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Bible Dictionaries

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible

Rain

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RAIN . The Palestine year is divided roughly into two parts the rainy and the dry. The first rains after the summer begin to fall in November, though showers in October are not unknown; and the weather continues intermittently wet until the following March, or sometimes till April. As a rule the first rainfalls, which are accompanied by heavy thunderstorms, are followed by comparatively fine weather, broken by occasional wet days, after which, towards the end of the rainy season, there are again heavy successions of rain-storms. The agricultural value of this division is obvious, and it is recognized by the expressions ‘ former ’ and ‘latter’ rains which we meet with in the Biblical writings. The first rains soften the iron-bound soil, baked hard, so to speak, by the summer heat, and so make it fit for ploughing; the comparatively fine intervals give the husbandman time to sow; and the second showers water the seed. The average annual rainfall in Jerusalem is about 28 inches, though this is subject to much variation. In the winter of 1904 1905 nearly 40 inches fell. Such very wet winters are nearly always followed by an epidemic of malaria in the succeeding summer.

R. A. S. Macalister.

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Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Rain'. Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/hdb/r/rain.html. 1909.

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