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The Beginning Of The Harvest

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Reishit Qatzir

ראשׁית קציר

The spring-time feast of Reishit Qatzir [Beginning of the Harvest] is also sometimes called Yom haBikkurim [the Day of First-fruits] and it occurs the day after the Sabbath during the week of the Feast of Unleavened BreadThis feast teaches us that should always put YaHuWaH first in our lives and honor Him since He set us free from bondage. In this feast we can see the resurrection of Messiah as the “first-fruit” of those who are asleep.

What does Scripture says about this festival and what commandments are related to it?   Oh, YaHuWaH please “open our eyes” to see Messiah in this feast. Scripture was given to speak of Him and we should listen and hear its voice… His voice… during these times.

Where is this found in scripture?

Then YaHuWaH spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the sons of Yisra’El and say to them, ‘When you enter the land which I am going to give to you and reap its harvest, then you shall bring in the sheaf of the first-fruits [Hebrew: reishit, literally “beginning”] of your harvest [qatzir] to the priest.  He shall wave the sheaf before YaHuWaH for you to be accepted; on the day after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it.”

“And YaHuWaH spoke to Mosheh, saying, “Speak to the children of Yisra’El, and you shall say to them, ‘When you come into the land which I give you, and shall reap its harvest, then you shall bring a sheaf of the first-fruits of your harvest to the priest. ‘And he shall wave the sheaf before YaHuWaH, for your acceptance. On the morrow after the Sabbath the priest waves it.”  Wayyiqra (Leviticus) 23:9-11 

Who:

All the sons of Yisra’El.

“Speak to the children of Yisra’El, and you shall say to them, ‘When you come into the land which I give you, and shall reap its harvest, then you shall bring a sheaf of the first-fruits of your harvest to the priest.” Wayyiqra (Leviticus) 23:10

What:

Special commands

  • The sheaf of the beginning of the harvest [reishit qatzir] shall be brought in to the priest.

“Speak to the children of Yisra’El, and you shall say to them, ‘When you come into the land which I give you, and shall reap its harvest, then you shall bring a sheaf of the first-fruits of your harvest to the priest.” Wayyiqra (Leviticus) 23:10

  • The priest shall wave the sheaf before YaHuWaH on behalf of the person who brings it so it is accepted.

“And he shall wave the sheaf before YaHuWaH, for your acceptance. On the morrow after the Sabbath the priest waves it.”  Wayyiqra (Leviticus) 23:11

  • Until this day (the day of the waving of the first-fruit offering) you shall eat neither bread nor roasted grain nor new growth.

And you do not eat bread or roasted grain or fresh grain until the same day that you have brought an offering to your Elohim – a law forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.” Wayyiqra (Leviticus) 23:14

  • This is a perpetual statute throughout all generations in all dwelling places.

“And you do not eat bread or roasted grain or fresh grain until the same day that you have brought an offering to your Elohim – a law forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.”  Wayyiqra (Leviticus) 23:14

  • Begin counting the seven Sabbaths

 “And from the morrow after the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering, you shall count for yourselves: seven completed Sabbaths.”  Wayyiqra (Leviticus) 23:15

Offerings

  • A male lamb one year old without defect is given as a burnt offering to YaHuWaH.

“And on that day when you wave the sheaf, you shall prepare a male lamb a year old, a perfect one, as an ascending offering to YaHuWaH,” Wayyiqra (Leviticus) 23:12

  • Its grain offering shall be two-tenths [of an ephah] of fine flour mixed with oil as an offering by fire to YaHuWaH for a soothing aroma.

“and its grain offering: two-tenths of an ĕphah of fine flour mixed with oil, an offering made by fire to YaHuWaH, a sweet fragrance, and its drink offering: one-fourth of a hin of wine.” Wayyiqra (Leviticus) 23:13

  • Its drink offering shall be a fourth of a hin of wine.

 “and its grain offering: two-tenths of an ĕphah of fine flour mixed with oil, an offering made by fire to YaHuWaH, a sweet fragrance, and its drink offering: one-fourth of a hin of wine.” Wayyiqra (Leviticus) 23:13

When:

on the day after the Sabbath that falls during the week of The Fest of Unleavened Bread.

  • When you enter the Land which YaHuWaH is going to give to you.

“Speak to the children of Yisra’El, and you shall say to them, ‘When you come into the land which I give you, and shall reap its harvest, then you shall bring a sheaf of the first-fruits of your harvest to the priest.” Wayyiqra (Leviticus) 23:10

  • When you reap the harvest of the Land.

“Speak to the children of Yisra’El, and you shall say to them, ‘When you come into the land which I give you, and shall reap its harvest, then you shall bring a sheaf of the first-fruits of your harvest to the priest.” Wayyiqra (Leviticus) 23:10

  • On the day after the Sabbath.

