Jean Stepnoski (28 March 2011)
"First Fruits of Barley: Nisan 1 and 17"

Dear Doves,
      When the barley in Israel is maturing toward harvest it reaches a state or stage when it is abib/aviv. It is brittle and immature. However, in days of old with the Temple at Jerusalem, a proportion of it could be harvested and taken to the priests at Jerusalem. In fact, it was Scripturally necessary for it to be done on day 1 of Hodesh Ha' Abib, the Month of the Abib. Other names for month 1 of The Scriptural Year are Aviv or Nisan. There were 2 days in Nisan when the barley, as first fruits, was to be partially harvested and taken to the priests at the Temple. During earlier times, it was taken to the Mishkan, the portable sanctuary, to the priests. The earlier day was Nisan 1. The later day was Nisan 17, the Feast of First Fruits. The harvest of part of the first of first fruits was a literal and symbolic proportion of the brittle and immature barley. It was an early and unlikely harvest of barley. On Nisan 1 the priests roasted the barley in a skillet in fire. They then ate it as a grain sacrifice. The harvest of the barley, a proportion of it when mature in the form of a sheaf, was on Nisan 17. We remember this day as The Resurrection Day of Messiah/Christ. Each of these offerings, or call them sacrifices, of first fruits barley was COMMANDED by Adonai, attested to in The Torah. The barley of Nisan 1 would be mature by 14 days later at Nisan 14, the beginning of the period of First Passover/Unleavened Bread.
      The followers of Messiah/Christ are complete and fully mature upon our Resurrections. Until then we are forgiven, repentant, new creations, family, His body if not bride. Yet our sin natures are within these vessels of clay. His Resurrection body is our prototype and model. We hope and pray that we shall, upon the transformations of our Resurrections, be like Him. Some believe that if The Day of The Blessed Hope is in Nisan, it must be on Nisan 17, rather than Nisan 1. Is this assumption correct? Might it be earlier first fruits rather than later first fruits? Is it wise to WATCH earlier for the Master to arrive as well as plan for later, especially if we are approaching The Season of His Coming?
      May we reflect upon the TIMING in the Parable of the Master of his House. He is the Master, the owner, the husband, and the father. One who comes enexpectantly like a "thief in the night" takes away the treasures of the house, the children. He arrives earlier than expected. The Master of the House wrongly assumes he will have more time to prepare to WATCH. The treasures of his home are like a harvest. The Lord of His Harvest takes away His treasures, at a day and hour that few expect. The treasures harvested, His Harvest, shall be children, men, and women. If the Lord of the Harvest, His Harvest, arrives on Nisan 1 rather than His Resurrection Anniversary, many will be mistaken as to TIMING. Might He appear when the barley seems incomplete, immature, and 14-17 days early?
      As the days of II Adar come to conclusion, may we use these days of maturation and preparation for the first fruits barley in Israel to consider Nisan 1 and 17 and the days between them. The Nisan First Fruits Barley Days are near. Patiently await The Beloved, The Lord of His Harvest!
With Love and Shalom,