(This blog has been updated with scriptures from the Millennium Edition את Cepher.)
I have been asked recently if it is possible to determine information about Shavu’oth. Let’s take a look at the Eth Cepher and see what there is to discover.
Vayiqra (Leviticus) 23:15-21
15 And ye shall count unto you from the morrow after the Shabbath, from the day that ye brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven Shabbaths shall be complete: 16 Even unto the morrow after the seventh Shabbath shall ye number fifty days; and ye shall offer a renewed oblation unto Yahuah. 17 Ye shall bring out of your habitations two wave loaves of two tenth deals: they shall be of fine flour; they shall be baked with leaven; they are the first fruits unto Yahuah. 18 And ye shall offer with the bread seven lambs without blemish of the first year, and one young bullock, and two rams: they shall be for an ascending smoke offering unto Yahuah, with their oblation, and their drink offerings, even an offering made by fire, of sweet savor unto Yahuah. 19 Then ye shall sacrifice one kid of the goats for a sin offering, and two lambs of the first year for a sacrifice of peace offerings. 20 And the priest shall wave them with the bread of the first fruits for a wave offering before Yahuah, with the two lambs: they shall be holy to Yahuah for the priest. 21 And ye shall proclaim on the selfsame day, that it may be a holy assembly unto you: ye shall do no servile work therein: it shall be a statute forever in all your dwellings throughout your generations.
This passage presents some difficulties, which will be addressed here. First, we find this discussion about the count beginning after the Shabbath, from the day that ye brought the sheaf of the wave offering; The waving of the sheaf offering occurs on the day after the Shabbath found within the feast of Matstsah. The discussion that is set forth above then goes on to discuss the seven Shabbathoth (Sabbaths) found thereafter. This does not designate the Chag (high sabbath) which is the beginning and ending of Matstsah, but the regular seven-day sabbath.
Second, this passage eliminates the notion that the sabbath is variable depending on the moon cycles. Instead, we have a strong edict that establishes a 7-day sabbath, such that seven in a row equals 49 days, and the following day – day 50 – is then celebrated as Shavu’oth. Is there a second witness.
So, in calculating this current year, we find the new moon on Erev Aviyv being the evening of March 16 and the day of March 17.
This puts Erev Pecach beginning on March 30 and falling on the regular Sabbath of March 31.
This puts Chag Matstsah (the high sabbath of Matstsah) on the evening of March 31 and the day of April 1. As a consequence, the sabbath from which the counting of the Omer would begin is the regular sabbath beginning on Erev Shabbat on April 6 and continuing through April 7. The wave offering of Bikoor then occurs on April 8.
Counting the Omer for seven sevens (7 weeks), we see that Shavu’oth begins on the evening of May 26 and continues through to May 27. This is our reckoning as set forth in the Yom Qodesh.
Let us consider this great feast even more. Mosheh goes on to say in the restatement of the Torah found in Devariym (and remember, the Ten Words [ten commandments] were given twice):
Devariym (Deuteronomy) 16:9-12
9 Seven weeks you shall number unto you: begin to number the seven weeks from such time as you begin to put the sickle to the grain. 10 And you shall keep the Feast of Shavu’oth unto Yahuah Elohayka with a tribute of a freewill offering of your hand, which you shall give unto Yahuah Elohayka, according as Yahuah Elohayka has blessed you: 11 And you shall rejoice before Yahuah Elohayka, you, and your son, and your daughter, and your manservant, and your maidservant, and the Leviyiy that is within your gates, and the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, that are among you, in the place which Yahuah Elohayka has chosen to place his name there. 12 And you shall remember that you were a bondman in Mitsrayim: and you shall guard and do these statutes.
So, we see that Shavu’oth was intended as a feast of rejoicing, and a feast celebrating freedom from Mitsrayim (Egypt).
