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Welcome to Nazarene Israel. My name is Norman Willis and welcome to our presentation on the Aviv Barley Simplified.
Would you like to know what exactly is going on in the Hebrew Roots, or the Nazarene, or the Messianic Israel movement every year with regards to the aviv barley? Because every year there is a big discussion and every year there is a big struggle and it is like the old saying, sometimes you cannot really know what is going on without a scorecard.
We wanted to take a moment to record this video in a very respectful way to help you understand what exactly is going on in the Hebrew roots (or aviv barley) movements with regards to the barley. We are going to find out that there are three separate groups and there are two main variables and there are some other variables that go on in there, and that is what makes the process so confusing.
Just to give you some understanding of why we are doing this, we the priesthood have the duty to qualify witnesses to the aviv barley and to declare the head of the new year based on those witnesses. We have had to come up with an understanding for ourselves of exactly what it is that we are trying to do about qualifying witnesses. We have had to break it down and make things simple for ourselves and we thought that we should also share this information with all of you so that you also can understand how we qualify witnesses to the aviv barley.
To give you some background information on myself, again my name is Norman Willis, I was called to repentance in 1999 and I have been following what they call the Aviv Barley, or sometimes they call it the Karaite Calendar, since about the year 2000. I was trained by the Karaite around the year 2003. I have also grown barley a few different times, I would not say that I am an expert in the barley any more than I would say that I am good with cars. I am not an expert mechanic, but I know enough about automotive mechanics to hire a good one. That is about where I am at with the barley.
The duty of the priesthood as we understand it is to qualify at least two, preferably three or more witnesses to the barley and then to declare the head of the year so that everyone can be on the same calendar schedule together. Right now this is one of the main problems is that people are not on the same calendar because there are differences of understanding as to what aviv barley is, how to determine aviv barley, when is the viv barley, and exactly when do you need the aviv barley. There are a lot of questions regarding this but from what we see is that it comes down to two main questions.
1. The first question is what exactly is aviv barley?
(And the second question is)
2. When exactly do you need it?
We are going to cover these questions and more, we are going to go into a little bit of detail, but we are going to do that in order to break it down and keep things simplified. If you can remember these two main questions: What is Aviv barley? And when do you need it? That will make things a lot simpler.
The thing we are also going to see is that there are three main groups within the aviv barley movement, and this is a thing that also with it just adds a whole different level of complexity. The first group we could call the Karaite position, I am sure not every Karaite believes the exact same way just as not every Hebrew roots believer in Yeshua believes the same way, but the Karaites have summed up their feeling that they need what they call ‘harvestable fields’ in order to declare the new moon of the Aviv.
There is a question, do they need these harvestable fields in order to declare the new moon or do they only need the harvestable fields by the day of the wave sheaf offering, along with these two questions ‘what is aviv barley’ and ‘when do you need it’?
We also have these three different positions. One is at least the traditional Karaite position that you need this harvestable barley by the time of the new moon, and then the second position that two messianic groups are taking. And this is what they are publishing is that you need these harvestable fields by the day of the wave sheaf offering.
1. One of the positions is you must have harvestable fields by the day of the new moon.
2. The other one is you need harvestable fields by the day of the wave sheaf offering.
What I hope to do in this presentation is to show why both of those positions are not correct and I hope to show why the third position is correct and that is what we might term as that you need “only one sheaf” of aviv barley by the day of the wave sheaf offering. And by aviv we are going to qualify that as medium dough. We are going to see that these other groups are asking for a very advanced definition of aviv that is like within a day or two of being fully harvest ripe, and we are going to show why that is too advanced to be declared as ‘green, immature, tender, young‘ ears of barley.
At this point in time, we only have one witness that agrees with us and we arrived at this conclusion separately. Her name is Becca Biderman, and she lives in the land of Israel in the Galilee region. You can also refer to her, she has a Facebook page and a YouTube channel, but we are going to talk a lot about all these things so you can understand the two variables; ‘what is Aviv barley?’ and ‘when do you need it?’ And then you can also understand the three separate interpretations:
1. One is that you need a lot of aviv barley at the time of the sighting of the new moon.
2. The other is that you need the main body of the barley ready at the time of the day the wave sheaf offering.
3. And the third position which is that you only need one sheaf of barley at the day of the wave sheaf offering and there are good reasons for that and we will explain those reasons.
I am going to just define my terms. For the term new moon, you may hear me say Rosh Chodesh (I am going to use those terms interchangeably). Rosh means head, Chodesh means month, head of the month and the new moon, those are the same thing to me, I am going to use those terms interchangeably.
For new year you will hear me say Rosh HaShanah, again Rosh means head, HaShanah means year or the year, and we know from Exodus chapter 12 and verse 6 and other places that you add 14 days to the head of the year, you add 14 days to Rosh Hashanah and then that is when you hold the Passover.
Now the Passover can fall on any day of the week any time of the week, but the first day of the week of the week that follows the Passover week, that is when you are going to present the wave sheaf offering. And that is different than the rabbinical position. We are not going to talk about the rabbinical position in this presentation. We are zooming in on this subject and we are going to zoom even farther in. We are trying to help within the barley camp, everyone agrees that the day of the wave sheaf happens on the first day of the week following the Passover week and then from there then you add seven weeks to that and that is when you arrive at Shavuot (or Pentecost) with the 50 count.
