Rain in the Bible

Isaiah 55:10-11 As the rain and the snow come down from heaven,
and do not return to it without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.

In Israel for six months in the year, from May to October, no rain falls, the whole land becomes dry, parched and brown.
There were two seasons of the year in which the rain fell abundantly. In the latter part of October and early November (the Hebrew month of Heshwan) came the early rains, מורה moreh, "early rain," יורה yoreh, "former rain.”
The second downpour came in the spring in the latter part of March and the first part of April (the Hebrew month of Nisan), the rains were called מַלְקוֺש malqosh, "latter rain," “spring-rain” (i.e. showers of March-April; important, as strengthening and maturing crops).
The whole period from October to March now constitutes only one continued season of rain, without any regularly-intervening term of prolonged fine weather.
There are two main Ancient Hebrew words for rain used in the Hebrew Bible: גשם (geshem) and מטר (matar); they are used for different types of rain.
Geshem: rain, shower, גשם, in the Bible, it is usually associated with a heavy rain.
Matar: rain, מטר, and the related word ממטיר (mamtir), meaning “to cause to rain down”, are sometimes used with negative connotations, for example, the word ממטיר was used in the story of Noah when the Lord caused a flood which was literally of Biblical proportions upon the earth (Genesis 7:4–5 ). מטר is also used in the story of Sodom and Gomorrah when the Lord causes fire and brimstone to rain down on the city and its evil inhabitants (Genesis 19:24). In the Jewish tradition, מטר is included during the winter months in a prayer for rain said three times a day. ממטיר and מטר , their Biblical Hebrew meaning would be a type of rain which is perhaps more directly or intentional caused by G-d than normal everyday rain.

Rashi’s Commentary on Joel 2:16-24, 27 says Although the early rain is the first rain, which falls on the seeds, and that is in Cheshvan, that year they sowed in Nisan, as is explained in Tractate Taanith 5a that the grain grew in eleven days.

Other names for rain:
  • Tal, dew, טָל night mist
  • Rebibim, רְבִיבִים, abundant showers; rabab: to be or become many or much רָבַב
  • Dalaf, (דלף (טורד (dropping of rain) – water dropping in a continuous flow. Proverbs 27:15 a day of steady rain, rainy day.
  • Sagrir: סַגְרִיר, steady or persistent rain, Proverbs 27:15 a day of steady rain, rainy day.
  • Zarziph, זרזיף a drop, dripping, זַרְזִיף Psalm 72:6 Like showers that water the earth.



Bible resources:

