SHAVU'OT: LEARNING TO WALK IN FREEDOM
by Avram Yehoshua
(Endnotes: Click on number to go to endnote. Click the BACK button on your browser to return to the article)
There are many names by which this feast is known, but a most significant one is found in the Jewish liturgy: ‘The Season of the Giving of our Torah.’ The Rabbis believe that is was on this feast that Yahveh spoke the Ten Commandments to Israel from Mt. Sinai. They’re right, but that’s not all God did on that day.
In the Talmud, the Rabbis also call it ‘aht’sair’ret ’ which means, ‘concluding’ festival. The deliverance from Egypt had a purpose, more than just initial freedom for the former Hebrew slaves to do their own thing. Yahveh was taking a people to Himself. He had a Land in mind that He was going to give them. They were to be holy or consecrated unto Yahveh for all the world to see who Yahveh was and what He wanted to do for His people. Israel needed to know how to walk in His Kingdom. The aim or goal of the Passover salvation-freedom was Mt. Sinai, the Torah (the Instruction of God; the Word of God, commonly called the Law of Moses). Obedience to these commandments, statues and judgments, etc., would be true freedom for them.1
The Number Fifty
The word Pentecost, a Christian name for this holy day, comes from the Greek and means ‘fiftieth.’ Shavu’ot falls fifty days from First Sheaf (the Sunday in the seven day Feast of Unleavened Bread). Fifty, then, becomes a number symbolizing freedom, as we’ll see. The holy season (a year and a half) of Jubilee reveals this. In Lev. 25:8-13 it’s written that everything was restored in the 50th year to the original way that God had ordained it (when Israel came into the Land):Lev. 25:8-10: ‘You are also to count off seven Sabbaths of years for yourself, seven times seven years, so that you have the time of the seven Sabbaths of years, namely, forty-nine years. You shall then sound a shofar (ram’s horn) on the tenth day of the seventh month. On the Day of Atonement you shall sound a shofar all through your Land. You shall thus consecrate the fiftieth year and proclaim freedom throughout the Land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a Jubilee for you and each of you shall return to his own property, and each of you shall return to his family.’The Jubilee meant freedom and justice for everyone. Everything and everyone was ‘set free’ from anything that had encroached upon what Yahveh had originally given to Israel. If someone had leased their land to another, the land would come back to them in the fiftieth year. This was God’s way and justice in action. The point is that the number fifty and freedom are biblically synonymous terms.
Lev. 25:11-13: ‘You shall have the fiftieth year as a Jubilee. You must not sow, nor reap its after-growth, nor gather in from its untrimmed vines. For it is a Jubilee. It shall be holy to you. You shall eat its crops out of the field. On this year of Jubilee, each of you shall return to his own property.’
The Number Seven
The number seven is a number that pictures completion, perfection and holiness. From creation week, the seventh day was set apart or made holy by God (Gen. 2:1-3). It completed or made creation ‘perfect.’ The seventh day is the Sabbath of Yahveh (Ex. 20:10) and He gave this to Israel that they might cease from their everyday activities that kept them alive (their work that gave them their livelihood for food, clothes, etc.) and enter into the delight of His holy rest (Ex. 20:8-11). By disengaging from their daily grind they were again ‘set free’ to enjoy and appreciate their freedom from slavery (Dt. 5:12-15) once a week in a very special way. In setting the Sabbath apart they were imitating their God as a son imitates his father’s ways for Israel is God’s firstborn son (Ex. 4:22). When Israel was in Egypt they had no rest from their brutal and humiliating work. They were slaves to Pharaoh and he delighted in destroying them.2 There was no rest, freedom or joy for them.
The seventh day Sabbath is also a ‘physical picture,’ that God gives to all of us, of entering into the finished Work of Messiah Yeshua. When we cease from our carnal taskmasters; either the ones that demand that we give our souls for a piece of bread, or the one inside us that says that we aren’t holy enough, or that we haven’t done enough for God, etc., we enter into the rest of Messiah that is pictured in the Sabbath of Yahveh. Every Sabbath we have an opportunity to practice this spiritual concept ‘in the natural.’ Every seventh day Sabbath is a picture of creation, and when Israel walks in the Sabbath in obedience to God, we are living witnesses that Yahveh is our creator God who has given us this physical and spiritual freedom and rest.
The seventh week (seven weeks times seven plus one day) from the ceremony of First Sheaf in Passover week is Shavu’ot. Fifty days after First Sheaf (from the Sunday within the Feast of Unleavened Bread) is the annual (yearly) Sabbath of Shavu’ot. This comes in the third Hebrew month (Lev. 23:15-22), today called Sivan.
Interesting to note, the seventh month has more annual holy days in it than any other month. In the first month of Aviv (called Nisan by the traditional Jewish Community after the Babylonian captivity) there are two annual Sabbaths:
In the seventh month there are four annual Sabbaths. In the spring and summer combined there are only three annual or ‘high’ Sabbaths.
- the first and the seventh days of the Feast of Unleavened Bread (Lev. 23:6-7).
- In the third month is the Sabbath of Shavu’ot; late May to mid June.
- Then in the seventh month,3
a. the first day of the month (Feast of Rejoicing, commonly called the Feast of Trumpets; Lev. 23:23-25,
or Rosh HaShanah by the Jewish community) is an annual Sabbath.
b. The 10th day of the month is the Day of Atonement, another Sabbath.
c. The 15th day is the first day of Sukote (the Feast of Tabernacles) a Sabbath, d. and the eighth day
(the 22nd of the month) is also an annual Sabbath (Lev. 23:33-44).
The seventh year is the Sabbatical Year, a holy rest for one full year and freedom from work. Freedom from having to earn one’s daily bread by the sweat of one’s brow (the curse).
The 50th year, the Jubilee, is seven sabbatical periods times seven, or, we might say, the sabbatical squared. When something is multiplied by itself in Scripture, it amplifies or magnifies the meaning of it. For instance, the number ten is just one multiplied ten times (or one with a zero after it). The number one signifies unity and fullness, as in the one true God. Anyone who lives to be one hundred years old has lived a biblically full and ‘whole’ life. Scripture says that in the fullness of time, Messiah came. The life of Abraham and Isaac are a picture of the Father and the Son. It says that Isaac was born to Abraham when he was one hundred years old. In other words, in the fullness of God’s time for Abraham, a son was given to him and in the fullness of God’s time for Israel, the Son was born:
Gen. 21:2, 5: ‘So Sarah conceived and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the appointed time of which God had spoken to him…Now Abraham was one hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him.’