Let us jump right in, it is going to get real complicated real fast, but we are going to help everyone break it down and keep it simple so that there can be understanding, because we want the understanding to come. In Leviticus chapter 23 starting verse 10 Yahweh says
Vayiqra (Leviticus) 23:10-11
10 “speak to the children of Israel, and say to them:
when you come into the land which I give you and reap its harvest….
Now this phrase, these four words right here, this is where we feel we believe the other two groups are getting confused and we are going to show you their position. We are going to try and help you understand their position and then we are going to help you understand why that position is mistaken and why mathematically it is impossible.
Vayiqra (Leviticus) 23:10-11
… “when you come into the land which I give you, and reap its harvest, then you shall bring a sheaf of the first fruits of your harvest to the priest.
11 He shall wave the sheaf before Yahweh, to be accepted on your behalf; on the day after the Sabbath….”
Meaning on the day after the sabbath of the Passover week (after the Sabbath of the week in which the Passover falls) the priest shall wave it. Then Yahweh says in verse 14:
Vayiqra (Leviticus) 23:14
“You shall eat neither bread nor parched grain nor fresh grain until the same day that you have brought an offering to your Elohim, it shall be a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings”.
We are going to focus in on the misunderstanding that these other groups have with regard to the term ‘reap its harvest’. One of the things that they misunderstand or over focus on is Joshua 5 starting in verse 10 and this talks about when the children of Israel came into the land of Israel it says:
Yehoshua (Joshua) 5:10-11
“Now the children of Israel camped in Gilgal and kept the Passover on the fourteenth day of the month at twilight [okay in keeping with Exodus 12:6] on the plains of Jericho.
11 And they ate the produce of the land on the day after the Passover, unleavened bread and parched grain, on the very same day”.
What we need to notice here is that they kept the Passover on the 14th, and they ate the produce on the land on the day after the Passover, they ate the produce of the land on the 15th. According to the verses that we just saw we are not allowed to eat anything of the harvest until we have brought a sheaf of that harvest to the priest. What they are rightly perceiving here is the children of Israel came into the land, they celebrated the Passover on the 14th, and the very next day they must have brought that wave sheaf offering to the priest. Now the rabbis go a different direction with this, we are not going to worry about the rabbis right now, let us keep going so that we can see their misunderstanding.
The Karaite position is that first you must harvest the main harvest and then you bring a sheaf of that harvest to the priest. That they are basing that on Joshua 5 and verse 10. There is a study out right now called “Harvestable Fields are Required by “Yom HaNafat HaOmer“. It is not officially a Karaite publication, but it is published by a Karaite and she is very well known, and because the Karaites began re-pioneering this calendar back in the 1980s, there is this assumption that first is best, and their position is more widely known and so it is correct. But we need to see why it is not correct.
The Karaite position is that first you must harvest the main harvest and then you bring the sheaf of that harvest to the priest just like we see, they ate the produce of the land on the day after the Passover, unleavened bread and parched grain on the very same day. Because what it looks like here is the Israelites harvested all that produce and then they must have brought a sheaf of that produce on the next day. So they believe that this says that they need to have a lot of aviv ready even to declare, they believe this means you have to have a lot of aviv ready by the day of the wave sheaf offering.
We are also going to see these two messianic groups are going to require there to be a lot of aviv, but they are going to require it to be aviv by the day of the wave sheaf offering. (we will get into that later).
The next thing we need to see is what we call the four-and-a-half-week dilemma.
The thing that the Karaites are not considering is what we call the four-and-a-half-week dilemma, and this is a very important thing, we will talk about this later. We do not know the exact weather that took place in Joshua 5 and verse 10 and 11, but what happens is that the barley in Israel ripens over about a two- or three-month period. But you have some early farms where the barley starts to ripen early, then you have perhaps the main bulk of the harvest where most of the barley harvest is ready, and then you have some other farms where the barley ripens somewhat later.
What the Karaites are looking for is for the main bulk of the harvest to be ready on or about the day of the new moon. You might still have a little bit of barley that is green, but the main bulk of the harvest is going to be ready. The problem is, this affects the two messianic groups also, the barley does not necessarily play by our rules. The barley can ripen whenever it wants. The bulk of the harvest can be ready about the time of the new moon, it can ripen just ahead of the new moon or it can ripen after the new moon, this kind of a thing. We are going to talk about this in detail later but what we are going to see is that with the Karaite position is that they are not going to find the bulk of the harvest ready at the time of the new moon.
