For ancient Israel, the barley season of harvest of the mature crop extended from the head of the harvest, a sheaf at #3 Feast of the Lord called the Feast of Firstfruits until the next Feast of the Lord # 4 called Pentecost (Shavuot). Firstfruits was so tremendously important a certain year, it was the Resurrection Day for the Messiah of Israel, Christ the Lord. But we must remember that he is the symbolic First, the HEAD of the BODY. The BODY, the remaining compliment, then matures and is harvested LATER. Would it have been harvest complete of the body of barley by The Second Passover? Very probably. But that is not a theme of The Second Passover. As the barley was being harvested, the wheat plants were beginning to mature in fields of Israel as well. The logical Feast of the Lord to give thanks for the mature barley HEAD or sheaf beginning would be Firstfruits. Then came a time for rejoicing for the ENDING and COMPLETION of barley harvest (Head and Body) and the BEGINNING of the wheat with the Firstfruits sheave of wheat. Pentecost!
The Groom Christ the Lord is the Head, the Bride is the complement, the Body of Christ. With the symbolism of the barley harvest for Israel, one is EARLIER and the next is LATER. With Feasts of the Lord according to Leviticus 16 of #1. Sabbath and #2. Passover/Unleavened Bread, there are no firstfruits of earliest mature barley or wheat. Feasts of the Lord 5-7 do not include firstfruits of barley or wheat. That narrows down the Feasts of the Lord to ONLY #3 Firstfruits and #4 Pentecost (Shavuot) to pertain to barley begun and complete.
The Age of Grace, a long period of Pentcostal Outreach, shall conclude with a Grand Wedding (complete union of Head and Body of Christ the Groom and the Body and Bride of the redeemed, the bringing in of "the fullness of the Gentiles." Harvest of souls complete. The symbolism is of barley.
First is the Head, then is the Body. The barley is the key crop or species of Israel to link to these themes. NOT THE WHEAT! The wheat does not represent Christ and His Body and Bride as well as barley. Wheat represents the saints of the tribulum of the 70th Week of Daniel. They will be friends to the Groom and His Bride. There is the Earlier HEAD and the later BODY. Barley alone of the species of Israel is A KEY and VITAL THEME to understand these concepts.
I am eagerly awaiting Feasts of the Lord 1-4 in 2017. The Barley Harvest of Firstfruits to Pentecost looks really fascinating this year! Come quickly, Lord...
With Love and Shalom,