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What are Seasons?
     In Palestine the year is very nearly divided by the equinoxes into two seasons - the dry and the rainy. In the promise made to Noah, Gen 8:22, this division seems to be indicated, and the two portions of the year are designated as "seed-time and harvest," "cold and heat," "summer and winter." More particularly, grain-harvest continues from the middle of April until near the middle of June. During this period the sky is clear, the air warm, and even hot in the valleys and on the coast, very much like the beginning of summer with us. As it proceeds the heat in the plains is great. For the next two months the heat increases, and the nights are so warm that the people sleep in the open air upon the roofs of their houses. The Arabs call this the vernal summer. The season of fruits lasts from about the middle of August to the middle of November. The intensity of the heat is greater by day, but toward the end of summer the nights begin to be cool. During these three periods, up to the beginning or middle of September, there are no showers, rain being as scarce in summer as snow, 1 Sam 12:17. Hence the proverb, Prov 26:1. From the end of April until September a cloud rarely is to be seen upon the face of the heavens. During all this time the earth is moistened by the dew, which is, therefore, a frequent emblem of divine grace and goodness. Sometimes a cloud appears in the morning, but it disappears with the dew as soon as the sun exerts its power. Hos 6:4. The dry grass of the fields sometimes takes fire and produces desolating conflagration, and the parched earth is cleft and broken into chasms. This is more particularly the case when the east wind blows, Gen 41:6; Hos 13:15. Between the middle of September and the middle of October there are two or three days of rain, which suffices to refresh all nature, so that the whole land is clad in verdure. This prepares the earth for seed-time, which continues from early in October until early in December, immediately following the former or "early rain." which is so needful for the sower. In the early part of this period it is still quite hot, so that all journeys are made by night, as the temperature is then agreeable and the sky is clear. As the year advances, however, there are alternations of heat and cold, as with us in autumn. The weather becomes unsettled, and there are fogs and clouds even when there is no rain. In the mountains snow sometimes falls toward the middle of December. The streams are still small, and many of their channels altogether dry. In the latter part of November the trees lose their foliage, and fires are made toward the last days of seed-time. Winter strictly includes the period from the middle of December till the middle of February. Snow occasionally falls on the highlands, but seldom remains more than a few hours, except upon the mountains. Ps 147:16-17. Ice is rare, and vegetable life is seldom injured by frost and does not require protection. During the winter months the roads are very bad. Matt 24:20. The greatest cold lasts about forty days, from the 12th of December to the 20th of January. The north wind is now exceedingly penetrating. Gen 31:40. Yet in the level country, when the sun shines, it is quite warm. Josephus says that in his day it was as warm in winter at Caesarea, on the coast, as at other places in summer. In this season hail- and thunderstorms are common; the brooks rise, and all the streams fill their channels. Toward the end of January the fields become green, and there is every appearance of approaching spring. In the early part of February the trees are in leaf, and before the middle of the month some fruit trees are in blossom - first the almond, then the apricot, peach, and plum. Other trees blossom in March. From February until April it is still cold, but less so, and the spring may be said to have arrived. The heats of noon are greater and greater, especially in the flat country. The rains continue, but in smaller and smaller quantities. Thunder and hail are more frequent. Toward the close of this period the rains cease, and the last falls in the early part of April, and is called the "latter rain," which seems to give strength to the filling grain. The crops of grain are as much advanced in February as with us in May and June. The wheat and barley have at this time nearly attained their height. The grain has fully ripened in the southern part of Palestine by the middle of April, and in the northern and mountainous parts three weeks later; but sometimes, when the sowing has been in January, the grain does not come to maturity before July or August. Upon the sixteenth day after the first new moon in April, there was a solemn presentation made to the Lord of the first sheaf of ripe barley. The grain, however, as we may readily suppose, was mature sometimes earlier and sometimes later. It was common to reckon four months from seed-time to harvest. The cutting and securing the grain was carried on for about seven weeks - that is, from the Passover until Pentecost, which last is therefore called the "feast of weeks." This was a season of very great enjoyment and festivity when the harvest had been plentiful. The reapers - that is to say, the children, slaves, and other domestics - indulged in mirth and joined in songs suitable to the occasion, and in congratulations to the master of the harvest. Ps 126:6; Isa 9:3. The grain was then gathered and bound into sheaves, as with us. See Hail, Rain. Palestine.

Bibliography Information
Schaff, Philip, Dr. "Biblical Definition for 'seasons' in Schaffs Bible Dictionary". - Schaff's

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