Why Nehemia Gordon is Wrong
Why the Barley is not fully Aviv
Why the New Year will not start until mid April 2010 . . .
Greetings all in the Matchless Love of YahShua!
I could not figure out the best title for this article, so I decided on all 3.
First, I want to begin with this basic email I had written to a brother in 2002, an article I had completely forgotten about:
After prayer, a wonderfully edifying talk with servant of YHVH and an intense study of the Word, I have come to the conclusion that I was wrong in dating the New Year and the subsequent dates of Pesach, First Fruits and the Feast of Unleavened Bread.
I, like Michael Rood, the Kararites and almost every other Messianic Israelite, believed that the ONLY TWO indicators to determine the New Year was the barley in Israel being ripe and the next New Moon (first crescent) after the barley is ripe. I believed this because the Feast of Firstfruits, which happens just after Pesach, involves gathering ripened shocks of barley and so the New Year cannot begin until the barley has ripened.
However . . . there is, in fact, a THIRD indicator that I did not quite understand until this evening.
In Exodus 12:2 we learn that YHVH tells Moshe that "this will be the beginning of your months". However, is Moshe in Israel at the time when YHVH shows him how to determine the beginning of the year? No. In fact, Moshe NEVER even entered Israel during his lifetime. Moshe was in Egypt when YHVH taught him how to determine the beginning of the year.
Now, if the Kararites are right, and the only two factors in determining the New Year is the ripeness of the barley and the New Moon . . . we have a MAJOR problem!
The barley ripens on average SEVEN TO EIGHT WEEKS LATER IN ISRAEL THAN IN EGYPT! So, YHVH would have told Moshe to calculate a year that would have begun about two months earlier than it would have begun if they were in Israel! UH OH!!! How do we solve this discrpency????
We know Moshe was raised in Egypt and learned in all the Egyptian studies. We also know that the pyramids are situated so that on the day of the equinoxes, they cast a shadow in a perfect east west line all day. Thus, Moshe would have CERTAINLY been aware of equinoxes.
We also know from Genesis 1:14 that the sun, moon, and stars are given to us for signs and in determining feast days!
So, when YHVH told Moshe to determine the beginning of months in Ex 12:2, Moshe would have instantly thought of the Spring equinox based off his learning and understanding.
Now, if we wait until AFTER the Spring equinox (which typically occurs on March 20 or 21st), and determine the New Year on the next New Moon with the barley being ripe, then the New Year in Egypt and Israel WOULD BEGIN AT THE SAME TIME!
YHVH MUST have wanted Moshe to determine the New Year based off 1. On or after the Spring Equinox 2. The ripeness of the barley harvest 3. the next New Moon after these first two were fulfilled. This is the ONLY WAY the New Year can begin at the same time in both Egypt and Israel. Since YHVH gave this commandment to Moshe in Egypt, it must be compatible in BOTH nations.
Some critics say that you can only wave the barley if it is newly ripened and that if you wait until after the Spring Equinox and the next New Moon, the barley will be past its ripeness. This is not true. Scripture does not specify that the barley wave offering must be newly ripe . . . just that it needs to be ripe. Just as wheat can be stored for years without going bad, so barley can be harvested and then placed in a room for a month to await its wave offering after the New Moon.
I hope this makes sense!
Point 2: Barley CANNOT be the sole indicator along with the crescent moon . . .
A. ) During the forty years that the Israelites wandered in the wilderness (a desert), they kept a careful record of the months and years -- apparently without consulting the barley harvest in Canaan!
B. For two successive growing seasons (the Sabbath and Jubilee years), no grain was to be planted and, therefore, no maturing barley was available to consult for the beginning of the year -- see Leviticus 25:1-24. While it is true that barley sometimes sprouts and grows by itself with no cultivation, this was far less likely in the second year. It was illegal under YAH’s Torah to voluntarily reap grain in the 50th year, so Israel probably allowed their flocks to graze the fields. This was perfectly legal -- see Leviticus 25:7, 11.
