Saturday, December 21, 2013

Homesteading by Torah

Gardening and raising animals is a learning process all in itself.  There are classes, books, websites, calendars, tools and remedies.  Of course, for our family, we also want to do it in accordance with the scriptures as much as we possibly can.

Relearning what has been disregarded or forgotten is time consuming and sometimes difficult to wrap our minds around.  Of course, in my research I encountered so many opinions.

The opinions of atheists and non christians on this topic was of course expected and easy for me to understand and continue on my way.  Much harder for me to understand was how many 'bible believers' were stating openly 'it isn't practical so ignore it,' 'science shows that isn't the best way so ignore it,' 'no body follows those old laws so ignore it.'  How sad.....


I will tell ANYONE who will listen.

If you do not follow the LAWS of YHWH, you can not claim the PROMISES of YHWH.

I strongly encourage you to read Deuteronomy 11 and Leviticus 26.  Note the punishments and look at our history.  Note the promises and see if you want, yearn for, and desire those promises for you and your children and your children's children.  I know I do.


If you also want to garden and raise animals, or farm or homestead according to the Word of YHWH, then together we can go over the scriptures that pertain to our life on the land that YHWH has given to each of us.


DO NOT MIX ANIMALS OR SEED

Leviticus 19:19
"You shall keep My statutes. You shall not let your livestock breed with another kind. You shall not sow your field with mixed seed. Nor shall a garment of mixed linen and wool come upon you."

Deuteronomy 22:9
 “You shall not sow your vineyard with different kinds of seed, lest the yield of the seed which you have sown and the fruit of your vineyard be defiled."

We learn here that we cannot cross breed our animals or mix our seeds.  At first glance you might think that the bible is telling you not to breed your beautiful jersey heifer with the neighbors swiss bull, or that you cannot plant your kitchen garden in one convenient box out in your backyard.

But I believe that Deuteronomy 22:9 brings some clarity to this issues, which the rest of scriptures would support strongly.  "the fruit of your vineyard be defiled...."  When you breed a donkey and a horse, you get a mule.  A mule is sterile.  The FRUIT is sterile, futile, useless and .... defiled.  When you plant two different types of corn together, they will cross pollinate and grow corn (fruit) that you can consume, but it will be a hybrid and it will be sterile also.

So I believe that we are to take care to not breed our animals in a ways that produces sterility.  We also must take care to plant our gardens with pure heirloom seeds, seeds that are not cross pollinated and tampered with.  We must also plan carefully and plant certain seeds far enough apart so that they do not cross pollinate in your own garden.  Both hybrid seed and cross pollinated plants will produce fruit, but they will be sterile and, I believe the scripture is saying, this makes them defiled.



DO NOT EAT TREES FRUIT FOR 3 YEARS

Leviticus 19:23-25
23 ‘When you come into the land, and have planted all kinds of trees for food, then you shall count their fruit as uncircumcised. Three years it shall be as uncircumcised to you. It shall not be eaten. 24 But in the fourth year all its fruit shall be holy, a praise to the Lord. 25 And in the fifth year you may eat its fruit, that it may yield to you its increase: I am the Lord your God.

Trees that were planted before you arrived on your land are not included in this law, only trees that you plant.  It is easy enough to track when you planted a tree and count its years.  For the first three years we do not eat the fruit that grows on the trees.  In the fourth year the word says the fruit is holy and should be given as praise to YHWH.  Personally I don't know what this might mean.  I believe I saw a commentary that suggested this meant for the fruit of the fourth year to be donated to the temple for the priests to consume, as a gift.  As I have no temple or priests on earth, I believe I will collect it and donate it to others that can enjoy it.



DO NOT HARVEST EVERYTHING

Leviticus 19:9-10
9 ‘When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not wholly reap the corners of your field, nor shall you gather the gleanings of your harvest. 10 And you shall not glean your vineyard, nor shall you gather every grape of your vineyard; you shall leave them for the poor and the stranger: I am the Lord your God.

