“the ninth month.” The association of the ninth month and heavy rains shows that Judah at this time was using a Nisan-year calendar, with the first month of the year starting at Nisan. That made the ninth month Kislev, which falls in our November/December. The “former rains” start in mid-October and are heavy and cold by December, sometimes including snow in and around Jerusalem. The “latter rain” starts in February and ends by mid-April. These heavy rains were cold, and the people were trembling (and shivering) because of the rain but also, as the text says, because they were aware that they had broken God’s law and, recently having returned from a 70-year captivity in Babylon, were scared of further divine wrath.