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Barley is a grain that has been cultivated for human and animal consumption since the very earliest times. Barley bread was one of the staple foods of the Israelites, and it was used in one of the most famous miracles of Jesus Christ (see below and in photograph). The grain itself is widely mentioned through The Bible -


  • "The flax and barley were destroyed, since the barley had headed and the flax was in bloom. The wheat and spelt, however, were not destroyed, because they ripen later. Then Moses left Pharaoh and went out of the city. He spread out his hands toward The Lord; the thunder and hail stopped, and the rain no longer poured down on the land." (Exodus 9:31-33)

  • "For The Lord your God [see Rock Of Ages] is bringing you into a good land - a land with streams and pools of water, with springs flowing in the valleys and hills; a land with wheat and barley, vines and Fig Trees, pomegranates, olive oil [see The Olive Tree] and honey;" (Deuteronomy 8:7-8)

  • "The Lord said to Moses, "Speak to the Israelites and say to them: 'When you enter the land I am going to give you and you reap its harvest, bring to the priest a sheaf of the first grain you harvest [see Pentecost]. He is to wave the sheaf before The Lord so it will be accepted on your behalf; the priest is to wave it on the day after the Sabbath." (Leviticus 23:9-11)

  • "When Ruth came to her mother-in-law, Naomi asked, "How did it go, my daughter?" Then she told her everything Boaz had done for her and added, "He gave me these six measures of barley, saying, 'Don't go back to your mother-in-law empty-handed.'" (Ruth 3:16-17)

  • "Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small Fish [similar to those shown in the photograph], but how far will they go among so many?" Jesus said, "Have the people sit down." There was plenty of grass in that place, and the men sat down, about five thousand of them. Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish. When they had all had enough to eat, He said to His disciples, "Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted." So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten. After the people saw the miraculous sign that Jesus did, they began to say, "Surely this is the Prophet who is to come into the world." (John 6:9-14) (see also The Miracles Of Jesus Christ)

  • "When The Lamb opened the third seal [see The Seven Seals], I heard the third living creature say, "Come!" I looked, and there before me was a black horse! Its rider was holding a pair of scales in his hand. Then I heard what sounded like a voice among the four living creatures, saying, "A quart of wheat for a day's wages, and three quarts of barley for a day's wages, and do not damage the oil and the wine!" (Revelation 6:5-6)

Fact Finder: Was the miracle of the loaves and fishes done on two separate occasions?
Matthew 15:32-38 (7 loaves to feed 4,000 people)
John 6:9-14 (5 loaves to feed 5,000 people)

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