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The Feast of Weeks

(How to Celebrate it)

 

 

          The fourth feast mentioned in the scriptures is called the Feast of Weeks (shauvot).  This feast is the next feast after the Feast of Passover, Unleavened Bread, and First Fruits.  If you have not read my article on these feasts please click here and read it first.  The Feast of Weeks is a celebration of the wheat harvest.

 

Counting the Weeks:

 

          At the end of the Passover week a countdown to the Feast of Weeks begins.  The Feast of Weeks starts the day after the seventh Sabbath from the Feast of First Fruits.  To determine when the Feast of Weeks is we must first determine the day of the Feast of First Fruits.  The First Fruits during the Passover Week falls on, "the morrow after the Sabbath" during the Passover Week (Lev. 23:11, 15).  This is the weekly Sabbath (Saturday) and not the Holy Day Assembly.  We know this because the word for Sabbath is shabbâth, which means, "intermission, that is, (specifically) the Sabbath" (Strong's Dictionary - H7676).  This is most often used of the seventh day Sabbath.  However, though this word can be used for a Holyday Sabbath, the context is that of counting to the seventh Sabbath for the Feast of Weeks.  We can conclude that the Sabbath referred to here is the seventh day Sabbath during the week of Passover.  If you counted from any other day, seven Sabbath's would not be fifty days.

          Whenever the weekly Sabbath occurs during the feast of Passover, we are to count seven Sabbaths from that day.  The day after the seventh Sabbath is the Feast of Weeks (Lev.23:16).  This will always fall on the first day of the week (Sunday), which is why the Greek word for the Feast of Weeks is Pentecost (pentēkostē), which means "fiftieth" (Strong's Dictionary - G4005).  The Feast of Weeks is exactly fifty days from the weekly Sabbath of the week of Passover.  It can only be fifty days if the first Sabbath day is a weekly Sabbath.  If this Sabbath refers to the Holyday Sabbath it might be slightly more or less than fifty days.  Each Sabbath after the Passover is to be counted and observed.  Hebrew families might have a special meal at the end of each Sabbath as a way to count the seven Sabbaths.  The Jews to this day call this, "counting the Omer."

 

The Offerings:

 

          There are several offerings to be given during the Feast of Weeks.  It is these offerings that will help identify what to do and how to celebrate the Feast of Weeks.  The offerings to be given during the Feast of Weeks are as follows:

  • Two wave loafs (meal offerings/wave offerings) - (Lev. 23:17, Lev. 23:20)

  • Seven lambs of the first year, one bullock, and two rams for a burnt offering - (Lev. 23:18)

  • Each burnt offering will be offered with their meal and drink offerings - (Lev. 23:18)

    • Three tenth deals of flour and half hin of wine for bullock - (Num. 28:12, Num. 15:10)

    • Two tenth deals of flour and third hin of wine for a ram - (Num. 28:12, Num. 15:7)

    • One tenth deals of flour and fourth hin of wine for a lamb - (Num. 28:12, Num. 15:5)

    • Each of these were mingled with oil - (Num. 28:12)

  • One kid of the goats for a sin offering - (Lev. 23:18)

  • Two lambs of the first year for a peace offering - (Lev. 23:19)

  • A freewill offering of your labor - (Deut. 16:10)

          To understand the meaning of the Feast of Weeks we must first understand the purpose of each of these offerings.  Each offering listed in Leviticus 23 was given by the entire nation.  A total of thirteen animals were offered by the nation (9 lambs, 2 rams, 1 bullock, 1 goat) with their appropriate grain and drink offerings.  The burnt offering is a voluntary offering made where the entire animal is consumed on the burnt alter.  This offering signifies complete devotion to God.  As a nation it was offered every morning and evening for the same reason.  The nation of Israel was to be completely devoted to the LORD.  The sin offering was offered for the forgiveness of specific sins (Lev. 4:3, 13, 22, 27).  The peace offering was offered as way to eat of your animals (Lev. 3: 1, 17).  This was how animal meat was made ready to eat.  These were all provided by the nation for a feast.  Today, the nation should offer these offerings to the LORD.  According to Deuteronomy 12, when, "God shall enlarge [our] border" and we shall "eat flesh, because [our] soul longeth to eat flesh", and "the place which the LORD thy God hath chosen to put his name there be too far from thee", then we "shalt kill of thy herd and of thy flock, . . . and thou shalt eat in thy gates whatsoever thy soul lusteth after" (Deut. 12:20-21).  Even though there is no Temple in Israel today, we can still eat of this feast within our home towns and bring our own offerings to the feast.  We do not need a Temple to eat of the feast.

