Aviv was found! Why the biblical new year starts in "March."
(updated 3/16/19, 11:39am ET)

(based on local Missouri sightings)

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The reason is very likely to be one of the following:

1. They are following the Jewish calendar, a calendar which even the Jews acknowledge is not the ancient one.

2. They start the new year with the first new moon after the equinox rather than looking to barley reports.

3. Variant beliefs on what constitutes sufficient "aviv barley" to declare a new year.


The only verse in the bible that directly gives us an indication of when the new year begins is found here:

Deuteronomy 16:1 - "Observe the month of Abib (Hebrew "ha aviv/the aviv"), and keep the Passover to Yahweh your Mighty One, for in the month of Abib (Hebrew "ha aviv/the aviv") Yahweh your Mighty One brought you out of Egypt by night.

So the Hebrew here actually reads "Observe (watch for, guard) month of the Abib" In other words, be looking for the new moon where "the Aviv" can be found.

Aviv is a reference to harvestable, edible barley. This will ensure that the new year will never fall out of season. The month of "the Aviv" is the month that Passover is said to occur, and since Passover is in the first month of the year (Exodus 12), we conclude that it is the month upon which harvestable, edible barley is available.

To my knowledge, there is no verse in scripture which tells us to start the new year according to any other method. One would need to go outside of scripture in order to declare a new year by any other method. See a full study on Yahweh's calendar here.

Some would cite Genesis 1:14 as the reason why we should use the first new moon after the equinox to determine a new year:

Genesis 1:14 - Then Elohim said, "Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years;

The reasoning is that since Yahweh said the lights in heaven determine the years, and season (Hebrew "appointed times") the only heavenly sign that appears in the spring would be the equinox. Thus, it is reasoned that the first new moon after the equinox should determine the new year.

The main problem with this is the word "equinox" is nowhere in scripture. There is a word, "Tequfah" in scripture that some suggest means or can mean "equinox," but the word is used to describe the end of a cycle, such as the end of a pregnancy in 1Samuel 1:22.

In my desire to not look outside the bible to determine my understandings of Yahweh's word, and not rely on 'human reasoning,'

I agree that Genesis 1:14 is used in determining a new year. But since it does not describe further on how either of them are used to determine the new year, we have to look for other scriptures to supply that information. Otherwise we may be guilty of adding to His word.

There is nothing in scripture about needing to wait until the equinox or certain constellations before calling it a new year, much less the first new moon after the equinox. Another person could say it's the new moon closes to the equinox, or the new moon closest to a feast day. I would have to add to scripture to come to a determination.

With the barley, the heavenly lights are used for setting the moedim (feasts), days and years. The ripening of barley is responding to the number of hours of daylight. Thus, it still fits with Genesis 1:14.

So from what I'm seeing, the most descriptive scripture for declaring a new year is Deuteronomy 16:1 where it says that Passover is in "the month of the Aviv (month of harvestable barley)." If I'm standing before Yahweh on the day of judgment, I want to be able to say that I went as close to scripture as possible.

Proverbs 30:6 - Do not add to His words, Lest He rebuke you, and you be found a liar.


This year, in the first week of 'March', there were at least 3 teams or families that were in Israel to inspect the condition of the barley. All of the teams (sample reports here and here) found barley in the "Aviv" (harvestable state). This year, everyone agrees on the evidence presented, but not everyone agrees on how to interpret it. Some do not believe that there was aviv in sufficient quantities to declare a new year, while others do.

Brian Convery's report


Brian Hoeck's photo

Here is an academic description with photos of the various stages of maturing barley, called the "Zadok scale."


Looking at the scriptures alone, a small clue can be found in this verse:

Exodus 9:30-32 - "But as for you and your servants, I know that you will not yet fear Yahweh Elohim. Now the flax and the barley were struck, for the barley was in the head and the flax was in bud. But the wheat and the spelt were not struck, for they are late crops.

