[Study adapted from the video “Where is Equinox Commanded?“, from the series Establishing the Head of the Year.]
There are a couple of very special people I would like you to meet.
First, let us meet Moshe Navi, he is also known as Moses the prophet. Now Moshe lived around 1500 BCE, that is about 1500 years before Yeshua the Messiah. Moshe is famous for several things, but one of the most famous is that he gave what is called the Torah (or the laws of Moses) to the children of Israel. And there is a certain calendar in that Torah that all of Israel is supposed to keep.
Now let us meet Hipparchus of Nicaea, he is also called Hipparchus of Rhodes. He lived around 190 to 120 BCE. That is a little less than 200 years before Yeshua Messiah, but it is about 1300 years after the days of Moshe (or Moses) the prophet. Now Hipparchus was a Greek astronomer who discovered the spring and the fall equinoxes. An equinox is sometimes also called an equilux and that is the time of the year when the day and the night are of equal length. There is a spring equinox in the northern hemisphere where the land of Israel is, it happens about every March 20th to 21st. Now some people use the equilux (or the equinox) to start their calendar observance.
[Note 2022: We recently learned that the equinox was discovered even earlier, by the Babylonian astronomer Kidinnu circa 379 BCE, thus antedating Hipparchus by about two and one-half centuries. However, the point is that the equinox was discovered by the Babylonians and the Greeks (who are all a part of the Babylonian system). It has nothing to do with the Torah of Moshe.]
But let us consider if Hipparchus only discovered the equinoxes some 1300 years after the time when Moshe (or Moses) lived, then the equinoxes could not have been known in Moshe’s time. But if the equinoxes were not even known until 1300 years after Moshe, then how could Moshe possibly have commanded the children of Israel to keep the equinoxes as part of their calendar observance?
The answer is simple, he could not have. So, let us consider this. Moshe did not know what the equinoxes were, and the word equinox does not even appear in Scripture, (nor is there a functional definition of the equinoxes in Scripture).
So then, why do so many believers in Yeshua who want to keep the Ancient Torah Barley Calendar seem to unwittingly incorporate the spring equinox into their calendar observance? Have they been tricked? Have they perhaps been taught wrong? And are you perhaps one of them?
So first we need to talk about “What is an Equinox?” We give a more complete definition in the study “The Equinox error” and you can find that on the Nazarene Israel website in Nazarene Scripture Studies volume Two.
But to know what an equinox (sometimes also called the equilux) is we first need to talk about the solstices. The way the earth’s axis sits in space is more or less on a tilt. And so, as the earth orbits the sun there comes a point in time in the northern hemisphere (where the land of Israel is) when the days are longer, and more light strikes the earth (summer solstice). And then six months later it (because the tilt is away from the sun in the northern hemisphere) then the days are shorter. This becomes known as the winter solstice in the northern hemisphere. So, give it six more months and you come back to the summer solstice, with the long days in the northern hemisphere. And then you come give it six more months and you are back at the winter solstice when the days are at the shortest.
So as the days are getting longer on the one side of the hemisphere and shorter on the other, and then they continue this pattern every six months, there comes a point in time when the day and the night are about equal in length. And that is what is known as the equinox (or equilux). So, the term equinox means equal night, meaning the night is the same length as the day, and the term equilux is the same thing but in reverse. That is when the light is the same length as the night, same thing different terminology.
So, the equinox and the equilux are when the day and the night are of equal length and in the northern hemisphere where the land of Israel is this takes place each spring around March 20th and 21st. That is when the day and the night are around equal length. And it happens again incidentally in the fall six months later around September 22nd and 23rd.
We are going to pay more attention to the spring equinox because a lot of people either unwittingly or wittingly use this date to start their calendar observance.
Now what we need to understand here is neither the solstices nor the equinoxes appear anywhere in Scripture. In fact, Scripture bases the calendar only off the ripening of the barley and the new moon in the land of Israel. That is the only factor and if we try to add any other factor (for example the equinoxes or the solstices) Yahweh considers it pagan observance. These are the kinds of things that witches do. It is pagan to do anything that Yahweh does not say to do, he does not respect it. Okay, let us talk more about that.
