Attention Members of TO COG and Associates:
The Barley is "NOT" Aviv this month,
which means Passover is Next Month in April
which also means there are 13 months this year.
Lawrence Albert Nowell
TO COG (The Obedient Church of God).
This year, the aviv barley search has turned out to be an interesting one, indeed. There were, as expected, some conflicting reports on the status of the barley within Israel this year ranging from full Aviv declarations to none at all. After inspecting all of the various reports, we have come to the following conclusion: there is not a sufficient amount of matured barley to declare this coming renewed moon day as being at a time of Aviv.
To review, there are three primary characteristics of barley we look for. 1) That it is brittle enough to be destroyed by hail and has begun to lighten in color; 2) The seeds have produced enough dry material so it can be immediately eaten when parched in fire; 3) There is sufficient quantity to clearly indicate maturity that will be fully harvest-ready within a few weeks.
One report from the Assemblies of Yahweh has declared full fields of aviv barley. However, their definition does not meet any of the three requirements above - they consider barley to be aviv simply by being green with heads developing. This barley is too wet and would never survive being parched in fire - it would simply evaporate. This group is notorious for declaring Aviv very early every year.
A few other reports were made by a combination of groups (Abib of God & Truth on the Web - Church of God Woodstock) declaring aviv barley had been found. Their reports do clearly indicate the first two characteristics being met; however, meeting the third requirement is most in doubt (sufficient quantity to clearly indicate maturity). These groups historically believe that barley is aviv if they predict it will be harvestable (if parched in fire) by the time Passover arrives two weeks later. Further details of their reports, though, claim the matured barley that was found were in small patches within the larger fields with the largest area being approximately 32 by 132 feet in size containing at least 50 percent aviv stalks according to their followup. By these descriptions (and in the images pictured), these patches did not represent the entire field (or even a significant portion).
Additional reports from more conservative groups (Devorahs Date Tree, Hebrew in Israel) described an abundance of immature, dark green, wet barley with the usual intermittent strands of aviv stalks that often mature on the outside edges of fields and near rocks where additional heat is absorbed. There were additional reports of unusual micro patches near trees where small pockets of barley were matured to the level of aviv; however, these pockets also did not represent a majority of the fields in which they were found. These descriptions corroborate with the other reports above.
Ultimately, we believe there are no fields within the area of Israel that were found to be dominantly aviv in any sufficient quantities that would be considered harvestable at this time. We understand that others will draw different conclusions (and you can view many of these various reports on our Facebook page) but our deduction is based on historical patterns and consistent characteristics of searches performed in past years.
One thing to keep in mind, the groups that are declaring Aviv believe that IF this coming month is NOT declared as being the first of the year that the barley fields will fully mature and be completely destroyed prior to an April Passover. However, there is no requirement that fields not be harvested - the Biblical requirement was that the barley not be eaten until the first-fruit Omer was offered at the time of Passover. This means that barley may become mature enough to harvest during this coming month, but it does not mean we would let it become brittle and fall apart before harvesting it. With the quantities being so incredibly small, essentially this situation would be the equivalent of a crescent moon only being seen with a telescope and not confirmed with the naked eye.