|New International Version (©2011)|
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.
New Living Translation (©2007)
Ask the LORD for rain in the spring, for he makes the storm clouds. And he will send showers of rain so every field becomes a lush pasture.
English Standard Version (©2001)
Ask rain from the LORD in the season of the spring rain, from the LORD who makes the storm clouds, and he will give them showers of rain, to everyone the vegetation in the field.
New American Standard Bible (©1995)
Ask rain from the LORD at the time of the spring rain-- The LORD who makes the storm clouds; And He will give them showers of rain, vegetation in the field to each man.
King James Bible (Cambridge Ed.)
Ask ye of the LORD rain in the time of the latter rain; so the LORD shall make bright clouds, and give them showers of rain, to every one grass in the field.
Holman Christian Standard Bible (©2009)
Ask the LORD for rain in the season of spring rain. The LORD makes the rain clouds, and He will give them showers of rain and crops in the field for everyone.
International Standard Version (©2012)
"Ask the LORD for rain in the spring — the LORD who fashions lightning thunderstorms, giving rain showers to mankind along with grain in the fields.
NET Bible (©2006)
Ask the LORD for rain in the season of the late spring rains--the LORD who causes thunderstorms--and he will give everyone showers of rain and green growth in the field.
GOD'S WORD® Translation (©1995)
Ask the LORD for rain in the springtime. The LORD makes thunderstorms. He gives everyone rain showers for the plants in the field.
King James 2000 Bible (©2003)
Ask of the LORD rain in the time of the latter rain; so the LORD shall make bright clouds, and give them showers of rain, to everyone grass in the field.
American King James Version
Ask you of the LORD rain in the time of the latter rain; so the LORD shall make bright clouds, and give them showers of rain, to every one grass in the field.
American Standard Version
Ask ye of Jehovah rain in the time of the latter rain, even of Jehovah that maketh lightnings; and he will give them showers of rain, to every one grass in the field.
Ask ye of the Lord rain in the latter season, and the Lord will make snows, and will give them showers of rain, to every one grass in the field.
Darby Bible Translation
Ask of Jehovah rain in the time of the latter rain; Jehovah will make lightnings, and he will give them showers of rain, to every one grass in the field.
English Revised Version
Ask ye of the LORD rain in the time of the latter rain, even of the LORD that maketh lightnings; and he shall give them showers of rain, to every one grass in the field.
Webster's Bible Translation
Ask ye of the LORD rain in the time of the latter rain; so the LORD will make bright clouds, and give them showers of rain, to every one grass in the field.
World English Bible
Ask of Yahweh rain in the spring time, Yahweh who makes storm clouds, and he gives rain showers to everyone for the plants in the field.
Young's Literal Translation
They asked of Jehovah rain in a time of latter rain, Jehovah is making lightnings, And rain in showers He doth give to them. To each -- the herb in the field.
|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
10:1-5 Spiritual blessings had been promised under figurative allusions to earthly plenty. Seasonable rain is a great mercy, which we may ask of God when there is most need of it, and we may look for it to come. We must in our prayers ask for mercies in their proper time. The Lord would make bright clouds, and give showers of rain. This may be an exhortation to seek the influences of the Holy Spirit, in faith and by prayer, through which the blessings held forth in the promises are obtained and enjoyed. The prophet shows the folly of making addresses to idols, as their fathers had done. The Lord visited the remnant of his flock in mercy, and was about to renew their courage and strength for conflict and victory. Every creature is to us what God makes it to be. Every one raised to support the nation, as a corner-stone does the building, or to unite those that differ, as nails join the different timbers, must come from the Lord; and those employed to overcome their enemies, must have strength and success from him. This may be applied to Christ; to him we must look to raise up persons to unite, support, and defend his people. He never will say, Seek ye me in vain.
Verses 1, 2. - § 4. A connecting link between the last section and the next. The condition for obtaining the promised blessings is that they are to be sought from the Lord, not from idols. Verse 1. - Ask ye of the Lord rain. The promise of abundance at the end of the last chapter suggests to the prophet to make a special application to the practice of his countrymen. They must put their trust in God alone for the supply of temporal as well as spiritual bounties. The latter rain was due at the time of the vernal equinox, and was necessary in order to swell the maturing grain (comp. Deuteronomy 11:14). The early rain occurred at the autumnal equinox. It was considered as a special manifestation of God's providential care that these periodical rains were received (see Isaiah 30:23; Jeremiah 5:24; Joel 2:23). So the Lord shall make bright clouds; rather, Jehovah maketh the lightnings. Thunderstorms accompany the periodical rains. Ye must ask of him, and ye shall have. Septuagint, Κύριος ἐποίησε φαντασίας," The Lord makes flashes" (of lightning?); Vulgate, Domiaus faciet nives, where the right reading is supposed to be nubes (comp. Psalm 135:7; Job 38:25, 26). Give them showers of rain. Abundant rain, as Job 37:6. The address is now in the third person. Grass. All vegetable food for man and beast, as in Genesis 1:11, 29; Psalm 104:14; Amos 7:2.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Ask ye of the Lord rain in the time of the latter rain,.... There was the former and the latter rain, of which see Hosea 6:3. The former rain was in autumn, a little before or about seed time; the latter was in the spring, and a little before harvest, which is here referred to. So Hesiod (g) calls those rains the autumnal and vernal rains; and between these two rains there was seldom any more. Jerom says (h) that he never saw in the eastern countries, especially in Judea, any rain at the end of the month of June, or in July; and now, at Aleppo, a little more northerly, for three or four months after May, they have scarce so much as any dew upon the ground, as Pemble on the place observes. So Dr. Shaw says (i), little or no rain falls in this climate (of Algiers and Tunis), during the summer season; and in most parts of the Sahara, particularly in the Jereede, they have seldom any rain at all. It was likewise the same in the holy land, Proverbs 26:1 where rain is accounted an unusual thing in "harvest", 2 Samuel 21:10 where it is also mentioned, "from harvest till rain dropped on them"; i.e. their rainy season fell out, as in Barbary, in the autumnal and winter months.
