4:7, 8 rain. The winter rains from October through February were essential for the crops to begin their growth. The spring or “latter” rains of March and April would provide for mature growth (Jer. 5:24). The Lord had promised these rains, if Israel would obey His commands (Lev. 26:3, 4), but also warned that He would withhold them if they disobeyed (Lev. 26:18, 19; Deut. 28:23, 24).