Shavuot 2024 & The Takanot That Is Added

Joseph F. Dumond

Isa 6:9-12 And He said, Go, and tell this people, You hear indeed, but do not understand; and seeing you see, but do not know. Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their hearts, and turn back, and be healed. Then I said, Lord, how long? And He answered, Until the cities are wasted without inhabitant, and the houses without man, and the land laid waste, a desolation, and until Jehovah has moved men far away, and the desolation in the midst of the land is great.

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Published: Apr 19, 2024

NewsLetter 5860-010
The 1st Year of the 5th Sabbatical Cycle
The 29th year of the 120th Jubilee Cycle
The 11th day of the 3rd month 5860 years after the creation of Adam
The 5th Sabbatical Cycle after the 119th Jubilee Cycle
The Sabbatical Cycle of the Red Heifer, Famine, Captivity & The 2 Witnesses

April 20, 2024

Shabbat Shalom to the Royal Family of Yehovah, this Sabbath is the Seventh of the Sabbaths of counting the Omer. It is the 49th day since the morrow after the Sabbath during the seven days of Unleavened Bread

Chag Sameach to all our brethren who will be keeping Shavuot this Sunday, April 21, 2024. Yes, I said Shavuot and not Passover. Yes, the date is correct. Yes, you are also correct in saying that the Hebrew calendar and most of the Karaites will be keeping Passover this April 23 or 24, depending on which group you are in.

The calculated Hebrew Calendar does not consider barley or wheat in setting dates, nor does it consider the crescent moon.

As you know, once again, this year, there have been discrepancies about the start of the year due to various interpretations of what is Aviv. Very few include the state of the wheat by Shavuot in those debates.

You must have GREEN EARS or Aviv, barley in the Month of Aviv. You need the barley at such a state that you can then roast it and grind it into flour to make the Wave Sheaf Offering. And then you must also have wheat that is harvestable by Shavuot to make the Two Loaves from the first fruits of wheat to be waved again on Pentecost Sunday.  Yehovah shows you when these moedim are. All you have to do is look. But today we have many who have added and are adding Takanot and Ma’asim to the simple commands of Yehovah and have confused most people.

I am going to share with you many pictures of golden wheat from all over Israel leading up to today. These pictures are taken by various people just out enjoying nature. They have no agenda in the barely or wheat debate. In one picture I have, you can see a combine harvesting wheat. Even the parrots, sparrows, and storks know when to harvest wheat. It is a shame Yehovah’s people do not know when the moedim or the seasons are.

We are going to let my friend Nehemia Gordon explain what Takanot and Ma’asim are so you can understand. Some people will not listen to him because they call him a liar. Yes, I, too, am called a liar now because I do not agree with some people’s theology. I am in good company.

Some of you will dismiss these pictures claiming they are all GMO. Hysteria and conspiratorial beliefs are not Torah. They are Takanot though.

So, with all of this, we are going to leave our other two wheat reports in here to save you going back to look at them. While some may be only looking at the wheat or the barley, we are also going to show you the meaning of them. Why are they so important to understand and to keep at the proper time? If you miss these moedim, you could miss the rapture. That is 100% correct. If you missed the proper moedim in 31 C.E., you would have missed all the dead who came back to life after Yehshua came out of the grave, and you would have missed the giving of the Holy Spirit and the tongues of fire upon the Apostles. If you miss these moedim in the future, you could miss the next time the Saints will be raised from the dead, and those of us who are alive will change in the twinkling of an eye. It is that important. But adding Takanot and Ma’asim to these appointed times when we are to meet Yehovah can and has caused many to miss meeting Him when He said to do so.

We also have been recording those three events that we have been watching for the Abomination to be set up. We explained this in our book The Abomination That Makes Desolate the Epilogue. The book covers everything up to October 7, 2023.

But we also had two more abomination dates for March 31, and April, 8 2024. What happened on those dates and how accurate is our understanding of the timing of these events. We are sharing those findings again this week.

The 1290 days from March 25, 2020, when Netanyahu declared a lockdown, ended on October 6, 2023. the next day, October 7, the slaughter took place. Daniel also talked about the 1335 days.

Dan 12:10 Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried. But the wicked shall do wickedly. And none of the wicked shall understand, but the wise shall understand.

Dan 12:11 And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the desolating abomination set up, a thousand two hundred and ninety days shall occur.

Dan 12:12 Blessed is he who waits and comes to the thousand three hundred and thirty-five days.

As my good friend Mike pointed out to me, the 1335 days was the day Hamas and Israel reached an agreement to free the hostages. I will let you calculate the 1335 dates for the next two abomination calculations we have shared and we will see what develops.

As we stated above, if you miss these moedim at the proper time you will miss the Rapture. Many believe they will be raptured out before the tribulation. Is that what the Torah says? The Torah, the first five books of the Bible, explains exactly when the Rapture would be. You can find it in Leviticus 23 and 25,

If you have never read our book on this subject and if you are tired of being blown around by every new wind of doctrine, then I urge you to order this book right away and discover these truths.

Millions are anxious for the Rapture to come and whisk them away at any moment. Few, if any, understand that the Bible they claim to follow and obey tells them precisely when the Rapture is to take place. It has been there all along hidden in plain sight. It is the same thing for the coming of the Messiah. He tells you Himself when to look for Him.
The Mystery of the Jewish Rapture 2033 will use the Jubilee Cycles to show you how you can not only know the year the Rapture will take place but even the very day.
You will no longer have the pain of yet another letdown from yet another theory. You will no longer be guessing exactly when the Rapture is to happen. You will know!
You will be able to prove this from your own Bible and then you will absolutely know.
With the information The Mystery of the Jewish Rapture 2033 reveals, you will know exactly what it is that the Five Wise virgins understood and why they were ready for when the Messiah does come. It is because they knew.
We want you to be ready for the Rapture. We want you to be absolutely sure of when it is to take place and why. And we want to celebrate this day with you. It is going to be one of the greatest days in the history of mankind. So great that even the Exodus will be forgotten and this day will be the day spoken of. A day that you have the opportunity to be a part of. One of the Greatest Days in the History of Mankind. We look forward to being there with you.

 

Torah Portion

Torah Portions

We read through the entire Torah along with the Prophets and the New Testament, once over the course of 3 1/2 years. Or according to the Sabbatical Cycle which means we read it all twice over a 7-year period. This allows us to cover more in-depth rather than being rushed to cover as much as is covered on an annual basis. We allow all to comment and take part in the discussions.

Septennial Torah Portion

If you go to Torah Portion at our archived section, you can then go to the 7th year which is the 7th year of the Sabbatical Cycle, the one we are in now, as we state at the top of every News Letter. There you can scroll down to the proper date, and see that this Shabbat we could very well be midrashing about:

Genesis 10

Joshua 23-24

Psalm 20-22

Matthew 13:24-14:21

We are in the 1st Sabbatical Cycle in 2024-2023. We go through the entire bible twice in a 7 year cycle. This means we cover the entire bible once every 3 1/2 years. It gives us more time to debate and discuss each portion we read.

If you missed last week’s exciting discoveries as we studied that section, you can go and watch past Shabbats on our media section.


Join Our Sabbath Meetings

Join Our Sabbath Meetings

There are many people in need of fellowship and who are sitting at home on the Sabbath with no one to talk to or debate with. I want to encourage all of you to join us on Shabbat, and to invite others to come and join us as well. If the time is not convenient then you can listen to the teaching and the midrash after on our YouTube channel.

What are we doing and why do we teach this way?

We are going to discuss both sides of an issue and then let you choose. It is the work of the Ruach (Spirit) to direct and to teach you.

The medieval commentator Rashi wrote that the Hebrew word for wrestle (avek) implies that Jacob was “tied”, for the same word is used to describe knotted fringes in a Jewish prayer shawl, the tzitzityot. Rashi says, “thus is the manner of two people who struggle to overthrow each other, that one embraces the other and knots him with his arms”.

Our intellectual wrestling has been replaced by a different kind of struggle. We are Wrestling with Yehovah as we grapple with His Word. It is an intimate act, symbolizing a relationship in which Yehovah and I and you are bound together. My wrestling is a struggle to discover what Yehovah expects of us, and we are “tied” to the One who assists us in that struggle.

Today, many say Israel means “Champion of God”, or better — the “Wrestler of God”.

Our Torah sessions each Shabbat teaches you and encourages you to constantly challenge, question, argue against, as well as view alternative views and explanations of the Word. In other words, we are to “wrestle with the Word” to get to the truth. Jews worldwide believe that you need to wrestle with the Word and constantly challenge Dogma, Theology, and views or else you will never get to the Truth.

We are not like most churches where “The preacher talks and everyone listens.” We encourage everyone to participate, to question and to contribute what they know on the subject being discussed. We want you to be a champion wrestler of the Word of Yehovah. We want you to wear the title of Israel, knowing that you not only know but are capable of explaining why you know the Torah to be true with logic and facts.

We have a few rules though. Let others talk and listen. There is no discussion about UFO’s Nephilim, Vaccines or conspiracy-type subjects. We have people from around the world with different world views. Not everyone cares who is the President of any particular country. Treat each other with respect as Fellow wrestlers of the word. Some of our subjects are hard to understand and require you to be mature and if you do not know, then listen to gain knowledge and understanding and hopefully wisdom. The very things you are commanded to ask Yehovah for and He gives to those who ask.

Jas 1:5  But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and with no reproach, and it shall be given to him.

We hope you can invite those who want to keep Torah to come and join us by hitting the link below. It is almost like a Torah teaching fellowship talk show with people from around the world taking part and sharing their insights and understandings.

We start off with some music and then some prayers and it’s as though you were sitting around the kitchen back in Newfoundland having a cup of coffee and all of us enjoying each other’s company. I hope you will grace us with your company someday.

Sabbath services begin at 12:30 PM EDT where we will be doing prayers songs and teaching from this hour. Shavuot on Sunday April 20, 2024, we will be meeting at 10 AM Eastern and then again at 1 PM Eastern. 

Shabbat Services will begin at about 1:15 pm Eastern.

On Shavuot, Sunday April 21, 2024, we will be having two meetings. One at 10 AM Eastern and the afternoon will be 2 PM Eastern. Look forward to seeing you all there.

We look forward to you joining our family and getting to know us as we get to know you.

Joseph Dumond is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
Topic: Joseph Dumond’s Personal Meeting Room

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The Perpetual Calendar

The Perpetual Calendar

We have available from our website a calendar you can use to keep track of the days of the month based on when the Barley is ripe and when the moon is sighted. ALl you have to do is download it. https://sightedmoon.com/perpetual-calendar/

With the new year about to begin, you can learn about the calendar as you record it. This is a great tool to have and it is free to anyone who wants it.

Counting the Omer Week Seven

Counting the Omer Week Seven

Sunday March 3, 2024 is יוֹם הֲנָפַת הָעֹמֶר Yom Hanafat Ha’omer (Day of the Waving of the Sheaf).
 
When the Temple stood, this day marked the official commencement of the grain harvest.
 
Deuteronomy 16:9 You shall count seven weeks to yourselves. Begin to count the seven weeks from the time you began to put the sickle to the grain.
 And sheaves of barley were cut and brought to the Temple as a wave-offering on Wave Sheaf Day. It is done on behalf of the nation. One Omer’s worth is two dry litres of flour.
 
Leviticus 23:9-14  9 And Jehovah spoke to Moses, saying, 10 Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, When you have come into the land which I give to you, and shall reap the harvest of it, then you shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest to the priest. 11 And he shall wave the sheaf before Jehovah to be received for you. On the next day after the sabbath the priest shall wave it. 12 And you shall offer that day when you wave the sheaf, a male lamb without blemish of the first year for a burnt offering to Jehovah. 13 And its food offering shall be two-tenths part of fine flour mixed with oil, a fire offering to Jehovah for a sweet savor. And the drink offering of it shall be of wine, the fourth part of a hin. 14 And you shall eat neither bread, nor parched grain, nor green ears, until the same day, until you have brought an offering to your God. It shall be a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.
This day also marks the beginning of the 50-day count to חַג הַשָּׁבֻעוֹת Shavuot (Pentecost; Feast of Weeks). Yom Hanafat Ha’omer is counted as Day 1 and Shavuot as Day 50.
 
There are different methods of counting the 50 days. According to some, the commandment ‘and you shall count for yourselves fifty days’ means to simply observe the 50th day as Shavuot, while others actually declare out loud the number of each of the fifty days. A medieval Karaite Jewish practice combines two methods of declaring the daily count. The first method is the counting of seven weeks. Each day, the number of the week and the number of the day in the week are declared. So for example, the first day is ‘first day of the first week’. The second counting method used is an overall number for each day. In this method Day one is ‘the first day’ and Day 25 is ‘the twenty-fifth day’. These two methods are used to satisfy the commandment to count seven weeks (Deuteronomy 16:9) as well as the commandment to count fifty days (Leviticus 23:16). Below is a list of the counting for each day.
 

Lev 23:15 And you shall count to you from the next day after the sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven sabbaths shall be complete.

Lev 23:16 To the next day after the seventh sabbath you shall number fifty days. And you shall offer a new food offering to Jehovah.

You are to count seven sabbaths, as we are commanded in verse 15, and 50 days, as we are told in verse 16. In Deuteronomy, we are commanded to count from the time we put the sickle to the grain.

Deu 16:9 You shall count seven weeks to yourselves. Begin to count the seven weeks from the time you began to put the sickle to the grain.

If you get the timing wrong about when the month of Aviv begins, then people will declare you can cut the barley and store it. This is not what Deut 16:9 says. When you put the sickle to the grain, you begin to count. But you are also told to take the barley on the first day of the week during the days of Unleavened Bread. It is because they have errored about when Aviv is that the other groups all say you can harvest anytime and store the grain and then later make your first fruits offering. Understand and know the facts.

 

 

Day Forty-Nine | A Prayer of Thanksgiving | Psalm 138:1-8

Today is the seventh day of the seventh week of seven weeks. Today is the forty-ninth day of the
counting of fifty days from the day of the waving of the Omer on the morrow after the Sabbath.
Today is the seventh Sabbath of seven Sabbaths. Today completes the seventh week of seven
weeks.

1 Elohim does favor us and bless us. Cause His face to shine upon us. Selah. (Psalm 67:1)

2 For Your way to be known on earth, Your deliverance among all nations. (Psalm 67:2)

3 Let the peoples praise You, O Elohim, let all the peoples praise You. (Psalm 67:3)

4 Let the nations be glad and sing for joy! For You judge the peoples uprightly, and lead the nations on earth. Selah. (Psalm 67:4)

5 Let the peoples praise You, O Elohim; let all the peoples praise You. (Psalm 67:5)

6 The earth shall give her increase; Elohim, our own Elohim, blesses us! (Psalm 67:6)

7 Elohim blesses us! And all the ends of the earth fear Him! (Psalm 67:7)

1 I give You thanks with all my heart. Before the mighty ones I sing praises to You. (Psalm
138:1)
2 I bow myself toward Your set-apart Hĕḵal (Temple), and give thanks to Your Name for Your
kindness and for Your truth; for You have made great Your Word, Your Name, above all. (Psalm
138:2)
3 On the day I called, You did answer me. You made me bold with strength in my being. (Psalm
138:3)
4 Let all the sovereigns of the earth give thanks to You, O יהוה, when they shall hear the words of
Your mouth. (Psalm 138:4)
5 And let them sing of the ways of יהוה, for great is the esteem of יהוה.) Psalm 138:5)
6 Though יהוה is exalted, He looks on the humble; but the proud He perceives from a distance.
(Psalm 138:6)
7 Though I walk in the midst of distress, You revive me. You stretch out Your hand against the
wrath of my enemies, and Your right hand saves me. (Psalm 138:7)
8 יהוה does perfect for me. O יהוה, Your kindness is everlasting. Do not forsake the works of Your
hands. (Psalm 138:8)

 

SHAVUOT | FEAST OF PENTECOST

This Feast of the fiftieth day has been a many-sided one and as a consequence, has been called
by many names.266 The names are as follows:
• Chag Ha-Shavuot or Ḥag Shabu’ot (Feast of Weeks)
• Azeret shel Pesah (Closing Season Of the Passover)
• Yom ha-Bikkurim (Day of the First-Fruits)
• Feast of Shabua or Ḥagga di-Shebu’aya
• Ḥag ha-Ḳaẓir (Feast of Harvest)
• Azeret (Closing Festival)

Day Fifty | Praise Yehovah! | Psalm 150:1-6

Today is the fiftieth and final day of the counting from the day of the waving of the Omer on the
morrow after the Sabbath. Today is the morrow of the seventh Sabbath, the Feast of Weeks, the
Feast of Harvest, or the Day of First-Fruits.

