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