Deuteronomy 24:19-22
19 “When you reap your harvest in your field, and forget a sheaf in the field, you shall not go back to get it; it shall be for the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hands. 20 When you beat your olive trees, you shall not go over the boughs again; it shall be for the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow. 21 When you gather the grapes of your vineyard, you shall not glean it afterward; it shall be for the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow. 22 And you shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt; therefore I command you to do this thing.

This was YHWH's providence for people who did not own their own fields.  You could easily set up a FREE VEGGIES booth at your driveway or donate some food to local charities since most people would be afraid to go gleaning their neighbors veggie gardens without express permission now.  I have also connected with people through Facebook and Freecycle who let it be know when they have too much zucchini or their combine dropped a bunch of corn in the field.



CARE FOR YOUR ANIMAL

Proverbs 12:10
A righteous man has regard for the life of his animal.

1 Timothy 5:8
But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.

You MUST care for your animal.  You must feed it, shelter it, and you must attempt to keep it healthy.  It is YOUR responsibility.



TAKE CARE OF ALL ANIMALS IN DISTRESS

Exodus 23:4-5
4 “If you meet your enemy’s ox or his donkey going astray, you shall surely bring it back to him again. 5 If you see the donkey of one who hates you lying under its burden, and you would refrain from helping it, you shall surely help him with it.

Deuteronomy 22:4
4 “You shall not see your brother’s donkey or his ox fall down along the road, and hide yourself from them; you shall surely help him lift them up again.

If you see an animal in distress, lost, injured, fallen, ill.... the word says we must try to help it.  You may note that it doesn't say run to the authorities and turn the owners in for cruelty, or hog tie them, or bad mouth them all over town.  I believe our society has fallen from the words beautiful standard of HELPING our fellow man and now we often judge and criticize while watching the show.  If your neighbor;s dog sleeps outside all winter and doesn't have a house, maybe instead of hating your neighbor and thinking you are better than him, you could help him out by finding a rainproof dog house.  Maybe your neighbor simply didn't think about it or quite likely couldn't afford one.


no way i'm googling that!

DO NOT HAVE SEX WITH ANIMALS

Leviticus 18:23
23 Nor shall you mate with any animal, to defile yourself with it. Nor shall any woman stand before an animal to mate with it. It is perversion.

For many this would seem too obvious.  Much like you are not to interbreed animals, which will produce defile fruit, you must not interbreed yourself with animals, which would not produce pure fruit either.  This would also go against the prohibition to not commit adultery.  The farm animal is not your spouse and you should not be making one flesh with it.  And personally, I think this would be considered animal abuse.  But unfortunately some must engage in these behaviors, and many, even today consider it a joking matter.  The bible says it is perversion.


EAT ONLY CLEAN ANIMALS

Exodus 22:31
31 “And you shall be holy men to Me: you shall not eat meat torn by beasts in the field; you shall throw it to the dogs.

Leviticus 11:1-23
11 Now the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying to them, 2 “Speak to the children of Israel, saying, ‘These are the animals which you may eat among all the animals that are on the earth: 3 Among the animals, whatever divides the hoof, having cloven hooves and chewing the cud—that you may eat. 4 Nevertheless these you shall not eat among those that chew the cud or those that have cloven hooves: the camel, because it chews the cud but does not have cloven hooves, is unclean to you; 5 the rock hyrax, because it chews the cud but does not have cloven hooves, is unclean to you; 6 the hare, because it chews the cud but does not have cloven hooves, is unclean to you; 7 and the swine, though it divides the hoof, having cloven hooves, yet does not chew the cud, is unclean to you. 8 Their flesh you shall not eat, and their carcasses you shall not touch. They are unclean to you.
9 ‘These you may eat of all that are in the water: whatever in the water has fins and scales, whether in the seas or in the rivers—that you may eat. 10 But all in the seas or in the rivers that do not have fins and scales, all that move in the water or any living thing which is in the water, they are an abomination to you. 11 They shall be an abomination to you; you shall not eat their flesh, but you shall regard their carcasses as an abomination. 12 Whatever in the water does not have fins or scales—that shall be an abomination to you.
13 ‘And these you shall regard as an abomination among the birds; they shall not be eaten, they are an abomination: the eagle, the vulture, the buzzard, 14 the kite, and the falcon after its kind; 15 every raven after its kind, 16 the ostrich, the short-eared owl, the sea gull, and the hawk after its kind; 17 the little owl, the fisher owl, and the screech owl; 18 the white owl, the jackdaw, and the carrion vulture; 19 the stork, the heron after its kind, the hoopoe, and the bat.
20 ‘All flying insects that creep on all fours shall be an abomination to you. 21 Yet these you may eat of every flying insect that creeps on all fours: those which have jointed legs above their feet with which to leap on the earth. 22 These you may eat: the locust after its kind, the destroying locust after its kind, the cricket after its kind, and the grasshopper after its kind. 23 But all other flying insects which have four feet shall be an abomination to you.

Leviticus 11:41-44
41 ‘And every creeping thing that creeps on the earth shall be an abomination. It shall not be eaten. 42 Whatever crawls on its belly, whatever goes on all fours, or whatever has many feet among all creeping things that creep on the earth—these you shall not eat, for they are an abomination. 43 You shall not make yourselves abominable with any creeping thing that creeps; nor shall you make yourselves unclean with them, lest you be defiled by them. 44 For I am the Lord your God. You shall therefore consecrate yourselves, and you shall be holy; for I am holy. Neither shall you defile yourselves with any creeping thing that creeps on the earth.

Leviticus 17:15-16
15 “And every person who eats what died naturally or what was torn by beasts, whether he is a native of your own country or a stranger, he shall both wash his clothes and bathe in water, and be unclean until evening. Then he shall be clean. 16 But if he does not wash them or bathe his body, then he shall bear his guilt.”

Deuteronomy 14:3-21
3“You shall not eat any detestable thing. 4 These are the animals which you may eat: the ox, the sheep, the goat, 5 the deer, the gazelle, the roe deer, the wild goat, the mountain goat,[a] the antelope, and the mountain sheep. 6 And you may eat every animal with cloven hooves, having the hoof split into two parts, and that chews the cud, among the animals. 7 Nevertheless, of those that chew the cud or have cloven hooves, you shall not eat, such as these: the camel, the hare, and the rock hyrax; for they chew the cud but do not have cloven hooves; they are unclean for you. 8 Also the swine is unclean for you, because it has cloven hooves, yet does not chew the cud; you shall not eat their flesh or touch their dead carcasses.
9 “These you may eat of all that are in the waters: you may eat all that have fins and scales. 10 And whatever does not have fins and scales you shall not eat; it is unclean for you.
11 “All clean birds you may eat. 12 But these you shall not eat: the eagle, the vulture, the buzzard, 13 the red kite, the falcon, and the kite after their kinds; 14 every raven after its kind; 15 the ostrich, the short-eared owl, the sea gull, and the hawk after their kinds; 16 the little owl, the screech owl, the white owl, 17 the jackdaw, the carrion vulture, the fisher owl, 18 the stork, the heron after its kind, and the hoopoe and the bat.
19 “Also every creeping thing that flies is unclean for you; they shall not be eaten.
20 “You may eat all clean birds.
21 “You shall not eat anything that dies of itself; you may give it to the alien who is within your gates, that he may eat it, or you may sell it to a foreigner; for you are a holy people to the Lord your God.
“You shall not boil a young goat in its mother’s milk.

When you become convicted to eat 'clean' in accordance with scripture, you will find that it is at once simple and difficult at the same time.  I encourage you to read the bible scripture carefully for yourself as many 'clean/unclean' lists do NOT conform to the bible.  For example, many claim that duck is unclean.  However the scriptures state quite clearly a list of birds you are not to eat and duck is not on that list at all.  You will likely find that many animals on the unclean list are among the animals you would not have considered eating in the first place.

You will also discover that MANY processed foods have ingredients derived from unclean animals in them.  Jello, is made with gelatin, which is now most usually derived from horse and pig hooves.  It can also be made with beef or vegetable gelatin, but most commonly is not.  Many chinese sauces contain ingredients from oysters and shrimp.  Many baked goods are flavored with a cheaper vanilla hat is extracted from the anal gland of a beaver.  Many vaccines contain extracts from monkeys, pigs and aborted babies.

As you begin, recognize it will not be an overnight process.  As you study more, and if like my home you are becoming more self sufficient, you will learn ways to avoid these unclean products.  Lean on the grace of Yashua when you discover that you may have been partaking in some nasty things, albeit unknowingly.



BLEED OUT THE ANIMALS WHEN BUTCHERING MEAT

Leviticus 7:26
26 Moreover you shall not eat any blood in any of your dwellings, whether of bird or beast.

Leviticus 17:13-14
13 “Whatever man of the children of Israel, or of the strangers who dwell among you, who hunts and catches any animal or bird that may be eaten, he shall pour out its blood and cover it with dust; 14 for it is the life of all flesh. Its blood sustains its life. Therefore I said to the children of Israel, ‘You shall not eat the blood of any flesh, for the life of all flesh is its blood. Whoever eats it shall be cut off.’

Deuteronomy 12:15-28
15 “However, you may slaughter and eat meat within all your gates, whatever your heart desires, according to the blessing of the Lord your God which He has given you; the unclean and the clean may eat of it, of the gazelle and the deer alike. 16 Only you shall not eat the blood; you shall pour it on the earth like water. 17 You may not eat within your gates the tithe of your grain or your new wine or your oil, of the firstborn of your herd or your flock, of any of your offerings which you vow, of your freewill offerings, or of the heave offering of your hand. 18 But you must eat them before the Lord your God in the place which the Lord your God chooses, you and your son and your daughter, your male servant and your female servant, and the Levite who is within your gates; and you shall rejoice before the Lord your God in all to which you put your hands. 19 Take heed to yourself that you do not forsake the Levite as long as you live in your land.
20 “When the Lord your God enlarges your border as He has promised you, and you say, ‘Let me eat meat,’ because you long to eat meat, you may eat as much meat as your heart desires. 21 If the place where the Lord your God chooses to put His name is too far from you, then you may slaughter from your herd and from your flock which the Lord has given you, just as I have commanded you, and you may eat within your gates as much as your heart desires. 22 Just as the gazelle and the deer are eaten, so you may eat them; the unclean and the clean alike may eat them. 23 Only be sure that you do not eat the blood, for the blood is the life; you may not eat the life with the meat. 24 You shall not eat it; you shall pour it on the earth like water. 25 You shall not eat it, that it may go well with you and your children after you, when you do what is right in the sight of the Lord. 26 Only the holy things which you have, and your vowed offerings, you shall take and go to the place which the Lord chooses. 27 And you shall offer your burnt offerings, the meat and the blood, on the altar of the Lord your God; and the blood of your sacrifices shall be poured out on the altar of the Lord your God, and you shall eat the meat. 28 Observe and obey all these words which I command you, that it may go well with you and your children after you forever, when you do what is good and right in the sight of the Lord your God.

For many, butchering our own meat is daunting and even disturbing.  I believe the bible clearly tells us to partake of meat and that our bodies require nutrients only gained in sufficient quantity from meats.  Learning more about the mass market meat production will confirm for anyone there has to be a better way.  Many of these animals are bred and live in terribly cramped, filthy, and sometimes cruel conditions.  The slaughter is proceeded by cruel handling and questionable health choices.  Numerous times each year we hear of food recalls due to tainted meat.

Now we recognize that this is not entirely caused by non biblical slaughter.  But it is caused by people as a whole removing themselves from something that should have remained personal and, I think, sacred to each individual.  If you are going to eat meat, you should raise meat.  You should choose an animal, care for it, know it.  And when the time comes, gently gather it, caress it, pray with it, and then, pour its blood back into the dirt as YHWH tells us to.  It is not cruel.  My chickens, ducks, turkeys and goats got to roam freely, eat grass and seed, see the sun, feel the wind, everyday of their lives.  And when we were able we had a calm quiet moment with them before we ended their lives quickly and cleanly.  It is with deepest respect that we eat an animal.




