Barley

is one of the most important of the cereal grains, and the most hardy of them all. It was grown by the Hebrews, (Leviticus 27:16; 8:8; Ruth 2:17) etc., who used it for baking into bread chiefly among the poor, (Judges 7:13; 2 Kings 4:42; John 6:9,13) and as fodder for horses. (1 Kings 4:28) The barley harvest, (Ruth 1:22; 2:23; 2 Samuel 21:9;10) takes place in Palestine in March and April, and in the hilly district as late as May. It always precedes the wheat harvest, in some places by a week, in others by fully three weeks. In Egypt the barley is about a month earlier than the wheat; whence its total destruction by the hail storm. (Exodus 9:31)