Now, it is true, Yah will cause the fruit of the fields to grow from the 6th year all the way to the 9th year, to allow for this sabbath rest, but you could not REAP it (vs 11). Vs 5 specifically says -- thou shalt NOT reap. There would be such an abundance in the 6th year, it would last for the next 3 years, and Israel would not have to reap.
Point 3: What “aviv” barley means:
Gordon discovered “aviv” barley on 3/12/2010. But it is not FULLY “aviv”. Let me explain:
A. “Speak to the Sons of Israel and say to them, ‘When you enter the Land which I am going to give to you and REAP its harvest, then you shall bring in the sheaf of the first grain(sheaf)of your harvest to the (High) Priest’” (Lev. 23:10).
B. The word aviv (literally, ha’aviv or ‘the aviv’) is the Hebrew word used for the first month of the biblical new year in Ex. 23:15, etc., and speaks of a stage of development for barley. It’s not a stage for harvest, but precedes the ripening of the barley. Barley is the first grain to ripen and harvest in Israel in the spring. Yah spoke to Moses saying:
‘You must observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread. For seven days you are to eat unleavened bread as I commanded you at the appointed time in the month of Aviv for in it you came out of Egypt and none shall appear before Me empty-handed’ (Ex. 23:15; see also Ex. 34:18; Deut. 16:1).
To ‘not appear before’ YHVH ‘empty handed’ meant that the Israeli farmer was to bring to the Tabernacle or the Temple a portion of his barley harvest, his first fruits or first grain of barley. The problem with the Karaite method was not that the barley was in the aviv stage, it was, but that it would not be ready to harvest by the Karaite time for Passover. This is also part of the biblical requirement:
“Speak to the Sons of Israel and say to them, ‘When you enter the Land which I am going to give to you and harvest its harvest, then you shall bring in the sheaf of the first fruits of your harvest to the (High) Priest’” (Lev. 23:10).
C. 3/12/2010 doesn’t give much time for the barley to ripen and to be harvested for the First Sheaf offering. It takes two to three weeks for it to become harvestable. If the Temple were standing the High Priest wouldn’t have been able to offer the First Sheaf and the people wouldn’t have had enough to eat for Passover Week after he offered it up because they hadn’t harvested it. It states that the new barley grain cannot be eaten until after the first sheaf offering.
D. It takes 2-3 weeks for the aviv to reach harvest stage, once it has been declared “aviv”. Then, it must be harvested. Sooo . . . Gordon discoveres “aviv” barley on 3/12/2010, and Passover on or around the 29th or 30th of March, with First Fruits falling on April 4th (Easter this year, by the way). This means we need 14-21 days for the barley to FULLY mature, and THEN you need time for it to be harvested. You cannot just harvest the barley as it is right now. First of all, by Passover, it will just be barely over 2 weeks from today, and since all the farmers would have GONE up to Jerusalem, there is NO TIME for those farmers to now harvest their fields!
Point 4: Seasonal Problems
1. Gordon will be declaring the New Year in the “winter”. Take a look at what happens to the “fall” feasts. Yom Teruach will be on or around 9/9 -- IN THE SUMMER TIME. Yom Kippur will be on or around 9/18 or 9/19, still IN THE SUMMER TIME.
2. The month of Abib should always start in the spring -- NEVER in winter! When does spring begin? At the equinox, when the sun (apparently) crosses the equator, never earlier than 3/19 as reckoned by the Roman Gregorian calendar we use today. Is it reasonable to think the year sometimes begins in the spring -- but at other times in the winter? The Bible clearly indicates that the first month of YAH’s year should ALWAYS start in the same season of the year -- SPRING.
Compare the following passage as it appears in the King James Version of the Bible and the Revised Standard Version --
And it came to pass, after the year was expired, at the time when kings go forth to battle...(2 Samuel 11:1, KJV).
In the spring of the year, the time when kings go forth to battle...(ibid., RSV).