DEAD BODIES ARE UNCLEAN

Leviticus 11:24-40
24 ‘By these you shall become unclean; whoever touches the carcass of any of them shall be unclean until evening; 25 whoever carries part of the carcass of any of them shall wash his clothes and be unclean until evening: 26 The carcass of any animal which divides the foot, but is not cloven-hoofed or does not chew the cud, is unclean to you. Everyone who touches it shall be unclean. 27 And whatever goes on its paws, among all kinds of animals that go on all fours, those are unclean to you. Whoever touches any such carcass shall be unclean until evening. 28 Whoever carries any such carcass shall wash his clothes and be unclean until evening. It is unclean to you.
29 ‘These also shall be unclean to you among the creeping things that creep on the earth: the mole, the mouse, and the large lizard after its kind; 30 the gecko, the monitor lizard, the sand reptile, the sand lizard, and the chameleon. 31 These are unclean to you among all that creep. Whoever touches them when they are dead shall be unclean until evening. 32 Anything on which any of them falls, when they are dead shall be unclean, whether it is any item of wood or clothing or skin or sack, whatever item it is, in which any work is done, it must be put in water. And it shall be unclean until evening; then it shall be clean. 33 Any earthen vessel into which any of them falls you shall break; and whatever is in it shall be unclean: 34 in such a vessel, any edible food upon which water falls becomes unclean, and any drink that may be drunk from it becomes unclean. 35 And everything on which a part of any such carcass falls shall be unclean; whether it is an oven or cooking stove, it shall be broken down; for they are unclean, and shall be unclean to you. 36 Nevertheless a spring or a cistern, in which there is plenty of water, shall be clean, but whatever touches any such carcass becomes unclean. 37 And if a part of any such carcass falls on any planting seed which is to be sown, it remains clean. 38 But if water is put on the seed, and if a part of any such carcass falls on it, it becomes unclean to you.
39 ‘And if any animal which you may eat dies, he who touches its carcass shall be unclean until evening. 40 He who eats of its carcass shall wash his clothes and be unclean until evening. He also who carries its carcass shall wash his clothes and be unclean until evening.

It is just a fact of farm-life that you will HAVE to touch dead carcasses.  If you have animals, even animals you have no intention of eating, you will encounter death.  According to the word any dead body, human or animal, is unclean.  Dead bodies also contaminate other objects that they touch.  Today we know that germs can be passed easily by touch and it makes sense that if I am butchering ducks, the utensils and tables and dishes I use will be contaminated and must be washed.  I also must wash my own hands, clothes, perhaps whole body depending on how messy the whole process got.



TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR OTHER'S SAFETY AND YOUR PROPERTY

Exodus 21:28-35
28 “If an ox gores a man or a woman to death, then the ox shall surely be stoned, and its flesh shall not be eaten; but the owner of the ox shall be acquitted. 29 But if the ox tended to thrust with its horn in times past, and it has been made known to his owner, and he has not kept it confined, so that it has killed a man or a woman, the ox shall be stoned and its owner also shall be put to death. 30 If there is imposed on him a sum of money, then he shall pay to redeem his life, whatever is imposed on him. 31 Whether it has gored a son or gored a daughter, according to this judgment it shall be done to him. 32 If the ox gores a male or female servant, he shall give to their master thirty shekels of silver, and the ox shall be stoned.
33 “And if a man opens a pit, or if a man digs a pit and does not cover it, and an ox or a donkey falls in it, 34 the owner of the pit shall make it good; he shall give money to their owner, but the dead animal shall be his.
35 “If one man’s ox hurts another’s, so that it dies, then they shall sell the live ox and divide the money from it; and the dead ox they shall also divide. 36 Or if it was known that the ox tended to thrust in time past, and its owner has not kept it confined, he shall surely pay ox for ox, and the dead animal shall be his own.

