Heat and Cold

HEAT AND COLD. These words never appear in the Bible. The expression closest to them is found in the words of God to Noah, “While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease” (Gen 8:22).

A striking feature of the climate of Pal. is the differences in temperature within so small a country. There can be found in the land almost tropical heat and bitter cold, although the cold lasts only a short time. These variations are due mainly to the nearness of plains and mountains, desert and sea, and the Jordan valley. The differences increase as one moves eastward from the Mediterranean. The Mediterranean Sea keeps the temperature of the maritime plain much more constant than is found in the interior of the country.

Summers in Pal. are very hot, the intense heat leading to sunstroke, and the glare of the sun to eye trouble. An illustration of this is the small boy who cried to his father, “Oh, my head, my head!” and died on his mother’s lap (2 Kings 4:19, 20).

Snow seldom falls in Pal. except sometimes in the winter months, and when it does it quickly melts. But because the cold lasts so short a time, homes are not protected against it, causing real discomfort. To keep warm people huddled about a charcoal brazier, as Peter did in the court of the high priest (John 18:18).