Feast of Weeks
Pentecost, also called the Feast of First Fruits
and Shavuot, falls on the
50th day after the Passover Sabbath. This feast is a reminder, a guarantee of
Yahweh's power to produce spiritual fruit in the field of human salvation.
The literal first fruits of the soil are merely the physical types or
expressions of the real first fruits of the Holy Spirit.
The first fruits of the Holy Spirit are the true believers won to God by
His Son the firstborn. (1
Corinthians 15:20, 23; James
The ancient ceremony of presenting the Almighty with the firstfruits of the
26:1-11) with two oven-baked loaves, in which the leaven had been
23:15-17), was a figure, a type, a shadow of the spiritual
harvest of human souls in whom the yeast of sin will one day cease to
exist in both Jew and Gentile believers alike. There is coming a day when the power of sin will be de-activated in us
believers just as the power of leaven is neutralised in an oven baked loaf.
The breathtaking experience recorded in Acts 2 was but the
a kind of "firstfruits" of an even greater out-pouring of divine power
scheduled to fall upon the church in the near future when the main harvest of
human beings will be gathered in.
The Feast of Pentecost, in short, prefigures, guarantees and commemorates the
early harvest, the first fruits of human souls: and those who
celebrate it declare their willingness to be part of that spiritual multitude
which will one day be gathered in and presented to the Almighty by His Son - the
From a Jewish
Shavuot is the time when we celebrate the
"Giving of the Torah." The holiday has a number of other names, such as "The
Feast of Weeks" because we have finished counting 7 weeks and "Pentecost"
because of the 50 days after Pesach.
It is also known as the "Festival of the Harvest" as it was the season of the
wheat harvest, the last grain to ripen. All these names are found in the Torah:
Exodus 34:22; Leviticus
The name we know it most by, though, is "The Season for the Giving of the
19:8. Shavuot is when the Israelites were given the Torah and
pledged their allegiance to G-d by saying: "All that the Lord has given, we
shall do and obey," Exodus
24:7. It is the time of the revelation at Sinai, the
giving of the Ten commandments or the "Ten Words."
Shavouth is one of the three holidays during
which our ancestors walked to the Holy Temple in Jerusalem to offer sacrifices
and celebrate together. As God says in Exodus 23: 14-17:
times you are to hold pilgrimage for me, every year...At three points in the
year are all your males to be seen before the presence of God."
Shavouth marks the beginning of the
Church or the Body of Messiah when the Holy Spirit was given. Acts
"When the Day of Pentecost (50
days) had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And
suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it
filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared
to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with
other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. And there were
dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven."
1. Decorating the Home and Synagogue -- to maintain a link with the agricultural
nature of the festival, it is customary to decorate the home and synagogue with
2. Dairy Dishes -- No one knows for sure why this custom arose. Perhaps it is
because of the verse in the Song of Songs 4:11, ``honey and milk shall be under
your tongue,'' referring to Torah. Cheese blintzes are on of the favorite foods
3. Reading the Book of Ruth -- the Book of Ruth is read for several reasons. In the
story, Ruth arrives in the land of Israel around the time of Shavuot. Her
genealogy at the end of the book reveals that she is the great-grandmother of
King David who died on Shavuot. And her acceptance of our people and our
traditions is comparable to receiving the Torah at Sinai.
See the The
Kingdom Calendar Pt. 11 for the Shavuot connection to the end-times.
More About Pentecost/Shavuot on Wikipedia.