THE climate of Palestine resembles that of the countries by which it is surrounded. 

There is a long, dry, hot season, and a rainy season. In our country, as in Europe generally, rain falls more or less during the whole year; but in Palestine it falls only during certain months. The rainy and the dry seasons constitute the two divisions of the year, the former being sometimes called the winter, and the latter the summer. When the rainy season has begun, the seed-time comes, and at its close, the harvest, so the division of the year given in Genesis, "seed-time and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter," is, for Palestine, perfectly natural 'The rains usually begin to fall in the last half of October or the beginning of November; and they continue into April, Sometimes even till the first of May. The rainy season does not come suddenly, but by degrees, and it ends in like manner. 

It finds the earth hard-baked and incapable of being plowed. The showers, coming at intervals, soften the soil, and give the husbandman an opportunity to plow his ground and sow his fields of winter wheat and barley." It does not rain daily, but usually there will be several rainy days together, and then several days of clear weather, followed by another fall of rain. Thunder and lightning frequently accompany the rains, and some of these thunderstorms are very violent.

In the winter the cold is not severe, and frost is rare. Snow falls in the higher mountain regions, but is seldom seen in the lowlands or upon the coast. "During the whole winter the roads, or rather tracks, in Palestine, are muddy, deep, and slippery; so that the traveler at this season is subjected to great inconvenience and discomfort." "Pray ye," says our Saviour to his disciples, in anticipation of the overthrow of Jerusalem, "that your flight be not in the winter."

The beginning of the season, or summer, in April and May, is delightful. "The sky is serene, the air balmy, and the face of nature arrayed in verdure, with a profusion of gay flowers." All this is beautifully described in the Song of Solomon, Chapter 2:11-13. "For lo, the winter is past; the rain is over and gone; the flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land; the fig-tree ripeneth her green figs, and the vines are in blossom; they give a goodly smell." 

The dews, especially during the early part of the summer, are very heavy, so abundant that the traveler upon waking in the morning and finding his tent saturated, can hardly believe that it has not rained during the night. Mention of these heavy dews is frequently made in the Bible.  As the dry season advances, the cheerful aspect of nature gradually disappears. 

The "grass upon the house-tops," which had sprung up during the rainy season, speedily withers. Next, the fields lose their freshness and verdure, and the landscape becomes brown and parched. "The deep green of the broad fig-leaves and the bright shade of the millet is delightful to the eye amid the general aridness; while the foliage of the olive, with its dull grayish hue, scarcely deserves the name of verdure." Later in the season "the 

cloudless sky and burning sun dry up all moisture. The grass withers, the flowers fade, the bushes and shrubs take on a hard, gray look, the soil becomes dust, and the country assumes the aspect of a parched, barren desert."  We who live in this western world can 

scarcely appreciate the force and beauty of the psalmist's, words (Psalms 65:9,10), where he describes the blessed influence of the early rain after the continuous drought of six months: "Thou visitest the earth, and waterest it abundantly; thou greatly enrichest it; the river of God is full of water; thou preparest the corn, for so thou hast provided it. Abundantly watering its furrows, settling its ridges, thou makest it soft with showers; thou blessest its springing." The transformation is wonderful. The fields lately so brown, parched, and desolate, put on their robes of "living green," and all nature rejoices; "the pastures are clothed with flocks; the valleys also robe themselves with corn; 

they shout for joy; yea, they sing."

E. B.