Counting to Shavuot (Pentecost)
This study is concerning the counting to the day of Shavuot. The word Shavuot is Hebrew for weeks. It is therefore also known as the Feast of Weeks. The Greek word Pentecost means "fifty", and it will also be seen, in this study, why the number 50 is of significance.
In the Word of YHWH it says...
Leviticus 23:10 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye be come into the land which I give unto you, and shall reap the harvest thereof, then ye shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest unto the priest: 11 And he shall wave the sheaf before YHWH, to be accepted for you: on the morrow after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it.12 And ye shall offer that day when ye wave the sheaf an he lamb without blemish of the first year for a burnt offering unto YHWH.
These verses are the instructions on when to wave the sheaf of first fruits before YHWH. Then, in verse 15...
Leviticus 23:15 And ye shall count unto you from the morrow after the Sabbath, from the day that ye brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven Sabbaths shall be complete:16 Even unto the morrow after the seventh Sabbath shall ye number fifty days; and ye shall offer a new meat offering unto YHWH.
There is a controversy concerning what is meant by the "morrow after the Sabbath." This controversy even existed when the temple was still standing in Jerusalem. The question, when is this Sabbath? Is it the seventh day Sabbath that falls during the Feast of Unleavened Bread? Or is it the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread (which is a high day)?
It is interesting to note that the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread is not called a Sabbath (Shabbat). Strong's #7676 (Shabbat) is only used for the weekly Sabbath and for Yom Kippur (day of atonement), whereas Strong's #7677 (Shabbaton) is used for high days (it is usually translated as "rest") as in Leviticus 23:3, where it is "Shabbat Shabbaton," and is translated "Sabbath of rest".
At this point, I will quote from the above verses as found in the Septuagint, which is an ancient Greek translation of the Tanach (old testament). Verses 11 and 16...
Leviticus 23:11 (Septuagint)
11 and he shall lift up the sheaf before YHWH, to be accepted for you. On the morrow of the first day the priest shall lift it up.
And then in verses 15 and 16
Leviticus 23:15-16 (Septuagint)
15 And ye shall number to yourselves from the day after the Sabbath, from the day on which ye shall offer the sheaf of the heave-offering, seven full weeks: 16 until the morrow after the last week ye shall number fifty days, and shall bring a new meat-offering to YHWH.
Nehemia Gordon states, concerning the Septuagint, (Nehemiah is a professor at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem)...
"The Septuagint is a (Greek) translation of the Tanakh whereas the Masoretic text is the original-language text. We know from rabbinical source that in 2nd Temple times their interpretation was challenged by the Temple priesthood based on the written text. This ancient debate corroborates that in 2nd Temple times the text said the same thing it says today in Hebrew, the only difference being one of interpretation. The Septuagint is full of Pharisee-influenced interpretations not to mention countless mistranslations and errors. It has value as an ancient witness but is secondary to the original Hebrew text."
So, even though the Septuagint translation does support the Pharisee's position, we should not trust it over the Hebrew text.
Using the Hebrew text, let's look again at the verses in question...
Leviticus 15 And ye shall count unto you from the morrow after the Sabbath, from the day that ye brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven Sabbaths shall be complete: 16 Even unto the morrow after the seventh Sabbath shall ye number fifty days; and ye shall offer a new meat offering unto YHWH
Notice how it says, "Even unto the morrow after the seventh Sabbath." Now, if you started your count using the morrow after the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, then the day before Pentecost would not usually be a Sabbath (it could be any day of the week).
Let's now turn to the book of Yahushua (Joshua):
Joshua 5:11 And they did eat of the old grain of the land on the morrow after the passover, unleavened cakes, and parched grain in the selfsame day.
The significance of this is the fact, that according to the Word of YHWH, the children of Israel were not permitted to eat the new grain of the land until after the wave sheaf...
Leviticus 23:14 ‘And you do not eat bread or roasted grain or fresh grain until the same day that you have brought an offering to your Elohim – a law forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.
It can be seen that they were forbidden from eating new grain until after the wave sheaf was offered. Since it took place on the morrow after the Passover (in Joshua 5:11), that would make it the 15th that year, not the 16th (as is according to the Jewish Calendar).
Numbers 33:3 gives a confirmation of this...
Numbers 33:3 And they departed from Rameses in the first month, on the fifteenth day of the first month; on the morrow after the Passover the children of Israel went out with an high hand in the sight of all the Egyptians.
It is also a fact that all of YHWH's annual feasts are on a certain date, that is all except Shavuot. But, according to the Jewish calendar, Shavuot always falls on the 6th of Sivan. So, according to the Jewish Calendar, the count to Shavuot always begins on the 16th day of the first month (that is, on the day after the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread).
Question: Do you believe that Yahushua was the wave sheaf? What is the wave sheaf? The wave sheaf is the first of the first fruits of the barley harvest...1Co 15:20 But now is the Messiah risen from the dead, and become the first fruits of them that slept. According to Leviticus 23:10-11, when the priest waved the sheaf, it was being presented to YHWH.
For evidence that Yahushua was presented to the Father on the day of the wave sheaf offering, let's turn to John chapter 20...
John 20:17 Yahushua saith unto her, "Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my Elohim, and your Elohim."
After this day, it was apparently ok to touch him...
John 20:24 But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Yahushua came.25 The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen Yahushua. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe. 26 And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Yahushua, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you. 27 Then saith he to Thomas, reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.
It is a fact that the wave sheaf was offered on the 16th of Aviv, on the year that Yahushua died, the wave sheaf would have been offered on 6th day (what the world calls friday). At that time, Yahushua was still in the grave.
According to all the preceding evidence, it only stands to reason that the wave sheaf is always offered on the morrow after the weekly Sabbath. It also seems that it is always offered during the Feast of Unleavened Bread.
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