qayits, Chaldaic qayiT (Daniel 2:35); (theros; winter: cethaw) (Song of Solomon 2:11), (choreph; cheimon): The four seasons in Palestine are not so marked as in more northern countries, summer gradually fading into winter and winter into summer. The range of temperature is not great. In the Bible we have no reference to spring or autumn; the only seasons mentioned are "summer and winter" (Genesis 8:22; Psalms 74:17; Zechariah 14:8).
Winter is the season of rain lasting from November to May. "The winter is past; the rain is over" (Song of Solomon 2:11). See RAIN. The temperature at sealevel in Palestine reaches freezing-point occasionally, but seldom is less than 40? F. On the hills and mountains it is colder, depending on the height. The people have no means of heating their houses, and suffer much with the cold. They wrap up their necks and heads and keep inside the houses out of the wind as much as possible. "The sluggard will not plow by reason of the winter" (Proverbs 20:4). Jesus in speaking of the destruction of Jerusalem says, "Pray ye that your flight be not in the winter" (Matthew 24:20). Paul asks Timothy to "come before winter" (2 Timothy 4:21) as navigation closed then and travel was virtually impossible.
Summer is very hot and rainless. "(When) the fig tree .... putteth forth its leaves, ye know that the summer is nigh" (Mark 13:28); "The harvest is past, the summer is ended" (Jeremiah 8:20). It is the season of harvesting and threshing (Daniel 2:35). "He that gathereth in summer is a wise son" (Proverbs 10:5).
See COLD; HEAT; ASTRONOMY, sec. I, 5.
Alfred H. Joy