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The climate of Palestine was, on the whole, hot and dry. The hot season, from April to September, was almost without rain. During this season farmers depended for water mainly on heavy dews, wells, or reservoirs that had been filled with water during the dry season (Genesis 26:18; Genesis 26:21-22; 2 Chronicles 26:10; Isaiah 18:4). The rain came in the cooler season, beginning with early rains about October and concluding with later rains about March (Deuteronomy 11:14; Jeremiah 3:3; Jeremiah 5:24; Joel 2:23; see FARMING).

Over the whole year the amount of rain that fell in Palestine varied from about 350 mm (14 inches) on the coastal plain to about 700 mm (28 inches) in the central mountains. The Negeb, the dry region to the south, received less than 200 mm (8 inches) a year, and the lower Jordan Valley only about 100 mm (4 inches). (For map of the regions see PALESTINE.)

The temperature in Palestine for most of the year was between 23 and 30 degrees Celsius, often reaching 40 degrees in the lower Jordan Valley. In the central mountains the temperature dropped to about 10 degrees in the middle of winter, but only at Mt Hermon in the far north was there usually any snow (Jeremiah 18:14; cf. Deuteronomy 3:9).

Israelites had to bear in mind constantly that their God was in control of the weather. He was the God of nature (Psalms 68:9-10; Psalms 104:1-30; Jeremiah 10:13). If they obeyed him, he would bless them with good weather and agricultural prosperity; if they turned away from him and followed other gods, he would send them droughts and other disasters (Deuteronomy 28:1-24; see NATURE).

When they settled in Canaan, the Israelites found that the Canaanite gods were also regarded as gods of nature. Before long the Israelites fell to the temptation to combine the worship of these gods with the worship of their own God, Yahweh (Judges 2:11-13; Hosea 2:5-13; see BAAL).

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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Fleming, Don. Entry for 'Weather'. Bridgeway Bible Dictionary. 2004.

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