In Scripture the concept of worship means worthship. So, the question is, “who do we consider worthy to tell us what to do?” And in Scripture, it needs to be only Yahweh alone who tells us what to do. Because he alone is worthy to tell us what to do. And what happens is that if we pay attention to anything other than Yahweh to tell us what to do, then Yahweh considers it to be idolatrous.
In Scripture, service is when we do something for any reason. So, when we worship and serve Yahweh, we do what Yahweh says. When we worship and serve something else, we do something other than what Yahweh says to do. The key point here is if we pay attention to the motions of the sun, the moon, and the stars (such as with an equinox or an equilux or a solstice), in Yahweh’s sight we are effectively worshiping and serving the sun, the moon, and the stars.
In other studies, we talked about the rabbinic Hillel II Jewish Calendar, so-called because it was originally created by a rabbi by the name of Hillel II.
The reason Hillel II created this calendar was because they could no longer be in the land of Israel. After the Bar Kokhba Revolt they were exiled from the land. So, they had to create a way to approximate when the barley was going to be ripe in the land of Israel. Not a perfect system, but for its day it was a very brilliant system. And it has been changed and modified over the years, but again it was created as a means of approximating the ripening of the barley and the new moons based on the equinoxes. It is important to note that [according to the Hillel II Jewish Calendar] the Passover and the Wave Sheaf Offering cannot take place before the spring equinox.
So, here is your spring equinox and then here is the Passover, here is the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and here is the Wave Sheaf Offering (on the Jewish calendar with the calendar rotating like this). And then also, consequently, the Feast of Sukkot (or Tabernacles) takes place after the fall equinox of September 22nd and 23rd.
Now the big problem here is that Scripture tells us to declare the new year at the new moon in which time we know that we will be able to offer the very first wave sheaf of aviv (or medium dough barley) 15 to 21 days later on the day of the Wave Sheaf Offering.
That is what Yahweh says to do.
So, we know that the Wave Sheaf is symbolic of Yeshua because everything in the Torah is symbolic of Yeshua. And it is this offering of the Wave Sheaf that then clears the way for the harvest. Now notice it is very important, under normal conditions, most years this is going to take place on or about or after the spring equinox. But not always. Because the new year is commanded only regarding the barley, it has nothing to do with the spring equinox. So, if we go to add the spring equinox to the calendar, Yahweh considers it to be effectively the worship (or the service) of the sun, the moon, and the stars. Because we are no longer doing what Yahweh told us to do. Now we are doing something different because we are taking the sun, the moon, and the stars, the solstices, and the equinoxes into account and that is specifically what He says not to do. He is a jealous Elohim, He does not want us doing things for these other factors, He wants us to pay strict close attention to what He says to do.
Now, in the study “Where is Spring Commanded” we talked about how in most years the first medium dough (or aviv barley) will come ready after the spring equinox, after the winter is passed. But again, that is a coincidence.
The big problem that we have here, (the problem that we run into time and again) is that certain groups try to make it a dogma. They try to make it into a rule that the barley cannot be ready before the spring equinox. They try to make the spring equinox observance into a rule. But Yahweh Himself does not give that rule. And again, in the language of Scripture, when we obey Yahweh and do what He says alone then we are worshiping and serving Yahweh. When we take other factors into account Yahweh considers that we are worshipping and serving these other factors, such as the sun, the moon, and the stars.
So, to change the calendar that Yahweh commands by observing such things as the spring equinox is effectively adding to Yahweh’s calendar, it is adding to Yahweh’s Torah and this is specifically prohibited in several places. For example, in Deuteronomy chapter 4 and verse 2, Yahweh says:
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.”
He is saying: Do not change My word, do what I command you, to do not change it! And in Deuteronomy 12 and verse 32 he says:
Devarim (Deuteronomy) 12:32
32 “Whatever I command you to do, be careful to observe it: you shall not add, nor take away from it.”
He is saying: Do not change My commandments! Do not change My law! If I do not mention a spring equinox, do not take it into account!
Now let us just consider, try this at your job some time. Say to your boss:
“You know boss, I really love and respect you. I really care about you and to show you this I am not really going to read or study your company rules. Instead, I am going to start with the basis of your company rules. And then I am going to add a few things and take a few things away. And I am going to do what I think you want me to do, and I am going to be ignorant of your company rules. Because I have not really read them. I have not really studied them, and I do not really want to apply them anyway.”
How long is your employment going to last? Or perhaps try this with your parents, say:
“You know dad, mom. You know I love you so much. You know my heart. So, you know, the house rules that you made for us? To show you how much I truly love and care about you, I am going to make a few changes. I am not really going to do what you say to do, I am going to change things the way I feel that you would really like me to do them, instead.”
Yeah. They are going to see how much you truly love them and want to please them. And Yahweh our Father in heaven is the exact same way. So, when we look at things, Yahweh tells us: you know, if you are going to change My rules let Me tell you what is going to happen. In Deuteronomy 4 and verse 19 He says:
Devarim (Deuteronomy) 4:19
19 “And take heed [that means be careful! Means watch out! Be careful with this.] lest you lift your eyes to the heaven, and when you see the sun, the moon, and the stars, and all the host of heaven, you feel driven to [are going to] worship them and serve them.”
You are going to take them into account in the things that you do. The problem is Yahweh (or Elohim) has given these things to all the other peoples under the heaven as a whole heritage. That is the problem. In the language of Scripture in Yahweh’s sight, idolatry is when we do anything other than what Yahweh commands. That is why the spring equinox service qualifies as sun worship. It is very important that we understand that if we are not doing what Yahweh says, if we are adding things to His word, He considers that to be idolatrous. He considers that to be a pagan observance, specifically when it regards the sun, the moon, and the stars, and all the hosts of the heavens.
There is an ancient Jewish maxim which says: whoever’s calendar you keep that is who you worship. That is a true statement. So, we really must be careful to analyze our behavior to scrutinize what we are doing and to ask ourselves: Are we being careful to obey Yahweh’s commandments or are we in fact (even perhaps unbeknownst to ourselves) doing our own thing?
Okay. So, there are four or you could say five calendars (or calendar groups) who require the spring equinox before they will celebrate the Passover and the Wave Sheaf Offering.
Well, the Equinox Calendar (that is fairly obvious).
The Lunar Sabbath Calendar, they also incorporate an equinox, at least all the versions that I have seen. There might be some that do not but typically they involve the spring equinox.
Then you have the Rabbinic Jewish Hillel 2 Calendar. As we stated before, they purposefully and intentionally created a mathematical algorithm to simulate the ripening of the aviv barley in the land of Israel. But they did not know how to do it except to time it around the timing of the spring equinox. So, those are the Pharisees and the rabbis.
And then the Sadducees today who are called the Karaites. We are going to look at the Karaite Calendar, but specifically we are going to do that to lay a base so we can talk about certain Messianic Israelite Calendars that people are following in the Messianic Movement.
Now the pattern in First Corinthians chapter 15 from verses 20 to 23 tells us that Messiah is symbolized by the wave sheaf offering. First Corinthians 15 and verse 20 says:
Qorintim Aleph (1 Corinthians) 15: 20-23
20 “But now Messiah is risen from the dead, and has become first fruits of those who have fallen asleep.
21 For since by man came death, by man also came the resurrection of the dead.
22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Messiah all shall be made alive.
23 But each one in his own order: first Messiah the first fruits; and afterward, those who are Messiah’s at His coming.
So, what we see here is that the pattern is, first we bring the wave sheaf, and then that clears the way for the harvest. First the Wave Sheaf Yeshua, then comes the harvest. That is a very important pattern, it is important that we understand that.
Now with the Pharisees and the Sadducees, they have different doctrines, they have different dogmas. In Matthew 16 and verse 6 Yeshua said to His disciples:
Mattityahu (Matthew) 16:6
6 “Take heed [that means be careful] and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees.”
And then the disciples understood in verse 12 that Yeshua did not tell them to beware of the leaven of bread, but to “beware of the doctrine of the Pharisees and the Sadducees”.
So, the rabbinical calendar is the Hillel II Jewish Calendar that the rabbis keep. Then you have the Karaite Calendar which is the Sadducee Calendar. So, you have the doctrine of the Pharisees and the doctrine of the Sadducees.