Since the old year expires in the spring, it is reasonable to assume that the New Year begins in the spring as well. Notice also the following scriptures:
And the prophet came to the king of Israel, and said unto him, Go, strengthen thyself, and mark, and see what thou doest: for at the return of the year the king of Syria will come up against thee (I Kings 20:22, KJV).
And the prophet came to the king of Israel and said to him, “Go, strengthen yourself; take note, and see what you should do, for in the spring of the year the king of Syria will come up against you” (1 Kings 20:22, NKJV).
And it came to pass at the return of the year, that Ben-ha-dad numbered the Syrians, and went up to A-phek, to fight against Israel (I Kings 20:26, KJV).
So it was, in the spring of the year, that Ben-Hadad mustered the Syrians and went up to Aphek to fight against Israel (1 Kings 20:26, NKJV).
And it came to pass, that after the year was expired, at the time that kings go out to battle, Joab led forth the power of the army, and wasted the country of the children of Ammon...(I Chronicles 20:1, KJV).
And it happened, in the spring of the year, at the time kings go out to battle, that Joab led out the armed forces and ravaged the country of the people of Ammon...(1 Chronicles 20:1, NKJV).
And when the year was expired, king Neb-u-chad-nez-zar sent, and brought him to Babylon, with the goodly vessels of the house of YHVH...(II Chronicles 36:10, KJV).
In the spring of the year King Nebuchadnez’zar sent and brought him to Babylon, with the precious vessels of the house of YHVH, and made his brother Zedeki’ah king over Judah and Jerusalem (2 Chronicles 36:10, RSV).
According to Henry Wylle in Does Close Count? --
It seems to have been understood all over the world, from ancient times until now, that the vernal equinox signals the arrival of spring and the autumnal equinox signals the arrival of fall....Wait until the sun signals the arrival of spring at the equinox, then select the first visible new crescent for the beginning of months:...the first month of the year to you.
In Horns of the Moon, by Terry McKee, we find the following:
The Scriptures state that the Passover occurs,‘...at the season’ [Heb. = Moed] (Deut. 16:6);‘...in his season [moed] from year to year’ (Ex. 13:10);‘...at his appointed season’ [moed] (Nu. 9:2)
[Since Passover is in the first month,] surely the new year begins in the same season [eth] each year, and not sometimes in the spring and sometimes in the winter. Many Scriptures seem to point to spring while none...indicate another season. A new moon nearest but before the equinox would start some years in a winter month, causing the [festivals] to occur out of their seasons.
...Look to the first new moon after the spring equinox and start the year. This will always keep Passover in spring and Tabernacles in fall. Since the festivals generally are harvest festivals how could it be any other way?
Point 5: Is the Equinox in scripture?
Many Messianics seem to instantly believe anything to do with the equinox is evil, wicked and has to do with Ishtar. Ironically, this year, those who follow Gordon will be celebrating First Fruits on Ishtar, rather than in April when it will coincide with how the Feasts fell in 28 CE when Messiah died and rose again (see Rood’s DVD #5 of Daniel’s 70 Weeks, Jonah Code). [Since this article was written, a man who goes by WildBarley67 on YouTube guided me to some historical facts which indicate Yahshua died and resurrected in 17 CE, not 28 CE. Amazingly, the Hebrew Feast days all occurred on the same days in 17 CE as they did in 28 CE.]
But the equinox is in the Tanakh:
The sun and moon determine days, months, years and seasons [festivals -- including the weekly Sabbath] (Genesis 1:14-16).
Therefore, it is not the green ears of barley, but the sun and moon which determine the calendar and, as a result, the year. So what signals the end of one year and the beginning of another, if not the barley harvest? The equinox and the New Moon do!
Equinox = Tekufah
The equinox occurs because of the (apparent) action of the sun. The earth -- which is tilted 23.5 degrees -- circles the sun, thereby creating our seasons (spring, summer, fall and winter). The equinox occurs when the sun “crosses” the equator. The Hebrew word is tekufah, and refers to the solstices as well as to the equinoxes.