They are not going to declare the new moon of the Aviv, they are not going to declare the new year until the next new moon. The problem here is that barley ripens over about a four week period for ancient sickle ripe, a four and a half week period for modern sickle ripe, and the problem is these poor farmers here at: one week, two week, three week, four weeks, five weeks, six weeks, seven weeks, eight weeks, nine weeks, ten weeks, they are going to have to wait nine or ten weeks until the next day of the wave sheaf offering before they are going to be able to harvest their grains. And the Karaites say no it is okay, these farmers can go ahead and harvest their grains when they become ready, they are just not going to eat them (like what we saw in Leviticus). The big problem that we end up with here is that Yahweh says in Deuteronomy 16 starting in verse 9, he says “you shall count seven weeks for yourself” he says:
Devarim (Deuteronomy) 16:9-10
9 “…. Begin to count the seven weeks from the time you begin to put the sickle to the standing grain [he says]
10 Then you shall keep the Feast of Weeks to Yahweh your Elohim with the tribute of a freewill offering from your hand, which you shall give as Yahweh your Elohim blesses you”.
What Yahweh is saying here is ‘when you begin to cut the barley’, that is when your seven-week count to Pentecost begins. And the Karaites are saying, no you do not have to do it that way. The Karaites are saying that these early farmers, they can harvest their barley and lay it to one side just so long as they do not eat of it and the seven-week count to Pentecost does not have to begin. That is a direct violation of Deuteronomy 16:9. And just to say it, we have talked with the Karaites, we have tried to talk with them, sent them emails we sent them correspond. They do not respond to us, so our purpose is not to name names or point fingers, but we are just trying to explain to people that this is what is going on.
Again, it is like you can’t know what’s going on without a scorecard because there is too much cacophony, there is too much noise going on. But this is why we understand in terms of qualifying witnesses to the barley, this is why we understand the Karaite position cannot be correct is because they are saying if you are a barley farmer and your barley is ripening earlier just put it to one side and the seven week count does not begin to us, that is a direct violation of Deuteronomy 16:9.
Again, we are talking about these two main questions: what is Aviv barley? And when is Aviv barley needed? So now we need to talk about what is Aviv barley.
In Leviticus chapter 2 starting in verse 14 Yahweh says:
Vayiqra (Leviticus) 2:14-15
14 “If you offer a grain offering of your
to Yahweh, [and that’s what the wave sheaf is, it’s the first fruits offering, he says] …you shall offer the grain offering of your first-fruits green heads of grain…”
In Hebrew that term is Aviv “roasted on the fire”, that’s kalui. He is saying if you are going to offer first fruits offer Aviv kalui roasted, “green heads of grain or grain beaten from full heads”, that is called Carmel and we will talk about carmel in a little bit, he says verse 15:
15 “And you shall put oil on it and lay frankincense on it, it is a grain offering”.
What does that mean? We are going to look at the Strong’s Hebrew concordance, we are going to look at this term Aviv. Its Strong’s Hebrew Concordance says:
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).
What we are also going to see here is that there is a requirement for the aviv barley to be viable. You have got to be able to offer the Aviv barley. So that is what we see is that Aviv barley must be. Aviv barley must be green, it must be tender, it must be young.
What we are going to see is, especially with the Karaites but also the two messianic groups, the definitions they are going to use of aviv are not going to be ‘tender green or young‘, they are going to define aviv barley as something that is very hard, and dry, and brown, and completely mature because that is the Karaite ideal is, that the barley has to be ready for the harvest at the time of the Passover and the Wave Sheaf offering. So that is where the confusion is coming in, that is what we are trying to help everyone understand.
That is ‘what is the aviv barley, now we are going to talk about when is aviv barley needed. Aviv barley must be ready by the day of the wave sheaf offering, now it is going to be either 15 or 21 days after the new moon of the new year, it is going to be 15 or 21 days after Rosh Hashanah.
Here is our Joshua 5 example:
The new moon would have been cited at the close of Sabbath, because the Hebrew day begins at evening, the first day of the week would have been the first day of the month, and then count your seven and then count an additional seven. You come to the Passover on the 14th day, and then they would have held the wave sheaf offering the very next day. That is what happened in Joshua 5 and verse 10. This is an early example; the barley was needed on the 15th day. It can also happen that if the new moon is cited on the first day of the week then you count your seven and then you count, the first day of the month. You count seven then you count 14, here is the Passover. But then you are going to hold the day of the wave sheaf offering on the first day of the week following the week in which the Passover is held. Here you can have a delay of 21 days. 15 days or 21 days, that is when you need your wave sheaf offering.
We are going to continue talking about the when of the aviv and this is very, very important. This is a chart and sister Biderman, really, she has been such a help with this, sister Biderman emphasizes again and again and again:
“Norman don’t go by this chart” because every year is different, the weather is always different, every field is different, every farmer is different. She emphasizes very strongly do not go exactly by the number of days in this chart.
However, what we have to say is that in general and on average the University of Wisconsin, (we need to emphasize that barley does follow certain growth and development patterns), and at least for the University of Wisconsin they came up with what they call the “Guide to Spring Barley”.
