What are “sheaves?”


by Shawn Brasseaux

The singular form is “sheaf” whereas the plural is “sheaves.” If we look at the verses below, we will observe one noteworthy clue: these nouns are situated in the context of reaping harvests from crop fields. Interestingly, “sheaf” comes to us from Old English and is related to “shove.” Think of cereal grain stalks arranged lengthwise and tied together to form a “bundle,” “cluster,” or “heap.”

  • Genesis 37:7: “For, behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and, lo, my sheaf arose, and also stood upright; and, behold, your sheaves stood round about, and made obeisance to my sheaf.”
  • Leviticus 23:10-12,15: “[10] Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye be come into the land which I give unto you, and shall reap the harvest thereof, then ye shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest unto the priest: [11] And he shall wave the sheaf before the LORD, to be accepted for you: on the morrow after the sabbath the priest shall wave it. [12] And ye shall offer that day when ye wave the sheaf an he lamb without blemish of the first year for a burnt offering unto the LORD…. [15] And ye shall count unto you from the morrow after the sabbath, from the day that ye brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven sabbaths shall be complete:….”
  • Deuteronomy 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.”
  • Ruth 2:7,15: “[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…. [15] And when she was risen up to glean, Boaz commanded his young men, saying, Let her glean even among the sheaves, and reproach her not:….”
  • Nehemiah 13:15: “In those days saw I in Judah some treading wine presses on the sabbath, and bringing in sheaves, and lading asses; as also wine, grapes, and figs, and all manner of burdens, which they brought into Jerusalem on the sabbath day: and I testified against them in the day wherein they sold victuals.”
  • Job 24:10: “They cause him to go naked without clothing, and they take away the sheaf from the hungry;….”
  • Psalm 126:6: “He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.”
  • Psalm 129:7: “Wherewith the mower filleth not his hand; nor he that bindeth sheaves his bosom.”
  • Amos 2:13: “Behold, I am pressed under you, as a cart is pressed that is full of sheaves.”
  • Micah 4:12: “But they know not the thoughts of the LORD, neither understand they his counsel: for he shall gather them as the sheaves into the floor.”
  • Zechariah 12:6: “In that day will I make the governors of Judah like an hearth of fire among the wood, and like a torch of fire in a sheaf; and they shall devour all the people round about, on the right hand and on the left: and Jerusalem shall be inhabited again in her own place, even in Jerusalem.”

Also see:
» What are “swaddling” clothes?
» What is a “sop?”
» What are “dregs?”
» What are “cracknels?”
» What are “fitches?”