And shalom in Yahshua’s name.
Rosh Chodesh, today is the first day of the new month and according to the Biblical Calendar we need to add a 13th month this year since the day of the New Moon has fallen before the vernal equinox, still in winter of the old year. And although we do believe barley is also needed for the wave sheave ceremony during Passover week, it is not the parameter for the start of the year. If you just think logically for a moment it is plain to see that barley grown in Israel could never be the parameter for the timing of the universal worldwide clock of Yahweh, as it is simply too arbitrary.
We see in Exodus 9 the following:
Exo 9:31And the flax and the barley were stricken. For the barley was in head, and the flax in bud.
Exo 9:32And the wheat and the spelt were not stricken, for they were late.
Some will try to use this scripture to support the erroneous barley theory, but it actually proves the opposite, as the barley crop in Egypt is planted late August and is ripe in January/February. Also, even in Israel, the ripeness of the barley in the south is different than the barley in Jerusalem and the barley in the north. The Israel climate differs quite dramatically from the Negev desert to Mount Hermon in the northern border.
And this year, right now on Rosh Chodesh there is not enough Aviv Barley throughout Israel to call this day, today, Aviv, and the start of the year. What most of the Barley hunters look for is if they can estimate if they think the unripe barley today will be ripe enough in 2 to 3 weeks for the wavesheaf ceremony. I don't believe Yahweh would leave something as important as the start of the year up to such guesswork, as rain or a late cold spell could affect even the late stage of the barley, and Aviv starts on day one of the month not 15 to 21 days later when the Feast of Firstfruits is and the wavesheaf ceremony.
There is some Aviv barley in the Negev which got almost equal rain to the north this year, but not enough barley if the wavesheaf ceremony was today. There may be Aviv barley in 2 to 3 weeks from now, but also remember that in Bible times with no power tractors the people would need enoiugh time to both harvest and to also come up to Jerusalem for the feast. Harvest could take easily several weeks and then it could take an additional week to make it to Jerusalem. So with the harvest being ready within the next few weeks it will be exactly enough time in Biblical times to both harvest the crop and bring the Aviv firstfruit offering to Yahweh at His sanctuary in Jerusalem.
Did you also know that even to the barley hunters themselves there is no clear concise method for calculating what Aviv Barley is to them? Some use cultivated barley as where some will only count wild barley, and some even determine Aviv to mean green ears and will use green unripe barley as Aviv.
Do you realize what a difference this makes and how it would manipulate the true biblical calendar? The command to bring the firstfruit offering to Jerusalem for the waving of the Omer by the priest was to come from each Israelite’s firstfruit grain of their own field. If someone was not calculating cultivated barley, then it would negate the whole command of bringing their firstfruit, as wild barley growing somewhere would not be your firstfruit offering.
Now on the other hand if barley is being taken from the most southern region that has grown in asphalt, (as asphalt will prematurely ripen barley) then Aviv may be called prematurely too early as this year as we had equal winter rain in the south Negev desert as we did in the north where rain lacked.
Also, it is not fully agreed upon as to what percentage of barley needs to be ripe to call the new month Aviv. I once asked one of the top barley hunters in Israel how much barley he needed to calculate for it to be called Aviv, and his answer was‘whatever I can hold in my hand.’
Then, if some barley hunters are calculating on green barley, then it would not even be kernel stage yet and would not be a proper firstfuit omer offering. This is why a child could see that barley could never be the parameter for setting the universal clock of Yahweh for His worldwide congregation to be able to perform the biblically mandated and so important Passover all over the globe.
First of all, before the Internet how could Yahweh’s people in Diaspora over the last 2,000 years ever know when barley was sighted in Israel? This is not to discredit the motive of the men who come here to check for barley, but simply to disagree with their outcome on the start of the Biblical year.
Also, how did the Israelites in Egypt calculate the first Passover they kept in Exodus, as that harvest is almost 2 months different than the Israel barley harvest? The truth of the matter is that in Israel in first temple times they calculated the biblical calendar and the start of the year by the equinox according to scripture and NOT by barley. Look at the following quote from the Elephantine letters of the Israelites in Diaspora in Egypt from 471-402 BC, the very time of Ezra and Nehemiah who were second generation children of those who lived and saw Solomon’s temple, and when they started the biblical year.