1 Elohim does favor us and bless us. Cause His face to shine upon us. Selah. (Psalm 67:1)
2 For Your way to be known on earth, Your deliverance among all nations. (Psalm 67:2)
3 Let the peoples praise You, O Elohim, let all the peoples praise You. (Psalm 67:3)
4 Let the nations be glad and sing for joy! For You judge the peoples uprightly, and lead the
nations on earth. Selah. (Psalm 67:4)
5 Let the peoples praise You, O Elohim; let all the peoples praise You. (Psalm 67:5)
6 The earth shall give her increase; Elohim, our own Elohim, blesses us! (Psalm 67:6)
7 Elohim blesses us! And all the ends of the earth fear Him! (Psalm 67:7)

1 Praise Yah! Praise Ěl in His set-apart place. Praise Him in His mighty expanse! (Psalm 150:1)
2 Praise Him for His mighty acts. Praise Him according to His excellent greatness! (Psalm 150:2)
3 Praise Him with the blowing of the ram’s horn. Praise Him with the harp and lyre! (Psalm
150:3)
4 Praise Him with tambourine and dance. Praise Him with stringed instruments and flutes! (Psalm
150:4)
5 Praise Him with sounding cymbals. Praise Him with resounding cymbals! (Psalm 150:5)
6 Let all that have breath praise Yah. Praise Yah! (Psalm 150:6)

Pictures of Mature Wheat From Israel

Pictures of Mature Wheat From Israel

Yehovah is showing you when to keep the Feasts through the Land of Israel. Just by looking with your own eyes, you can see the obvious. We have been posting these pictures on FB but many of you may not have seen them. So we will repost them here as witness to the stage of development the wheat is at. I will give you the links so you can see the originals and who posted them and what they said about the wheat. People who live in the land of Israel.

Based on the Barley being Aviv two months ago. we kept Passover on February 26 and Wave Sheaf Day on March 3, 2024. 50 days from Wave Sheaf Day brings us to the Feast of Shavuot this Sunday April 21, 2024. Yes, Shavuot for us will be one week before many of the Kariates and those following the Hillel Calendar will be keeping Passover. So this is Yehovah dramatically demonstrating to the world the obvious. We are not now in the month of Green Ears, the month of Aviv. The first fruits of the Wheat have now been taken. Are you still counting to other days?

Jeremiah 8:7 Yea, the stork in the heavens knows her seasons (Moedim); and the turtle and the crane and the swallow watch the time of their coming; but my people do not know the judgment of Jehovah.Isaiah 1:3  The ox knows his owner, and the ass his master’s crib; but Israel does not know; My people do not understand.

Jermiah 5:4  So I said, Surely these are poor; they are foolish; for they do not know the way of Jehovah, nor the judgment of their God.

Isaiah 5:12  And the lyre, and the harp, the timbrel, and pipe, and wine, are at their feasts; but they do not regard the work of Jehovah. Yea, they do not see the work of His hands.

 

Green Ears of Barley Randy and showed you March 7, 2024.

March 28, 2024, all of the following pictures can be found at https://www.facebook.com/groups/1629688417246907/media

You too can join the group and you can begin to watch yourself.

March 28, 2024

March 25, 2024

March 29, 2024

March 17, 2024

March 17, 2024

March 28, 2024

April 1, 2024

April 3, 2024

April 8, 2024

April 3, 2024

April 8, 2024. Notice the combine working in the background cutting the wheat.

April 6, 2024

March 23, 2024

April 14, 2024

April 18, 2024

The following pictures are taken by יפעת ינוקא and posted on April 19, 2024.

Wheat April 19, Ruhama Israel by אילן ביגן

I am going to show you a group of pictures uploaded of the Wheat April 20, 2024 #1 by יפעת ינוקא 

In two of the pictures in the same area I want you to notice how the this one field of wheat is just coming out of the boot even though these other fields at a lower elevation are being harvested. I want you to understand how you can select only a certain field and manipulate or present it as a representative of the whole nation.

Why Do We Silage Wheat?

Why Do We Silage Wheat?

I know most of you reading this have not grown up on a farm. The closest some of you have been to a farm is when you buy a bag of milk, a box of Cornflakes, or Cheerios. I am not making fun of you, but I understand why some do not grasp what we teach here. But I will try to help you to understand.

Last Sabbath, March 30th, 2024, was the 28th day of counting the Omer. Our first day of counting was on March 3, 2024. March 31, 2024, was Wave Sheaf Day for some people. It was then their first day of counting the Omer. For others, Wave Sheaf Day is not until April 28.

Then from each of these Wave Sheaf Days you must now count 50 days until the first of the Wheat or the Yom HaBikkerim wheat harvest begins.

So, Shavuot will be on April 21 for us, May 19 for the second group, and June 16 for the third group.

Yes, we believe in the seven species coming to fruition at the proper time, ready to be the FIRST FRUITS OFFERING. Shavuot, you are to offer the first fruits of the wheat harvest in the form of two loaves of bread with leaven in them.

I received a picture last Sabbath, and we have had others of the wheat fields being cut on March 29 for silage.

The following picture taken by יפעת ינוקא

Why would a farmer plant wheat, which is what this crop is, and then cut it before it was 100% ripe? Look at the tractor. It is not a combine for harvesting wheat. It is a tractor for mower or cutting the crop and putting it in rows to dry out. Why is he doing this?

After spending all that money to plant the field with wheat, why on earth waste it on silage?

Allow me to share a study about the nutrient value of silage at various stages of growth. Go to the charts at the link if you want to see more.

Typical recommendations for harvesting cereal small grains for silage have been an issue for many years. If the main goal is to maximize silage nutritive value, without considering DM yield then, the recommendation has been to harvest at boot stage. On the other hand, if the main goal is to maximize yield without sacrificing nutritive value, then the recommendations is to harvest at soft-dough stage. Harvesting at boot stage DM yield is lower by 31% (7.4 Ton/ha) relative to soft-dough stage. These recommendations have been developed from the agronomic standpoint and laboratory analysis, without feeding to dairy cows (Contreras- Govea et al., 2006; Coblentz et al., 2018).

In a recent study conducted by Randby et al. (2019), whole wheat was harvested at two maturity stages, early dough and soft to hard dough, and then baled and wrapped in plastic without additives for a minimum of 90 days. After a period of fermentation, bales were frozen and kept in the freezer until the feeding trial started. Before starting of the trial, half of the bales from each maturity stage were processed to reduce the particle size of the kernels. Then from each part of the wheat silage at each maturity stage, processed and no-processed, 4 treatments total, were formulated the four diets.

Whole wheat silage was offered ad libitum as the only forage, plus 7.5 kg/d of supplemental concentrate to midlactation dairy cows (average of 155 DIM and 22.1 milk kg/d). Many data for different parameters were collected from this study, but the main purpose of this interpretation is to highlight differences between the whole wheat maturity stages and the effect on cow’s performance.

The results indicated that there were not effects of wheat processing on any of the nutritive value parameters. Therefore, unprocessed and processed values were averaged (Table 1). Whole wheat nutritive value, protein, NDF, ADF, and in vitro digestibility were similar between the two maturity stages, which differs from previous studies, where typically NDF and ADF increase and digestibility decrease as maturity progress. On the hand, starch content was greater on the soft dough stage than on early dough. Such small difference between the nutritive value of the two wheat silages could explain the similar cow’s performance, even the greater DM intake and milk yield of cows fed soft dough wheat, which had greater starch content.

In summary, whole wheat silage harvested in either early dough or soft dough stage can be fed to midlactation dairy cows without precluding cow’s performance. However, a different cow’s performance could be expected from early lactating cows.

When is the best time to harvest wheat silage, so that it is best for the dairy cows?

The fiber, energy, protein, calcium and phosphorus data of Tables 1 and 2 and Figure 1 indicate that the best time to cut wheat as a forage for dairy cows is from boot to early head. At these two stages, energy was 68 to 76 therms per 100 pounds and crude protein was about 15 to 21 percent. The high producing cow should be getting about 70 therms of energy per 100 pounds dry matter and 15 percent crude protein, according to National Research Council recommendations. Thus, wheat for silage cut by boot or early head will contain enough energy and protein when fed in combination with a balanced grain ration to sustain high milk production.

Harvest probably should begin when the wheat just reaches the boot stage; if harvest proceeds quickly without interruptions from weather, etc., the last silage cut should be in the early head stage. Letting wheat progress to mid-head decreases energy and crude protein and creates a need for greater supplementation. Figure 1 illustrates this point: Two horizontal lines represent energy and protein requirements of the high producer. Wheat cut at boot and early head has energy and protein content above levels required for high producers. However, cows cannot eat enough wheat silage cut at boot and early head to meet energy requirements, and concentrates will be needed. Wheat cut at mid-head and later stages is below energy and protein requirements for high producers.

Although greater yields most likely would result if wheat is left to mature to the late head, milk, dough or seed stages, the wheat has less energy and protein (about 50 therms per 100 pounds and 8 to 10 percent crude protein). This is no better than average hay. Cows are not likely to produce at their maximum when consuming wheat forage cut later than early head.

Feekes 10.1 Boot stage awns visible Feekes 10.5.1 Beginning flowering

Feekes 10.1 Boot stage awns visible Feekes 10.5.1 Beginning flowering

The head is fully developed and can be easily seen in the swollen section of the leaf sheath below the flag leaf. The Feekes growth scale at stage 10 is divided as follows:
Feekes 10.0 boot stage
Feekes 10.1 awns visible, heads emerging through slit of flag leaf sheath
Feekes 10.2 heading 1/4 complete
Feekes 10.3 heading 1/2 complete
Feekes 10.4 heading 3/4 complete
Feekes 10.5 heading complete
Feekes 10.5.1 beginning flowering
Feekes 10.5.2 flowering complete to top of spike
Feekes 10.5.3 flowering complete to base of spike
Feekes 10.5.4 kernels watery ripe
Wheat is largely self pollinating. Most florets are pollinated before anthers are extruded. Although tillers have developed over a several week period, bloom in a given wheat plant is usually complete in a few days. After Feekes stage 10.5.3, remaining growth stages refer to ripeness or maturity of the kernel.

 

Feekes 11.0 Ripening

Feekes 11.0 Ripening

Feekes 11.1 milky ripe Feekes 11.2 mealy ripe Feekes 11.3 kernel hard Feekes 11.4 harvest readyBloom occurs 4 to 5 days after heading. The grain fill period of wheat varies somewhat, depending upon climate. It is typically as little as 30 days in high stress environments, and may exceed 50 days in high yield, low stress environments.
Wheat mature and harvest-ready-Feekes 11.4
feek

On February 5, 2024, Marina Levi posted this picture on Facebook of the wheat just coming out of the boot around the Gaza Strip area. In the video on Instagram, you can see that the rest of the field does not have many heads coming out at this time. If we use the FEEKE’S chart above and then add 50 days to the Flowering stage, which is a 10.5 on the Feekes Scale, we will end up on March 25, 58 + 50 = 108 on the scale. If we use the scale with the heads of wheat just coming out of the boot, Feeke’s 10.1, then we end up on Feeke’s scale at the 100-day part of the scale on March 25, as well.

This next picture was taken by Marina Levi and posted on Facebook on March 10, 2024, from the Gaza Strip area. You can see the heads are heavier and beginning to lean, changing from green to a golden tinge. These heads are well past the flowering stage and somewhere around Feeke’s stage 11, which is about 75 days, give or take a few days. If you look closely, you can also see some of the stocks turning brown. According to the Feekes scale if we add 25 more days to this date the wheat will be 100 days and ready on about April 3, 2024.

Marina works in agriculture for many different farmers, so she has a wide variety of experience in everything from wheat to potatoes to oranges and avocados. She does it all by working on many farms, and we can see the state of the land everywhere in the south where she is working.

In the next two pictures, the wheat is being cut for silage. It is not left to dry out very much in the fields to keep as many of the nutrients in the wheat silage as possible, which is going to be used for Dairy Cow feed, as I shared with you above. It is cut after it heads and before it turns into a solid seed. It is cut in the dough range, approximately from about 10.5 to 11.2 or the 58 to 80 day range on the Feeke’s scale.

Last week, we posted our cover picture of the wheat in the early stages of golden. I will post it again below. They are from the Megiddo area and taken on March 28 and 29, 2024, by יפעת ינוקא

What stage would you put this wheat at? Notice the stems are now turning golden. Using Feeke’s Scale, it has to be past the flowering stage of 10.5 or 58 days. I would say it is past the first stage of ripening and about Feeke’s 11.2, whereas Feeke’s 11.4 is harvest-ready. Can you see this?

 

So here is the problem as of this day, March 31, as I prepare this newsletter for the next Sabbath on April 6.

There is one group of brethren who are just now (March 31, 2024) keeping Wave Sheaf Day for the Barley. Randy and I confirmed the barley was Aviv on March 3, 2024. They strongly disagreed. Yet here we are when they claim it to be the time when the barley is to be harvested, and we can see the wheat is almost ready. In fact, in Brian Convery’s report of March 26, 2024, he stated this referring to the pictures he had posted:

Now notice what we no longer see growing in them. Correct, no more wild barley towering above them. It has already shattered and fallen to the earth.

He is telling you the barley has already shattered and reseeded itself. You are not allowed to harvest the barley until Wave Sheaf Day, which for him is March 31, the night before. If the barley is already shattering, then you are a month too late in your declaration. It is no longer the FIRST FRUITS that you bring to the Temple, but the last fruits, like Cain did, which we showed you in our video two weeks ago.

On Friday, March 29, 2024, Brian posted the following:

Just think Wavesheaf day is only two more days away so lets check on the imminent start to the Harvest.
Yifat and Elad are in agreement: the domestic barley and wheat are ready to bundle into sheaves on Sunday or when the folks get back from the Feast of UB.
In the third photo I have circled some of the last remnants of wild barley growing with their sisters the barley and their cousins the wheat that are still to be found in this region. Remember earlier in the year how much wild barley was towering over their relatives in these fields in Galed.

He is telling you that both the barley and the wheat are ready to harvest. WHAT? If March 31 is Wave Sheaf Day, then the first fruits of barley are to be waved, not wheat, and most definitely not both together. This is another indication that he is one month too late in timing the feasts this year.

On March 30, 2024, Brian posted the following comment. Please stop and think about what he is stating here for the higher elevations in the north. Then, what does this mean for the lower elevation in the south near Re’im? Randy and I reported the Barley Aviv on March 3, 2024.

Good Morning Brethren and a happy Sabbath rejuvenation to you.
With this being day 5 in our keeping of the days of UB and Wavesheaf Day taking place tomorrow we thought it a good time to post some of the barley and wheat fields in the high elevations in the Center and the North being cut for hay. These are not silage operations. The hay will be dried in the field for a number of days being turned at least once to insure no moisture left in it. Once again this is barley and wheat as we have talked about in depth for those who have ears to listen. (first 5 pictures)
All of these locations have reached the dough stages due to the intense sun, heat, and wind Father has applied to it and is continuing to apply to the Land. Yes, even in the high elevations and in the North rim of the Jezreel Valley.

As of this writing, March 31, 2024, those of us who kept Wave Sheaf Day on March 3, 2024, now have three more weeks or 21 days until the first of the wheat harvest can be offered to Yehovah. Anyone with honest eyes can see that the wheat is headed and starting to turn golden. It is on the Feeke’s scale somewhere in the 11 stage. It is 25 days until it reaches maturity, and I am only looking for 21 more days until Shavuot on April 21, 2024. HMMM. I wonder if we might just be right about keeping Passover last month.

Those keeping Wave Sheaf Day on March 31 now must count 50 days to the Shavuot Wheat First Fruits harvest, which, as we said for them, is now May 19 or 50 days from March 31. Trouble is, as Brian has testified, the wheat is now ripe. It is ripe now, according to Brian. So, the FIRST FRUITS are ripe now, and in 50 days, they will no longer be the first fruits, but they will be leftovers that they will present to Yehovah. Again, according to what Cain offered, this will not be acceptable.

But then there are the other groups who are keeping Passover about the same time as Hillel, based on the testimony of Yoel and Devorah who will be keeping it at that time. Brian is stating the barley is already shattered and not to be seen now. They will have none by the time they keep Wave Sheaf Day on April 28. And then 50 days after this is June 16. That is a full 10 weeks, or 70 days from now. Look at the pictures of the harvesting going on now. What will be left by April 22?

If Feeke’s scale shows us the wheat is somewhere around stage 11 now,  with at most 25 days more until maturity, then where will the wheat be in the south in 70 days?

Then again on Sunday March 31, Brian posted the following comment:

Some keep asking about the wild barley. I simple tell them to go back and follow along for the past month of posts and you will be able to chew on all the facts. Most of the wild in 2 of the grain growing regions has already dispersed their seeds, both goat grass and acceptable wild.

He again tells you there is no barley available for Wave Sheaf Day because it has already shattered. This is a clear indication he is one month late. None of the pictures he posts belong to him but come from others on the Facebook page about Nature in Israel https://www.facebook.com/groups/1629688417246907

YOu can lead a horse to water but you can’t make them drink. You can provide all the facts to the world, but you can’t make a person think. We need many more critical thinkers watching and looking for the first of the seven species to be ripe at the proper times. Join this group on Facebook and watch and see the beauty of the land at the same time. https://www.facebook.com/groups/1629688417246907

Brian also posted this picture, which is from the Megiddo area and taken on March 28 and 29, 2024, by יפעת ינוקא

The first two of the Seven Species have come right on time. We are watching for the completion of the wheat cycle and then in two months time the first of the grapes. This would be from June 8 to July 7, 2024. This is the 5th month when the 10 spies brought back the large bunch of grapes.

Num 13:23 And they came to the valley of Eshcol and cut from there a branch with one cluster of grapes. And they carried it between two men upon a staff, and some of the pomegranates and of the figs.

Num 13:24 The place was called the valley of Eshcol because of the cluster of grapes which the sons of Israel cut down from there.

When they returned with the fruit of the land, they also brought an evil report. This is when the 9th of Av curse was given to them to wander in the wilderness for 40 years.

