Jews and Joes

What is Tribulation? And Who is Tribulation for?

By understanding what a "Tribulum" (threshing-board) is and what it is used for, we'll better comprehend what "Tribulation" is and what Yah's purpose of it is for His people and the world.

Dr. Reynolds holding up a Tribulum  

VIDEO: Dr Peter Reynolds discussing the possible use of a Tribulum
Dr. Reynolds discusses how a Tribulum was created, used, and where it was likely implemented in antiquity.

A tribulum is a farm instrument primarily used and made popular during the Roman period (but predates the Roman Empire significantly). It was used to pull over, press, 'distress', and separate grain ears from the straw and the seed from the chaff. Most of the tares or weeds would also be separated out during and/or before this process. Depending on the crop, certain weeds are very easy to distinguish at harvest time, and thus would never make it to the threshing-floor. 

Threshing Cart Heliopolis 1884

Question for the Pre-Trib Rapture advocates

If the wheat (or the good seed) has been "raptured" out of the world before the Great "Tribulum" is used, what purpose is there for it? A farmer does not run his tribulum over straw, chaff, and weeds just for amusement. That would be a waste of his time and energy. 

In Luke 21, Yeshua is speaking to His followers (living in the 1st century) and to His followers in the Last Days. And in the passage, He says "tribulation will come upon all those upon the earth". Of course, the pre-trib rapturists believe only the weeds are still on the earth and thus in their minds, only the weeds experience the tribulation. But again, is destruction of the weeds truly the purpose of tribulation?

In many cases, the weeds, straw, and chaff are eventually burned in the fire (and ashes poored over the ground for next years crop), but the good grain is moved into safe storage (again, after the tribulum, but before the fire).

Deuteronomy 4:30-31
(30)  When you are in tribulation, and all these things are come upon you, even in the latter days, if you turn to יהוה your Elohim, and shalt be obedient unto his voice;
(31)  For יהוה your Elohim is a merciful Elohim; he will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee, nor forget the covenant of your fathers which he swore to them.

TribulumAs the tribulum is pulled over the wheat by oxen (or some other animal), the driver would stand or sit on the tribulum (adding weight), while wind and/or some other manufactured wind helped remove the lighter chaff from behind the tribulum sled. This is why many threshing floors were strategically placed in more exposed windy locations.

After the weeds and straw are separated thoroughly from the grain, farmers would toss the grain in various manners to give the chaff another opportunity to be blown off (winnowing), before drying the grain and taking it away for safe storage.

So logically, the grain is not nor cannot be separated and stored in a Safe Place until AFTER the 'pressing' and 'tossing' has begun. Granted, anything is possible for יהוה... and indeed, He desires to protect His seed from the fire of His Wrath, but that expectation does not mean we will escape all the heat (actually, heat was often used on the threshing-floors to help dry the seed so it wouldn't rot in storage).

Indeed, we should all prepare ourselves (through obedience and prayer) to be pressed and distressed, just as Deuteronomy 4 and Luke 21 beckon us.