Passover to Pentecost – The Book of Ruth Week 5 Day 1
Tonight he will be winnowing barley on the threshing floor. Ruth 3: 2 (NIV)
The verse puts much of the story of Ruth in the Counting of the Omer time period. This story has “Exodus” qualities so let’s add to it and make this a Passover to Pentecost tale. What if 1:11 was just before Passover; we could view Naomi saying good-bye to her daughter-in-law’s as removing the yeast from her home. Since Ruth left with Naomi she is a “treasure from Egypt.” Boaz making sure she had extra grain and food in chapter two can compare to the manna the Lord supplied Israel. With a little creative counting we can put the birth of Obed the next year at the time of Passover.
Even without my embellishments this important story is a personal exodus tale for Naomi. She returned to the Land of Milk and Honey and was blessed for it. The rest of the world was blessed through Ruth as she became part of the “root of Jesse.”
The reading and studying of Ruth is a tradition for the Jewish people during this time of year.
Who is Eliashib? Well, definitely not a top 40 Bible character! Can’t find him then go to Nehemiah 13.
Eliashib is a priest; well not just a priest he is the High Priest (v. 28) after the 70-year (Sabbath) rest of the land that Jeremiah predicted. This was because Israel had forgotten about Jubilee and that the land was to get a rest also.
The quick storyline of Nehemiah – Nehemiah, an official of King Artaxerxes, petitions to go to Jerusalem and rebuild the town wall. He does it in record time but he has opposition Tobiah and Sanballat who hate Israel and Jerusalem. Nehemiah sets things right and is called back to Artaxerxes. (We will assume Ezra the priest has died.)
Eliashib who apparently has not read the Book of Moses (or did not care) cleared out the room reserved for the grain offering for the Levites and let Tobiah move in. This set several things into motion. The Levites had to go back to their fields because of no more grain offerings. No Levites, no one to stop merchandise from coming into Jerusalem on the Sabbath. Then Nehemiah found that men were marrying foreign women. These were some of the sins that lead to the destruction of Jerusalem and here they were doing it again. Who was leading this destructive behavior, the High Priest? It was so bad the Eliashib had allowed his grandson to marry into Sanballat’s family. So the boy would have been in line to be the High Priest.
What happened, the people read the Bible and put an end to it and then the man of God shows up and changes the High Priest because he ran Eliashib and his family off.
Point is READ your Bible and Know the Word.
Last point – The people had read Deuteronomy 23:3 that no Moabite should be allowed into the assembly of God. What about David and Solomon? Their grandmother was Ruth the Moabite. Did God just overlook His Word? Look at Ruth 4:9 Boaz as kinsmen-redeemer got Ruth as a wife. He redeemed Ruth! I image it was just like Jesus redeeming us, we became new people in the sight of the Law and anything in the past cannot be counted against us.
I find it unsettling that four of Israel’s major enemies are “family.” Now at times, they were civil towards one another and we have to remember that Ruth, David’s and Jesus’ grandmother, was a Moabitess. But Edom, Moab, and Ammon are frequently mentioned together as joining forces to fight Israel and in many of the Prophetic Books, they are together when the Lord is handing out judgment.
It should also be noted that God warns Moses and the Israelites about fighting with them on the way back to the Promised Land. In Deuteronomy 2:5,9,19 it is stated that each of them had been given that land by the Lord and Israel was not to start trouble.
Lot is the father of Moab and Ammon (see Timeline) by his daughters after the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 19:30 – 38). Now a question that has been asked is whether they should have ever been there, to begin with! Abraham was to leave his country and family and go to the Promised Land but there is Lot with his uncle as he leaves the rest of the family.