Jean Stepnoski (15 Apr 2011)
"Reaping the Barley for Feast of Firstfruits"

Dear Doves,
      The following website has very informative articles concerning First Passover/Unleavened Bread as celebrated in the times of Messiah/Christ. Of particular interest for details and timing of the reaping of barley sheaves for the Feast of First Fruits is the following. "The Prophetic Implications of the Passover, and the Hebrew Festival Cycle: Part II" by Dr. Robert Monk, concerning the section about the preparing of the barley sheaves.
"All was quiet in Jerusalem on that Passover evening as the families of the Jewish people celebrated the Passover, on the 15th of Aviv (Abib) in their homes under the shining light of the full moon. For three and a half days, the Passover celebration continued, until the first day, Sunday, the day after the Seventh-day Shabbat, when at the setting of the sun, of the 18th day of Aviv, the priests of the temple went out to the valley in front of the Mount of Olives to collect the barley for the "Offering of First Fruits" that were to be waved before the altar early the next morning." The sacrifice, the reaping, and the Feast could not begin until after sunset and the sighting of at least three stars. This is a separation time for the recognition of the departing of Shabbat, called the Havdalah. It marks the separation, leaving the sacred to return to the common or the secular. Since the Shabbat is symbolic of a bride, it is like the bride departs. The priests exited from the Eastern Gate and crossed over the causeway of the Red Heifer to the Mount of Olives. "There in the Field of Ashes, they placed cords around ten selected sheaves of barley to be harvested after sundown on the evening after the Shabbat (the weekly Sabbath." It is curious that there are ten sheaves to become one just after the bride of Shabbat departs. In the parable in Matthew 25, there is reference to a bride and the ten virgins. Since the High Sabbath of day 1 of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, Nisan 15, began that week in the midst of the week on a Wednesday night, the barley would be harvested after the weekly Sabbath, and the setting of the sun three days later. "As the sun was setting in the western sky, at the end of the weekly Sabbath, the priests (cohanim) in the field of barley and in the presence of observers heard a priest cry out, "Has the sun set?" The harvesting cohanim would cry out, "Yes, the sun has set." Then the priest would cry out, "Would you harvest the barley?", in which they would echo, "Yes, with a sickle." Then finally, the priest called out, "Have you put it in a basket?", and the harvesting cohanim in the settling darkness would cry out, "Yes, we have put it in a basket." According to recently discovered documents from the 1st century Temple era, the drama of the first fruits harvest was thus enacted. With the barley harvested, the priests spent the evening in preparation of processing the barley for the waving of the sheaf of barley before the lord." There were six statements that were called out, three from the head priest and three from the priests/harvesters/ the reapers. There was a loud declaration three times and then three responses for each. On the Day of The Blessed Hope there shall be three loud declarations: the cry, the shout, and the command, according to the writings of Paul! The Resurrection of The Master and the harvest/reaping of the barley sheaves were in between 3 P.M. on Shabbat and about the havdalah time of 40 minutes to an hour after sunset ending Shabbat. Raul may be correct about a timeline beginning day one of 2520 days from 4-23 to 24, 2011. May the Lord of His Harvest arrive soon.
With Love and Shalom,