Gal. 4:4: ‘But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law,’
The Jubilee Year is so full of life, freedom and joy that it actually ‘couldn’t be contained in a single year.’ The Jubilee begins in the 49th year on the Day of Atonement (about October) which falls on the 10th day of the 7th month (Lev. 25:9)4 and continues through the entire 50th year.5 It’s a whole unit of God’s time that has come. The seventh month is the month of holiness. The tenth day is the number for unity, completion and fullness and the forty-ninth year is the year of holiness squared or amplified (seven times seven). The Jubilee was a holy time or season and completed God’s unit of time for Israel, everything reverting back to its original status of freedom and inheritance of the good land that God had given to Israel.6
In the 50th year, liberty or freedom was to be proclaimed to all the inhabitants. As all the Hebrew slaves had already been freed in the 49th year,7 it seems a little strange that a proclamation like this would go out. The proclamation went out, though, to declare to all Israel, that their freedom was given to them by Yahveh. It’s a throwback or time to remember their beginning (the First Passover), when Yahveh freed all the Hebrew slaves from Egypt.
Yahveh wanted all Israel to realize that they would still be slaves to Pharaoh if He had not freed them. It was also His way of seeing that things didn’t get ‘out of hand.’ Man has a way of corrupting everything that God gives him. Under God’s plan, the Land would revert back to its original owner and everyone would celebrate the freedom that Yahveh had given to Israel.
Israel was to be grateful for the unprecedented deliverance (salvation) that Yahveh had performed for them, and obey the prohibition to not work and to restore everything. It was a call to remember that their freedom was given to them via the blood of the lamb of the Passover. It was a holy time to celebrate that past salvation ‘in the present.’ It was also a picture of the eternal end time Sabbath, where Israel would be restored to divine fellowship with God, as it was in the Garden, only better, forever.
Messiah: the One who is Freedom
The word for freedom or liberty in Hebrew, found in Lev. 25:10, is also used by the prophet Isaiah in speaking of the Messiah and His Work. In the Spirit, Isaiah saw that the essence of the Jubilee pointed to Messiah. In Is. 61:1 the word used for freedom is the same word found in Lev. 25:10:
Isaiah 61:1: ‘The Spirit of the Lord Yahveh is upon me because Yahveh has anointed Me to bring Good News to the afflicted. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom to captives and release to prisoners.’
Is. 61:2-4: ‘To proclaim the favorable year of Yahveh and the day of vengeance of our God. To comfort all who mourn. To grant those who mourn in Zion, giving them a garland instead of ashes; the oil of gladness instead of mourning; the mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting, so they will be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of Yahveh, that He may be glorified. Then they will rebuild the ancient ruins. They will raise up the former devastations and they will repair the ruined cities, the desolations of many generations.’8
The reference to ‘the favorable year,’ literally, ‘the favorable season’ of Yahveh, is a refer¬ence to the Jubilee. Messiah would bring freedom from Satan, sin, sickness and death and that would cause Israel to rejoice from the burdens (slavery) that they were under.
In God’s fullness of time, the One who is Jubilee (freedom and joy), came. Yeshua states that His ministry was the one that Isaiah spoke of, by quoting Isaiah. He was in the synagogue that Sabbath day, and what He said has its original concept in the Jubilee freedom of Leviticus:
Luke 4:18-19: ‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me because He anointed Me to preach the Good News to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim freedom to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind; to set free those who are oppressed and to proclaim the favorable year of the Lord.’
All of this one heavenly mosaic. Many, unfortunately, declare that since Jesus fulfilled all this that ‘we don’t have to’ celebrate it, but they don’t realize that Yeshua is like the flowering of rose petals upon the stem and soil of Israel and the Law. Why take the rose from the stem and soil?
Even though Luke is in the New Testament, we know that Yeshua was reading from the Hebrew scroll of Isaiah, and so, the Hebrew word for freedom is dror. When Yeshua came for those three and a half years, it was a holy time, a picture of the Jubilee, the ‘year’ or season of God’s great favor or grace to Israel. In that time period many Jews were set free and had the Great News proclaimed to them. God’s joy was experienced by many Jews.9
The holy Feasts of Israel and the Sabbath ‘spin off’ of the numbers seven and fifty and picture holy freedom. The Jubilee with its seven sabbatical years times seven (plus one), pictures original freedom, current freedom for all, and future freedom. In the counting of the seven years times seven, the number seven is magnified by itself: holiness squared or amplified. Thus, the seven weeks of years is equal to freedom squared or a super abundant freedom and holiness—heavenly freedom.
Shavu’ot and the giving of the Law
The seven weeks for Shavu’ot is seven days times seven (plus one), paralleling the Jubilee and suggests that freedom is found in the Torah, the Law of God. Why is this? The number 50 is seen in the interval between First Sheaf, when the counting begins, and Shavu’ot, when the counting ends and it’s believed that the Law of Moses was given on Shavu’ot. Fifty is equal to holy freedom, and so, holy freedom is synonymous with the Torah.
The Rabbis believe that the Ten Commandments, the essence of all the Word of God (which is true freedom) was given from Mt. Sinai on Shavu’ot. This is very probable for three rea-sons:10
- One, it can be calculated that Israel was at Mt. Sinai on Shavu’ot and that His voice was heard around this time.
- Two, the Torah itself proclaims that the number for freedom, 50, is equal to the Law of Yah¬veh, the Torah, and
- three, what happens on this day of Shavu’ot, 50 days after Yeshua first ascends to our Father in Heaven, ties in perfectly with the Ten Commandments being given on Shavu’ot and the concept that fifty, and therefore, Shavu’ot, are equal to heavenly freedom—the Holy Spirit was given to Israel on Shavu’ot (Acts 2:1-4f).
Israel at Mt. Sinai on Shavu’ot
The Sons of Israel left Egypt on the 15th day of the first month, which was a holy (annual) Sabbath, the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread (Lev. 23:5-7):
Num. 33:3: ‘They journeyed from Rameses in the first month, on the fifteenth day of the first month. On the next day after the Passover, the Sons of Israel started out boldly in the sight of all the Egyptians.’11
Israel left Egypt in the middle of the first biblical month, on the fifteenth day.12 They came to encamp at Mt. Sinai in the third month:
Ex. 19:1: ‘In the third month, after the Sons of Israel had gone out of the land of Egypt, on that very day they came into the wilderness of Sinai.’
From the time of their setting up camp at Sinai in the third month, it would be at least another two days before Yahveh would descend upon the Mountain.
In terms of calculations, half the first month was over before they left Egypt on the 15th. Using an approximate standard of 30 days for the first month and 29 days for the second lunar month,13 means that there would be about 16 days left to the first month (counting the 15th on which they left as one day). This would give us approximately 45 days until the first day of the third month, or more than five days until Shavu’ot.
There is something else to consider here; First Sheaf doesn’t begin on 15 Aviv (the day they left Egypt). It begins on the Sunday of Passover week. That’s when the counting of the omer begins:
- If the 15th of the first month, when they set out, was the weekly Sabbath, the next day, the 16th, the Sunday of Passover week, would begin the counting. If this was the case, then there would be 15 days left to the first month for the counting for Shavu’ot. Another 29 days until the end of the second month would make 44 days. Shavu’ot would have been on the 6th day of the third month that year. Of course, this would have worked out to be a Sunday, fifty days after the Sunday of First Sheaf.
