Shavuot

שבעת

The moed of Shavuot is also known as the Feast of Weeks (shavuot means “weeks”).  In Christian nomenclature it is often called Pentecost (which comes from the Greek word pentekostes meaning “fiftieth”).  It occurs about 50 days after Passover.

What does Scripture says about this festival and its related commandments? What are we to do and when are we to do it?

Oh YaHuWaH please “open our eyes that we might behold wonderful things from your Torah” and see our risen Messiah in this moed.  Scripture was given to speak of Him and we should listen and hear its voice… His voice… especially during these special times.

What Scripture Says About Shavuot

Shavuot [שׁבעת, singular shavua, means “weeks”.  שׁבעה / שׁבע / שׁבוּע

shâbûa‛ / shâbûa‛ / shebû‛âh

BDB Definition:

1) seven, period of seven (days or years), heptad, week

1a) period of seven days, a week

1a1) Feast of Weeks

1b) heptad, seven (of years)

Part of Speech: noun masculine Scripture calls this moed the “Feast of Weeks” in Exodus 34:22.

“And perform the Festival of Shaḇu’ot for yourself, of the first-fruits of wheat harvest, and the Festival of Ingathering at the turn of the year.” Shemoth (Exodus) 34:22

Pentecost [πεντηκοστη, pentekostes,] means “fiftieth”.  Scripture calls this moed the day of Pentecost in Acts 2:1 and the Septuagint uses a form of this word to refer to the “fiftieth” year (or Jubilee) when the captives are to be released and the Land returned to its original owners in Leviticus 25:10.

“And when the Day of the Festival of Shaḇu‛ot had come, they were all with one mind in one place.” Ma`asei (Acts) 2:1

“And you shall set the fiftieth year apart, and proclaim release throughout all the land to all its inhabitants, it is a Yoḇel for you. And each of you shall return to his possession, and each of you return to his clan.” Wayyiqra (Leviticus) 25:10

Shavuot is the second of the three pilgrimage festivals when all Israelite males are to appear before the YaHuWaH, the Elohim of Yisra’El (Exodus 34:22-23).

“And perform the Festival of Shaḇu’ot for yourself, of the first-fruits of wheat harvest, and the Festival of Ingathering at the turn of the year. “Three times in the year all your men are to appear before the Master, יהוה, the Elohim of Yisra’ĕl,” Shemoth (Exodus) 34:22-23

Shavuot is also called the Day of the First Fruits or Yom Habukkurim (Numbers 28:26) which is from the latter harvest.

“And on the day of the first-fruits, when you bring a new grain offering to יהוה at your Festival of Shaḇu’ot, you have a set-apart gathering, you do no servile work.” Bemiḏbar (Numbers) 28:26

Who:

All the sons of Yisra’El. (Leviticus 23:10)

“Speak to the children of Yisra’ĕl, and you shall say to them, ‘When you come into the land which I give you, and shall reap its harvest, then you shall bring a sheaf of the first-fruits of your harvest to the priest.” Wayyiqra (Leviticus) 23:10

What:

Special commands

  • You shall also count for yourselves from the day after the sabbath, from the day when you brought in the sheaf of the wave offering; there shall be seven complete sabbaths (Leviticus 23:15).

“And from the morrow after the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering, you shall count for yourselves: seven completed Sabbaths.” Wayyiqra (Leviticus) 23:15

  • You shall count fifty days to the day after the seventh sabbath (Leviticus 23:16)

“Until the morrow after the seventh Sabbath you count fifty days, then you shall bring a new grain offering to יהוה.” Wayyiqra (Leviticus) 23:16

  • On this day you shall make a proclamation as well (Leviticus 23:21)

“And on this same day you shall proclaim a set-apart gathering for yourselves, you do no servile work on it – a law forever in all your dwellings throughout your generations.” Wayyiqra (Leviticus) 23:21

  • You are to have a set-apart gathering (Leviticus 23:21, Numbers 28:26)

“And on this same day you shall proclaim a set-apart gathering for yourselves, you do no servile work on it – a law forever in all your dwellings throughout your generations.” Wayyiqra (Leviticus) 23:21

“And on the day of the first-fruits, when you bring a new grain offering to יהוה at your Festival of Shaḇu’ot, you have a set-apart gathering, you do no servile work.” Bemiḏbar (Numbers) 28:26

