The Barley and the Wheat

    Ruth bows to Boaz

Shavuot – Sivan 6 5770

We are quickly approaching the Biblical feast of Pentecost which by the Jewish calendar falls on Sivan 6 or May 19th of this year.  This is an interesting date and one that many of us, including myself are looking at as a possible rapture date.  And, not without good reason, for Shavuot or Pentecost as it is otherwise known, is replete with symbolism regarding the gentile bride and her kinsmen redeemer.

I love how God put’s emphasis on things, so we won’t miss it.  Did you know that the Torah or law was given at Sinai on the same date that the church was born?  It’s true!  And, both of these events have to do with a marriage.  The law has to do with Israel being married to the Lord (the Torah functions as a ketubah, a marriage contract between Jehovah and Israel, just as the New Covenant does for the Church, the bride of Christ).  For this reason,  it is traditional for the book of Ruth to be read in the synagogue every year during this festival. Wouldn’t it be just like the Lord to call his bride home on this very special day.

Gleaning the Harvest

“So Boaz, said to Ruth, “My daughter listen to me.  Don’t go and glean in another field and don’t go away from here …So, Ruth stayed close to the servant girls of Boaz to glean until the barley and the wheat harvest were finished.” Ruth 2:8,23

In Leviticus 23: 15-21, God commands the Israelites to count 50 days from Passover to Shavuot.  This 50 day count is known as “the counting of the Omer.”  An omer is a biblical measure of grain.  On the second day of Passover, an omer of barley was offered in the temple signaling the start of the harvest and the beginning of the 50 day count to Shavuot.  On the 50th day, the barley harvest ends and the wheat harvest begins, the change in harvest symbolized by the waving of two wheat loaves by the High Priest in the temple before the Lord. The waving of the two leavened loaves, also, representing those who would be harvested;  both Jew and Gentile – which is why the Torah and the Church share the same birthday.

It is well accepted that Ruth, the foreigner represents the largely gentile church redeemed by Jesus, the Lord of the harvest, as represented by Boaz, who functioned as her kinsman redeemer. I find it interesting that Boaz instructs her to stay through out the barley and the wheat harvest.  In Jewish tradition, the counting of the Omer is said to be a time of preparation for receiving the Torah.  The Exodus was looked on as a gift, while the giving of the Torah required some spiritual preparation or readiness.

This presents an interesting picture.  Do the fifty days between the First fruits resurrection of Jesus and the receiving of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost constitute a period of readiness for the church as well?  I see this indicated in the instructions Jesus gave his disciples before he ascended in to heaven - “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father has promised …” Acts 1:4   I also see this indicated in Revelation 19:7,  “Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come and his bride has made herself ready.”

A ten day watch 

As noted above, May 19th or Sivan 6 is the biblical feast of Shavuot.  If the church is raptured before the 50th day, she would qualify as a first fruits bride (barley); a bride who has made her self ready.  While the church who is not ready and will still be here after the 50th day becomes part of the wheat harvest – foreshadowed, I believe by Ruth who gleaned throughout the barley and the wheat harvests. 
   “After he had said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.  They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them ‘Men of Galilee’ they said, why do you stand here looking into the sky?  This same Jesus who has been taken from you in to heaven, will come back  in the same way you have seen him go in to heaven.’” Acts 1:9-11

Ten days before Shavuot is May 9 or Iyar 25.  This will be the 40th day of the counting of the Omer.  Forty which corresponds with the 40th day before Pentecost, the date on which Jesus ascended in to heaven.  Did the angels who spoke to the men of Galilee leave a clue as to the date of his coming?  “In the same way  he left, he will come back” – Might that apply not only to the way he will come, but, the time he will come back as well?  If so, then the month of Iyar will truly be a month of Shining

 (For more on the month of Iyar, if you haven’t already read my April 17 post,  click here:

“Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem, they shall prosper who love thee.”  Psalm 122:6.   Waiting and watching with YOU for the soon return of Jesus!  Cindy