In this study we are going to ask the very rhetorical question: Did Ancient Israel Qualify Their Barley Fields? Or is that something that some modern Messianic search team has just completely made up?
Before we begin, I need to get into something that I never thought I would see the day of having to do. I never thought I would have to get into this inside the household of faith. But here we are, we are going to talk about copyright law and fair use.
So according to Baylor University, “fair use” of copyrighted material “allows the limited use of copyrighted material without the permission of the copyright holder for the purposes of criticism, parody, news reporting, research and scholarship, and teaching. And teaching is our primary purpose here in this study. Basically, what they are saying is that you can talk about it, you just cannot pass it off as your own. And there is absolutely no possibility and no possible way that we are going to attempt to pass off qualification of barley fields as our own doctrine. We are going to try and get as far away from that doctrine as we can here in this study.
First, we need to talk about some things we have already learned in the “Let’s Not Break Deuteronomy 16:9” study. What we learned is that the barley in Israel ripens over about a two- or three-month period. And there are a lot of groups that want to wait for what they call the “sweet spot” or the “lion’s share”. They want to wait for the main crop to be ripe before they begin harvesting. The problem is that if we do that is that there are going to be farmers whose fields come ripe early before the main crop. These farmers with the earliest ripening barley, that barley does not stay in the head for very long. So, they have got one of two choices. Either they lose their crops, or they have to break Deuteronomy 16:9 by harvesting early. In either case that is a drastic scenario. It is something we do not want to do. We take a look at the commandment Yahweh gave us in Deuteronomy chapter 16:9.
Devarim (Deuteronomy) 16:9-10
9 “You shall count seven weeks for yourself;
begin to count the seven weeks from the time you begin to put the sickle to the [standing] grain.
10 Then you shall keep the Feast of Weeks to Yahweh your Elohim…”
What He is saying here is very simple, very easy. He says start counting when you begin to cut, and when you begin to cut that is when you need to start counting. It is a very simple proposition. There are a lot of people who do not like what Yahweh says to do. But what Yahweh says to do is for us to bring the very first omer of aviv barley to the priesthood to clear the way for the rest of the harvest. So, we are trying to bring the first sheaf of barley to clear the way for the general harvest, and this Wave Sheaf is also symbolic of Yeshua who was offered alone ahead of the main harvest. And then with this first fruits offering, that clears the way for the rest of the harvest.
We can also see witnesses to this in First Corinthians 15:20, it says:
Qorintim Aleph (1 Corinthians) 15:20
20 “But now Messiah is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.” [Speaking about the Omer offering, the First Fruits offering, the Wave Sheaf offering].
So, we know that Messiah is symbolized by the First Fruits. But now notice the sequence in verse 23.
Qorintim Aleph (1 Corinthians) 15:23
23 “But each one in his own order: [first] Messiah the Firstfruits, afterward those who are Messiah’s at His coming.”
What this shows us is that first we present the Wave Sheaf (symbolic of Yeshua), and this clears the way then for the general harvest. And we will see that this is how it was done in the first century times, and it is also what the Torah commands.
Now, Josephus was a famous Jewish historian. In his book The Antiquities of the Jews in Book 3 chapter 10:5. he speaks about the Omer (or the Wave Sheaf offering). He explains:
“They offer the first-fruits of their barley, and that in the following manner: [first] They take a handful of the ears [so not very many, you do not need whole harvestable fields, you do not need large quantities of barley], and they dry them, [which tells us that the barley is still green, it is this immature young barley. We will see the Strong’s definition later], then they beat them small, and purge the barley from the bran [meaning they separate the grain from the chaff]; then they bring one tenth deal to the altar [so, again not very much], to Elohim; and casting one handful of it upon the fire, they leave the rest for the use of the priest. And then after this it is that they may publicly or privately reap their harvest.”
[The Antiquities of the Jews, Book 3; chapter 10:5]
Again, it is the exact same pattern that we see. First, we bring the Wave Sheaf (symbolic of Yeshua), and this clears the way for the general harvest.
Well, of course not everyone wants to obey what is written in the Torah. In our study “The Error of Harvestable Fields”, we talk about a Karaite (Sadducee) doctrine that is basically the inverse of this. The Karaites do not want to bring a first fruits (Wave Sheaf offering) symbolic of Yeshua to clear the way for the general harvest. Because that is what Yeshua did, they have their own explanations for this. But notice their pattern. Their pattern is the opposite. First, they are going to bring in the general harvest, they are going to wait until you have got the lion’s share of the harvest (you can bring in the main part of the harvest). Then they are going to bring what we call an anti-sheaf of that harvest to the priesthood. This we believe is symbolic of the anti-messiah. Because our Jewish brothers came back to the land of Israel in 1948, and then we expect them to be producing their anti-messiah. In fact, there has been an anti-messiah produced in the land of Israel right now.
The big problem with all this is that bringing in the harvest and then “bringing a little bit of that harvest” to the priest is not the same thing as “bringing the first fruits”. When you bring the first fruits of your harvest the first fruits are still tender, young, and green. We will see the Strong’s definition later on.
But because they are waiting until the main body of the harvest is ripe first, their quote-unquote “first fruits” are typically already hard, and dry, and brown, and brittle. That is two completely separate things. We are talking about bringing the very first of the tender, green, and young barley to clear the way for the harvest. They are talking about bringing a portion of what they have already harvested which is typically hard, and dry, and brown, and brittle. Two different things completely.
So, what they are really going for here is they are trying to find what you might call the sweet spot of the harvest. What they want to do is they want to bring in the main body of the harvest.
The problem here is that barley does not come ripe all at the same time in the land of Israel. It is not what you would call a monolithic harvest. The barley comes ripe over about a two- or three-month period. Typically, they say seven weeks, but it can be more, it can be less, depending upon the weather. And if you are going to wait for the middle portion of that bell curve then farmers with the earliest maturing barley will lose it because they are not allowed to harvest their barley by Deuteronomy 16:9. So, again, they have got two choices. They can lose their crop. In ancient times that meant you have no income. You have to pay your bills; you and your family could literally get sold into slavery. That happened all the time, it talks about it in Amos and other places. People got sold into slavery. The Torah speaks about this. So, either you lost your crop, your livelihood, or you had to break Deuteronomy 16:9. One of two terrible choices, one of very two drastic options. This year (2021) is a perfect example.
The year 2021, we had aviv barley show up on February the 6th. A sister by the name of Becca Biderman found it in the Galilee region and this barley was ready to offer on February the 6th. So, the Wave Sheaf Offering date would have been February the 28th. That barley would have been shattered and on the ground by about March 6th. Now, that particular field was bulldozed, but there were other fields that were noticed to be aviv around February 22nd. The barley there was already on the ground on March 19th, the day ahead of the spring equinox.
