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Bible verses about Ben Har Arbayim
(From Forerunner Commentary)

Genesis 15:1-6

Following the "bread and wine" incident of Genesis 14:18, Abraham asks for clarification of his status with God, because earlier, in Genesis 12, God had implied that Abraham's family would be great. After Abraham asks for clarification, God give the promise using an illustration involving stars. In order for Abraham to see stars, this event had to take place at night.

Notice Exodus 12:5-6:

Your [Passover] lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year; you shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats: And you shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening.

This is one of those places where the word "evening" is from the term in Hebrew ben ha arbayim. In modern English it means "twilight" or "dusk." The meaning of this word describes the time that the sun has gone down, but light continues to remain for a period of time. At this time of the year, the light would have lingered very close to about 45 minutes. After that, it would be dark.

Abraham is brought bread and wine by Melchizedek. The next thing we see in Genesis 15 is the mention of "stars"; it is dark. The Passover takes place in that period of dim light before it becomes dark. That is the time that we, in our observance, normally take Passover, just as the sun goes down. That is where the opening of Genesis 15 is time-wise. By the time you see stars, it is dark. We are beginning to see that time is moving in this episode.

When ben ha arbayim takes place, the Abib 13 has ended and Abib 14, Passover day, begins. This is undoubtedly when Melchizedek brought forth the bread and wine. Then came Abraham's vision, when it was dark and the stars were out. It is clearly into Abib 14, because it is dark.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Wavesheaf and the Selfsame Day


 

Genesis 15:4-5

Twilight is clearly past and now—with stars visible—it must be the dark part of Nisan 14. Both John 13:30 and I Corinthians 11:23 confirm the same general time in the events of Christ's final Passover. The daylight portion of the 14th is approaching.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Countdown to Pentecost 2001


 

Leviticus 23:10-11

If we study these passages together, we will see that the waving of the sheaf occurred on the day after the weekly Sabbath that fell during the Days of Unleavened Bread. The Bible does not say, specifically, when the wavesheaf was cut, but it obviously must have happened sometime before it was waved.

We have long understood that Jesus fulfilled the waving of the sheaf at His ascension. However, it has not been emphasized that He also fulfilled the type of the cutting of the wavesheaf upon being resurrected.

During the Second Temple period, when Jesus died, the sheaf was reaped from the field as the Sabbath ended and Sunday began. This is the period of the day called ben ha arbayim. It was the time at dusk when one day was ending and the other was beginning.

We know this from the Mishna (a record of all the services and small observances that the Jews did and the directions for doing them), which says: "Rabbi Hananiah, prefect of the priests, says it [meaning the barley sheaf ] was reaped on the Sabbath. He [that is, the priest] says to them, 'Shall I reap on this Sabbath?' And they [a kind of chorus that had gathered around: the other priests, the Levites, and other spectators] shall say, 'Yes.' "

He repeated this three times. "Shall I reap on this Sabbath?" "Yes!" "Shall I reap on this Sabbath?" "Yes!" "Shall I reap on this Sabbath?" Yes!"

"With this sickle?" "Yes!" "With this sickle?" "Yes!" "With this sickle?" "Yes!"—and so forth. So what we see is that, during Jesus' lifetime, at the end of the Sabbath, at dusk, the priests put the sickle to the grain, as it says in Deuteronomy 16:9.

Now the reaping of the sheaf symbolizes Israel giving the firstfruits, the very best of their produce, to God, and this is exactly the symbolism that Jesus fulfilled (I Corinthians 15:20-23). Christians are also called the firstfruits of God.

So as the weekly Sabbath was ending, exactly seventy-two hours from His burial, God resurrected His Son from the dead. He became the perfect wavesheaf offering that would be waved the next day. He was the first and perfect Firstfruit. In a very real sense, God reaped the best and the first of His spiritual harvest.

One might wonder why this happened on the Sabbath. What is the significance of this being done on the Sabbath? It is the Sabbath that commemorates God as Creator. This same God rested on the seventh day of creation. This is Jesus Christ—the Word of God!

Richard T. Ritenbaugh
Christ's Death, Resurrection, and Ascension


 

 




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