Now with the doctrine of the Sadducees we need to understand that the Karaites (or the Sadducees) are blinded to Yeshua’s role as the Messiah. That is to say, they do not believe in Yeshua. So, because of that they do not want to follow Yeshua’s pattern that is established in First Corinthians. They do not want to follow the pattern of first the wave sheaf, then comes the harvest. Instead, they do the opposite: first they want to bring in the harvest and then they are going to bring a wave sheath of that harvest. It is the reverse. You might call it an anti-wave sheath or an anti-sheaf and this is very symbolic of their doctrine.
We need to understand that everything in Scripture is prophetic, especially in the Torah. So, this is prophetic of their desire to bring in the harvest (or the gathering of the Jews) and then they are going to produce their anti-messiah. That is how they do it. They are not going to do first comes the Messiah then comes the ingathering, they are going to do first comes the ingathering then comes the anti-messiah. That is their doctrine, and it influences the way everything else works out. And that is why we need to be careful to take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees.
So, because the Karaite doctrine is to first bring in the harvest and to then bring an anti-sheaf, this means that they want to see the fields ready for the harvest. That means they need to define, or we could say mis-define, aviv as being harvest ripe. So, that is why we are going to see that Strong’s Old Testament 24 tells us that: “Aviv Barley is tender young and green”.
But the Karaites are going to mis-define aviv barley as being hard, dry, and brown. They are going to have a totally different definition of what aviv barley is.
If we look at the definition of aviv barley, we come to Strong’s Hebrew Concordance, Old Testament 24.
OT:24 ‘abiyb (aw-beeb’); from an unused root (meaning ‘to be tender); green, i.e., a young ear of grain; hence, [ and that’s from where they get] the name of the month Abib or [or the rabbis call it] Nisan:
KJV – [translates it as] Abib, ear, green ears of corn (not maize).
Aviv is from an unused root meaning to be tender, green, or a young ear of grain, hence the name of the month Aviv (Abib or Nisan).
Now notice it is very important. If we do things the right way and we do what Scripture says to do, we look for the very first sheaf of barley that comes ripe automatically. It is the very first one. It is going to be tender, green, and young because we have done things the right way. Yeshua was tender, he was young, he was cut off in His youth. But if we do things the wrong way, if we try to bring in the harvest first then we need to wait until the crop is ripe. Therefore, the barley is going to be hard, and dry, and brown. In other words, it is going to be already harvest ripe.
For review, we saw in the study “Aviv Barley Simplified” that we bring the wave sheaf 15 to 21 days after the first crescent sliver of the new moon is seen. That begins the new year (known as Rosh Hashanah). We bring it on the day of Yom Hanafat Haomer, that is when we bring the Wave Sheaf Offering.
The barley should be aviv. We are defining that as medium dough. The reason for that is that medium dough is still tender young and green, but it is substantial. You can parch it (or roast it in the fire) thus fulfilling Leviticus 2 and verse 14. Yet it is hard enough that you can also grind it into flour (fulfilling Leviticus 2 and verse 15). It is also viable as seed which fulfills the patterns in John chapter 12 and verse 24 and in Matthew 27 and verse 52. So, again, it is symbolic of Yeshua. First Yeshua was brought as the Wave Sheaf and then that clears the way for the later harvest of believers.
In the study “Where is Spring Commanded?” we also saw that there is no requirement for spring in Scripture and there is no requirement at all for spring equinox. In fact, winter does not have to be over. Typically speaking, yes, in the normal year under normal average circumstances the harvest of barley will come in the spring. But there are exceptions to this. This particular year (2021) was one of them. So, the thing we need to know is that the start of the year is dependent only upon the barley and the new moons. It can still happen in winter, meaning the weather can still be cold as we saw in John chapter 18 and verse 18. It says:
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 stood with them, and warmed himself.”
