Pentecost/Shavuot/Feast of Weeks: Reading the Book of Ruth

Leviticus 23:15-16 ‘You shall also count for yourselves from the day after the Sabbath, from the day when you brought in the sheaf of the wave offering; there shall be seven complete Sabbaths. You shall count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath; then you shall present a new grain offering to the Lord.

In the Old Testament and in the Hebrew, this holiday is referred to as Shavuot. The word means: weeks.

Shavuot is one of the three holidays where Jewish men are required to come to Jerusalem (Exodus 23:14-17). The men were to make their presentation and sacrifice before God at the Temple. This holiday is one of seven holidays appointed by God.

Shavuot and Pentecost are synonymous. Shavuot is often associated with God giving the Torah, the birth of Judaism. Pentecost is often associated with God giving the Holy Spirit, the birth of the church.

On a Gregorian calendar in the year of 2017, the holiday of Shavuot/Feast of Weeks/Pentecost begins at sunset on Wednesday, May 31. The God Appointed holiday ends at sunset Thursday, June 1. Although not indicated in the Bible, an interesting tradition of the holiday is King David died on Shavuot.

During Shavuot, Jews will read the book of Ruth. The story is about a gentile widow, Ruth. She was married to a Jewish man who died. His name was Elimelech (meaning “My God is King” per Strong’s Concordance). Ruth freely decided to follow her Jewish mother in law after her husband’s death.

Ga`al is the Hebrew word used in the book of Ruth of Boaz who is the kinsman redeemer. Boaz is a pattern or type for Jesus Christ. The custom of the kinsman redeemer is played out in Ruth 4.

There are two conditions for Boaz or any kinsman redeemer to meet. The land of the relative has to be purchased or redeemed and the bride of the deceased relative must be acquired if the deceased was married.  In this case, Elimelech was the deceased relative.

The legal transaction was made in front of ten city elders. Another relative of Elimelech was on board with land acquisition. But he was not interested in acquiring Ruth, the gentile Moabite. Boaz stepped in and exercised his full right as a kinsman redeemer. Boaz purchased the land and acquired Ruth.

The legal contract was a sandal. Witnesses were present and confirmed the transaction.

Ruth 4:7 Now this was the custom in former times in Israel concerning the redemption and the exchange of land to confirm any matter: a man removed his sandal and gave it to another; and this was the manner of attestation in Israel.

It is from this prophetic transaction, blessing would come to Israel and the world. Over 1,000 years later, a Savior would be born in Ephrathah, the area in and around Bethlehem.

Ruth 4:11 All the people who were in the court, and the elders, said, “We are witnesses. May the Lord make the woman who is coming into your home like Rachel and Leah, both of whom built the house of Israel; and may you achieve wealth in Ephrathah and become famous in Bethlehem.

So a Jewish groom born in Bethlehem purchases a gentile bride…

 

 

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