- If the 15th of the month were a Friday then the counting for Shavu’ot would have to begin on the 17th (that Sunday of Passover week) of the first biblical month. There would be 14 days until the end of the first month. Another 29 days until the end of the second month and we have 43 days for the first and second months. Shavu’ot would have fallen on the 7th of the third month, a Sunday.
- If the 15th were a Thursday then the counting for Shavu’ot would have begun on the 18th of the first month (the Sunday of Passover week). That would make 13 days until the end of the first month. Another 29 days until the end of the second month equals 42 days. Sha¬vuot would have fallen on the 8th of the third month, a Sunday.
- If the 15th were a Wednesday then the counting for Shavu’ot would have begun on the 19th of the first month. That would mean 12 days until the end of the first month. Another 29 days until the end of the second month equals 41 days. Shavu’ot would have fallen that year on the 9th of the third month, a Sunday.
- If the 15th were a Tuesday then the counting for Shavu’ot would have begun on the 20th of the first month. That would means 11 days until the end of the first month. Another 29 days until the end of the second month equals 40 days, the 41st day beginning the third month. Shavu’ot would have fallen that year on the 10th of the third month, a Sunday.
- If the 15th of Aviv were a Monday then the counting for Shavu’ot would have begun on the 21st of the first month. That would mean 10 days until the end of the first month. Another 29 days until the end of the second month equals 39 days, the 40th day beginning the third month. Shavu’ot would have fallen that year on the 11th of the third month, a Sunday.
- If the 15th were a Sunday, then they would have had to have waited until the following Sunday, the 22nd, to begin the counting for Shavu’ot. That would mean there were only nine days until the end of the first month. Another 29 days until the end of the second month equals 38 days, the 39th day beginning the third month. Shavu’ot would have fallen that year on the 12th of the third month, a Sunday.
Shavu’ot, contrary to the Rabbis, always falls on a Sunday (as does First Sheaf) and can begin on days 6–12 of the third month, depending on what the date for the Sunday of Passover week is. These are the actual possibilities of the different dates that Shavu’ot could have come on in that very first year. All of these are feasible. The Sons of Israel could very well have seen the Fire descend upon the Mountain and heard the Voice of God (Ex. 19:16ff.) on Shavu’ot that year (whatever day of the week Passover Sunday was that year). It is mathematically possible and theologically probable. As to what day they actually came to the Mountain in the third month, that’s impossible to determine from Scripture information at hand.
It says in the Exodus account that the Sons of Israel came to Sinai in the third month. It doesn’t say what day (date) of the month they came. Moses goes up to Mount Sinai and is told to prepare the people so that in three days time, they would literally meet Yahveh:
‘In the third month14 after the Sons of Israel had gone out of the land of Egypt, on that very day they came into the wilderness of Sinai. When they set out from Rephidim, they came to the wilderness of Sinai and camped in the wilderness and there Israel camped in front of the Mountain’ (Ex. 19:1-2).
“Yahveh also said to Moses, ‘Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow and let them wash their garments and let them be ready for the third day, for on the third day Yahveh will come down on Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people’ (Ex. 19:10-11).
In all the calculations they would have had enough days, from the time they set up camp until when Shavu’ot might come that year, for them to hear the Voice on Shavu’ot. Some might argue that the text seems to say that they would have gotten to the Mountain after Shavu’ot, ‘on that very day’ implying that they came to the base of the Mountain on the same day (the 15th of the third month) that they left Egypt (the 15th of the first month). If that was the case than Shavu’ot would have already passed. Shavu’ot could only theoretically go until the 12th of the third month (see point #7, Sunday, above being the 15th of the first month).
The Hebrew text, though, doesn’t seem to support the position that the day they got to the Mountain was the 15th of the third month. A better translation would be, ‘in that day they came into the wilderness.’ It’s more of a general designation of when they came than a specific date. The Wycliffe Bible Commentary affirms this when it states that ‘the expression is too general to indicate any particular day.’15 The Hebrew literally states ‘in that day’ suggesting that the day they got there was ‘that day’ that they came to Mt. Sinai, but not necessarily giving a specific date.
Whenever in the third month that they got to the Mountain, Moses would have gone up and down the Mountain twice before he would speak ‘of the third day’ (Ex. 19:3-7, 8-14). Jewish tradition asserts that they got to the Wilderness of Sinai on the 1st of Sivan (the third month). On that first day they would set up Camp. The second and third days, Moses would go up and come down from the Mountain, and the counting of the three days would start on their third day of encampment.16 This would mean that Shavu’ot would have fallen on the 6th of Sivan. This is nice, but it’s calculating from an already established tradition that Shavu’ot must come on the 6th of Sivan. As I’ve previously shown in the article on First Sheaf, the 6th of Sivan was the Pharisaic understanding of when Shavu’ot always had to be, but not the way that it was practiced in the days of the Temple. For instance, in the year 2000, the biblical Shavu’ot fell on Sunday, the 8th of Sivan (June 11th). The rabbinic Shavu’ot fell on the Friday before that, the 6th of Sivan (June 9th). (The biblical Shavu’ot can only fall on a Sunday, but the rabbinic can fall on any day of the week.)17
Be that as it may, the giving of the Law from Mt. Sinai could very well have been on the bibilical Sunday of Shavu’ot, whatever date that may have been that year. This sets up a powerful dual reality, as we’ll see in a moment.
Fifty, the Law of Yahveh, and Freedom
An additional biblical phenomenon also points to the Law being given on Shavu’ot. To understand how the Rabbis tie in the Torah with freedom, we also need to take a look at the Hebrew Bible. The word Torah (תורה) is spelt in Hebrew with a tav, a vav, a raysh and a hay (T-o-r-h…no ‘a’). If one looks for the first tav (t) in Genesis and counts to the 50th letter, the vav (‘o’ in this case) will be there. From that vav, counting another 50 letters, one will find a raysh (r). From that raysh, counting another 50 letters, one will find a hay (h). This spells Torah in Hebrew. Looking for the next tav (t), if one counts to the 50th letter, you’ll find a vav (o). Counting another 50 letters, one finds the letter raysh (r) and 50 letters from the raysh, one finds a hay (h). Coincidence? Hardly. It’s divine handwriting and the phenomena continues for a while in Genesis.18 The continual spelling of Torah over and over again, the letters being separated by the number for freedom, 50 (the Jubilee, Shavu’ot and Shabat/Sabbath) told the Rabbis and tells us that God’s freedom is found in obedience to Torah.
This is why the Jewish people believe the Law was given to Israel on Shavu’ot. Shavu’ot is 50 days after First Sheaf of Passover. Of course, what also happened on Shavu’ot 50 days after Yeshua was first seen on that Sunday of First Sheaf was the giving of the Holy Spirit to Israel. This divinely compliments the Jewish understanding that the Law was given on the first Shavu’ot. Both the Law of God and the Spirit of God were given to Israel on the same day—Shavu’ot. Together they picture total and complete freedom of God.