 “And he shall wave the sheaf before YaHuWaH, for your acceptance. On the morrow after the Sabbath the priest waves it.”  Wayyiqra (Leviticus) 23:11

Where: in the Land of Yisra’El.

 “Speak to the children of Yisra’El, and you shall say to them, ‘When you come into the land which I give you, and shall reap its harvest, then you shall bring a sheaf of the first-fruits of your harvest to the priest.” Wayyiqra (Leviticus) 23:10

Other Observations

Pictures

The feast of Reishit Qatzir provides a picture of the physical need for a mediator between man and YaHuWaH.  A person cannot just take the first of his harvest and bring it and wave it before YaHuWaH.  It must be brought to the priest and the priest must wave it (Leviticus 23:10-11).  If the priest does not wave it then it is not accepted.

This festival is also a picture of the spiritual mediator required between YaHuWaH and man.  How can we, sinful creatures that we are, ever hope to even thank YaHuWaH for His blessing and bounty apart from some intercessor or connector between YaHuWaH and man?  We have such a mediator (1 Timothy 2:5), intercessor (Romans 8:34), and connector (Romans 7:4)… Messiah Yahusha.  Even in our simplest act of thanksgiving it is not us who goes before the throne of the Most High but our Redeemer and Savior Who does so on our behalf.

“For there is one Elohim, and one Mediator between Elohim and men, the Man Messiah Yahusha,” Timotiyos Aleph (1 Timothy) 2:5

“Who is he who is condemning? It is Messiah who died, and furthermore is also raised up, who is also at the right hand of Elohim, who also makes intercession for us.” Romiyim (Romans) 8:34

“So my brothers, you also were put to death to the Torah through the body of Messiah, for you to become another’s, the One who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to Elohim.” Romiyim (Romans) 7:4

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Messiah in Reishit Qatzir

The First-fruits of Those Asleep

Reishit Qatzir [the beginning of the harvest] is sometimes called Yom haBikkurim, the day of first-fruits, and it provides a picture of Messiah in several ways.  The first we’ve already noted: it shows us the need for a mediator.  The second is found in the offering itself.

When the time of the harvest had come, when the first of the crop was ready, it was cut down and brought before YaHuWaH through the mediation of the priest.

When the time of the Messiah had come, when the firstborn of all Creation was ready, He was cut down and slain.  The offering of His own life was made before YaHuWaH the Father.  Messiah was both the offering and the priest Who offered it!

“who does not need, as those high priests, to offer up slaughter offerings day by day, first for His own sins and then for those of the people, for this He did once for all when He offered up Himself.” Iḇ`rim (Hebrews) 7:27

Paul describes the Master in these terms in his first letter to the believers at Corinth:

“For if the dead are not raised, then neither Messiah has been raised. And if Messiah has not been raised, your belief is to no purpose, you are still in your sins! Then also those who have fallen asleep in Messiah have perished. If in this life only we have expectation in Messiah, we are of all men the most wretched. But now Messiah has been raised from the dead, and has become the first-fruit of those having fallen asleep. For since death is through a man, resurrection of the dead is also through a Man. For as all die in Aḏam, so also all shall be made alive in Messiah.” Qorintiyim Aleph (1 Corinthians) 15:16-22 

Messiah is the first-fruit of those who are asleep (i.e. dead).  When we are baptized in His Name then we are baptized into Messiah’s death and raised again to walk in newness of life.

“We were therefore buried with Him through immersion into death, that as Messiah was raised from the dead by the esteem of the Father, so also we should walk in newness of life.” Romiyim (Romans) 6:4

We also become part of the harvest of which the Messiah is the first portion.  As we examine this feast and consider the lifting up and waving of the sheaf from the crops, we should think of the “lifting up” of Messiah as He arose from the dead.

The day after the Sabbath

Consider the specific instruction regarding the Reishit Qatzir:

“And YaHuWaH spoke to Mosheh, saying, “Speak to the children of Yisra’El, and you shall say to them, ‘When you come into the land which I give you, and shall reap its harvest, then you shall bring a sheaf of the first-fruits of your harvest to the priest. ‘And he shall wave the sheaf before YaHuWaH, for your acceptance. On the morrow after the Sabbath the priest waves it. ‘And on that day when you wave the sheaf, you shall prepare a male lamb a year old, a perfect one, as an ascending offering to YaHuWaH, and its grain offering: two-tenths of an ĕphah of fine flour mixed with oil, an offering made by fire to YaHuWaH, a sweet fragrance, and its drink offering: one-fourth of a hin of wine.” Wayyiqra (Leviticus) 23:9-13 

The time for the offering is “the day after the sabbath”.  Messiah Yahusha arose on the day after the Sabbath… early on the first day of the week before sunrise while it was still dark.