  • You shall do no laborious work (Leviticus 23:21, Numbers 28:26)

“And on this same day you shall proclaim a set-apart gathering for yourselves, you do no servile work on it – a law forever in all your dwellings throughout your generations.” Wayyiqra (Leviticus) 23:21

“And on the day of the first-fruits, when you bring a new grain offering to יהוה at your Festival of Shaḇu’ot, you have a set-apart gathering, you do no servile work.” Bemiḏbar (Numbers) 28:26

  • This is to be a perpetual statute in all your dwelling places throughout your generations (Leviticus 23:21)

“And on this same day you shall proclaim a set-apart gathering for yourselves, you do no servile work on it – a law forever in all your dwellings throughout your generations.” Wayyiqra (Leviticus) 23:21

Offerings

  • You shall present a new grain offering to YaHuWaH (Leviticus 23:16, Numbers 28:26).

“Until the morrow after the seventh Sabbath you count fifty days, then you shall bring a new grain offering to יהוה.” Wayyiqra (Leviticus) 23:16

“And on the day of the first-fruits, when you bring a new grain offering to יהוה at your Festival of Shaḇu’ot, you have a set-apart gathering, you do no servile work.” Bemiḏbar (Numbers) 28:26

  • You shall bring in from your dwelling places two [loaves?] of bread for a wave offering made of two-tenths of an ephah; they shall be of a fine flour, baked with leaven as first fruits to YaHuWaH. (Leviticus 23:17)

“Bring from your dwellings for a wave offering two loaves of bread, of two-tenths of an ephah of fine flour they are, baked with leaven, first-fruits to יהוה.” Wayyiqra (Leviticus) 23:17

  • Along with the bread you shall present a burnt offering to YaHuWaH:
  • seven one-year-old male lambs without defect (Leviticus 23:18, Numbers 28:27)

“And besides the bread, you shall bring seven lambs a year old, perfect ones, and one young bull and two rams. They are an ascending offering to יהוה, with their grain offering and their drink offerings, an offering made by fire for a sweet fragrance to יהוה.” Wayyiqra (Leviticus) 23:18

“And you shall bring near an ascending offering as a sweet fragrance to יהוה: two young bulls, one ram, and seven lambs a year old,” Bemiḏbar (Numbers) 28:27

    • a bull of the herd (Leviticus 23:18, Numbers 28:27)

“And besides the bread, you shall bring seven lambs a year old, perfect ones, and one young bull and two rams. They are an ascending offering to יהוה, with their grain offering and their drink offerings, an offering made by fire for a sweet fragrance to יהוה.” Wayyiqra (Leviticus) 23:18

“And you shall bring near an ascending offering as a sweet fragrance to יהוה: two young bulls, one ram, and seven lambs a year old,” Bemiḏbar (Numbers) 28:27

    • two rams (Leviticus 23:18, Numbers 28:27)

“And besides the bread, you shall bring seven lambs a year old, perfect ones, and one young bull and two rams. They are an ascending offering to יהוה, with their grain offering and their drink offerings, an offering made by fire for a sweet fragrance to יהוה.” Wayyiqra (Leviticus) 23:18

“And you shall bring near an ascending offering as a sweet fragrance to יהוה: two young bulls, one ram, and seven lambs a year old,” Bemiḏbar (Numbers) 28:27

  • These shall be offered with their grain offering and their drink offerings, an offering by fire of a soothing aroma to YaHuWaH (Leviticus 23:18, Numbers 28:28-29)

“And besides the bread, you shall bring seven lambs a year old, perfect ones, and one young bull and two rams. They are an ascending offering to יהוה, with their grain offering and their drink offerings, an offering made by fire for a sweet fragrance to יהוה.” Wayyiqra (Leviticus) 23:18

“with their grain offering of fine flour mixed with oil: three-tenths of an ephah for each bull, two-tenths for the one ram, one-tenth for each of the seven lambs,” Bemiḏbar (Numbers) 28:28-29

    • three tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil for each bull
    • two tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil for each ram
    • one tenth of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil for each lamb
  • You shall also offer one male goat for a sin offering (Leviticus 23:19, Numbers 28:30)