Having seen what Yahveh intended for the Jubilee, that in the 50th year all the lands would revert back to their original owners, which sprung off of the Passover, it’s appropriate to see the concept of freedom (‘proclaim freedom to all the inhabitants’ Lev. 25:10) in the number 50 and to apply it to the feast that is 50 days after First Sheaf of Pass¬over; Shavu’ot. Shavu’ot is thus anchored into the Passover redemption concept, which is freedom. On Shavu’ot Yahveh gave His Torah from Mt. Sinai, His Instructions in righteousness (2nd Tim. 3:16-17), and with Genesis (and Exodus) reflecting the word Torah within its context when counting every 50th letter from the first tav (for a certain portion of the text), this points to Torah meaning both freedom and that Torah was given on the 50th day (Shavu’ot). Approximately 1,440 years later, God would give His Spirit to Israel on Shavu’ot, another sign that fifty speaks of freedom and Torah, and a compliment to all that has been stated about the feast.
God saved Israel not to do her own thing, but to serve Him and in that, they would find their true freedom. The only way that we can know that we are serving the Living God His Way is by obeying His Word, His Instruction, His Torah, His Law, in the Light of Messiah Yeshua (1st John 5:1-4; Rev. 12:17). Those who walk in His Word are truly free. They come into a level of freedom, understanding and wisdom of God that cannot be gotten any other way.
The giving of the Ten Commandments and the Holy Spirit on Shavu’ot
With the calculation of days and from the Torah itself, with the word ‘Torah’ being spelled within it over and over again, the Ten Commandments were given on Shavu’ot, the day of learning how to walk in this new-found freedom (whether of the First Passover or the Second Passover).19 It would seem that there is some God-given reality to this understanding as this is also the day on which the Holy Spirit was given to Israel. The Word of God and the Spirit of God were given to Israel on the same day:Acts 2:1-4: ‘When the day of Shavu’ot was fulfilled’ (referring to the counting of 50 days), ‘they were all together in one place and suddenly there came from Heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind and it filled the whole house where they were sitting and there appeared to them tongues as of Fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues as the Spirit was giving them utterance.’ What happens after the Spirit falls on Shavu’ot? Peter proclaims freedom from sin and death through the sacrificial blood of the Lamb of God, Messiah Yeshua. This is a throwback to the Passover, which freed Israel from sin and death. Now, here is the Holy Spirit to teach Israel how to walk in the freedom of the Second Passover. This is how God ties Shavu’ot into Passover and reveals also how the Law is glorious freedom.20
The Ten Commandments (representing all the Word of God, both written and Living) and the Spirit of Yahveh were given to Israel on the same day. Shavu’ot means freedom: 7 x 7; holiness and perfection multiplied, intensified and amplified. This reveals that only by walking in His Word with His Spirit are we truly free, just like Yeshua was when He walked in the Land of Israel.
When Yahveh descends upon Mt. Sinai on Shavu’ot in Ex. 19:16f., and speaks the Ten Commandments, the Mountain is ablaze with the Shekina Glory Fire. That same Fire appears over the heads of each person in Acts 2, but before it did, it was one Flame and then it divided. This is how the Greek of Acts 2:3 pictures it: one Tongue of Fire dividing and then resting upon their heads. It’s almost like the 12 were living wicks. This is a picture of the Menorah (the Lamp Stand) in the Holy Place (Ex. 27:20). Israel was being lit or set on Fire by the Spirit of Messiah Yeshua. Israel had just entered another dimension of holiness unto Yahveh, and typically, was now ‘in’ the Holy Place where the Menorah (the Light of Messiah), the Table of Bread (God’s living food, Messiah Yeshua), and the gold Altar were (the prayers of our High Priest, Yeshua).
Shavu’ot—Freedom for both Jew and Gentile
Shavu’ot brings us into the Holy Place of God, to walk by both the Spirit and the Word. Yeshua, filled with the Spirit, walked the Law of Moses out the way it was meant to be walked out. He is our Example. It wasn’t a burden for Him, for He made or created the Law to be a reflection of His character (His heart). In Matthew 22:40 Yeshua spoke of the foundation for the Law being love of Yahveh and neighbor:‘On these two Commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.’All the laws of Moses stem from the two great Commandments and show us both the practical and divine side of walking with our neighbor and understanding God’s holy Ways. The Law of Moses is practical in that they are God’s definition of love. The laws define what is love, God’s love and what is cruel and sinful, such as not to place a stumbling block in the path of a blind man (Lev. 19:14), etc. The Torah is divine in that the laws have not only come from the King of Israel to make His Will known to His people, but there are commandments that, apart from Yahveh telling His people, we would not have known. Things like the holy Feasts and the dietary laws (Lev. 11).
The idea that the Word of God (the Law of Moses) is written upon our hearts by the Holy Spirit that was given to us at Shavu’ot is found in both Jeremiah and Ezekiel:‘But this is the Covenant which I will make with the House of Israel after those days,’ declares Yahveh, ‘I will put My Law within them and on their heart I will write it and I will be their God and they shall be My people’ (Jer. 31:33).Hebrews 10:16 quotes Jeremiah 31:33 and declares that the Work of the Holy Spirit today is to write God’s Law upon our hearts. Nowhere does it say that it’s only part of the Law (i.e., only the first two commandments of ‘love’) or that the Law of Moses has been done away with:
‘Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new Spirit within you. I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances’ (Ezk. 36:26-27).“And the Holy Spirit also testifies to us; for after saying, ‘This is the Covenant that I will make with them after those days,’ says the Lord. I will put My laws upon their heart and on their mind I will write them’" (Heb. 10:15-16).It was specifically in relation to the giving of the Holy Spirit to Israel, as part of the New Covenant, that Yahveh’s Torah would be walked in. It was like that in the beginning with the Apostlesa href="#EN21">21 and today is being restored by the Holy Spirit to the Body of Messiah.
On Shavu’ot in Peter’s time, 3,000 Jewish men gave themselves to Yeshua and found eternal life (Acts 2:38-41). An interesting picture is drawn in comparison to the giving of the Stone Tablets (the Voice and the Words of which were heard on Shavu’ot), with the death that ‘they’ brought. 3,000 Hebrews died when Moses came down the Mountain with the Stone Tablets22 (Ex. 32:28) 40 days later.
Without the Spirit and the Blood, the Word of God (the Law of Moses) cannot be lived out in the New Covenant. No one can be justified before Yahveh by the keeping of the Law, for no one is sinless and besides, the Law was never given for salvation, but for a people already saved23 and needing to know the wisdom of God, which is freedom.24 This is the benefit of being saved; knowing His Will through the Law. One reason why it’s a ‘New’ Covenant is because in the Old there was not the blood of the Lamb and the Spirit given to all. The Law condemned us from ever having eternal life, but the blood of Messiah set us free from that condemnation; not the need to observe the Law of Yahveh.
The reason why so many Jews from all the nations would be in Jerusalem to hear Peter’s message of freedom that day would be because it was Shavu’ot. The Greek implies that the day came in accordance with the ‘counting of the omer’ (Lev. 23:15) or the actual counting of the 50 days from First Sheaf:‘And when was fulfilled the day of Shavu’ot…’ (Acts 2:1; the KJV has, ‘And when the day of Pentecost was fully come…’)All those Jews, from all those different lands, would hear the call of God upon their life and 3,000 Jewish men, not counting women and children (Acts 2:41), would come to Yeshua that day. They would be the first ‘evangelists’ and would return to their Jewish communities and proclaim Yeshua to their Jewish family, friends and neighbors. Salvation would not go out to the Gentiles until Cornelius and Peter in Acts 10, eight to ten years later:
“They were amazed and astonished, saying, ‘Why, are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we each hear them in our own language to which we were born? Parthians and Medes and Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judah and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the districts of Libya around Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs; we hear them in our own tongues speaking of the mighty deeds of God’" (Acts 2:7-11).“And he said to them, ‘You yourselves know how unlawful it is for a man who is a Jew to associate with a foreigner or to visit him, and yet, God has shown me that I should not call any man unholy or unclean’" (Acts 10:28).Gentiles coming into the faith were so novel that when Peter returned the Elders confronted him for eating with some Gentiles, but when they heard that they, too, had received the promised Holy Spirit, they realized that God was bringing the Gentiles into His Kingdom:
“Opening his mouth, Peter said, ‘I most certainly understand now that God is not one to show partiality, but in every nation the man who fears Him and does what is right is welcome to Him’" (Acts 10:34-35).“When they heard this, they were silenced and they praised God, saying, ‘Then God has given even to the Gentiles the repentance that leads to life’" (Acts 11:18).Shavu’ot of Acts 2 was 50 days after Yeshua first ascended to the Father in fulfillment of First Sheaf:“Yeshua said to her, ‘Stop clinging to Me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to My brethren and say to them, ‘I ascend to My Father and your Father, and My God and your God’" (John 20:17).Obviously, Yeshua was already resurrected when He spoke those words to Mary, but He had not yet fulfilled the ultimate meaning of First Sheaf by appearing before His Father as the first to rise from the dead. I believe He rose on the Sabbath.25
Unfortunately, Pentecost in Christianity falls on the 7th Sunday after Easter. It’s not linked to Passover. The timing for the biblical Feast of Pentecost, within Christianity, is not according to how God dates it. Easter and Passover may occasionally coincide, but many times they can be weeks or even a month apart. Because of a wrong starting date, many Christians who do celebrate Pentecost are doing it on the wrong Sunday. Does it really matter? Only if your heart yearns to please God.
Other Names and Meanings for Shavu’ot
Another name for Shavu’ot is Hag HaKatzir (Ex. 23:16; the Festival of the Harvest), the last grain harvest of the season. Also, Yom HaBikorim (Num. 28:26; the Day of First Fruits) when the two loaves of wheat with leaven would be offered up. It was a harvest time for wheat, barley, grapes, dates, figs, pomegranates and olives.
Shavu’ot (literally ‘Weeks’, 7 x 7; Ex. 34:22; Dt. 16:10 and Lev. 23:15-22) speaks of the counting of the omer. The omer refers to the weight of the barley grain offering of First Sheaf. It was about two pounds.26 When it was offered, the counting began. It was seven weeks times seven plus one (50) and would mark the date for the Feast of Weeks (Shavu’ot).Lev. 23:15-18: ‘You shall also count for yourselves from the day after the Sabbath, from the day when you brought in the sheaf (omer) of the wave offering, there shall be seven complete Sabbaths. You shall count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath. Then you shall present a new grain offering to Yahveh. 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 Yahveh. Along with the bread you shall present seven one year old male lambs without defect and a bull of the herd and two rams. They are to be a burnt offering to Yahveh with their grain offering and their drink offerings, an offering by fire of a soothing aroma to Yahveh.’On the 50th day from First Sheaf in Passover, Shavu’ot would fall. Always Sunday to Sunday. Some Christians might see in this justification for observance of Sunday over the Lord’s 7th day Sabbath, but this is not biblical. Of these two annual Sundays, only Shavu’ot is a holy day; a Sabbath. The day that the Lord Yeshua is first seen (First Sheaf) is not an annual Sabbath; it’s not holy. First Sheaf is a time when the High Priest would offer up the first grain. It would be on this day that the risen Yeshua would first appear to Israel (Miryam, etc.). Sunday would be His first ascension as the First Sheaf of Yahveh to be resurrected from the dead. His appearing before the Father would parallel what the High Priest was doing. Being the First Sheaf doesn’t mean He resurrected on that day, but that He appeared before the Father as the First Sheaf to be resurrected from the dead.
Lev. 23:19-22: ‘You shall also offer one male goat for a sin offering and two male lambs one year old for a sacrifice of peace offerings. The High Priest shall then wave them with the bread of the first fruits for a wave offering with two lambs before Yahveh. They are to be holy to Yahveh for the High Priest. On this same day you shall make a proclamation as well. You are to have a holy convocation. You shall do no laborious work. It is to be a perpetual statute in all your dwelling places throughout your generations. When you reap the harvest of your land, moreover, you shall not reap to the very corners of your field nor gather the gleaning of your harvest. You are to leave them for the needy and the stranger.27 I am Yahveh your God.’
The Sunday of Shavu’ot is a holy day (Lev. 23:21), but it cannot be used to support that every Sunday should be holy or that the time of Christian assembly should be on Sunday in contradistinction to the Word of God about His holy seventh day Sabbath. The Sunday of Shavu’ot only comes once a year, and it was already marked out by God for distinction. There’s no allowance in the Word of God to make every Sunday holy.
Leviticus 23:17 speaks of the two loaves for Shavu’ot being leavened. These picture the Jew and the Gentile who have Yeshua residing within. The leaven in the bread offering of Shavu’ot symbolizes God dwelling in fallen humanity through the sacrifice of Yeshua (leaven or yeast is symbolic of sin; 1st Cor. 5:6-8). The Jew and the Gentile are the two flocks that the Lord is making one (John 10:16). We have been given life here and now, but still contain sin (leaven) within. It’s only by the sacrifice of Yeshua that God can dwell in sinful flesh.
The two loaves were made of wheat, unlike the barley that was offered on the Altar for First Sheaf. Barley ripens around Passover. Wheat, about three weeks later. So, Israel would have been harvesting wheat for a few weeks when Shavu’ot came around. These two loaves for Shavu’ot were made from wheat with leaven. They weren’t thrown onto the Altar Fire, but waved (dedicated to Yahveh) and then eaten by the Priest.
Lev. 23:18 speaks of the burnt offering and pictures that Israel was to be totally dedicated to Yahveh. The grain and wine offerings picture Israel transformed by Yahveh. Yeshua, the Israeli, was crushed as grain and poured out as wine at the base of the Altar in Heaven. He is the One who totally surrendered His life while on Earth. He’s our example of total dedication to the will of God.