It explains the development cycle of barley and it is very quick, you plant the barley, the emergence happens at 10 days and then it grows sleeves and then tillering begins, advanced tillering, etc. Then it starts to form the boot which is the grain head. The grain head is going to emerge on day 58 just under two months (in general and on average with average barley in an average year in an average field which does not exist in reality) but in general and on average the head is going to emerge just under two months. It does all this in two months, (the chart could have stretched out a little more) but then just under three months it is going to ripen. It is a very short space. Day 58 just under two months the head emerges from the stock and then all the development in the head happens. You are going to end up with maturity on day 89 that is just under 3 months, this can be 31 days from the emergence of the head to where the barley is modern combine ripe. Now modern combine ripe, that is a very advanced stage of ripe, that is too ripe for ancient times. For ancient times not four and a half weeks, more like four weeks. We are going to look in on this third month.
Here is the barley development that goes on in the head. Again, we saw that the head emerges from the stock, you have got the flowering fertilization, anther opening and fertilization then what happens is the flower is going to close and then it is going to form a husk and then slowly it is going to start to fill, first with a watery fluid and then it is going to start to pump starch into the head. It is going to become a milky fluid and then this milky fluid is going to become more and more solid consistency. Here you have what might be called the water stage and then here starting about day eight, in general and on average, you end up with what they call the milk stage and then it is going to progress a little bit more, but it progresses very, very, very rapidly. This is the first seven days, then it comes to the milk stage then it is going to come to what is called the worm stage, it is going to have a little bit more substance a little bit more body to it and then it is going to continue to harden and then right around two weeks or the 14th day is what they call the soft dough stage.
They did not include in their chart, we are going to place a lot of emphasis on what is called medium dough because that is what we believe is barley and we are going to show you in detail why, break it down but make it simplified.
This is the soft dough stage at about two weeks and then that’s sort of the consistency that you can cut it with your fingernail, it will still break apart, but it is able to be parched, meaning you can roast it in fire and there is something there to eat. There is enough starch in the head, there is something to eat, then give it another week. It is progressed to the hard stage. In the middle here give it say three or four more days depending on the field depending on the barley depending on the weather etcetera, etcetera, it is going to enter medium dough. We are going to see that is what Aviv is because that is when it is going to become, not only can it be parched, but it is also going to become viable as a seed, if you plant it will grow. Sister Biderman has done her experiments on that.
Then continue to three weeks and you’ve entered the hard dough stage, then it’s going to go from the hard dough stage (where you can’t cut it with your fingernail or it’s extremely difficult to cut it with your fingernail), then you can have very hard dough unless you have difficulty even denting it with your fingernail, and then finally at four and a half weeks you end up with what they call fully modern combine ripe and we will see that’s way too advanced for sickle harvest.
I apologize, I did not have all the pictures here, I wanted to illustrate the exact same chart with pictures, I could not find them, but these are some pictures that I do have from before. To kind of walk through the stages, this is what you might call watery ripe, or it is sort of a watery substance here, there is really nothing to it. You have got a husk and it is kind of a watery milky kind of a filling. Then you are entering sort of what would be called the worm stage, if you were to squeeze this it would pop out and you would end up with something that looks kind of like a slimy worm would come out, there is enough starch to that, it will hold together as kind of a worm, but it is not really solid yet. okay. Then there is what they would call soft dough, or this is what was shown to me a soft dough. now notice it is still green, it is just starting to turn golden yellow. This would be soft dough, you can parch it, if you were to roast it in fire and you were to peel the husk off or you can even just chew on the husk and swallow it, you know just chew on it. That is soft dough.
Come here this is about two weeks in general and on average and this is about three weeks in general and on average. This is what is called hard dough, you can see most of the green has gone at two weeks, it is still has green it is just starting to turn here at three weeks to turn golden, there’s really not much green left. This is hard dough; we will see more pictures of hard dough later.
Our hypothetical ideal here of medium dough that is both parch-able and it is viable is going to take place in the middle of this on day about 17 or 18. Give it a little bit more time and it is going to progress to what we would call very hard dough; some people would call this carmel. You can see a lot of the moisture has left it, it has got the content here it has got the starch, but it is going to start drying up, it is not completely hard yet, but it is a lot harder than it was. Then here you have what is called modern combine ripe on day about 31. It is very shriveled very, very dry this kind of a thing. Hopefully, that is clear, let us take one more look. What we are going for, what our medium dough is, it has still got some green, but it has also got golden, halfway in between those things.
This was something sister Biderman was very helpful with, she talked about the need for the seed to be viable and so we had a big discussion on this, and she has it that if we understand that the scriptures speak of Yeshua and everything in the Torah speaks of Yeshua then everything should correspond to Yeshua and his ministry and his history.
We will look first Corinthians chapter 15 starting in verse 20 it says:
Qorintim Aleph (1 Corinthians) 15:20-23
20 “But now Messiah is risen from the dead and has become the 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.
What this tells us is that Yeshua is our Wave Sheaf, the wave sheaf is symbolic of him, and then it says in verse 23:
23 “But each one in his own order, first Messiah the first fruits and then afterward those who are Messiah’s at his coming.”
And this is one of the things that the Karaites do not see.
