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Dictionaries :: Rain

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Easton's Bible Dictionary


There are three Hebrew words used to denote the rains of different seasons, (1.) Yoreh (Hsa 6:3), or moreh (Joe 2:23), denoting the former or the early rain. (2.) Melqosh, the "latter rain" (Pro 16:15). (3.) Geshem, the winter rain, "the rains." The heavy winter rain is mentioned in Gen 7:12; Ezr 10:9; Sgs 2:11. The "early" or "former" rains commence in autumn in the latter part of October or beginning of November (Deu 11:14; Joe 2:23; 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 Palestine between October and March. The "latter" or spring rains fall in March and April, and serve to swell the grain then coming to maturity (Deu 11:14; Hsa 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 Deu 32:2; Psa 72:6; Isa. 44:3, 4; Hsa 10:12.

International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia


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 Palestine:

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 Palestine 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" (De 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 Palestine 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, Palestine and Its Transformation. The promise of prosperity is given in the assurance of "rain in due season" (Le 26:4 the King James Version). The withholding of rain according to the prophecy of Elijah (1Ki 17:1) caused the mountain streams to dry up (1Ki 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 (1Ki 17:12), and the animals were perishing (1Ki 18:5).

3. Amount of Rainfall:

Palestine 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 Palestine Exploration Fund Quarterly from 1861 to 1910, 50 years, are given in the accompanying table.

Torrey's New Topical Textbook

Rain: Occasioned by the Condensing of the Clouds

Job 36:27,28; Psa 77:17; Ecc 11:3

Rain: God

Made a decree for

Job 28:26


Psa 147:8


Job 5:10

Causes, to come down

Joe 2:23

Exhibits goodness in giving

Act 14:17

Exhibits greatness in giving

Job 36:26,27

Sends upon the evil and good

Mat 5:45

Should be praised for

Psa 147:7,8

Should be feared on account of

Jer 5:24

Rain: Impotence of Idols Exhibited in Not Being Able To

Jer 14:22

Rain: Not sent upon the earth immediately after creation

Gen 2:5

Rain: Rarely Falls in Egypt

Deu 11:10; Zec 14:18

Rain: Canaan Abundantly Supplied With

Deu 11:11

Rain: Designed For

Refreshing the earth

Psa 68:9; 72:6

Making fruitful the earth

Hbr 6:7

Replenishing the springs and fountains of the earth

Psa 104:8

Rain: Promised in Due Season to the Obedient

Lev 26:4; Deu 11:14; Eze 34:26,27

Rain: Frequently Withheld on Account of Iniquity

Deu 11:17; Jer 3:3; 5:25; Amo 4:7

Rain: The Want Of

Causes the earth to open

Job 29:23; Jer 14:4

Dries up springs and fountains

1Ki 17:7

Occasions famine

1Ki 18:1,2

Removed by prayer

1Ki 8:35,36; Jam 5:18

Rain: Withheld for three years and six months in the days of Elijah

1Ki 17:1; Jam 5:17

Rain: Divided Into


Ezr 10:9


Psa 68:9


Eze 38:22


Pro 28:3


Job 37:6

Rain: The Former, after Harvest, to Prepare for Sowing

Deu 11:14; Jer 5:24

Rain: The Latter, before Harvest

Joe 2:23; Zec 10:1

Rain: The Rainbow Often Appears During

Gen 9:14; Eze 1:28

Rain: Often Succeeded by Heat and Sunshine

2Sa 23:4; Isa 18:4

Rain: The Appearance of a Cloud from the West Indicated

1Ki 18:44; Luk 12:54

Rain: The North Wind Drives Away

Pro 25:23

Rain: Unusual in Harvest Time

Pro 26:1

Rain: Thunder and Lightning Often With

Psa 135:7

Rain: Storm and Tempest Often With

Mat 7:25,27

Rain: Instances of Extraordinary

Time of the flood

Gen 7:4,12

Plague of, upon Egypt

Exd 9:18,23

During wheat harvest in the days of Samuel

1Sa 12:17,18

After long drought in Ahab's reign

1Ki 18:45

After the captivity

Ezr 10:9,13

Rain: Often Impeded Travelling in the East

1Ki 18:44; Isa 4:6

Rain: Often Destroyed Houses

Eze 13:13-15; Mat 7:27

Rain: Illustrative

Of the word of God

Isa 55:10,11

Of the doctrine of faithful ministers

Deu 32:2

Of Christ in the communication of his graces

Psa 72:6; Hsa 6:3

Of spiritual blessings

Psa 68:9; 84:6; Eze 34:26

Of righteousness

Hsa 10:12

(Destructive,) of God's judgments

Job 20:23; Psa 11:6; Eze 38:22

(Destructive,) of a poor man oppressing the poor

Pro 28:3

Smith's Bible Dictionary


In the Bible "early rain" signifies the rain of the autumn (Deuteronomy 11:14) and "latter rain" the rain of spring (Proverbs 16:1; 16:5). 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." (James 5:7; Proverbs 16:15).


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