The Feast of Weeks
Although Shavuot (Pentecost) has passed (it began at sundown on May 16, and ended sundown, May 18) I wanted to share some really wonderful revelation about this feast and why it's so special. What a glorious time to celebrate one of the Biblical Feasts and Festivals!
Believers in Messiah benefit greatly from understanding the depth and significance of Shavuot. Hallelujah, the Helper has come!
“If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.” — John 14:15-17
SHAVUOT , The Feast of Weeks — Here are some facts:
Shavuot is the Hebrew word for “weeks.” It occurs on the Jewish calendar 50 days after the Feast of Firstfruits; Hag HaShavuot is translated "The Feast of Weeks.”
“Observe the festival of Shavu’ot with the first-gathered produce of the wheat harvest, and the festival of ingathering at the turn of the year.” — Exodus 34:22
Shavuot got its name as The Feast of Weeks (Wheat Harvest) because seven weeks were counted from the Feast of Firstfruits (Barley Harvest) until observing Shavuot. Shavuot in the Greek language is Pentecost, meaning 50th, since it takes place 50 days after the Feast of Firstfruits.
”‘From the day after the day of rest -that is, from the day you bring the sheaf for waving -you are to count seven full weeks, until the day after the seventh week; you are to count fifty days, and then you are to present a new grain offering to ADONAI. You must bring bread from your homes for waving-two loaves made with one gallon of fine flour, baked with leaven -as Firstfruits for ADONAI.” — Leviticus 23:15-16
“And when the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place.” — Acts 2:1
The Shabbat that we are talking about in Exodus 34 ("the day after the day of rest") starts the Feast of Unleavened Bread and differs from the usual Saturday Shabbat. During the week of Passover, there are usually three (3) Shabbats. Shavuot is one of three solemn feasts to ADONAI.
“Three times a year, you are to observe a festival for me. Keep the festival of matzah: for seven days, as I ordered you, you are to eat matzah at the time determined in the month of Aviv; for it was in that month that you left Egypt. No one is to appear before me empty-handed. Next, the festival of harvest, the firstfruits of your efforts sowing in the field; and last, the festival of ingathering, at the end of the year, when you gather in from the fields the results of your efforts. Three times a year all your men are to appear before the Lord, ADONAI.” — Exodus 23:14-17
Old Covenant History of Shavuot:
The Israelites left Egypt on the 15th day of Nisan or the beginning of the Feast of Unleavened Bread.
”Moshe said to the people, “Remember this day, on which you left Egypt, the abode of slavery; because ADONAI, by the strength of his hand, has brought you out of this place. Do not eat hametz.” — Exodus 13:3
They arrived at Mt. Sinai 50 days later to receive the Torah from ADONAI Elohim.
“In the third month after the people of Isra’el had left the land of Egypt, the same day they came to the Sinai Desert. After setting out from Refidim and arriving at the Sinai Desert, they set up camp in the desert; there in front of the mountain, Isra’el set up camp. Moshe went up to God, and ADONAI called to him from the mountain: “Here is what you are to say to the household of Ya’akov, to tell the people of Isra’el: You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. Now if you will pay careful attention to what I say and keep my covenant, then you will be my own treasure from among all the peoples, for all the earth is mine; and you will be a kingdom of cohanim for me, a nation set apart.’ These are the words you are to speak to the people of Isra’el.” — Exodus 19:1-6
The Israelites were set free from physical bondage to the Egyptians and 50 days later, they were given the Torah (Manna from heaven or the Bread of Life)
New Covenant History of Shavuot
But first, some Old Covenant Prophecy that was it fulfilled on Pentecost.
"I looked and saw a windy storm approaching from the north and a huge cloud with flashing fire, glowing brightly all around with the color of gleaming amber from within the fire."
"Thus the appearance of the living creatures. With them was something that looked like fiery coals burning the way torches do, with the fire flashing here and there between the living creatures; the fire had a brilliance, and out of the fire went lightning."