Well, you have the Karaites, you have the Equinox Calendar people, you also have certain Messianic groups that do not seem to understand the symbolism behind all this. And they are holding their Wave Sheaf offering on April the 4th. The problem is you have already got your first fruits on the ground by April 4th. In fact, we saw in other studies such as in “The Error of Harvestable Fields” where you have the Karaites and also some of these Messianic groups boasting and rejoicing that you have already got shattered barley by the day of the Wave Sheaf offering. That is completely backwards, you should not have any shattered barley on the ground when you go to present your first fruits. That is why they are called first fruits; you do not let them fall to the ground. You harvest them and bring them to the priesthood just as Abel or (Havel) brought his first and finest to Yahweh. That is the whole idea behind firstfruits, behind the firstling. This concept is generally not understood by certain Messianic groups. We are going to talk about that more in this study.
In “Aviv Barley Simplified” we talked about how we know we need to qualify the aviv barley that we use to declare the head of the year (Rosh Hashana). In other words, this aviv barley needs to meet certain specifications in order to be considered aviv. The reason for this is after we declare Rosh Hashanah, 15 to 21 days later, that is when we are going to have to bring this Wave Sheaf to the priest. It has to be at a certain state of development to meet certain characteristics, in order for us to hold the Wave Sheaf Offering. In order to qualify as aviv (we qualify this as medium dough), we know that the barley has to be “tender, young, and green”. That is, as we saw earlier, the very definition of aviv barley in Strong’s Old Testament 24.
Well, some of the Messianic groups do not like that definition, they want to write their own definition. They think they know more than Strong’s Concordance. They think they know better than the Hebrew language. Well, we also know that you have to be able to parch aviv barley, meaning you have to be able to roast it in fire according to Leviticus 2:14. That calls for a certain state of maturity which corresponds to at least “soft dough”. Then we find that it has to be at least “medium dough” in Leviticus 2:15, because you have to be able to grind it into flour and put oil and frankincense on it.
We also know that it has to be viable as seed in order to meet the patterns inherent in John 12:24 and also in Matthew 27:52.
It has to be able to reproduce itself. But once again, you boil it all down and we see that the pattern is this. You bring the earliest sheaf of aviv barley to the priesthood to sanctify the harvest and this clears the way. And now you can bring in the rest of the harvest, a very simple principle. Just bring the first fruits and everything is good. Do not try to redefine first fruits as part of the main harvest and everything is good.
Well, there are a lot of groups, especially some Karaites and some Messianic groups, that are not happy with this. They want to add certain things and take certain things away. They want to disqualify Deuteronomy 16:9 and say it is not important. The problem with that is taking away Deuteronomy 16:9 or saying it is not important, that is prohibited. Because as Yahweh says in Deuteronomy 4:2 not to add or take from His word.
Devarim (Deuteronomy) 4:2
2 “You shall not add to the word wich I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of Yahweh your Elohim, which I command you.”
Notice the way He says it. The way He says that it seems to imply that if we go adding things and taking things away, then they are no longer His commandments. Now they are our commandments. And this is what our rabbinic brethren do all the time. They start with the base of Yahweh’s commandments and then they modify them somewhat, but those are no longer Yahweh’s commandments. Now those are rabbinic versions of Yahweh’s commandments, that is not the same thing at all. So, we have to be careful not to add anything to it, and not to take anything away from it. Elsewise they are our commandments.
Some of the things that people like to add and take away we talk about in the study “Where is Spring Commanded?”
People like to add the requirement that it has to be spring in order for the barley to be aviv. The problem with this is spring is a Greco-Roman Babylonian Calendar concept. It is based upon the movements of the sun in the sky. So, the Greco-Roman Babylonian Calendar pays attention to the summer and winter solstices, and the spring and the fall (autumn) equinoxes, and a bunch of things that Scripture never mentions at all. It does not say anything about them. And so, people want to bring those in, the problem is that the calendar in Scripture is only dependent upon the barley. It is not dependent upon the movement of the sun, that is not it. We know that the sun is for signs and for Feasts, and for days and for years, but those cover other things. The beginning of the calendar year is dependent upon the barley and the sighting of the new moon, so, it can still be winter.
Notice to whit, what it says in John (Yochanan) 18:18.
Yochanan (John) 18:18
18 “Now the servants and officers who had made a fire of coals stood there, for it was cold, and they warmed themselves. And Peter [Kepha] stood with them and warmed himself.
Meaning it can still be winter. It does not yet have to be spring. We do not have to pay attention to the Greco-Roman Gregorian Calendar, Yahweh’s Calendar is completely separate from that.
Another thing people like to add is they like to add the equinox, which is basically the same thing as to add spring. Because spring is based upon the spring equinox. One of the problems is the word equinox does not even exist in Scripture.
Now it is true, the barley in Israel usually [not always but normally] will ripen either around or just a little before or after the spring equinox. But not always. Sometimes it can ripen ahead of the spring equinox, and sometimes it can ripen really ahead of the spring equinox. This is something that is dependent only upon Elohim.
Let’s see, once again, the example we have from this year in 2021. We had a Wave Sheaf of aviv barley ready to go (sister Becca Biderman found it) on the 6th of February. We had two additional fields around the 22nd of February, I am sure there were probably even more fields in the land of Israel. The people who are paying attention to the equinox and the spring, they are waiting for it to be warm and these kinds of things. Well, one, they are ignoring Yeshua’s example. And then two, they have got their first fruits of barley already on the ground. And some of them are even boasting about it. So, this is just plain the wrong thing to do.
Now we need to talk about a particular calendar, and I would like to ask for your prayers for this particular calendar group. This particular calendar group I believe is more in need of prayers than any other calendar group that I have seen out there. And it is a very difficult kind of a thing. This particular calendar group, called the Abib of God, they have their own calendar we will call the Abib of God Calendar. They seem to mix elements of the Equinox Calendar, the Rabbinic Calendar, and the Karaite Calendar. And just for one example, let us just take a look at how ripe their aviv barley is.
This is the image that they use for the front page of their website. There is nothing “tender, young and green” about that barley. That is a harvest-ready field, that is a combine ready field. You cannot harvest a field that ripe with a sickle because you are going to lose, oh, say half of your barley is going to fall on the ground. When you hit the stalks with an ancient sickle a lot of that barley is going to fall on the ground. The barley still has to be somewhat green in order to survive the harvesting shock.
Well, let us talk about these various elements that Abib of God brings into the equation here, things that they add to Yahweh’s commandments. Things that are forbidden to add.
