By Don Esposito
Once again spring is here and you know what that means – new flowers budding, house cleaning for unleavened bread, and oh yeah, don’t forget the barley.
This year is quite unique in many ways, as weather here in Israel has been very unusual to say the least, and the beginning of spring (the vernal equinox) is very close to the new moon (about 1 or 2 days away depending on how you are reckoning).
But clearly, the new moon falls BEFORE the equinox and still in winter, and therefore, according to the biblical calendar, we are to add an additional month called Adar 2, and not start the biblical year until the new moon that will come April 17 at sunset (Ed: it was visible April 18 at sunset). The Passover this year will be April 30, after sunset, and Holy Days of UB will be May 2 and May 8, beginning the previous sunset. (Ed note: His dates do not coincide with mine because he apparently goes by the conjunction instead of the visible sighting. Our dates were 24 hours later.)
What about the barley? Although some of you, if you check with the Karaites, have been told tht the barley in Israel was found ot be Aviv, we can vouch the fact that this is simply not true.
We have traveled with and inspected barley in many areas ourselves and we are also in contact with several different people and even teams that have also been on barley expeditions and we can most conclusively say according to what we have seen and heard, that it is definitely not Aviv and certainly not spring.
As I write this letter we just had snow a few days ago and even yesterday we were bundled up in our winter clothes with our heat on and heavy sweatshirts also. This does not sound like summer in Israel. Remember in Israel there are only two seasons, winter and summer, and I can tell you summer has not started. It has also been confirmed by several others, that the barley is definitely NOT Aviv in most areas as of yet, and will not be until next month.
So why did the Karaites claim that it is already Aviv? It is due to their own private interpretation of what Aviv is. According to the Karaites, all you need to do is travel throughout the whole land of Israel, and if you have enough ripe barley to hold in your hand, then they consider it Aviv (which means ripe ears and not green ears), but is this scripturally accurate?
Lev 23:9-10- And Yahweh spoke to Moses saying, Speak to the sons of Israel, and you shall say to them, When you come into the land which I am giving to you, and have reaped its harvest, and have brought in the sheaf, [or the beginning of your harvest] the firstfruits to the priest,…
From the above scripture we can clearly see that in order for the year to begin, and to be called Aviv, the majority of places in Israel would have to be Aviv ready, as each person was to bring in their sheaf to the priest, to be waved and accepted by Yahweh.
I can most assuredly assure you that this year there is no ripe Aviv barley either in Jerusalem, the Sheffalah region, nor the Northern part of the country or almost anywhere in the Galilee. There is some sporadic barley in the Jordan valley (which in a normal year ripens first and should be almost totally Aviv by Passover), and also in the Negev. This is not Aviv, but according to some, such as the Karaites, if they find a few sporadic fields or even unusable roadside barley, then they are calling it Aviv, but from the above Scripture, they are clearly wrong.
If anyone is following the Aviv reports of either the Karaites or another group, why not ask them, “Out of all the barley in the land of Israel, what percentage right now is Aviv or will be ready within the next 2 to 3 weeks?” If they are honest, the answer would be “only about 10% to 15%,” and not more of the barley in Israel is Aviv.
The problem is that believers are going to non-believers, like the Karaites, who have no understanding of what the wave sheaf and barley truly represent. When the barley became harvestable in most of the land, then each person was to take the first of what he cut and take it to Jersualem, to the priest, to be accepted by Yahweh, on the Feast of Firstfruits during Unleavened Bread.
The was that was used to get the omer ready was to beat the sheaf. Each person had to cut his own sheaf, as each one of us need to have the wave sheaf (a type of Messiah’s sacrifice for our sins) accepted by Yahweh, and the people could not bring the offering themselves, only the priest (type of Yahshua) could bring the sacrifice on behalf of the people and then wave the sheaf up to heaven. Also, the beating of the sheaf by each person represents the beating that Yahshua had to take for each one of our sins to be forgiven. Then on Pentecost the wave sheaf was ground into flour and made into two leavened loaves – one for the House of Ephraim and one for the House of Judah. Since the loaves represented people, they were leavened, as only Yahshua the True Wave Sheaf was without sin.
You will notice that the “wave sheaf” was to be lifted up and waved toward heaven, as a symbol of something actually being transferred to heaven, to be presented and accepted by the One who sits on the throne of the universe.
When you understand the true meaning behind the barley and wave-sheaf ceremony, it is crystal clear that the wave sheaf could not be issued on behalf of one or two fields, or even one area, of only one tribe, because He is the Wave-Sheaf of “all 12 tribes of Israel.” So it stands to reason that in order to be Aviv, the barley would have to be ready in the majority of the land of Israel, a fact that the Karaites, being non-believers in Yahshua as Messiah, would not understand. Also, since the wave sheaf represented Yahshua as the First-Fruit of those born from the dead, then it would have to be completely mature. Yahshua was not an immature or imperfect sacrifice.
1Cor 15:20 But now Messiah has been raised from the dead; He became the first-fruit of those having fallen asleep.
1Cor 15:23 But each in his own order: Messiah, the firstfruit; afterward those of Messiah’s at His coming.
John 20:16-17 Yahshua said to her, Mary! Turning around, she said to Him, Rabboni (that is to say, Teacher). Yahshua said to her, Do not touch me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and My Elohim, and your Elohim.
These scriptures clearly show that the whole wave-sheaf ceremony was only instituted as a foreshadow of the perfect One to come, as the perfect offering to Yahweh, as the forgiveness of our sins, and by His sacrifice being perfect and accepted, then at the resurrection, so will we be accepted into the family of Yahweh, and accepted as His brethren.
Heb. 2:11 For both He who sanctifies and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause He is not ashamed to call them brethren.
Since the whole wave sheaf ceremony was a fore-shadow of Yahshua as Messiah, it is impossible that the wave sheaf would come from only a small field or part of Israel, or that the barley would not be perfectly ripe and mature as a perfect offering to Yahweh, which He, Yahshua, was. That is why in 2007 we are not starting our year before the equinox and before the barley is completely ripe and Aviv; but we are waiting as scripture states for truly Aviv, and to have a perfect Wave Sheaf for the Feast of Unleavened, as Yahshua perfectly was. This is a fact that I pray someday when the blinders come off that maybe the Karaites and others will understand. ~