April 1, 2024: Look at this Stalk of Wheat.

Then, once you look at this one stalk, look at the fields behind it. This is taken by a lady working in agriculture in various forms around the Gaza Strip area. Randy and I declared the Barley Aviv and Wave Sheaf Day in the same area on March 3, 2024. Now, the wheat is turning golden yellow. By the time you read this, we will have just two more weeks to offer the first of the first fruits of wheat on Sunday, April 21. On April 22, many of the Kariates will be offering their barley, or the last fruits, for their Wave Sheaf Day.

The picture is taken by Marina Furman-Levi in the Gaza strip March 31, and posted April 1, 2024 on Facebook.

Some are accusing me of presenting a false picture, stating that this does not count because it is domestic wheat. Yes it is domestic wheat. What else did they plant? They did not plant wild wheat nor did they harvest wild wheat. It is a Takanot.

Some have proposed that we must only use wild emmer wheat to harvest at Shavuot. I also went along with this for a time. The trouble is no one in Israel plants it or harvests it. The reason is simple.

Although cultivated in ancient Egypt, wild emmer is not cultivated for human consumption in recent history,[7] perhaps owing to the difficulty with which the chaff is separated from the seed kernels, formerly requiring the spikes to be pounded with mortar and pestle.[10]

(7) Dalman, Gustaf (2020). Nadia Abdulhadi-Sukhtian (ed.). Work and Customs in Israel, volume II. Vol. 2 (Agriculture). Translated by Robert Schick. Ramallah: Dar Al Nasher. pp. 288–289. ISBN 978-9950-385-84-9.

(10) Amar, Zohar (2015). Flora and Fauna in Maimonides’ Teachings (in Hebrew). Kfar Darom. pp. 96–97. OCLC 783455868.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emmer#cite_note-Dalman2020-7

The wheat used today for bread (Triticum Aestivum), originates from wild wheat, and is one of the most important crops in the world today, along with corn and rice. It originally developed in the Fertile Crescent, (the land from ancient Mesopotamia (Iraq of today) to Egypt, including Israel. Wheat is the first crop listed in the seven species of Israel, the “Land of wheat and barley and vines and figs and pomegranates, a land of olive oil and honey” (Exodus 8:8) and the many different names that the Torah uses to describe wheat in its various stages of growth and development indicate how important wheat is seen to be for mankind.
https://www.neot-kedumim.org.il/index-plant-of-the-month/wild-wheat/

When you create a Takanot or Mai’sim you are adding to the Torah. Yehovah is asking us to gather the first fruits to the land. the First Fruits of the seven species and to give them to Him.

I am not attacking any of the barley searchers for their beliefs. It has nothing to do with me or anyone else. It all has to do with serving Yehovah and keeping HIs feasts at the proper time. I have what I beleoive to be a proper understanding. Others have a different view. That does not make me hate them. BUt it does and has caused some brethren to hate me and my reports. This is sad. We are to wrestle with the word to discover the truth and then to repent and return to it when we learn it.

I do not think Devorah reads my newsletter. If she did she would not need to go out and do a search. One of the differences between us is the question about when can you harvest the barley. We have made our case and our video about this. Now you can read what she has to say about this matter and you decide.

Dear Friends,

As we’re preparing to carry out our 3rd Barley Inspection of the season next week, we would like to take this opportunity to respond to your questions regarding whether we’re permitted to harvest before Yom HaNafat HaOmer (The Day of the Wave Sheaf Offering).

We understand this question stems from “Yom HaNafat HaOmer (The Day of the Wave Sheaf Offering)”, being referred to as “when the sickle begins on the standing grain”, in Deuteronomy 16:9.And while some have interpreted this to mean that we can’t harvest before YomHaNafat HaOmer (The Day of the Wave Sheaf Offering), that’s not our understanding.

When look at this verse in its context (Dt 16:9-12), we see that it’s talking about ChagHaShavuot (Feast of Weeks), and seems to simply be using the phrase “when the sickle begins on the standing grain”, as a euphemism for Yom HaNafat HaOmer (The Day of the Wave Sheaf Offering), in order to point to the fact that the seven-week count (Lev 23:15), begins with us celebrating the start of the grain harvest(barley) (Lev 23:10), and culminates with us we celebrating the end of the grain harvest (wheat), on Chag HaShavuot (Feast of Weeks).

The understanding that we’re permitted to harvest before Yom HaNafat HaOmer (The Day of the Wave Sheaf Offering), is also supported by the fact that the omer, which we bring to the priest on Chag HaMatzot (Feast of Unleavened Bread), is from the harvest(Lev 23:10), and the fact that we need to harvest when the barley fields becomes ripe, or the heads will shatter (Ex 9:31, Mark 4:29).

Now, as you can imagine, those who believe this verse is insinuating that we’re prohibited from harvesting before Yom HaNafat HaOmer (The Day of the Wave Sheaf Offering), are forced to begin the year very early in the solar cycle, so that when the fields need to be harvested, they will be able to do so, and not lose their crop.

That’s why we see some people beginning the year with only an omer of Aviv Barley (what percentage of that “omer” is actually Aviv is questionable), from a single field, with poor soil health (others look at a cultivated strain of planted barley which ripens quickly), often times the field is in the desert (Negev), and some even think finding this by Yom HaNafat HaOmer (The Day of the Wave Sheaf Offering)even if it falls towards the end of the holiday, or it’s snowing in Jerusalem, are all fine for beginning the new year. Again, this is because if one believes we’re prohibited from harvesting before Yom HaNafat HaOmer (The Day of the Wave Sheaf Offering), they need to try and grab on to any sort of proof that it’s the beginning of the year, no matter how much of a stretch that may be.

In our opinion, those are not signs of the beginning of the year, and only exemplify that, the understanding that we can’t harvest before Yom HaNafat HaOmer (The Day of the Wave Sheaf Offering), is not correct.

In summation, there doesn’t appear to be a prohibition against harvesting before Yom HaNafat HaOmer (The Day of the Wave Sheaf Offering), however we are prohibited from eating from the harvest before the Wave Offering is brought (Lev 23:14).

We are planning on carrying out another Barley Inspection just prior to the upcoming New Moon Observation (9 April2024), so be sure to subscribe to our newsletter and social media

platforms, so you receive that report as soon as it comes out.

Allow me to share one really cool picture here with you next. Picture was taken April 3, 2024 by דוד דניאל Israel is so beautiful.

Wheat Silage Continued

Wheat Silage Continued

I wanted to show you how big the wheat silage operation is in Israel. This is to follow up on our explanation last week about when wheat is silaged. These three videos are from 2023.

 

 

In this next video pay attention to when the silage is harvested. It says when the Wheat is in the flowering to soft dough stage. Last week, we showed a number of pictures of the wheat fields being harvested for silage. This video just confirms what we were showing you with the Feekes charts and how much time it takes until the wheat is golden brown and ready to harvest for cereal grains.

This next video is from March 28, 2024 in Emek Hefer. Just do the math now that you know when silage is cut and how much longer until the wheat is ripe. About 25 to 45 days.

Devorah's Barley Report

Devorah’s Barley Report

In the following report from Devorah about the status of the barley, I want you to watch and listen to what she says. Like Brian Convery, who reported that both the barley and the wheat are ready to harvest on March 31, 2024, Devorah is saying the exact same thing only for her Passover is on April 23, and her Wave Shead Day is not until April 28, 2024. But she too is saying that the Barley in the Jordan Valley is ready now. When Randy and I reported on the Jordan Valley, it was about a week or two behind what we reported on in Re’im. You must learn to judge. Is what either one of them presenting to you the FRIST FRUITS or is it the last fruits of the harvest?

You must also look at the pictures of both and then decide is this past month and or the next month, the month of Green ears? All you have to do is look. You do not have get mad at me or call me a liar or attack me personally. All you have to do is look. Yehovah is your witness. He Yehovah is showing you through the pictures themselves what time of year it is. Truth Matters. Lashon Harah does not change the facts.

Here is the meaning of the Hebrew words Abib.

H24   (Strong) אָבִיב  ‘âbı̂yb   aw-beeb’

From an unused root

(meaning to be tender); green, that is a young ear of grain;

hence the name of the month Abib or Nisan: – Abib, ear, green ears of corn.

As you look at what Devorah is showing you, ask yourself if the barley is young or tender or green. It is really just that simple. Was this last month the month of young green tender ears of barley? Brian Convery testified on March 31, Wave Sheaf Day for those who kept Passover last month, that it was not young or green or tender. Devorah is testifying that the barley is now Aviv (Is it young, tender, and green) and ready for harvesting. Her first month began Wednesday, April 10, with Passover now 15 days from that date. Does it look green or tender or young?

Also of note is that Devorah is now adding a new Takanot. She is now saying because Joshua crossed the Jordan and kept the first Passover in the Jordan Valley, that we should only be looking there.

This week we had heavy rains in Israel. According to Deovrah last year we could not keep Passover if it was still raining. The Tankanot and Mai’sim of all the groups and the mis-application of what Aviv is has confused this entire issue. Stop being blown by every new Takanot that comes up each year. Start to obey Yehovah when He said to obey Him not some personality.

You are to judge angels. But if you can’t judge when to begin the year and you do not know or understand what the month—the whole month of green ears—means, then how can you expect to judge angels who do know? Angels who know what the month of brown ears is.

Those of you following our lead know that we are now in the 3rd month of the year. Brian Convery and his pictures, along with his testimony on March 31, confirmed that the Barley and the wheat were ready to be cut at that time. Devorahs report below should also confirm the fact that the wheat is ready now. Becca declared the field just down the road from where Randy and I stood and declared it was 90% Aviv just a few days after we kept Wave Sheaf Day on March 3, 2024. Even in her recent video she confirms where Randy and I were it was 50% Aviv. No it was all Aviv with Green Tender Ears and it was at the same time at a stage that could be roasted in then ground into flour.

Wave Sheaf Day is when you need the barley to present it. You do not need it by the end of the month before. You do not need it by the 10th day of the month. You do not need fields of it. You do not have to wait until those in the north have it, while it falls to the ground in the south. It can still be raining and cold and you can have snow and the Barley is Aviv. All of these are Takanot and Maisim, manmade traditions added to the Law of Moses. Aviv is Tender Green Ears with enough starch that it can be roasted.

You must know what the word Aviv means. Do not follow the crowd nor let anyone tell you what it means. Look it up and understand. Aviv means tender green ears of grain.

 

Dear Friends,

We’re glad to be back from our 3rd Barley Inspection of the season, which we carried out on 7 April 2024, and want to thank the Creator for His protection, and all of you, for your heartfelt prayers and support.

We carry out these Barley Inspections, in order to know when to begin the year. Remember, we’re instructed to begin the year with Chodesh HaAviv (Ex 12:2, Ex13:3-4, Ex 23:15, Ex 34:18, Dt 16:1), which is the month in which the barley fields become Aviv in time for the men to bring their omer to the Priest when they go up to the Temple for Chag HaMatzot (Feast of Unleavened) (Lev 23:10).

We concentrate our inspections in the Plains of Jericho, what is today referred to as the Jordan Valley, because this is where the Creator brought us into The Land, and we know the barley becomes Aviv just before Chag HaMatzot (Feast of Unleavened Bread) in this region (Joshua 5:10-12). Remember, we didn’t expand until other regions, with their various climates and weather patterns, until much later, so it can’t be that the beginning of the year is based on them.

Aviv Barley (what modern agronomists refer to as “Soft Dough”), is the earliest stage a grain can be harvested (Ex9:31, Ex 23:15, Lev 23:10, Lev 23:14, Dt 16:9, Dt 16:16-17, Joshua 5:10-12). At this stage, the seeds have just finished developing, and therefore still contain a lot of moisture. Therefore, the stalks either need to swathed, which means cut and left on the ground so the seeds can continue drying out, or the seeds by can dried immediately by parching the heads with fire (Lev 2:14, Lev23:14, Joshua 5:10-12, Rut 2:14, 1 Samuel 17:17, 1 Samuel 25:18, 2 Samuel 17:28).

We focus our inspections on the more natural strains of barley, and on this inspection, we found that the planted fields were Aviv and either waiting to be cut or had recently been swathed, and that the volunteer fields, which by their nature are under more stress, had shattered and new tillers had come up which were Aviv. We are pleased to provide you with the following summary of our survey, along with this accompanying video of our inspection. We don’t inspect the field prior to the filming, so you are literally discovering what’s in the field, right along with us.

00:11 Field #1 – Planted

This planted field was Aviv+.

03:18 Field #2 – Planted

This planted field had been swathed, which is usually done when it becomes Aviv.

04:15 Field #3 – Volunteer

This is volunteer field was Aviv+.

06:50 Field #4 – Planted

This planted field was Aviv+.

10:22 Field #5 – Volunteer

This is volunteer field was Aviv+.

13:27 Field #6 – Planted

The barley in this planted wheat field was either Aviv or Aviv+.

17:28 Field #7 Volunteer

This volunteer field was beyond ripe.

21:26 Field #8 Planted

This planted field had been swathed, which is usually done when it becomes Aviv.

We hope this report has been helpful to you in deciding when to begin the year, and remember, it’s important to begin the year in the month which you believe to be Chodesh HaAviv (Ex 13:3-4, Ex 23:15, Ex 34:18, Dt16:1), regardless of what month you may currently be in. Also, those of us who began last year according to Scenario #3, and decide to begin this year also according to Scenario #3, aren’t doing back-to-back 13th months, it’s simply a 12-month year. And lastly, for those who may be interested, I’m planning on beginning the year with the upcoming New Moon Observation on April 9, 2024(April 10th if the New Moon isn’t sighted).

 

Takanot and Ma'asim

Takanot and Ma’asim

One of the very first teachings I heard Nehemia Gordon give was on the Greek Jesus and Hebrew Yehshua way back in the winters 2004/2005 in Lansing Michigan. He blew me away with this profound understanding.

A few years ago, we went to Israel with the purpose of demonstrating how many of the barley searchers, some of whom were Karaites, had themselves incorporated Takanot and Ma’asim into the searching of the barley to begin the year. This year again, with all the hullabaloo and people calling me a liar for using their own testimonies to show that the barley was indeed Aviv or with green ears as we stated, it is once again time to look at exactly what Takanot and Ma’asim are and whether or not we have added to the Torah things we should not have added.

I am specifically speaking about the following takanots:

  • You must have brown harvest ready barely by the end of the 12th month.
  • You must have a field full of brown, ripe, harvest-ready barley by the end of the 12th month.
  • You must have the entire country with fields of brown riipe, harvest-ready barley by the end of the 12th month.
  • You must have brown harvest ready barley by the 10th day of the 1st month.
  • You must have roastable green ears of barley by the 10th day of the 1st month.
  • You must have lambs birthing.
  • You must have grapes budding.
  • You must have Storks migrating overhead.
  • You must have ….. make up your own takanot.

As we are now approaching the Feast of Shavuot this weekend, we must also now address another bunch of takanot, some of which I was once a part of. First of all, none of the Karaite searchers look for wheat to follow up on their barley reports. Here are some of the takanot that have been added to the first fruits of the wheat harvest:

  • You must only use the Black Emmer Wheat because it was the one used in the Temple.
  • You cannot use GMO wheat that is grown today.

Although Emmer wheat has been found int the pyramids along with other varieties, it is a leap of faith to claim that this is the only wheat used in the Temple. Today the emmer wheat is only found around the Galilee and Golan areas which are at higher elevations.

No GMO wheat is being grown commercially in the world, with the exception of Argentina. To claim that all wheat is GMO and not to be used except the Black Emmer variety is not true.

Genetically modified wheat is wheat that has been genetically engineered by the direct manipulation of its genome using biotechnology. As of 2020, no GM wheat is grown commercially, although many field tests have been conducted, with one wheat variety, Bioceres HB4 Wheat, obtaining regulatory approval from the Argentinean government.[1]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetically_modified_wheat

Today in 2024, the genetic source of all our wheat comes from the wild Emmer wheat variety. Durum wheat is the descendant of the Emmer variety.

Every spring in the Biblical Garden, religious school students sow two strains of ancient wheat, einkorn wheat, the ancestral mother of all wheat, and emmer wheat, the genetic source of modern wheat varieties. Wild einkorn often survives in sandy or rocky soils where other varieties of wheat fail. Emmer wheat has a higher yield with fatter kernels and more nutrients than einkorn. Rich in gluten, it was the variety commonly grown for bread-making throughout the eastern Mediterranean region and in Egypt during the Israelite sojourn there. The “bread of affliction,” the unleavened dough which the Israelites, in their haste, carried on their journey from slavery to freedom, was made from emmer wheat. Indigenous wild wheat grows today in the rocky soil of the Galilee and Golan Heights. The genetic sources of modern bread wheat stem from these ancient grains.

In our day, wheat provides 20% of the calories and proteins consumed around the globe. The impacts of population growth, political instability, and climate change are of urgent humanitarian concern. Scientists are investigating ways to improve the hardiness, nutritional value and yield of modern wheat as one way to address the hunger that stunts the lives of millions of children and adults. Much of this work is being done in Israel. The Wild Cereal Gene Bank at the University of Haifa’s Institute of Evolution provides a gene pool of over 3,000 wild wheat samples, sourced mostly from Israel. Scientists use this material in searching for useful genes that can be cross-bred into domesticated wheat to improve drought and disease resistance, protein content, and adaptability to varied soils and rainfall levels.

https://www.templesinairi.org/biblical-garden-blog/ancient-wheat-in-todays-world

The cross-pollination over millennia does not disqualify all wheat. That is just absurd and another takanot being added to the Torah.