In other words, it can be cold. This is also the pattern that we see in Josephus, historically we know that this is the way it was done. In Josephus Antiquities of the Jews book 3 chapter 10 and verse 5, it says:
[He is talking about the bringing of the wave sheaf offering and how this is done to prepare the way for the harvest] and he says:
“… they offer the first-fruits of their barley, and that in the manner following: They take a handful of the ears [okay that is a sheaf. You are going to gather it with both hands, you are going to hold it in one hand while you cut the stalks with the sickle in your other hand. So, a sheaf is not that big, it does not take that much]: They take a handful of the ears and dry them, [meaning they are still green because they are tender, green, and young. These are not fully hard dry grains, they are still green, they still have moisture, they are still young], then they beat them small and purge the barley from the bran [meaning they separate the barley from the chaff]; then they bring one tenth deal to the altar [they bring a tenth of it to the altar to Elohim], and casting one handful of it upon the fire they leave the rest for the use of the priest. [and get this] And after this it is that they may publicly or privately reap their harvest.”
[Josephus Antiquities of the Jews book 3 chapter 10, verse 5]
First, you bring the wave sheaf, then you can bring in the harvest, not the other way around. We are going to see how this wrong Karaite doctrine has influenced certain Messianic groups.
So, once again, first bring the wave sheaf, then bring the harvest, not the other way around, not the Karaite way.
Now here we have a problem. We are talking about the Karaites because it lays a base for the Messianic groups which tend to follow the Karaites in the calendar. There is a particular barley search team called Devorah’s Date Tree, it is led by Devorah Gordon. She emphasizes that she is not a representative for the Karaites but that she is leading in a quote-unquote interfaith Karaite barley search group, but they just so happen to follow the Karaites doctrine. The doctrine (or the leaven) of the Sadducees. She is answering a hypothetical frequently asked question (or maybe somebody did ask it, I do not know) but she says:
“Could the new year begin next month?” [She continues] As alluded to in my opening paragraph, it is still winter here and it poured all of last week.”
[Devorah’s Date Tree.]
What she is saying is it is still winter here, meaning it has not yet turned spring, because the spring equinox has not passed. This is a functional assumption on the part of Devorah’s Date Tree that the spring equinox must be passed. Scripture does not say that, that is not written anywhere in Scripture.
She has another Frequently Asked Question (hypothetical one). She says:
“How was the weather?” [Because the Karaite doctrine is that it is going to be warm before you have the feasts and before you have the harvest]. “It was just starting to get warmer on our first day but then on the second day of our inspection it got cold again.
[Devorah’s Date Tree.]
So, what she is saying here, again the functional assumption, it must be warm. In other words, it must be after the spring equinox or the barley cannot be aviv and the Passover cannot yet take place. So, these are functional assumptions, it has nothing to do with what Yahweh Elohim commanded. It has to do with other factors that have been added to Yahweh’s word. And that is prohibited, that is forbidden.
This particular year (in 2021) we had some extreme weather. In fact, there is still extreme weather going on. First, we had six weeks of unseasonably hot weather, a lot of it in December, and then it got cold again. What happens with barley is the barley starts to come forward, it starts to get ripe. Well, there are many different microclimates in Israel, therefore the barley crop does not all ripen at once. It becomes ripe over a period of about two or three months. The earliest of the barley started to advance and when it flowers, the barley more or less reaches what you might call a point of no return. In other words, it commits to making seed because it is already flowered. So, it wants to drive forward. Maybe you have seen this in your own garden or your own yard, sometimes you will get warm weather in the spring and the buds will start to push out, and then the warm weather will go away, and the buds will actually pull back. But once that bud flowers it is committed. So, then it is going to drive forward and attempt to make seed.
Well, the warm weather caused the earliest of the barley to flower and to commit itself and then the cold weather returned so the rest of the barley pulled back. So, we have this year what might be termed as two flushes of barley. So, you have an early flush which committed itself and then you have the second flush which is the main flush. This fact is very important to understand.
So, on February 6th a believing sister by the name of Becca Biderman, (she and her husband Ken live in the Galilee area) found an early flush (or a first flush) of aviv barley. This was on February 6, that is a month and a half prior to the spring equinox. The spring equinox is on March 20th, they found it on February 6th. Then on February 11th Devorah’s Date Tree came in and inspected the same field right after Becca and said, nope there is no aviv. The reason why is because Devorah’s Date Tree is looking for a different definition of aviv and they are looking for a totally different condition for the field. Devorah’s Date Tree is looking for what they call harvestable fields, well we did not have harvestable fields. What we had was a first sheaf of barley (well more than just the first sheaf). But you can see it right here.
