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Manners & Customs: Rains
Early and latter rains in the ancient Biblical world

Early and Latter Rains The Israel grainfields are largely dependent upon the rain that falls, for their fruitfulness. No rain falls in the land from May to September. The former rain, spoken of in scripture, falls in the latter part of October or the first part of November usually. It is this rain that is the signal for the farmer to begin his ploughing and plant his seed. The Bible also speaks of the latter rain, which ordinarily falls in March and April, and it is this rain that is of so much value in maturing the barley and the wheat crops. The heavy winds come the latter part of December and during January and February. The prophecy of Joel mentions all three of these kinds of rain: "And he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month" (Joel 2:23). The word rain here means heavy, gushing rain that falls in winter months, and the rainy season starts with the former rain in the fall, and ends with the latter rain in the spring. Barley harvest is usually in April and May, and wheat harvest in May and June. Thus we see that Jeremiah was quite correct in his order of seasons in relation to the harvest time, when he said: "The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved" (Jeremiah 8:20). [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]
http://www.baptistbiblebelievers.com/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=jsZ5vlGvWyQ%3d&tabid=232&mid=762

Ploughing After the Rain Getting ready for ploughing. The farmer gets ready for ploughing after the first rain starts falling, if he has not already done so before. He will spend the time making sure that his plough is in good repair and ready for action. He may need to cut and point a new goad to use in prodding his team of oxen. He must also see to it that his yoke is smooth and fits the necks of the animals. An ill-shaped or heavy yoke would gall them. The LORD JESUS spoke of "the easy yoke" promised to His obedient followers (Matthew 11:30). When the ground has been softened sufficiently by the rain, then the ploughing can begin. [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]
http://www.baptistbiblebelievers.com/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=jsZ5vlGvWyQ%3d&tabid=232&mid=762

Rain in Easton's Bible Dictionary There are three Hebrew words used to denote the rains of different seasons, (1.) Yoreh (Hos. 6:3), or moreh (Joel 2:23), denoting the former or the early rain. (2.) Melqosh, the "latter rain" (Prov. 16:15). (3.) Geshem, the winter rain, "the rains." The heavy winter rain is mentioned in Gen. 7:12; Ezra 10:9; Cant. 2:11. The "early" or "former" rains commence in autumn in the latter part of October or beginning of November (Deut. 11:14; Joel 2:23; comp. Jer. 3:3), and continue to fall heavily for two months. Then the heavy "winter rains" fall from the middle of December to March. There is no prolonged fair weather in Israel between October and March. The "latter" or spring rains fall in March and April, and serve to swell the grain then coming to maturity (Deut. 11:14; Hos. 6:3). After this there is ordinarily no rain, the sky being bright and cloudless till October or November. Rain is referred to symbolically in Deut. 32:2; Ps. 72:6; Isa. 44:3, 4; Hos. 10:12.
http://www.bible-history.com/eastons/R/Rain/

Rain in Fausset's Bible Dictionary (See PALESTINE; Climate.) Matar. Geshem, "violent rain" or generically "the early and latter rain" (Jeremiah 5:24; Joel 2:23). Yoreh, "the early rain of autumn"; malkosh, "the latter rain of spring" (Proverbs 16:15; Job 29:23; Jeremiah 3:3; Hosea 6:3; Zechariah 10:1). Rebibim, from rab "many," from the multitude of drops; "showers" (Deuteronomy 32:2). Zerem, "violent rain," "hailstorm" (Job 24:8). Sagrir only in Proverbs 27:15. As compared with Egypt, Israel was a land of rain (Deuteronomy 11:10-11), but for six months no rain falls so that "rain in harvest" and "thunder" were marvelous phenomena, and out of time and place (Proverbs 26:1; 1 Samuel 12:16-18). The early rain begins gradually, the latter end of October or beginning of November. Generally from the W. or S.W. (Luke 12:54); the wind then changes to the N. or E. At no period in the winter, from the end of October to the end of March, does rain entirely cease. In January and February snow falls, but lies only a short time. "The early rain" means the first autumnal showers which prepare the arid soil for the seed; "the latter rain" the later spring showers, especially in March, which Bring forward the crop toward harvest (James 5:7; Proverbs 16:15). Showers fall occasionally in April and May. God claims as His peculiar prerogative the sending or withholding of rain, which He made dependent on the obedience or disobedience of Israel (Leviticus 26:3-5; Leviticus 26:19; Deuteronomy 11:13-15; Deuteronomy 28:23-24; Jeremiah 3:3; Jeremiah 5:24; Jeremiah 14:22). "The latter rain in the first (month)" in Joel 2:23 means in the month when first it is needed; or else, as Vulgate and Septuagint, "as at the first" (compare Isaiah 1:26; Hosea 2:15; Malachi 3:4); or in Nisan or Abib, the Passover month, the first, namely, the end of March and beginning of April. The departure of winter was marked by the cessation of rain (Song of Solomon 2:11-13). Rain is the beautiful image of the Spirit's refreshing influences in Messiah's kingdom (Hosea 6:3; 2 Samuel 23:4; Psalm 72:6).
http://www.bible-history.com/faussets/R/Rain/