Jacob crossbred sheep. Does this mean that we are only allowed to eat the breed of sheep that lived before Jacob for Passover? What is coming up next will be the grapes. All grape varieties are crossbred to get the best variety for what the farmer or winemaker is looking for. We can create a new takanot that only green grapes can be used because the red or purple grapes don’t count for some asinine reason yet to be made up.

Takanot

I explained to my Torah-keeping Christian friend that the ancient name was Pharisees. And actually Pharisees comes from the Hebrew word Perushim, which means “the separated ones”, and at the time of the Second Temple they were separated off from the mass of the nation. Later on, after the destruction of the Temple, they began to take over more and more Jewish institutions, and today their modern name is the Orthodox Rabbis or Orthodox Jews.126 https://www.nehemiaswall.com/hebrew-yeshua-vs-greek-jesus-2 

Now, this is something that Orthodox Rabbis actually proclaim very proudly, that they are a direct continuation of the Pharisees of Second Temple times. And in fact, in order to be called an “Orthodox Rabbi,” a person must have rabbinical ordination from a previous rabbi, and that rabbi from a previous rabbi, going back in an unbroken chain all the way back to the Pharisees of the 1st century. So, the Rabbis of today are literally a direct continuation, one rabbi to the next, from the Pharisees of the 1st century.

And Pharisaism, ancient Pharisaism and modern Orthodox Judaism are both founded upon five fundamental principles, five fundamental principles of Pharisaism, which I lovingly call, “the five iniquities of the Pharisees.” And before we go into the first principle of Pharisaism, and which is really the most foundational principle, I want to throw out a question to you: how many Torahs are there? How many Torahs? Very simple question; it’s not a trick question. How many Torahs are there?

Audience: One!

Nehemia: One Torah. But if you’re a Pharisee, there are two Torahs. And that’s your most fundamental doctrine and belief – that when Moses went up to Mount Sinai for forty days and forty nights, the Creator revealed to him two separate and distinct revelations: the written Torah and the Oral Torah. The written Torah is what you were referring to, the Five Books of Moses. That was the revelation that was written down. However, the second Torah according to the Pharisees, which is the Oral Torah, which is also known in English as the Oral Law, and they believe that God revealed to Moses this oral revelation which was transmitted from Moses to Joshua and so on and so on, down to the Pharisees of the 1st century, and even down to the rabbis of today.

Doctrine of the Oral Torah

Now, everything we’re going to learn today about Pharisaism is really predicated upon this concept of the Oral Law, the Oral Torah. If we don’t understand Oral Torah, we’re not going to understand anything else about Pharisaism. Everything else flows from that concept.

Now, the concept of the Oral Law is really an ancient concept. The first reference to it, the first datable historical reference, is an incident from the era of Shammai. Shammai… many of you may have heard of Hillel. Hillel was the author of the Seven Rules of Hillel. His sidekick was Shammai. And an ancient source tells us, “An incident with a certain gentile that came before Shammai.” The gentile said to Shammai, “How many Torahs do you Pharisees have? Shammai answered: We Pharisees have two! Two Torahs, the written Torah and the Oral Torah.”

So, this is an ancient concept that goes back to approximately at least 20 Before the Common Era, approximately 50 years before Yeshua’s ministry. And really, it probably goes back even a few hundred years before that. So, this is an ancient doctrine, and really, the most fundamental principle of Pharisaism is the theology or the doctrine of the two Torahs, the written Torah and the Oral Torah.

Now, the Pharisees explain that the written Torah is sort of an outline; they often give the analogy of a lecture. The notes that you’re writing down right now, those notes, that’s the written Torah. And the actual details, everything I’m saying, that’s the Oral Torah. And because of this, the Pharisees explain that the written Torah is completely incomprehensible without the Oral Torah. The Oral Torah completes the written Torah and really fills in all the details. You cannot understand the written Torah without the Oral Torah according to the Pharisees.

Now, one of the major changes in Pharisaism in the last 2,000 years is that the Oral Torah has actually been written down, and today it’s written down and contained in four collections of writings.

The first one of these to be written down was the Mishnah, which was written down around the year 200 of the Common Era. And it contains the collection of Pharisaical traditions and teachings and practices and customs and laws, and that’s really the backbone of the Oral Law.

The next thing to be written down was the Jerusalem Talmud, which was written down around the year 350 of the Common Era. You might think it was written in Jerusalem, but in fact it was written in Tiberias. It was called Jerusalem to give it more prestige. That was written down around the 350 of the Common Era. In the Jerusalem Talmud, it contains discussions of, “When the rabbi said X,Y,Z in the Mishnah, what were they talking about?” And it elaborates and discusses and examines the Mishnah.

The next thing to be written down is the Babylonian Talmud, which actually was written in Babylon as the name implies, around the year 500 of the Common Era. Finally, the last thing to be written down was the Midrash, which was written down over many hundreds of years, from around 200 up until the year 900 of the Common Era.

These four bodies of writings, these four collections, collectively are today what’s known as the Oral Law. Even though it was originally oral – in the time of Yeshua it was still oral – today, the Oral Law has been written down. And this is really the most fundamental principle of Pharisaism, the doctrine of the Oral Torah. Everything else we’re going to hear today about Pharisaism is predicated upon this.

Absolute Authority of the Rabbis

The second principle of Pharisaism is the absolute authority of the rabbis; the rabbis have absolute authority on earth to interpret Scripture. And this is epitomized by the saying in the Midrash, which we now know as part of the Oral Torah. In the Midrash it says, “Even if the Pharisees instruct you that right is left, or left is right, you must obey them.”

Well, what does that mean? What that means is if my rabbis tell me that this is my right hand, I have to obey them. By the way, it doesn’t say I have to believe them. I’m allowed to even say and know that the rabbis are factually wrong, but I must obey their authority because they have the absolute authority to interpret Scripture.

And in fact, when I was growing up, I was told that if the rabbi is wrong, the sin is upon him. But you, as the individual believer, cannot take the initiative to question the authority of the rabbi. If your rabbi tells you this, you must accept it and follow it.

Well, I really had a problem with this when I was growing up and I began to study the Torah, and I began to study the Talmud, the Oral Law, and I could see in the Torah that this was clearly the word of God. In the Torah we read, “And Yehovah spoke unto Moses, saying.” And we get to the Prophets, and we read, “Thus says Yehovah.” It’s clearly the word of God. And we get to the Talmud, and we read, “Rabbi Meir says this, but Rabbi Akiva disagrees and says that.” And I looked at this and I went to my rabbis, and I said, “Look, one is the word of God, the other is clearly the words of men. Shouldn’t we accept the word of God over the word of men, especially since they’re not consistent with each other?” And my rabbi said, “No, absolutely not! Although these things are spoken as the words of this rabbi or that rabbi, the actual content of their words were revealed to Moses on Mount Sinai.”

And I wasn’t convinced, and I came back, and I said, “Look, the way the rabbis are interpreting Scripture and the Oral Law, the way they’re interpreting the written Scripture is just not consistent with what it says in Scripture. And I can read, and I can see that’s not what it says.” And I said to them, “Shouldn’t we reject this Oral Law and just accept the written Scripture?” And my rabbi said to me, “No, absolutely not. You must not say such things. That’s what the Karaites say!”

And I said, “Who?” And I investigated and I found out throughout history there had always been Jews who only believed in the written Scripture, and they were called Karaites. Kara is the ancient Hebrew word for Scripture; Kara-ite is a follower of the Old Testament or the Hebrew Scriptures, and we’ll talk about that a little bit more later.

I really had a hard time with this Oral Law, and I just couldn’t accept it. One day, one of my rabbis sat down and he said, “Enough of questioning the authority of the rabbis, Nehemia. You must accept their authority.” And he began to tell me a very famous story, the story of Rabbi Eliezer, which is a foundational story in Rabbinical theology.

And the story of Rabbi Eliezer, it’s told in the Babylonian Talmud, and it goes as follows: Rabbi Eliezer was the greatest of the sages of his era. He was actually the teacher of Rabbi Akiva, who’s maybe one of the most famous rabbis that ever lived, so you can imagine how great Rabbi Eliezer was. And one day Rabbi Eliezer is in the Rabbinical Academy and he’s having a debate with all the otherrabbis on some minutiae of Rabbinical Law about whether a certain type of oven is ritually clean or ritually unclean. And Rabbi Eliezer says, “that oven is ritually clean”, and all the other rabbis say, “it’s ritually unclean”, and Rabbi Eliezer is trying to convince the other rabbis he’s right. He’s one and he’s against this mass of other rabbis.

And the Talmud explains that on that day, Rabbi Eliezer brought forth every argument in the world and he couldn’t convince the other rabbis he was right. He brought forth Scriptural arguments and rational arguments and he couldn’t convince them he was right. He doesn’t know what to do, he’s getting very frustrated, and finally he says, “I know what I can do to convince them, I’m going to invoke a miracle.” And Rabbi Eliezer shouts out, and he says, “If I’m right, let the trees prove it!” And at that moment they heard the snapping of wood, and all the rabbis ran outside, and they saw an entire orchard of trees being ripped from the roots and flying up in the air. And they looked at this and they said, “This is a miraculous occurrence. Rabbi Eliezer has invoked a miracle to prove he’s right, and the miracle has come to pass.” And they looked at this miracle and they turn to Rabbi Eliezer, and they say, “Sorry, Rabbi Eliezer, we don’t listen to trees.” Oh, boy! What’s he going to do? “You don’t listen to trees? I just brought a miracle!”

So, he says, “Okay, maybe we’re not quite understanding each other here,” and he says, “let’s try this again. I’m going to invoke a second miracle. If I’m right, let the river prove it!” And at that moment, they heard the rushing of the water. It was a very great river, and they run outside, and they see this mighty river begin to flow backwards, and they look at this and they say, “This is a miracle! A second miracle has now been invoked that Rabbi Eliezer has brought to prove he’s right. We’re very impressed.” They turn to Rabbi Eliezer, and they say, “Sorry Rabbi Eliezer, we don’t listen to rivers.” He’s brought two miracles and they’re not listening to what he’s saying. He’s brought Scriptural arguments and rational arguments and two miracles, and they won’t listen to him.

So, finally in desperation, he yells out and he says, “If I’m right, let the walls of the academy prove it!” And at that moment they heard the walls begin to shake and rumble. And the Talmud explains that the walls came to a 45-degree angle, collapsing in. Of course, if they’d fallen in the entire way, the story would have ended right here! And the rabbis look at these walls and realize they’ve almost been killed by these falling walls. And they turn to Rabbi Eliezer, and they say, “Wow! Three miracles! Now we’re really impressed. This can’t be a coincidence; this is clearly a series of miraculous events.” They turn to Rabbi Eliezer and say, “Sorry Rabbi Eliezer, we don’t listen to walls.” He doesn’t know what to do. Three miracles and they won’t accept his opinion; they won’t accept these proofs that he’s right.

And finally, in utter desperation he calls out and he says, “If I’m right, let heaven prove it!” And at that moment they heard the crack of thunder, followed by a voice, “Why do you dispute with Rabbi Eliezer? In all matters, the Law agrees with him.” And by the way, that’s an actual recording that was made at the time!

They’ve heard this voice calling out from heaven saying, “Rabbi Eliezer’s right, why are you arguing with him?” And they hear this and they’re very impressed. They turn to Rabbi Eliezer, and they say, “Scriptural evidence and three miracles and God calling down to us from heaven telling us you’re right,” and they turn to him and say, “we’re very impressed but sorry, we don’t listen to heaven.”

And as my rabbi was telling me this story, he opened up to me the Book of Deuteronomy, Deuteronomy chapter 30 verse 12. And there it actually says concerning the Torah, that the Torah is not in heaven, “it is not in heaven”. And these are the words that the rabbis said to Rabbi Eliezer, and they explained to him that God has no say in interpreting Scripture because the Torah is not in heaven. The Torah is here on earth, and the rabbis are the ones who have exclusive authority to interpret Scripture. God has no say in it.

And my rabbi turned to me as he was telling me this story and he said, “You see Nehemia? God Himself can’t question the interpretation of the rabbis. So, who are you to question their interpretation?” And as I was hearing this, I was in shock. And I have to tell you, for years I struggled with the Oral Law. It was very difficult for me, because my father was a rabbi, and many of my ancestors were prominent rabbis. The man after whom I’m named, Nehemia, was a famous rabbi in Chicago. And for me to break from this Oral Law, which had been the heritage of my ancestors, was very difficult for me. And for years I struggled with this, and I had doubts, and I wasn’t sure. But when I heard this story, I turned to my rabbi and I thanked him and I said, “Now I know this is not of God.”

Now the story actually has a continuation; it gets worse. The Talmud goes on… my rabbi didn’t tell me this part, but later, I read this directly out of the Talmud, and it tells about how, later on, after the faceoff between Rabbi Eliezer and the other rabbis, one of the rabbis named Rabbi Natan was wandering through the forest. And who does he meet in the forest? He meets the prophet, Elijah.

Of course, the rabbis believe that Elijah never died. If you’ve ever been to a Rabbinical Passover Seder, one of the things that you’ll notice very prominently, they’ll stop in the middle of telling the story of the Exodus and they’ll open up the door to let Elijah in.

Well, Rabbi Natan, according to the Talmud, actually met Elijah, and he said to him, “Elijah, when we said to God that the Torah is not in heaven,” and by the way, if you look at that passage where it says, “it is not in heaven” and you read two verses earlier, what it’s actually saying in the context is, “the Torah is not too difficult for you”. It’s saying there, “you have no excuse not to keep the Torah. It’s not too difficult, it’s not across the sea or in heaven that you have some excuse to say, ‘I need someone to go up to heaven to get it for me’. The Torah is not too difficult.” That’s what it actually says in Deuteronomy 30, but the rabbis only take those five words out of context. And Rabbi Natan asked Elijah, “What was God’s reaction when we said, ‘the Torah is not in heaven’?” And Elijah explains, according to the Talmud, that at that moment God laughed and said, “My sons have defeated me! My sons have defeated me!” And this appears in the Babylonian Talmud, the Tractate of Baba Metsia, page 59b.

The point of the story is, I don’t believe that God actually said those words as the Talmud claims. But the point of the story in the Talmud, whether the words were said or not, is that the rabbis have vanquished God; that the rabbis have absolute authority on earth to interpret Scripture, and the rabbis have defeated God in this sense. He has no say in how Scripture is to be interpreted on planet Earth. In heaven He can say whatever He wants, but down here on earth, the rabbis have absolute authority.

And this is a fundamental principle of Pharisaism – that you really can’t understand Pharisaism without understanding this concept.

Midrashic or Irrational Interpretation

Well, the third principle of Pharisaism is what I call Irrational Interpretation. The rabbis don’t call it that, they call it Midrashic Interpretation. This is sometimes translated into English as homiletical or hermeneutical interpretation. And what it does is it systematically ignores the language and context of Scripture. And the principle behind this method of interpretation, of this approach, is that Scripture is a divine code, and only the rabbis have the knowledge and authority and tools to decipher that divine code. And we’ve already seen an example of that with the words “it is not in heaven” from Deuteronomy 30. The rabbis took only those words “it is not in heaven” out of the context, disembodied them from the context, and imbued them with a meaning that was never intended, that God has no authority in how to interpret Scripture.

Let’s look at another example, a classic example of Midrashic interpretation, or irrational interpretation, Exodus 23 verse 2. There we read in the Torah, “You shall not go after the majority to do evil, neither shall you testify in a matter of strife, to incline after the majority to pervert justice.” What this means is that you must not follow what the majority says just because the majority says it. You must follow the truth, even if you’re the only one doing that. And if you’re testifying in a court case, you must not say that a certain person is guilty just because everybody says he’s guilty. You must testify the truth, even if you’re the lone voice of reason, because to do otherwise would be a perversion of justice.

Now, this is a very, very, important commandment in the Torah, that we must follow the truth and not the majority, not to be sheeple, following after the herd. But the rabbis take this verse, and of course, they have the absolute authority on earth to interpret Scripture, and using this authority, Scripture being a divine code, they arbitrarily take off words from the beginning and words from the end, and what they’re left with is the principle, “incline after the majority”.

And in fact, this is a very important principle in Pharisaism, when there was this debate between Rabbi Eliezer and the rabbis. Why was it so important for Rabbi Eliezer to convince the other rabbis that he was right? Why couldn’t he just say, “I’m a very wise man, you’re very wise men, let’s agree to disagree.” Why did he have to invoke miracles and have God calling out from heaven? Why couldn’t they just agree to disagree? Because the rabbis said to Rabbi Eliezer, “you must incline after the majority”. They said to him, “In Exodus 23:2, it has already been written that ‘you must incline after the majority.’ We’re the majority. You have to accept our opinion.” That’s why it was so important for him to convince them. If he can’t convince them, he has to accept this opinion that he knows to be factually untrue.

Now, what’s wrong with this? Who’s to say Scripture’s not a divine code? That’s what the rabbis would respond. They’d say, “Okay, we’re taking these words out of context, but that’s the original intent that God had when He gave the Torah. Who’s to say Scripture’s not a divine code?”

