How Does Shavuot/Pentecost (Vayikra/Leviticus 23:15-21) Relate to Messiah’s Followers?
“‘From the day after the day of rest — that is, from the day you bring the sheaf for waving — you are to count seven full weeks, until the day after the seventh week;
you are to count fifty days; and then you are to present a new grain offering to Adonai. You must bring bread from your homes for waving — two loaves made with one gallon of fine flour, baked with leaven — as firstfruits for Adonai.
Along with the bread, present seven lambs without defect one year old, one young bull and two rams; these will be a burnt offering for Adonai, with their grain and drink offerings, an offering made by fire as a fragrant aroma for Adonai.
Offer one male goat as a sin offering and two male lambs one year old as a sacrifice of peace offerings. The cohen will wave them with the bread of the firstfruits as a wave offering before Adonai, with the two lambs; these will be holy for Adonai for the cohen.
On the same day, you are to call a holy convocation; do not do any kind of ordinary work; this is a permanent regulation through all your generations, no matter where you live.
Leviticus 23:15-21 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)
In this passage, the holy day is called Bikkurim (First Fruits). It is the day of bringing first fruits as an offering to God.
From the context, we know that this refers to the latter fruits of the spring harvest. Previously, the early first fruits (barley) were brought in and waved before the Lord during Passover season. Now, fifty days later, the latter first fruits (wheat) were offered to the Lord.
This holy day is better known by two other names. Jewish people know it as Shavuot (Weeks) because it occurs seven weeks after Passover’s first, First Fruits. Greek-speaking Jews and Christians called this day “Pentecost” (fiftieth) because it occurs fifty days after the day referred to in Leviticus 23:16.
Shavuot is designated as a time of thanksgiving for the early harvest. God’s faithfulness in providing the early wheat harvest increases hopefulness for an abundant fall harvest (celebrated during Sukkot). Giving thanks for present provision builds faith for future blessing.
The Bible says that the Israelites came to Mount Sinai in the third month after Passover (Exodus 19:1). Thus, Shavuot is the day Moses received the Torah for the people. Modern observance celebrates the giving of the Torah.
This festival is mentioned a number of times in the New Testament. Perhaps the most well-known reference to this holy day appears in Acts 2:1–5, 12:
The festival of Shavuot arrived, and the believers all gathered together in one place. Suddenly there came a sound from the sky like the roar of a violent wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting….They were all filled with the Ruach HaKodesh and began to talk in different languages, as the Spirit enabled them to speak. Now there were staying in Yerushalayim religious Jews from every nation under heaven. Amazed and confused, they all went on asking each other, “What can this mean?”
Another important reference is from Paul, who wrote,
The fact is that the Messiah has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have died. For since death came through a man [Adam], also the resurrection of the dead has come through a man [Yeshua]. … and in connection with the Messiah, all will be made alive, each in his own order. (1 Corinthians 15:20-23).
If the ministry of Messiah was foreshadowed in the biblical festivals, could the first, First Fruits point to Yeshua’s resurrection and the latter First Fruits point to the resurrection of all believers at Sukkot (Tabernacles)?
And since we see the link between the Torah given on Shavuot and the Holy Spirt poured out on Pentecost, Shavuot is a vital holiday for God’s people to celebrate, as we prepare for the soon-coming final harvest at Sukkot.
Rabbi Baruch Rubin
SHAVUOT / PENTECOST
Bikkurim (First Fruits)
Mo'edim (Appointed time)
Thanksgiving and Feasting
Work is not permitted
2 day holiday
Yizkor is recited on Shavuot, Saturday, May 30, 2020
50 days after Pesach (Passover)
Celebrated from the beginning of sundown on the 5th of Sivan and lasting until nightfall of the 7th of Sivan
Emmanuel's Celebration: May 30, 2020
Celebration Start: 10 am
Online or at
6120 Day Long Ln
Clarksville, MD 21029
Begins sunset of Friday, September 18, 2020
Ends nightfall of Sunday, September 20, 2020