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The Gleaner's Fields

The English word "glean" originated from an old Anglo-Saxon word which meant a handful. It referred to grain or fruit that was gathered after the main harvester had passed. It involved the produce that was missed or spilled (or, in the case of fruit, that which was left because it wasn't yet quite as ripe as the rest), but it also referred to the practice of deliberately leaving some of the harvest for the poor, who could then gather it for themselves, in dignity, by their own work.

"Glean" is often used to translate the Hebrew word, pronounced law-kawt, which meant to pick up, or to gather. It had the same meaning as the English word (keeping in mind that the Hebrew word was far more ancient that the English or Anglo-Saxon words), but with the greater emphasis in that it was actually a Law of the LORD (see 'Before Abraham Was, I AM').

"19:9 And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not wholly reap the corners of thy field, neither shalt thou gather the gleanings of thy harvest.

19:10 And thou shalt not glean thy vineyard, neither shalt thou gather every grape of thy vineyard; thou shalt leave them for the poor and stranger: I am the LORD your God." (Leviticus 19:9-10 KJV)

"Thou shalt leave them for the poor and stranger: I am the LORD your God"

The law of gleaning applied to grain, tree fruit and vineyards. Why was the law commanded by the LORD? "And thou shalt remember that thou wast a bondman in the land of Egypt: therefore I command thee to do this thing."

The Holy Scriptures

"24:19 When thou cuttest down thine harvest in thy field, and hast forgot a sheaf in the field, thou shalt not go again to fetch it: it shall be for the stranger, for the fatherless, and for the widow: that the LORD thy God may bless thee in all the work of thine hands.

24:20 When thou beatest thine olive tree, thou shalt not go over the boughs again: it shall be for the stranger, for the fatherless, and for the widow.

24:21 When thou gatherest the grapes of thy vineyard, thou shalt not glean it afterward: it shall be for the stranger, for the fatherless, and for the widow.

24:22 And thou shalt remember that thou wast a bondman in the land of Egypt: therefore I command thee to do this thing." (Deuteronomy 24:19-22 KJV)

Ruth, who was a key ancestor of King David (see Israelite Monarchy - The United Kingdom), and therefore also of Jesus Christ (see Israelite Monarchy - The Messiah), was a poor widow when she immigrated to the land of Israel (Ruth was born in Moab, in what is today the Arab kingdom of Jordan, just as Abraham was born in the Arab kingdom of Iraq - some of the Messiah's most well-known ancestors were Arabs by birth). The poor immigrant Ruth gleaned in the fields of the man who she later married, Boaz.

"2:1 And Naomi had a kinsman of her husband's, a mighty man of wealth, of the family of Elimelech; and his name was Boaz.

2:2 And Ruth the Moabitess said unto Naomi, Let me now go to the field, and glean ears of corn after him in whose sight I shall find grace.

And she said unto her, Go, my daughter.

2:3 And she went, and came, and gleaned in the field after the reapers: and her hap was to light on a part of the field belonging unto Boaz, who was of the kindred of Elimelech.

2:4 And, behold, Boaz came from Bethlehem, and said unto the reapers, The LORD be with you.

And they answered him, The LORD bless thee.

2:5 Then said Boaz unto his servant that was set over the reapers, Whose damsel is this?

2:6 And the servant that was set over the reapers answered and said, It is the Moabitish damsel that came back with Naomi out of the country of Moab: 2:7 And she said, I pray you, let me glean and gather after the reapers among the sheaves: so she came, and hath continued even from the morning until now, that she tarried a little in the house.

2:8 Then said Boaz unto Ruth, Hearest thou not, my daughter? Go not to glean in another field, neither go from hence, but abide here fast by my maidens: 2:9 Let thine eyes be on the field that they do reap, and go thou after them: have I not charged the young men that they shall not touch thee? and when thou art athirst, go unto the vessels, and drink of that which the young men have drawn.

2:10 Then she fell on her face, and bowed herself to the ground, and said unto him, Why have I found grace in thine eyes, that thou shouldest take knowledge of me, seeing I am a stranger?

2:11 And Boaz answered and said unto her, It hath fully been showed me, all that thou hast done unto thy mother in law since the death of thine husband: and how thou hast left thy father and thy mother, and the land of thy nativity, and art come unto a people which thou knewest not heretofore." (Ruth 2:1-11 KJV)

Fact Finder: Will there be an earlier and a later harvest of human salvation?
See Seasons Of The Harvest


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