Geshem: rain, shower, גשם
  1. 1 Kings 17:7
    [ Elijah and the Widow at Zarephath ] Some time later the brook dried up because there had been no rain in the land.
  2. 1 Kings 17:14
    For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the Lord sends rain on the land.’”
  3. 1 Kings 18:45
    Meanwhile, the sky grew black with clouds, the wind rose, a heavy rain started falling and Ahab rode off to Jezreel.
  4. 2 Kings 3:17
    For this is what the Lord says: You will see neither wind nor rain, yet this valley will be filled with water, and you, your cattle and your other animals will drink.
  5. Psalm 68:9
    You gave abundant showers, O God; you refreshed your weary inheritance.
  6. Proverbs 25:23
    Like a north wind that brings unexpected rain is a sly tongue—which provokes a horrified look.
  7. Ecclesiastes 11:3
    If clouds are full of water, they pour rain on the earth. Whether a tree falls to the south or to the north, in the place where it falls, there it will lie.
  8. Jeremiah 14:4
    The ground is cracked because there is no rain in the land; the farmers are dismayed and cover their heads.
  9. Ezekiel 13:11
    therefore tell those who cover it with whitewash that it is going to fall. Rain will come in torrents, and I will send hailstones hurtling down, and violent winds will burst forth.
  10. Joel 2:23
    Be glad, people of Zion, rejoice in the Lord your God, for he has given you the autumn rains because he is faithful. He sends you abundant showers, both autumn and spring rains, as before.
  11. Zechariah 10:1
    [ The Lord Will Care for Judah ] Ask the Lord for rain in the springtime; it is the Lord who sends the thunderstorms. He gives showers of rain to all people, and plants of the field to everyone.
Matar: rain, מטר
  1. Deuteronomy 11:14
    then I will send rain on your land in its season, both autumn and spring rains, so that you may gather in your grain, new wine and olive oil.
  2. Deuteronomy 11:17
    Then the LORD’s anger will burn against you, and he will shut up the heavens so that it will not rain and the ground will yield no produce, and you will soon perish from the good land the LORD is giving you.
  3. Deuteronomy 28:12
    The LORD will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands. You will lend to many nations but will borrow from none.
  4. Deuteronomy 28:24
    The LORD will turn the rain of your country into dust and powder; it will come down from the skies until you are destroyed.
  5. 2 Samuel 1:21
    “Mountains of Gilboa, may you have neither dew nor rain, may no showers fall on your terraced fields. For there the shield of the mighty was despised, the shield of Saul—no longer rubbed with oil.
  6. 1 Kings 8:35
    “When the heavens are shut up and there is no rain because your people have sinned against you, and when they pray toward this place and give praise to your name and turn from their sin because you have afflicted them,
  7. 1 Kings 8:36
    then hear from heaven and forgive the sin of your servants, your people Israel. Teach them the right way to live, and send rain on the land you gave your people for an inheritance.
  8. 1 Kings 18:1
    18 After a long time, in the third year, the word of the LORD came to Elijah: “Go and present yourself to Ahab, and I will send rain on the land.”
  9. 2 Chronicles 6:26
    When the heavens are shut up and there is no rain because your people have sinned against you, and when they pray toward this place and give praise to your name and turn from their sin because you have afflicted them,
  10. 2 Chronicles 6:27
    then hear from heaven and forgive the sin of your servants, your people Israel. Teach them the right way to live, and send rain on the land you gave your people for an inheritance.
  11. 2 Chronicles 7:13
    “When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people,
  12. Job 36:27
    “He draws up the drops of water, which distill as rain to the streams
  13. Job 37:6
    “He says to the snow, ‘Fall on the earth,’and to the rain shower, ‘Be a mighty downpour.’
  14. Psalm 147:8
    He covers the sky with clouds; he supplies the earth with rain and makes grass grow on the hills.
  15. Proverbs 28:3
    A ruler[a] who oppresses the poor is like a driving rain that leaves no crops.
  16. Isaiah 5:6
    I will make it a wasteland, neither pruned nor cultivated, and briers and thorns will grow there. I will command the clouds not to rain on it.”
  17. Isaiah 30:23
    He will also send you rain for the seed you sow in the ground, and the food that comes from the land will be rich and plentiful. In that day your cattle will graze in broad meadows.
  18. Zechariah 10:1
    Ask the LORD for rain in the springtime; it is the LORD who sends the thunderstorms. He gives showers of rain to all people, and plants of the field to everyone.
Tal: night mist, dew, טָל
  1. Genesis 27:28
    May God give you heaven’s dew and earth’s richness— an abundance of grain and new wine.
  2. Genesis 27:39
    His father Isaac answered him, “Your dwelling will be away from the earth’s richness, away from the dew of heaven above.
  3. Exodus 16:13
    That evening quail came and covered the camp, and in the morning there was a layer of dew around the camp.
  4. Exodus 16:14
    When the dew was gone, thin flakes like frost on the ground appeared on the desert floor.
  5. Numbers 11:9
    When the dew settled on the camp at night, the manna also came down.
  6. Deuteronomy 32:2
    Let my teaching fall like rain and my words descend like dew, like showers on new grass, like abundant rain on tender plants.
  7. Deuteronomy 33:13
    About Joseph he said: “May the Lord bless his land with the precious dew from heaven above and with the deep waters that lie below;
  8. Deuteronomy 33:28
    So Israel will live in safety; Jacob will dwell secure in a land of grain and new wine, where the heavens drop dew.
  9. Judges 6:37
    look, I will place a wool fleece on the threshing floor. If there is dew only on the fleece and all the ground is dry, then I will know that you will save Israel by my hand, as you said.”
