Jean Stepnoski (13 Aug 2011)
"The Book of Ruth and Av 15: With Thanks For Lisa Taylor"

Dear Doves,
      In Ruth 2:21 and 23 we learn when Ruth and Naomi arrived in the land of the kinsman redeemer Boaz. It was the time of the barley harvest. Boaz instructs Ruth. " Stay close to the young people until they have completed all my harvest." Which harvest, of barley or of wheat? We learn from Ruth 2:23 the following. "And she stayed by the young women of Boaz to glean, till the completion of barley harvest and the wheat harvest." In Chapter 4, the final chapter, the witnesses at the gate were there at the time of the winnowing of barley beginning at First Fruits. The wheat could have been next in two harvests, for Spring and Summer.
    In Chapter 4:13 we read about Boaz marrying Ruth. He redeems Ruth. But is it the time of the end of the first or the second wheat harvest? There appears to be a time delay after the barley season is over.
      In her article at five doves on 7-14-2008, "Summer Rapture Thoughts" Lisa Taylor noted some very interesting things about Av 15. This year it will be 8-14 to 15 on the Hillel Calendar. It is symbolic of the beginning of the grape harvest for Israel even though the grapes would come due from June through September.  For them was the last day for wood offerings at the Temple and a popular wedding day. It was when the CURSE was over for those to die in the wilderness during the 40 years. Those remaining  were ready to enter the Promised Land. Av 15 was the day of bride theft (like harpazo) that we read about the young men of the tribe of  Benjamin and the girls in the borrowed white dresses in the field.
      The Talmud relates that Av 15 was THE DAY that the BAN, the prohibition, was lifted against marrying outside the tribe. It is Yevamos 41a where we read about a need for a convert to wait 3 months before the marriage is possible. Part of this was to ensure that she was not pregnant prior to her conversion. So the popular idea of relating the marriage of Boaz and Ruth to Pentecost may be earlier than it actually happened. They may have gone to the wedding canopy (the chuppah) on Av 15! This is fascinating since Ruth was from Moab, a Gentile, a pagan, and someone from the Nations. Unlike Boaz, Ruth was not a member of the tribe of Yahuda (Judah). She was an alien and outsider, even though her first husband had been from one of the tribes of Israel. Therefore Ruth, a Moabess,  had needed to wait patiently during the Summer Fruits Harvest for a period of a full 3 months. This was a period of eagerness and expectancy and patience to prove the sincerity of her conversion to Judaism! This would be 3 months after First Fruits of barley and the conclusion of the barley harvest. When we add 3 months to the CONCLUSION of the barley harvest as of around 4-23 to  5-15-2011, we are at 8-15! Av 15 is symbolic of the end of the wheat harvest, first and second phases! The figs, dates have been harvested and next the pomegranates. The 2 of the 7 species or crops of Israel current in maturity would be grapes and pomegranates. Lastly would be the olives, as the grapes were ending.
      Lisa Taylor noted another fact about this time of Av going to Elul, month 5 going to month 6 of the Scriptural Year. This is the Season of Summer Fruits for Israel. She notes the following about pomegranates relating to the High Priest. See Exodus 28: 33-35 about the design of pomegranates on the hen of the tunic of the High Priest. Our High Priest now is Messiah/ Christ according to Hebrews 6:19-20, now and forever.
      There are many clues to help us look to the significance of Av 15. To most in the world it will be a routine and ordinary day of no great spiritual meanings. This year it will be concluding for Israel on 8-15 as the day 3 of the Scriptural Week begins. Will Av 15, the Anniversary Day of the Lifting of Ban and Curse, be momentous this year? We shall see. Come quickly, Lord...
With Love and Shalom,