In verse 19 the sin offering pictured Israel’s sins covered by the blood of Yeshua. The peace offering would picture perfect union with Yahveh through the body of the lamb, the priest eating it in the Presence of Yahveh. In verse 20 the waving of dedication of the loaves would picture that all the grain is Yahveh’s. It’s symbolic of what Yahveh can do with grain that dies to self. The High Priest would eat of these leavened loaves. This is a picture of Yeshua taking us and our sins upon Himself.
We are in Him and He is in us.
Verse 21 doesn’t literally say it’s a Sabbath, but the context of the ‘holy assembly’ and ‘no work’ being done, point directly to this. In verse 22 we see an important ethical reality and one that points to Yahveh’s heart: care for people in less fortunate situations. God commands that the corners of the fields be left for the stranger and the needy. The Rabbis say that the celebration of the Feast of Freedom is not complete until one has helped someone less fortunate than oneself. I agree with them.
A Hard Commandment?
Many people say that the commandments of God are impossible to keep. I wonder if they are referring to Dt. 16:11? In Dt. 16:9-12 it states this about Shavu’ot:Dt. 16:9: ‘You shall count seven weeks for yourself. You shall begin to count seven weeks from the time you begin to put the sickle to the standing grain. Then you must celebrate the Feast of Weeks to Yahveh your God with a tribute of a freewill offering of your hand, which you shall give just as Yahveh your God blesses you.’‘Putting the sickle to the standing grain’ (v. 9) is a reference to when the barley for First Sheaf is cut down. Only until that ‘first sheaf’ is offered to Yahveh may the people eat from the rest of the barley harvest (Lev. 23:14). Until Yeshua offered Himself as the First Sheaf, no one could eat His flesh or drink His blood (i.e. have eternal life; John 6:53-58).
Dt. 16:11-12: ‘and you must rejoice before Yahveh your God, you and your son and your daughter and your male and female servants and the Levite who is in your town, and the stranger and the orphan and the widow who are in your midst, in the place where Yahveh your God chooses to establish His Name. You must remember that you were a slave in Egypt and you must be careful to observe these statutes.’
In verse 10 a freewill offering is mentioned, over and above the tithes, as Yahveh has pros-pered the Israeli. The tithe is the foundation of offerings, not the ceiling. There are other offerings, such as free will offerings that are not part of the initial ten percent, but what joy there is in giving to others as an expression of gratitude to God for what He has done for us.
In verse 11 the Israelis were commanded to rejoice at the place Yahveh chose to establish His Name. Is this what people mean when they say that, ‘No one can keep the Law!’? For some folks that go to church I can see where this commandment to rejoice before God might be hard for them, but Israel was to sanctify the day of Shavu’ot by assembling together as the holy people of Yahveh, rejoicing and feasting in His midst—a most delightful commandment.
In verse 12 an ethical concept of God giving salvation to Israel is seen in this and every feast: to always remember where Israel came from and Who saved them from slavery, and how they were saved; by the blood of the lamb. With this continual reminder and motivation one would feel grateful to God and give to others out of heart felt love for God and what He had done for them. This is also a very fitting concept for those who love and follow the Lamb of God today.
In traditional Judaism (outside the Land of Israel) the fact that Shavu’ot was an agricultural harvest has receded, and the Revelation at Mt. Sinai has taken prominence. The synagogues will have a festive atmosphere with flowers decorating the sanctuary and the book of Ruth read because of it’s agricultural context, and also, because Ruth became a ‘convert’ to Yahveh. This implies her keeping the commandments of Yahveh given at Sinai on Shavu’ot.
Shavu’ot in the Synagogue Today
It’s a day to recognize and to honor all converts to Judaism, for they, like Ruth, chose to leave their way of life, their parents, family and friends to be part of Israel. It’s a day where dairy products are the norm; Israel being the Land flowing with milk and honey (Ex. 3:8; Lev. 20:24; Num. 13:27, 14:8; Dt. 27:3; Josh 5:6; Jer. 32:22; Ezk. 20:6, etc.). No meat will be eaten today in the Orthodox Jewish community because meat and dairy are not eaten together, and this day is a ‘dairy day.’ Not eating meat and dairy together comes from a perverse rabbinic interpretation of Ex. 23:19 (repeated in 34:26; Dt. 14:21), which states that Israel was not to boil a kid of the flock in its mother’s milk. The Rabbis declare that meat and dairy are to be separated (i.e. not eaten together at the same meal). This is an example of sinful rabbinic gymnastics and something that Yeshua would come against, the Rabbis making something sin that God didn’t say was sin. The religious Jew today believes that it is a sin for one to eat dairy and meat together.
The commandment has nothing to do with meat and dairy being separated. God didn’t want His people to follow a pagan fertility practice. In the fall, after the harvest, the Canaanite pagans would boil a kid in the milk of its mother and then take the milk, invoke their god and then sprinkle it in the fields.28 This was ‘to insure’ that the harvest for the following year would be bountiful. Of course, this is magic and very pagan. The first two Scripture cites referring to the young lamb fall right after the Feast of Tabernacles in autumn (Ex. 23:16-21; 34:22-26). The third cite, though it falls near to the Feast of Tabernacles (Dt. 16:13, 16), is actually at the end of the dietary laws in Dt. 14:21.29
With the first two cites of Exodus it’s easy to see that Israel was given the commandment so that they didn’t do in the autumn what the Canaanites were doing, ‘to insure’ their harvest for next year would be bountiful. Israel was to trust Yahveh.
The third cite, falling at the end of the second giving of the dietary laws30 in the Torah, at Dt. 14, doesn’t mean that dairy and meat are to be separated. Verse 21, which has the prohibition against boiling the young lamb, seems to shift to a new thought from the previous dietary laws by first stating that any (clean) animal that dies of itself cannot be eaten by Israel. Then it presents the prohibition about the young lamb. Verse 22 commands Israel to tithe all its produce every year. Verses 23-26 speak of the Feast of Tabernacles and what the Israeli was to bring, which comprised a tithe of ‘all the new wine, oil, herd, flock,’ etc. This would come in the autumn and not the spring (Tabernacles and not Passover), when all the great harvest was in. Verse 27 speaks of not neglecting the Levite. Taken together, it would imply that the admonition not to boil the kid in its mother’s milk applies to the literal doing of such for pagan reasons, and does not have anything to do with the separation of dairy from meat and isn’t linked to the dietary laws even though it’s close to it. God never states that one shouldn’t eat meat and dairy together, and actually, He ate both at the same time when Father Abraham served him meat and dairy together (Gen. 18:8).
