"The Dew of Herbs"

What is the meaning and force of the pas­sage in Isaiah 26:19, which reads: "Thy dew is as the dew of herbs"?

W.R. French, Dean. School of Theology. Pacific Union College.

What is the meaning and force of the pas­sage in Isaiah 26:19, which reads: "Thy dew is as the dew of herbs"?

The full text reads: "Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead." This prophecy met a direct fulfillment in the resurrection of Christ and those saints who were raised with Him. Concerning this incident, inspiration makes this comment:

"As Christ arose, He brought from the grave a multitude of captives. The earthquake at His death had rent open their graves, and when He arose, they came forth with Him. They were those who had been colaborers with God, and who at the cost of their lives had borne testimony to the truth. . . . During His min­istry, Jesus had raised the dead to life. He had raised the son of the widow of Nain, and the ruler's daughter, and Lazarus. But these were not clothed with immortality. After they were raised, they were still subject to death. But those who came forth from the grave at Christ's resurrection, were raised to everlasting life."—"The Desire of Ages," p. 786.

In this discussion we will not concern our­selves with the questions as to who they were, how many they were, or why they were raised; but as to their condition after being raised. The quotation just cited says they were "raised to everlasting life." The Bible expresses the same thought in the words, "For thy dew is as the dew of herbs." This resur­rection was the dawn of the new or immortal life to them. Instead of the words, "the dew of herbs," Dr. Adam Clarke translates it thus: "the dew of dawn." This, he says, is according to the Vulgate (Latin), Syriac, and Chaldee. The Septuagint version uses for the word "dew," the Greek word (drosos). This word is used for dew or a light rain, much as the word "drop" is used in English. The pri­mary meaning of the word drosos is "anything tender; the young of animals." Applying this meaning to the text in hand, it would signify that they were resurrected to the tenderness of eternal youth or of young and tender herbs. The Hebrew word is (tal), which means dew or gentle rain. This word comes from an Arabic root (tolal), meaning "moisten." From this fact the phrase in hand might be translated, "Thy moisture shall be as the moisture of the tender herbs."

The word "dew" is found in several passages of the Bible; but the most significant meaning is found in Psalms 110:3, which reads as fol­lows: "Thy people shall be willing in the day of Thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth." The marginal reading is: "More than the womb of the morning: thou shalt have the dew of thy youth." In the light of the pre­ceding renderings, this text might read: "More than the womb of the morning: thou shalt have the dew, moisture, tenderness of thy youth."

In the book of Hosea, God says, "I will be as the dew unto Israel: he shall grow as the lily, and cast forth his roots as Lebanon." Hosea 14:5. The redeemed are here described as plants which receive the gentle dews which refresh them, and they grow and flourish. God says, "I will be as the dew." In age, men and all living things dry up, wither, and lose their moisture of youth; but the faithful will awake to immortal youth.

W.R. French, Dean. School of Theology. Pacific Union College.


Ministry reserves the right to approve, disapprove, and delete comments at our discretion and will not be able to respond to inquiries about these comments. Please ensure that your words are respectful, courteous, and relevant.

comments powered by Disqus

W.R. French, Dean. School of Theology. Pacific Union College.

August 1937

Download PDF
Ministry Cover

More Articles In This Issue

"Meditate Upon These Things"

An Editorial by the GC president.

Unique Place of Our New Seminary

Address at opening of Theological Seminary sum­mer session. June 1. at Washington. D.C.

The Question of "Historical" Movies

Should we encourage the viewing of historical movies?

"Replenish the Earth" (Genesis 9:1)

How should we understand the text Genesis 9:1.

Use of Stereopticon and Projectors

I think that if we study God's word, and Christ's example, we shall see the value of appealing to both mind and heart through as many of the senses as possible.

Meeting the Evolution Problem

Certain pulpit addresses and magazine articles on the subject of evolution lead me to make a few comments on methods that may well be employed or avoided in meeting this great problem.

Choir Membership

In many churches a general invitation is made to "those who wish to join the choir," thus throwing down the bars and swinging the gates wide open for anyone who feels inclined to come. This is getting started on the wrong foot.

Have Faith in the Advent Movement

The meaning of faith in the pioneers of this movement.

The Sovereignty of Truth

There is no excuse for any one in taking the position that there is no more truth to be revealed and that all our ex­positions of Scripture are without error.

Editorial Keynotes

Historic Interpretation and Exposition

View All Issue Contents

Digital delivery

If you're a print subscriber, we'll complement your print copy of Ministry with an electronic version.

Sign up
Advertisement - RevivalandReformation 300x250

Recent issues

See All