|Easton's Bible Dictionary|
"There is no dew properly so called in Palestine, 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 (Genesis 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 (Genesis 27:28; Deuteronomy 33:13; Zechariah 8:12), and its withdrawal is regarded as a curse from God (2 Samuel 1:21; 1 Kings 17:1). It is the symbol of a multitude (2 Samuel 17:12; Psalm 110:3); and from its refreshing influence it is an emblem of brotherly love and harmony (Psalm 133:3), and of rich spiritual blessings (Hosea 14:5).
Noah Webster's Dictionary
1. (n.) Moisture from the atmosphere condensed by cool bodies upon their surfaces, particularly at night.
2. (n.) Figuratively, anything which falls lightly and in a refreshing manner.
3. (n.) An emblem of morning, or fresh vigor.
4. (v. t.) To wet with dew or as with dew; to bedew; to moisten; as with dew.
5. (a. & n.) Same as Due, or Duty.
Int. Standard Bible Encyclopedia
du (Tal; drosos).
1. Formation of Dew:
Two things are necessary for the formation of dew, moisture and cold. In moist countries there is less dew because the change in temperature between day and night is too small. In the deserts where the change in temperature between day and night is sometimes as much as 40 degrees F., there is seldom dew because of lack of moisture in the atmosphere. Palestine is fortunate in being near the sea, so that there is always a large percentage of water vapor in the air. The skies are clear, and hence, there is rapid radiation beginning immediately after sunset, which cools the land and the air until the moisture is condensed and settles on cool objects. Air at a low temperature is not capable of holding as much water vapor in suspension as warm air. The ice pitcher furnishes an example of the formation of dew. Just as the drops of water form on the cool pitcher, so dew forms on rocks, grass and trees.
2. Value of Dew in Palestine:
In Palestine it does not rain from April to October, and were it not for the dew in summer all vegetation would perish. Dew and rain are equally important. If there is no rain the winter grass and harvests fail; if no dew, the late crops dry up and there is no fruit. Failure of either of these gifts of Nature would cause great want and hardship, but the failure of both would cause famine and death. Even on the edge of the great Syrian desert in Anti-Lebanon, beyond Jordan and in Sinai, a considerable vegetation of a certain kind flourishes in the summer, although there is not a drop of rain for six months. The dews are so heavy that the plants and trees are literally soaked with water at night, and they absorb sufficient moisture to more than supply the loss due to evaporation in the day. It is more surprising to one who has not seen it before to find a flourishing vineyard practically in the desert itself. Some of the small animals of the desert, such as the jerboa, seem to have no water supply except the dew. The dew forms most heavily on good conductors of heat, such as metals and stones, because they radiate their heat faster and cool the air around them. The wetting of Gideon's fleece (Judges 6:38) is an indication of the amount of dew formed, and the same phenomenon might be observed any clear night in summer in Palestine
3. Importance to Israel:
Dew was a present necessity to the people of Israel as it is today to the people of the same lands, so Yahweh says, "I will be as the dew unto Israel" (Hosea 14:5). Dew and rain are of equal importance and are spoken of together in 1 Kings 17:1. It was especially valued by the children of Israel in the desert, for it supplied the manna for their sustenance (Exodus 16:13 Numbers 11:9).
4. Symbol of Blessing:
Isaac in blessing Jacob asked that the "dew of heaven" (Genesis 27:28) may be granted to him; that these things which make for fertility and prosperity may be his portion. "The remnant of Jacob shall be in the midst of many peoples as dew from Yahweh" (Micah 5:7), as a means of blessing to the nations. "Blessed of Yahweh for. dew" (Deuteronomy 33:13).
5. Symbol of Refreshment:
Dew is the means of refreshing and reinvigorating all vegetation. Many Scripture references carry out this idea. The song of Moses says, "My speech shall distill as the dew" (Deuteronomy 32:2). "A cloud of dew" (Isaiah 18:4) refreshes the harvesters. "My head is filled with dew" (Songs 5:2). "Like the dew of Hermon" (Psalm 133:3). "Thou hast the dew of thy youth" (Psalm 110:3). "Thy dew is as the dew of herbs" (Isaiah 26:19). Job said of the time of his prosperity, "The dew lieth all night upon my branch" (Job 29:19).
Other figures use dew as the symbol of stealth, of that which comes up unawares (2 Samuel 17:12), and of inconstancy (Hosea 6:4; Hosea 13:3). God's knowledge covers the whole realm of the phenomena of Nature which are mysteries to man (Job 38:28 Proverbs 3:20).
