Aviv Barley and the Spirit of Constantine

Tête de Constantin 1er - Palazzo dei Conservatori - MC0757In Aviv Barley and the Spirit of Constantine, Nehemia Gordon shows how the Council of Nicaea in 325 AD led to a change in the observance of the Biblical Calendar for both Jews and Christians. He also includes his educated guess as to when Passover will fall out this year based on the Aviv-New Moon calendar.

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Show Notes:
Learn more about Aviv Barley.

Mishawayh al Ukbari, 9th century Quasi Karaite
“All money is a convenience, so cleave to the counterfeit money in hand.”

Eusebius, Life of Constantine, Chapter 18
“For their boast is absurd indeed, that it is not in our power without instruction from them to observe these things. For how should they be capable of forming a sound judgment, who, since their parricidal guilt in slaying their Lord, have been subject to the direction, not of reason, but of ungoverned passion, and are swayed by every impulse of the mad spirit that is in them? Hence it is that on this point as well as others they have no perception of the truth, so that, being altogether ignorant of the true adjustment of this question, they sometimes celebrate Easter twice in the same year. Why then should we follow those who are confessedly in grievous error? Surely we shall never consent to keep this feast a second time in the same year.”

Mishnah, Rosh Hashanah 2:9
“[Rabbi Akiva] said to [Rabbi Joshua] ...whether they are proclaimed at their proper time or not at their proper time, I have no appointed seasons save these.” Rosh Hashanah 21b

Babylonian Talmud, Rosh Hashanah 25a
"[Rabbi Akiva] then said to [Rabbi Joshua]: The text says, ‘you’, ‘you’, ‘you’, three times, to indicate that ‘you’ [may set the festivals] even if you err inadvertently, ‘you’, even if you err deliberately, ‘you’, even if you are misled. He replied to him in these words: 'Akiba, you have comforted me, you have comforted me.'

Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin 11b
"Our Rabbis taught, Based on three things is the year intercalated: on the Abib, on the fruits of the trees, and on the equinox.  Based on two of them the year is intercalated but based on one of them alone the year is not intercalated.  And when the Abib is one of them everyone is pleased."

Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin 11b
"It once happened that Rabban Gamaliel was sitting on a step on the Temple Mount, and the well known Scribe Yohanan was standing before him with three cut sheets [of parchment] lying before him.  He said to him, ...take the third [sheet] and write to our brethren, the Exiles of Babylon and to those in Media, and to all the other exiled [sons] of Israel, saying: 'May your peace be great forever!  We beg to inform that the doves are still tender, and the lambs are still young, and time of the Aviv has not yet arrived (וזמנא דאביבא לא מטא).  It seems advisable to me and to my colleagues to add thirty days to this year.'"

Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin 12a
"Our Rabbis taught: We may not in the current year, intercalate the following year, nor intercalate three years in succession.  R. Simeon said: It once happened that R. Akiva, when kept in prison, intercalated three years in succession."

Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin 18b
“Were there not three cowboys who were standing conversing, and who were overheard by the Rabbis. One of them said: If the early and late sowing sprout together, the month is Adar; if not, it is not Adar. The second said: If in the morning frost is severe enough to injure an ox, and at mid-day the ox lies in the shade of the fig-tree and scratches its hide, then it is Adar, if not, it is not Adar. And the third said: When a strong east wind is blowing and your breath can prevail against it, the month is Adar; if not, it is not Adar. Thereupon the Rabbis intercalated the year. — Is it possible that the Rabbis really intercalated the year based on the determination of cowboys? Surely they relied on their own calculations, and the cowboys merely corroborated their proposed action.”

Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin 12a
"Was not a message sent to Rava: 'A couple [of scholars] have arrived from Rakkat [=Tiberias] who had been captured by an eagle while in the possession of articles manufactured at Luz [cf. Babylonian Talmud, Sota 46b]..., yet through divine mercy and their own merits they escaped safely.  Further, the offspring of Nachshon wished to establish a Netziv [1Ki 4:19], but the Edomite there would not permit it..."

Judah Hadassi, Eshkol Hakofer, 12th Century
"but those distant from the testimony of the sighting of its ripening, from the Land of Israel, they are required to investigate and ask those that arrive from the Land of Israel, perhaps those in the Diaspora can receive from those that dwell in the Land of Israel proof of its testimony... therefore we who are in this exile, which has lasted for a long time because of our sins and the iniquities of our fathers, do not know which year is 12 months and which 13 except by seeking a testimony or report from the Holy Land"

Israel Hama'aravi, Seder Inyan Ha'ibur, 1313
"Most of the Karaite sages confess that it is good to follow the 19-year cycle because it is a close approximation of the Abib found in the Land of Israel.  But the Karaite Israelites who live near the Land of Israel, specifically, the communities of Cairo and Alexandria, and the communities of Damascus and Aleppo.  These communities send reliable emissaries each and every year to the Land of Israel who search out and investigate the barley in all the places where it is known from previous experience to ripen earliest.  If they find a field that has ripened they take about two sheaves from the stalks of barley and bring them as testimony of the Abib.  They show their communities the Abib and keep the Passover.  The emissaries return to all these communities no later than the tenth of Nissan."

