Frost (prop. כּפוֹר, kephor, so called from covering the ground, "hoar-frost," Ex 16:14; Job 38:29; Ps 147:16; also קֶרִח, ke'rach, from its smoothness, ice, as rendered Job 6:16; Job 38:29; "frost," Job 37:10; hence cold, "frost," Ge 31:40; Jer 36:30; and "crystal," from its resemblance to ice, Eze 1:22), frozen dew. It appears in a still night, when there is no storm or tempest, and descends upon the earth as silently as if it were produced by mere breathing (Job 37:10). Throughout western Asia, very severe and frosty nights are often succeeded by days warmer than most western summers afford (Ge 21:34; see Jer 36:30). Dr. Robinson says (Researches, 2:97), in Jerusalem "the ground never freezes; but Mr. Whiting had seen the pool back of his house (Hezekiah's) covered with thin ice for one or two days." Dr. Barclay states (City of the Great King, page 50) that "frost at the present day is entirely unknown in the lower portion of the valley of the Jordan [the Ghor]; but slight frosts are sometimes felt on the sea-coast, and near Lebanon." SEE PALESTINE.
The word חֲנָמָל, chanamal, found only in Ps 78:47, where (in accordance with the Sept. Vulg., Chald., Arabic, Syr., and most interpreters) it is rendered "frost," signifies (according to Michaelis) a species of ant, as destructive to trees (?) as the hail (Aben-Ezra) in the parallel member. (See Gesenius, Thes. Heb. page 499; Bochart, Hieroz. 3:255, edit. Lips.) Perhaps, if an animal at all be meant, it may be a designation of the caterpillar (so some of the Rabbins), an insect nowhere else properly distinctly referred to in the Scriptures, but peculiarly destructive to the foliage of trees. SEE LOCUST.