And pray you that your flight be not in the winter.
However disagreeable a very severe winter may be, in some respects, it yet serves most important purposes. The sap retires from the extremities of shrubs and trees, and takes refuge in the roots, thus giving them a time to rest and recuperate. The covering of snow which is spread over the earth protects the grass and the grain, and keeps all things which grow out of the ground snug and warm. Moreover, the nipping frost kills off the myriad hordes of insects; dries up the seeds of infectious and deadly diseases; improves the blood, on which our very existence depends; and gives new vigour to the worn-out and wasted system. Consumptive patients are no longer sent to gasp and faint beneath the orange groves of a debilitating southern clime, but uniform and invigorating cold weather is found much better for them. Winter, besides being an useful season, is certainly a very beautiful one. The earth spread smoothly over with its white coverlid; the icy tracery of the trees; and the fantastic pictures which the frost draws on the window panes — what could be more beautiful than these? The goodness of our heavenly Father is plainly discovered in the provision which He makes for the lower orders of creation, to protect them from the rigours of winter. The more delicate birds are instructed by their instincts to fly off to warmer latitudes. The creatures which are to remain behind, need not go to clothing stores for thick coats! The fur, and hair, and feathers on their bodies, are made abundantly warm to protect them; and the colder the winter which is approaching, the better does their gracious Creator provide for them.
(J. N. Norton, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And pray ye that your flight be not in the winter.