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Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible
BARLEY ( se‘Ã´rÃ¢h ). As in ancient times, so to-day barley (Arab. [Note: Arabic.] sha‘ir ) is the most plentiful cereal of Palestine. It is the chief food of horses ( 1 Kings 4:28 ), mules, and donkeys, oats being practically unknown. It is still used by the poor for making bread ( Judges 7:13 , John 6:9; John 6:13 etc.) in the villages, but not in the cities. Barley was the special ritual offering for jealousy ( Numbers 5:16 ). The barley harvest ( Ruth 1:22 ) precedes that of wheat: it begins around Jericho as early as March, and in Jerusalem and the neighbourhood at the end of May.
E. W. G. Masterman.
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Hastings, James. Entry for 'Barley'. Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/hdb/b/barley.html. 1909.