When the barley starts to turn in golden brown that is when you inspect it for medium dough.
Continuing to February 22nd, Becca Biderman and her assistant Cindy also found aviv barley in Re’im Israel down near the Gaza Strip. This is still almost a month before the spring equinox of March 20th.
Well, then on March 1st and 2nd Devorah’s Date Tree came in, once again inspecting right behind Becca Biderman. Yeshua says that when the barley is ripe the wise farmer immediately puts in the sickle. Because the time of the harvest has come. Because once you have got the grain in the head the plant starts to fall over (lodging), because now the plant is heavier. Any kind of wind or rain or anything like that can cause the plant to fall over. It is going to drop its seed and the plant is going to die.
So, what happened here is that it was around 9 to 11 days later that Devorah’s Date Tree came in and the barley that Becca Biderman previously found had already fallen over. You could see it in the video. It would have been comical if it had not been so serious. But Devorah’s Date Tree came right in and if you watch their inspection videos you can see the first flush. It is already fallen over, and dying and brown, and Devorah’s Date Tree is only inspecting the green heads of the second flush and saying no there is no aviv here. Because we do not yet have fully harvestable fields. Because they are using a different definition. They want to bring in the harvest and then offer an anti-sheaf. It is a different process, that is not the pattern that Yeshua followed.
So, first, an error made by the rabbinic (the Pharisees) is that they just flat out use the spring equinox in their calculations. But then the Karaites (or the Sadducees), also assume a spring equinox in their calculations. They say it is still winter, it is not yet spring, it must be spring, it must be warm, or we cannot have aviv barley. And the problem is that this assumption is also made by certain Messianic Israelite groups.
So, just to review, with the Pharisees, or the rabbinic Hillel II Jewish Calendar, (and we are going to see this again) the Passover and the Wave Sheath Offering cannot take place before the spring equinox. That is by definition, because they baked it right into their algorithm. So, it must be the spring equinox, or they will not celebrate the Passover.
Now let us look, this is a chart from the most popular Messianic barley searcher. We are not going to mention him by name, but I ask you please to join us in praying for him. We do not want to mention his name because we would like him to repent, we would like him to recognize that what he is doing is wrong, we would like him to repent of his sun-worship. So, again this is the most popular Messianic barley searcher and let us compare here to what is going on.
The Pharisees (or the rabbis) tell us that you cannot have a Passover before the spring equinox. The rabbis would put their Passover date here or then on. (see chart). But now notice what this brother has done. So, here is the spring equinox which you could also call the equilux. This brother puts it four days in advance where he puts the equilux on the 16th and 17th of March and then he says that the Passover cannot take place before that. So, the Passover must take place after the spring equilux (or the spring equinox).
Equilux is equal light with night. Equinox is equal night with light, it is the same thing.
He is always talking about intercalation, which is a rabbinic term. We will get into that in other places. You can read about that in Nazarene Scripture Studies Volume Two in the study on “The Equinox Error”.
But again, he puts a Passover minimum date, and he also has an earliest date for a new year. Notice that these things are pre-calculated, they have to do with the sun, and they have to do with the spring equinox. They do not have to do only with the barley. But you cannot find these terms equilux or equinox anywhere in Scripture and you also do not see any kind of a minimum Passover date in Scripture. That is how we know these things have been added. And then in fact, he adds all kinds of things.
So, he has got the Eurasian Banded Dove, he expects to see them here. He expects to see fig trees in a specific stage (blooming, budding, etc.) from March the 7th through the 20th. Then he expects to see a traditional white stork migration. He expects to see grapes also in a specific stage (blooming, budding, etc.) from the 10th to the 20th, as if plant behavior is supposed to be schedulable on a solar, sun-centric calendar that includes the Equinox (or Equilux). Then he says the swifts are always here in the land of Israel by now. Are any of these things commanded in Scripture? Does Yahweh tell us to do any of these things? Or are these commandments that he has simply added to Yahweh’s word?