Exodus 22:1-15
22 “If a man steals an ox or a sheep, and slaughters it or sells it, he shall restore five oxen for an ox and four sheep for a sheep. 2 If the thief is found breaking in, and he is struck so that he dies, there shall be no guilt for his bloodshed. 3 If the sun has risen on him, there shall be guilt for his bloodshed. He should make full restitution; if he has nothing, then he shall be sold for his theft. 4 If the theft is certainly found alive in his hand, whether it is an ox or donkey or sheep, he shall restore double.
5 “If a man causes a field or vineyard to be grazed, and lets loose his animal, and it feeds in another man’s field, he shall make restitution from the best of his own field and the best of his own vineyard.
6 “If fire breaks out and catches in thorns, so that stacked grain, standing grain, or the field is consumed, he who kindled the fire shall surely make restitution.
7 “If a man delivers to his neighbor money or articles to keep, and it is stolen out of the man’s house, if the thief is found, he shall pay double. 8 If the thief is not found, then the master of the house shall be brought to the judges to see whether he has put his hand into his neighbor’s goods.
9 “For any kind of trespass, whether it concerns an ox, a donkey, a sheep, or clothing, or for any kind of lost thing which another claims to be his, the cause of both parties shall come before the judges; and whomever the judges condemn shall pay double to his neighbor. 10 If a man delivers to his neighbor a donkey, an ox, a sheep, or any animal to keep, and it dies, is hurt, or driven away, no one seeing it, 11 then an oath of the Lord shall be between them both, that he has not put his hand into his neighbor’s goods; and the owner of it shall accept that, and he shall not make it good. 12 But if, in fact, it is stolen from him, he shall make restitution to the owner of it. 13 If it is torn to pieces by a beast, then he shall bring it as evidence, and he shall not make good what was torn.
14 “And if a man borrows anything from his neighbor, and it becomes injured or dies, the owner of it not being with it, he shall surely make it good. 15 If its owner was with it, he shall not make it good; if it was hired, it came for its hire.

We must each take care that our property and our animals are not harming others.  If we have a dog that is killing our neighbors chickens, we MUST take responsibility.  We MUST compensate the neighbor for the chickens lost, and we MUST make sure the dog doesn't do it again.  If we are felling trees and take out our neighbors fence, we MUST make it right.  If we are pouring toxic waste on our property and it gets onto our neighbors property we MUST fix it and take responsibility for ALL DAMAGES caused by our actions.

Wouldn't the world be a better place if we followed the laws of YHWH???  Erin Brokovich would agree, I think.



DO NOT YOKE UNEQUAL ANIMALS

Deuteronomy 22:10
"You shall not plow with an ox and a donkey together."

I am told this is actually protective of the animals, because being yoked to a stronger animal is very hard on a weaker, and aggravating to the stronger.  Remember that we too are told to not yoke ourselves, in marriage, unequally.



YOUR MAJOR HARVEST SHOULD BE COMPLETE BY THE FEAST OF TABERNACLES

Deuteronomy 16:13-15
13 “You shall observe the Feast of Tabernacles seven days, when you have gathered from your threshing floor and from your winepress. 14 And you shall rejoice in your feast, you and your son and your daughter, your male servant and your female servant and the Levite, the stranger and the fatherless and the widow, who are within your gates. 15 Seven days you shall keep a sacred feast to the Lord your God in the place which the Lord chooses, because the Lord your God will bless you in all your produce and in all the work of your hands, so that you surely rejoice.

The Feast of Tabernacles is like a harvest festival.  We gather in our harvest, wave our best stuff in the air in celebration and thanks to YHWH, party for 8 days under the night sky, hang out in our temporary dwellings, and relax having the bulk of our years work.


DO NOT MUZZLE YOUR WORKING ANIMALS

Deuteronomy 25:4
4 “You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain.

I read that our working animals should not be treated cruelly and should be allowed to find what joy they can nibble while working.  Personally, I feel I can breathe easier imagining having that muzzle removed.  Ahhhhh...


DO NOT PLANT TREES TO WORSHIP
Deuteronomy 16:21
21 “You shall not plant for yourself any tree, as a wooden image, near the altar which you build for yourself to the Lord your God.