So, this is very interesting. For the Abib of God Calendar [very interesting group of people], they reject the equinox as being of Satan, but they wholeheartedly embrace and endorse the equilux, which is basically the same thing. You have got the equinox which means it is equal parts dark and light. And then you have got the equilux which means it is equal parts light and dark. So, whether you have got 12 hours of darkness and then 12 hours of light, or whether you have got 12 hours of light and then 12 hours of darkness, that is pretty much the same thing. The way they define it is ‘there is four days of difference in there, oh got to pay attention, got to pay attention.’ Because according to them the equinox is of Satan, but the equilux is of Yahweh. Even though Yahweh never mentions the equilux. Well, of a truth neither the equinox nor the equilux are mentioned anywhere in Scripture. To use the term equilux, that is adding to Scripture. If you are going to add a requirement of the equilux, Scripture does not say anything about it, Yahweh never mentioned it, that is the very definition of “adding to Scripture”. That is what we just read, that is prohibited.
We could also point out that it is effectively sun worship. Because what you are doing then, effectively, is you are changing the calendar based upon the movements of the sun. Worship; that means “worth ship”.
So, what do you hold worthy to tell you what to do? Well, if we hold Yahweh to be worthy to tell us what to do then we should pay attention only to what Yahweh Elohim tells us to do. We should focus only on His commandments, and we should not add anything, and we should not take anything away. Very simple concept, it is just very, very simple. Why people cannot understand this I do not quite understand. But if you consider the sun to be worthy of modifying Yahweh’s Commandments, and then add a commandment that you cannot have these Feasts before the spring equilux, by the very definition of Scripture that is “sun worship”. And that is a big problem.
Pay attention to the following. This is from the Abib of God website. This is what they call a “Typical March Calendar”.
Now notice they are trying to tell us how to worship on Yahweh’s calendar by the Roman Gregorian Calendar. In other words, they are trying to take Yahweh’s Calendar and merge it (mesh it with) the Greco-Roman Babylonian Calendar. That is what is called “Syncretism” and in the Word it is called “mixing”. That is strictly prohibited, that is strictly forbidden. It is a pagan practice. When you see syncretism, you need to run.
Once again, we have got the spring equinox on March 20th or 21st, depending on whether you have a leap year or not. But now, oh, oh, oh! No, excuse me! He does not use the spring equinox, oh no, that is of the devil! He only uses the equilux which is conveniently four days ahead of the spring equinox.
These are brothers who need prayer basically. So, please pray with me. It is hard though when you see this kind of arrogance, it is hard. People just adding things to Yahweh’s word left and right, it is kind of a struggle. We need to pray for them because they really need prayer. Hopefully, they can be recovered. I am trying not to use their names, I am trying to mention only the name of the ministry, and hopefully, people will understand what I am trying to do here. I am trying not to mention people’s names.
But notice how they add other things to the calendar as well. We will talk later about what they call “intercalation”, which is a rabbinic concept. They also add the Eurasian Banded Dove, they expect to see that somewhere in between March 5th-15th. They expect to see the fig trees at a certain stage of ripeness from March 7th-20th. Okay, we are not supposed to “put Yahweh to the test” but here they are “putting Yahweh to the schedule”. They are “putting Yahweh to the Calendar”. On the 10th they expect to see a Traditional White Stork migration, and if they do not see it, they are going to delay the calendar they say. Then they expect to see the grapes come ripe from the 10th to the 20th. And then they have got a “minimum Passover date”. Then they have on the 15th, of course, they have the “Swifts always by now”.
What is this but things being added into the Scriptures? These are things that are being added to the Calendar. These are things Yahweh says nothing about. That is the very definition of adding to Yahweh’s word. So, when you see people adding commandments to Scripture, you need to run! It is time to run.
Okay, so Abib of God, they also do what they call “intercalation” of the head of the year. They intercalate when the year begins. Again, this is a rabbinic term. If you want to read more about it, you can go to Nazarene Scripture Studies Volume Two and you can read the study called “The Equinox Error”.
So, intercalation is an orthodox (pharisaic) term, and we are told “to beware of the leaven of the pharisees and the Sadducees”. What it means is they are using more than just the aviv barley to determine the Head of the Year (Rosh Hashanah). And as we just saw, they are adding the doves, the figs, the storks, the grapes and then the equilux, which in my understanding is the same thing as an equinox. (I am sure they would argue about it). But the term intercalation is not found in Scripture, so it is added. And the point of this is you know when you are borrowing things from another calendar, that is basically of a certain spirit.
You know, we do not know exactly what is in anyone’s heart. But what we can know is when we see the fruit of a rabbinic spirit. And not just a rabbinic spirit, we also are going to see the fruit of a Sadducean (Karaite) spirit going on here.
The problem is that the Abib of God Calendar redefines the meaning of aviv. Aviv barley is barley that is “tender, young, and green” by Strong’s Hebrew Concordance OT 24. Because the purpose is to bring the first wave sheaf of tender, green and young barley to the priest to clear the way for the rest of the harvest, so that none of the harvest has to be lost. So that none of the farmers need to have their crops fall to the ground. So that no one needs to sell themselves and their family into slavery to pay their debts. That is the whole point of this thing.
Now Abib of God and the Karaites, they have another concept. They believe that you can just break Deuteronomy 16:9 and that it does not really matter, that is just how it is, because they are Abib of God, and they say so. Well like the Karaites, Abib of God wants to see barley that is easily shatterable. We will see later the Karaites were ecstatic because they had shattered barley a day after their Wave Sheaf offering.
You should never have shattered barley anywhere close to your Wave Sheaf offering if you can help it. So again, this and other things tells us that the Abib of God Calendar seems to be following the Karaite doctrine of what they call “harvestable fields”. Look again how ripe that quote-unquote “aviv barley” is… there is nothing green about it.
Well, here we go. Curiouser and curiouser. Abib of God tells us that certain areas in Israel are disqualified from producing the Omer (the Wave Sheaf). Scripture never says that, they are making that completely up. Check this out here. The Abib of God Calendar tell us that they only accept what we might call a ‘golf-course like field’. What they want to see is soil that is very uniform and of a very fine quality. They do not want to have any rocks in the field, they do not want any hills. The problem is that very few fields in the land of Israel are like this and this is one of the fields that they said qualified in 2021.
The problem is again, very few fields in Israel are like this. Israel is a very mountainous country and there are a lot of rocks there. If Abib of God does not like the way your field looks, or if it is not ripening uniformly, or you have rocks or hills, they are going to disqualify it as what they call “goat grass”.
The problem is there is an actual plant called goat grass. This is this is Sharon Goat Grass (Aegilops Sharonensis), and this may very well be the tares that Yeshua spoke about in His parables. It looks like a useful cereal grain but really it is not. Sharon Goat Grass has nothing to do with barley that is grown on a hill or in a field with rocks. There is no correlation, there is no correspondence to this.
But you have Abib of God saying that barley that is grown on a hill is what they call goat grass.
Now let us look at an example of a field in the land of Israel that Abib of God rejected in this year 2021 for being too hilly. I kid you not, I am not joking, I wish I were.
