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Holman Bible Dictionary
Moisture from heaven providing nourishment for plant and animal life. Palestine was a land dependent upon the yearly rains to ensure an abundant harvest and an ample food supply for the coming year. Thus, the presence or absence of rain became a symbol of God's continued blessing or displeasure with the land and its inhabitants. Rain fell in two seasons: the early rains during October and November, and the later rains in February and March. Rarely did rain of any significance fall outside these two periods. Westerly winds from the Mediterranean Sea brought wet storms during the winter, most of the rain falling along the coastal plain, in the north, and in the central hills. Lower elevations, the Jordan Valley, and the south received less rain during the year. Long droughts often were followed by flash floods that quickly filled the seasonal creeks and riverbeds. The runoff was captured in cisterns for drinking water. In the Negev, farmers plowed during the rains to allow the fine desert dust to absorb the little rain that was available. The coming of the rain was viewed as God's continued pleasure with His people. The lack of rain in spring proclaimed His judgment for sin and disobedience. The Canaanites worshiped Baal as the god of rain and thunder, and sexual orgies were enacted to provoke his presence in the land.
These dictionary topics are from the Holman Bible Dictionary, published by Broadman & Holman, 1991. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman & Holman.
Butler, Trent C. Editor. Entry for 'Rain'. Holman Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/hbd/r/rain.html. 1991.