The first Pentecost occurred following the nation of Israel’s exodus from Egypt. They came to the foot of Mt. Sinai where God instructed Moses to consecrate the people and have them wash their clothes. Then at the sound of the trumpet they were to approach the mountain. This is significant because this is also the first time the word “trumpet” is mentioned in the Bible.
When the trumpet sounds long, they shall come near the mountain.
— Exodus 19:13
Therefore, this is the first divine trump heard by God’s people as the trumpet was sounded by God Himself, causing them to gather near.
The Feast of Pentecost (Shavuot) is celebrated by observant Jews each year as a reminder that this is the day that the Law was given by Moses at Mt. Sinai. The Feast of Pentecost is likewise significant for believers as it is the day that the Holy Spirit was given and the church was born. This year the Feast of Pentecost occurs on Sunday, June 8.
The question remains, is there yet a future prophetic fulfillment of this feast? The answer may be found within the beautiful love story in the Book of Ruth. Every year when the Feast of Pentecost is commemorated, The Book of Ruth is the Torah portion traditionally read in synagogues around the world.
In the Book of Ruth, Boaz, whose name means “in His strength,” is a type of the Messiah. Ruth, whose name means “desirable,” is a Gentile and an idiom for the church, while Naomi, whose name means “pleasant,” represents Israel.
Naomi’s family was driven from Israel during a time of famine. While in the land of Moab her two sons married Moabite women. Tragically Naomi’s husband and sons died, leaving behind three widows. Now stranded in a foreign country and still reeling from her loss, news arrived that the famine had ended and there was food in Israel. Naomi, who was now destitute, determined she would return home. One daughter-in-law decided to remain in her homeland but Ruth, who loved Naomi fiercely, refused to be parted from her and vowed to take Naomi’s God and people as her own. They arrived in Bethlehem at the beginning of the barley harvest.
The Levitical law of gleaning provided the poor with an opportunity to gather food during the harvest. When Ruth went to gather food for them, she happened upon the fields of Boaz. He took notice of her and instructed his servants to protect her and leave her handfuls of grain on purpose. When Ruth returned home with a generous amount of barley her wise Jewish mother-in-law asked her in whose field she had gleaned. It turned out that the owner, Boaz, was a near kinsman and as such could act as a goel, or kinsman redeemer to purchase and restore to Naomi the land that had belonged to her husband. Naomi was also excited because she recognized an opportunity to provide security and a home for her beloved Ruth with a wealthy husband!
This Old Testament love story is rich with symbolism and within its pages is concealed the New Testament mystery of the church, the Gentile bride of Christ. Ruth is introduced to Boaz by an unnamed servant, a type of the Holy Spirit. She learns of Boaz’s ways from Naomi but Naomi is introduced to Boaz by Ruth. Boaz was secretly in love with Ruth and wanted to marry her but he must await her move. Desiring to keep Ruth near to him, he tells her to remain with his servants in the fields until the wheat harvest. Then, following Naomi’s advice, Ruth removed her widow’s clothes, bathed and anointed herself before presenting herself to Boaz at the threshing floor. There she assumed the position of a servant lying at his feet. In the act of spreading the hem of his garment over her she asked him to become her kinsman redeemer and marry her.
Boaz promised to resolve the matter that day and sent her home to her mother-in-law with gifts of grain. He went to the elders at the city gate and there redeemed Naomi’s land and purchased Ruth as his bride. Ruth, a Moabite who was ineligible under the law to enter into the congregation of Israel became the wife of Israel’s most eligible bachelor, her kinsman redeemer.
Nothing in the Word of God is insignificant. Note that Boaz instructed Ruth to remain throughout the wheat harvest. In the New Testament, wheat is also a “type” of the church. At a future point in time, a final wheat harvest will take place during the Harpazo, or rapture. In the agricultural calendar of Israel, the Feast of Pentecost always coincides with the beginning of wheat harvest.
It has long been speculated that the rapture of the church may be fulfilled as one of the feasts of Israel and specifically the Feast of Trumpets. The reason for this is the reference to the “last trump” in I Corinthians.
Behold, I tell you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall be changed — in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
— I Corinthians 15:51–52
On the first Pentecost the trumpet was sounded to gather the people to draw near to the mountain. John the apostle heard a voice like a trumpet instructing him to “come up hither.” Perhaps the last trump referred to in 1 Corinthians 15:52 is only the second but final time the trumpet will be sounded on the day of Pentecost.
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