Abib of God said that because this field was too hilly it does not qualify as a field. Or at the very least you are not allowed to bring the Wave Sheaf from this field because the barley in this field is not really barley, but it is only goat grass. Even though goat grass per se is a completely different genus and species. In fact, Abib of God rejects all of barley that is grown on hills as being goat grass, because again, they reject the fields that they do not qualify as being truly fields.
This is just a little too strange for us to understand. Now, we understand the concept that you are going to have to qualify for athletic trials, say for the Olympics or for some sporting competition.
We can understand that you need qualifying trials for pilot training or for medical school, or perhaps even for military service. We can understand qualifying trials even for weapons systems.
But have you ever heard of qualifying trials for a barley field? Is that in Scripture? Or is that something that someone has added to Scripture? Is that something someone has just plain made up?
Let us ask a question another way. When you eat carrots, do you qualify the field in which your carrots are grown?
We can understand if you are an organic eater then perhaps you are going to qualify and see if the field is organic. Or if the field is in transition, or if the field is pesticide-free, this kind of a thing. But do you reject your carrots if they were grown on a hill? Do you reject your carrots if there are rocks in the field?
Let us explore together and ask this rhetorical question which just so happens to be the name of our study “Did Ancient Israelites Qualify Their Barley Fields?”
So, I believe it is important to pray for people because we really do not know where people are from. I do not know if the Abib of God people, if they are perhaps from the Midwest or from Kansas, or someplace where the ground is flat and level. Maybe they are from the great plains or the Midwest. Perhaps where they live, they are just used to the idea that ground is flat, I do not know. But the problem is that the land of Israel is not in the Midwest, it is in the Middle East. It is a very different kind of a thing. The land of Israel it is basically very mountainous and very hilly. There is very little ground that does not have either hills or rocks. So, after the children of Israel came into the land of Canaan, they received their inheritance. What that means is that most of the children of Israel received their inheritance either on the side of a hill, or the side of a mountain, or in some place that has rocks. What are you going to do with that? Well, you are just going to make the best of it. As they do in the East and in the Middle East, you would simply terrace the hillsides and that is where you would grow your crops, on the terraces. And you can see ancient terraces all throughout the land of Israel, they are everywhere on the sides of the hills.
So, let us take ourselves back in time and let us go back to Ancient Israel. And just remember how it was to terrace the hillsides and to grow your crops wherever you could find ground to grow them. Because this was your inheritance so that is where you had to grow your food.
In that context, I would like you to meet a very special someone. Yossi Cohen, Head of Israel’s Mossad. Let us pretend that Yossi’s a barley farmer back in Ancient Israel and that he and his wife have 12 children to feed.
Now with 12 children to feed Yossi needs every grain of barley he can get, both to feed his children and also to pay his bills. Yossi basically cannot afford to lose his crop because back in ancient times, if you lost your crop, you have to pay your bills somehow and people ended up getting sold into slavery. Amos talks about this. In fact, the rules for slavery are written in the Torah. This is something that did happen. If people were not able to bring in their crop, they were not able to pay their bills, and they would have to sell their land until the Year of the Jubilee. It is a very serious thing.
Well, where Yossi lives the barley just happens to ripen early. Because of this, Yossi wants to bring the Wave Sheaf, so he can present the Wave Sheaf, and then the harvest can be sanctified. So that then he can bring in his crop while the barley is still in the head. But now check this out. Abib of God says he can only do so if his field is mostly level, he has very fine soil, high-quality soil, with no hills, and they want the crop to come ripe all at about the same time. Otherwise, Abib of God says Yossi cannot bring the Omer because his field is not qualified.
Well, if Yossi happens to receive his inheritance down on the flat land near Gaza and the Mediterranean, look He is got a beautiful field. So, Yossi’s going to wait for the first crescent sliver of the new moon, and then Yossi will have already come to inspect his barley field. And look, it is a beautiful field. So, what does Abib of God say? Can Yossi Cohen present the Omer offering so he can harvest his crop on time? Well, they will say: Hey! Good job Yossi! You must be a good fellow; you received an inheritance in Israel on the flattened level.
But there is a problem with that, only about maybe a seventh or an eighth of the land in Israel is like that. Most of the ground as we mentioned is very hilly.
So, what if you are one of the seven-eighths of the Israelites who just happens to receive your inheritance on ground where there are hills? Well, you would wait for the first crescent sliver of the new moon, and Yossi’s has already inspected his crop and things are ready to harvest. But what does Abib of God say? Can he harvest his crop in order to pay his bills, so he does not have to sell his family into slavery? They say: Oh! Oh no! Yossi, oh, you bad man you! You received an inheritance with hills on it. You deserve to lose your crop, Yossi. Oh, what a bad, bad man!
So, Yossi’s moving around now, he is got another inheritance. Hey, check this out, there are no hills this time. Yossi’s got a flattened level piece of ground. Let us take a look. We wait for the first crescent sliver of the new moon and Yossi has already come to inspect the ground. Let us find out, will Abib of God let him offer the Wave Sheaf offering? Oh no! Yossi, oh! You forgot! Listen Yossi, you see where the barley is lighter color in one spot than in the other spots? You see how the barley is green farther back and it is more yellowish up front. Oh, Yossi, you know your barley field is not ripening uniformly, you deserve to lose your crop. Yossi, oh, you bad, bad man!
Well, okay. So, maybe Yossi, maybe he receives his inheritance down in some place like the Jordan River Valley. So, it is flat, and it is level, and everything seems to be ripening more or less uniformly. But this time there are a lot of rocks in the soil. We are going to wait until the first crescent of silver of the new moon. Yossi and his wife, they have already inspected the barley. What is it going to be? Is the Abib of God going to let them harvest their crops, so they can pay their bills and do not have to sell themselves and their family into slavery? Oh, no! Yossi! You have got too many rocks in the soil down in the Jordan River Valley. You cannot grow barley crops there, that fields not qualified! What are you thinking Yossi? Oh, Yossi, Yossi, Yossi. What a… oh my, Yossi. When are you ever going to learn?
Well, now if Yossi would just go to the website of Abib of God, he could read the Abib of God document; “How to Determine the State of the Aviv Barley in Israel”. And if he would do that, Yossi would learn where to never, never, never to receive his inheritance.
Let us check it out. There are five places that Yossi is not allowed to receive an inheritance if he wants to offer the aviv barley. And there are 12 more places that he is allowed to receive in order to grow an aviv barley Wave Sheaf. It says here he is not allowed to offer the Wave Sheaf if it comes from Alon Junction because that is not an acceptable location. He is also not allowed to grow the Wave Sheaf if he lives in Mabu’a for that is an area not to be used. Well, if Yossi just happens to live in Fatsa’el Junction that also is not to be used as an acceptable location, for thus saith Abib of God. And also, he cannot offer the Wave Sheaf if his piece of ground is north of the Wadi Firan, because that is not acceptable, nor is north of Wadi Talkid. Not acceptable.
Well, let us take a look at where these particular pieces of ground are.
What we see here is that Alon Junction and here next to it is Ain Mabu’a. I am thinking to myself; now, these are the first two places that Nehemiah Gordon took me to inspect back when I first learned how to inspect the aviv barley from him. I cannot remember, it was 2002 or 2003. So, ooh, yeah. What was wrong with those? Yeah, we had aviv barley, but I guess that is no good because… I am not sure. Were there too many rocks? Or it is on hills? Or, hmm, not sure what the problem is with those. But oh, you know, Abib of God says that is bad ground, we cannot use that ground.
Well, we also cannot use Fatsa’el Junction, we cannot use north of Wadi Firan, we cannot use north of Wadi Talkid. In fact, I have heard that Abib of God even rejects Jericho and Gilgal. Abib of God rejects anywhere that there are rocks, which accounts for seven-eighths or at least three-quarters of the land of Israel. Ouch! So, Abib of God rejects any hillside whether it is terraced or not, because hillsides are bad, bad, bad. Rocks oh, no, no, no, cannot do rocks. Ouch.
Okay, well, now here is the problem. I have heard (I have not read it, but I have heard), that Abib of God rejects Jericho and Gilgal because they reject basically that whole northern Jordan River Valley region. Because it is nice and flat but there are too many rocks. Okay, Abib of God, what do you do with Joshua 5:10-11?
Yehoshua (Joshua) 5:10-11
10 “Now the children of Israel camped in Gilgal, kept the Passover on the 14th day of the month at twilight on the plains of Jericho. [Rejected areas? Hmm]
11 And they ate of the produce of the land on the day after the Passover, unleavened bread, and parched grain, on the very same day.”
Now I do not know. Am I the only one who is having a hard time with the fact that Abib of God is rejecting the north Jordan River Valley when that is where the Israelites first offered the Wave Sheaf when they came into the land? So, in other words, that means it is good enough for Yahweh Elohim, but it is not good enough for Abib of God? Is that what that means? Hmm… good enough for Scripture; not good enough for Abib of God?
Okay, well, we also do know that Abib of God rejects the Judean foothills. Let us read their reason.
“With little or no topsoil on the eastern Judean Hills the rains either runoff or soak down to bedrock quickly thus creating huge areas of erosion further down the hillsdies and in the valley floors…”
[Abib of God]
Oh my. You see all those rocks and you see all those hills? Ooh, you know, if that is where you received your inheritance you are a bad, bad man. You do not deserve to be able to offer the Wave Sheaf of barley because Abib of God says so. Oh my, my!
Abib of God also rejects the Judean foothills in Ramallah. It did not always belong to the Muslims. At one certain point in time, it had belonged to the tribes of Israel. Now look back up in the distance there, up on the hillsides, can you see how those hillsides are all terraced, can you see all the terracing that goes on back in there?
But oh, no, no, no. Not allowed to grow aviv barley on those kind of hillsides, that is just simply not allowed, cannot be doing that. Abib of God rejects all hillsides (whether they are terraced or not) as being unfit for barley. According to Abib of God, any and all barley grown on a hillside qualifies only as goat grass. Why is this? We do not know exactly. We do not really understand it, but perhaps could it possibly have a relation to Psalms 104:15? Maybe he is on to something, hmm, let us see.
Tehillim (Psalms) 104:15
15 “The high hills are for the wild goats;
The cliffs are a refuge for the rock badgers.”
Well then, if they belong to the wild goats, then it must be goat grass. So, maybe that is why Abib of God says hills are for goats. The only problem is this is what He is talking about in the Psalms is that the “high hills” are for the wild goats.
You are not going to climb all the way up there to have a barley field, although you might have one down in the valley. Here is another thing on what this verse is talking about: “The high hills are for the wild goats.” You are not going to try to grow barley up there, but if there happened to be aviv barley up there, would you not be able to harvest it? Well, here is the problem. Abib of God is saying that we cannot grow crops on a hill because hills disqualify fields. Abib of God, maybe you can help us understand verses such as Isaiah 7:25.
Yeshayahu (Isaiah) 7:25
25 “And to any hill which could be dug with the hoe, You will not go there for fear of briars and thorns; but it will become a range for oxen and a place for sheep to roam.”
What this tells us is that there are hills in the land of Israel which can be dug with the hoe. Meaning you can in fact do horticulture and gardening on the side of a hill, or at least according to Isaiah. So, now we have an authority question. Do we obey Abib of God or do we obey Isaiah? Let us think about this.
While we are doing our deliberations let us consider this quote from Abib of God on the 15th of March 2021.
“As we have mentioned to some of you who have asked, we do not normally post goat grass pictures because we do not use it, for it grows in bad ground full of stones and rocks. Thus, you get a false read from it for it matures in a much quicker cycle of growth than does wild barley, and oats for that matter growing in good ground.”
Wait. So, the barley he does not like grows much quicker than the barley he does like.
So basically, taking a look at this picture, what he is saying is that he does not like that ground because it is not even, it is not flat. We do not have a golf course like field. Abib of God is going to add a rule, you cannot grow food there. The only thing you can do is to fence it off and use it for goat pasture. Thus saith Abib of God.
Well, on March 30th, 2021 Abib of God gave us this quote.
“Some are still curious about the goat grass [meaning barley he does not like] locations in the south due to the confusing reports from Israel this year. [He is talking about sister Becca Biderman who is doing a wonderfully, good work attempting to reestablish what was the original calendar, and the significance of barley in the original calendar]. Here is a picture of such a location from this morning [picture of what he calls goat grass (barley) in a place he does not like, because there are hills]. The oats are long gone and the barley [goat grass version] on these little Tel’s [hills] is long past aviv as well. Zoom in on the side hill locations of barley to see just how far gone they are.”
Okay, to translate this, what he is saying is that we know that barley is going to ripen much sooner on a hillside then it is going to ripen down in the valleys. Just because the water flows downhill, and the water is going to collect in the valleys. It is true the barley in the valleys is going to develop much better because it has got more moisture, more water. So, whatever kind of cereal grass you have down in the valleys is going to be able to grow and it is going to be yield more ultimately. But then what if your inheritance is on a hillside and you are not one of the blessed minority to receive your inheritance in the valley? Abib of God is saying you cannot grow barley there, and if you try you are a bad, bad person. Because we say so. Scripture does not say anything about it, but we are Abib of God. So, you better listen up.
Abib of God goes on and continues:
“So, for you goat grass fans, this will be it from us. There are just not any more convincing pictures we can send to you if you are still in some kind of doubt after the series of photos of GG [goat grass] we have provided this growth cycle.”
Abib of God; 30th March 2021.
