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Why Are Christ's Garments White As Snow?

The English word "snow" originated from an ancient Anglo-Saxon word, sneeuw, which referred to the definition of snow that is used today i.e. "precipitation falling from clouds in the form of ice crystals."

The Biblical Hebrew word for snow is pronounced sheh-leg. It means whiteness, as it is sometimes literally translated.

"51:7 Purge me with Hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow." (Psalm 51:7 KJV)

"1:18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD [see 'Before Abraham Was, I AM']: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool." (Isaiah 1:18 KJV)

"And His raiment became shining, exceeding white as snow"

Although many regard the land of Israel to be free of snow, snowfall occasionally occurs during winter, particularly in the higher elevations (Jerusalem itself has experienced snowfall in recent years). Most people of Bible History were familiar with snow.

The Holy Scriptures

"147:16 He giveth snow like wool: he scattereth the hoarfrost like ashes. 147:17 He casteth forth his ice like morsels: who can stand before his cold?" (Psalm 147:16-17 KJV)

"18:14 Will a man leave the snow of Lebanon which cometh from the rock of the field? or shall the cold flowing waters that come from another place be forsaken?" (Jeremiah 18:14 KJV)

11:22 Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, the son of a valiant man of Kabzeel, who had done many acts; he slew two lionlike men of Moab: also he went down and slew a lion in a pit in a snowy day." (1 Chronicles 11:22 KJV)

Snow was also frequently used as an analogy for purity - the absolute purity of God now, and the purity-in-progress of repentant Christians (see The Cure For The Carnal Mind).

"24:19 Drought and heat consume the snow waters: so doth the grave those which have sinned." (Job 24:19 KJV)

"25:13 As the cold of snow in the time of harvest, so is a faithful messenger to them that send him: for he refresheth the soul of his masters." (Proverbs 25:13 KJV)

"31:10 Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies ... 31:21 She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with Scarlet." (Proverbs 31:10,21 KJV)

"4:7 Her Nazarites were purer than snow, they were whiter than milk, they were more ruddy in body than rubies, their polishing was of sapphire" (Lamentations 4:7 KJV)

"9:28 I am afraid of all my sorrows, I know that thou wilt not hold me innocent. 9:29 If I be wicked, why then labour I in vain? 9:30 If I wash myself with snow water, and make my hands never so clean; 9:31 Yet shalt thou plunge me in the ditch, and mine own clothes shall abhor me." (Job 9:28-31 KJV)

The "transfiguration" was a vision of the future Kingdom of God on earth. Christ's "garment was white as snow" not merely because it was a very, white color, but because "his raiment became shining."

9:2 And after six days Jesus taketh with him Peter, and James, and John, and leadeth them up into an high mountain apart by themselves: and he was transfigured before them. 9:3 And his raiment became shining, exceeding white as snow; so as no fuller on earth can white them." (Mark 9:2-3 KJV)

"7:9 I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days [see the Fact Finder question below] did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire." (Daniel 7:9 KJV)

Fact Finder: Who was and is "the Ancient of days"?
See The Ancient of Days


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