Jewish Punctilliousness

Towards the end of his post (please see source link at the bottom) Jenkins relates a story of harvesting wheat under Jewish supervision. This poignant account illustrates the extreme carefulness of keeping the commandment of the feast of unleavened bread. This harvested wheat would be kept until the next year during the traditional barley harvest in Israel or about 10 months.

Of course these Jews were not in Israel in the account but the timing is the same. The Feast of Unleavened Bread required the Jews to clean out all sourdough starter (yeast) that was used to make bread rise, hence, the fear of moisture which might ferment the grain with naturally occurring air-borne yeast .

They were, as part of the Pesach (Passover) observance required to do three separate things: 1. Clean out the sourdough starter and eat unleavened bread for 7 days 2. Sacrifice the Passover lamb at twilight and eat it with staff in hand. 3. Wave the barley sheave that had just ripened in the Land of Israel.

The first 2 Observances related to their flight from Egypt which they were to remember how God miraculously delivered them: their dough didn’t have time to rise and they fled in haste with their cloaks tucked in their belts and staffs in hand. This was the first redemptive month for Israel and its timing related to the barley harvest in Israel. Had they obeyed and entered the land at that time they could have enjoyed this harvest.

Somehow I think these observant Jews in this account missed the redemptive meaning and bigger picture of God’s deliverance. When John the Baptist first encountered Jesus: “Behold the Lamb of God which takes away the sin of the world.” Jesus has become our Passover (1Cor. 5.7) the firstfruits to rise from the dead (1Cor. 15.20).


Source: Bringing in the sheaves

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