"Above the dome that was over their heads was something like a throne that looked like a sapphire. On it, above it, was what appeared to be a person. I saw what looked like gleaming, amber-colored fire radiating from what appeared to be his waist upward. Downward from what appeared to be his waist, I saw what looked like fire, giving a brilliant light all around him. This brilliance around him looked like a rainbow in a cloud on a rainy day. This was how the appearance of the glory of ADONAI looked. When I saw it, I fell on my face, and I heard the voice of someone speaking." — Ezekiel 1:4, 13, 26-28
Could Acts 2 be the fulfillment of Ezekiel 1?
"The festival of Shavuot arrived, and the believers all gathered together in one place. Suddenly, there came a sound from the sky like the roar of a violent wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then they saw what looked like tongues of fire, which separated and came to rest on each one of them. They were all filled with the Ruach HaKodesh and began to talk in different languages, as the Spirit enabled them to speak." — Acts 2:1-4
“Then they returned the Shabbat-walk distance from the Mount of Olives to Yerushalayim. After entering the city, they went to the upstairs room where they were staying. The names of the emissaries were Kefa (Peter), Yaakov (James), Yochanan (John), Andrew, Philip, T’oma (Thomas), Bar-Talmai (Bartholomew), Mattityahu (Matthew), Ya’akov Ben-Chalfai (James the son of Alphae), Shim’on “the Zealot” (Simon the Zealot), and Y’hudah Ben-Ya’akov (Judas the brother of James). These all devoted themselves single-mindedly to prayer, along with some women, including Miryam (Mary; Yeshua’s mother), and his brothers. During this period, when the group of believers numbered about 120, Kefa stood up and addressed his fellow-believers:” — Acts 1:12-15
Why is the gathering of 120 important?
“When the cohanim (priests) came out of the Holy Place (for all the cohanim who were present had consecrated themselves; they didn’t keep to their divisions; also the L’vi’im who were the singers, all of them - Asaf, Heman, Y’dutun and their sons and relatives - dressed in fine linen, with cymbals, lutes and lyres, stood on the east side of the altar; and with them 120 cohanim sounding trumpets), then, when the trumpeters and singers were playing in concord, to be heard harmoniously praising and thanking ADONAI, and they lifted their voices together with the trumpets, cymbals and other musical instruments to praise ADONAI: “for he is good, for his grace continues forever”- then, the house, the house of ADONAI, was filled with a cloud; so that because of the cloud, the cohanim could not stand up to perform their service; for the glory of ADONAI filled the house of God.” — 2 Chronicles 5:11-14
Back to Pentecost
“He pressed his case with many other arguments and kept pleading with them, “Save yourselves from this perverse generation!”
So those who accepted what he said were immersed, and there were added to the group that day about three thousand people. They continued faithfully in the teaching of the emissaries, in fellowship, in breaking bread and in the prayers. Everyone was filled with awe, and many miracles and signs took place through the emissaries. All those trusting in Yeshua stayed together and had everything in common.” — Acts 2:40-44
What makes the 3000 important?
"When Moshe saw that the people had gotten out of control - because Aharon had allowed them to get out of control, to the derision of their enemies - Moshe stood at the entrance to the camp and shouted, “Whoever is for ADONAI, come to me!” All the descendants of Levi rallied around him. He told them, “Here is what ADONAI, the God of Isra’el, says: ‘Each of you, put his sword on his side; and go up and down the camp, from gate to gate; and every man is to kill his own kinsman, his own friend and his own neighbor!” The sons of Levi did what Moshe said, and that day three thousand of the people died. Moshe said, “You have consecrated yourselves today to ADONAI, because every one of you has been against his own son and against his own kinsman, in order to bring a blessing on yourselves today.” — Exodus 32:25-29
With the 3000, ADONAI took what was evil in the Tanakh on Shavuot and turned it for good in the B’rit Chadashah (New Covenant or New Testament) on Pentecost. God took the sin of the 3000 that died on that day and saw 3000 Jews come to faith in Yeshua as their Messiah!
