Shavu’ot – what is it, anyway?

Shavu’ot

Shavu’ot – what’s it all about? And what are we supposed to do?

Leviticus/V’Yikra 15 ‘And you shall count for yourselves from the day after the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering: seven Sabbaths shall be completed.
16 Count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath;

then you shall offer a new grain offering to the LORD.

17 You shall bring from your dwellings two wave loaves

of two-tenths of an ephah. (4 quarts of flour) They shall be of fine flour; they shall be baked with leaven. They are the firstfruits to the LORD. 18……19……..

20 The priest shall wave them with the bread of the firstfruits as a wave offering before the LORD,

They shall be holy to the LORD for the priest. 21 And you shall proclaim on the same day that it is a holy convocation to you.

You shall do no customary work on it. It shall be a statute forever in all your dwellings throughout your generations.

So from this we learn that 50 days from the crucifixion (from the morrow after the Sabbath – and I chose the Sadducean count – the WEEKLY Sabbath). Each day is an opportunity to meditate on what we can do to improve ourselves and to be more kind and loving to others. There are many sources available to find suggestions on how to accomplish this.
We are to bring two loaves of leavened bread made from 4 qts. of “fine” flour to wave before the Lord. We can only wave toward the East as there is no Temple in Jerusalem. He said we (Believers) are ALL priests now. So we are all responsible to do this. Rabbis made up a series of things to do. But it is not commanded by G-d to follow these instructions. I chose not to…..

We also learn that day (always a Sunday) is to be a holy Sabbath with its customary cessation of regular work and a holy convocation is required. A convocation is a meeting of Believers to worship and honor Yah. This is done by meeting together, worshiping Him with song and dance, sharing a Feast together and rejoicing in His love for us.

It is a lovely tradition to dress well, eat sweet dairy foods, (Israel is a Land of milk and honey) decorate with flowers and greenery, read the Book of Ruth, which took place at the time of the wheat harvest, and stay up all night studying Torah.

In the Book of Ruth, it says “barley” harvest, but actually barley was harvested earlier – about the time of Pesach. There is some confusion concerning grains.

No matter – at least we know it wasn’t corn! There was no corn in Israel at that time.

“Another misnomer is the word corn. In the Bible, corn generally means wheat or barley or some other cereal grain. Corn, as we know it today, did not exist in Bible lands. Corn, was discovered in Cuba by Columbus, and was taken back to Europe on his first or second return trip. When the Europeans came to what is now called the United States, the Native American Indians were growing a crop called maize. It was a primitive form of the corn as we know it today.” http://www.newfoundationspubl.org/cornwine.htm

After the first Pesach, the Israelites left Egypt and went to Mt. Sinai. It was an eleven day journey from Egypt to Canaan. How long to Mt. Sinai? Scripture says it took 45 days. That’s understandable – with 2 million + people and livestock. Moshe was on the mountain 40 days. He came down with the tablets of stone, written by the finger of Yah. The Torah was given there. It was a marriage proposal from Yah to His people. They accepted. It was our betrothal and we were “called out” and became the kehilot – the beginning of “the church”. The church was “born” at Shavu’ot. It is said the “church” was born at “Pentecost” in the New Testament. Not so. But it was the same day.

Acts 2:1 When the Day of Pentecost (Shavu’ot – both mean fifty) had 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 the whole house where they were sitting. 3 Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

Acts 2:40 And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation.” 41 Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them.

3,000 people died at Mt. Sinai after the incident of the Golden Calf.

Exodus 32: 27 And he said to them, “Thus says the LORD God of Israel: ‘Let every man put his sword on his side, and go in and out from entrance to entrance throughout the camp, and let every man kill his brother, every man his companion, and every man his neighbor.’” 28 So the sons of Levi did according to the word of Moses. And about three thousand men of the people fell that day.

Old Covenant = 3,000 souls lost
New Covenant = 3,000 souls gained Interesting?

Summary:
• Count each day from the “morrow after the Sabbath” for 50 days. It will bring you to Shavu’ot. The connection is – Pesach freed us from the bondage of Egypt (original sin) and Shavu’ot frees us from immorality (daily sins) by showing us what to do and not to do.

• We bring our challot, (first fruits) made with 4 qts. of fine flour to wave before the Lord at a holy convocation (meeting).

• This is a Sabbath and no regular work is to be done.

• Our meeting place is to be decorated with baskets of spring flowers, fruits and greens.

• We worship in song and dance, study Torah and give praise and honor to Yah.

• We dress well, eat sweet dairy foods and stay up all night studying Torah.

• Shavu’ot is the second of the three Pilgrimage Festivals when all males were required to go to Jerusalem to worship the Lord and bring offerings

• These days are called mo’adim or appointed times or rehearsals for what is to come. We are practicing! If you didn’t do all that you should have done for Shavu’ot this year – you can strive to do better next year! May Abba bless our efforts to please Him and do all that we can do
to worship Him in Spirit and Truth.

Shalom!

fjc – 6/9/11

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