I guess my question is, what is it exactly that we think that we are proving here? I mean, you are proving that the barley down on the flat ripens at a different time than the barley on the hills. Therefore, we cannot grow anything at all on the hills because that is only for goat pasture, because you say so? I mean… okay, never mind, we will just move on.
Here are my questions:
1. Why does of Abib of God only want to recognize barley that grows on the flat? In other words, why do they feel the need to disqualify the barley grown on the hills when Scripture does not say anything about it?
2. Are they perhaps subscribing to the Karaite (Sadducee) doctrine of what is called Harvestable Fields are Required by Yom HaNafat HaOmer”? Which tells us that first we need to bring in the harvest, and then we bring an anti-sheaf of second fruits (symbolic of the anti-messiah). In other words, is there a Karaite (Sadducee) spirit going on in the Abib of God?
3. And if Abib of God is a Messianic group, then why do they not seem to recognize the fact that the Wave Sheaf symbolizes Yeshua? And that the Wave Sheaf needs to be offered first, in order to then clear the way for the rest of the harvest of barley. Why are they following the Karaite pattern of harvesting first and then bringing an anti-sheaf symbolic of the anti-messiah? Does anyone have an answer to that?
Now let us take a look at the Karaites and take a look at the similarities.
Oh, oh, oh! Excuse me! This is a copyrighted image. Oh. Copyright by Devorah Gordon all rights reserved. Is she copyrighting perhaps the Jordan River Valley? What is she copyrighting here? Hmm, she is copyrighting Yahweh’s witness? Oh, yeah, this is in the Bible right? The witnesses to the aviv barley, they are supposed to copyright their witness before they present it to the priesthood, is that what they are supposed to do? Yeah, okay. Well, we are not passing this off as our own, we are just simply commenting on it. But take a look here, you have got the Jordan River Valley. Now she is boasting that she has got shattered barley heads. And this image was taken on April 5th, 2021, the day after the Karaite Wave Sheaf date. Oh! Same as the Abib of God Wave Sheaf date. Oh! Same as the Equinox Calendar Wave Sheaf date. Hmm. Striking similarities there!
Well, I just want you to notice the Jordan River Valley, and what is going on right there (previous image). You see how hilly it is? You see the hills in the background? That is the Jordan River Valley. So, you see how common the hills are in the land of Israel. Do not be growing barley on a hill because Abib of God says so. But take a look, this is supposed to be the month of the aviv. The definition of aviv is barley that is “tender, green and young”.
This barley is old, and shattered. This barley is brown, this barley is hard. Why is it that way? It is because Abib of God and the Karaites have the wrong concept. They have the concept of bringing in the harvest first and then bringing a sheaf of the second fruits to the priesthood. It is not the first fruits; it is definitely not the firstlings. Because they are waiting for the main crop to come in and then they are going to present some of the main crop as if it were first fruits, as if it was the firstlings. When in actual fact “first fruits” and “part of the main harvest” are two completely different concepts. There is no correspondence between the two.
Now Abib of God gives us this lovely and wonderful quote. I apologize if this hurts your head, this hurt my head when I first read it.
“Now please drink this in. It is called the head of months because of its description [Right]. This month is the first month in which the very first limited heads of barley grain can be easily shaken to separate the seeds from the head, and thus be able to be ground into flour.”
Is that Leviticus? Is that Numbers? What is that? Does that correspond to anything, where is that? What he is saying is this is when you can winnow the barley, this is when the barley is easy to separate from the chaff. He is saying it is called the month of the aviv because it is easy to winnow the barley, it is easy to winnow the main crop. That is what he is saying. Well again, there is a problem here. You are not talking about barley as tender, green, and young; you are talking about barley that is hard, and dry, and brown. He continues:
“Please put this into your calendar understanding. [No, thank you!]. The first of the mature heads, the aviv heads,”
Okay, hold it there. Mature heads and the aviv heads, those are not the same thing. aviv is Strong’s OT; 24: barley that is “tender, green and young”. It specifically says it is immature barley. So, here he is equating the mature heads with the immature heads because that is what “aviv” means. It means immature barley. He continues:
“The first of the mature heads, the aviv heads, [sorry, those two are not the same thing], will take place DURING THIS MONTH! NOT BEFORE IT. This first maturing grain will be deemed the first of the firstfruits of barley as we will discuss a little later.”
So, what he is saying is that you do not bring the aviv barley, you do not bring the first sheaf to clear the way for the harvest. You have to bring in the harvest, and then he, also like the Karaites, is going to produce an anti-sheaf symbolic of the anti-messiah. That is what he is really saying here. He says, “this first maturing grain”, aviv barley is immature, green barley. He says, “this first maturing grain will be deemed the first of the firstfruits”. No, because the first fruits have already fallen to the ground. Because you are waiting until the barley has already shattered and fallen to the ground.
When he is talking here about how the barley is easily shaken and it is easy to separate the grain from the chaff, what that looks like is you have got broken and shattered barley heads in the field. Sister Biderman has done a lot of research on this. As the wind blows that is going to shatter the barley. Half of your crop is going to fall on the ground. And what is worse is that when you take your ancient sickle (which is not nearly as sharp as a modern sickle) and you go to hack away at the barley stocks, you are going to lose even more. That barley is going to fall on the ground because you waited too long to harvest. That is why Yeshua says that “the wise farmer immediately puts in the sickle when the harvest has come”. He does not wait until the heads are shatterable, he does not do that. We saw in the Karaite picture how brown the barley was, she is rejoicing because they have barley heads that are already shattered the day after their wave sheaf. It is just absurd, it does not compute, it does not make sense.
Let us go on here with his quote.
“It becomes very obvious when understanding the essence of these two descriptive signs which occur during the month of Aviv, that this month will be the first month to have quantities of aviv barley, [now earlier we saw you just need one sheaf, you do not need that much], enough for a wave sheaf offering, [you only need one sheaf, it is a big handful, that is all you need], being surrounded by a vast majority of unripe fields of green ears.”
A couple of things here. First off, the barley does not do what we want. It is not our job to predict according to the Greco-Roman Gregorian Babylonian Calendar when things are going to become ripe. And when we are going to see the doves, and the grapes, and the figs, and when the birds and the storks are, and the swifts always by now on the 15th. That is not our job. Our job is to observe. That is why we cite the first crescent sliver of the new moon as we wait until we actually see the barley. We are waiting on Him. We wait for Him to set the schedule; we wait for Him to show us when the start of the year is. It is not our job to dictate those things to Elohim according to a sun-centric pagan Greco-Roman Babylonian sun-worship calendar. Those are two things that should not mix, they should never mix.
The second thing is Abib of God is effectively following this Karaite doctrine of “Harvestable Fields are Required by Yom HaNafat HaOmer”. They are not wanting to bring the Wave Sheaf (symbolic of Yeshua) to clear the way for the harvest. The green, tender, young first fruits. They are wanting to bring in the harvest and then bring a fake (false anti-sheaf) of the second fruits of the main body of the harvest. And pretend that this is the first fruits. In other words, it is fake, it is a phony, it is a substitute. Just like the coming anti-messiah is going to be a substitute. This is just two completely different things. And let us just face it, what they are effectively saying is you have to let your first fruits of barley fall to the ground so that then you can bring in your main harvest. So that you can provide a substitute anti-sheaf for the first fruits of barley that you should have brought. What part of firstfruits do we not get? What part of “tender, young, and green” do we not understand? It is just too strange. If Abib of God is truly a Messianic group, if they truly have Yeshua’s spirit, why do they not understand the patterns shown in 1 Corinthians 15:20? Where it is shown that Messiah symbolizes the first fruits, and in verse 23 that each one comes in his own order.
Qorintim Aleph (1 Corinthians) 15:20,23
20 “But now Messiah is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.
23 But each one in his own order: first [comes] Messiah the firstfruits [that is what the Wave Sheaf symbolizes] and then; afterward, those who are Messiahs at His coming.”
I emphasize again, first the Wave Sheaf, then comes the harvest.
Another question I have. I do not know where people are from, you know. The Abib of God group, they boast about driving all over the land of Israel. And how what a blessing it is, how they must be so blessed because they get to drive all over the land of Israel. Well while you are driving all over the land of Israel has it occurred to you that the place is basically one giant rock? I mean it is one big hill. It is one big mountain. It is called the levant, it is that which is raised up. It is a very hilly, rocky, mountainous area. Yes, there is a little bit of flat land down next to the Mediterranean and in the Jordan River Valley, which they disqualify because they say the soil has too many rocks. So, what are we really doing here? Do they understand that ancient Israelites had to live in the mountains?
Let us take a look at this. We are talking about the conquest of the land of Canaan in Shophetim (Judges) 1:19.
Shophetim (Judges) 1:19
19 “So, Yahweh was with Judah. And they drove out the mountaineers, [meaning they drove the other people out of the mountains], but they could not drive out the inhabitants of the lowland, because they had chariots of iron.”
So, what are we saying here? That the Canaanites were the ones to bring in the Wave Sheaf offering? How is that going to work? Because Abib of God is going to disqualify all the barley grown on the hillsides.
Let us go to Shophetim (Judges) 1:34.
Shophetim (Judges) 1:34
34 “And the Amorites forced the children of Dan into the mountains, for they would not allow them to come down into the valley.”
This picture is taken from Tel Dan, looking up at Har Dov (bear mountain) where the children of Israelites were driven into, because they could not come down to Tel Dan.
Does that look like flat-level ground to you? You can only pasture your goats; you cannot grow crops. Because there are no fields in that mountain, that is only good for goat grass, that is only good for grazing. Thus saith Abib of God.
Yehoshua (Joshua) 17:11-12
11 “And in Issachar and in Asher, and in Manasseh, [so, we had Dan, we had Judah. Now we have got Issachar, we have got Asher, we have got Manasseh. There are five tribes], had Beth Shean and its towns, Ibleam and its towns, the inhabitants of Dor and its towns, the inhabitants of Endor and its towns, the inhabitants of Taanach and its towns, and the inhabitants of Megiddo and its towns– three hilly regions. [Oh, oh, oh, no! You can only grow goat grass on those, you cannot grow any crops, because Abib of God says so].
12 Yet the children of Manasseh could not drive out the inhabitants of those cities, but the Canaanites were determined to dwell in that land.”
So, effectively that means the children of Israel dwelt in the hills, because they could not drive the Canaanites out of the valleys. Where did the Wave Sheaf offering come from? Anyone think about that? Let us keep going.
Yehoshua (Joshua) 17:16
16 “But the children of Joseph said, [now how many tribes do we have now? Here is Ephraim. Now up to six tribes], the mountainous country is not enough for us; and all the Canaanites who dwell in the land of the valley have chariots of iron, both those who are of Beth Shean and its towns and those who are of the Valley of Jezreel.”
What we are saying here is that in the early days, when the children of Israel undertook the conquest of the land of Canaan, they lived in the hills. Where Abib of God says ‘you are not allowed to grow crops because that is only good for grazing, that is only good for goat grass. So, if you have barley in those hills, do not you think to bring the Omer offering.’ Someone needs prayer. A lot of prayer. This is the most popular Messianic barley search team in the Hebrew Roots movement today. Why people are following this Messianic search team I have no idea. Those people need prayer, please pray for them. Here is another quote from Abib of God on March 30, 2021.
“It is a great picture displaying wild barley growing in good ground. [Which means the rest of Israel is bad ground?] If you zoom in, you can see the consistency of all of these barley heads due to the fact that they are growing in good ground and not stony/rocky ground. That is a characteristic trait associated with the wild barley.”
In the first place, any cereal grain is going to grow uniformly when you put it in uniform soil, but once again we are not in the Midwest America. This is the Middle East, this is the Levant, this is the land of Israel. Why are we adding rules to this? This is not the Great Plains; this is not a golf course. Why do we have this combine ripe mentality? Why are we wanting everything to ripen all at the same time? Like you would want it to ripen all at the same time as if you had a combine. They did not harvest with combines back then, they harvested by hand with sickles, and it took time. So, I mean, forgive me. This translation…you know, you have Google Translate, right? Yeah, so, you translate from English into Spanish or English into Hebrew, and now we are translating from English into Abib of God-ese. Translated, here is what he is really saying:
“We scoured the land of Israel to find fields where everything looks picture -postcard perfect. And we don’t care how much of the crop had to fall to the ground, so long as we get to post picture-postcard perfect barley fields! And if your inheritance is on a hill, you don’t deserve to harvest your crop (because you are a bad man). Because we are Abib of God, and we say so.”
That is basically what he says. He goes on:
“Goat grass on the other hand is found in all different stages of growth in one location because of poor soil conditions.”
So, my question is again, why are we wanting the barley all to ripen at the same time? Is it because we are thinking we are going to harvest it with a combine? King David is going to bring the combine? He is going to bring the machine and we are going to bring it all in all-in-one afternoon with the combine are we?
No, that is not how it works. Back in ancient times, you took a few weeks to bring in your barley harvest. Depending on how big it was you could have up to seven weeks to bring in your barley harvest. But typically, barley becomes ripe in the land of Israel in patches. What is happening is he is seeking out these unusual fields. He is seeking out these relatively rare, picture-perfect postcard fields. They do exist, especially now in modern days. Now you have modern implements disking the fields and removing the rocks and doing these kinds of things. And there are some fields that exist that way naturally even to start with, but why are we over-focusing on these fields? What is the point? Are we just like fixated that it has got to be a picture-perfect field? And anything that we do not like, anything that does not look like a picture-perfect postcard field, we have to disqualify that field? What is the mentality here? What are we doing?, what are we going for? Why are we adding these requirements to Scripture? You know the old saying is, “When Scripture is silent, so should we be”. Maybe he did not get the memo.