The Two Loaves of Bread
On Shavuot – the Feast of Weeks, we wave two loaves of bread baked with leaven. We have now been filled by the Ruach HaKodesh, the Bread of Life. We have now been reborn with FIRE by the in-filling of the Holy Spirit of God.
Does the symbolism of the two loaves signify the coming together of Jew and Gentile? The first-century believers were mainly Jewish. The last century believers will be primarily Gentile. Is this what Rav. Shaul meant when he said, “To the Jew especially and to the Gentile, equally”? Do the two loaves represent the “One New Man” talked about in Ephesians 2?
“For he himself is our shalom - he has made us both one and has broken down the m’chitzah which divided us by destroying in his own body the enmity occasioned by the Torah, with its commands set forth in the form of ordinances. He did this in order to create in union with himself from the two groups a single new humanity and thus make shalom, and in order to reconcile to God both in a single body by being executed on a stake as a criminal and thus in himself killing that enmity.” — Ephesians 2: 14 - 16
Imagine the day when our High Priest, Messiah Yeshua, takes the two loaves of bread representing Jews and Gentiles and waves them before the altar of ADONAI!
Ruth and Esther Symbolize the Two Loaves in the Tanakh.
One of the traditional readings on Shavuot is the Book of Ruth. It is read as a foreshadowing of the “One New Man.” The only two books in the bible about women are Esther and Ruth. Ruth is a Gentile and the Great Grandmother of King David, and Esther is a Jew. Their lineage is just another indication that the two loaves might represent the coming together of the Jews and the Gentiles in the last days.
Might they symbolize the fulfillment of the “One New Man” Shaul was talking about?
Why did they have to wait 50 days?
The Israelites did not receive the Torah (Law) from God immediately; why?
Because: They were already out of Egypt, but God had to get Egypt out of them! It would take them 50 days to prepare their hearts to receive the Word of the Lord.
The Emissaries did not receive the in-filling of the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) immediately after Yeshua died and rose again; why?
Because: They weren’t ready for the POWER that they were about to receive. It would take 50 days to prepare their hearts to receive the Fire & Power that would come upon them at the in-filling of the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in “other tongues”!
ADONAI Elohim said that He was going to give a New Covenant to the house of Israel.
"Here, the days are coming,” says ADONAI, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Isra’el and with the house of Y’hudah. It will not be like the covenant I made with their fathers on the day I took them by their hand and brought them out of the land of Egypt; because they, for their part, violated my covenant, even though I, for my part, was a husband to them,” says ADONAI. “For this is the covenant I will make with the house of Isra’el after those days,” says ADONAI: “I will put my Torah within them and write it on their hearts; I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will any of them teach his fellow community member or his brother, ‘Know ADONAI’; for all will know me, from the least of them to the greatest; because I will forgive their wickednesses and remember their sins no more.” — Jeremiah 31:31-34
On the day that ADONAI poured out the Ruach HaKodesh, He said:
“Then a Redeemer will come to Tziyon, to those in Ya’akov who turn from rebellion.” So says ADONAI. “And as for me,” says ADONAI, “this is my covenant with them: my Spirit, who rests on you, and my words which I put in your mouth will not depart from your mouth or from the mouth of your children, or from the mouth of your children’s children, now or ever,” says ADONAI.” — Isaiah 59:20-21
“After this, I will pour out my Spirit on all humanity. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions; and also on male and female slaves in those days I will pour out my Spirit.” — Joel 2: 28- 29
The Lord has taken us from the bondage of Egypt into the “Promised Land” and given us His Law. He has now brought us from the Cross of Calvary to the freedom that comes from being filled with the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit). With that freedom, we receive the power to live a victorious life. This is great news!
Let us use the power of the Holy Spirit to live our lives in the Spirit, not in the flesh.
Love in Yeshua,
Scripture quotations are from The Complete Jewish Bible (CJB) Copyright © 1998 by David H. Stern. All rights reserved.