Rain – Day 15 of 30 Days [Biblically] Wild

Rain – מָטַר (matar), גֶּ֫שֶׁם (geshem),
שְׂעִירִים (seirim),  יוֹרֶה (yoreh), מַלְקוֹשׁ (malqosh), רְבִיבִים (revivim), βροχή (brochē), ὑετός (huetos)  

We are now half way through the Wildlife Trusts ‘30 Days Wild‘ challenge and so, to keep things fresh, today we will be exploring something different.

Three or four years ago I would have been tempted to start this post with something like a wry reference to the typical rain-swept summer we’ve been enjoying, which would have made the subject of rain very apt. However, changes in climate and weather systems has meant that the last couple of summers have been uncharacteristically dry and this one seems to follow that new pattern – even in March (2019), in central England,, the water butt we use for the hens’ water, was running perilously close to empty! Since then, the first half of June has proved to extremely wet with some areas receiving more than a month’s worth of rain in a single day!

Nevertheless, rain is a really important part of not just our ecology but our experiences of living in it. As the writer Cynthia Barnett (2015) suggests:

[Rain] is one of the last untamed encounters with nature that we experience routinely, able to turn the suburbs and even the city wild.”

Barnett (2015:12)

Whether you are attempting to avoid it or are scanning the sky for the promise of an overdue shower, rain is as much a part of the modern world as it was in the ancient one. The following post comprises a few short sections from some research that I am currently writing on rain as theology within biblical and post-biblical antiquity.

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Deer – Day 12 of 30 Days [Biblically] Wild

Deer – אַיָּל (ayyal), אַיָּלָה (ayyalah), עֹ֫פֶר (opher), יַחְמוּר (yachmur)

Fallow deer (Dama dama) Image: Tony Hisgett. Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Fallow_Deer_(5863147572).jpg

There is something special about encountering deer. Increases in population has meant that, in many woodland locations and at certain times of the year, they are fairly easy to spot. Many country parks and estates also keep herds and can allow some very close encounters with them. Despite their antlers, and the rather fierce reputation of stags, deer seem to hold a very special place within the British psyche. This attitude appears also to be reflected by some of the biblical writers.

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