The Plain Truth about the Former and Latter Rains, in Israel

There is one sure thing about Israel's summer-planting and early-fall harvest season — it will NOT rain ... why?

Bible prophecy has something to say about the lack of rainfall for Israel's early-fall harvest season, in the modern era.   Both Jews and Christians have it wrong about the early and latter rains, in twenty-first century Israel.   Summer in Israel runs from May to September — hot and sunny, with no rain to dampen farmer's fields.

That having been said, pay close attention to what Flavius Josephus has to say, written up later on in this article, about agriculture in 1st century Israel — when Jesus and the apostles walked the streets of Jerusalem.   It is an eye-opener.

"Therefore the showers have been withheld, and there has been no latter rain ..."   Jeremiah 3:3 NKJV

There are three seasons in modern Israel:

Spring, Summer, and Winter

Spring is the first agricultural growth and harvest season, watered by the spring rains.

Then comes the hot and dry summer season. In summer, agricultural land is watered by irrigation or green-house hydroponics.

There is NO moderate fall season, with its gentle pre-harvest rains.

The wet season starts in November, after the end-of-summer harvest — and the onset of the cool and sometimes, cold, snowy, winter months. It is not a time for agriculture. Then things warm up for the planting and starting over with the spring harvest season.

There should be two harvest seasons, with their gentle pre-harvest rains, the "former" spring rains, and the "latter" fall rains. This does not happen in modern Israel.

Summer Months in Israel

Summer in Israel runs from May to September


"The one sure thing about this time of year: it will not rain. This is great when you're on tour, because if you don't mind a little heat, you can count on sightseeing every day of your trip without rain or storms to stand in your way."


Three scriptures to consider

At one time there were two separate growing seasons, with two separate harvests, in Palestine — spring and early fall.

      "They do not say in their heart, 'Let us now fear the LORD our God, Who gives rain, both the former and the latter, in its season. He reserves for us the appointed weeks of the harvest.' "   Jeremiah 5:24

      "Let us know, Let us pursue the knowledge of the LORD. His going forth is established as the morning; He will come to us like the rain, Like the latter and former rain to the earth."   Hosea 6:3

      "Be glad then, you children of Zion, And rejoice in the LORD your God; For He has given you the former rain faithfully, And He will cause the rain to come down for you — the former rain, And the latter rain in the first month."   Joel 2:23

The Climate and Weather in Israel at the Time of Jesus

Let's get this point clear. Yes, there were "latter rains" in the land of Israel, at the time Jesus and the apostles walked the earth.


What Was the Climate and Weather Of Israel Like at the Time of Jesus?   By, Msgr. Charles Pope, July 9, 2014:

"Land-use studies throughout the Mediterranean, North Africa, and the Mid-East show the prevalence of crops and forests, which were suited to cooler, wetter climates in the period before 1000 B.C."

"The climate of Israel in Jesus' time may not have been quite as warm and dry as it is today. Several references in Scripture would seem to imply that the land was wetter and more suitable for agriculture in the past, not requiring the significant irrigation prevalent in the Middle East now."


What Flavius Josephus wrote about the climate of 1st Century Palestine

QUOTE:   [emphasis mine]

"Its nature is wonderful as well as its beauty; its soil is so fruitful that all sorts of trees can grow upon it, and the inhabitants accordingly plant all sorts of trees there; for the temper of the air is so well mixed, that it agrees very well with those several sorts, particularly walnuts, which require the coldest air, flourish there in vast plenty; there are palm trees also, which grow best in hot air; fig trees also and olives grow near them, which yet require an air that is more temperate. One may call this place the ambition of nature, where it forces those plants that are naturally enemies to one another to agree together; it is a happy contention of the seasons, as if every one of them laid claim to this country; for it not only nourishes different sorts of autumnal fruit beyond men's expectation, but preserves them a great while; it supplies men with the principal fruits, with grapes and figs continually, during ten months of the year and the rest of the fruits as they become ripe together through the whole year."

(THE WARS OF THE JEWS, Volumne I, Book III, Chapter X, 8, Translated by William Whiston, A.M., Professor of Mathematics in the University of Cambridge, Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, Michigan.)

Agriculture and the Climate of Palestine Today

The present Jewish community, in general, takes the same position on the former and latter rains, as do modern Christians. This also goes back to older Rabbinical teachings, and it is easy to see why the commentaries and encyclopedias read as they do, on this, and other topics. Note, like Christian denominations, Rabbinical schools do not always agree with each other.

We have ALL been wrong, or lacking the proper perspective, to some degree or another, on this matter — including myself. What we forgot to consider, is that God KEEPS His word, when it comes to blessing and cursing.

In the following scripture Jeremiah is warning of a curse on the land, because of the nation has turned away from God:     "Therefore the showers have been withheld, and there has been no latter rain. You have had a harlot's forehead; you refuse to be ashamed."   (Jeremiah 3:3 NKJV)

At present, there is NO latter rain in Palestine, as God said would be the case. The punishment is still effect, in these "last days", when the tribe of Judah went back "in force", to their Promised Land (after the Balfour Declaration by Lord Arthur Balfour).

The present day State of Israel does not look like a land "flowing with milk and honey". Where are the forests and lush vegetation, that would be evident in a land that is watered by the former and the latter rains? Most of the agricultural gains have been accomplished by the "ingenuity of man", in a hostile land.

1919 Balfour Declaration


On November 2, 1917, Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour writes a letter to Britain's most illustrious Jewish citizen, Baron Lionel Walter Rothschild, expressing the British government's support for a Jewish homeland in Palestine:

"His Majesty's government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country."

Quotes from Israel Today article:

"A political document blamed by many for today's Middle East crisis was motivated by the evangelical Christian faith of a uniquely international, cross-party, British war cabinet."

"As a Bible-believing academic, Dr Schmidt is convinced that, far from being an embarrassing relic of the British Empire responsible for the current regional conflict, as many claim, the Balfour Declaration was part of God's plan and Israel's destiny, as foretold by the Old Testament prophets."

The Balfour Declaration was the beginning of an ongoing process in dealing with peoples and nations, that will carry on, well into the Millennium.

"Then it shall be, after I have plucked them out, that I will return and have compassion on them and bring them back, everyone to his heritage and everyone to his land. And it shall be, if they will learn carefully the ways of My people, to swear by My name, 'As the LORD lives,' as they taught My people to swear by Baal, then they shall be established in the midst of My people." (Jeremiah 12:15-16 NKJV)

The Modern Nation of Judah, as a whole, is NOT Obeying God

[emphasis mine]

Quote: "Even though most of the Jewish population in Israel is not religiously observant, Yom Kippur has and remains a special day for all and has retained its unique character. Many Jews who define themselves as secular and do not visit the synagogue all year long, go to prayer services on the special day, and many also observe the fast, completely or partially."

[Reference: the Last paragraph under the title "About Yom Kippur":]

Even at the time of Jesus, they experienced the two harvest seasons in Palestine. The land was inhabited and populated, with agriculture and a fishing industry, that were prospering, prior to the destruction of the temple in 70 A.D. The Romans were politically in control and international trade, prospered. History and the gospel accounts agree. There were famines from time to time, indicating changes in weather patterns, but there were two harvest seasons, in the spring and the fall. Jews (including Joseph, Mary and young Jesus) came to the fall Feast of Tabernacles, and there was an abundance of food available locally, to make this festival possible.

In Israel today, the Jews are NOT wholeheartedly obedient to God, and therefore there is only one major spring harvest season for them, in the twenty-first century. The summers are so dry, the Israelis have to irrigate, or use hydroponics for growing crops — a man-made second season — without rain.

As far as doctrine is concerned, the scriptures should be taken literally. Proper understanding is that in the past, there was a spring harvest, and later a larger fall harvest. Those harvests had the early rain, in the spring, and the latter rain in the fall. Doctrine ought to be learned from the ecclesiastical Hebrew calendar being in tune with the annual Holy Days — rather than the Jewish civil calendar. That is how the New Testament Apostles viewed church doctrine.

The Jews have failed to follow God. Therefore God has removed the late summer/early fall showers — the latter rains, in Palestine. Most Jews and Christians think in terms of a secular/civil calendar. Christians and Jews should learn doctrine on the matter of the former and latter rains, from the Holy Day calendar and the related biblical agricultural seasons. Accepting the "popular" teaching of the modern Jewish and Christian communities on this issue, in the mid-1800's A.D. and early 1900's, was then, and is now completely wrong.

Hydroponics and Irrigation - the Practicality of Invention

The weather and climate in Palestine has been significantly affected as God proclaimed would happen, in the event of the nation of Israel's disobedience toward their God.

I vaguely remember that the Jews either re-invented, or used HYDROPONICS, as well as irrigation, in an attempt to circumvent the curse of near-barren farmland, early in the twentieth century, when they formally entered Palestine, after the Balfour Declaration. I still can't find the source, but I remember it, as I researched the Sabbatical year system, and the "acceptable year", back in 1986. If it is in my old paper copies, it will be found, later.

The practice of hydroponics is also used to avoid keeping the Sabbatical year land rest, in modern Israel.   QUOTE: " ... farming in greenhouses structured so that the plants are not connected to the soil. As a result, hydroponics use has been increasing in Haredi farming communities"

Hydroponics and irritation go back to at least the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. The biblical Daniel and his three wise friends — men of science — had much to do with invention, wealth management, and agriculture in this famous kingdom.

Two Spiritual Harvests

Quote: LESSON 33, (1964, 1965, 1969) AMBASSADOR COLLEGE BIBLE CORRESPONDENCE COURSE,   "Two Spiritual Harvests" — Reference: the Bottom of Page 4, through the top of page 5:

"To keep His children constantly in the true understanding of His great PLAN of salvation, Christ — the Lord of the Old Testament — originally took the yearly agricultural harvests of Palestine as a TYPE OF God's SPIRITUAL HARVESTS of human beings."

