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Shavuot - Feast of Weeks


The fourth festival, in late spring or early summer, was called the Feast of Weeks (Shavuot), or Pentecost, and took place exactly 50 (7x7 weeks +1) days after Passover. Pentecost is the Greek word for fiftieth.  Agriculturally, it celebrates the harvest of the wheat.


In the Temple, two loaves of wheat bread were waved before the Lord, together with the animal sacrifices (Lev 23: 15-21, Num 28:26-31, Dt 16:9-12). It was to be a feast of rejoicing and remembering that they had been brought out of slavery into freedom.


TODAY’S PRACTICES


Once again, as the Temple is no longer standing, the offerings cannot be offered, but the rabbis have associated Shavuot with the giving of the Law on Mt Sinai because that occurred in the third month after they left Egypt (Ex 19:1). It is traditional to eat dairy foods at Shavuot. The readings in the synagogues at this time are the Book of Ruth (because she came to Bethlehem at this time of year) and also Ezek 1:1-28,3:12, and Hab 2:20-3:19.  These tell of a vision of the Throne of God in His heavenly Temple surrounded by fire and wind.


FULFILMENT


In circa 30AD, as the observant Jews came to the temple to bring their sheaves of wheat as a thanksgiving to the Lord for a bountiful grain harvest to come, the Holy Spirit fell on the apostles in the upper room.  


Wind, fire and the glory of God were manifest in Jerusalem that day, as this Scripture was being read in the Temple. Fire fell on the heads of the disciples and a rushing mighty wind was heard. Men of fear were turned into bold ambassadors for Christ and began clearly preaching the message of Jesus the Messiah, who had just fulfilled the prophecies of the Old Covenant. What’s more, they told it in many languages they could not speak, and were understood by the Jews gathered in the Temple from many different countries, who were celebrating this 2nd pilgrimage festival. They were not drunk that early in the morning, but rather, the supernatural Holy Spirit of God had fallen upon them and empowered them to continue the work of Jesus on earth and spread the good news of salvation throughout the world (Acts chapter 2).


As the Law in stone was given on Mt Sinai, 3,000 people died as a result of idolatry at the foot of the mountain (Ex 32:28). On this first Shavuot after Yeshua’s death and resurrection, a new law was written on the hearts of 3,000 Jews. The first fruits of a new harvest came into the Kingdom, as a result of Peter’s preaching that day. 3,000 people were saved (Acts 2:41), and began the fulfillment of the promise of Jeremiah 31:33, “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”. A new covenant was established – the church was born and a new era had begun.