Of course, traditional Judaism doesn’t accept Yeshua as Messiah, and so, they don’t have the indwelling Spirit of God for discernment of Scripture, but Gentiles who come to Jesus are part of Israel nonetheless, and need not get caught up in rabbinic Judaism. Judaism has some things that it can show us, but it’s also bound up in rabbinic laws that go against what Yahveh has commanded, and has sunken into the pit of Kabbalah. Kabbalah is nothing more than Babylonian mysticism in Jewish clothes. Kabbalah has seeped into just about every facet of Judaism today.31
On this night the Jewish people stay up all night long in the synagogue reading the Torah, which was given on Shavu’ot. Their staying up all night is not biblical. It’s not commanded by Yahveh, but by the Rabbis, and woe to a religious Jew who shirks this ‘commandment.’ Actually, believers should stay up all night for Passover (Ex. 12:40-42), as Yahveh commands, because on the night of Passover Yahveh ‘stayed up all night’ and brought Israel out of Egyptian slavery, and so, commands us to do the same every year in commemoration of that great event. Yeshua, also, stayed up all night at His last Passover, to bring us out of the Kingdom of Satan (Mt. 26:36f.).
How to celebrate Shavu’ot
Shavu’ot is a holy day, not a holiday. Yahveh calls for a holy assembly and the cessation of all work; in itself, a picture of freedom. All the males were to go up to the place where Yahveh chose to place His Name (Ex. 34:23) and rejoice in His Presence. After David’s capture of Jerusalem, it would be Jerusalem, specifically on Mt. Moriah where the Temple would be built by King Solomon. The shofars would blast, the Levites would lead Israel in singing Psalms 113-118 and 146-150, and the whole city would resonant with thanksgiving for what Yahveh had done, and continued to do, for His people Israel. Today, as believers, it’s wherever we gather, but one day, it will be restored to Jerusalem with Yeshua sitting as King on the Throne of His father King David, in Jerusalem (Rev 20:1-9; Ezk. 40-48).
If your congregation doesn’t recognize Shavu’ot, you might want to gather with your family and friends in a park or a back yard, which has some picnic tables. There you can eat and rejoice before Yeshua. You can pray, sing praise to Him and worship Him there. Open the Scriptures and read some passages concerning Shavu’ot. Perhaps Ex. 19-20 and Acts 2? Ask the Lord to lead you and the others in a discussion of the texts. Remember that it’s a holy day, and so, one cannot buy or sell anything, nor work. The only thing that is different from the weekly seventh day Sabbath is that one can light a fire and prepare (and cook/grill) food (Exodus 12:16 by inference). It’s a day where we must rejoice in the Lord Yeshua! (Even if you’re the only one celebrating Shavu’ot, you can still do these things.)
The Feast of Shavu’ot has two themes. One, Yahveh literally revealed Himself to all Israel from Mt. Sinai (Ex. 19:16ff.), and He gave them the Teaching or Torah (His will), by which His people were to live in His Kingdom. This is magnified by Yahveh giving His Spirit (again a revelation of Who He is), on this day so that we can walk in His Torah (from Genesis through Revelation) without fear of condemnation, knowing that Yeshua (which means salvation/life eternal), awaits us.
The giving of the Holy Spirit superimposed upon Shavu’ot is a perfect fit. Now we see that the Father has revealed Himself to Israel through His Son, Messiah Yeshua, that we might truly know God (Jer. 31:34) by His Word and by His Spirit and live our lives accordingly.“They will not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, ‘Know Yahveh!’ for they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them,’ declares Yahveh, ‘for I will forgive their iniquity and their sin I will remember no more’" (Jer. 31:34).The second theme is that it’s an agricultural feast, thanking Yahveh for providing bread (food) for His people; a very important reality. Yahveh has given us the Bread of Life that we might eat of Yeshua and live forever.
Israel belongs to Yahveh. He has freed us from the Kingdom of Satan, not to do our own thing, but to walk in all His ways (His Torah, His word from Genesis through Revelation) by the Power of His Holy Spirit. This is what Shavu’ot pictures. Shavu’ot is the compliment of Passover. They are like two bookends. Passover freed Israel from slavery to Pharaoh and Shavu’ot taught Israel how to walk in the Way of Freedom, the Law of Yahveh.
Yeshua freed us from slavery to Satan, sin and death by dying as our Passover Lamb, and on Shavu’ot, Yeshua gave us His Spirit that we might learn how to walk in His Word by His Spirit, which is true freedom. This is the essence of Shavu’ot. Interestingly enough, the first verse beginning the Ten Commandments, given on Shavu’ot, speaks of the freedom that we have because of what Yahveh did for us at Passover:‘I am Yahveh your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the House of Slaves’ (Ex. 20:2).
- Enslavement to God is true freedom. Love, faith and obedience to His Word or will is true freedom
- Ex. 1:8-14, 16. In Ex. 1:22 it states, “Then Pharaoh commanded all his people saying, ‘Every son’ (of the Hebrews) ‘who is born, you are to cast into the Nile, but every daughter you are to keep alive.’”
- Interesting to note is that all the annual Sabbaths fall in the first, third and seventh months. These are all special biblical numbers. The number one speaks of the one true God; unity and union. The number three relates to the triune Godhead, and the number seven is God’s holy number as the seventh day Sabbath reveals.
- This is approximately six months before the start of the Hebrew New Year in the spring (late March or early April; Ex. 12:2).
- The Jubilee lasted about a year and a half (from October of the 49th year through April of the 50th year and unto April of the 51st year, which would begin the 51st year).
- Deuteronomy 1:35; 6:18; 8:7, 10, etc.
- Ex. 21:2: ‘If you buy a Hebrew slave, he shall serve for six years, but on the seventh, he shall go out as a free man without payment.’
- I’ve included the additional verses of Is. 61:2-4 as it speaks of the time that we are in now, and a future time yet to come.
- Yeshua came only to the lost sheep of the House of Israel, but many Gentiles also experienced the Joy of Yahveh. For instance, the centurion who told Yeshua that he, like Yeshua, was a man under authority and if Yeshua only spoke the Word, his servant would be healed (Mt. 8:5-13). Also, the Syro-Phoenician women whose faith in Yeshua delivered her daughter from demon possession (Mt. 15:21-28), and the demoniac who went to his own people and proclaimed the wonderful work that Yeshua had done for him in setting him free (Lk. 8:26-39). Also, the leper who was healed who returned to give thanks to Yeshua (Lk. 17:18), and many other Gentiles who were part of the ‘multitude’ that always followed Him because it says that many came from Tyre and Sidon and the Decapolis area (Mt. 4:25; Mk. 3:8; Lk. 6:17).
- Even though I disagree with the rabbinic dating of Shavu’ot as fixed on the 6th of Sivan, I believe that the Ten Commandments were spoken by God from Mt. Sinai on the biblical Shavu’ot, and, it could have been the 6th of Sivan that year that Shavu’ot fell on (see p. 6 below; also see First Sheaf for the biblical dating of First Sheaf and why the Rabbis are wrong in their dating concept for both First Sheaf, and therefore, Shavu’ot at http://www.seedofabraham.net/feasts4.html).
- See also Ex. 12:29-37.
- So much for the rabbinic “Sabbath day’s journey” (about two-thirds of a mile or one kilometer), as the distance one could walk on Shabat.
- From the sighting of the first crescent of any new moon, until the next sighting, there is an average of twenty nine and a half days.