“And you shall offer one male goat as a sin offering, and two male lambs a year old, as a slaughter of peace offerings.” Wayyiqra (Leviticus) 23:19

“one male goat to make atonement for you,” Bemiḏbar (Numbers) 28:30

  • You shall also offer two male lambs one year old for a sacrifice of peace offerings (Leviticus 23:19)

“And you shall offer one male goat as a sin offering, and two male lambs a year old, as a slaughter of peace offerings.” Wayyiqra (Leviticus) 23:19

  • The priest shall wave them with the bread of the first fruits for a wave offering with two lambs before YaHuWaH; they are to be set-apart unto YaHuWaH for the priest (Leviticus 23:20)

“And the priest shall wave them, besides the bread of the first-fruits, as a wave offering before יהוה, besides the two lambs. They are set-apart to יהוה for the priest.” Wayyiqra (Leviticus) 23:20

When:

  • When you enter the Land which YaHuWaH is going to give to you (Leviticus 23:10)

“Speak to the children of Yisra’ĕl, and you shall say to them, ‘When you come into the land which I give you, and shall reap its harvest, then you shall bring a sheaf of the first-fruits of your harvest to the priest.” Wayyiqra (Leviticus) 23:10

  • When you reap the harvest of the Land (Leviticus 23:10)

“Speak to the children of Yisra’ĕl, and you shall say to them, ‘When you come into the land which I give you, and shall reap its harvest, then you shall bring a sheaf of the first-fruits of your harvest to the priest.” Wayyiqra (Leviticus) 23:10

  • On the fiftieth day counted after the Sabbath of Pesach (Leviticus 23:11, 16)

“And he shall wave the sheaf before יהוה, for your acceptance. On the morrow after the Sabbath the priest waves it. Until the morrow after the seventh Sabbath you count fifty days, then you shall bring a new grain offering to יהוה.” Wayyiqra (Leviticus) 23:11,16

Where:

In the Land of Yisra’El (Leviticus 23:10)

“Speak to the children of Yisra’ĕl, and you shall say to them, ‘When you come into the land which I give you, and shall reap its harvest, then you shall bring a sheaf of the first-fruits of your harvest to the priest.” Wayyiqra (Leviticus) 23:10

According to Leviticus 17:3-9, all offerings must be made in the Tabernacle (or later the Temple) in Jerusalem, where YaHuWaH placed His Name forever (1 Kings 9:3).

“Any man from the house of Yisra’ĕl who slays a bull or a lamb or a goat in the camp, or who slays it outside the camp,” and does not bring it to the door of the Tent of Appointment, to bring an offering to יהוה before the Dwelling Place of יהוה, blood-guilt is reckoned to that man. He has shed blood, and that man shall be cut off from among his people, in order that the children of Yisra’ĕl bring their slaughterings which they slaughter in the open field. And they shall bring them to יהוה at the door of the Tent of Appointment, to the priest, and slaughter them as slaughterings of peace offerings to יהוה. “And the priest shall sprinkle the blood on the slaughter-place of יהוה at the door of the Tent of Appointment, and shall burn the fat for a sweet fragrance to יהוה. And let them no longer slaughter their slaughterings to demons, after whom they whored. This is a law forever for them throughout their generations.” “And say to them, ‘Any man of the house of Yisra’ĕl, or of the strangers who sojourn among you, who offers an ascending offering or slaughtering, and does not bring it to the door of the Tent of Appointment, to do it to יהוה, that man shall be cut off from among his people.” Wayyiqra (Leviticus) 17:3-9 

“And יהוה said to him, “I have heard your prayer and your supplication that you have made before Me. I have set this house apart which you have built to put My Name there forever, and My eyes and My heart shall always be there.” Melaḵim Aleph (1 Kings) 9:3

Other Observations

Pictures

The moed of Shavuot provides a picture of YaHuWaH’s provision of all of our needs.  The physical need that is met is pictured by the grain used to make the bread offering. YaHuWaH provides for our physical needs.  Shavuot is YaHuWaH’s approved process for giving thanks for His provision.  How do we know our physical needs will be met?  YaHuWaH makes a conditional promise in Deuteronomy:

“And it shall be that if you diligently obey My commands which I command you today, to love יהוה your Elohim and to serve Him with all your heart and with all your being, then I shall give you the rain for your land in its season, the early rain and the latter rain, and you shall gather in your grain, and your new wine, and your oil. And I shall give grass in your fields for your livestock, and you shall eat and be satisfied.” Deḇarim (Deuteronomy) 11:13-15 

In one Psalm of Praise, King David spoke of YaHuWaH’s provision of all creatures:

“Opening Your hand and satisfying The desire of all that live.” Tehillim (Psalms) 145:16 

Finding Messiah in Shavuot

A Kinsman Redeemer

It is the greatest love story ever told: a treasured woman is enslaved, beaten, and in chains. Her beloved arrives to free her, vanquishes her captors, and whisks her away to safe, hidden retreat.  There, he comforts her, confesses his great love for her, and proposes.

This is the story of YaHuWaH and His beloved, Yisra’El.

He saved her from slavery, defeated the Egyptians and their “gods”, and carried her safely through the desert, the Red Sea, and the wilderness to Mount Sinai.

The Torah is considered to be a wedding contract between YaHuWaH and His bride, Yisra’El in a betrothal ceremony at Mt. Sinai.  Jeremiah refers to YaHuWaH as the Husband (Jeremiah 31:31-32) and several references are made in Scripture to Yisra’El as His bride (e.g. Isaiah 62:1-5).  One of the most powerful of these references is the entire book of Hosea where Yisra’El is portrayed as a harlotrous wife following after false gods.

“See, the days are coming,” declares יהוה, “when I shall make a renewed covenant with the house of Yisra’ĕl and with the house of Yehuḏah, not like the covenant I made with their fathers in the day when I strengthened their hand to bring them out of the land of Mitsrayim, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them,” declares יהוה.” Yirmeyahu (Jeremiah) 31:31-32

“For Tsiyon’s sake I am not silent, and for Yerushalayim’s sake I do not rest, until her righteousness goes forth as brightness, and her deliverance as a lamp that burns. And the nations shall see your righteousness and all sovereigns your esteem. And you shall be called by a new name, which the mouth of יהוה designates. And you shall be a crown of comeliness in the hand of יהוה, and a royal head-dress in the hand of your Elohim. No longer are you called “Forsaken,” and no longer is your land called “Deserted.” But you shall be called “Ḥephtsiḇah,” and your land “Married,” for יהוה shall delight in you, and your land be married. For as a young man marries a maiden, so shall your sons marry you. And as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your Elohim rejoice over you.” Yeshayahu (Isaiah) 62:1-5

The book of Ruth relates the story of another kinsman redeemer who saved his beloved: Boaz.  Boaz and Ruth are the ancestors of both King David and Messiah.

Two loaves?

This moed requires the offering of two loaves of the first-fruits from among the wheat “baked with leaven as first fruits to YaHuWaH” (Leviticus 23:17).  If leaven represents sin then we know this offering cannot represent Messiah, Himself, because He was without sin (Hebrews 4:15).  Believers, however, do have sin in their lives and yet the Gentile believers of the past two millennia are only the first fruits of the harvest of Yisra’El (James 1:18, Romans 11:11-12).  Why are there two loaves offered?  Perhaps to symbolize the house of Yahudah and the house of Ephraim.

“Having purposed it, He brought us forth by the Word of truth, for us to be a kind of first-fruits of His creatures.” Ya‛aqoḇ (James) 1:18

“I say then, have they stumbled that they should fall? Let it not be! But by their fall deliverance has come to the nations, to provoke them to jealousy. And if their fall is riches for the world, and their failure riches for the nations, how much more their completeness!” Romiyim (Romans) 11:11-12

We also see the “bride” was actually made into a unity on Shavuot when the Ruach haKodesh was given to the believers.  YaHuWaH’s Ruach distinguished between who was the bride and who was not.

The Traditions of Shavuot

Shavuot is richly filled with traditions and symbolism.  Many of the elements center around the tradition that the Israelites received the Torah at Mt. Sinai on Shavuot.  While there is no concrete evidence from Scripture for such a date, it is a very strongly held belief.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

rYm Covenant

To the Torah and to the witness! If they do not speak according to this Word, it is because they have no daybreak [light]. Yeshayahu (Isaiah) 8:20

0 Comments

Leave a Comment!

%d bloggers like this: