The Rains

Deuteronomy 11:11-14

11 But the land, whither ye go to possess it, is a land of hills and valleys, and drinketh water of the rain of heaven:

12 A land which the LORD thy God careth for: the eyes of the LORD thy God are always upon it, from the beginning of the year even unto the end of the year.

13 And it shall come to pass, if ye shall hearken diligently unto my commandments which I command you this day, to love the LORD your God, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul,

14 That I will give you the rain of your land in his due season, the first rain and the latter rain, that thou mayest gather in thy corn, and thy wine, and thine oil.

This quote from Deuteronomy indicates in verse 14 that these rains are given to make it possible to gather in the crops at the end of the year. Verse 13 lays out a condition for this, God's people must be obedient for this to happen.

Jeremiah 5:24 Neither say they in their heart, Let us now fear the LORD our God, that giveth rain, both the former and the latter, in his season: he reserveth unto us the appointed weeks of the harvest.

In Jeremiah there is also a mention of the rains. Both of these passages mention that the harvest, and the rains that make it possible, come in a certain season.

Joel 2:23 Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the LORD your God: for he hath given you the former rain moderately, and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month.

This quote from Joel is interesting for several reasons. One is that it mentions the first month. The first month, however is a vague reference. How is this? There is a peculiar feature in the Jewish calendar. It's because there is a civil calendar and a religious calendar. In the religious calendar the first month is in the spring, but in the civil calendar the first month is in the fall. So some will say that the former rain is the spring rains and others will tell you it's the fall rains. Actually the bible is unclear on this.

Since the Jewish calendar is a lunar calendar, some years have extra months. But the extra month is always inserted, in the appropriate years during the winter. This means that there is always the same number of days between the beginning of the religious year and the civil year. And therefore the time between Passover and Tabernacles is always constant.

Both rains are needed in their seasons in Israel since the barley and wheat harvests come in the spring. That's the corn. While the Oil and the Wine, which is the fruit harvest, comes in the fall.

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