- Just the fact that it was the third month that Yahveh revealed Himself and His Word to Israel suggests that it was on the day of Shavu’ot, which pictures holy freedom.
- Charles F. Pfeiffer, Old Testament, Everett F. Harrison, New Testament, The Wycliffe Bible Commentary (Chicago: Moody Press, 1977), p. 67
- Rabbi Nosson Scherman and Rabbi Meir Zlotowitz, general editors, The Chumash, 2nd edition: 2nd impression (Brooklyn, N.Y: Mesorah Publications, Ltd., Feb. 1994), p. 400-403.
- Shavu’ot can be on the 6th of Sivan, as I have shown above (when the 15th, the first day of Unleavened Bread, comes on the weekly Sabbath). It’s that Jewish tradition has it always coming on the 6th of Sivan because of their understanding of when the counting for Shavu’ot should begin, but their understanding is not correct.
- This same procedure, of finding the first tav and counting to the 50th letter, etc., is also found in the book of Exodus.
- The Second Passover is where Yeshua, who is Freedom and Joy, lines Himself up with the matza (unleavened bread) and the wine, which already meant freedom and joy. By doing so, He amplified the meaning. He didn’t do away with it or the Passover. There will be a Third Passover where all Israel sits at the heavenly Passover Table and partakes of the Lamb of God. This is the Marriage Supper of the Lamb (Rev. 19:9), but like the Passover that Yeshua celebrated with His Apostles that night being called ‘the Last Supper,’ it tells us that the heavenly Supper will also be a Passover. Why? Because at Passover God marries Israel. This is what covenant is all about; union. Whether in Egypt with the blood of the lamb, or in Jerusalem with the Blood of the Lamb, or in the New Jerusalem with the Blood of the Lamb, God is taking a Bride for His Son.
- Jacob (James) writes in 1:16-25 about believers being both ‘first fruits’ unto Yahveh and the Law being the Law of Liberty. The reference to ‘first fruits’ speaks of Shavu’ot as well as the Law being walked out in the Light of Yeshua and the Presence of the Holy Spirit.
- Acts 21:20 says that every Jew in Jerusalem who believed in Yeshua walked in the Torah. This would go on for Jew and Gentile until the Roman Catholic Church and other anti-Semitic bodies would arise. For an in-depth understanding of how the Apostles walked and how we were all meant to live, see Law 102 at http://www.seedofabraham.net/law102.html, and also, The Lifting of the Veil: Acts 15:20-21 at http://seedofabraham.net/LiftingTheVeil.html.
- The reason why the Tablets were made of stone was to picture the Word of God as eternal. That’s also why kings would carve out their victories and achievements on stone. It lasts a long time and is symbolic of eternity. They wanted all the generations after them to know their ‘great’ name.
- First, Yahveh saved Israel from Egyptian slavery and then He brought them to Mt. Sinai. The Law didn’t free them from Egypt but it would give them knowledge of what was pleasing and displeasing (sin) to God (Rom. 7:7).
- Someone might argue then, that Yahveh gave the Law to His people and knew that they couldn’t live up to its Standard. What kind of a God is that? Yahveh gave the Law for a number of reasons. One of them was to show Israel their need for the Messiah (the end or goal of the Law; Rom. 10:4). Gal. 3:19 says, ‘Why the Law then? It was added because of transgressions, having been ordained through angels by the agency of a mediator, until the Seed would come to whom the promise had been made.’ Rom. 7:7: “What shall we say then? Is the Law sin? May it never be! On the contrary, I would not have come to know sin except through the Law. For I would not have known about coveting if the Law had not said, ‘You shall not covet.’” It’s not that the Israeli could not walk in the Law at all, but he could not stand before Yahveh on Judgment Day and say that he was sinless, and therefore, had earned eternal life by keeping the Law. Inherent in the Law was provision for breaking it: sacrifice and forgiveness of sins (Lev. 5, etc.). Also, with the giving of the Holy Spirit the essence of the Law has been revealed by Messiah so that it’s not enough to abstain from murder, but one also has to deal with hate and revenge, etc. The Standard has increased exponentially.
- No authoritative Scripture declares that Yeshua rose on Sunday. Yes, He was first seen on Sunday, it being First Sheaf, but the Scriptures are silent as to the day and the hour of His resurrection. See Mark 16 and the Resurrection at http://seedofabraham.net/mark169Res.html.
- C. F. Keil and F. Delitzsch, Commentary On The Old Testament, vol. 1: The Pentateuch (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 2001), p. 459.
- The needy are the orphan and the widow. The stranger is one who comes to live with Israel.
- The Jewish view (of not boiling a kid in its mother’s milk) is that one should not eat meat and dairy together, thus avoiding the possibility of eating the meat of the kid and the milk of the mother together. Of course, the possibility exists that one can eat the meat of the kid and the milk of the mother at different times. Extending the rabbinic interpretation to all meat and dairy, one finds the impossible situation of chickens, which don’t give milk, but are nevertheless prohibited from being eaten with dairy products. It was a pagan practice to boil a kid in its mother’s milk and use it to fertilize the fields for next year’s crops:
Rev. James M. Freeman, Manners and Customs of the Bible (Plainfield, NJ: Logos International, 1972), p. 73, #133, states: this ‘injunction is put in connection with sacrifices and festivals’ (and not a dietary regulation). The seething of a kid in his mother’s milk was an idolatrous practice done ‘for the purpose of making trees and fields more fruitful the following year.’ He says, ‘on the authority of an ancient Karaite comment on the Pentateuch…it was an ancient heathen custom to boil a kid in the dam’s milk, and then besprinkle with it all the trees, fields, gardens and orchards.’
Charles F. Pfeiffer, Old Testament; Everett F. Harrison, New Testament, The Wycliffe Bible Commentary (Chicago: Moody Press, 1977), p. 73, states: ‘in the Ugarit literature discovered in 1930, it was learned that boiling a kid in its mother’s milk was a Canaanite practice used in connection with fertility rites (Birth of the Gods, 1:14).’
R. L. Harris, editor; Gleason Archer, Jr. and Bruce Waltke, associate editors, Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament, vol. II (Chicago: Moody Press, 1980), p. 285, writes: “Since a Ugaritic text (UT 16: Text no. 52:14) specifies, ‘They cook a kid in milk…the biblical injunction’ was ‘directed against a Canaanite fertility rite.’”
- God wanted Israel to be holy (Dt. 14:2), which meant that they weren’t to follow the ways of the pagans around them by boiling the kid in its mother’s milk.
- The first time the dietary laws appear is found in Lev. 11:1-47. Interestingly enough, the passage on boiling a kid in its mother’s milk is not listed in Lev. 11.
- See Kabbalah at http://www.seedofabraham.net/kabbalah.html for why it’s witchcraft in Jewish clothes.
Email Avram — firstname.lastname@example.org
|FEASTS| |PREVIOUS ARTICLE| |NEXT ARTICLE| |MAIN PAGE|