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The seasons on earth happen because the planet has a cyclical tilt approximately 23½ degrees to the plane of its orbit around the sun. "Spring and "autumn" occur at the time of the "year" (i.e. the earth's orbit around the sun) when the most-direct rays of the sun are over the equator. "Winter" and "summer" occur when the sun's rays are highest or lowest in the northern and summer hemispheres i.e. when it's summer in the northern hemisphere, it's winter in the southern hemisphere, and vice-versa (see the illustration). The seasons were no accident; the LORD created the earth's orbit so that they would happen (see Christ The Creator):
"74:16 The day is thine, the night also is thine: thou hast prepared the light and the sun. 74:17 Thou hast set all the borders of the earth: thou hast made summer and winter." (Psalm 74:16-17 KJV)
The English word "summer" originated from an old Anglo-Saxon (i.e. English-German) word that was used to describe the warmest season of the year. In English translations of the Holy Bible, "summer" is used to translate the Old Testament Hebrew word, pronounced kaw-yits, which literally meant to harvest (as illustrated by "8:20 The harvest is past, the summer is ended" Jeremiah 8:20 KJV) and the New Testament Greek word, pronounced ther-os, which meant to heat (the English word thermal is derived from that same Greek word).
"While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease"
"8:20 And Noah builded an altar unto the LORD; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar. 8:21 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. 8:22 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)
"Summer fruit" referred to the earlier crops:
"16:1 And when David [see also David, Future King Of Israel] was a little past the top of the hill, behold, Ziba the servant of Mephibosheth met him, with a couple of asses saddled, and upon them two hundred loaves of bread, and an hundred bunches of raisins, and an hundred of summer fruits, and a bottle of wine [see Winepresses]." (2 Samuel 16:1 KJV)
Winter means "windy and wet." Summer in the land of Israel was drier.
"32:4 For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me: my moisture is turned into the drought of summer." (Psalm 32:4 KJV)
The relatively less rain in summer was appropriate to the harvesting of grain.
"26:1 As snow in summer, and as rain in harvest, so honour is not seemly for a fool." (Proverbs 26:1 KJV)
Summer ("to harvest") was the time when work must get done. The seasons don't wait, as even insects "know":
"6:6 Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: 6:7 Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, 6:8 Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest. 6:9 How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? when wilt thou arise out of thy sleep? 6:10 Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: 6:11 So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man." (Proverbs 6:6-11 KJV)
"Summer" was also used in Prophecy.
"2:35 Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold [see Nebuchadnezzar's Dream], broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth." (Daniel 2:35 KJV)
The seasons will still exist after Christ's return when The Kingdom Of Heaven - On Earth will begin, although "nature" will be optimized from that time:
"14:7 But it shall be one day which shall be known to the LORD, not day, nor night: but it shall come to pass, that at evening time it shall be light. 14:8 And it shall be in that day, that Living Waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea: in summer and in winter shall it be. 14:9 And the LORD shall be king over all the earth [see The Coming World Dictator]: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one." (Zechariah 14:7-9 KJV)
The coming of summer was used an analogy for the signs that will be evident prior to Christ's return (for the entire prophecy provided by the Christ prior to His saying "So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things," see the notes for Matthew 24 in Matthew 23-25; see also Could Christ Return Tonight?):
"24:32 Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: 24:33 So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors." (Matthew 24:32-33 KJV)
Fact Finder: In what way is the salvation of humanity like an earlier, and then a later, harvest?