“Many of these legal documents include the required Egyptian civil year date. Double-dated documents including the Hebrew dates of the Elephantine Jews cover the period 471 to 402 BCE. This included evening to evening days and a New Year beginning in Nisan (Aviv) only after the Vernal Equinox. Almost all of the datable documents can be referred back to a Nisan (Aviv) beginning only after the Vernal Equinox each year.” Excerpt from: Kenneth F. Doig, New Testament Chronology, (Lewiston, NY: Edwin Mellen Press, 1990).
So these people who were the very children of those who actually saw Solomon’s Temple and were contemporaries with Ezra and Nehemiah clearly NEVER started the year BEFORE the vernal equinox. Nothing about barley is ever mentioned. Solomon even built the temple so that the sun would shine in the eastern gate only on the day of the equinox.
If you honestly look at this subject by the biblical scriptures and the facts of history, you will see that the dividing of time was set at creation by Yahweh to determine days, months, and years by the luminaries He put in the sky, the sun, moon, and stars.
Gen 1:14 And Elohim said, Let light sources be in the expanse of the heavens, to divide between the day and the night. And let them be for signs and for (Holy day) seasons, and for days and years.
Yahweh also clearly states in His word that the Holy days happen after the equinoxes.
Exo 34:22 And you shall observe a Feast of Weeks for yourself, the first-fruits of the harvest of wheat; also the Feast of Ingathering after the turn of the year. (The Hebrew word for turning of year is Tekufah, which in English is equinox)
Exo 23:16 Also the Feast of Harvest, the first fruits of your labor, of what you sow in the field. Also the Feast of Ingathering, after the going out of the year, at your gathering your work from the field.
If you start your year in winter of the old year before the vernal equinox, then many years you will not have your Sukkot festival after the autumn equinox and the turning of the agricultural year in the fall.
Lev 23:10 Speak to the sons of Israel, and you shall say to them, When you come in to the land which I am giving to you, and have reaped its harvest, and have brought in the Omer, of the beginning of your harvest, to the priest,
Lev 23:11 then he shall wave the Omer before YAHWEH for your acceptance; on the morrow of the Sabbath the priest shall wave it.
When we look at the above scripture we see that the omer that is collected for the feast of fristfruits on the day after the Sabbath during the days of unleavened is after the harvest is reaped, and clearly shows a LATER time than an earlier one as you would not only have to have Aviv barley, but you would need up to several weeks to harvest it and also up to a week to travel to Jerusalem with the offering. This year there would not be sufficient time after the barley was fully Aviv to both harvest the grain and travel up to Jerusalem to call this month Aviv.
Also, remember that the offering on the day of firstfruits was an omer not a sheaf, which is a measurement of about two quarts. It would have been virtually impossible for Israelites to travel by foot or by donkey on rocky roads all the way to Jerusalem without the grain falling off their sheaf. They would have put the offering in an omer vessel which is about two quarts.
Clearly, the scriptures states that the grain was already harvested, which would have included taking it from the sheaf and calculating the amount for the omer firstfruit offering. And if you wait to start the biblical year correctly AFTER the vernal equinox, you will always have ripe barley for the firstruit Omer offering.
Also, scripture never states that the grain cannot be harvested before the wave sheaf, but simply that the new grain could not be eaten before the wave sheaf ceremony on the day of firstfruits.
Lev 23:14 And you shall not eat bread, nor roasted grain, nor fresh ears, until this same day, until you have brought the offering of your Elohim; it is a never ending statute throughout your generations in all your dwellings.
The biblical calendar NEVER states that barley is the parameter for the first day of the New Year, as the equinox divides the year from winter to summer and the next New Moon divides the last month of the old year to the first month in the New Year after the equinox occurs. Noah calculated months and the New Year on the ark without barley, and believers in Diaspora worldwide have been keeping the Passover around the world without having any way of knowing if barley was ripe in Israel.
And if you wait until after the equinox according to scripture you will always have ripe barley for the omer ceremony anyway. And the fact that even the barley hunters themselves have no unified way of calculating what ripe barley would be, should be a direct sign that it could never be the parameter for such an important event as keeping the Passover, the very renewing of our covenant through the blood of Yahshua each year. For how would new brethren who do not even know about the barley hunters know when the New Year would begin and if barley was found in Israel?
Yahweh is not the author of confusion and He set at creation a simple way by the luminaries in the sky that anyone anywhere in the world would be able to calculate His Holy Days without man’s manipulation.
Anybody (by the shadow of the sun) can know the day of the equinox anywhere in the world and the starting of the New Year by the celestial bodies as outlined in Gen 1:14. Don’t be deceived, prove all things, hold on to that which is good and true.