"The first rains (he observes) fall here some years in September, in others a month later; after which the Arabs break up their ground, in order to sow wheat, and plant beans: this commonly falls out about the middle of October.''
If the latter rains fall as usual in the middle of April, (in the holy land we find they were a month sooner, Joel 2:23.) the crop is reckoned secure; the harvest coming on in the latter end of May, or in the beginning of June, according to the heat and quality of the preceding seasons: wherefore, since there was so little rain fell in these countries, and particularly in Judea; if these former and latter rains failed, a scarcity followed; for, for want of the former rain, the earth was hard, and not easily ploughed up; and for want of the latter the grain withered away in the blade, and did not ear, at least did not produce ears plump and good; so that these rains were great temporal blessings, and to be asked for, as they were by the Jews, when they were wanted; and for which they appointed fasts (k), and were emblems of spiritual blessings here designed; for rain here is not to be literally understood, but mystically and spiritually; and designs either the love and favour of God, and the comfortable discoveries of it; see Proverbs 16:15 which may be compared to rain in its original; it is from above, from on high, it comes from heaven; it is not owing to anything in man, but to the will of God; and is distinguishing, as rain falls on one city, and not on another; in its objects, undeserving persons, as rain is sent on the just and unjust; in its manner of communication, it tarries not for the will and works of men; it comes at times in great abundance, and the discoveries of it are to be asked for; in its effects, it softens and melts the heart into evangelical repentance; it cools and extinguishes the flaming wrath of a fiery law in the conscience; it refreshes and revives the drooping spirit, and makes the barren soul fruitful: or the blessings of grace in general may be meant; these are from above, depend on the will of God; are to be sought after, and asked for; are free grace gifts; are given largely and plentifully, and make fruitful: or the coming of Christ in the flesh in particular is intended; see Hosea 6:3 who came down from heaven; is a free gift of God to men, was sought after, and greatly desired, and to be desired, by the Old Testament saints, and very grateful to such when he came. This may also be applied to his spiritual coming in his power and kingdom in the latter day, which is to be earnestly wished and prayed for, Psalm 72:7 or else the Gospel may be designed; see Deuteronomy 32:2 this is of God, and from above; comes and falls upon the sons of men, according to divine direction; softens hard hearts, when it becomes effectual; comforts the souls of God's people; is a blessing to be desired, and asked for; and will be enjoyed in great plenty in the latter day:
so the Lord shall make bright clouds; by which may be meant the ministers of the Gospel, who are of God's making, and not man's: these may be compared to "clouds" for their number, especially as they will be in the latter day; and for their moving to and fro, to communicate spiritual knowledge: and to "bright" ones, such as from whence lightning springs, thunderclouds, full of water; (the same word is used for lightning, Job 38:25;) because full of Gospel truths, and because of that clear light they diffuse to others:
and give them showers of rain: productive, under a divine influence, of large conversions among Jews and Gentiles:
to everyone grass in the field: on whom these showers fall with efficacy, and a divine blessing; everyone of these have a spiritual knowledge of Christ, faith in him, repentance towards God, food and fulness of it; and are filled with the fruits of righteousness, or good works, to the glory of God; see Isaiah 55:10. The Targum is,
"that he may give to them (the children of men) corn to eat, and grass to the beasts in the field;''
taking the words literally.
(g) Opera & Dies, l. 2.((h) Comment. in Amos iv. 7. fol. 39. F. (i) Travels, p. 136, 137. Ed. 2.((k) Misn. Taanith, c. 1. sect. 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
Zec 10:1-12. Prayer and Promise.
Call to prayer to Jehovah, as contrasted with the idol-worship which had brought judgments on the princes and people. Blessings promised in answer to prayer: (1) rulers of themselves; (2) conquest of their enemies; (3) restoration and establishment of both Israel and Judah in their own land in lasting peace and piety.
1. Ask … rain—on which the abundance of "corn" promised by the Lord (Zec 9:17) depends. Jehovah alone can give it, and will give it on being asked (Jer 10:13; 14:22).
rain in … time of … latter rain—that is, the latter rain in its due time, namely, in spring, about February or March (Job 29:23; Joe 2:23). The latter rain ripened the grain, as the former rain in October tended to fructify the seed. Including all temporal blessings; these again being types of spiritual ones. Though God has begun to bless us, we are not to relax our prayers. The former rain of conversion may have been given, but we must also ask for the latter rain of ripened sanctification. Though at Pentecost there was a former rain on the Jewish Church, a latter rain is still to be looked for, when the full harvest of the nation's conversion shall be gathered in to God. The spirit of prayer in the Church is an index at once of her piety, and of the spiritual blessings she may expect from God. When the Church is full of prayer, God pours out a full blessing.
bright clouds—rather, "lightnings," the precursors of rain [Maurer].
showers of rain—literally, "rain of heavy rain." In Job 37:6 the same words occur in inverted order [Henderson].
grass—a general term, including both corn for men and grass for cattle.
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