They do not have the same model for this, (I do not want to say anything here), but therefore Yeshua says to “beware and take heed of the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees” meaning the rabbis and the Karaites, is because they have a different conception and so their application of the conception is going to be different. Since they have a different conception the rabbis are going to declare the wave sheaf offering the day after the Passover no matter what day of the week it falls. That is different because Yeshua was in the tomb for three days and three nights, but then the Karaites are going to say no you must bring in the harvest first and then you bring a wave sheaf. Well, if the wave sheaf is symbolic of the Messiah that is going to correspond to: first you must have the harvest which some might interpret kabbalistically as the gathering of the Jews back to the land of Israel in 1948 and then they are going to produce their messiah- in reality, an anti-messiah. Again, we need to take heed of the doctrine of the scribes and the pharisees okay enough said.
We talk more about the grain being viable in John chapter 12 and verse 24 talking about wheat. Yeshua says:
Yohanan (John) 12:24
24 “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain.”
What this is saying is we know that Yeshua did die then when he went down into the grave, that is when we see Matthew 27 starting in 52 it says:
Mattityahu (Matthew) 27:52-53
52 and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised.
53 and coming out of the graves after His resurrection, they went into the set-apart city and appeared to many.
Therefore, the apostle, we talk about this in the Torah calendar study, Shaul (Pau)l tells us:
Qolosim (Colossians) 2:16-17
16 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of a holyday, or of the new moon [and the head of the year is a type of a new moon], or of the sabbath:
17 Which are a [prophetic] shadow of things to come;
but the body of Messiah.
[therefore, let no man but the body of messiah instruct you in these things]”.
This is something we need to take very seriously because the pattern that we are expecting to see, because of Messiah’s ministry, and the pattern that the Karaites and others and the pattern that the rabbis are expecting to see, those are all different patterns.
The pattern that we see and that we expect is that Yeshua is our Passover but Yeshua is also our first fruits, the wave sheaf represents him. Yeshua was raised up either at the end of sabbath or on the first day of the week after the sabbath. That starts the seven weeks count to Pentecost, the timing is critical. we must get the timing right because what happened in acts chapter 2 was the outpouring of the spirit, so for all these reasons it is very important that we must get these things.
To talk about the viability. Sister Becca Biderman is a messianic sister. Becca Biderman. we do not agree on everything, but we do agree on the barley. We were thinking that it was soft dough because soft dough is parch-able. She had some very good information, some very good input, we agree on the barley. If anyone wants to learn from sister Biderman and how to cite the barley that would be great from our way of thinking because the need of the priesthood is to have at least two, ideally three or more witnesses to the barley. Right now, we do not have that. They must be qualified witnesses it is not a vote; they must be qualified witnesses and right now sister Biderman is the only witness that we know of whose understanding of the Aviv barley agrees with scripture from our way of understanding for reasons we are showing you in this presentation.
Sister Becca Biderman, as an experiment took medium dough, looks about day 17 or 18 after it comes out of the head, (so you can still cut it with your fingernail, but it is a little harder), she took medium dough from the Re’im area, it is down near Gaza. She took that last year in spring of 2020 and then she planted it at her home with the grains in the Galilee and it grew. Obviously, medium dough is viable and again this tie to Yeshua’s doctrine that unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies it remains alone, but if it dies it produces much grain, meaning it has got to be viable. That is talking about what is aviv barley. Let us talk a little bit more about the when of the aviv barley. Again, we have got these three positions but two main questions: what is aviv barley, when do you need aviv. It is a very complicated, but we are trying to break it down and make it simple.
In mark chapter 4 starting in verse 28 Yeshua says
Marqaus (Mark) 4:28-29
28 “For the earth yields crops by itself: [including the barley. Just like we saw in the chart] first the blade [comes up], then the head [forms in the boot and then], after that the full grain in the head. [It starts to get full in the head]
29 But when the grain ripens [big question what does it mean to be ripe?], immediately he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.”
Now this gets into the question of when is that harvest in ancient times? What we are going to see is modern combine ripe on day 31, that is way too advanced and that it cannot be, not even ancient sickle ripe. It is too much. Let me let me drive forward and we will explain it here.
This is a picture of hard dough. This would be about day 21 after emergence from the head, now notice the heads are brown. You are not going to judge it based on the color of the head, you are going to inspect the grain, you are going to break it open and see what it is like, now notice the green heads. The stalk is still somewhat green but the heads themselves are closer to brown.
Now this is about three or four days after the grain has become viable as medium dough and you still have about 10 more days to go until modern combine ripe.
Now modern combine ripe that is a problem for us, notice this is a picture of what is called a combine. They call it that because there’s a combination of operations that go on and what the combine does is the combine comes along and it hits the seed heads with this paddle wheel and it slaps the seed head slaps the whole plant into the tray and just that fact alone, just the fact of slapping the wheat, it breaks the head it shatters the plant, it separates the wheat from the chaff, and the reason it can do this is because the barley is so brittle at this 31 day point. now notice how brown this grain is. The problem is both the Karaites and the two messianic groups, they are going to use a definition of Aviv that is within a day or two of this modern combine-ripe and the problem is that is too ripe for ancient sickle harvest.