Rain in Naves Topical Bible Forty days of, at the time of the great flood of Noah Ge 7:4,10-12,17-24 -The plague of, upon Egypt Ex 9:22-26,33,34 -Miraculously caused By Samuel 1Sa 12:16-19 By Elijah 1Ki 18:41-45 -David delivered by 2Sa 5:17-21; Isa 28:21 -North wind unfavorable to Pr 25:23 -Withheld as judgment De 11:17; 28:24; 1Ki 8:35; 2Ch 7:13; Jer 3:3; Am 4:7; Zec 14:17 -The earth will never again be destroyed by Ge 9:8-17 -Sent by God De 11:13,14; Job 37:6; Isa 30:23; Jer 5:24; 14:22 -Contingent upon obedience Le 26:3,4; De 11:13,14 -Prayer for 1Ki 8:35,36; 2Ch 6:26,27 -Answer to prayer for, promised 2Ch 7:13,14; Zec 10:1 -Withheld, in answer to prayer Jas 5:17,18 -Rainy season in Palestine is in the ninth month, corresponding to December Ezr 10:9,13 -See METEOROLOGY -FIGURATIVE Ps 72:6
http://www.bible-history.com/naves/R/RAIN/

Rain in Smiths Bible Dictionary In the Bible "early rain" signifies the rain of the autumn, De 11:14 and "latter rain" the rain of spring. Pr 16:1,5 For six months in the year, from May to October, no rain falls, the whole land becomes dry, parched and brown. The autumnal rains are eagerly looked for, to prepare the earth for the reception of the seed. These, the early rains, commence about the latter end of October continuing through November and December. January and February are the coldest months, and snow falls, sometimes to the depth of a foot or more, at Jerusalem, but it does not lie long; it is very seldom seen along the coast and in the low plains. Rain continues to fall more or less during the month of March it is very rare in April. Robinson observes that there are not, at the present day, "any particular periods of rain or succession of showers which might be regarded as distinct rainy seasons. The whole period from October to March now constitutes only one continued season of rain, without any regularly-intervening term of prolonged fine weather. Unless therefore, there has been some change in the climate, the early and the latter rains, for which the husbandman waited with longing, seem rather to hare implied the first showers of autumn--which revived the parched and thirsty soil and prepared it for the seed --and the later showers of spring, which continued to refresh and forward both the ripening crops and the vernal products of the fields." Jas 5:7; Pr 16:15
http://www.bible-history.com/smiths/R/Rain/

Rain in the Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE ran (maTar, Arabic (?), maTar, "rain" geshem, "heavy rain" moreh, "early rain," yoreh, "former rain," malqosh, "latter rain"; brecho, huetos): 1. Water-Supply in Egypt and Israel: In Egypt there is little or no rainfall, the water for vegetation being supplied in great abundance by the river Nile; but in Syria and Israel there are no large rivers, and the people have to depend entirely on the fall of rain for water for themselves, their animals and their fields. The children of Israel when in Egypt were promised by Yahweh a land which "drinketh water of the rain of heaven" (Dt 11:11). Springs and fountains are found in most of the valleys, but the flow of the springs depends directly on the fall of rain or snow in the mountains. 2. Importance of Rain in Season: The cultivation of the land in Israel is practically dry farming in most of the districts, but even then some water is necessary, so that there may be moisture in the soil. In the summer months there is no rain, so that the rains of the spring and fall seasons are absolutely essential for starting and maturing the crops. The lack of this rain in the proper time has often been the cause of complete failure of the harvest. A small difference in the amount of these seasonal rains makes a large difference in the possibility of growing various crops without irrigation. Ellsworth Huntington has insisted on this point with great care in his very important work, Israel and Its Transformation. The promise of prosperity is given in the assurance of "rain in due season" (Lev 26:4 the King James Version). The withholding of rain according to the prophecy of Elijah (1 Ki 17:1) caused the mountain streams to dry up (1 Ki 17:7), and certain famine ensued. A glimpse of the terrible suffering for lack of water at that time is given us. The people were uncertain of another meal (1 Ki 17:12), and the animals were perishing (1 Ki 18:5). 3. Amount of Rainfall: Israel and Syria are on the borderland between the sea and the desert, and besides are so mountainous, that they not only have a great range of rainfall in different years, but a great variation in different parts of the country. The amount of rain on the western slopes is comparable with that in England and America, varying from 25 to 40 inches per annum, but it falls mostly in the four winter months, when the downpour is often very heavy, giving oftentimes from 12 to 16 inches in a month. On the eastern slopes it is much less, varying from 8 to 20 inches per annum. The highest amount falls in the mountains of Lebanon where it averages about 50 inches. In Beirut the yearly average is 35,87 inches. As we go South from Syria, the amount decreases (Haifa 27,75, Jaffa 22,39, Gaze 17,61), while in the Sinaitic Peninsula there is little or none. Going from West to East the change is much more sudden, owing to the mountains which stop the clouds. In Damascus the average is less than 10 inches. In Jerusalem the average for 50 years is 26,16 in., and the range is from 13,19 in 1870 to 41,62 in 1897. The yearly records as given by J. Glaisher and A. Datzi in Israel Exploration Fund Quarterly from 1861 to 1910, 50 years, are given in the accompanying table.
http://www.bible-history.com/isbe/R/RAIN/