Rabbi Elijah of Salonika, 11th Century
"But you know, my dear brother, that the Karaites further provoked us last year and desecrated the holy holidays of the Lord and observed Rosh Hashanah in the Eighth Month because they received letters from the Land of Israel that the Abib was not seen in Nissan and Passover was kept in Iyyar..."

Samuel ben David of Crimea, 1641
"[p.226] ...and afterwards we traveled from there and arrived in Constantinople on the 25th of the month.  We remained there 48 days... in the year 5402 [=1641]... and on the first holy day of the Feast of Sukkot we traveled from Constantinople... [p.231] ...and we awoke in the morning and went to Cairo on Friday, the 12th of the month... and dwelt there and kept the Feast of Sukkot a second time on the 15th of the month of Cheshvan, to keep the holy appointed times of the Lord according to the sighting of the new moon and the finding of the Abib in the holy land of Israel."

  • Eusebio Preciado says:

    Nehemia, you are sounding more and more like Yeshua every day. You truly show that you have YeHoVaHs spirit my friend.

    • Reyes Nava says:


      Actually Nehemia is sounding more like the prophets of old who warned the people against placing a mediator between man and God and giving us assurance that we can go directly to Yehovah the Holy one of Israel including the gentile who has joined himself to Him as referred to in Torah Pearls #21.

      And shedding truth on how we should not turn aside to worship some other person or entity as if they were Yehovah himself, referred to as “syncretism” in Prophet Pears #21.

  • Carol C says:

    Somehow I got bumped from your email list – again and have missed the opportunity to contribute to the Aviv Barley search. Please don’t let me miss it any more. I love feeling a part of that more than just about anything. Carol

  • Jesse says:

    Nehemiah, God did allow for some Israelites during the Exodus to celebrate a second Passover a month later in (Exodus 9:9-12) because they were ritually unclean during their journey. This the two times celebration of Passover by the Jews Constantine is referencing. Constantine simply did not understand Exodus and the reason for it.

    • The “Second Passover” in Numbers 9 only refers to the Passover sacrifice, not the Feast of Unleavened Bread or Feast of Passover. Jews in the time of Constantine did not bring the Passover sacrifice, since this can only be brought at the Temple, destroyed in 70 AD. This was certainly the understanding of the Jews in the time of Constantine. So no Jews in the 4th Century would have kept a “Second Passover” as they were not even bringing the first Passover sacrifice.

      • B'rone Ben Y'kov says:

        שבת שלום
        Question: What does thus mean: Num 9:
        11 ‘On the fourteenth day of the second month, between the evenings, they perform it – with unleavened bread and bitter herbs they eat it.
        12 ‘They do not leave of it until morning, and they do not break a bone of it. According to all the laws of the Passover they perform it.

        הודה רבה

        • This is talking about the Second Passover sacrifice. It has nothing to do with the holiday, which in the Old Testament is called “Feast of Unleavened Bread”. In later Judaism, the holiday was called Passover, based on the adjacent sacrifice. After 70 CE Jews no longer offered the sacrifice, so there was no Second Passover in the Numbers 9 sense in the time of Constantine.

  • Janice says:

    This was extremely interesting. A question: If Tishri 1, 2016 through Tishri 1 2017 was a smittah where we did not plant and harvest, would we still expect to find barely avib?

    • Jake says:

      Barley will still grow “…of its own accord…” (Lev 25:5), and go through the abib stage.

  • Shalom, Nehemiah.
    I thank Yehovah for you and the life-changing information (for me) that you share with His people. Me and my house desire to follow Abba’s appointed times based on His calendar. Blessed be He.
    I am excited about your upcoming Aviv report. It is interesting that the upcoming Rosh Chodesh, ~ 29 Adar / March 9, is a supermoon as well as a total solar eclipse. I understand that, “Whatever YEHOVAH pleases, He does, In heaven and in earth,” but I can’t help being in awe of His works and wondering if HE is ‘bringing in the new year’ like only He can. That is just a thought and I am just HIS humble servant who has very much to learn.
    May Adonai continue to use you according to His will and loving-kindness. A sincere ‘Toda raba’ for all that you do, sir.
    Angel Crespo

  • A Wol says:

    I enjoyed this, very informative. Just one thing though, Easter is NOT a Christian holiday, it is pagan from the festival of Ishtar. Christians were celebrating Jesus’ resurrection on Passover up until the holy days were changed around the 4th century AD, around the same time that the calendar and Christian Sabbath were “changed.”

