“Now they came to Bethlehem at the beginning of barley harvest.” Ruth 1:22 NKJV
I Corinthians 15:20 “But now is Christ risen from the dead and become the firstfruits of them that slept.”
I Corinthians 15:23 “But every man in his own order; Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.
James 1:18 “Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures.”
In our continuation of the story of Ruth, we will see a very significant hidden truth. We are so accustomed to reading over the text of scripture and therefore we sometimes miss out on the mystery of the gospel that was hidden for us to find.
The barley harvest was a special time for the children of Israel. It was one of the feast during Passover. The wave-sheaf offering was shortly after Passover. It was the feast that celebrated the anticipation of the coming Messiah. Leviticus 23:10-14. Says, “on the morrow of the Sabbath at Passover. This day is often called the Feast of Firstfruits.
Why is this important?
As our story unfolds, we find Ruth and Naomi have returned to Bethlehem. There was a warm welcome for Naomi and Ruth. Naomi wasn’t very excited because she felt she had lost everything. Her husband and two sons were dead. They had to sell their land and possessions to go to Moab. Now she and her daughter-in-law were destitute. In the law given to Moses, there was a provision for a person who was forced to sell property. The nearest of kin would be able to buy back what his family had been forced to sell.
‘If a fellow countryman of yours becomes so poor he has to sell part of his property, then his nearest kinsman is to come and buy back what his relative has sold. (Leviticus 25:25 NASB)
“Now Naomi had a kinsman of her husband, a man of great wealth, of the family of Elimelech, whose name was Boaz.” (Ruth 2: 1 NASB)
Naomi found her hope in Boaz a near relative. Naomi and Ruth’s only hope was that the nearest relative would come to their rescue. Ruth is sent by Naomi to the field of Boaz to gather grain. Boaz, being the businessman, sees Ruth and asks about her. He realizes she is Naomi’s daughter and that she has taken care of her mother-in-law. (Ruth 2:12 NASB) “May the Lord reward your work, and your wages be full from the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to seek refuge.”
Ruth gleans from Boaz‘s field and takes barley home to Naomi. Naomi reveals a plan to have Ruth “seek security” (Ruth 3:1 NASB) from the nearest relative, her kinsman redeemer.
Ruth is to prepare herself to wash and put on her best clothes then go to Boaz at the threshing floor. Ruth goes in the middle of the night and uncovered his feet. What!!! Uncover his feet?
Uncovering the hem of his garment to uncover his feet. Why?? Such a strange way to get someone’s attention. Hmmmm. Didn’t the woman with the issue of blood want to touch the hem of Jesus garment? Is there a connection? In the culture of the Jewish people, touching the hem of a garment represented authority. The woman sought the authority of the one who could rescue her from the illness that had held her captive for years. With Boaz, Ruth was asking him to cover her and Naomi with his authority.
Boaz’s name means “strength. His character is seen here with Ruth, his gentleness, his caring, and his protection. He tells Ruth there is another that is a closer kinsman; he will speak to him to see if he will buy back the piece of land which belonged to Elimelech. Then he tells the relative “on the day you buy the field from the hand of Naomi, you must acquire Ruth the Moabite” (Ruth 4:5 NASB). The closest relative not wanting to jeopardize his own inheritance, gives permission for Boaz to redeem the field and therefore takes Ruth into his household.
What did it require to be a kinsman redeemer?
- Must be a near relative. Blood lines were kept specifically to prove ownership of land and levitical priesthood.
- Must have the means to purchase, buy back or redeem
- Must be willing to redeem.
Jesus is the only one who fulfills the requirements of the “Goel”, the Kinsman Redeemer.
- He is fully God-fully man. Luke 1:29,31,35
- He had what was necessary to buy back. I Peter 1:18,19
- He was willing to redeem man John 10:8
Boaz fulfills the shadows and types of Jesus hidden in the Old Testament is revealed in the New Testament in Christ.
Now we know who is our Kinsman Redeemer and that is wonderful to see in Ruth. But what about the Harvest of Barley?
Barley was one of the first crops of the spring. It would be ripen around the time of Passover. The festival of firstfruits was a wave sheaf offering which was offered on the morrow of the Sabbath.
Now for the clincher for me anyway.
On the week of the Passion, Christ was betrayed, tried for crimes he had not committed, beaten, dragged through the streets and then on Friday was hung on a cross. He died before Sunset on the Sabbath. On the morrow of the Sabbath would have been the waving of the firstfruits -the sheaf of barley. The rejoicing of the people in anticipation of the coming of Messiah. The streets would be alive with celebration the festival of the harvest. Some without notice would be celebrating what was to come and did not yet know that Messiah had arose from the grave that very same day. Christ is the firstfruit.
I Corinthians 15:23 “But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. But each one in own order; Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming.”
Jesus our blood kinsman redeemer bought and paid for our redemption from the curse on the very same day of the celebration symbolizing the coming of Messiah.
Blessed Redeemer Precious Redeemer
Have a Blessed Easter Morning. Celebrate the First Fruit who Redeemer us from the curse.
Hallelujah What a SAVIOR!!