As I read the passage regarding the harvest, I was reminded of the seasons of harvest.
There is the front end of harvest. On the Jewish calendar this is in the springtime, designated as a holiday starting 3 days after passover, the day of first fruits, the day Jesus arose from the grave, and continuing for 49 days hence to Pentecost, comprising the time known as the Festival of Weeks. Deuteronomy discussed it as, “Count off seven weeks from the time you begin to put the sickle to the standing grain. Then celebrate the Festival of Weeks to the Lord your God by giving a freewill offering in proportion to the blessings the Lord your God has given you.” This also is the day the Holy Spirit came to Jesus’ disciples and Peter preached in the streets.
But there is also the back end of the harvest, the time to bring in the final elements of the crops in the fall. Deuteronomy 16:13 tells of it this way, “Celebrate the Festival of Tabernacles for seven days after you have gathered the produce of your threshing floor and your winepress. Be joyful at your festival—you, your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, and the Levites, the foreigners, the fatherless and the widows who live in your towns. For seven days celebrate the festival to the Lord your God at the place the Lord will choose. For the Lord your God will bless you in all your harvest and in all the work of your hands, and your joy will be complete.
Three times a year all your men must appear before the Lord your God at the place he will choose: at the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the Festival of Weeks and the Festival of Tabernacles. No one should appear before the Lord empty-handed: Each of you must bring a gift in proportion to the way the Lord your God has blessed you.”
This was the time the people of God would move out of their homes and live in tents for a period of time. It was a time of remembering the season in the wilderness before God brought them into the promised land. It was a time closing out the season of harvest and moving into winter.
To those of us in the north, we think of winter as dark and cold and dreary. But, as noted by Hebrew4Christians.com, the winter holidays on the Jewish calendar “remember special times when God acted on behalf of His people so that they would triumph over their enemies and therefore they prophetically picture the final victory in the world to come.”
So, as you read the passages of the harvest and the “trampling of the vintage”, have joy. This is a final gathering of the threshing floor and the winepress, this is a clear sign that victory is right around the corner. It is a time to look forward to, moving out of bondage but not yet reaching the promised land. It is a time when we prepare to stand before our God, just as we connected to Christ in the Festival of unleavened bread and the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, so too, will we meet the Father Creator God.
One like a son of man – harvest the earth and trample the winepress – take sickle and reap because the time to reap has come and the harvest of the earth is ripe – blood flowed as high as the horses’ bridles for 1600 stadia
Weeds – those who have falsely penetrated the ranks of the true believers
to harvest the weeds and wheat – separate the two
To thresh the harvest. To remove the wine from the fruit
Confidence that evil ends – there is a time of final harvest not continued frustration. Concern because there is a point in time after which no one further is saved. Question how God would choose the end for the harvest – no further planning.