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In Bereshis 7:11-12 it says:

וַאֲרֻבֹּ֥ת הַשָּׁמַ֖יִם נִפְתָּֽחוּ וַֽיְהִ֥י הַגֶּ֖שֶׁם עַל־הָאָ֑רֶץ אַרְבָּעִ֣ים י֔וֹם וְאַרְבָּעִ֖ים לָֽיְלָה

And the floodgates of the sky broke open. The rain fell on the earth forty days and forty nights.

And Malachi 3:10:

אִם־לֹ֧א אֶפְתַּ֣ח לָכֶ֗ם אֵ֚ת אֲרֻבּ֣וֹת הַשָּׁמַ֔יִם וַהֲרִיקֹתִ֥י לָכֶ֛ם בְּרָכָ֖ה עַד־בְּלִי־דָֽי׃

I will surely open the floodgates of the sky for you and pour down blessings on you;

It sounds from the above verses that rain comes from the waters above the firmament. Other places in Tanakh seem to associate clouds with rain (somewhere in Yirmiyahu).

Does rain come from the "upper waters" above the firmament or from clouds?

  • Aren't they one and the same? – ezra Mar 23 '18 at 5:42
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    @ezra "Opening" the arubos of heaven (i.e some sort of opening that allows the water to get out of) is different than rain coming from the clouds/sky. – Fei23 Mar 23 '18 at 14:49
  • It's possible that in both instances, the suggestion is miraculous, and not in accordance with normal rainfall that does come from cloud condensation. I gather that there is a midrashic concept of 7 layers of heaven as well as ananei kavod ("Clouds of Glory"). I don't know if that's metaphoric and if these types of clouds would produce rain in the same form as we perceive rain. – DanF Mar 23 '18 at 17:55

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