Let us look here, this is an ancient sickle. This is just off Wikipedia. This is an ancient sickle and whether it is made from flint, this was found in the land of Israel. They had this sharpened flint and then you also have ones with animal bones and things like this, but you do not end up with these super sharp modern steel sickles like what people are thinking, it does not work like that. If you go to take an ancient sickle like that to barley that is this fragile, you are trying to gather up your sheaf and then you are going to start hacking away at it with this ancient sickle, it is going to shatter and you are going to lose your crop, you are going to lose a lot of barley onto the ground that is the way it is going to go. These ancient sickles are not that sharp, and the barley is not able to withstand the the hacking.
You will see if you go to sister Biderman’s site and you can watch in some of the some of the tests that she does, she just grabs the barley and it it just breaks apart just like that, it just breaks, in fact it gets so brittle that even the wind blowing on it will break the heads and it will shatter and fall to the ground.
Let us look, this is what one of the two messianic groups was calling Aviv in 2016 and this is the year I began to have questions. This is what the messianic brother was calling Aviv, I do not know if you can see this on a big screen, but can you see how brown that is, it has got maybe a few things of green, you can detect a slight a hint of green, but how does this qualify as ‘tender, young or green grain’ as in the Strong’s definition? I do not know if this question makes sense but the first stage it must reach is Aviv: tender young and green, then there must be a second stage called carmel where you must manually remove the husk. If this is Aviv where is there room for caramel? This barley already is too ripe for ancient sickle harvest, I mean that barley is within a day or two shy of a modern combine harvest.
Look this picture from 2017. These pictures are from sister Biderman.
I learned from the Karaites, in 2003 I began to question. The Karaites changed the way they reckon things every so often and they do not mention it. They changed the way they reckon the new moon back in 2010 and then they changed the way they reckon the barley in 2016 and they do this with no notice, they do not tell anybody, they just change it on you and then it is up to us to figure out what they changed and why and this kind of a thing. Yet, everyone continues to go to them thinking that this is the calendar that was done back in the days of Moses and it is not so, it is not the case.
This is a sister Biderman’s history, she trained with one of the two messianic brothers back in 2017 and I do not know if you can see, this is what they were calling Aviv in 2017. It has a little bit more green on it then the barley they called Aviv in 2016 of course, because that every year is different every field is different every barley stalk is different but notice it has got just a little bit of green here, but that grain is basically still too ripe for ancient sickle harvest, and the way we know that is so barley you see those hairs that are on here, those are called ons. They act sort of like porcupine quills they stick to everything. Look at sister Biderman’s shoes, so at the time this photo was taken there was already a lot of barley falling onto the ground. What that tells us is if you wait even to this point, you are going to lose a lot of your crop, because that barley stuck to her shoes. now I do not want to say the wrong thing here but is the reason that the Karaites and these two messianic groups, is the reason that they are using this very ripe definition of Aviv only because of Joshua or is it also because it is not their field? In other words, if you are a barley farmer and you need to harvest your crop before the grain falls on the ground, you need to harvest your crop just like Yeshua says, you need to harvest your crop immediately when it becomes ripe.
Let us look at this, this is also from 2017. now this is similar, you would have to inspect the head, but you see how it is both green and it is starting to turn golden. Again, you would have to inspect that to make sure that is soft or assuming that’s medium and not just soft dough, but you see how it is starting to turn here? This particular barley is not aviv, there is nothing tender young or green about this barley and this is again barley that was declared by the messianic groups to be aviv in 2017. There is nothing ‘tender, young or green’ about it.
Let us come back to our four-and-a-half-week dilemma, again this is what when they are looking at Joshua 5 and verse 10, they are wanting the vast bulk of the fields to be.
Let us be charitable, let us count it from here. You’ve got here the new moon, one week, two weeks, and then we know that the wave sheaf was offered on the day, (the two weeks and a day) was offered at 15 days or you could extend it to three weeks, but you have the bulk of the fields are harvestable about this point in time, the day of the wave sheaf offering, but count backwards one week, two week, three week, four weeks, What happens to the barley that’s ready to come ripe here? They must wait one week, two-week, three week, four, they cannot make it, their barley is already falling out of the head. By the time of the wave sheaf offering here, do you get my point? If you are the farmer and your barley becomes ripe here, how is your barley going to stay in the head for this long? Your barley is ripe, you need to put in the sickle immediately because the harvest has come but you cannot do that because they are not willing to declare the wave sheaf offering until the bulk of the harvest is already ready, for harvest. do you do you understand the concern? Do you understand the dilemma?
I am trying to be respectful but the Karaites, they do not return our communications, we know they read our letters, but they do not return our communications, they do not dialogue with us over this, the Karaite and the two messianic. In fact, the messianic groups they are just downright rude about it. I do not want to mention any names, but we get no correspondence. From one group we get insults, from the other groups finger-pointing, they refuse to address this concern. What the Karaites tell us is that, well these early farmers here, they should just cut the barley and put it aside and that the seven-week count does not begin. That is a direct violation of Deuteronomy chapter 16 and verse nine. You cannot do that, that is a direct violation of Yahweh’s Torah.