  10. Judges 6:38
    And that is what happened. Gideon rose early the next day; he squeezed the fleece and wrung out the dew—a bowlful of water.
  11. Judges 6:39
    Then Gideon said to God, “Do not be angry with me. Let me make just one more request. Allow me one more test with the fleece, but this time make the fleece dry and let the ground be covered with dew.”
  12. Judges 6:40
    That night God did so. Only the fleece was dry; all the ground was covered with dew.
  13. 2 Samuel 1:21
    “Mountains of Gilboa, may you have neither dew nor rain, may no showers fall on your terraced fields. For there the shield of the mighty was despised, the shield of Saul—no longer rubbed with oil.
  14. 2 Samuel 17:12
    Then we will attack him wherever he may be found, and we will fall on him as dew settles on the ground. Neither he nor any of his men will be left alive.
  15. 1 Kings 17:1
    [ Elijah Announces a Great Drought ] Now Elijah the Tishbite, from Tishbe in Gilead, said to Ahab, “As the Lord, the God of Israel, lives, whom I serve, there will be neither dew nor rain in the next few years except at my word.”
  16. Job 29:19
    My roots will reach to the water, and the dew will lie all night on my branches.
  17. Job 38:28
    Does the rain have a father? Who fathers the drops of dew?
  18. Psalm 110:3
    Your troops will be willing on your day of battle. Arrayed in holy splendor, your young men will come to you like dew from the morning’s womb.
  19. Psalm 133:3
    It is as if the dew of Hermon were falling on Mount Zion. For there the Lord bestows his blessing, even life forevermore.
  20. Proverbs 3:20
    by his knowledge the watery depths were divided, and the clouds let drop the dew. Proverbs 19:12
    A king’s rage is like the roar of a lion, but his favor is like dew on the grass. Song of Songs 5:2
    [ She ] I slept but my heart was awake. Listen! My beloved is knocking: “Open to me, my sister, my darling, my dove, my flawless one. My head is drenched with dew, my hair with the dampness of the night.”
  21. Isaiah 18:4
    This is what the Lord says to me: “I will remain quiet and will look on from my dwelling place, like shimmering heat in the sunshine, like a cloud of dew in the heat of harvest.”
  22. Isaiah 26:19
    But your dead will live, Lord; their bodies will rise— let those who dwell in the dust wake up and shout for joy— your dew is like the dew of the morning; the earth will give birth to her dead.
  23. Daniel 4:15
    But let the stump and its roots, bound with iron and bronze, remain in the ground, in the grass of the field. “‘Let him be drenched with the dew of heaven, and let him live with the animals among the plants of the earth.
  24. Daniel 4:23
    “Your Majesty saw a holy one, a messenger, coming down from heaven and saying, ‘Cut down the tree and destroy it, but leave the stump, bound with iron and bronze, in the grass of the field, while its roots remain in the ground. Let him be drenched with the dew of heaven; let him live with the wild animals, until seven times pass by for him.’
  25. Daniel 4:25
    You will be driven away from people and will live with the wild animals; you will eat grass like the ox and be drenched with the dew of heaven. Seven times will pass by for you until you acknowledge that the Most High is sovereign over all kingdoms on earth and gives them to anyone he wishes.
  26. Daniel 4:33
    Immediately what had been said about Nebuchadnezzar was fulfilled. He was driven away from people and ate grass like the ox. His body was drenched with the dew of heaven until his hair grew like the feathers of an eagle and his nails like the claws of a bird.
  27. Daniel 5:21
    He was driven away from people and given the mind of an animal; he lived with the wild donkeys and ate grass like the ox; and his body was drenched with the dew of heaven, until he acknowledged that the Most High God is sovereign over all kingdoms on earth and sets over them anyone he wishes.
  28. Hosea 6:4
    “What can I do with you, Ephraim? What can I do with you, Judah? Your love is like the morning mist, like the early dew that disappears.
  29. Hosea 13:3
    Therefore they will be like the morning mist, like the early dew that disappears, like chaff swirling from a threshing floor, like smoke escaping through a window.
  30. Hosea 14:5
    I will be like the dew to Israel; he will blossom like a lily. Like a cedar of Lebanon he will send down his roots;
  31. Micah 5:7
    The remnant of Jacob will be in the midst of many peoples like dew from the Lord, like showers on the grass, which do not wait for anyone or depend on man.
  32. Haggai 1:10
    Therefore, because of you the heavens have withheld their dew and the earth its crops.
  33. Zechariah 8:12
    “The seed will grow well, the vine will yield its fruit, the ground will produce its crops, and the heavens will drop their dew. I will give all these things as an inheritance to the remnant of this people.
Rebibim: abundant showers, רְבִיבִים; rabab: to be or become many or much רָבַב
  1. Jeremiah 3:3
    Therefore the showers have been withheld, and no spring rains have fallen. Yet you have the brazen look of a prostitute; you refuse to blush with shame.
  2. Jeremiah 14:22
    Do any of the worthless idols of the nations bring rain? Do the skies themselves send down showers? No, it is you, LORD our God. Therefore our hope is in you, for you are the one who does all this.
Dalaf, (דלף (טורד dropping of rain
  1. Proverbs 27:15
    דלף טורד ביום סגריר, ואשת מדינים נשתוה A quarrelsome wife is like the dripping of a leaky roof in a rainstorm;
Sagrir: סַגְרִיר, steady or persistent rain
  1. Proverbs 27:15
    דלף טורד ביום סגריר, ואשת מדינים נשתוה A quarrelsome wife is like the dripping of a leaky roof in a rainstorm;
Zarziph: a drop, dripping, זַרְזִיף
  1. Psalm 72:6
    ירד כמטר על גז כרביבים זרזיף ארץ May he be like rain falling on a mown field, like showers watering the earth.

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