Tekufot (plural) means “seasons” -- literally, “circuit, to go round.” The four seasons in the year are called tekufot. More accurately, tekufot is the beginning of the four seasons and, according to the Encyclopedia Judaica (Vol. 5, article: Calendar, p. 46), tekufah stands for the true, not the mean, equinox.
The tekufah (singular) of Aviv denotes the sun at the vernal equinox.
The next tekufah denotes the summer solstice.
The third tekufah denotes the fall equinox.
The fourth tekufah denotes the winter solstice.
Tekufah appears in the Bible four times -- and relates to the calendar at least three times:
And it came to pass at the end [tekufah] of the year, that the Syrians came up against him:...(2 Chronicles 24:23).
Now this refers to the end and, therefore, the beginning of another year, demarcated by the spring equinox and the New Moon.
And you shall observe the feast of weeks, even the firstfruits of wheat harvest, and the feast of ingathering at the year’s end [tekufah] (Exodus 34:22).
This passage refers to the fall equinox -- the end of the summer growing season.
In them [the heavens] he has set a tent for the sun, which comes forth like a bridegroom leaving his chamber, and like a strong man runs it’s course with joy. It’s rising is from the end of the heavens and it’s circuit [tekufah] to the end of them, and there is nothing hid from it’s heat (Psalm 19:4, 5 RSV).
This passage is describing the sun’s daily course, or it’s yearly circuit through the equinoxes and the solstices -- or both.
And it came to pass, when the time was come [tekufah] about, that Hannah conceived, and bore a son;...(1 Samuel 1:20).
This may indirectly allude to the calendar year. In any case, the above passages from the Bible indicate that the men of Yah in the Tanakh understood the equinox and it’s place in Yah’s calendar.
Point 6: Israel spans from the Nile River all the way to the Euphrates. The New Year, if determined by the aviv barley, would begin at all different times throughout the land of Israel. Even in the 1000 year reign, we will still have “summer and winter”. So, there must be a THIRD indicator, in addition the barley and first crescent, that harmonizes when the New Year begins throughout the land.
People may say that the Torah goes forth from Zion and the Word of YHVH from Jerusalem. And indeed, this is TRUE! But does this mean you can only examine barley on the Temple Mount or Jordon Valley?
After all, farmers from ALL OVER Israel will be bringing in the first sheafs of the harvest to present before YHVH. According to Leviticus 23:10 -- the first sheaf of the barley harvest must be harvested, and these first sheafs occur ALL OVER the land of Israel (not just in the Jordan Valley or on the Temple Mount). To allow time for the harvesting so people are not harvesting during Pesach week, we’ve got to wait until after the equinox.
Once the barley is harvested, it will not rot in the fields. It has been taken out of the fields, and now can be stored (just like wheat) until it is presentable. And now, waiting a few more weeks until April won’t cause Israel to starve -- they did NOT just live on barley!
In Conclusion: Point 7 -- the SABBATH point:
Michael Rood and the Kararites are following “jewish fables” of which Yah warned us not to partake of in Paul’s Epistles. The “jewish fable” is the magnification and worship of the almighty “aviv” barley, and jumping the gun on this “aviv” barley to boot!
The sin of Saul was that he moved TOO fast, and failed to wait for Samuel to come up and undertake the offering. Those who keep Passover in late March, will also be following this same spirit, jumping the gun. And in a year like this -- it will truly separate the sheep from the goats.
The book of Revelation reminds us that “he that is wicked, let him be wicked still, and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still”.
Yah has confirmed the above study through brothers and sisters in Yah, as well as various signs. I realize there will be those of you who will reject the Truth of this study. You will be deceived by the delusion Yah is sending you. But for those of who who wish to break away from the Karaite folly, Yah will bless you mightily. Remember, Gordon denies YahShua is King and is NOT filled with the Ruach.
The Ruach will guide us into all Truth . . .