I have been praying on this since about 2016 when I first realized that there was a problem and what we believe is that what you must do is that the wave sheaf is not that you bring in the harvest first, it is that first you cut the wave sheaf. The very first barley that comes ripe, you bring that to the priesthood and that clears the way for the barley harvest and, then yes there will be years like Joshua 5 that is not a problem, but it can happen. Joshua 5 is not the earliest that you can declare your harvest, Joshua 5 is the latest that you can declare your harvest if you understand my meaning.
This to us would be Aviv barley. let us look here, this is from this year, this is from last week on February the 6th 2021. This is in the galilee region, this is a screen shot taken from sister Biderman’s Facebook page or one of her videos that she posted, or I might have taken it from YouTube, I am not sure. Look, this barley qualifies, this barley is still tender young and green, but you have at least a sheaf worth that is just starting to turn. She checked it, this is medium dough, this corresponds to about day 17 or 18 on the University of Wisconsin chart. You have got about two weeks to go until this barley will be modern combine ripe and after that it is going to start to drop. This is when you want to declare that barley, this is what Aviv barley is. We have seen Aviv barley before the day of the new moon and then we are going to harvest that barley so we can then bring a sheaf to the priest to honor Yahweh with our first and finest (symbolic of Yeshua) and that clears the way for the rest of the harvest like took place at Acts chapter 2. Did you see the symbolism? Again, our symbolism is different than the Karaite symbolism, that is the difference. That is why we need to take heed of the doctrine of the scribes and the pharisees.
Now I want to show you in a calendar sense what is happening this year. If you are watching this in a future year just try to imagine and understand what took place in this year, this is just for instance, we could run a hundred other different charts like this, but the point is you must do things this way or the farmers with the earliest ripening barley are going to lose their crops.
Here is February the 6th this is when sister Biderman saw the medium dough, it is about day 17 or 18 of the development cycle. Here we are expecting the new moon to be sited at the close of sabbath, this will be Rosh Chodesh, it is also rosha the start of the year unless the new moon is seen tomorrow night. If the new moon is not seen tonight, then it will be either seen tomorrow night or the month will time out by default because the Hebrew month can only be 29 or 30 days. If the new moon is seen here then you’re going to have the Passover two weeks later and the day of the wave sheaf offering will be the first day of the week following it’ll be a Joshua five scenario and if not, if the new moon is seen here just like we talked about before then you’ll have your Passover will be here and then you’ll have the wave sheaf 21 days after the new moon has been the new moon of the of the year has been seen.
Here is the problem. You have got medium dough. This field in the Galilee region exists. the Karaites did not come to inspect this field the two messianic groups did not come to inspect this field, it does not matter if you are a farmer in ancient Israel and this is your field, the Karaites are going to give you an option, the messianic group’s going to give you an option. You can cut that barley early because that barley’s going to come ripe, that barley is two weeks away from the seed starting to drop you need to do something with that barley this month. I do not care about your theology, I do not care about your doctrine, I do not care what you are willing to admit or not admit, this barley is ready now. This barley must be dealt with now. It has 13 or 14 more days to go until it is modern combine ripe after that it is going to start to drop. Here you have this barley here you have the new moon and here you have the barley is going to start to drop, if we do not declare this month, I’m trying to make it simple, if we do not declare whether the moon is seen here or whether the moon is seen here, if we do not declare this as the month of the Aviv, if we do not declare this to be the month of the Passover and the wave sheath, now we are pushed into the next month.
You have medium dough here day 31 and then keep adding days, this day 45 then add another 14 days, that is 59, keep counting and then add another 14, that’s 73 and then say for 75, 76, by waiting to push back by declaring the new moon of the Aviv in March and then you’re going to end up with a wave sheaf offering on April the 4th, the Karaites and these other messianic groups that are ignoring the field next to Biderman’s house in the Galilee, this barley it’s already medium dough. They want it to stay in the head for, from the emergence of the head, day 18, day ,31 day, 45, day 59, 73, 74, 75, 76 I might be a day off, but they want that barley to stay in the head for 76 days. Do you understand the difficulty?
Sister Biderman is saying do not trust that chart for the University of Wisconsin but in general and on average that barley is going to be ready to go, it is going to be too ripe after 31 days and here the Karaites and the messianic groups want that barley to stay in the head for 76 days from the emergence of the head. How can barley stay in the head for 76 days when the whole life cycle from the time the head emerges from the stock is only 31 days? do you see the problem? That is what we are talking about, our four-and-a-half-week dilemma, after four and a half weeks the barley becomes so brittle it is already starting to drop and in fact it starts to drop before four and a half weeks. They want it to stay in the head for an additional month, it cannot work. do you understand?
I hope I am making this simple, the simple point is you have these early farmers must do what Yeshua says, they must harvest their barley when it is time immediately, they must put in the sickle not they have to wait another month to put in the sickle. You cannot just violate Deuteronomy chapter 16 and verse 9 because Yahweh says:
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 with the tribute of a freewill offering from your hand, which you shall give as Yahweh your Elohim blesses you.”
You cannot just violate that; you cannot just say well our theory is that first you have the harvest then you bring the sheaf. We understand that is what happened in Joshua five but that is the latest it can occur, not the soonest it can occur. That is the difference, that is the difficulty.