You'll notice that the word "Aviv" isn't found in this English translation, but it is found in the Hebrew language. The word "Aviv" is translated "head" in the above verse. So, the barley was "in the Aviv" or as the Hebrew literally reads "for the Barley Aviv." This is an indication that "Aviv" is a stage in Barley growth that is capable of being damaged by hail.

Now, barley is capable of being damaged by hail when it is in the the "Boot" stage, but this doesn't necessarily mean that "Aviv" starts in the boot stage. Fully mature barley is obviously considered "Aviv," so the barley in Exodus 9 could have been fully mature. Thus, this verse only tells us it was capable of being damaged by hail and nothing else. The barley in Exodus 9 could have been fully mature, and we have no way of knowing what stage of maturity it was in.

Here is another clue:

Leviticus 2:14 - `If you offer a grain offering of your firstfruits to Yahweh, you shall offer for the grain offering of your firstfruits green heads of grain roasted on the fire, grain beaten from full heads.

The Hebrew word translated "Green heads" is again the Hebrew word "Aviv." Now if we went with the translation "Green heads" alone, we would discover that roasting the barley could potentially not give you any kernels of barley. At an early stage of "Green heads" or "Green ears" the barley seed pods are actually in a liquid stage and the liquid would simply evaporate in the fire.

However, as the barley matures the seed pods will fill up with starches and start turning from a liquid into a "soft dough." At this stage the barley can be "parched" or "roasted on the fire" to assist in drying out the seed pods. At this stage the barley is then edible, the actions in Leviticus 2:14 are possible, and we would regard the barley to be "Aviv." The soft grain would simply need to be parched (roasted) in order to dry out the grains enough to produce flour.

With these things in mind, I see why the Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament, "Abib" carries the following meaning:

"This noun refers to barley that is already ripe, but still soft, the grains of which are eaten either rubbed or roasted" 

I would agree with this definition and so do most other teams doing the barley search this year. One exception is the Assemblies of Yahweh out of Bethel. They are willing to declare "Aviv" while the barley is still in the watery stage, as long as they believe it will be harvestable by the time Passover arrives.

The problem with this is we have to rely on the predictions of men rather than the clear, concrete evidence. If ancient Israel ever used this method and the weather suddenly changed, there would be times where they had no harvestable barley to offer Yahweh on the day of firstfruits. For this reason, I believe we should avoid trusting in men to judge the future and just look at the actual evidence on the ground.


The next question would be "how much barley needs to be Aviv in order to consider it a new year?" Would it just be a single stalk of barley grass, an entire field or perhaps just a portion of a field?

This year, there was at least one 20 foot by 40 foot section of harvestable barley found. This would be far more than enough to produce 2.2 liters of barley. But some believe that most of Israel would need to have complete its harvest before the new year begins, or perhaps at least one person would have to harvest their field completely.

I live on 40 acres and I have had gardens. I would take the first of my green beans, peppers, tomatoes, etc and would not eat them. I wouldn't feel the need to wait until all the plants produced until I gave Yahweh the firstfruits.

It isn't hard for a priest to go into a field, see what barley plants are ripening first, make sure it is enough for an omer, cut them and bring them for an offering to Yahweh.

In fact, if you waited until the entire field was Aviv you may not remember which plants were "the first of the firstfruits". And it's the "first of the firstfruits" that Yahweh requires:

Exodus 23:19 - The first of the firstfruits of your land you shall bring into the house of Yahweh your Mighty One.

The notion is also directly contradicted by this verse:

Joshua 5:10-11 - Now the children of Israel camped in Gilgal, and kept the Passover on the fourteenth day of the month between the evenings on the plains of Jericho.
11 And they ate of the produce of the land on the day after the Passover, unleavened bread and parched grain, on the very same day.

Notice that they ate "Parched grain." Grain is parched when the field contains barley in the soft dough stage.

In Joshua 5, Israel was in Gilgal, which is "on the eastern border of Jericho" (Josh. 4:19). This is in the Jordan valley.

