Friday, July 30, 2010

He Cometh With Clouds

Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen. Revelation 1:7

It is like this every day here from the 1st of May to 31st of October. From seven or eight o’clock in the morning till five to six o’clock in the afternoon there is not a drop of rain, and never a cloud between earth and sun. Every day at about one o’clock pm if an east wind is not blowing, (which fortunately it seldom does except for a fortnight on and off in May and October), a delightfully cool breeze, laden with slight moisture, such as we are now enjoying, sets in from the great sea westward, the Mediterranean Sea, which lies along the west of Palestine.

If you want to realize Bible stories you must think of such unbroken fine weather for some six or seven months running every year! This accounts for the allusions to “clouds” in the Bible as a strange and wonderful sight; for from 1st of May to 31st of October they are as rare in the Holy Land as they are common in England.

The very thunderstorms come only in the winter in Palestine, whereas here they only come ordinarily in the summer. Hence the alarming and miraculous judgment when Samuel called down “thunder and rain in wheat harvest (1 Sam 12.17-18), that is, from 1st of May to about the 15th of June, for harvest comes in Palestine before summer, not, as with us, after it in the autumn.

Thus Jeremiah cries, with fine accuracy, “The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved (Jer 8.20).” The “cloud” that covered Israel with a glorious shade all day in their desert wanderings was a truly wonderful and miraculous sight in itself alone, as well as in its situation (Exod 13.21-22, Num 14.14 etc).

When it is said, in the month of June, at our Blessed Lord’s ascension, “a cloud received Him out of their sight” (Acts 1.9), it was a much more remarkable event than many suppose. When, too, it is declared of His second advent, “He shall come with clouds(Rev 1.7), “they shall see the Son of man coming on the clouds of heaven(Matt 24.30), it means, as you now see, under this unbroken cloudless sky, much more than it would mean in England.

(Neil, Revd James., Peeps Into Palestine, Stanley Martin & Co. Ltd, UK, ~1913)


  1. WOW! Thank you for that teaching. I live in Sacramento, CA where we experience the same phenomena. I will never forget my first year here - when months went by without a cloud in the sky. Then, late one afternoon as I was returning home, a singular cloud was floating in the sky as I crested a hill. I nearly went hysterical - joyful, gleeful, laughing and rejoicing. It had been so long since I had seen a cloud, it was exciting. I could then remember the gray skies of Indiana - how long they lasted - and marvel at this new sky. But that was where my enlightenment ended.

    I'm not good at drawing parallels. Thank you so much for drawing this one!

  2. It also helps me understand the miracle in the desert when the Israelites had a "cloud by day" (for 40 years!) to shield them from the desert heat.

  3. Hi,
    I just found this blog today. It is great! I read the "about me" section, but am curious to know more about you. Someone mentioned that you gave a talk at BYU Women's Conference...can I ask when that was so I can listen to it. I am intrigued by your gift and talent for reading speedily :) and writing beautifully. Thanks for your insights. Kathy Mallory

  4. Hi Kathy,

    I'm happy you found the blog. The Women's Conference talk can be found at: