From BiblePortal Wikipedia

Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary [1]

Three months intervened between the seed time and the first reaping, and a month between this and the full harvest. Barley is in full ear all over the Holy Land, in the beginning of April; and about the middle of the same month, it begins to turn yellow, particularly in the southern districts; being as forward near Jericho in the latter end of March, as it is in the plains of Acre a fortnight afterward. The reaping continues till the middle of Sivan, or till about the end of May or beginning of June, which, as the time of wheat harvest, finishes this part of the husbandman's labours.

2. The reapers in Palestine and Syria make use of the sickle in cutting down their crops, and, according to the present custom in this country, "fill their hand" with the corn, and those who bind up the sheaves, their "bosom,"

 Psalms 129:7;  Ruth 2:5 . When the crop is thin and short, which is generally the case in light soils, and with their imperfect cultivation, it is not reaped with the sickle, but plucked up by the root with the hand. By this mode of reaping, they leave the most fruitful fields as naked as if nothing had ever grown on them; and as no hay is made in the east, this is done, that they may not lose any of the straw, which is necessary for the sustenance of their cattle. The practice of plucking up with the hand is perhaps referred to in these words of the Psalmist, to which reference has already been made: "Let them be as the grass upon the house tops, which withereth afore it groweth up; wherewith the mower filleth not his hand, nor he that bindeth sheaves his bosom." The tops of the houses in Judea are flat, and, being covered with plaster of terrace, are frequently grown over with grass. As it is but small and weak, and from its elevation exposed to the scorching sun, it is soon withered. A more beautiful and striking figure, to display the weak and evanescent condition of wicked men, cannot easily be conceived.

3. The reapers go to the field very early in the morning, and return home betimes in the afternoon. They carry provisions along with them, and leathern bottles, or dried bottle gourds, filled with water. They are followed by their own children, or by others, who glean with much success, for a great quantity of corn is scattered in the reaping, and in their manner of carrying it. The greater part of these circumstances are discernible in the manners of the ancient Israelites. Ruth had not proposed to Naomi, her mother-in-law, to go to the field, and glean after the reapers; nor had the servant of Boaz, to whom she applied for leave, so readily granted her request, if gleaning had not been a common practice in that country. When Boaz inquired who she was, his overseer, after informing him, observes, that she came out to the field in the morning; and that the reapers left the field early in the afternoon, as Dr. Russel states, is evident from this circumstance, that Ruth had time to beat out her gleanings before evening. They carried water and provisions with them; for Boaz invited her to come and drink of the water which the young men had drawn; and at meal-time, to eat of the bread, and dip her morsel in the vinegar. And so great was the simplicity of manners in that part of the world, and in those times, that Boaz himself, although a prince of high rank in Judah, sat down to dinner in the field with his reapers, and helped Ruth with his own hand. Nor ought we to pass over in silence the mutual salutation of Boaz and his reapers, when he came to the field, as it strongly marks the state of religious feeling in Israel at the time, and furnishes another proof of the artless, the happy, and unsuspecting simplicity, which characterized the manners of that highly favoured people. "And, behold, Boaz came from Bethlehem, and said unto the reapers, The Lord be with you. And they answered him, The Lord bless thee,"   Ruth 2:4 .

4. It appears from the beautiful history of Ruth, that, in Palestine, the women lent their assistance in cutting down and gathering in the harvest; for Boaz commands her to keep fast by his maidens. The women in Syria shared also in the labours of the harvest; for Dr. Russel informs us, they sang the ziraleet, or song of thanks, when the passing stranger accepted their present of a handful of corn, and made a suitable return. It was another custom among the Jews to set a confidential servant over the reapers, to see that they executed their work properly, that they had suitable provisions, and to pay them their wages: the Chaldees call him rab, the master, ruler, or governor of the reapers. Such was the person who directed the labours of the reapers in the field of Boaz. The right of the poor in Israel to glean after the reapers was secured by a positive law, couched in these words: "And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not wholly reap the corners of thy land; neither shalt thou gather the gleanings of thy harvest. And thou shalt not glean thy vineyard, neither shalt thou gather every grape of thy vineyard: thou shalt leave them to the poor and the stranger: I am the Lord your God,"   Leviticus 19:9 . It is the opinion of some writers, that, although the poor were allowed the liberty of gleaning, the Israelitish proprietors were not obliged to admit them immediately into the field, as soon as the reapers had cut down the corn, and bound it up in sheaves, but when it was carried off: they might choose, also, among the poor, whom they thought most deserving, or most necessitous. These opinions receive some countenance from the request which Ruth presented to the servant of Boaz, to permit her to glean "among the sheaves;" and from the charge of Boaz to his young men, "Let her glean even among the sheaves;" a mode of speaking which seems to insinuate that though they could not legally hinder Ruth from gleaning in the field, they had a right, if they chose to exercise it, to prohibit her from gleaning among the sheaves, or immediately after the reapers.

Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology [2]

The gathering of things planted, a natural time of reaping in joy what has been produced during the year in an agricultral community. Jesus reflects the Bible's theological viewpoint on harvest when he enjoins believers to ask the "Lord of the harvest" for laborers ( Matthew 9:38 ). God stands in control of the harvest time; it is part of his work ( Jeremiah 5:24;  Amos 4:7 ).

Human Response . In an agrarian society such as that reflected in the Bible, a human response to God came with planting and reaping. Offerings came from the fullness of one's harvest ( Exodus 22:29 ). At least two festivals focused on harvest. The Festival of Harvest or firstfruits came in the spring, fifty days after Passover ( Exodus 23:16 ). The Festival of Booths fell at the end of harvest in the fall.

Farmers needed to do their part in planting to be able to reap ( Proverbs 6:8 ). But the focus in harvest revolved around the product and the work of the Lord in bringing it to completion. Even during harvest, the Sabbath rest was to be kept so that the focus would remain on the Lord ( Exodus 34:21-22 ). Of course, great joy accompanied the harvest ( Isaiah 9:3 ).

The firstfruits came to the priest, who would offer them to the Lord. If a person brought them, then the Lord might accept them ( Leviticus 23:10-11 ), an acceptance perhaps reflected in the successful completion of the harvest in the fall, a "blessing" ( Deuteronomy 24:19;  Psalm 107:37-38 ). Some of the harvest remained in the fields for the poor ( Leviticus 19:9;  23:22 ).

Acknowedgment of the Lord's part in the harvest was important, perhaps best seen when crops failed, usually attributed to the Lord for the failure of Israel to recognize God's part ( Isaiah 17:11;  Amos 4:7;  Haggai 1:6 ). Metaphorical uses of the word stem from this viewpoint.

Metaphorical Usage . Metaphorical usage of harvest takes on a positive sense when Jeremiah refers to Israel as God's fruitfruits of harvest (2:3). In the New Testament, believers may sow and reap a spiritual harvest of righteousness ( 2 Corinthians 9:10 ).

However, most usages allude to judgment. The prophets indicate that the Lord destroyed the harvest in judgment ( Isaiah 18:4-6;  Jeremiah 12:13 ). As God of the harvest, the Lord speaks and takes it away ( Hosea 2:9 ). In fact, Israel herself becomes a harvest ( Hosea 6:11 ). The nation of Babylon comes to "harvest" her ( Jeremiah 51:33 ). The judgment of God uses a familiar image in the life of Israel, but it does not carry the joy experienced at the seasonal gathering. Israel turned away from the Lord and suffered a punishment like a harvest.

Jesus described the last judgment in a parable about harvest ( Matthew 13:30,39 ). The Jews of his day understood the connection of harvest and judgment. Judgment is the focus again in the words of the angel in  Revelation 14:15 .