Rain Scripture - 1 Kings 8:36 Then hear thou in heaven, and forgive the sin of thy servants, and of thy people Israel, that thou teach them the good way wherein they should walk, and give rain upon thy land, which thou hast given to thy people for an inheritance.
http://www.bible-history.com/kjv/1+Kings/8/

Rain Scripture - 1 Samuel 12:18 So Samuel called unto the LORD; and the LORD sent thunder and rain that day: and all the people greatly feared the LORD and Samuel.
http://www.bible-history.com/kjv/1+Samuel/12/

Rain Scripture - 2 Chronicles 6:27 Then hear thou from heaven, and forgive the sin of thy servants, and of thy people Israel, when thou hast taught them the good way, wherein they should walk; and send rain upon thy land, which thou hast given unto thy people for an inheritance.
http://www.bible-history.com/kjv/2+Chronicles/6/

Rain Scripture - Deuteronomy 11:17 And [then] the LORD'S wrath be kindled against you, and he shut up the heaven, that there be no rain, and that the land yield not her fruit; and [lest] ye perish quickly from off the good land which the LORD giveth you.
http://www.bible-history.com/kjv/Deuteronomy/11/

Rain Scripture - Deuteronomy 28:12 The LORD shall open unto thee his good treasure, the heaven to give the rain unto thy land in his season, and to bless all the work of thine hand: and thou shalt lend unto many nations, and thou shalt not borrow.
http://www.bible-history.com/kjv/Deuteronomy/28/

Rain Scripture - Ezekiel 1:28 As the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain, so [was] the appearance of the brightness round about. This [was] the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD. And when I saw [it], I fell upon my face, and I heard a voice of one that spake.
http://www.bible-history.com/kjv/Ezekiel/1/

Rain Scripture - Ezra 10:9 Then all the men of Judah and Benjamin gathered themselves together unto Jerusalem within three days. It [was] the ninth month, on the twentieth [day] of the month; and all the people sat in the street of the house of God, trembling because of [this] matter, and for the great rain.
http://www.bible-history.com/kjv/Ezra/10/

Rain Scripture - Genesis 2:5 And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and [there was] not a man to till the ground.
http://www.bible-history.com/kjv/Genesis/2/

Rain Scripture - Genesis 7:4 For yet seven days, and I will cause it to rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights; and every living substance that I have made will I destroy from off the face of the earth.
http://www.bible-history.com/kjv/Genesis/7/

Rain Scripture - Psalms 68:9 Thou, O God, didst send a plentiful rain, whereby thou didst confirm thine inheritance, when it was weary.
http://www.bible-history.com/kjv/Psalms/68/

Waiting for Rain Before Ploughing PRELIMINARY PREPARATION FOR PLANTING THE GRAIN Waiting for rain before beginning to plough. In Israel, ploughing is done after the early rains have softened the earth (cf. Psalm 65:10). These rains usually come the latter part of October or the first part of November. If they do not come then, the farmer must wait for them before he can plough his ground. Job said, "They waited for me as for the rain" (Job 29:23). Jeremiah described lack of rain thus: "There was no rain in the earth, the ploughmen were ashamed, they covered their heads" (Jeremiah 14:4). Once the rain has come, the industrious farmer will start his ploughing. "The sluggard will not plough by reason of the cold" (Proverbs 20:4). Such a man will retreat into his home and enjoy the warmth of his fire, but he will miss the harvest. Dr. Thomson tells of one year when the farmers waited until the month of February for sufficient rain to enable them to plough the ground for the grain crop. The harvest came late, but was abundant. [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]
http://www.baptistbiblebelievers.com/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=jsZ5vlGvWyQ%3d&tabid=232&mid=762



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