Let us talk about some other things, I just want to talk just for a second about the impossibility of what the Karaites are suggesting and again, I want to do this respectfully, but they are over focusing on Joshua five and there are some other problems we could talk about as well. The messianic groups are disqualifying the harvest from places like Jericho, I am not sure about the Karaites, but I think that is what sister Biderman said. They are disqualifying the harvest from places like Jericho, and they are calling that goat grass, but then they are using Joshua five as one of their proof texts and that was centered in and around Jericho. They are rejecting Jericho for being goat grass when that is one of their proof texts. You cannot do that, you cannot do that, it just does not make any sense. Again, therefore we must go with sister Biderman, even though she is only one witness.
I want to talk just for a second about the logistics of the Karaite and the messianic, why their approach is impossible and just let us see if you can follow this one.
I just went to google maps, and this is where sister Biderman took her barley from, in the Re’im area down near Gaza and they are quite often they find the earliest ripening barley down here. There are a few towns you will hear: you will hear Re’im, you will hear cedarot you will hear a few different places very oft, not in every case but very often the barley ripens soonest here. Not always and it is important to go with the earliest ripening barley because if you are the farmer with that field and the Karaites do not want to let you harvest your harvest, you are going to lose that harvest. Here’s Jerusalem, Re’im, and it says it would take you in ancient times, it would take you 20 hours and 31 minutes. Basically at least two days of travel to get up to Jerusalem. If you are going to go up to Jerusalem, you are going to walk for at least two days there is, two long 10-hour days walking or you could make it three easy days but two or three days, that is how long it is going to take you.
Let us take another example. You are here, Tel Dan. This is biblical Dan. It is going to take 44 hours to go from biblical dan to walk all the way to Jerusalem or you could turn it into five days, that’s either four or five days walking to go up to Jerusalem for the feasts, two days, two or three days, four or five days, that is how long it takes to get to Jerusalem and then back.
Now notice what the Karaites are going to suggest that you must harvest the harvest and then you bring the first fruits offering to the priest okay just notice how impossible the logistics are in in what they are suggesting.
Let us just start with our 21-day example. Here you have the new moon of the Aviv and then your Passover 14 days later and then you have your wave sheaf. You have your first day of unleavened bread, you must be in Jerusalem for your Passover and first day of unleavened bread and then you must be in Jerusalem for your wave sheaf offering and well you will have to be there for the wave sheaf offering, but the wave sheaf must be there, but you also must be in Jerusalem for the seventh day of unleavened bread. Now if it takes you between two and five days to go to Jerusalem and back alright, it takes between two and five days to go to Jerusalem and back, how are you going to be at home, harvest your harvest, go to Jerusalem spend the whole feast there, and then go back home? It does not, the math does not work.
Here let us look at the other example. Here is the Joshua 5 example, here you have the moon is seen, Passover on the 14th day and then the next day is the wave sheaf offering. The wave sheaf offering is the very first thing that needs to be cut, it is the very first thing that needs to be offered. How can you cut your harvest here before you have cut the wave sheaf offering? Logically impossible. Or alternately how can you cut your wave sheath offering and then now you must walk home either two or three or four or five days harvest your fields and harvesting fields does not happen instantaneously, it does not happen overnight, it takes realistically two or three weeks to bring in your crop or at least very least a few days, at least a few weeks.
There is this myth that you are just going to roll out the combine in ancient times, you are going to harvest your fields, it is going to happen all in one day and you are going to have it cut and threshed and sacked and dried and everything is ready to go just immediately, they are not thinking about these things. With this field that we saw first you’re going to harvest this portion because it’s starting to turn, then as these other portions start to turn over the next week or two or three, first first you’re going to harvest here then you’re going to harvest the next patches as they come ready then as these turn gold you’re going to harvest those and then finally you’re going to come to these over here, that’s how it’s going to work in real life. That is going to take you a few days at a minimum or a few weeks depending on how the harvest works. How can you do it, how can you go?
Let us use the Joshua 5 the 15-day example. How can you be here in Jerusalem for the Passover at the same time you cut the wave sheaf? How can you bring in your harvest but then this is the very first thing that is cut? Or if this is the first thing that gets cut and then you walk home for a few days, and then now you need two or three weeks to bring in your harvest in this same week and then turn right back around and then two to five days to get back up to be in Jerusalem for the seventh day of unleavened bread, and then not only that, what you’ve got is people walking for the whole feast of the Passover and unleavened bread. It just does not work; it is not logical.
If the Karaites and these messianic had their own field in the land of Israel, if they had to deal with this as a farmer, they would change their tune immediately, they would see the infallibility of their ways. I hope and I pray and please pray with me that they will consider these things deeply as if they were farmers and I believe then that they will understand that Joshua five, that is the latest condition that you can offer the barley, it is not the earliest condition that you can offer the barley.
If you want more information about this, we have a full written study at the nazareneisrael.org website. It is in the Torah calendar study; the chapter title is Aviv Barley and the Head of the Year.
I thank you for joining us. This has been our presentation on Aviv Barley Simplified. I hope this has helped you to understand why we qualify the witnesses to the barley the way that we do, and I wish you shalom and a good new year.