Throughout history we know that MANY have fallen to worshiping creation instead of the creator.  All of creation itself testifies that their is a great and amazing God, but many find worshiping trees, the moon, something seen and tangible to be easier.  Make sure that you till, plant, weed, and harvest in supplication and thanksgiving to YHWH, the giver of all good gifts.



OBSERVE A SEVENTH YEAR SABBATH (for our homestead this will begin Nissan 1, Mar 28, 2017)

Exodus 23:10-11
10 “Six years you shall sow your land and gather in its produce, 11 but the seventh year you shall let it rest and lie fallow, that the poor of your people may eat; and what they leave, the beasts of the field may eat. In like manner you shall do with your vineyard and your olive grove.

Leviticus 25:1-7
25 The Lord said to Moses at Mount Sinai, 2 “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘When you enter the land I am going to give you, the land itself must observe a sabbath to the Lord. 3 For six years sow your fields, and for six years prune your vineyards and gather their crops. 4 But in the seventh year the land is to have a year of sabbath rest, a sabbath to the Lord. Do not sow your fields or prune your vineyards. 5 Do not reap what grows of itself or harvest the grapes of your untended vines. The land is to have a year of rest. 6 Whatever the land yields during the sabbath year will be food for you—for yourself, your male and female servants, and the hired worker and temporary resident who live among you, 7 as well as for your livestock and the wild animals in your land. Whatever the land produces may be eaten.

Many gardeners and farmers know the value of leaving a field fallow now and then.  The land NEEDS to rest.  We find that in Leviticus 26:34-35 YHWH shares the consequence of NOT letting your land rest at the appointed time. "Then the land will enjoy its sabbaths all the days of the desolation, while you are in your enemies' land; then the land will rest and enjoy its sabbaths. 35All the days of its desolation it will observe the rest which it did not observe on your sabbaths, while you were living on it."  The land will rest and be better for it.




OBSERVE THE JUBILEE YEAR

Leviticus 25:8-12
8 “‘Count off seven sabbath years—seven times seven years—so that the seven sabbath years amount to a period of forty-nine years. 9 Then have the trumpet sounded everywhere on the tenth day of the seventh month; on the Day of Atonement sound the trumpet throughout your land. 10 Consecrate the fiftieth year and proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you; each of you is to return to your family property and to your own clan. 11 The fiftieth year shall be a jubilee for you; do not sow and do not reap what grows of itself or harvest the untended vines. 12 For it is a jubilee and is to be holy for you; eat only what is taken directly from the fields.

This is like the sabbath year, but with MORE.  All debts are released, all property is returned to original owners, and again, we are not to plant our fields.  The Jubilee year has not been observed in... many lifetimes to my knowledge.  And unfortunately so much time has passed since the Jubilee was observed that Jews themselves do not know when it is supposed to be.  Some felt that 50 years to the creation of their renewed nation state would be an appropriate time.  Some felt that 50 years from their winning of the 1967 war would be appropriate.  Both dates seem to hold spiritual significance.  Nearly every year since 2000 has had proponants for it's observance.  One thing is clear....

The Jubilee is desired.

As individuals it is difficult to observe the Jubilee truly.  I am sure that if we chose a 50 year mark we would not be forgotten by YHWH if we chose not to plant our fields that year, in honor of His command.  And forgiveness of debtors against us is of course highly encouraged for every man of God.  For now.... understanding the beautiful promise that is held in the Jubilee year and looking forward to our TRUE and FOREVER JUBILEE.... will be enough.

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These are all the scriptures that I could find that directly pertain to gardening, farming, animal husbandry, or life on the homestead.  If you know of any that I missed PLEASE share them.

5 comments:

  1. How far apart do you have to plant to avoid cross pollination. - http://howtosaveseeds.com/isolate.php

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  2. My father pointed out a scripture that I missed in this study from Isaiah 28. Isaiah 28:25 discusses the tradition of the plowmen, guided by YHWH planting their fields and BORDERING their fields with Spelt. THANKS Dad for the addition. :)

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