Well, I know Scripture is not a divine code because it tells us in Deuteronomy exactly how to interpret Scripture. Deuteronomy chapter 31 verse 12. It describes there a commandment that the Torah must be read out loud in a public reading. And there we’re told, “Gather the nation, the men, the women, the children, and the sojourner in your gates, in order that they hear, and in order that they learn and fear Yehovah your God and diligently do all the words of this Torah.” And the purpose of this public reading every seventh year of the entire Torah, from Genesis to the end of Deuteronomy, is so that Israelites would hear the Torah. By hearing the Torah, they would learn the Torah, and by learning the Torah, they would know to do the Torah.

It goes on in verse 13 and it explains, “And their children who did not know.” That seven-year-old boy who’s never heard the Torah before, it’s his first time, “their children who did not know, they shall hear and learn to fear Yehovah your God.” Now, this is very important, because what this means is that the way the ancient Israelites learned Torah was by hearing it. And actually, this is the way that God intended that the Torah be understood, by coming every seventh year and hearing it in the public reading. Someone who’s never heard Torah before, someone who does not know, will simply learn it by hearing it.

Now, once we realize that, we realize that you can’t take five words out of context, “it is not in heaven”, because when I’m hearing it, I’m hearing the entire passage, I’m hearing the entire verse. I can’t take two verses here and three words there and half a verse here, and proof text myself into an entire theology. I have to actually read Scripture within its context and look at all the evidence and all the context, not just taking a few words here and a few words there, because that’s what the ancient Israelites would have understood and heard when they heard the Torah read out loud every seventh year.

Now, why is it that they had to hear the Torah? Why couldn’t they simply sit in their houses and read Torah like we do today? Why did they have to actually hear it out loud, and come all the way to Jerusalem every seventh year? Well, the reason for that is that the average ancient Israelite did not have a copy of the Torah in his house. It took great wealth and resources to have a copy of the Torah in your house.

And in fact, there’s a specific law in Deuteronomy 17 that the Messiah, anointed King of Israel, must write for himself a copy of the Torah. And the reason he must write for himself a copy of the Torah is that if he doesn’t write for himself a copy of the Torah, he won’t have one. He can’t go to the store and buy one for $3. If he doesn’t write it out letter for letter, word for word, he simply won’t have one. And if he doesn’t have one, he can’t reign as a righteous king. As a righteous king of Israel he has to have the Torah at his side at all times, and that’s why Deuteronomy 17 has a specific law commanding the king to write a copy of the Torah.

Again, why did it take such great resources to make a copy of the Torah? Let’s remember, in ancient times if I wanted a copy of the Torah, I had to start off with an entire flock of sheep that I could slaughter in order to make parchment. Not everybody could afford to do this. I had to have barrels and barrels of ink in order to actually write the Torah. And bear in mind, you couldn’t go in ancient times to Office Depot and say, “I need thirty barrels of ink.” You had to actually have someone go out and produce the ink and produce the barrels. This was the whole industry just to write one book! And finally, maybe the most expensive part is, you had to have a scribe sit for at least a year and sit and copy letter for letter, word for word, in order to have a copy of the Torah for yourself.

So, the average Israelite simply did not have a copy of the Torah. He didn’t have the wealth or the resources to produce a copy of the Torah. And the Creator knew this, and that’s why He took into account and said that the way the average Israelite will learn Torah, the simple shepherd and farmer, is by simply hearing it every seventh year. Once we realize this, we realize that the way Scripture is intended to be understood is by looking at the language and the context. And that’s key to understanding the correct interpretation of Scripture, looking at the language and the context.

Now, this is actually a big challenge for us. We can’t just show up every seventh year and hear it, because we have certain challenges that ancient Israelites did not have. The first challenge we have is a linguistic challenge, the language. The Torah is not written in King James English, it’s actually written in Biblical Hebrew. The problem is that nobody today in the world speaks Biblical Hebrew. I’ve lived in Israel for twelve years and I’m fluent in Modern Hebrew, and I actually read Biblical Hebrew fluently, but nobody speaks Biblical Hebrew as their native tongue.

To give you an idea of what the difference is, it’s like the difference between the English you speak here today and the English of Chaucer. You could pick up the writings of Chaucer and you probably would understand a few words on each page, but unless you’re specifically trained to read that dialect of English, you won’t understand what Chaucer is saying. And that’s the challenge we have with Biblical Hebrew. We have to understand the language as it was originally spoken 3,500 years ago, the language that was spoken by the ancient Israelite shepherds and farmers that could simply show up and hear the Torah read and understand it.

So, we have to work a lot harder than they did. And that’s part of what it means to be in exile, to be thrown out of the Land of Israel and lose our language, to be scattered throughout the world. These are the things that we have to deal with being in exile.

The next thing we have to look at is the context. And we’ve already talked about textual context. That is, I can’t just take the words “it is not in heaven” and disembody them from the context. I have to look at the entire passage or I’m twisting what Scripture says. And there’s also historical context. Let me illustrate what I mean by this historical context with an example. Three times in the Torah we’re commanded, “Lo tevashel g’di b’chalev imo”, “You shall not boil a kid in its mother’s milk.” Three times that appears, word for word, jot for jot, tittle for tittle, the exact same commandment, three times. Three times.

Now, the rabbis, of course, look upon Scripture as a divine code, and when they hear three times, Exodus 23, “You shall not boil a kid in its mother’s milk”, Exodus 34, “You shall not boil a kid in its mother’s milk”, Deuteronomy 14, “You shall not boil a kid in its mother’s milk,” they hear that three times and they say, “Scripture is a divine code, and when codes have repeated things, it’s to encode extra hidden meaning. And when it appears, the same commandment three times, that actually indicates three different things.”

What are the three different things this indicates? Of course, only the rabbis have the authority to interpret what those three things are. The first one, according to the rabbis, is you shall not eat meat and milk together. The second time it says, “You shall not boil a kid in its mother’s milk”, what it really means is you shall not cook meat and milk together, and the third time it appears, it means you shall not even benefit from meat and milk cooked together. What do they mean by benefit? You may not even feed it to your dog.

Well, that’s how the Pharisees, the rabbis, look at it. When I hear three times that the Creator tells me, “You shall not boil a kid in its mother’s milk”, I first ask the question, “What would the ancient Israelite shepherd or farmer have understood if he heard these exact words repeated three times? If he was that boy, that seven-year-old boy who knew nothing?” Deuteronomy 31 verse 13, he didn’t know anything; what would he have understood? And I came to the conclusion after a linguistic and textual analysis that what I would understand from hearing this three times is “You shall not boil a kid in its mother’s milk!” It’s very clear! It has nothing to do with meat and milk!

Now, today we know that’s correct. We know that’s the correct interpretation, because archaeologists have uncovered ancient documents written by the Canaanites from a city in Syria called Ras Shamra which had ancient Canaanite writings, and there the Canaanites talk about how they have a fertility rite where they would boil a kid in the milk of its mother as a fertility rite for one of their goddesses. And so today we know that the reason the Torah forbade us from partaking in this pagan practice or forbade us from boiling a kid in the milk of its mother, is that this was an ancient pagan fertility custom or sacrifice, and that’s why the Torah doesn’t say “don’t eat meat and milk together” or “don’t boil meat and milk together”. Because it’s not talking about that, it’s talking about a very specific pagan fertility sacrifice of boiling the kid in the milk of its mother. It’s not even a dietary law. It’s a pagan sacrifice we’re forbidden from partaking in.

And every ancient Israelite, shepherd or farmer, would have known this. They interacted with the Canaanites, and they knew these pagans. They knew their ways, and they knew that they were sacrificing kids in the milk of their mothers, and the Torah’s coming to forbid them from doing that.

That’s the difference between interpreting Scripture as a divine code and actually interpreting Scripture in its context, according to its language and according to its historical context. And what this teaches us is that we have to use archaeology and history in order to uncover and try to get a better picture and understanding of what the Torah is commanding us. That’s the third principle of Pharisaism.

Sanctified Tradition

The fourth principle of Pharisaism is sanctified tradition, and in Hebrew this is called minhag, or “custom”. And there’s a principle in Pharisaism, “minhag yisreal torah hi”, “A custom of Israel is law”. And what that means is that a custom done over and over by an Israelite or a Jewish community over time becomes sanctified, and it becomes an actual law.

So, I mentioned today that I’m dressed as a modern-day Pharisee. I don’t actually dress this way normally; I’m dressed in the garb of a modern-day Pharisee to illustrate to you what it would mean to obey the Pharisees. And this is actually a sanctified outfit, a tradition that’s been sanctified over time. And if you go to Jerusalem or New York or certain parts of Chicago you’ll see people all over dressed like this because they’re following the sanctified tradition of their ancestors.

Now, what do we mean by a sanctified tradition? The classic example of a sanctified tradition is wearing the head covering, and right now I’m going to illustrate to you what it would mean not to follow the traditions of the Pharisees, the sanctified traditions. We’re going to peel away some of these man-made laws, some of these sanctified traditions. I’m going to take off the hat because this is a traditional Pharisee hat. I’m going to take off the hat and peel away a layer of tradition. And now I’m left wearing the kippah, the skullcap; and the kippah is a tradition that’s been sanctified over the last approximately 800 years. A thousand years ago there was no such thing as Jews wearing kippahs; it didn’t exist. There was no such custom like that. Approximately over the last 800 years this custom has been sanctified over time. And today it’s been so sanctified that there is an actual law with its own rules and regulations that the Pharisees teach, that you must wear the skull cap if you’re a male. And this is described in the Shulchan Aruch, which we’ve seen before as the modern universally accepted guide to Pharisaical living. And there it says about the kippah, the skullcap, “One may not walk four cubits with an uncovered head.” So, this is not just a folk custom, “Oh, I feel Jewish if I wear a kippah.” No! If you wear the kippah, you’re following this man-made law that’s been sanctified over time, and now it’s taking on its own rules and regulations. “One may not walk four cubits with an uncovered head.” Let’s see how that would work.

So, I’m going to take off my kippah, peel away another layer of tradition, and we’re going to see what this means. So, if I’m following the sanctified tradition I can walk one cubit, and I can walk a second cubit, and a third cubit, and if I walk that fourth cubit then I’m violating the laws of the Pharisees, this sanctified tradition.

There’s another law there, in the Shulchan Aruch, concerning the head covering. And there it says, “It is forbidden to pray with an uncovered head.” That’s very interesting, and I think that matter speaks for itself. But what you can see here is that this is not just a folk custom or tradition, this is something that has been sanctified over time and now is taking on its own rules and regulations.

Well, what’s wrong with that? Many people will say, “Well, it makes me feel good to wear a kippah. It makes me feel more Jewish, not just to wear the kippah, the skullcap, but to follow all these different traditions, even if I’m not Jewish by extraction. I feel good following these traditions, it makes me feel closer to the ancient roots.” What’s wrong with that? What’s wrong with adding new commandments, with sanctifying these traditions?

What’s wrong with it is that the Torah specifically forbids us from doing this! In Deuteronomy chapter 4 verse 2 it says, “You shall not add unto the matter which I command you today nor shall you diminish anything from it, to keep the commandments of Yehovah your God which I am commanding you!” There’s a specific prohibition in the Torah from adding to the Torah!

So, if we add these man-made laws, if we follow these sanctified traditions, we are partaking in adding to the Torah. Now, it’s very interesting here, because in the same breath that it forbids us from adding to the Torah, it forbids us from taking away from the Torah. So, to follow one of these sanctified traditions is no different than abolishing the Sabbath. Adding to the Torah, taking away, those are both a violation of this fundamental law in the Torah of adding or taking away from the Torah.

Now, this appears a second time. There’s a second witness to this, Deuteronomy 12:32. “All that I’m commanding you, you shall diligently do; you shall not add to it or diminish from it.” You must not add to the Torah or take away from the Torah. And the question becomes, if you follow these man-made laws, these sanctified traditions, who are you obeying? Who are you being obedient to? Are you being obedient to our Creator? Or are you following these man-made laws which are in addition to the Torah?

This appears a third time! Proverbs 30 verse 6, there we’re told, “Do not add unto His words, lest He reprove you and you be found a liar.” I don’t want God calling me a liar. I don’t want any part of that.

Enactmets (Takanot)

The fifth principle of Pharisaism is very similar to number four, and the fifth principle is the“commandments of men”, or “enactments”. In Hebrew, the takanot. The takanot, that’s the fifth principle of Pharisaism. Has anybody heard that word before, takanot? Is that familiar from anywhere? Yes? Okay. So, let’s all say it together, takanot!

Audience: Takanot!

Nehemia: Okay. So, takanot, these man-made laws, and these are actually called by the rabbis… there is another term for this, mitzvot derabanan, “commandments of our rabbis”. And the rabbis actually make a very clear distinction between laws that they derive from the Torah, albeit using their irrational method of interpretation, and laws that they derive simply by either tradition or by a Rabbinical enactment. And the truth is that sometimes they can’t distinguish between whether a certain law was established by tradition, by doing it over and over, or whether it was established by an actual rabbi sitting down and making a new enactment. And so really those are very related and similar categories. But there’s a very clear distinction between that and laws derived from the Torah even using their irrational methods of interpretation.

Now the classic example of takanot, or “commandments of our rabbis” is the washing of the hands. And because the Oral Law gives the rabbis the absolute authority to make these new enactments – they have a divine God-given right to make new enactments – because of that you make the blessing, “Blessed art thou Lord, King of the universe, who has sanctified us with His commandments, commanding us to wash the hands.” The rabbis know very well that God never commanded us to washthe hands, but what they mean by this is that God commanded you to obey the rabbis. By obeying the rabbis, you’re indirectly obeying God. And this is very interesting. What this means is every time you sit down to eat a meal and wash your hands, you’re actually proclaiming the God-given authority of the rabbis to make these enactments.

Now, how many people are thinking here, “I’m not going to do these Rabbinical enactments. They’re not from the Torah.” How many people are thinking that? Okay, we’ve got a good group of Pharisees here, most people are… How many people are thinking they’re not going to follow these man-made laws because they’re not from the Torah? Okay, that’s much better.

Now, this is what the Oral Law says to everyone who raised their hands. It says in the Midrash, which is part of the Oral Law, it says, “A person must not say, ‘I will not keep the commandment of the elders because they are not from the Torah.’” You must not say that. “The Almighty says to such a person,” now they’re literally putting words in God’s mouth, “The Almighty says to such a person, ‘No, My son! Rather all that they decree upon you, observe!’” And then it goes on, and now it quotes Deuteronomy 17:11, “As it is written, ‘According to the instruction which they teach you.’”

Now, you could look up in Deuteronomy 17, and it’s not talking about the Pharisees or rabbis. You won’t see them mentioned anywhere. What it’s actually talking about is the High Priest at the Temple and the prophetic judge. And what it talks about there is if there’s a difficult court case and the lower judges… remember Moses came along and he appointed lower judges, and lower judges below them, because he couldn’t handle judging every matter by himself.

So, what it’s describing in Deuteronomy 17 is if one of those lower judges comes along and says, “I don’t know what the law is here”, or “this is a difficult case, I don’t know what to do”, then he goes to the high judge at the Temple, or to the High Priest at the Temple. This is not talking about the Pharisees or the rabbis. And actually in various passages such as in Ezra chapter 2 verse 63, it talks about an actual case they had like this. And it says there that this had to be decided by the High Priest with the Urim and the Thummim, or in Hebrew the Urim and the Tummim, which was a prophetic device that the high judge would go and ask, “What is the answer?” He would ask from God; he wouldn’t just make it up, because God actually does have a say in how Scripture is interpreted.

But the rabbis apply this to themselves, because to them God has no say; only they have a say. And then it goes on in the Midrash… remember, God is speaking here, the Almighty. And it goes on there and it says, “Even I must obey their decree.” Even I, God, must obey the decrees of the rabbis. And by the way, it quotes a verse there from Job, which has nothing to do whatsoever with the authority of the rabbis, or God obeying them. But the principle here is that the rabbis are given absolute authority, not only to interpret Scripture but to make new enactments, and God Himself must obey those enactments according to the Oral Law.

Well, now that we understand Pharisaism, let’s get an overview. We see these five principles of Pharisaism, and the first principle is the concept of the two Torahs, the written Torah and the Oral Torah. Then we have the authority of the rabbis, the absolute authority of the rabbis to interpret Scripture. God has no say in it, only the rabbis do. Irrational or Midrashic interpretation; Scripture is a divine code and things can be taken out of context. Sanctified tradition, such as the kippah. And the takanot, or commandments of men, such as the washing of the hands.

Now that we understand Pharisaism, what we need to do is go back to Matthew 15 and see if we can understand what’s happening. The Pharisees come along and say to Yeshua, “Your disciples are transgressing the tradition of the elders because they don’t wash their hands before they eat,” which is that ritual we saw before. What is exactly going on there? There in verse 3, Yeshua says to the Pharisees, “Why do you also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?” So how do the Pharisees transgress the commandment of God by their tradition? How is the Pharisee tradition a transgression of the commandment of God? They’re adding to the Torah! Deuteronomy 4:2, Deuteronomy 12:32 and Proverbs 30 verse 6 forbid us to add to the Torah! And by adding these laws to the Torah, this commandment to wash the hands, it’s a transgression of the commandment of God.