G. Michael Hagan

Holman Bible Dictionary [3]

Among the more important crops grown were wheat, grapes, and olives. Other crops included barley, flax, and various vegetables and fruits. Crops that had been planted were harvested at various times. Olives were harvested between mid-September to mid-November by beating the trees with long sticks ( Deuteronomy 24:20;  Isaiah 17:6 ). Flax was gathered in the spring by cutting it off near the ground and then laying the stalks out to dry ( Joshua 2:6 ). Barley was harvested from April to May; wheat from May to June; and summer fruits from August to September. The average harvesting period was set at a period of seven weeks ( Leviticus 23:15;  Deuteronomy 16:9 ).

All members of the family were expected to work during harvest ( Proverbs 10:5;  Proverbs 20:4 ). Significant events were connected with harvest times ( Exodus 34:18-20;  Deuteronomy 16:13-16;  Joshua 3:15;  1 Samuel 16:13 ). Harvest time became the occasion for joyful festivals ( Exodus 34:22;  Isaiah 9:3 ). See Festivals .

Several laws governed the harvest. Part of the crop was not harvested ( Leviticus 19:9 ) out of concern for the poor. The firstfruits of the harvest were presented as an offering to God ( Leviticus 23:10 ).

The Old Testament provides several figurative uses of harvest. A destroyed harvest represented affliction ( Job 5:5;  Isaiah 16:9 ). The “time of harvest” sometimes represented the day of destruction ( Jeremiah 51:33;  Joel 3:13 ). “The harvest is past” meant the appointed time was gone ( Jeremiah 8:20 ).

Jesus spoke often of the harvest in connection with the harvesting of souls ( Matthew 9:37;  Mark 4:29;  John 4:35 ). In the parable of the tares, Jesus related harvest to the end of the world ( Matthew 13:30-39 ). The rhythm of harvest time (sowing and reaping) provided an illustration of a spiritual truth ( Galatians 6:7-8 ).

Gary Hardin

People's Dictionary of the Bible [4]

Harvest in Palestine was in March and April, and the term is frequently employed to designate this season of the year.  Joshua 3:16;  Proverbs 6:8. The harvests of the different grains happened in regular succession, and are known as the "wheat-harvest,"  1 Samuel 12:17, and the "barley-harvest,"  Ruth 1:22. The grain was reaped with sickles,  Jeremiah 50:16, gathered in handfuls,  Ruth 2:16, and done up Into sheaves,  Psalms 129:7. It was then conveyed to the barns or threshing-floors, sometimes in carts,  Amos 2:13, where it was threshed or winnowed. One mode of threshing was by the treading of oxen, which it was forbidden to muzzle.  Deuteronomy 25:4. Harvest was a season of great joy and merriment.  Isaiah 9:3. Our Lord refers to the end of the world under the term of harvest,  Matthew 13:39, whose reapers will be the angels. The angel is represented figuratively as at that time thrusting in his sickle, "for the harvest of the earth is ripe."  Revelation 14:16.

Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words [5]

1: Θερισμός (Strong'S #2326 — Noun Masculine — therismos — ther-is-mos' )

akin to therizo, "to reap," is used (a) of "the act of harvesting,"  John 4:35; (b) "the time of harvest," figuratively,  Matthew 13:30,39;  Mark 4:29; (c) "the crop," figuratively,  Matthew 9:37,38;  Luke 10:2;  Revelation 14:15 . The beginning of "harvest" varied according to natural conditions, but took place on the average about the middle of April in the eastern lowlands of Palestine, in the latter part of the month in the coast plains and a little later in high districts. Barley "harvest" usually came first and then wheat. "Harvesting" lasted about seven weeks, and was the occasion of festivities.

King James Dictionary [6]

H`ARVEST, n. L. acerbus.