Okay, so what is he worshiping and serving? Is he worshiping (worth shipping) and serving the one true Elohim as the one to tell him what to do and what not to do? Or is he adding things of his own volition? Is he guilty of paying an idolatry? Is he guilty of self-idolatry and self-worship, by elevating his own commandments equal to the level of Yahweh Elohim, just like the rabbis do? It is a good question, and we hope he will ask it.
Please pray with us for this brother and let me show you some of the errors that this kind of thinking makes. We must understand spirits and we must understand the way spirits work. What this brother is doing is perhaps unbeknownst to himself and if you were to ask him, he would absolutely deny that he is worshiping the sun, the moon, and the stars. It is one of those things. You must look at what he is doing and ask. Is that exactly the same as what Yahweh tells us to do? Or has he been adding things? Well, he has been adding things. We must look at the spirits. When you start with this desire to do your own thing then you are going to end up twisting and resting the word of Yahweh to make it say things that it really does not say. And that is what we are going to see here. We are going to focus on him for the next few weeks, we are not going to use his name but please help us pray for him.
We come to Shemote (or Exodus) chapter 12. Starting in verse 1 says:
Shemote (Exodus) 12:1-2
1 “Now Yahweh spoke to Moshe and Aharon in the land of Egypt, saying,
2 “This month shall be the beginning of months [or literally the head of months], it shall be the first month of the year to you.
And that word “head” (or beginning) is Rosh. Where is the spring equinox in this passage? Where does it talk about an equilux in this passage? It does not. In context, Yahweh only talks about the aviv barley in Exodus.
Shemote (Exodus) 12:1-2
|(2) הַחֹדֶשׁ הַזֶּה לָכֶם רֹאשׁ חֳדָשִׁים | רִאשׁוֹן הוּא לָכֶם לְחָדְשֵׁי הַשָּׁנָה:|
Where is the Spring Equinox here?
So, we are going to look, and we come to Strong’s Hebrew Concordance Old Testament 7218.
OT:7218 ro’sh (roshe); “from an unused root apparently meaning to shake; the head (as most easily shaken), [so you can shake the head I suppose] whether literal or figurative (in many applications, a place, of time, of rank, etc).
So, the head of the month, the head of the year, the head of the line, the head of the class, these kinds of things.
So, again, Yahweh says:
Shemote (Exodus) 12:2
2 “This month shall be your beginning [literally head] of months; it shall be the first month of the year to you.”
And in context, in the Passover story in Exodus, the reference was to Strong’s Old Testament 24: Aviv Barley, which is defined as tender green and young barley, that is the factor that Yahweh is going off.
So, notice then this brother’s commentary on this verse. Again, no names mentioned, but he is the most popular Messianic Aviv Barley Searcher. And he says:
“Head here is Strong’s Old Testament 7218 Ro’sh.
Notice what emphasis Strong’s puts on its meaning: “from an unused root apparently meaning to shake; [he is just quoting] the head (as most easily shaken), whether literally or figuratively (in many applications; of place, time, rank, etc.)” [He just quoting but so far so good]
Then he says:
“Please drink this in. It is called the head of the months because of its description.”
Okay, we can go along with that. And then he says:
[and I apologize for this it makes my head hurt to read him] “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”.
What he is saying is that this is when you can thresh the barley, this is when you can separate the seed from the chaff. So, to speak, that is literally what he is saying. But it does not work because his definition is off. What he is saying is the head of months is when you can shake the barley and the seeds are going to fall out of the head. Alright, well that is what we are trying to avoid during the harvest. We are trying to harvest the barley before the seeds fall out of the head.
Now if you have a combine as we do nowadays you want the barley to fall out of the head, the combine comes by and it slaps the barley with the paddle and the slapping separates the seed from the chaff. That is a good thing with a combine, but in ancient times with an ancient sickle harvest you did not want that. Because just in the act of gathering your stalks together, the heads get very brittle very quickly. Some of the heads are going to shatter. You are probably going to lose some there, and then when you go to hack away at the stalks some more of this seed is going to fall out of the head. So, you specifically did not want to wait that long to harvest back in ancient times like what he is suggesting here. So, he is saying that seeds falling out of the head is desirable. That is precisely what you are trying to avoid.