Alfred H. Joy
Dew (35 Occurrences)
Genesis 27:28 God give you of the dew of the sky, of the fatness of the earth, and plenty of grain and new wine. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Genesis 27:39 Isaac his father answered him, "Behold, of the fatness of the earth will be your dwelling, and of the dew of the sky from above. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Exodus 16:13 It happened at evening that quail came up and covered the camp; and in the morning the dew lay around the camp. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Exodus 16:14 When the dew that lay had gone, behold, on the surface of the wilderness was a small round thing, small as the frost on the ground. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Numbers 11:9 When the dew fell on the camp in the night, the manna fell on it. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Deuteronomy 32:2 My doctrine shall drop as the rain. My speech shall condense as the dew, as the small rain on the tender grass, as the showers on the herb. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Deuteronomy 33:13 Of Joseph he said, "His land is blessed by Yahweh, for the precious things of the heavens, for the dew, for the deep that couches beneath, (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS NIV)
Deuteronomy 33:28 Israel dwells in safety; the fountain of Jacob alone, In a land of grain and new wine. Yes, his heavens drop down dew. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Judges 6:37 behold, I will put a fleece of wool on the threshing floor; if there be dew on the fleece only, and it be dry on all the ground, then shall I know that you will save Israel by my hand, as you have spoken." (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Judges 6:38 It was so; for he rose up early on the next day, and pressed the fleece together, and wrung the dew out of the fleece, a bowl full of water. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Judges 6:39 Gideon said to God, "Don't let your anger be kindled against me, and I will speak but this once. Please let me make a trial just this once with the fleece. Let it now be dry only on the fleece, and on all the ground let there be dew." (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Judges 6:40 God did so that night: for it was dry on the fleece only, and there was dew on all the ground. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
2 Samuel 1:21 You mountains of Gilboa, let there be no dew nor rain on you, neither fields of offerings; For there the shield of the mighty was vilely cast away, The shield of Saul was not anointed with oil. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
2 Samuel 17:12 So shall we come on him in some place where he shall be found, and we will light on him as the dew falls on the ground; and of him and of all the men who are with him we will not leave so much as one. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
1 Kings 17:1 Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the foreigners of Gilead, said to Ahab, "As Yahweh, the God of Israel, lives, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word." (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Job 29:19 My root is spread out to the waters. The dew lies all night on my branch. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Job 38:28 Does the rain have a father? Or who fathers the drops of dew? (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Psalms 110:3 Your people offer themselves willingly in the day of your power, in holy array. Out of the womb of the morning, you have the dew of your youth. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Psalms 133:3 like the dew of Hermon, that comes down on the hills of Zion: for there Yahweh gives the blessing, even life forevermore. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Proverbs 3:20 By his knowledge, the depths were broken up, and the skies drop down the dew. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Proverbs 19:12 The king's wrath is like the roaring of a lion, but his favor is like dew on the grass. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Song of Songs 5:2 I was asleep, but my heart was awake. It is the voice of my beloved who knocks: "Open to me, my sister, my love, my dove, my undefiled; for my head is filled with dew, and my hair with the dampness of the night." (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Isaiah 18:4 For Yahweh said to me, "I will be still, and I will see in my dwelling place, like clear heat in sunshine, like a cloud of dew in the heat of harvest." (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Isaiah 26:19 Your dead shall live. My dead bodies shall arise. Awake and sing, you who dwell in the dust; for your dew is like the dew of herbs, and the earth will cast forth the dead. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Daniel 4:15 Nevertheless leave the stump of its roots in the earth, even with a band of iron and brass, in the tender grass of the field; and let it be wet with the dew of the sky: and let his portion be with the animals in the grass of the earth: (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Daniel 4:23 Whereas the king saw a watcher and a holy one coming down from the sky, and saying, Cut down the tree, and destroy it; nevertheless leave the stump of its roots in the earth, even with a band of iron and brass, in the tender grass of the field, and let it be wet with the dew of the sky: and let his portion be with the animals of the field, until seven times pass over him; (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Daniel 4:25 that you shall be driven from men, and your dwelling shall be with the animals of the field, and you shall be made to eat grass as oxen, and shall be wet with the dew of the sky, and seven times shall pass over you; until you know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever he will. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Daniel 4:33 The same hour was the thing fulfilled on Nebuchadnezzar: and he was driven from men, and ate grass as oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of the sky, until his hair was grown like eagles' feathers, and his nails like birds' claws. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Daniel 5:21 and he was driven from the sons of men, and his heart was made like the animals', and his dwelling was with the wild donkeys; he was fed with grass like oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of the sky; until he knew that the Most High God rules in the kingdom of men, and that he sets up over it whomever he will. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Hosea 6:4 "Ephraim, what shall I do to you? Judah, what shall I do to you? For your love is like a morning cloud, and like the dew that disappears early. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Hosea 13:3 Therefore they will be like the morning mist, and like the dew that passes away early, like the chaff that is driven with the whirlwind out of the threshing floor, and like the smoke out of the chimney. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Hosea 14:5 I will be like the dew to Israel. He will blossom like the lily, and send down his roots like Lebanon. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Micah 5:7 The remnant of Jacob will be in the midst of many peoples, like dew from Yahweh, like showers on the grass, that don't wait for man, nor wait for the sons of men. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Haggai 1:10 Therefore for your sake the heavens withhold the dew, and the earth withholds its fruit. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Zechariah 8:12 "For the seed of peace and the vine will yield its fruit, and the ground will give its increase, and the heavens will give their dew; and I will cause the remnant of this people to inherit all these things. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)