Aviv Barley Determines The Beginning Of The Biblical Year
AVIV BARLEY DETERMINES THE BEGINNING OF THE BIBLICAL YEAR
All Scripture taken from the SOMB, Son Of Man Bible, modules freely available at www.biblesupport.com and www.wordmodules.com for the PC and Apple devices, e-Sword and The Word computer Bibles, and the MySword Android app.
According to the Torah, Passover MUST occur in the month of the aviv. Deuteronomy 16:1, “Observe the month of Aviv, and keep the Passover to Yahweh your Almighty, for in the month of Aviv Yahweh your Almighty brought you out of Egypt by night.” Exodus 13:4, “You are going out of Egypt on this day, in the month of Aviv.” Exodus 23:15, “You are to observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread. As I commanded you, you will eat unleavened bread for seven days. At that appointment calendar festival, you will appear before me in the month of Aviv, which is posted on your calendar for this purpose. It was in this month that you came out from Egypt. But you must not appear before me empty-handed.” Exodus 34:18, “You must keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread. As I commanded you, you must eat unleavened bread for seven days at the appointment calendar festival in the month of Aviv, for it was in the month of Aviv you came out from Egypt.” Exodus 12:2 tells us that the month in which the Passover occurs is the first month of the year, “For you, this month will be the start of months, the first month of the year to you.” So you see, we must set the month of Passover correctly, in order to get all the other biblical festivals set correctly on our calendar. The biblical word for our holy days is mo’edim, which I translate in the SOMB as “appointment calendar festivals”. Mo’ed means appointed time, appointed meeting, appointed place, as in the Tabernacle or Temple.
Mo’edim is first mentioned in Genesis 1:14, “The Almighty said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to divide the day from the night and let them be as signs, for the appointment calendar festivals, for days and years.” Genesis 1:16 shows us that Yahweh was speaking of the sun and stars, “The Almighty made the two great lights, the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light, the stars, to rule the night.” But Psalm 104:19 shows us that we also use the moon to help determine our holy days, “He made the moon to mark the appointment calendar festivals; the sun knows its time for setting.” So we see from these Scriptures that it is the setting of the sun, and the appearance of the stars that determines the beginning of a new day, hence the first day of a new year, Aviv or Nisan 1.
Leviticus 23 lays out the timing for our appointment calendar festivals. For example, the appointment calendar festivals must be kept according to the phases of the moon. Yom Teruah, on the 1st day of the seventh lunar month, at the new moon. Hag HaMatzot, or Festival of Unleavened Bread, begins on the 15th day of the first lunar month, under a full moon! The Festival of Tabernacles begins on the 15th day of the seventh lunar month, again, under a full moon.
Because the lunar year is shorter than the solar year today, we must set our calendar so that our festivals do not fall out of sync with the solar year, thus making the holidays appear in the wrong seasons. We keep a year of 12 lunar months, and at the end of the year, we look for a specific sign that Yahweh has given us to know whether a new year may begin with the next month, or whether we must wait and add a 13th month. Given that according to Gen 1:14 and 16 and Psalm 104:19, the sun, stars, and the moon set the appointment calendar festivals, it might seem logical to us that we should look for a certain solar event, such as the Spring equinox, in order to determine the beginning of the year. The problem with this, however, is that there is no commandment anywhere in the Torah to look for an equinox in order to set the appointment calendar festivals. Rather, Yahweh gave us a sign that is much more down-to-earth and close-to-home: the aviv!
What is the aviv? According to Exodus 9:31-32, “Now the flax and the barley were ruined, for the barley was maturing in the ear (aviv), and the flax was in bloom. 32 But the wheat and the spelt were not harmed because they were later crops.” Aviv is a state of near-ripeness of the barley. When Egypt was pounded with the plague of hail, the barley was ripe enough to be destroyed, but the wheat and spelt, which ripen later, were not destroyed. The fact is that barley and wheat are both grasses, and go through a long period of development where they look like any green grass. If these plants are hit with hail at this early stage, they would simply grow back, but once the seeds in the plant have started to ripen, the plant would likely die if hit by a serious hail storm. For more information about the growth stages of barley, please see: http://www.extension.umn.edu/agriculture/small-grains/growth-and-development/spring-barley/ and use of Zadok’s scale at Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cereal_growth_staging_scales#Zadoks_scale
So, does barley have to be fully ripe in order to be considered aviv? Let’s look at Leviticus 2:14, “When you present a grain offering of firstfruits to Yahweh, offer pollinated green ears of barley (aviv), threshed new heads of grain, parched by fire, gifting the firstfruits of your field.” You see, as it develops its grains, the barley plant first fills out each kernel with a watery substance, then gradually places more and more starch into each grain, so that as the grain ripens, it becomes harder and drier. When grain is fully ripe, it is hard and dry enough that it can be ground into meal or flour. If the grain is entirely unripe, then nothing but a hull would remain if parched by fire. If it is almost, but not quite ripe, it still has too much moisture content in order to be ground into meal or flour, and would rot if stored without having been further dried, but it still has enough starch in it that something would remain if the grain were to be parched by fire. No doubt, the Israelites needed something of substance that they could bring as an offering. If their grain was fully ripe, they could simply grind it into meal or flour and bring that. However, if it was not fully ripe, this verse gives them the option of parching it by fire and bringing that as their offering. So this is what the Torah calls aviv: barley that is ripe enough to be offered as parched by fire, but still too moist to be ground into meal or flour.
So, in order to follow the Torah as closely as possible to determine a new year, we watch for aviv barley through the eyes of the brothers and sisters at https://www.abibofgod.com/aviv-search to receive notices when they find aviv barley in the land of Israel. Many people also follow the searches of Nehemia Gordon. The more eyes searching for aviv barley the more accurately we can determine the start of the new year. The new moon following the discovery of aviv barley in Israel is the first day of the first month of the new year.
So, we find that it’s the preparation for the Third Festival of the year, The Festival of Firstfruits, is what helps us determine the start of the new year. The Festival of Firstfruits occurs on the day after the Sabbath that happens during the week of Unleavened Bread. Leviticus 23:9-14 sets out this feast. The priest must wave a sheaf of the new barley harvest to Yahweh, before the people may eat of the new harvest, either as raised or unleavened bread or as parched grain. So if the barley is not aviv before the beginning of the new year, this wave sheaf offering cannot be made at the Festival of Firstfruits during the Festival of Unleavened Bread, so we must wait and add a 13th month to our biblical calendar. According to the reports we’ve been receiving from www.abibofgod.com, it looks like the barley in Israel is plenty ripe enough to meet Torah requirements for a wave sheaf offering after Passover, so the new year will begin at sunset on March 17, 2018.
Yahweh bless each of you as you follow Him by rehearsing His appointment calendar festivals as memorials of past fulfillments and as prophecy of future fulfillments when Yeshua returns. HalleluYah and Happy New Year!