Click to Show/Hide Menu
Small  Medium  Large 

View PDF Version    View Print Version

Frank W. Nelte

Leviticus 2:14


And if thou offer a meat offering of thy firstfruits unto the LORD, thou shalt offer for the meat offering of thy firstfruits GREEN EARS of corn dried by the fire, even corn beaten out of full ears.” (Leviticus 2:14 AV)

The words "green ears" are a translation of the Hebrew noun "abib", which is used eight times in the Old Testament. Of those eight occurrences, it is in the KJV rendered as "Abib" six times, once as "in the ear", and once as "GREEN EARS of corn" here in Leviticus 2:14.


By attaching the meaning of "GREEN ears of corn" to this noun "abib", it is implied that "abib" refers to YOUNG or IMMATURE ears of corn (grain). This has enabled the Jews to place the start of the first month (previously called "Abib" and since Ezra's time known as "Nisan") VERY EARLY in the seasonal cycle, in fact frequently even before the end of winter. It is asserted that as long as SOME "GREEN ears of barley" can be found by the 15th of Nisan, then it is acceptable for that previous new moon to have started the month of Nisan. And so some Jewish "specialists", like the Karaites, go and look for those early "GREEN ears" to determine when they should start their year.

In fact Hillel II used this reasoning to start the year as early as the 4th of March (Julian) in 360. All he supposedly needed was some "GREEN ears". Even today the Jewish calendar still repeatedly starts some years in the winter, before March 21st.


It is well-known that the Jewish month "Abib" (today called "Nisan") sometimes starts as late as April 10, with Nisan 15 (the First Day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread) being as late as April 24, as will be the case in 2005. So IF "green ears" are supposedly such a vital criterion, and if they are in other years supposedly available in the latter part of March, THEN for years like 2005 "green ears" are apparently not all that important, if Nisan 15 can be as late as April 24?

The point is that "abib" really means "EARS OF GRAIN", and NOT "GREEN ears of grain"! The characteristic "green" (meaning "young" or "immature") does not enter the meaning of "abib" at all!

The Bible itself explains the correct meaning of the word "abib". Of the eight times this word "abib" is used in the Old Testament, in six cases it refers to the name of the first month. This does not provide us with any clues as to what this word means. That leaves only two other places where the word "abib" is used to help us establish the meaning of this word. Those two places are Leviticus 2:14 and Exodus 9:31.

So now let's examine Leviticus 2:14 more closely.

And if thou offer a meat offering of thy firstfruits unto the LORD, thou shalt offer for the meat offering of thy firstfruits green ears of corn DRIED BY THE FIRE, even CORN BEATEN OUT OF FULL EARS. (Leviticus 2:14 AV)

So notice how this "abib" corn is described by God.

1) This is speaking about MATURE corn (grain) that has not only been dried in the fields after reaping, but it has also been "DRIED BY THE FIRE". The purpose of drying (or parching) by the fire was to be able to preserve this grain for a long time. This is speaking about mature grain.

2) This is speaking about grain that has been beaten "OUT OF FULL EARS", again a very clear reference to MATURE GRAIN!

Now of all eight occurrences of the word "abib", Leviticus 2:14 is THE ONLY PLACE WHERE GOD HIMSELF SPELLS OUT THE MEANING OF "ABIB"!

In this verse God is explaining "the meat offering", meaning "the grain offering", that Israelites could offer to God through the Levitical priesthood. The whole of Leviticus chapter 2 describes this offering. And it was to be an offering consisting of MATURE GRAIN which had been reaped from mature plants and then dried. And God himself here called such grain "ABIB"! There is nothing anywhere in this discussion of the "grain offering" that justifies inferring "green (i.e. immature) plants".

Every expert of the Hebrew language who simply asserts that "abib" means "GREEN ears" is arguing with God Almighty Himself, who in Leviticus 2:14 clearly spells out that "abib grain" comes from full, mature ears of grain which have then been dried by the fire.

The other place where "abib" is used is Exodus 9:31.

And the flax and the barley was smitten: for THE BARLEY WAS IN THE EAR, and the flax was bolled. (Exodus 9:31 AV)

 The expression "the barley (was) in the ear" simply says "the barley (was) abib". This was during the seventh plague in Egypt. It was well into spring, and the flax and the barley were destroyed by the hail because they were ripe. The next verse shows that the wheat and the rye were not yet mature and therefore they were not destroyed by the hail.

The translation here of "abib" as "IN THE EAR" is a totally unjustified rendering. According to God Himself in Leviticus 2:14 the expression "barley abib" means nothing other than that "the barley was RIPE" and ready for harvesting.

The expression "corn DRIED ("qalah") by the fire" in Leviticus 2:14 is also made clear in Joshua 5:11, which translates the same verb "qalah" as "parched". Notice the description.

And they did eat of THE OLD CORN of the land on the morrow after the passover, unleavened cakes, and PARCHED ("qalah") CORN in the selfsame day. (Joshua 5:11 AV)

This verse is speaking about "OLD grain" from the previous year's harvest. And this OLD grain is also referred to as "dried" or "parched". So God's description of "abib grain" in Leviticus 2:14 makes clear that this means the type of grain that has been dried for the purpose of keeping over for a long time. That is only done with MATURE grain.


The idea that "abib" means "immature ears of grain" comes from the Jewish religious leaders (the tannaim) who desired to justify why they started the first month even before the end of winter. Every scholar of Hebrew has accepted this deception, and so every dictionary you can consult will present the pharisaical definition of "abib" as "green ears of grain". But in so doing they will all be contradicting what God Himself said in Leviticus 2:14.


And if thou offer a meat offering of thy firstfruits unto the LORD, thou shalt offer for the meat offering of thy firstfruits (mature) EARS of corn dried by the fire, even corn beaten out of full ears.” (Leviticus 2:14 AV)


The month that was initially called "Abib" refers to the time of the year when THE WHOLE HARVEST OF BARLEY should be RIPE, and not only "green". This means that this first month can NEVER start in the winter, because the barley harvest will not be mature in time for the commanded offering of the wave sheaf (see Leviticus 23:10-11).


This is one more example of where Jewish religious leaders changed the meaning of a Hebrew word in order to justify their unbiblical traditions. Abib really means "ears of barley" and NOT "green ears of barley", even though every possible reference book you may find states otherwise. Leviticus 2:14 gives us God's definition of "abib".

Frank W. Nelte