Okay, this is a field near Poriyah Illit. Sister Becca Biderman on the 6th of February 2021 found aviv medium dough barley.
You can see this patch in the foreground here is turning yellow. But look, you see all these other areas in the background? You see it is still green here at the base of the hill and it is still green otherwise, but you see it is coming ripe here. This is how barley ripens in the land of Israel. It ripens in patches, that is what barley does. That is how maybe around 90 percent of the barley in Israel ripens. Abib of God calls this goat grass because it did not ripen uniformly. He says, “Goat grass on the other hand is found in all different stages of growth in one location because of poor soil conditions”. Well imagine your name is Yossi Cohen and this is your field, and this is your inheritance. This is all you have to work with, are you are going to fence it off and raise goats because you are not allowed to grow crops? Am I the only one that finds this just too strange?
Devarim (Deuteronomy) 4:2
2 “You shall not add to the word which I command you, nor take away from it, that you may keep the commandments of Yahweh your Elohim, which I command you.”
Devarim (Deuteronomy) 12:32
32 “Whatever I command you, be careful to observe it; you shall not add to it nor take away from it.”
Which is what Abib of God does. If everything on the hill is only for goat grass and you cannot have a field on a hill, what do we do with verses like Isaiah 10:32?
Yeshayahu (Isaiah) 10:32
32 “As yet he will remain at Nob that day; He will shake his fist at the mount of the daughter of Tsion, the hill of Jerusalem.”
Now, Jerusalem is on a mountain, get used to it, get over it. It is on a mountain; it is on a hill. Does that mean that there are no fields? What do you do with Matthew 27:7?
Mattityahu (Matthew) 27:7-8
7 And they consulted together and bought with them the potter’s field, to bury strangers in.
8 Therefore that [oh, oh!] field has been called the Field of Blood to this day.”
Oh, but you cannot… the potter could not have a field because it is on a mount, it is on the hill of Jerusalem. So do not you think about having a field there, because Abib of God would not like it.
Let us come to Judges 6:11.
Shophetim (Judges) 6:11
11 “Now the Messenger of Yahweh came and sat under the terebinth tree which was in Ophrah (Taybeh), which belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, while his son Gideon threshed wheat in the winepress, in order to hide it from the Midianites.”
We will see that Ophrah (Taybeh) is both rocky and hilly, and it is on the border (the very edge) of the Abib of God rejected zone.
Let us continue.
Shophetim (Judges) 7:13
13 “And when Gideon had come, there was a man telling a dream to his companion. He said, “I have had a dream: To my surprise, a loaf of barley bread tumbled into the camp of Midian; it came to a tent and struck it so that it fell and overturned, and the tent collapsed.”
Okay, we are talking about the Jordan River Valley. We have seen this is the photo from, Oh, oh! I am sorry, Devorah Gordon, she has copyrighted the Jordan River Valley. Take a look how hilly this country is. There is barley all over the place, barley is a wild grass, it grows wild in Israel. Here is Taybeh (Ophra) right on the edge of the Abib of God rejected zone.
And what does Taybeh (Ophrah) look like?
Oh no! It is rocky and hilly, we are going to have to reject it, it has got rocks, it is got hills. Oh no, cannot be growing barley there, cannot be growing any crops there. Here is another photo of the surrounding countryside of Oprah (Taybeh).
It is rocky, it is hilly, this is common for the land of Israel. There is not that much flat land down in the valleys, it just does not exist. And if it did exist the Amorites and the Canaanites were down there. Same thing in the book of Ruth.
Root (Ruth) 1:22
22 “So, Naomi returned, and Ruth the Moabitess her daughter-in-law with her, who returned from the country of Moab. Now they came to Bethlehem at the beginning of the barley harvest.”
Here is Bethlehem Judea from the air, this is an aerial photograph from 1931.
Do you see all the terracing here? See how all this is terraced, this whole thing? These are some of the same terraces that Ruth and Boaz would have seen. You see how all this is terraced this whole thing; this is like one gigantic terrace. Because this is what you did, this is what you had to do. You terraced the hillsides, you cultivated them, and then you let the rainfall. and there is your barley. That is what you use to pay your bills, that is what you use to feed your children.
Here are more pictures of Bethlehem.
You see all these ancient terraces over here on this hillside that were used for growing crops? You are not allowed to grow crops there because Abib of God would not like it.
According to Abib of God, you are only allowed to graze goats there because it is on a hill. So, do not you go growing crops there, because that would be bad, bad, bad. Unless you are one of the blessed ones who happens to have the ground down here in the valley, you are not allowed to grow crops up there on those terraces. Do not you do it. No, no, no. That is a big no-no.
Well, brothers, what shall we say about these things?
Qorintim Aleph (1 Corinthians) 8:1-2
1 “Now concerning things offered to idols: We know that we have all knowledge. [The only problem is, sometimes] Knowledge puffs up, but love edifies. [Anybody notice anything puffed up about Abib of God’s adding to Scripture? It says knowledge puffs up, but love edifies. Anyone feel edified by all the extra rules that Abib of God is adding to Scripture?]
2 And if anyone thinks that he knows anything, he knows nothing yet as he ought to know.”
So, what do we do in these kinds of circumstances where we have people adding things to Scripture that should not be added?
Yochanan Aleph (1 John) 4:1
1 “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of Elohim [or not]; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.”
How do we test the spirits? We test them by His word. If things match up with his word, then it is a possibility that someone is speaking according to a correct spirit. And if things do not add up to His word, if we see things that are added to His word or things that are taken away from His word, then we know what to do. We have tested the spirit; we know we are dealing with a false spirit.
We need to pray for those people, very important to pray for them. But at the same time do not be listening to them for doctrine.
The whole thing reminds me of the story of “The Emperor’s New Clothes” According to the storyline there was a very vain, very egotistical, very pompous emperor who loved to dress himself up in just very fine clothing. And he spent so much money on clothing, he even neglected the expenses of the state. Well, finally he hires these two merchants. They come in and they promise that they can weave him a special cloth that is invisible to those who are either stupid or incompetent. The emperor is very intrigued.
So, he sees the merchants and they are weaving this cloth on the loom. But he cannot see the cloth, so he thinks “well, I do not want to say anything because I do not want people to think I am stupid or incompetent.” And all the people are also like “I do not want to say anything because people might think that I am stupid or incompetent”.
So, here comes the king and he is parading before the people.
And it took a small child to point out and say, “The emperor has no clothes!” and the people realized what was going on. But the emperor kept marching on prouder and more egotistical than ever.
Mishle (Proverbs) 30:6
6 “Do not add to His words,
Lest He rebuke you, and you be found a liar.”