of the night air the indispensable watering of all plant-life is due. The winds, loaded with moisture, are robbed of it as they pass over the land, the cold air condensing it into drops of water, which fall in a gracious rain of mist on every thirsty blade. In the morning the fog thus created rests like a sea over the plains, and far up the sides of the hills, which raise their heads above it like so many islands. At sunrise, however, the scene speedily changes. By the kindling light the mist is transformed into vast snow-white clouds, which presently break into separate masses and rise up the mountain-sides, to disappear in the blue above, dissipated by the increasing heat. These are 'the morning clouds and the early dew that go away' of which Hosea (6:4; 13:3) speaks so touchingly" (Geikie's The Holy Land, etc., i., p. 72). Dew is a source of great fertility (Gen. 27:28; Deut. 33:13; Zech. 8:12), and its withdrawal is regarded as a curse from God (2 Sam. 1:21; 1 Kings 17:1). It is the symbol of a multitude (2 Sam. 17:12; Ps. 110:3); and from its refreshing influence it is an emblem of brotherly love and harmony (Ps. 133:3), and of rich spiritual blessings (Hos. 14:5).
From the middle of May to about the middle of August the land of Israel is dry. It is then the "drought of summer" (Gen. 31:40; Ps. 32:4), and the land suffers (Deut. 28:23: Ps. 102:4), vegetation being preserved only by the dews (Hag. 1:11). (See DEW T0001026.)
a peak, the eastern prolongation of the Anti-Lebanon range, reaching to the height of about 9,200 feet above the Mediterranean. It marks the north boundary of Israel (Deut. 3:8, 4:48; Josh. 11:3, 17; 13:11; 12:1), and is seen from a great distance. It is about 40 miles north of the Sea of Galilee. It is called "the Hermonites" (Ps. 42:6) because it has more than one summit. The Sidonians called it Sirion, and the Amorites Shenir (Deut. 3:9; Cant. 4:8). It is also called Baal-hermon (Judg. 3:3; 1 Chr. 5:23) and Sion (Deut. 4:48). There is every probability that one of its three summits was the scene of the transfiguration (q.v.). The "dew of Hermon" is referred to (Ps. 89: 12). Its modern name is Jebel-esh-Sheikh, "the chief mountain." It is one of the most conspicuous mountains in Israel or Syria. "In whatever part of Israel the Israelite turned his eye northward, Hermon was there, terminating the view. From the plain along the coast, from the Jordan valley, from the heights of Moab and Gilead, from the plateau of Bashan, the pale, blue, snow-capped cone forms the one feature in the northern horizon." Our Lord and his disciples climbed this "high mountain apart" one day, and remained on its summit all night, "weary after their long and toilsome ascent." During the night "he was transfigured before them; and his face did shine as the sun." The next day they descended to Caesarea Philippi.
Heb. man-hu, "What is that?" the name given by the Israelites to the food miraculously supplied to them during their wanderings in the wilderness (Ex. 16:15-35). The name is commonly taken as derived from "man", an expression of surprise, "What is it?" but more probably it is derived from "manan", meaning "to allot," and hence denoting an "allotment" or a "gift." This "gift" from God is described as "a small round thing," like the "hoar-frost on the ground," and "like coriander seed," "of the colour of bdellium," and in taste "like wafers made with honey." It was capable of being baked and boiled, ground in mills, or beaten in a mortar (Ex. 16:23; Num. 11:7). If any was kept over till the following morning, it became corrupt with worms; but as on the Sabbath none fell, on the preceding day a double portion was given, and that could be kept over to supply the wants of the Sabbath without becoming corrupt. Directions concerning the gathering of it are fully given (Ex. 16:16-18, 33; Deut. 8:3, 16). It fell for the first time after the eighth encampment in the desert of Sin, and was daily furnished, except on the Sabbath, for all the years of the wanderings, till they encamped at Gilgal, after crossing the Jordan, when it suddenly ceased, and where they "did eat of the old corn of the land; neither had the children of Israel manna any more" (Josh. 5:12). They now no longer needed the "bread of the wilderness." This manna was evidently altogether a miraculous gift, wholly different from any natural product with which we are acquainted, and which bears this name. The manna of European commerce comes chiefly from Calabria and Sicily. It drops from the twigs of a species of ash during the months of June and July. At night it is fluid and resembles dew, but in the morning it begins to harden. The manna of the Sinaitic peninsula is an exudation from the "manna-tamarisk" tree (Tamarix mannifera), the el-tarfah of the Arabs. This tree is found at the present day in certain well-watered valleys in the peninsula of Sinai. The manna with which the people of Israel were fed for forty years differs in many particulars from all these natural products. Our Lord refers to the manna when he calls himself the "true bread from heaven" (John 6:31-35; 48-51). He is also the "hidden manna" (Rev. 2:17; compare John 6:49,51).
(1.) Of Israel. The kingdom of the ten tribes was successively invaded by several Assyrian kings. Pul (q.v.) imposed a tribute on Menahem of a thousand talents of silver (2 Kings 15:19, 20; 1 Chr. 5:26) (B.C. 762), and Tiglath-pileser, in the days of Pekah (B.C. 738), carried away the trans-Jordanic tribes and the inhabitants of Galilee into Assyria (2 Kings 15:29; Isa. 9:1). Subsequently Shalmaneser invaded Israel and laid siege to Samaria, the capital of the kingdom. During the siege he died, and was succeeded by Sargon, who took the city, and transported the great mass of the people into Assyria (B.C. 721), placing them in Halah and in Habor, and in the cities of the Medes (2 Kings 17:3, 5). Samaria was never again inhabited by the Israelites. The families thus removed were carried to distant cities, many of them not far from the Caspian Sea, and their place was supplied by colonists from Babylon and Cuthah, etc. (2 Kings 17:24). Thus terminated the kingdom of the ten tribes, after a separate duration of two hundred and fifty-five years (B.C. 975-721). Many speculations have been indulged in with reference to these ten tribes. But we believe that all, except the number that probably allied themselves with Judah and shared in their restoration under Cyrus, are finally lost. "Like the dew on the mountain, Like the foam on the river, Like the bubble on the fountain, They are gone, and for ever." (2.) Of Judah. In the third year of Jehoiachim, the eighteenth king of Judah (B.C. 605), Nebuchadnezzar having overcome the Egyptians at Carchemish, advanced to Jerusalem with a great army. After a brief siege he took that city, and carried away the vessels of the sanctuary to Babylon, and dedicated them in the Temple of Belus (2 Kings 24:1; 2 Chr. 36:6, 7; Dan. 1:1, 2). He also carried away the treasures of the king, whom he made his vassal. At this time, from which is dated the "seventy years" of captivity (Jer. 25; Dan. 9:1, 2), Daniel and his companions were carried to Babylon, there to be brought up at the court and trained in all the learning of the Chaldeans. After this, in the fifth year of Jehoiakim, a great national fast was appointed (Jer. 36:9), during which the king, to show his defiance, cut up the leaves of the book of Jeremiah's prophecies as they were read to him in his winter palace, and threw them into the fire. In the same spirit he rebelled against Nebuchadnezzar (2 Kings 24:1), who again a second time (B.C. 598) marched against Jerusalem, and put Jehoiachim to death, placing his son Jehoiachin on the throne in his stead. But Jehoiachin's counsellors displeasing Nebuchadnezzar, he again a third time turned his army against Jerusalem, and carried away to Babylon a second detachment of Jews as captives, to the number of 10,000 (2 Kings 24:13; Jer. 24:1; 2 Chr. 36:10), among whom were the king, with his mother and all his princes and officers, also Ezekiel, who with many of his companions were settled on the banks of the river Chebar (q.v.). He also carried away all the remaining treasures of the temple and the palace, and the golden vessels of the sanctuary. Mattaniah, the uncle of Jehoiachin, was now made king over what remained of the kingdom of Judah, under the name of Zedekiah (2 Kings 24:17; 2 Chr. 36:10). After a troubled reign of eleven years his kingdom came to an end (2 Chr. 36:11). Nebuchadnezzar, with a powerful army, besieged Jerusalem, and Zedekiah became a prisoner in Babylon. His eyes were put out, and he was kept in close confinement till his death (2 Kings 25:7). The city was spoiled of all that was of value, and then given up to the flames. The temple and palaces were consumed, and the walls of the city were levelled with the ground (B.C. 586), and all that remained of the people, except a number of the poorest class who were left to till the ground and dress the vineyards, were carried away captives to Babylon. This was the third and last deportation of Jewish captives. The land was now utterly desolate, and was abondoned to anarchy. In the first year of his reign as king of Babylon (B.C. 536), Cyrus issued a decree liberating the Jewish captives, and permitting them to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the city and the temple (2 Chr. 36:22, 23; Ezra 1; 2). The number of the people forming the first caravan, under Zerubbabel, amounted in all to 42,360 (Ezra 2:64, 65), besides 7,337 men-servants and maid-servants. A considerable number, 12,000 probably, from the ten tribes who had been carried away into Assyria no doubt combined with this band of liberated captives. At a later period other bands of the Jews returned (1) under Ezra (7:7) (B.C. 458), and (2) Nehemiah (7:66) (B.C. 445). But the great mass of the people remained still in the land to which they had been carried, and became a portion of the Jews of the "dispersion" (John 7:35; 1 Pet. 1:1). The whole number of the exiles that chose to remain was probably about six times the number of those who returned.