Yeshua goes on in verse 6 and he says to the Pharisees, “Thus have you made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition.” How did the Pharisees make the commandment of God of none effect? This is something that I see every day in modern day Israel. I see it all the time.

One of the things that most people are surprised at when they come to Israel for the first time is that most Jews in Israel do not observe the Sabbath. Most people, when they come to Israel, are shocked to see that, and if you ask the average Israeli, “Why don’t you keep the Sabbath?” He’ll respond and tell you, “It’s impossible to keep the Sabbath.” And I respond, “Okay. I’ve been keeping the Sabbath my whole life. Why is it impossible?” And he’ll tell you, “Well, if I keep the Sabbath, I have to do this and I have to do that, and I can’t do this and I can’t do that.” And every single thing he lists is something… these man-made traditions and laws that the Pharisees have foisted upon the nation, these heavy burdens they’ve loaded up upon the nation, and the average person can’t always distinguish between what has the Creator commanded us and what are these man-made laws that the Pharisees have commanded. And because of that, they just completely give up and say, “Okay, I just can’t do it.” They give up. And by requiring these man-made laws, the Pharisees have made the commandment of God of none effect. They’ve made it impossible to keep the Torah.

Now, I’ve been keeping the Sabbath my whole life, and I know from firsthand experience that it’s a pleasure to keep the Sabbath! The Sabbath is a delight! It’s only when you add all these man-made laws and rules and regulations, then it becomes impossible to keep and it becomes a burden. And this is how the Pharisees make the commandment of God of none effect. Well, what we can see here very clearly in Matthew 15 is Yeshua is warning his disciples not to follow the man-made laws of the Pharisees. You must not follow the man-made laws.

Mitzvat Anashim Melumada

He goes on in verse 7, this is a very interesting passage, and he says, “You hypocrites,” speaking to the Pharisees, “You hypocrites, well did Isaiah prophesy of you saying,” and now he quotes Isaiah 29 verse 13, “This people draws near into me with their mouth, and honors me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.”

Well, now we know what he’s talking about, “teaching for doctrines the commandments of men”. That is Pharisaism with their Oral Law and their man-made authority to interpret Scripture even above that of God and their takanot and their sanctified traditions. That’s “teaching for doctrines the commandments of men”.

Now, when I first read this, I was very intrigued, for a different reason than you’re so intrigued by it. I was intrigued by this because Matthew 15:9 is actually a paraphrase of Isaiah 29:13. Isaiah 29:13 actually speaks about, in Hebrew, “mitzvat anashim melumada”, which is translated variously as, “a learned commandment of men” or “a commandment of men learned by rote” or some variation of that translation. And the reason I was so intrigued by this is that I knew that, throughout history, Karaite Jews, strictly Old Testament Tanakh-following Jews, have always quoted these verses from the moment that Pharisaism was invented, have always quoted Isaiah 29:13 in reference to the Pharisees. And I thought this was very interesting that Yeshua was applying the same exact verse to the Pharisees back in the 1st century.

Well, the answer is here, in the Hebrew, and if you can read this old Hebrew script, then you already know the answer. This is what it looks like transcribed into modern Hebrew print. And what Yeshua says there in Hebrew Matthew chapter 23 verses 2 to 3, Yeshua says, “Al kiseh Moshe yeshvu ha’pirushim ve’ha’chachamim: ve’ata kol asher yomar lachem shimru ve’assu u’be’takanotayhem u’ma’aseyhem al ta’assu she’hem omrim v’hem einam osim.”

So, there you have it. There you see, it’s very clear. This is what it would look like translated into English, there Yeshua says, “The Pharisees and sages sit upon the seat of Moses. Therefore, all that he says to you, diligently do, but according to their reforms and their precedents do not do, because they talk but they do not do.”

Now that’s a very subtle difference between what you saw in the Greek, a difference of one single word, or primarily one single word. In the Greek it said in Matthew, “all that they say” you must obey, all they say, “they” being the Pharisees. In the Hebrew he says, “you must obey all that he says”, “he” being Moses.

They Talk and They Do Not Do According to the Torah

So, the difference of this one single word fundamentally changes Yeshua’s message. What he’s saying now is, if their claim to authority is that they sit in the seat of Moses, so do as Moses says, obey Moses. They claim their authority is they are sitting in this ornate stone chair in the synagogue, they’re teaching with supposed authority, sitting in the seat of Moses, so obey Moses. Do what Moses says.

He goes on there, Yeshua, in Hebrew Matthew, and he says, “according to their reforms and their precedents do not do,” and the word I’ve translated here as “reforms”, in Hebrew is takanot. We’ve heard that word before, so let’s all repeat that word, takanot! So, takanot are these man-made laws, like the washing of the hands, and Yeshua’s warning his disciples not to do according to their takanot.

And I translated this before as “enactments”, a more precise dictionary definition of takanot is “reforms that change biblical law”. That’s how the word is defined more precisely in the Jastrow Dictionary, which is the standard dictionary of early Rabbinical Hebrew, late Second Temple Hebrew, “reforms that change biblical law”, and the classic example of one of these man-made laws, these takanot, is the commandment to wash our hands, of the rabbis, before you eat bread.

Well, now that we understand Matthew 23, we see that Yeshua is not telling you to obey the Pharisees, he’s telling you to obey Moses. We still have to go back to Matthew 15 and see what it says there in the Hebrew. If we started off with what was a contradiction in the Greek, we can’t just look at the Hebrew of one passage and not the other.

Not According to Their Takanot and Ma’asim

So now let’s look at Matthew 15 in the Hebrew, and there we read, Yeshua says to the Pharisees, “Why do you also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?… you made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition.” Can anyone guess what the Hebrew word behind “tradition” is? The word is takanot! So not only is there no contradiction in the Hebrew between Matthew 15 and Matthew 23, but in the Hebrew, there’s a consistent message throughout the entire book. There’s this consistent string that runs through the book that Yeshua’s warning his disciples not to follow the takanot of the Pharisees, these man-made laws of the Pharisees.

Yeshua goes on. He warns against the takanot of the Pharisees. He also warns against their precedents, not to do their precedents, and the Hebrew word for “precedents” is ma’asim. Ma’asim is a word we’ll look at in a moment, but these are two really important words, takanot and ma’asim. Because these are the two things that if you’re disciples of Yeshua that he’s warning you not to do, the takanot and ma’asim. So, let’s say those words together, takanot and ma’asim!

Alright, so what are these ma’asim? Ma’asim are “precedents.” The literal meaning is “actions” or “deeds”, and in the Greek it translates this as ergon, which in your English you have “works”, the works of the Pharisees. But what are the works of the actions or deeds of the Pharisees? In Pharisee terminology, ma’asim refers to “precedents”, or “acts or deeds that serve as precedents”. And what do they mean by that? Well, we’ve already seen that Pharisee law means to legislate every aspect of life, literally from the moment you wake up in the morning to the moment you go to sleep at night.

For example, the Pharisees command their disciples which shoe to put on first in the morning. So, what does a Pharisee do when he comes to a new situation where the Oral Law doesn’t tell him what to do? For example, if he lives in a country where you don’t have shoelaces, and he doesn’t know which shoe to put on first in the morning because he doesn’t know which one to tie first because there are no laces.So, what he does is he combs the Oral Law looking for instruction, and he combs tradition and man-made laws, and if he can’t find any instruction on which shoe to put on first in the morning, if there are no laces, then he goes and he looks at the precedents of one of his rabbis. Meaning, he looks and he says, “We know that such and such a rabbi, on such and such an occasion put on his right shoe first even though he didn’t have laces,” and that becomes a precedent, that then establishes what the proper norm, the proper standard of behavior is. The assumption is this rabbi could not be sinning, and if he put on his right shoe first, even though it didn’t have laces, that’s the proper standard for behavior.

And what Yeshua is saying is, don’t look to the precedents of the Pharisees as the proper standard of behavior. Don’t do according to their precedents. Do as Moses says, not according to their takanot and their ma’asim.

Let’s look quickly at an example of a precedent. This is a precedent brought in the Talmud, and it says, “A ma’aseh”, ma’aseh is the singular for ma’asim, so a precedent. “A precedent in which Rabban Gamaliel” you probably thought it was pronounced “Gama-liel”, the correct Hebrew pronunciation is “Gamliel”. And Gamaliel, as you all know, was the Pharisaical teacher of Shaul of Tarsus, of Paul. However, this is Gamaliel’s grandson, Gamaliel II. So, “A precedent in which Rabban Gamaliel II and the elders were traveling in a ship, when a gentile made a ramp on which to descend, and Rabban Gamaliel and the elders descended by it.” Okay, so what on earth is this talking about? The Pharisees start off with the principle that if somebody built something for you on the Sabbath, you may not use that. If they build a ramp for you on the Sabbath, you may not use that ramp. And so, then they asked the question, what if the ramp is built on the Sabbath, but it’s not specifically for me? May I use that ramp? And the Oral Law doesn’t tell them what to do, so they go, and they say, “Okay, we remember that one time Rabban Gamaliel II descended on such a ramp, and that tells us that this was the proper behavior, and that such a thing is permissible.” In other words, the behavior of the rabbi in a specific circumstance becomes the standard by which one should behave in the future.

And what Yeshua is warning his disciples is, don’t do according to their takanot, and don’t do according to their ma’asim. Their claim to authority is that they sit in the seat of Moses, so do as he says. Do as Moses says.

Now, what about this statement, “because they talk but they do not do”? When I first read this, my question was, “What do they talk and what don’t they do?” When we read this in the Greek, it’s very clear that it’s saying they’re hypocrites, but now in the Hebrew, we have a whole new context. He’s not saying to obey the Pharisees even though they don’t do what they say themselves, he’s saying obey Moses. So, what’s this, “they talk and they do not do”? What are they talking and what aren’t they doing? 

And then in 2 Kings 17 verse 34, it summarizes the ways of the Samaritans and it says, “Until this very day they do according to their former ways, according to their statutes and their judgments” this how it reads in the Hebrew, “they do not fear Yehovah, and they do not do.” And then in the Hebrew, the words “they do not do” is isolated in such a way that it emphasizes those words. And then it completes the sentence, and it says, “according to the Torah and commandments that Yehovah commanded the children of Jacob.” So, what don’t the Samaritans do? They don’t do according to the Torah.

Now, after I had read Matthew 23 and then I reread this passage, I realized in Hebrew this sounds very similar. There’s a similar style here, and it seems to me that Yeshua was echoing the words of 2 Kings 17:34 about the Samaritans. And I think what he was saying is that just as the Samaritans of old do according to their statutes and their judgments, and they do not do according to the Torah, so too the Pharisees of his own era, do according to their takanot and their ma’asim, their reforms and their precedents, and they talk Torah, but they don’t do Torah. And what does he mean they talk Torah? They’re sitting in the seat of Moses, talking Torah to you all day long, but what they’re really telling you is not Torah, it’s just in the guise of Torah. What they’re really telling you are their own reforms and precedents, and they don’t really do Torah.

So again, what we see up till now is that in the Greek, Jesus is coming along and changing Torah, saying “obey the Pharisees”, whereas in the Hebrew he’s actually upholding Torah. Now, in light of that, how do we explain this passage, Matthew 5?

Do Not Swear by Anything Falsely

Matthew 5, six times Yeshua says in the Greek… he says, “You have heard it said, but I say.” And what it really sounds like when you read this in English is that Yeshua, or in the Greek, Jesus, is coming along and changing entire Torah commandments, adding, taking away, modifying. So, what’s going on? Did he uphold Torah or did he not uphold Torah? And this is especially a very difficult textual question, because in that very same passage, in verse 17, he says he’s not come to do away with “one jot or one tittle”! So how can he then turn around and a few verses later start changing things saying, “you have heard it said, but I say”?

Well let’s look at one passage here, one passage that particularly caught my eye. This is Matthew 5:33 to 37. It says there in the Greek, “Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not break your oath, but keep the oaths you have made to the Lord.’ But I tell you, do not swear at all”! And here, very explicitly, Jesus is saying in the Greek not to swear at all. It’s an absolute prohibition if you’re a disciple of Jesus to swear, to make any kind of oath.

Now, you should be getting a little bit nervous here right now because Jesus has forbidden you to swear under any circumstances, and if you swear, you’re from the evil one, according to the Greek Jesus. But let’s see what it says in the Hebrew. In Hebrew Matthew 5, we read, “You have further heard what was said by the ancients, ‘you shall not swear falsely by my name,’” that’s a direct quote word for word from Leviticus 19:12. “But you must pay your vow to Yehovah,” which is a paraphrase of Deuteronomy 23:21.

And then he goes on and he says, “But I say to you, that you must not swear by anything falsely,” falsely is what he says in the Hebrew. So, in the Hebrew, he is not prohibiting vows, he’s prohibiting false vows. “Not by the earth, which is His footstool,” meaning you must not say, “I swear by the earth” and be lying; you have to be telling the truth if you swear by the earth. “Nor by Jerusalem, which is His footstool, nor by your head because you cannot make one hair white or black. But let your yes be yes and your no, no. Anything added to this is evil.” And we’ll get back to, “anything added to this is evil” in a minute.

But in verse 37, he starts off saying, “let your yes be yes and your no, no.” Now he’s not talking about making vows here, he’s talking about making false vows. So, when he says, “let your yes be yes”, what he means in this new context is if you say, “I swear by Jerusalem! Yes, I will do such and such,” that better be a true yes, that better not be a false yes. And if you say, “No! I swear by the throne of God, I will do such and such,” that better be a no, you better not be lying there.

Now, why would he need to tell us not to make false vows? Or why would he need to tell you not to make false vows? Isn’t it obvious that you shouldn’t make false vows? That’s pretty obvious. But what happened, apparently, is in that period some Pharisees came along and they said, “Okay, well it says in Leviticus 19:12, ‘you shall not swear falsely by My name’, so if I don’t use the name, I’m allowed to swear falsely.” That’s what the Pharisees were teaching in this period, that you’re allowed to swear falsely as long as you don’t use the name. Because it says, “by My name”, and anyway, they don’t use the name so they can swear falsely all day long.

What Yeshua is saying is, “No! When it says in Scripture ‘not to swear falsely by My name’, it doesn’t mean you can swear falsely by other things.” Yes, as a keeper of Torah, you’re supposed to be swearing by the name of the Creator, that’s what we read in Deuteronomy. But if you’re going to swear by other things, that doesn’t mean you’re allowed to lie! The principle behind this commandment is not toswear falsely. Even if you don’t use the name, you’re not supposed to swear falsely. And I think that’s obvious to anybody who uses common sense and looks at this in its context that this is not a permission to vow falsely or to swear falsely. Simply, the way that an Israelite should be swearing is by the name, and if you’re swearing by the name, you must not swear falsely.

And all Yeshua is doing here is, he is bringing out the underlying Torah principle, saying, “No, what you Pharisees are doing, opening up these loopholes, saying ‘I’m allowed to swear falsely’, that’s not the point of the commandment. You’re over-literalizing it. You’re taking the words and disembodying them from the context and from the meaning behind what it’s saying. You’re only taking the words and not the spirit of what it’s really saying.” Which is the contextual meaning that anyone with common sense would understand.

Now, there’s no doubt that 2,000 years ago, when Yeshua said this, he would have been accused by the Pharisees of adding to the Torah, because they said it does say, “by My name”, and if you tell me I can’t swear falsely by Jerusalem, where does it say that in Scripture? Now, to anyone who uses their common sense, to the simple Israelite shepherd or farmer who comes and hears “you shall not swear falsely by My name”, it’s obvious that you can’t swear falsely by other things as well. That’s obvious.

But to the Pharisees that’s not so obvious, because to them Scripture is divine code. And Yeshua wanted to make it very clear that he’s not adding to Torah, he’s just bringing out the underlying Torah principle, and that’s why he ends his statement saying, “anything added to this is evil”. He wouldn’t add anything to the Torah because that would be evil. And this is simply a paraphrase of Deuteronomy chapter 4 verse 2, “do not add anything to the Torah or take away”, and Yeshua is simply reiterating this basic Torah principle.

Now, what we have in the Greek Matthew, like it or not, is an abolition of vows. Jesus is coming along and abolishing vows. You’re forbidden to swear by anything, that’s a fact, that’s what he says there. In the Hebrew Matthew on the other hand, we have an abolition of false vows. That’s a very different message, isn’t it? A very different statement. He’s not abolishing vows; he’s abolishing false vows.

And really, what we see is the Greek Iesous as he’s called in the Greek, the Greek Jesus, is abolishing entire Torah commandments, “Don’t worry about adding to the Torah, obey whatever the Pharisees tell you to do. And don’t worry about vowing in the name of the Creator, don’t vow at all, that’s what I’m telling you to do. Don’t swear at all.” Whereas we’ve now uncovered a Hebrew Yeshua, the words of Yeshua as he’s portrayed in the Hebrew, and there, he’s upholding Torah. He’s saying, “Their claim to authority is they sit in the seat of Moses. Do what Moses says, do as he says. And they’re telling you that you can jump through these loopholes and swear falsely? No, that’s not the point of the commandment. The point of the commandment is to not to swear falsely at all.”

Blind Chairs

Let’s look at Hebrew Matthew chapter 23 verses 16 and on, and there Yeshua is speaking to the Pharisees throughout Matthew 23, and there he says to the Pharisees, “Woe to you, you blind chairs.” You could look in the Greek and you’ll see it says, “Woe to you, you blind guides.” In the Hebrew he says, “you blind chairs”. Remember, Matthew 23 verse 2, he said, “they sit in the seat of Moses”, and now he’s calling them “the blind chairs”. “Yeah, you’re sitting in that seat, but you’re blind chairs.”

