Barley is one of the most important of the cereal grains, and the most hardy of them all. It was grown by the Hebrews, Lev. 27:16; Deut. 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 Sam. 21:9, 10, takes place in Palestine in March and April, and in the hilly districts 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. Ex. 9:31.