  • Dixie Hall says:

    Thanks for great message and prayer at the end. How blessed we are to have your servant’s heart example and thanks for studying and sharing. The Lord bless and keep you.

  • Dori says:

    Understanding the calendar has been most interesting. I have to confess I was trusting in our standing calendar and thought I’d have 4 more weeks to get my Spring cleaning done. Dang! We will stay tuned and keep an eye on the Aviv. I guess I better it on the ball. Great teaching!

  • Sean Nicholson says:

    Excellent teaching as usual thank you YHVH for your servant Nehemiah. Nehemiah your commitment is inspirational!

  • Neville says:

    When you were telling about Constantine’s insistence on distancing the empire from the Jewish calendar, I kept expecting you to break out with “Barley? We don’t need no steenking Barley!” 🙂

  • Ralf Meister says:

    Thank you again, Nehemia for inspiring us. I did a word study on Dt 16:1 as good as I can with the blue letter bible and came to the following possible translation:

    “Observe the renewing of the barley.”

    Could it be translated like that? It would sure make it much clearer.

  • Joann Drucker says:

    Thank you so much Nehemia for all you do! I continue to share with as many people as possible your teachings because your teachings have profoundly impacted my life. You are blessed with a teaching style that is truly amazing and the way that you give people the ancient resources so they can confirm what you teach is accurate is very comforting, such as in the way you tell people where they can verify exactly where you get your quotes from. This episode about Constantine and the aviv barley was awesome (as are all your episodes)! :–)

  • Erin Hunter says:

    I praise YHVH for opening my eyes in humility to seek more understanding on how His Time is to be lived.

    One day it made my mind and heart heavy to see such division on earth, hence, the many calendar’s and stories behind them,.

    I began searching on internet, reading ALL Scripture and I believe YHVH was the Spirit of Truth leading me then and even now…

    I thank HIM for bringing you Nehemiah out to the openness of seeking so many origin based truths.

    I continue to pray with you and all who are here, seek YHVH daily. He lives and brings us, one by one OUT of Egypt/darkness.

    YHVH be praised forever!!!

  • Alan & Kathryn Rowlands says:

    Thank you Nehemia, always refreshing to listen to your thoughtful and thought provoking teachings…
    As Ephraimites we’ve been using ‘counterfeit coinage’ in the past for the sake of being in step with ‘mainstream’ Judah but determined this year to use ‘true coinage’ so this is a very timely teaching for us. We’re looking forward to the results of your abid search and to celebrating this years feasts in time with YHWH’s appointments.
    May you continue to be blessed in your efforts and may you and the rest of the team be kept safe as you go about His work.

  • jimmy fink says:

    Thank You, one of the best explanation I have ever heard. Wish all could understand this teaching. May YHVH bless and keep you and yours.

  • Marlon says:

    That was a whole lot of awesome information. Thanks so much again Nehemia. Yehovah bless you and your team as you search for Aviv in the coming weeks.

  • Leesa says:

    Thank you Nehemia. This was very good. We appreciate all your hard work and research. And, such a beautiful prayer at the end.
    Blessings to you,

  • Bonnie Stever says:

    Thanks Nehemiah for this refreshing report, will pray for safety upon the scouting to see the Aviv!

  • PhillipGeorge(c)2016 says:

    [תְּקוּפָה] noun feminine coming round, circuit; — construct תְּקוּפַת הַשָּׁנָה Exodus 34:22 (JE), adverb, at the circuit (completion) of the year, so הַשָּׁנָה ׳לִת2Chron 24:33; = plural construct לִתְקֻפוֺת הַיָּמִים 1 Samuel 1:20; singular suffix of finished circuit of sun Psalm 19:7 (opposed to מוֺצָאוֺ; compare of moon, בתקופתו Ecclus 43:7).

  • PhillipGeorge(c)2016 says:

    Yes, interesting but you seem to be ignoring the elephant in the room of the sun and the moon “completing” their cycle/ course. ie. the sun and moon passing the ecliptic. So you need three things in position. The moon passing the ecliptic. The barley Aviv and the two witnesses sighting the moon.

    I accept you as a witness of the barley and the new moon, and NASA as the witness of the moon crossing the ecliptic.

    Jews could also celebrate a second Pesach if they were ceremonially unclean – so no-one need be left behind “of the coming rapture” – I suspect from a teleological explanation. Two Pentecosts is implicit.

    A perfect conundrum.

    • I agree with you regarding the importance of not forgetting the stars in the Creator’s calendar. I would expand the understanding of stars to include planets as well because they were known as “wandering stars” in the ancient times. The Third factor of Genesis 1:14-19 -calendar is indeed the stars (or constellation signs) as the text says. But I’ve learned from my personal research and astronomical observations that the stars / constellations (mazzaroth), the Third Factor, have nothing to do with the Creator’s time keeping but they just confirm what time is it. Defining and confirmation are different things. The Sun and the Moon define, but the stars / constellations confirm.

      All in all the stars / constellations are storytellers in the Creator’s calendar. Not a “hand in the clock”. Yehovah named the stars (Psalm 147:4, Isaiah 40:26-28) and set the stars (incl. planets) to be HIS (not man’s astrological signs) Signs together with the Sun and the Moon. The meaning of the ancient God-given Hebrew names of the stars build up the stories of the common constellations of Zodiac (or Mazzaroth in Hebrew) and together they reveal Celestial Story of Redemption of mankind / Messiah, the identity of the Promised Seed of the Woman, and what the Seed will do (Gen 3:15, Rev 12). The same story which was written in the stars by Yehovah is in His Word, the Bible from Bereshit to Sefer Kizayon (Revelation). Check out for more information behind my nickname.

      Shabbat Shalom! 🙂

      • PhillipGeorge©2016 says:

        Thanks. We know that the sun moon and stars are for signs, seasons and appointed times, moedim [plural]. Appointments like on a calendar. Only recently did I understand that for half the year, that any given point on the earth is tilted toward the sun or away from the sun. The turning is the turning toward or away from. The turn, which I believe the scripture refers to, happens at a mathematically precise moment called the equinox. The full complete turn, must involve an equinox or the earth hasn’t fully turned. This sun year is very slightly different, to the star year, due to precision of the earth’s axis.

        For most of my life I have believed the Passover is the first full moon after the equinox. Now, I think it needs the witness of the sun moon and stars, plus the ripe barley [if the thirteenth month has not come and gone already] Regardless of the barley there is never 14 month… Noah on the ark did not get to see Barley ripen presumably. Moses wandering a wilderness did not get to see barley ripen presumably.

        This is the way I think it is. If the sun and moon have crossed the ecliptic then the next new moon is the first of Nissan, and the shofar is blown, unless the barley is still not aviv [when it can be looked for and found that is, and Noah and Moses couldn’t]. If the Barley is not aviv the 13th month is called.

        Barley wouldn’t have been planted in the 49th and 50 years and if the wild barley was all eaten by grazing sheep, the new year would be called without the barley aviv.

        Nehemiah has done the church a great service for his contribution. I believe it is an incomplete contribution.

        One of many important corollaries of the above is that it is impossible to know the days far in advance. It means that worshiping YHWH has an element of spontaneous joy. We will see Him when we see Him. Ponder that.

        • PhillipGeorge(c)2016 says:

          precession / not precision, silly of me [I rarely proof read], accounts for about 20 minutes per year.
          If a day is as a thousand years, psalm 90, then those twenty minutes account for about 2 weeks in prophetic time. So what do we go on, sun time or star time?
          Conundrum. What’s half of one lunar cycle when we have been waiting for 6000 years?
          or 2000 years of twenty minute precessions puts us about 28 days out – or one star sign? from pisces to aquarius – Bullinger might know with his gospel in the stars?
          I shouldn’t speculate too much but, I think, there is a very strong case for the sun completing it’s course, cycle, turning. Genesis one is a very strong case. People observing times, seasons, festivals even, before Moses even declared them is a case from Sinai. Abraham offering to Melchizedek, or Melchizedek, King of Peace, and Moses father in law Jethro being the Priest of Midian – Judgments

          • Well, my purpose was not to begin having theological discussion when the year begins nor to argue about the time keeping but just make information available regarding God-given names of the stars as the Scriptures and the history of the stars names witness.

    • daysofezekiel says:

      This is in reply to PhillipGeorge: I don’t understand the term you used in parens: “of the coming rapture”. I have heard of no such thing. What is it and from what scripture do you get this saying? Thank you for your elucidation.

      • daysofezekiel says:

        Also, PhillipGeorge: 2 Shavuots in a single year? Why would that be? How could that be?

  • Sergio says:

    when we aviv news this year?

  • Robert says:

    Always thought provoking and relying on the Scriptures. Always blessed by your studies.

  • Cyndie Simmons says:

    Thanks for this message Nehemia!
    Waiting and watching with anticipation here to see if we will have a March Pesach … or will it be in April?!? Only יהוה Yehôvâh knows and this could be a very interesting year! Especially if you do find the barley aviv … because it sets the whole Biblical calendar for the year 😀

    Praying protection and happy and blessed times over all who search <3

    Todah Rabah and can't wait to hear what you find 😀

    FREED from the SPIRIT of CONSTANTINE HERE!!! And NO Hillell II here either!

  • Leonard says:

    Thank You for this lesson, refreshing, support for Aviv search on the way in a few days!