New American Standard Bible
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
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.
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.
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.
Zechariah 10:1 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
Ask ye of the Lord rain - "Ask and ye shall receive" our Lord says. Zechariah had promised in God's name blessings temporal and spiritual: all was ready on God's part; only, he adds, ask them of the Lord, the Unchangeable, the Self-same not of Teraphim or of diviner, as Israel had done aforetime Isaiah 2:5-22; Jeremiah 44:15-28. He had promised, "If ye shall hearken diligently unto My coramandments, to love the Lord your God, I will give you the rain of your land in his due season, the first rain and the latter rain, and I will send grass in thy field for thy cattle" Deuteronomy 11:13-15. God bids them ask Him to fulfill His promise. The "latter rain" alone is mentioned, as completing what God had begun by the former rain, filling the ears before the harvest. Both had been used as symbols of God's spiritual gifts, and so the words fit in with the close of the last chapter, both as to things temporal and eternal. Osorius: "He exhorts all frequently to ask for the dew of the divine grace, that what had sprung up in the heart from the seed of the word of God, might attain to full ripeness."
The Lord maketh bright clouds - (Rather) "lightnings, into rain," as Jeremiah says, "He causeth the vapors to ascend from the ends of the earth; He maketh lightnings into rain" Jeremiah 10:13; Jeremiah 51:16; and the Psalmist, "He maketh lightnings into rain" Psalm 135:7, disappearing as it were into the rain which follows on them. "And giveth them." While man is asking, God is answering. "Showers of rain" , "rain in torrents," as we should say, or "in floods," or, inverted, "floods of rain." "To every one grass," rather, "the green herb, in the field," as the Psalmist says, "He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and green herb for the service of men" (Psalm 104:14, see also Genesis 1:30; Genesis 3:18). This He did with individual care, as each had need, or as should be best for each, as contrariwise He says in Amos, "I caused it to rain upon one city, and caused it not to rain upon another city; one piece was rained upon, and the piece, whereon it rained not, withered" (Amos 4:7; see note).
The Rabbis observed these exceptions to God's general law, whereby He "sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust" Matthew 5:49, though expressing it in their way hyperbolically; , "In the time when Israel doeth the will of God, He doeth their will; so that if one man alone, and not the others, wants rain, He will give rain to that one man; and if a man wants one herb alone in his field or garden, and not another, He will give rain to that one herb; as one of the saints used to say, This plot of ground wants rain, and that plot of ground wants not rain" (Cyril). Spiritually the rain is divine doctrine bedewing the mind and making it fruitful, as the rain doth the earth. So Moses saith, "My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distill as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb and as the showers upon the grass" Deuteronomy 32:2. Cyril: "The law of Moses and the prophets were the former rain."
CHAPTERS I-VIII Two months after Haggai had delivered his first address to the people in 520 B.C., and a little over a month after the building of the temple had begun (Hag. i. 15), Zechariah appeared with another message of encouragement. How much it was needed we see from the popular despondency reflected in Hag. ii. 3, Jerusalem is still disconsolate (Zech. i. 17), there has been fasting and mourning, vii. 5, the city is without walls, ii. 5, the population scanty, ii. 4, and most of the people …
John Edgar McFadyen—Introduction to the Old Testament
He causes the vapors to ascend from the ends of the earth; Who makes lightnings for the rain, Who brings forth the wind from His treasuries.
Then He will give you rain for the seed which you will sow in the ground, and bread from the yield of the ground, and it will be rich and plenteous; on that day your livestock will graze in a roomy pasture.
When He utters His voice, there is a tumult of waters in the heavens, And He causes the clouds to ascend from the end of the earth; He makes lightning for the rain, And brings out the wind from His storehouses.
So rejoice, O sons of Zion, And be glad in the LORD your God; For He has given you the early rain for your vindication. And He has poured down for you the rain, The early and latter rain as before.
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