"In Palestine there are two annual grain harvests. First, produced by the EARLY rain, is the SMALLER SPRING HARVEST. Second, produced by the "latter rain," comes the main harvest — the much GREATER FALL HARVEST."

The winter months were NOT considered a "harvest season"

1a.) Passover season is the small, early-spring barley harvest.

1b.) The former rain, empowering the seven weeks leading to the Day of Pentecost, is the larger spring wheat harvest.

2.) The latter rain, empowering the Feast of Tabernacles, is the exceedingly greater fall fruit-harvest.

A Millennial — Tabernacles Blessing

"And though the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet your teachers will not be moved into a corner anymore, but your eyes shall see your teachers." (Isaiah 30:20 NKJV)

Where Are We Today?

The Jewish community today, is as politically and scholastically divided, as it was in Christ's time, in the first century. The Christian community is the same way, today. Back in 1969, Dr. Ernest Martin taught, at Ambassador College in Bricketwood, England. He was involved in the archaeological project, the "Jerusalem dig".

Dr. Martin's thesis, is still on the Internet:
  Is Judaism the Religion of Moses? by Ernest Martin.

Then there was the original booklet 1975 in Prophecy, by Herbert Armstrong. The prophetic ideas were both interesting and shocking — the date was obviously premature — wishful thinking — man trying to "hurry along" the Kingdom of God. That is God's prerogative.

Also still on the Internet is the booklet: The Inside Story of the World Tomorrow Broadcast, by Roderick C. Meredith, 1963, page 17. This is the booklet where Rod Meredith points out how many doctrinal truths were being opened up to the church — continuous spiritual growth, at that time. Back then, there was a period of rapid growth for the WORK of that particular church, as well: printing presses, church colleges, a large, successful undertaking. Where is all that now? Splintered into smaller groups, like most other churches, and synagogues.

Church attendance is down, in western countries.

The questions have to be asked:   Has religion and the fear of God, become completely passe in this generation?

And, when will the Jews build the third temple?

Why is the Third Temple So Important?

The Jews are practicing their religion in a self-centered manner. They are NOT out there preaching the gospel of the coming Millennial Kingdom of God — with the Messiah leading His band of holy angels, surrounded by the resurrected Patriarchs and Saints, whom we read about in the scriptures, all riding white horses — putting the fear of God into a rebellious world.

Modern Jews are hiding their light in a "man-cave", instead of shining a bright light — a beacon — from burning sacred oil in the four great bowls, in a temple court, at Jerusalem. A great light on a hilltop.

Paraphrasing what a humble Jew once said, which applies to the Tribe of Judah ...

[Oh, Jerusalem.] You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that this world may see your good works and glorify your God in heaven.

A Warning From God ...

"And it shall be that whichever of the families of the earth do not come up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, on them there will be no rain. If the family of Egypt will not come up and enter in, they shall have no rain; they shall receive the plague with which the LORD strikes the nations who do not come up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles. This shall be the punishment of Egypt and the punishment of all the nations that do not come up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles." (Zechariah 14:17-19 NKJV)

It can then be said, if the nations do not want to drink in of His Holy Spirit, then in the Millennium, our Lord intends the nations to go ahead — and get — really, really, thirsty! — until they accept His leadership.

If we say that the single agricultural season and corresponding rains in Judea today are normal, we blaspheme God, who says He is punishing modern Judah for disobedience, as a nation. The latter rain has been temporarily withheld.

God has reserved a remnant of the House of Judah, in the land of Judea, for His purpose, in this endtime.

In the future Millennial Kingdom of God

There shall be a blessing from above, for those nations that come to Jerusalem for instruction in the way of God...

"And it shall be that if you earnestly obey My commandments which I command you today, to love the LORD your God and serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul, then I will give you the rain for your land in its season, the early rain and the latter rain, that you may gather in your grain, your new wine, and your oil." (Deuteronomy 11:13-14 NKJV)

SUMMARY of Links on this webpage: "The one sure thing about this time of year: it will not rain."

THE WARS OF THE JEWS, Volumne I, Book III, Chapter X, 8, Translated by William Whiston, A.M., Professor of Mathematics in the University of Cambridge, Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, Michigan, by Flavius Josephus Reference: the Last paragraph under the title "About Yom Kippur"

Is Judaism the Religion of Moses? by Ernest L. Martin AMBASSADOR COLLEGE BIBLE CORRESPONDENCE COURSE, Lesson 33, "Two Spiritual Harvests" — Reference: the Bottom of Page 4, through the top of page 5


Day of Pentecost / a.k.a. Feast of Weeks

Feast of Tabernacles QUOTE: "... farming in greenhouses structured so that the plants are not connected to the soil. As a result, hydroponics use has been increasing in Haredi farming communities"

1975 in Prophecy by Herbert Armstrong

The Inside Story of the World Tomorrow Broadcast by RODERICK C. MEREDITH, page over to "Continuous Spiritual Growth", page 17

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