We continue our study of this incredible cepher, the cepher of Zakaryahu.
Zakaryahu (Zechariah) 10:1
Ask ye of YAHUAH rain in the time of the latter rain; so YAHUAH shall make bright clouds, and give them showers of rain, to everyone grass in the field.
So, we begin with trying to understand this business of the latter rain. The Hebrew term there is ma’laqosh, which means the spring rain. The root of this word is laqash, which means the gathering of the after crop, and its sister word laqesh, which means the latter growth. The rains of spring are called the latter rains, because they fall on the latter growth, i.e., the winter growth, such as winter barley.
Devariym (Deuteronomy) 11:13-17
And it shall come to pass, if ye shall hearken diligently unto my commandments which I command you this day, to love את eth-YAHUAH ELOHAYKEM, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul, 14 That I will give you the rain of your land in his due season, the first rain and the latter rain, that you may gather in your grain, and your wine, and your oil. 15 And I will send grass in your fields for your cattle, that you may eat and be full. 16 Guard yourselves, that your heart be not deceived, and ye turn aside, and serve other elohiym, and worship them; 17 And then YAHUAH’S wrath be kindled against you, and he shut up את eth-the heavens, that there be no rain, and that the land yield not את eth-her fruit; and lest ye perish quickly from off the good land which YAHUAH gives you.
Yermiyahu (Jeremiah) 5:20-24
Declare this in the house of Ya`aqov, and publish it in Yahudah, saying, 21 Hear now this, O foolish people, and without understanding; which have eyes, and see not; which have ears, and hear not: 22 Fear ye not me? says YAHUAH: will ye not tremble at my presence, which have placed the sand for the bound of the sea by a perpetual decree, that it cannot pass it: and though the waves thereof toss themselves, yet can they not prevail; though they roar, yet can they not pass over it? 23 But this people has a revolting and a rebellious heart; they are revolted and gone. 24 Neither say they in their heart, Let us now fear את eth-YAHUAH ELOHAYNU that gives rain, both the former and the latter, in his season: he reserves unto us the appointed weeks of the harvest.
Now these former and latter rains are part of the rhythm of life given to us by ELOHAYNU (our ELOHIYM), and this rhythm is expressed in the seven feasts of YAH, so gloriously, so eloquently, and so prophetically. The feasts of the latter rain – the spring feasts - are Pecach (Passover), Matsah (Unleavened Bread), and Bikoor (First Fruits). The shamash (the center candle stand in the menorah) feast of Sheva’oth (Pentecost) brings in the wheat harvest, and the feasts of the former rain – the fall feasts – are Teruah (the feast of Trumpets), Kippur (the feast of Atonement) and Sukka’oth (the feast of Tabernacles or Booths), which brings in the grape harvest.
With this information, we can begin to understand those devariym (words) that are set forth in the incredibly prophetic passage of Yo’el 2:
Yo’el (Joel) 2:15-17
Blow the shofar in Tsiyon, sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly: 16 Gather the people, sanctify the assembly, assemble the elders, gather the children, and those that suck the breasts: let the bridegroom go forth of his chamber, and the bride out of her closet. 17 Let the priests, the ministers of YAHUAH, weep between the porch and the altar, and let them say, Spare your people, O YAHUAH, and give not your heritage to reproach, that the heathen should rule over them: wherefore should they say among the people, Where is their ELOHIYM?
How does this verse 15 not signify the fall feasts (the former rain)? The feast day Yom Teruah is marked by the blowing of the Shofar, and verse 15 begins with the edict blow the shofar in Tsiyon. The feast day Yom Kippur is marked by fasting, and verse 15 continues with the edict to sanctify a fast. Finally, all of Israel is called up to Sukka’oth in the Sabbatical year (the seventh year), and the last clause of this verse finishes with the edict to call a solemn assembly. Is the timing of this verse obvious enough? If not, consider that verse 16 also reinforces the idea that all of Israel shall come up saying gather the people, sanctify the assembly, assemble the elders, gather the children, and those that suck the breasts – in short, everybody.
Yo’el (Joel) 2:18-17
Then will YAHUAH be jealous for his land, and pity his people. 19 Yea, YAHUAH will answer and say unto his people, Behold, I will send you את eth-grain, and wine, and oil, and ye shall be satisfied therewith: and I will no more make you a reproach among the heathen: 20 But I will remove far off from you את eth-the northern army, and will drive him into a land barren and desolate, את eth-with his face toward the east sea, and his hinder part toward the utmost sea, and his stink shall come up, and his ill savour shall come up, because he has done great things.
Once again, as originally mentioned in Devariym, YAH will provide grain, wine, and oil even at the time of the terrible day of YAHUAH. Let us continue with Yo’el’s discourse:
Yo’el (Joel) 2:21-27
Fear not, O land; be glad and rejoice: for YAHUAH will do great things. 22 Be not afraid, ye beasts of the field: for the pastures of the wilderness do spring, for the tree bears her fruit, the fig tree and the vine do yield their strength. 23 Be glad then, ye children of Tsiyon, and rejoice in YAHUAH ELOHAYKEM: for he has given you את eth-the former rain moderately, and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month. 24 And the floors shall be full of wheat, and the fats shall overflow with wine and oil. 25 And I will restore to you את eth-the years that the locust has eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpiller, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you. 26 And ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise את eth-the name of YAHUAH ELOHAYKEM, that has dealt wondrously with you: and my people shall never be ashamed. 27 And ye shall know that I am in the midst of Yisra’el, and that I am YAHUAH ELOHAYKEM, and none else: and my people shall never be ashamed.
My temptation is to leave this posting right here because of the beauty of this passage. Remember, this passage is talking about the very period of the terrible day of YAHUAH (Yo’el 2:1-14), yet we are called to fear not, but to be glad and rejoice, for YAHUAH will do great things. But let us not stop here, for Yo’el has more to say:
Yo’el (Joel) 2:28-32
And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out את eth-my RUACH upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: 29 And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out את eth-my RUACH. 30 And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. 31 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of YAHUAH come. 32 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of YAHUAH shall be delivered: for in Mount Tsiyon and in Yerushalayim shall be deliverance, as YAHUAH has said, and in the remnant whom YAHUAH shall call.
There is so much in this passage. Note that the sun shall be turned into darkness (such as in a full solar eclipse) and the moon into blood (such as a full lunar eclipse) before the great and terrible day of YAHUAH. We will have such a solar eclipse on Yom Teruah in 2015, and such a lunar eclipse showing a super moon as a blood moon on the first day of Sukka’oth in 2015. Remember, those who call upon the name of YAHUAH shall be delivered (“Lord,” “HaShem” and “Adonai” are titles, not the name). Kepha (Shimon bar Yonah, often called Peter) recognized the importance of this passage when he delivered it on the day of Sheva’oth to devout men, out of every nation under heaven.
Ma’aseh (Acts) 2:14-21
But Kepha, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Yahudah, and all ye that dwell at Yerushalayim, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words: 15 For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. 16 But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Yo’el; 17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, says YAHUAH, I will pour out את eth-my RUACH upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: 18 And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my RUACH; and they shall prophesy: 19 And I will show wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke: 20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and terrible day of YAHUAH come: 21 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of YAHUAH shall be saved.
Finally, I leave you with a tip from our good brother Ya’akov (whose name has been substituted as James in most bibles, although the direct English translation is Jacob):
Ya’akov (James) 5:7
Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of ADONAI. Behold, the husbandman waits for the precious fruit of the earth, and has long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.