Okay, now let us look at this, let us clip the first part off and look at it again. So, he says:
“Please drink this in. It is called the head of the months because of its description.”
That part is good, but then he says:
“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 flower.”
So, there is just all kinds of problems here with this brother’s definition. This brother is waiting for the grain to be effectively combine ripe before he is willing to declare the month of the aviv and harvest it. But the problem is if you put the harvest first (as we already saw like the Karaites do) then you end up having to mis-define the aviv as barley that is already dry and brown and ripe, and it is no longer barley that is tender, and green, and young.
So, by following the Karaite doctrine of bringing the harvest first and then bringing an anti-sheaf, all of a sudden you no longer have barley that is tender, green, and young. Now you have barley that is hard, dry, brown, and brittle, and falling out of the head, and it is too ripe to harvest. And if you are going to harvest it and then bring it up to Jerusalem, it is going to fall apart. Because as the barley dries it gets even more brittle.
There are all kinds of problems with this brother’s theology. But there is more. So, he says:
“The first of the mature heads, the aviv heads…”
So, he is equating maturity with aviv. We already saw that aviv barley is defined as barley that is tender, green, and young. You see what he is doing here? Because he is bringing in the harvest first, he is mis-defining aviv as mature heads. He says:
“The first of the mature heads, the aviv heads, will take place during this month and not before it.”
That is wrong, that is backwards. He says:
“This first maturing grain [that is supposed to be tender, green, and young] will be deemed the first of the first fruits of barley as we will discuss a little later.”
So, what this brother is really saying is that when the barley is so hard and ripe and brown that it is literally falling out of the head, that is when the barley is tender, green, and young… it does not make any sense.
Because he is following the Karaite doctrine. In fact, this particular brother, it is like he is trying to mix the Karaite and Sadducee doctrines rather than going by what Scripture says. He continues:
“It becomes very obvious when understanding the essence of these two descriptive signs which occur during the month of the Abib, that this month will be the first month to have quantities of aviv barley,”
You only need a single sheaf, but he wants to have quantities of aviv barley, like he is trying to bring in a harvest.
“enough for a wave sheaf offering, being surrounded by a vast majority of unripe fields of green ears.”
Well, the problem here is that barley does not always do what you want it to do. Yahweh is the one who is in control the weather and Yahweh is the one who sends the barley. And we are going to talk in future studies about many other requirements that this brother tries to place on the barley harvest that Scripture never mentions. This brother has all kinds of things he tries to put on the barley harvest and says you can only harvest this kind of a field, in this kind of a condition, with this kind of quantity, and there are no exceptions to that. When in fact what Yahweh actually says is just bring Me the very first sheaf and make sure it is still tender, green, and young. Because what Yahweh wants is for us to bring him the first sheaf to then clear the way for the rest of the harvest. Because that is Yeshua’s pattern, that is Yeshua’s example.
So, this is our most popular Messianic Aviv Barley Searcher. When we really understand what is going on and we look at this brother and see what he is doing, what we see is that he has got a mix of spirits. He is mixing the equilux of the Pharisees and bringing the harvest first (the harvestable fields doctrine of the Sadducees), and neither one of those things is what Yahweh says to do. And neither one of them follows Yeshua’s example. In fact, Yeshua said do the exact opposite. Why this believing brother cannot follow this? That I do not understand. Yeshua said to them:
Mattityahu (Matthew) 16:6
6 “Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees.
Mattityahu (Matthew) 16:12
12 And His disciples understood that he did not tell them to beware of the leaven of bread, but to beware of the doctrine of the Pharisees and the Sadducees.”
So, this particular brother, please pray for him. Because a lot of people listen to him, and a lot of people are misled by what he is saying. And this brother needs to understand what Yahweh means in Deuteronomy chapter 4 and verse 2 when he says:
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.”
And Yahweh says:
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.
And if we are one of Yahweh’s people, we also need to do the same thing. So, we need to be careful not to observe the equinox. Because there is no equinox commanded in Scripture.