“And on day one of the week Miryam from Maḡdala came early to the tomb, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb.” Yoḥanan (John) 20:1

On the day of Messiah’s resurrection, the priest was required to bring:

  • the grain from the beginning of the harvest (the first-fruits)
  • an unblemished male lamb
  • an unleavened grain offering (matzah)
  • a drink offering of wine

Think of it!  From the time Yisra’El entered the promised land until the destruction of the Temple in 70 AD, the Levitical priests honored the work of Messiah each year by lifting up the first-fruits of the harvest and offering an unblemished male lamb (pictures of Messiah!) along with unleavened bread and wine (elements of “the last supper”)!

Each feast provides us with wonderful pictures of the Person and work of our Messiah!

The feast of Reishit Qatzir [beginning of the harvest] has almost no traditions associated with it.

The crop that is historically and traditionally associated with the first-fruit offering is barley.  It was usually planted towards the end of the year before the winter rains.  It grew, matured, and was ready to harvest in the spring about the time of Passover.

Day after which Sabbath?

In the days of the Master, there was some debate about the meaning of “on the day after the sabbath” in Leviticus 23:11.  Was it referring to the weekly (Saturday) Sabbath or was it referring to the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread (which is also a Sabbath rest day)?

The Sadducees (who were predominantly Levitical priests) chose the day after the weekly Sabbath: what we call “Sunday” today.

The Pharisees (predominantly rabbis who were not priests) chose the day after the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread.  Since the Pharisees formed the core of what was to become Orthodox Judaism, Orthodox groups today use the fixed day of Abib 16 (Abib 14 was Pesach, Abib 15 began the Feast of Unleavened Bread (a Sabbath), and Abib 16 became Reishit Qatzir celebrating the feast of the first-fruits of the harvest).

Other groups held to the Sadduceean standard of the first day of the week (i.e. Sunday) after the Sabbath that occurred during the week of the Feast of Unleavened Bread.  Some early groups of believers followed this standard since it was the first day of the week when the empty tomb was discovered and the risen Messiah became known.

It is likely that the debate between groups of believers regarding this topic was in Paul’s mind when he penned Romans 14:5.  Until Messiah Yahusha returns to settle the debate we will likely have no definitive answer.

Given the dispersion of the Yisraelites from their Land until the 20th century and the lack of a Temple, this particular feast has diminished in importance and observance.  A quick search of Jewish calendars and holy day descriptions on various Jewish websites show little or no information about this feast other than to mark the beginning of the “counting of the omer” which actually is the Feast of Weeks, counting of seven Sabbaths.

title-count-to-shabuoth-1_InPixio This leads us to Shavuot!

It’s almost as if unbelieving Jews, in their denial of Yahusha as the Messiah and His death and resurrection as the “first-fruits of those who are asleep”, have ignored the feast which speaks the most about Him and His resurrection.  This is not a condemnation of them because YaHuWaH, Himself, has blinded their eyes so that the fullness of the Gentiles might be brought in.

“He has blinded their eyes and hardened their heart, so that they should not see with their eyes and understand with their heart, and turn, and I should heal them.” Yoḥanan (John) 12:40

“For I do not wish you to be ignorant of this secret, brothers, lest you should be wise in your own estimation, that hardening in part has come over Yisra’El, until the completeness of the nations has come in.” Romiyim (Romans) 11:25

May Yahusha return quickly and bring in the full harvest of His people Yisra’El!

 

 

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We are a husband and wife in covenant with ABBA YaHuWaH. Together we are taking the truth of Scripture to the Nations through our personal studies of the Paleo Aleph Bet and how that applies to scripture for our lives. It is our earnest prayer that you take whatever you want to from this site and study it out for yourselves. We have inherited LIES from our fathers and the translations of today are riddled with error and watered down doctrine from men each trying to sell their agenda of their denomination. It is time for the houses of Ephraim and Yahudah to wake up and unite. `•.¸ ☆ Shalom Aleichem !!!´¯`•.¸☆¸.• ´¯`•.¸☆ “GIVE EAR, O heavens, and I [Moses] will speak; and let the earth hear the words of my mouth. My message shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distill as the dew, as the light rain upon the tender grass, and as the showers upon the herb. For I will proclaim the name [and presence] of YaHuWaH. Concede and ascribe greatness to our Elohim. He is the Rock, His work is perfect, for all His ways are law and justice. A Elohim of faithfulness without breach or deviation, just and right is He.” ‭‭Deuteronomy‬ ‭32:1-4‬ Abba YaHuWaH is calling His people from the four corners of the earth to return to Him.

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