1. The season of reaping and gathering in corn or other crops. It especially refers to the time of collecting corn or grain, which is the chief food of men, as wheat and rye. In Egypt and Syria, the wheat harvest is in April and May in the south of Europe and of the United States, in June in the Northern states of America, in July and in the north of Europe,in August and September. In the United States,the harvest of maiz is mostly in October. 2. The ripe corn or grain collected and secured in barns or stacks. The harvest this year is abundant. 3. The product of labor fruit or fruits.

Let us the harvest of our labor eat.

4. Fruit or fruits effects consequences.

He that sows iniquity will reap a harvest of woe.

5. In Scripture, harvest signifies figuratively the proper season for business.

He that sleepeth in harvest, is a son that causeth shame.  Proverbs 10

Also, a people whose sins have ripened them for judgment.  Joel 3 .

Also, the end of the world.  Matthew 13

Also, a seasonable time for instructing men in the gospel.  Matthew 9

H`ARVEST, To reap or gather ripe corn and other fruits for the use of man and beast.

Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types [7]

 Jeremiah 8:20 (b) This is a description of the end time when the Lord will judge the earth and gather into Heaven believers who are profitable to Him (the grain), but will shut out of Heaven the weeds and the tares which have no value to Him. We see this on the farm constantly. That which is useful to the farmer he gathers into his barns. The vines and the stubble remain in the field to rot.

 Jeremiah 51:33 (a) This is a picture of the judgment of this great city when GOD would cut her down and destroy her because of her iniquity.

 Matthew 9:37 (a) This is a type of the great number of people who are interested in their souls' welfare, are hungry for deliverance, and are waiting for someone to lead them to Christ Jesus the Saviour.

 Matthew 13:39 (a) By this figure the Lord is telling us of the judgment at the end of this age when the Lord will separate His people from the ungodly, will reward the Christian, but will punish the sinner.

 Revelation 14:15 (a) This is a picture of the Great Tribulation when the end comes and GOD comes forth in mighty judgment and terrible wrath to punish the wicked and the rebellious people of earth.

Morrish Bible Dictionary [8]

With Israel the harvest was associated with the Feasts, which should have kept ever before them the goodness of God. Barley harvest was at the feast of first fruits; the wheat harvest at the feast of weeks; and the vintage at the feast of tabernacles.  Leviticus 23:10,16 .  34 . Harvest was a joyful time,  Isaiah 9:3 , and the poor were not to be forgotten.  Deuteronomy 24:19-22 .

The harvest is used symbolically in the N.T. for the gathering of souls to God.  Matthew 9:37,38;  John 4:35 . Also of the judgement of the kingdom at the end of the age, when the angels as reapers will first gather the tares and bind them in bundles for burning, and then the wheat will be gathered into God's barn.  Matthew 13:39-41 . There will also be a harvest of judgement for the earth: the earth will be reaped; and the vine of the earth, that should have produced fruit to God, will be cast into the winepress of the wrath of God.  Revelation 14:15-20 . In the harvest there is discrimination in judgement.

Webster's Dictionary [9]

(1): ( n.) The gathering of a crop of any kind; the ingathering of the crops; also, the season of gathering grain and fruits, late summer or early autumn.

(2): ( n.) That which is reaped or ready to be reaped or gath//ed; a crop, as of grain (wheat, maize, etc.), or fruit.

(3): ( n.) The product or result of any exertion or labor; gain; reward.

(4): ( v. t.) To reap or gather, as any crop.

Easton's Bible Dictionary [10]

 Leviticus 23:9-14 2 Samuel 21:9,10 Ruth 2:23 Exodus 23:16 Psalm 126:1-6 Isaiah 9:3 Matthew 9:37 13:30 Luke 10:2 John 4:35Agriculture

Smith's Bible Dictionary [11]

Harvest. See Agriculture .

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible [12]

HARVEST . See Agriculture.

Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament [13]

HARVEST. —See Agriculture.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [14]

har´vest ( קציר , ḳācı̄r  ; θερισμός , therismós ): To many of us, harvest time is of little concern, because in our complex life we are far removed from the actual production of our food supplies, but for the Hebrew people, as for those in any agricultural district today, the harvest was a most important season (  Genesis 8:22;  Genesis 45:6 ). Events were reckoned from harvests ( Genesis 30:14;  Joshua 3:15;  Judges 15:1; Rth 1:22; Rth 2:23;  1 Samuel 6:13;  2 Samuel 21:9;  2 Samuel 23:13 ). The three principal feasts of the Jews corresponded to the three harvest seasons ( Exodus 23:16;  Exodus 34:21 ,  Exodus 34:22 ); (1) The feast of the Passover in April at the time of the barley harvest (compare Rth 1:22); (2) The feast of Pentecost (7 weeks later) at the wheat harvest ( Exodus 34:22 ), and (3) The feast of Tabernacles at the end of the year (October) during the fruit harvest. The seasons have not changed since that time. Between the reaping of the barley in April and the wheat in June, most of the other cereals are reaped. The grapes begin to ripen in August, but the gathering in for making wine and molasses ( dibs ), and the storing of the dried figs and raisins, is at the end of September. Between the barley harvest in April and the wheat harvest, only a few showers fall, which are welcomed because they increase the yield of wheat (compare  Amos 4:7 ). Samuel made use of the unusual occurrence of rain during the wheat harvest to strike fear into the hearts of the people ( 1 Samuel 12:17 ). Such an unusual storm of excessive violence visited Syria in 1912, and did much damage to the harvests, bringing fear to the superstitious farmers, who thought some greater disaster awaited them. From the wheat harvest until the fruit harvest no rain falls ( 2 Samuel 21:10;  Jeremiah 5:24; compare  Proverbs 26:1 ). The harvesters long for cool weather during the reaping season (compare  Proverbs 25:13 ).

Many definite laws were instituted regarding the harvest. Gleaning was forbidden ( Leviticus 19:9;  Leviticus 23:22;  Deuteronomy 24:19 ) (see Gleaning ). The first-fruits were required to be presented to Yahweh ( Leviticus 23:10 ). In Syria the Christians still celebrate 'id er - rubb ("feast of the Lord"), at which time the owners of the vineyards bring their first bunches of grapes to the church. The children of Israel were enjoined to reap no harvest for which they had not labored ( Leviticus 25:5 ). In Proverbs the harvesting of ants is mentioned as a lesson for the sluggard ( Proverbs 6:8;  Proverbs 10:5;  Proverbs 20:4 ).

Figurative: A destroyed harvest typified devastation or affliction (  Job 5:5;  Isaiah 16:9;  Isaiah 17:11;  Jeremiah 5:17;  Jeremiah 50:16 ). The "time of harvest," in the Old Testament frequently meant the day of destruction ( Jeremiah 51:33;  Hosea 6:11;  Joel 3:13 ). "Joy in harvest" typified great joy ( Isaiah 9:3 ); "harvest of the Nile," an abundant harvest ( Isaiah 23:3 ). "The harvest is past" meant that the appointed time was gone ( Jeremiah 8:20 ). Yahweh chose the most promising time to cut off the wicked, namely, "when there is a cloud of dew in the heat of harvest" ( Isaiah 18:4 ,  Isaiah 18:5 ). This occurrence of hot misty days just before the ripening of the grapes is still common. They are welcome because they are supposed to hasten the harvest. The Syrian farmers in some districts call it et - tabbakh el'ainib wa tı̂n ("the fireplace of the grapes and figs").

In the Gospels, Jesus frequently refers to the harvest of souls ( Matthew 9:37 ,  Matthew 9:38 bis  ;  Matthew 13:30 bis ,39;  Mark 4:29;  John 4:35 bis ). In explaining the parable of the Tares he said, "The harvest is the end of the world" ( Matthew 13:39; compare  Revelation 14:15 ). See also Agriculture .

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [15]

Bibliography Information McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Harvest'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/tce/h/harvest.html. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.