For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, and returns not thither, but waters the earth, and makes it bring forth and bud…
The fitness of the symbolism is apparent even to the most casual observer.
1. Snow and rain are characterized by gentleness which merges into force. One drop of rain falls upon my hand, and I crush it, and it is not; but when the drop is multiplied, and the great storm sweeps along the valley, it is almost resistless in its onrush. One feathery flake of snow falls through the atmosphere; I touch it, and it passes and is lost, its crystal beauty gone for ever at the rudeness of my human hand; but let that flake be multiplied and the falling snow will take hold of the thundering locomotive, clog its wheels, cheek its progress, bury it beneath its soft and noiseless whiteness.
2. Rain and snow are characterized by helplessness which grows into beneficence. We ask: What can this drop of rain do for man? What can this flake of snow do for humanity? And yet we know that when we pass from the individual drop to the great rain, that in falling makes the earth laugh back in harvest, and crowns the labour of the hands of men. There is no more exquisite word in all Scripture about Nature than that simple and sublime passage, "He giveth His snow like wool." Like a warm mantle, it wraps the earth in winter-time, and keeps it, itself of the nature of cold, from the penetration of intenser cold. And so we find that rain and snow, helpless as they seem, are the very messengers of beneficence to men.
3. Rain and snow come to us characterized by unfruitfulness, yet generating fruitfulness, wherever they fall.
(G. Campbell Morgan, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: