Sheaf is the rendering in the A.V. of the following words in the original:
1. אֲלֻמּה, alummah, prop. a bundle ("sheaf," Ge 27:7; Ps 19:6);
2. עָמַיר, amir, prop. a handful (as rendered in Jer 9:22); hence a sheaf (Am 2:13; Mic 4:12; Zec 12:6); and the equivalent עֹמֶר, omer ("sheaf," Le 23:10-12,15; De 24:19; Ru 2:7,15; Job 24:10), as well as the cognate verb עָמִר, to bind sheaves (Ps 129:7); 3. עֲרֵמָה, aremah, prop. a heap (as rendered in Ru 3:7, etc.); hence a sheaf (as rendered in Ne 13:15; improperly "heap" in Song 7:2).
The Mosaic statutes contained two prescriptions respecting the sheaves of harvest: 1. One accidentally dropped or left upon the field was not to be taken up, but remained for the benefit of the poor (De 24:19). SEE GLEAN. 2. The day after the feast of the Passover, the Hebrews brought into the Temple a sheaf of corn as the first fruits of the barley harvest, with accompanying ceremonies (Le 18:10-12). On the fifteenth of Nisan, in the evening, when the feast of the first day of the Passover was ended and the second day begun, the house of judgment deputed three men to go in solemnity and gather the sheaf of barley. The inhabitants of the neighboring cities assembled to witness the ceremony, and the barley was gathered into the territory of Jerusalem. The deputies demanded three times if the sun were set, and they were as often answered, It is. They afterwards demanded as many times if they might have leave to cut the sheaf, and leave was as often granted. They reaped it out of three different fields with three different sickles, and put the ears into three boxes to carry them to the Temple. The sheaf, or rather the three sheaves, being brought into the Temple, were threshed in the court. From this they took a full omer, that is, about three pints of the grain; and after it had been well winnowed, parched, and bruised, they sprinkled over it a log of oil, to which they added a handful of incense; and the priest who received this offering waved it before the Lord towards the four quarters of the world, and cast part of it on the altar. After this every one might begin his harvest. SEE PASSOVER.