The Coming Of Winter
The English word winter originated from an old Anglo-Saxon word which meant windy and wet. Winter, and the other seasons, are the result of the earth being inclined approximately 23½ degrees to the plane of its orbit around the sun. On December 21 the most direct rays of the sun are over the so-called Tropic of Capricorn at 23½ degrees latitude in the southern hemisphere, thereby causing winter in the northern hemisphere, while on June 21 the most direct rays of the sun are over the so-called Tropic of Cancer at 23½ degrees latitude in the northern hemisphere, thereby causing winter in the southern hemisphere.
Winter In The Land Of Israel
Winter weather varies tremendously around the world, and the land of Israel itself has a surprising variety of climatic regions, but from the standpoint of Jerusalem, the meaning of that old Anglo-Saxon word for winter, windy and wet, applies generally well. The December to January daily high for Jerusalem averages 55 degrees Fahrenheit / 13 degrees Celsius, and the daily low averages 43 degrees Fahrenheit / 6 degrees Celsius. Most of Jerusalem's rainfall occurs from November to March, with the peak period from the last half of December to the end of February. Snow, although not a common sight in Jerusalem, can occur.
There are a number of references to winter in the Bible, some general (e.g. "Thou hast made summer and winter"), some specific to the land of Israel (e.g. "the winter is past, the rain is over and gone").
"The day is Thine, the night also is Thine: Thou hast prepared the light and the sun. Thou hast set all the borders of the earth: Thou hast made summer and winter" (Psalm 74:16-17 KJV) (see also The Seven Days Of Creation and The First Scientist)
"And Noah builded an altar unto The Lord [see also YHVH, Adonai, Jehovah, LORD]; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar. And The Lord smelled a sweet savour; and The Lord said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake; for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done. While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease" (Genesis 8:20-22 KJV)
"For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone" (Song of Solomon 2:11 KJV)
"And it shall be in that day, that Living Waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea [see see New Life For The Dead Sea], and half of them toward the hinder sea [see The Mediterranean Sea]: in summer and in winter shall it be" (Zechariah 14:8 KJV)
"But pray ye that your flight [see Who Should Flee Into The Mountains?] be not in the winter, neither on the Sabbath day: For then shall be great tribulation [see The Great Tribulation], such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be [see Never Before, Never Again]. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened." (Matthew 24:20-22 KJV)
Fact Finder: What Jewish festival, that originated in the time of The Maccabees, did Jesus Christ observe in winter?
See also Hanukkah