“Woe to you, you blind chairs, who say that he who swears by the sanctuary is not obligated.” Does that sound familiar? “Swear by the sanctuary is not obligated.” In other words, if you say, “I swear bythe Temple of Jerusalem”, you’re allowed to lie because you haven’t used the name. “Who say that he who swears by the sanctuary is not obligated but he who vows by anything that is sanctified to the sanctuary building is obligated to pay.” Meaning, if you make a vow to bring something to the Temple, then you have to pay it. Well, that’s very convenient, isn’t it?

“Mad men and blind men! Which is greater, the sanctuary or the thing which is sanctified to the sanctuary? And you say he who vows by the altar is not obligated but he who vows to bring a sacrifice must give it.” Meaning if you say, “I swear by the altar in Jerusalem”, then you’re allowed to lie because you haven’t used the name. But if you swear to bring a sheep to the altar, then you have to give it because some of the priests were Pharisees, and the Pharisees have got to eat, so it’s a simple economic consideration. “Which is greater, the sacrifice or the altar? The sanctuary or the sacrifice?”

And this next verse, verse 20, is really, I think, the decisive verse. There he says, “He who swears by the altar swears by it and by all that is in it.” So here he’s actually upholding vows. Now, what happened to “if you make a vow by anything, you’re from the evil one”? That’s not here at all, that’s not reflected at all. He’s saying, “If you make a vow, you must keep that vow, you must not swear falsely.”

Now, the reason this is so significant is because in the Greek, in the very same verse in Greek Matthew, he says, “Therefore, he who swears by the altar swears by it and by everything on it.” In other words, in the Greek he’s saying the exact same thing as he’s saying in the Hebrew on this particular verse – upholding vows. Meaning that in Matthew 23:16 to 20, both in the Greek and the Hebrew, Yeshua is saying no to false vows, yes to true vows. Well, what happened to anybody who swears is from Satan? That’s not being reflected here even in the Greek!

1st, 2nd & 3rd Abomination Count Update

1st, 2nd & 3rd Abomination Count Update

After COVID-19 in 2021, we realized the abomination count was from the time the daily was taken away in Israel by Netanyahu on March 25, 2020. We originally thought it was from the time WHO declared a pandemic on March 11, 2020, the same day we kept Passover that year. We were off by two weeks. We adjusted once we understood what happened on October 6 and 7, 2023.

After this, we learned Netanyahu shut down Israel four times in total. March 25, September 18 and 25, and then again on December 27, all in an effort to stop the spread of COVID, which was out of control in Israel at that time. Because Daniel 12:11 says abominations as in plural, we began to look at these other dates, wondering what would happen in them. I even wrote the Prime Minister before September 22 and again before March 31 warning him of something big coming. We did not know about the surprise Hamas attack in Sept when we were watching. We did not know about the attack that is now coming from Iran. But we did warn the Prime Minister’s office of a potential major attack on Sept 10, 2023, and in March 2024.

The 1290-day count from September 18, 2020, arrived on March 31, 2024. We did not know what to expect, but we were watching. Then, on Monday, April 1, 2024, Israel struck the building next to the Iranian embassy in Damascus, killing 7 top leaders of the Iranian guard. Iran claims that the building was part of the Embassy and, as such, was an attack on sovereign territory.

Israel is now preparing for a retaliatory strike from Iran. We were expecting it at the end of Friday prayers, April 7, or it could come at the end of Eid. Ramadan ended on April 9, with the following day being the first day of Eid Al-Fitr. However, like the start of Ramadan, the end of the month is also contingent on the sighting of the moon, and the moon was sighted on Tuesday evening, making Wednesday the first day of the month.

Lets review everything once again.

March 11, 2020 WHO Declared a pandemic. We kept Passover on this date. 1290 Days later is Sept 22, 2023. We expected the abomination to be set up at this time. We discovered a brand new shrine to the Virgin Mary built in the very place we were looking for an abomination. But no statue was set up.

Dan 12:11  And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the desolating abomination set up, a thousand two hundred and ninety days shall occur.

Dan 12:12  Blessed is he who waits and comes to the thousand three hundred and thirty-five days.

We then discovered Prime Minister Netanyahu had declared four lockdowns in Israel in 2020.

The first one was on March 25, 2020. This was the start of the new year and 15 days before Passover that year. Counting 1290 days later brings you to October 6, 2023. This is when the abomination of Buddha was set up at the Rave in Re’im. Hamas attacked the next day Oct 7, 2020. Israel invaded Gaza on October 27, 2020.

Looking at the 1335-day part about those who are blessed who wait until the 1335 days brings us to November 20, 2023. Israel and Hamas reached an agreement on November 21, 2023 with the cease-fire commencing on Friday, November 24, with the first of the hostages freed on Friday November 24. More would be freed in the following days.

These two historic events seem to match the prophecy of Daniel 12. But there are 3 other lockdown dates to consider.

Netanyahu declared the second lockdown on September 18, 2020, the day before Rosh Hashanah. Counting 1290 days from September 18, 2020, brings us to March 31, 2024. The next day on April 1, 2024, Israel attacked and killed two Iranian generals and five other leading officers in a building next to the Iranian embassy.

A third date that seems to match.

On September 25, 2020, Netanyahu again declared another lockdown in the fight against COVID-19. This was two days before Atonement on September 27 and 28, Sukkot on October 2, and Shemini Atzeret on October 9, 2020. Counting 1290 days from each of these Holy Day dates of this lockdown (when the daily was taken away) brings us to the following events in 2024. I am adding to them as they develop.

(September 25, 2020, +1290 =) April 8, 2024, the date of the Solar Eclipse over North America. The end of Eid. 

(September 27, 2020, + 1290 =) April 10, 2024: Eid celebrations end on Friday, April 12, 2024.

(October 2, 2020, + 1290 =) April 15, 2024. On April 14, 2024, Iran launched the largest in history aerial missile attack against Israel. The attack against Israel was the largest combined drone-cruise missile-ballistic missile attack against a country in history: 103 Ballistic Missiles, 36 cruise missiles, 185 suicide drones. Israel and Amrican allies, destroyed 99% of them before they arrived in Israel. A miracle in itself.

As of today, April 18, 2024, Israel is planning to attack Iran. Missile attacks continue from Hezbollah in Lebanon. Israel is also planning to attack Rafah and wipe out Hamas once and for all and rescue any of the remaining hostages. Iran has indicated it will develop a nuclear bomb and use it if Israel attacks. We are on the cusp of exactly what Zechariah 5 warned us about. The flying scrolls are missiles, and the word for woman in Hebrew has the same spelling and can also mean fire. The woman in the lead basket is a nuclear device. Uranium is contained in a lead container.

Zec 5:1  And I again lifted up my eyes and looked. And behold! A flying scroll.

Zec 5:2  And he said to me, What do you see? And I answered, I see a flying scroll; its length is twenty cubits, and its width ten cubits.

Zec 5:3  And he said to me, This is the curse that goes forth over the face of the whole earth; for from now on everyone who steals shall be cut off according to it; and everyone who swears from now on shall be cut off according to it.

Zec 5:4  I will bring it forth, says Jehovah of Hosts; and it shall enter into the house of the thief, and into the house of him who swears falsely by My name. And it shall remain in the midst of his house, and shall devour it, and its timber and its stones.

A Vision of a Woman in a Basket

Zec 5:5  Then the angel who talked with me went forth and said to me, Now lift up your eyes and see what this is that goes forth.

Zec 5:6  And I said, What is it? And he said, This is the ephah that goes forth. And he said, This is their form in all the earth.

Zec 5:7  And behold, a lead cover was lifted up, and a woman was sitting in the middle of the ephah.

Zec 5:8  And he said, This is wickedness. And he cast it into the midst of the ephah. And he cast the lead stone over its opening.

Zec 5:9  And I lifted up my eyes and looked, and behold, two women came out. And the wind was in their wings; for they had wings like the wings of a stork. And they lifted up the ephah between the earth and the heavens.

Zec 5:10  And I said to the angel who talked with me, Where are they going with the ephah?

Zec 5:11  And he said to me, To build a house for it in the land of Shinar; and it shall be established and set there on its own base.

(October 9, 2020, + 1290 =) April 22, 2024, is Passover in Israel this year.

We are not trying to predict as much as we are watching the patterns revealed through the Jubilee Cycles. It was the understanding of Daniel’s 70 weeks being 70 Jubilee Cycles that led us to understand the middle of the 70th Jubilee was 2020. 2020 was the beginning of all these end-time prophecies. While we are close on many things, we continue to watch and adjust our understanding, sharing what we know as we learn. We will continue to adjust and refine our message going forward as world events show us more prophetic understandings.

You can read about how we arrived at these understandings in our books The 2300 Days of Hell and The Abomination that Makes Desolate Epilogue.

Although we have the 1290-day count accurate for Oct 7, 2023, as well as November 20, 2023 for the 1335 count, and it seems to be correct for the April 1, 2024 count, as I write this on April 10, with a constant watch on my rocket warning app on my watch, I am seeing no attacks. In fact, Hezbollah and Hamas seem to have backed right off. But I remain vigilant and continue to watch. But the whole world knows it is coming. We just don’t know when Iran is going to attack.

Israel keeps Passover on April 22, 2024. And we still have the Red Heifers that are ready to be sacrificed this year. When will this happen is the question.

We continue to watch and study the scriptures.

Rev 6:12 And when He had opened the sixth seal, I looked, and behold, there was a great earthquake. And the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood.

Rev 6:13 And the stars of heaven fell to the earth, even as a fig tree casts her untimely figs when she is shaken by a mighty wind.

Rev 6:14 And the heaven departed like a scroll when it is rolled together. And every mountain and island were moved out of their places.

Rev 6:15 And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every freeman, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains.

Rev 6:16 And they said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him sitting on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb;

Rev 6:17 for the great day of His wrath has come, and who will be able to stand?

The Seventh Seal and the Golden Censer

Rev 8:1 And when He opened the seventh seal, there was silence in Heaven for about half an hour.

Rev 8:2 And I saw the seven angels who stood before God, and seven trumpets were given to them.

Rev 8:3 And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer. And many incenses were given to him, so that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints on the golden altar before the throne.

Rev 8:4 And the smoke of the incense which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God from the angel’s hand.

Rev 8:5 And the angel took the censer and filled it with fire from the altar, and cast it into the earth. And voices and thunderings and lightnings and an earthquake occurred.

The Seven Trumpets

Rev 8:6 And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound.

Rev 8:7 The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mixed with blood, and they were cast on the earth. And the third part of trees was burned up, and all green grass was burned up.

We also just received this update from Hananya Naftali saying much of the same things we have been speaking about.

 

Pentecost’s Hidden Meaning

Pentecost’s Hidden Meaning

In the Old Testament, the word Pentecost is not there. This feast day was referred to as “Feast of Weeks”( Ex. 34:22; Duet. 16:9-10) because it was celebrated seven weeks after the offering of the barley sheaf. Also know as the “Feast of the Harvest” ( Ex. 23:16), because it came at the end of the barley harvest, and it was also known as the ” Feast of First Fruits” ( Ex 34:22 ; Num. 28:26), because it marked the beginning of the first-fruits of the wheat harvest being offered at the temple. It is referred to in the New Testament as “Pentecost”, a term derived from the Greek pentekoste (meaning fiftieth).


 

The Counting of the Fifty What?

In ancient Israel, the grain harvest lasted 7 weeks, beginning with the barley harvest right after Passover and ending with the start of the wheat harvest seven weeks later on, Pentecost. The barley harvest was key to the whole religious calendar because Passover could not be observed until at least some of the barley was ready for harvest. The offering of the first barley wave offering took place on the day after the weekly Sabbath during the days of Unleavened Bread. This meant that if no barley was ready for harvest, the celebration of Passover had to be delayed by intercalating a month in the lunar calendar. Since barley ripens a few weeks before wheat, the ceremony of the barley wave sheaf offering, which fell on the day after the weekly Sabbath during the days of Unleavened Bread, marked the starting point of the fifty-day countdown to Pentecost.

This point is often not understood as to its importance and is also often confused or mixed up, thereby causing some to start their counting of the fifty days on the wrong day. I am going to spend some extra time here. Please bare with me.

The term “Feast of Weeks” refers to the entire period of the grain harvest of about seven weeks from the first cutting of the barley to the completion of the start of the wheat harvest. A feast that extends over seven weeks. But it was only the beginning and the end of the feast that were marked by a wave offering (a Tenuphah ) .

The date of the Feast of Weeks was reckoned by counting seven weeks from the first putting of the sickle to the barley: “You shall count seven weeks for yourself; begin to count the seven weeks from the time you begin to put the sickle to the grain. (Duet. 16:9). The problem was to determine which day the first sheaf of barley, known as Omer, was to be cut and presented as a wave offering before Yehovah.

This determination was based on the instructions given in Leviticus 23:15-16 ‘And you shall count for yourselves from the day after the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering: seven Sabbaths shall be completed. Count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath; then you shall offer a new grain offering to Yehovah.

We are to count from the ‘day after the Sabbath’. Since the term Sabbath is used to refer to both the seventh day of the week and to the annual Feast mentioned in the same chapter (Lev. 23:8, 21, 23, 32, 34), the question is “What is the meaning of “Sabbath” here, the seventh day of the week or festival day?”

If you look up the word Sabbath in the concordance you will see the weekly Sabbath and Atonement are Strong’s #7676 (shabbath ). The other annual Sabbaths are Strong’s #7677 (shabbathon ). So there is a difference in the word, but many have missed this little clue.

The Pharisees, as well as Philo and Josephus all, claim it was the day after the 1st day of Unleavened Bread. The Sadducees, Boethusians, Karaites and Samaritans all took the word Sabbath to mean a weekly Sabbath and not an annual one due to the fact that the word Sabbath by itself was never used to denote an annual Festival. So who is right?

I believe we should allow Yehshua to show us. We all know He was killed as the Passover Lamb on Nisan 14. We know He died in 31A.D and that Nisan 14 was a Wednesday. The sign of Jonah had to be completed in all of its phases. The only sign that was given to us that Yehshua was the Messiah was the sign of Jonah. Yehshua said that the function of three days and three nights in the belly of the whale or great fish of Jonah was the same as his ministry, and he would be three days and three nights in the belly of the earth (as the great fish). That was the only sign given to prove His ministry. So Thursday was the 1st day of Unleavened Bread, Friday was the Preparation day for the weekly Sabbath. Saturday was the weekly Sabbath. Three days and three nights. So Yehshua rose from the grave on the Sabbath just before sunset, just as He was placed in the grave Wednesday late afternoon just before sunset. Three days and three nights as prophesied.

Matt.28:1 Now after the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb.
Luke 24:1Now on the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they, and certain other women with them,* came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared. 2 But they found the stone rolled away from the tomb. 3 Then they went in and did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 And it happened, as they were greatly perplexed about this, that behold, two men stood by them in shining garments. 5 Then, as they were afraid and bowed their faces to the earth, they said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? 6 He is not here, but is risen! Remember how He spoke to you when He was still in Galilee, 7 saying, ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.’ ” 8 And they remembered His words. 9 Then they returned from the tomb and told all these things to the eleven and to all the rest. 10 It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women with them, who told these things to the apostles.

But it is in John 20 that we learn more.

1 Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene went to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. 2 Then she ran and came to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him.” 3 Peter therefore went out, and the other disciple, and were going to the tomb. 4 So they both ran together, and the other disciple outran Peter and came to the tomb first. 5 And he, stooping down and looking in, saw the linen cloths lying there; yet he did not go in. 6 Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb; and he saw the linen cloths lying there, 7 and the handkerchief that had been around His head, not lying with the linen cloths, but folded together in a place by itself. 8 Then the other disciple, who came to the tomb first, went in also; and he saw and believed. 9 For as yet they did not know the Scripture, that He must rise again from the dead. 10 Then the disciples went away again to their own homes. 11 But Mary stood outside by the tomb weeping, and as she wept she stooped down and looked into the tomb. 12 And she saw two angels in white sitting, one at the head and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. 13 Then they said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him.” 14 Now when she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, and did not know that it was Jesus. 15 Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” She, supposing Him to be the gardener, said to Him, “Sir, if You have carried Him away, tell me where You have laid Him, and I will take Him away.” 16 Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to Him, “Rabboni!” (which is to say, Teacher). 17 Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, ‘I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God.‘ ” 18 Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that He had spoken these things to her. 19 Then, the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, “Peace be with you.”

I have marked out in bold that it was the first day of the week, before dawn, Yehshua had not yet ascended to heaven but was about to. It was the first day of the week. I have presupposed that you understand that the wave sheaf offering is Yehshua. Let me back up a little.

The Wave Sheaf Offering seems to have been waved at 9 a.m. on Sunday morning within the feast of the Passover. The general wave offering was brought by the worshipper and made in conjunction with the priest (Ex. 29:24-25). We know that the Samaritans and the Sadducees kept a Sunday Wave Sheaf and a Sunday Pentecost. That is an important factor in history. The Jews do not keep the Wave Sheaf because they keep a Sivan 6 Pentecost, which came from the traditions of the Pharisees in rabbinical Judaism after the Temple was destroyed. We know that the Samaritans keep the 14th and 15th and the concept of the Wave Sheaf and count the Omer from Sunday within the feast. So from the Temple period and right throughout, including the Samaritans, Pentecost has been kept on a Sunday. The early church kept Pentecost on a Sunday. Only the Jews kept a Sivan 6 and only after the Temple was destroyed.