Notice that they ate "Parched grain" on the day after Passover, which is the 15th day of the 1st month. Now if the barley was in a soft dough stage in southern portion of the Jordan valley on the 15th day of the first month, this would mean it most certainly was NOT Aviv on the 1st day of the first month.

Thus, there must have been Aviv in other areas of Israel, such as the western Negev on the 1st day of the 1st month. This would have been an identical situation to what we we saw in 2016.

But in the northern areas of Israel, the barley would not have been "Aviv." The barley harvest time can differ as much as a month or more depending on whether you live in the northern or southern parts of the land.

Thus, the new year does not begin when the entire the land of Israel is in "Aviv," but rather whenever "Aviv" is found somewhere in Israel proper. That was the situation in Joshua 5:10-11 and that was the situation this year as well.

So exactly how much Aviv must be found to call it a new year? This verse may help us to find the answer:

Leviticus 23:10-11 - "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 firstfruits of your harvest to the priest.
11 `He shall wave the sheaf before Yahweh, to be accepted on your behalf; on the day after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it.

The word translated "Sheaf" is actually the Hebrew word "omer." An "Omer" in Hebrew is actually a measurement.

06016 עֹמֶר `omer {o'-mer}
Meaning: 1) omer 1a) a dry measure of 1/10 ephah (about 2 litres) 2) sheaf
Origin: from 06014; TWOT - 1645b,1645a; n m
Usage: AV - sheaf 8, omer 6; 14

As you can see, the word is translated "sheaf" 8 times and "omer" 6 times. They are the same word in Hebrew. This would be approximately 2.2 litres worth of barley. Additional barley may also have been needed for a grain offering:

Leviticus 23:12 `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 Yahweh.
13 `Its grain offering shall be two-tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil, an offering made by fire to Yahweh, for a sweet aroma; and its drink offering shall be of wine, one-fourth of a hin.

So there would potentially need to be enough "aviv" barley in Israel to supply this quantity when the new moon day arrives, but I cannot prove that this flour needs to be barley flour of that same year.

Everyone (except the Bethel group) found found barley of sufficient quantities to harvest them with a sickle, as entire swaths of barley could have been harvested with far more than one omer available.

For me, that's all I need to know. Others want more than this. If we want more than this, we once again run into a situation where we have to rely upon the (often fickle and inconsistent) judgments of men to determine a new year.

For me, I try to avoid this as much as I can. If there is sufficient barley for a wave sheaf offering, that's all I need to know. If we want to demand more than that, how much more? If someone says "one acre" another person could say "fifty acres." If we want to say "a half acre," another could say two hundred acres. That's a recipe for division in the body of Messiah, and I think there is already enough of that as it is.An argument of degrees is an argument that is rarely ever resolved.

When I turn on the bath or shower faucet at home, my wife thinks the water is not hot enough while I would scald my skin on it. It's an argument of degrees. When is it not hot enough?

When will the barley be enough to call it a new year? How much is "not enough?" The only scriptures I can find are the ones that require an omer.

For this reason I'll stick with the scriptures, which only requires enough harvestable barley to give me one omer.

Exodus 23:19 - The first of the firstfruits of your land you shall bring into the house of Yahweh your Mighty One.

Exodus 34:26 - "The first of the firstfruits of your land you shall bring to the house of Yahweh your Mighty One.

He didn't just say to bring in the firstfruits, but "the first of the firstfruits."

Thus, in my mind it's a new year.

Some believers, even those who believe the barley determines a new year, think we'll be starting Passover "in the winter" because the spring equinox is after the day of Passover. But there is no scripture declaring such. Nowhere does it say we pass from winter to summer based on the equinox. This is how Rome does it, but nowhere does scripture say the same.

In scripture, there are only two seasons: summer and winter. Winter ends when the first month begins. It's a simple as that. When the new year begins, summer also begins. Therefore, I say.. Happy New Year! :)


(based on local Missouri sightings)

3/21/2019 (service that night)

Feast of Unleavened Bread
3/22 - 3/28/2019


Feast of Trumpets

Day of Atonements

Feast of Tabernacles
9/15 - 9/22/201


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