Devariym (Deuteronomy) 16:16-17
16 Three times in a year shall all your males appear before Yahuah Elohayka in the place which he shall choose; in the Feast of Matstsah, and in the Feast of Shavu’oth, and in the Feast of Cukkoth: and they shall not appear before Yahuah empty: 17 Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of Yahuah Elohayka which he has given you.
There is an additional reason given for the feast of Shavu’oth given to us in the book of Yovheliym (Jubilees):
Yovheliym (Jubilees) 6:15-17
15 And he gave to Noach and his sons a sign that there should not again be a flood on the earth. 16 He set his bow in the cloud for a sign of the eternal covenant that there should not again be a flood on the earth to destroy it all the days of the earth. 17 For this reason it is ordained and written on the heavenly tablets, that they should celebrate the Feast of Shavu’oth in this month once a year, to renew the covenant every year.
We see that the Noachiym covenant sign of the bow in the heavens to never flood the earth again was given on Shavu’oth – yet it is specified that this is not the only meaning for the feast.
Yovheliym (Jubilees) 6:18-22
18 And this whole feast was celebrated in heaven from the day of creation till the days of Noach twenty-six jubilees and five weeks of years: and Noach and his sons observed it for seven jubilees and one week of years, till the day of Noach’s death, and from the day of Noach’s death his sons did away with it until the days of Avraham, and they ate blood. 19 But Avraham observed it, and Yitschaq and Ya`aqov and his children observed it up to your days, and in your days the children of Yashar’el forgot it until ye celebrated it anew on this mountain. 20 And do you command the children of Yashar’el to observe this feast in all their generations for a commandment unto them: one day in the year in this month they shall celebrate the feast. 21 For it is the Feast of Shavu’oth and the Feast of First fruits of the wheat harvest: this feast is twofold and of a double nature: according to what is written and engraved concerning it, celebrate it. 22 For I have written in the cepher of the first Torah, in that which I have written for you, that you should celebrate it in its season, one day in the year, and I explained to you its sacrifices that the children of Yashar’el should remember and should celebrate it throughout their generations in this month, one day in every year.
And it is true that Shalomah (Solomon) also celebrated this feast in similitude:
Divrei Hayamiym Sheniy (2 Chronicles) 8:11-13
11 And Shalomah brought up the daughter of Phar`oh out of the city of Daviyd unto the house that he had built for her: for he said: My woman shall not dwell in the house of Daviyd king of Yashar’el, because the places are holy, whereunto the Ark of Yahuah has come. 12 Then Shalomah offered ascending smoke offerings unto Yahuah on the altar of Yahuah, which he had built before the porch, 13 Even after a certain rate every day, offering according to the commandment of Mosheh, on the Shabbaths, and on the New Moons, and on the solemn feasts, three times in the year, even in the Feast of Matstsah, and in the Feast of Shavu’oth, and in the Feast of Cukkoth.
But we have an interesting progression of circumstances as prophesied. It begins in Yirmeyahu:
Yirmeyahu (Jeremiah) 31:31-34
31 Behold, the days come, says Yahuah, that I will cut a Renewed Covenant with the house of Yashar’el, and with the house of Yahudah: 32 Not according to the covenant that I cut with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Mitsrayim; which my covenant they broke, although I was a husband unto them, says Yahuah: 33 But this shall be the covenant that I will cut with the house of Yashar’el; After those days, says Yahuah, I will put my Torah in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their Elohiym, and they shall be my people. 34 And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying: Know Yahuah: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, says Yahuah: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.
And was this prophecy realized? Of course, it was (and is being realized). And it began on Shavu’oth.
Ma’asiym (Acts) 2:1-4
1 And when the day of Shavu’oth was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. 3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Ruach Ha’Qodesh, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Ruach gave them utterance.
And who else celebrated this feast?
Ma’asiym (Acts) 20:16
16 For Pa’al had determined to sail by Ephesus, because he would not spend the time in Asia: for he hasted, if it were possible for him, to be at Yerushalayim the day of the Feast of Shavu’oth.
Chag Sameach Shavu’oth!