Ruth: Threshing Floor

In the Book of Ruth, Ruth goes to the threshing floor to appeal to Boaz to redeem her. For looking at the pictures in the Book of Ruth, it is important to realize that traditionally, the “threshing floor” is the location of the Temple Mount. Let’s look into this!

One day, King David decided to take a census of the people. That was not good, and David was given three choices for the type of punishment he would receive. King David chose pestilence because he would rather fall into the hands of YHWH, whose mercies are great, than the hands of men. So, pestilence it was! Let’s read about what happened:

1 Chronicles 21:14-22:1 (also see 2 Sam. 24)…

 14 So the LORD sent a pestilence on Israel; 70,000 men of Israel fell. 15 And God sent an angel to Jerusalem to destroy it; but as he was about to destroy it, the LORD saw and was sorry over the calamity, and said to the destroying angel, “It is enough; now relax your hand.” And the angel of the LORD was standing by the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite. 16 Then David lifted up his eyes and saw the angel of the LORD standing between earth and heaven, with his drawn sword in his hand stretched out over Jerusalem. Then David and the elders, covered with sackcloth, fell on their faces. 17 David said to God, “Is it not I who commanded to count the people? Indeed, I am the one who has sinned and done very wickedly, but these sheep, what have they done? O LORD my God, please let Your hand be against me and my father’s household, but not against Your people that they should be plagued.”

 18 Then the angel of the LORD commanded Gad to say to David, that David should go up and build an altar to the LORD on the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite. 19 So David went up at the word of Gad, which he spoke in the name of the LORD. 20 Now Ornan turned back and saw the angel, and his four sons who were with him hid themselves. And Ornan was threshing wheat. 21 As David came to Ornan, Ornan looked and saw David, and went out from the threshing floor and prostrated himself before David with his face to the ground. 22 Then David said to Ornan, “Give me the site of this threshing floor, that I may build on it an altar to the LORD; for the full price you shall give it to me, that the plague may be restrained from the people.” 23 Ornan said to David, “Take it for yourself; and let my lord the king do what is good in his sight. See, I will give the oxen for burnt offerings and the threshing sledges for wood and the wheat for the grain offering; I will give it all.” 24 But King David said to Ornan, “No, but I will surely buy it for the full price; for I will not take what is yours for the LORD, or offer a burnt offering which costs me nothing.” 25 So David gave Ornan 600 shekels of gold by weight for the site. 26 Then David built an altar to the LORD there and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings. And he called to the LORD and He answered him with fire from heaven on the altar of burnt offering. 27 The LORD commanded the angel, and he put his sword back in its sheath.

 28 At that time, when David saw that the LORD had answered him on the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite, he offered sacrifice there. 29 For the tabernacle of the LORD, which Moses had made in the wilderness, and the altar of burnt offering were in the high place at Gibeon at that time. 30 But David could not go before it to inquire of God, for he was terrified by the sword of the angel of the LORD.

1 Then David said, “This is the house of the LORD God, and this is the altar of burnt offering for Israel.”

This is the location where Solomon eventually builds the Temple…

2 Chron. 3:1

 1 Then Solomon began to build the house of the LORD in Jerusalem on Mount Moriah, where the LORD had appeared to his father David, at the place that David had prepared on the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite. 

We won’t get into the details at this time of moving the contents of the tabernacle from Gibeon to this place. What is important to understand at this point is that the traditional place for the threshing floor is the Temple Mount, in Jerusalem on Mt. Moriah.

Some other important things happened on Mt. Moriah. For instance, Abraham was told to offer his son, Isaac, on Mt. Moriah (“Mt. Moriah” is more like a range, and the Temple Mount covers a portion of it)…

Genesis 22:2 

2 He said, “Take now your son, your only son, whom you love, Isaac, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I will tell you.”

We know that Yahweh provides a ram to offer instead of Isaac, and this is what Abraham says of the place:

14 Abraham called the name of that place The LORD Will Provide, as it is said to this day, “In the mount of the LORD it will be provided.” - Gen. 22:14

Being that Abraham spoke in future tense, after the ram was provided for Isaac, we are looking for something beyond that provision. Also,

8 Abraham said, “God will provide for Himself the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” – Gen. 22:8a

We are looking for Yeshua’s sacrifice for us! Could it be that Yeshua died for our sins on this mountain? Yes! Golgotha is a section of Mount Moriah, where Yeshua was crucified. It could very well be the same section where Abraham and Isaac went.

John 19:17

17 They took Jesus, therefore, and He went out, bearing His own cross, to the place called the Place of a Skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha.

So, there is great significance in the location of the traditional threshing floor, and we should pick up on that picture when reading about Ruth appealing to Boaz to redeem her at the threshing floor. Only the bride can make such an appeal, and when Boaz was awakened in the night, he was “startled” and “bent forward” (Ruth 3:8). For the word “startled,” it also means “to hasten,” and as Naomi told Ruth:

“…the man will not rest until he has settled it today.” – Ruth 4:18b

Yahweh takes the threshing floor seriously, and so should we. Again, it was said of Yeshua by John the Baptist,

17 His winnowing fork is in His hand to thoroughly clear His threshing floor, and to gather the wheat into His barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” – Luke 3:17

Proverbs 20:26 says,

26 A wise king winnows the wicked, 
And drives the threshing wheel over them.

The threshing is unpleasant but necessary and unavoidable, and the traditional location of the threshing floor is important. Yeshua needs to clear it–His kingdom is in Jerusalem. The good news for us is that we have a redeemer, when He returns He will not delay and will settle things quickly, and the bridegroom and bride will be married…

7 Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready.” 8 It was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.

 9 Then he said to me, “Write, ‘Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.’” And he said to me, “These are true words of God.” – Rev. 19:7-9

Have a blessed day!

NASB: Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.

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