The Wave Sheaf Offering needs to be kept in order to understand the full implications of Yehshua’s sacrifice and the power that he was given in terms of his resurrection from the dead. The Wave Sheaf Offering is an ancient requirement of Israel within the Torah. The ordinance is found in Leviticus 23:9-14 and also in Exodus 29:24-25 and other texts. It is poorly understood by scholars and ignored by many. It is a mandatory ordinance associated with the feast of the Passover and controls both the timing of Pentecost and the consumption of the new harvests (Lev. 23:9-14). To put it in its modern perspective, we should look at the significance of the timing of Yehshua’s death.

The Wave Sheaf Offering was known as sfirat haomer, that is, “the counting of the omer”, because on this day we begin to count the fifty days to Pentecost. It is described in

Lev. 23: 10 “Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘When you come into the land which I give to 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 the Lord, to be accepted on your behalf; on the day after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it. 12 And you shall offer on that day, when you wave the sheaf, a male lamb of the first year, without blemish, as a burnt offering to the Lord. 13 Its grain offering shall be two-tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil, an offering made by fire to the Lord, for a sweet aroma; and its drink offering shall be of wine, one-fourth of a hin. 14 You shall eat neither bread nor parched grain nor fresh grain until the same day that you have brought an offering to your God; it shall be a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.

This cutting of the first barley sheaf was a lively ceremony. The sheaf was cut the evening before on the edge of the city in front of a small crowd of worshippers. And they would do as they are told in

Duet. 26:1 “And it shall be, when you come into the land which the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance, and you possess it and dwell in it, 2 that you shall take some of the first of all the produce of the ground, which you shall bring from your land that the Lord your God is giving you, and put it in a basket and go to the place where the Lord your God chooses to make His name abide. 3 And you shall go to the one who is priest in those days, and say to him, ‘I declare today to the Lord your God that I have come to the country which the Lord swore to our fathers to give us.’ 4 Then the priest shall take the basket out of your hand and set it down before the altar of the Lord your God. 5 And you shall answer and say before the Lord your God: ‘My father was a Syrian, about to perish, and he went down to Egypt and dwelt there, few in number; and there he became a nation, great, mighty, and populous. 6 But the Egyptians mistreated us, afflicted us, and laid hard bondage on us. 7 Then we cried out to the Lord God of our fathers, and the Lord heard our voice and looked on our affliction and our labor and our oppression. 8 So the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand and with an outstretched arm, with great terror and with signs and wonders. 9 He has brought us to this place and has given us this land, “a land flowing with milk and honey”; 10 and now, behold, I have brought the first fruits of the land which you, O Lord, have given me.’ Then you shall set it before the Lord your God, and worship before the Lord your God. 11 So you shall rejoice in every good thing which the Lord your God has given to you and your house, you and the Levite and the stranger who is among you.

But it should be duly noted that the wave sheaf had to be prepared before it was waved in front of the Lord. Because it reads in

Leviticus 2:11 ‘No grain offering which you bring to the Lord shall be made with leaven, for you shall burn no leaven nor any honey in any offering to the Lord made by fire. 12 As for the offering of the first fruits, you shall offer them to the Lord, but they shall not be burned on the altar for a sweet aroma. 13 And every offering of your grain offering you shall season with salt; you shall not allow the salt of the covenant of your God to be lacking from your grain offering. With all your offerings you shall offer salt. 14 ‘If you offer a grain offering of your first fruits to the Lord, you shall offer for the grain offering of your first fruits green heads of grain roasted on the fire, grain beaten from full heads. 15 And you shall put oil on it, and lay frankincense on it. It is a grain offering. 16 Then the priest shall burn the memorial portion: part of its beaten grain and part of its oil, with all the frankincense, as an offering made by fire to the Lord.

So here we see that the first fruits were a grain offering; an offering of Green Ears, or green heads. It was to be roasted. The grain was to be beaten from the husks of the barley. And it was to have salt added to it, as well as Frankincense.
If we ignore the wave sheaf offering we are missing out on a significant part of the Passover Sacrifice. Yes, we all understand that Yehshua was the Passover Lamb. And we can connect the dots in this. But answer this question. When was the Lamb ever beaten? When did the lamb have its body beaten so badly that the flesh was exposed so that the bones of the ribs could be counted? It was not. Not a bone was to be broken. But the Barley Sheaf was to be beaten. It was to be beaten until the grain was exposed and fell from the husk. The Lamb was never beaten. The lamb in one sense represented Yehshua and in another sense the Barley also represented Yehshua. Yehshua would then have to be killed as the lamb and beaten as the barley and presented before Yahweh.
Each and every detail that was foretold in scriptures was to be fulfilled on that Passover day. Beaten is foretold in

Isaiah 53:4 Surely He has borne our grief’s And carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted. 5 But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.

The consecration of the first-fruits sanctifies the whole harvest since the part stands for the whole. As Paul puts it,

“If the dough offered as first fruits is holy, so is the whole lump” ( Rom. 11:16)

By the symbolic gesture of consecrating the first fruits, the whole of the harvest was consecrated to Yehovah.
The idea that the consecration of a part exercises a sanctifying influence on all is applied in the Bible to the plan of salvation.

“Israel was holy to the Lord, The first fruits of His harvest” (Jer. 2:3 Hos. 9:10 )

Because it was called by Yehovah to exercise a sanctifying influence on all nations. Similarly, as Christians, we are ” a kind of firstfruits of His creatures: (James 1:8), because we are called to be a sanctifying influence in the world. Those who arose from the dead at the time of Yehshua’s resurrection became the first fruits, that is, the pledge of all those who will rise at the time of Yehshua’s return ( Matt. 27:52-53; Eph.4:8; 1 Thes. 4:13-18). The 144,000 saints who follow the Lamb are the first fruits for Yehovah and the Lamb” ( Rev. 14:4).
Paul specifically callsYehshua’s resurrection the first fruits of those who will rise from the dead.

 “20 But now Christ 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 Christ all shall be made alive. 23 But each one in his own order: Christ the first fruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming. 24 Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power.” (1Cor.15:20-24)

In this passage, Paul speaks of Yehshua twice as “the first Fruits,” not only to indicate that He was the first to rise bodily from the grave, but also that by so doing He fulfilled the offering of the first fruits. At Passover and Pentecost. We have noted that the Omer of the Sheaf of Barley was waved before Yehovah, by the priest as a pledge of the full harvest that would follow. The ceremony was performed on the day after the weekly Sabbath at about 9 AM, Sunday Morning. ” The wave sheaf offering, specifically the roasted omer of grain, with salt and frankincense, was a type of Christ, the “first fruits” or pledge, of the great harvest that will follow when all the righteous dead are raised at the second coming of Yehshua ( 1Cor. 15:23, 1 Thes. 4:14-16). Yehshua rose from the dead on the eve of the very day that the wave offering was presented in the Temple ( Lev. 23:14, Luke 23:56, 24:1) As the first sheaf was a pledge and assurance of the ingathering of the entire harvest, so the resurrection of Yehshua is a pledge that all who put their trust in Him will be raised from the dead.

Please take note. The Priest did not present before Yehovah just one head of grain, but a whole Omer of Barley. Salted and Frankincense were also added. Similarly, Yehshua did not come forth from the grave alone, for “many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised” (Matt. 27:52) Paul tells us that when Yehshua “ascended on high he led a host of captives” ( Eph. 4:8 RSV). Those who were raised at Yehshua’s death and came “out of the tombs after His resurrection” (Matt 27:53) ascended with Yehshua to heaven as trophies of His powers to resurrect all who sleep in the grave. Just as the Omer of Barley was a pledge of the coming harvest, so the saints that Yehshua raised at the time of His death are a pledge of a future harvest of Saints.

We must pause here and ask the question. It says in John 3:13 No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of
Man who is in heaven. This was Yehshua speaking to Nicodemus, and when Yehshua said it, it was true. No one but Yehshua had gone to heaven. Not until Yehshua died, and was raised up from the grave. Then He took a host of Saints to Heaven for the very first time.
I have just quoted many scriptures that prove this, and Paul himself says so. But look at what John is shown in his vision in

Rev 4:1 After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, “Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this.” 2 Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne set in heaven, and One sat on the throne. 3 And He who sat there was like a jasper and a sardius stone in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, in appearance like an emerald. 4 Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and on the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white robes; and they had crowns of gold on their heads. 5 And from the throne proceeded lightning’s, thundering, and voices. Seven lamps of fire were burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God. 6 Before the throne there was a sea of glass, like crystal. And in the midst of the throne, and around the throne, were four living creatures full of eyes in front and in back. 7 The first living creature was like a lion, the second living creature like a calf, the third living creature had a face like a man, and the fourth living creature was like a flying eagle.
8 The four living creatures, each having six wings, were full of eyes around and within. And they do not rest day or night, saying: “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, Who was and is and is to come!” 9 Whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, who lives forever and ever, 10 the twenty-four elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne and worship Him who lives forever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying: 11 “You are worthy, O Lord, To receive glory and honor and power; For You created all things, And by Your will they exist and were created.”

There are now 24 elders in heaven sitting on thrones, wearing white robes. These are the saints that ascended to heaven with Yehshua at His resurrection. If this is beyond your comprehension then stop here and reread all that I have said up until now. These are the first fruits. Yehovah is showing us that He is going to do as He said and raise us up from the dead. This is so unbelievable: Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Job, Moses and the prophets. All the scriptures say first fruits. Never first Fruit in the singular. Never Yehshua alone, but with others.
Who are these elders again?

Elder is in Strong’s Concordance #4245 originally spelled presbuvteroß and means -elder, of age, the elder of two people, advanced in life, an elder, a senior , forefathers , a term of rank or office.

Note that it means forefathers-humans who were born and lived before us. These 24 elders were not created by Yehovah but were born on earth and lived and died having not received the promise. But now John is telling us they are now in Heaven with Yehovah and have now received that promise. How great is this? How unbelievable?
Also note that in Matt.5:13 Yehshua told the apostles that they and we are the salt of the earth. We are the salt of the wave offering.


 

Pentecost

The meaning of Pentecost is found not only in the offering of first fruits which took place on the first and fiftieth day, but also in the fact that it lasted fifty days, that is to say, seven times seven weeks, plus a day. From this characteristic the usual titles are derived, the Feast of Weeks or Pentecost (fiftieth).
Meaning is found through reasoning about the meaning of the seventh day Sabbath, which is the basis for the seven weeks structure of time. The Sabbath provided release and liberation from the hardship of life and social inequalities, not only every seven days but also every seven years (sabbatical year-Lev. 25:4) and every seven weeks of years (Jubilee year-Lev. 25:8).

The common denominator between the seven weeks of days and the seven weeks of years is the number 50, which was the symbol of remission of debts.
As with other great feasts, a special offering was made in addition to the daily burnt offering. The main offering of Pentecost was a special cereal offering consisting of “two loaves of bread ”

( Lev. 23:17) 15 ‘And you shall count for yourselves from the day after the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering: seven Sabbaths shall be completed. 16 Count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath; then you shall offer a new grain offering to the Lord. 17 You shall bring from your dwellings two wave loaves of two-tenths of an ephah. They shall be of fine flour; they shall be baked with leaven. They are the first fruits to the Lord. 18 And you shall offer with the bread seven lambs of the first year, without blemish, one young bull, and two rams. They shall be as a burnt offering to the Lord, with their grain offering and their drink offerings, an offering made by fire for a sweet aroma to the Lord. 19 Then you shall sacrifice one kid of the goats as a sin offering, and two male lambs of the first year as a sacrifice of a peace offering. 20 The priest shall wave them with the bread of the first fruits as a wave offering before the Lord, with the two lambs. They shall be holy to the Lord for the priest. 21 And you shall proclaim on the same day that it is a holy convocation to you. You shall do no customary work on it. It shall be a statute forever in all your dwellings throughout your generations.

The loaves were made with flour milled from the new wheat crop and baked with leaven. The loaves were presented as a wave offering on behalf of all the people. None of the bread was placed on the altar because it was baked with leaven. Along with the two loaves, two lambs were offered as a wave offering. Pentecost was an offering of loaves with leaven as a wave offering, just as the omer of barley was a wave offering of firstfruits. Pentecost’s wave offering had leaven in it and it too was a first fruits offering. It was also accompanied by a sin offering.

Although we all know that on Pentecost Yehovah gave to Israel the Torah by His very own voice, with thunder and trumpets blasting (Ex. 19,20) and also of the Holy Spirit to the Apostles (Acts 2:3), do we realize Pentecost holds yet another secret? It is the day the second crop of saints is to be raised up from the grave, and even those that are still alive at that time. They are the second wave offering of leaven loaves.

John 4: 32 But He said to them, “I have food to eat of which you do not know.” 33 Therefore the disciples said to one another, “Has anyone brought Him anything to eat?” 34 Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work. 35 Do you not say, ‘There are still four months and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest! 36 And he who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life, that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together. 37 For in this the saying is true: ‘One sows and another reaps.’ 38 I sent you to reap that for which you have not labored; others have labored, and you have entered into their labors.”

Yehshua said the fields are already white for the harvest. When he said don’t look ahead and say four more months He was saying don’t look to the harvest at the fall feast days. Look now at Pentecost, which is four months before the Feast of Trumpets (the day the Messiah Returns), The Day of Atonement (the time when Satan is put away) and The Feast of Tabernacles (The Wedding Feast)

Matt. 13:24 Another parable He put forth to them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; 25 but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way. 26 But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared. 27 So the servants of the owner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’ 28 He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The servants said to him, ‘Do you want us then to go and gather them up?’ 29 But he said, ‘No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.”

Pentecost is the start of the wheat harvest and the wheat is lost amongst the many false followers of the Messiah. The tares are then separated. By their works, you’ll know them, and the wheat is then saved in the King’s barn.

See how Yehshua himself explains it.

Matt 13: 36 Then Jesus sent the multitude away and went into the house. And His disciples came to Him, saying, “Explain to us the parable of the tares of the field.” 37 He answered and said to them: “He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. 38 The field is the world, the good seeds are the sons of the kingdom, but the tares are the sons of the wicked one. 39 The enemy who sowed them is the devil, the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are the angels. 40 Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age. 41 The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, 42 and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!

When Yehshua told the Apostles about the end time, and in particular, Matt.24:22 And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake, those days will be shortened.

How could he shorten the time for the elect, unless, instead of our redemption taking place on the Feast of Trumpets as we have always been taught, it takes place on the Feast of Pentecost? He must do all things in relation to the Holy Days that He has had Israel performing since Mount Sinai. The Holy Days are a rehearsal of future events.


 

Conclusion

Yehshua was the wave sheaf of Passover or First Fruits, with an “S” for more than one, and ascended to heaven with a host of captives, as Paul has said. The apostle John says that there are 24 elders in heaven today wearing crowns and worshipping Yehovah. These are those Yehshua led with Him on that Sunday that the wave offering of barley was presented in the Temple. The wave offering of Pentecost, the two wheat loaves, are those that have followed this way of life and obeyed the laws of Yehovah. Although not perfectly as is represented by the leaven in the offering. All those that have died since Yehshua’s death in 31 AD up until His return and those who are still alive at His return will be raised up at Shavuot or Pentecost.

1 Cor15:50-58 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed— in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”
“O Death, where is your sting?
O Hades, where is your victory?”
The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.
1 Thess 4:13-18 But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.
For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.

Now compare these verses above to those that follow.

Isaiah 27:12-13 And it shall come to pass in that day
That the Lord will thresh,
From the channel of the River to the Brook of Egypt;
And you will be gathered one by one,
O you children of Israel.
So it shall be in that day:
The great trumpet will be blown;
They will come, who are about to perish in the land of Assyria,
And they who are outcasts in the land of Egypt,
And shall worship the Lord in the holy mount at Jerusalem.
Exodus 19:16-19 Then it came to pass on the third day, in the morning, that there were thunderings and lightnings, and a thick cloud on the mountain; and the sound of the trumpet was very loud, so that all the people who were in the camp trembled. And Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet with God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain. Now Mount Sinai was completely in smoke, because the Lord descended upon it in fire. Its smoke ascended like the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mountain quaked greatly. And when the blast of the trumpet sounded long and became louder and louder, Moses spoke, and God answered him by voice.

This is not a second resurrection, but it is part of the First Resurrection that began on the day Yehshua was raised from the dead. Just as the Wave Sheaf offering during the Days of Unleavened Bread is the beginning, so is Pentecost the conclusion of the Wave Offering 50 days later. Those raised with Messiah in 31 AD were the beginning and those alive at His return along with those that have died in His name will be raised up at Shavuot, Pentecost if they are keeping the Torah and the commandments. The one that those under the altar await.

Rev. 6:9 When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held. 10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” 11 Then a white robe was given to each of them; and it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed.

They are given white robes just as the 24 elders were dressed in white, representing righteousness, in preparation for the wedding. Matt 22. Where we must come dressed in righteousness in order to be a part of the wedding party.

Psalm 119:172 My tongue shall speak of Your word, For all Your commandments are righteousness.

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