          The offering each individual was to offer was the freewill offering.  This offering is not specifically named and was to come, "according as the LORD thy God hath blessed thee" (Deut. 16:10).  If you are blessed with plentiful crops you would bring of your crops as a grain/meal offering.  If you were blessed with vineyards you would bring of your vineyard a drink offering.  If you were blessed in animals you would bring of your herds or flocks a peace offering of meat.  All this was to be brought to the feast as a way to share with the LORD and your brethren.  This was the purpose of the second tithe (Deut. 14:22-23).  This is what we would call today a potluck.  On the Feast of Weeks each member is to bring as they are blessed of the LORD to share in a great feast of celebration.  The nation was to provide specific offerings, some for the LORD only (burnt offerings) and others for the people (meal, drink, and peace offerings).  Each individual was to bring of their own offering as a way to share in the feast.  For more on the offerings please watch my video called The Tabernacle Offerings.

 

Shadow of things to come:

 

          Each Feast of the LORD is a "shadow of things to come" (Col. 2:16-17).  These feasts foretell the plan of God for this world.  The Messiah is our Passover Lamb (1 Cor. 5:7-8).  The Passover foretells of the sacrifice the Messiah would make for the forgiveness of our sins.  The Messiah rose again on the Feast of First Fruits.  This signifies that the Messiah was the first fruits of man for those that please God (Lev. 23:9-11, 1 Cor. 15:20, 23).  Exactly fifty days later, on the Feast of Weeks (Pentecost), the Messiah sent His Holy Spirit to the church.  On this day 3,000 people were added to the church and more continued daily (Acts 2:47).  This represents the ingathering, or first fruits, of the Messiah.  The Feast of Weeks is a feast to celebrate the first fruits of our wheat harvest.  It is here where each Israelite brings of their first fruits to the LORD.  We are presented to God as a "new man" (2 Cor. 5:17, Eph. 4:24, Col. 3:10), which is us as a first fruit offering to God.

           It is also believed that Moses received the Law on Mt. Sinai on the day of this feast.  We know that Israel arrived at Mt. Sinae in the third month (Ex. 19:1).  It is in the third month that the Feast of Weeks is celebrated.  This is the day the Jews celebrate in commemoration of the giving of the Law to Moses.  It is telling to see that the same day celebrates the giving of the Law and the giving of the Spirit.  After all, the purpose of the Holy Spirit is to, "guide [us] into all truth" (John 16:13), which is the word of God (John 17:17).  When we "walk in the Spirit" we will "not fulfil the lust of the flesh" (Gal 5:16) because the spirit helps us to, "walk in [Gods] statutes, and ye shall keep [His] judgments, and do them" (Eze. 36:26-27).  A celebration of the giving of the Law and the Holy Spirit are really one and the same.  The Holy Spirit is God's way of helping us do what we cannot do, obey God and keep His commandments.

          The Feast of Weeks pictures the future resurrection of believers.  The Messiah is the first fruits (1 Cor. 15:20).  During the Feast of Unleavened Bread was a First Fruits offering (Lev. 23:10-11).  This was an unleavened offering waved before the LORD.  This pictures the resurrection of the Messiah (1 Cor. 15:20).  The Feast of Weeks is also called first fruits (Lev. 23:20) and has a leavened bread offering waved before the LORD (Lev. 23:17).  Remember, leaven is a picture of sin (1 Cor. 5:6-8).  The Messiah is the first fruits resurrection and His believers are the leavened first fruits resurrection.  The Feast of First Fruits pictures the Messiah's resurrection while the Feast of Weeks pictures the resurrection of believers.  Throughout the sciptures believers are pictured as wheat (Matt. 3:12, 13:25, 30, Luke 3:17).  We are the leavened bread harvested at the second coming of the Messiah.

          There will be a future Feast of Weeks that will be significant in God's plan.  All of God's Holy Days come in three's.  The Feast of Weeks is no different.  On this feast God gave His Law to Israel.  The Law of God is designed to change us, but it did not.  On Pentecost, which is the Feast of Weeks, God gave His Holy Spirit to the church.  The Hoy Spirit changed us, but only half way.  We still have our sin nature (2 Cor. 5:17, Rom. 7:21-23).  In the future, on another Feast of Weeks, God will resurrect all those who belong to Him.  At this resurrection we will receive our new bodies and we will be changed (1 Cor. 15:42-44).  This time it is forever.

 

Conclusion:

 

          The Feast of Weeks is a great celebration of how God provides for His people.   It was the day God gave His Law to Israel, it foretold the future plan of God with the church, and it foretells the future resurrection of believers.  It is a giant potluck of food, fun, and celebration.  It is a day to be celebrated with great joy (Deut. 16:11-12).  Why the church today refuses to celebrate such a great occasion is beyond me.  After all, the Feast of Weeks (Pentecost) is the day the church began.  It is the day we received the Holy Spirit.  It represents us being accepted by God and the church going out to the world to reap the harvest.  Why we choose to celebrate Christmas and Easter instead of the Feasts of the LORD is hard to understand.  I contend that the church should repent and turn back to worshiping the LORD the way He said we should, instead of demanding to worship Him our way.

  

By Steve Siefken
 

  Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth

not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

2 Timothy 2:15 KJV