Lesson 7 — Feast of Weeks (Pentecost)

When the disciples came together in Acts 2, their motivation was not to “get the Holy Spirit.” It was to observe an Old Testament Feast, which Yahweh commanded for them as well as for us today.

The Feast of Weeks or Firstfruits (commonly called Pentecost) is both a holy convocation and a pilgrimage feast.

a. According to Leviticus 23:21, the Feast of Weeks is a holy convocation (Heb. kodesh miqraa). Strong’s Concordance defines the word miqraa as “something called out, i.e. a public meeting (the act, the persons, or the place); also a rehearsal.” The word miqraa does not only define a public meeting, but also a type of rehearsal. Yahweh’s holy days are rehearsals of prophetic events. In addition, the Feast of Weeks is one of the three commanded pilgrimage feasts (Deuteronomy 16:16). During these pilgrimage feasts Israel would congregate at a central location where Yahweh’s Name was placed. Most often this place was Jerusalem.

To arrive at the Feast of Weeks, we are to count weeks starting with the day of the wave sheaf offering in the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

c. Seven complete Sabbaths or weeks were counted from the wave sheaf to the Feast of Weeks. This count began the first day of the week falling within the Feast of Unleavened Bread, on the morrow after the weekly Sabbath, when the wave sheaf or omer offering was presented by the priest (Leviticus 23:15; Deuteronomy 16:9-10). Israel could not begin the barley harvest until after the priest waved an omer of barley grain as a firstfruits offering to Yahweh.

The Feast of Weeks is always observed on which day(s) of the week?

b. The Feast of Weeks always falls on a Sunday. Traditional Jews today keep the Feast of Weeks on the sixth of Sivan. Traditional Jews interpret the phrase “on the morrow after the Sabbath,” as found in Leviticus 23:11, to mean the morrow after the first High Day, i.e. the sixteenth of Abib. Fifty days from the sixteenth of Abib is the sixth of Sivan. This Jewish tradition does not agree with the Hebrew text, however. The word Sabbath in Leviticus 23:11 is from the Hebrew word “shabbath,” which refers to the weekly Sabbath. The Hebrew word shabbathown is the word used in reference to the annual Sabbaths, e.g. Leviticus 23:24. Further, non-traditional Jews, e.g. the Sadducees and the Karaites, both interpret the phrase, “on the morrow after the Sabbath” to mean the weekly Sabbath. Non-traditional Jews are those who reject the rabbinical teachings that have been added through the Talmud.

Which harvest is depicted by the Feast of Weeks?

b. The Feast of Weeks comes at the completion of the barley harvest and celebrates the wheat harvest (Ex. 23:16; 34:22; Num. 28:26). Pentecost or Feast of Weeks falls on the 50th day after the day the omer of barley is waved before Yahweh. In the New Testament, Yahshua represented the spiritual wave sheaf as He presented Himself to Yahweh after His resurrection, on the day following the weekly Sabbath, John 20:19. (see question 5)

The Feast of Weeks is also known as the Feast of Firstfruits. Firstfruits represent whom?

b After His resurrection in John 20:17, Yahshua told Mary Magadalene not to touch Him because He had not yet ascended to His Father in heaven to get approval of His sacrifice. By nightfall (v. 20) the disciples were allowed to touch Him as by then He had appeared before Yahweh just as the High Priest waved the sheaf before Yahweh to be accepted and the spring harvest could begin. This occurred after His Passover memorial and sacrifice on the day of the wave sheaf during the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Paul explains in 1Corinthians 15:20: “But now is Messiah risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.” Yahshua as the fulfillment of the wave sheaf was the “first of the firstfruits,” while Yahweh’s people are the general firstfruits represented by the wheat harvest of the Feast of Weeks, James 1:18. 6

According to Jewish tradition, what key Old Testament event occurred on the Feast of Weeks?

c. Jewish tradition teaches that Yahweh’s Law was given at Sinai on the Feast of Weeks. The Bible does not specifically state that the Law was given in the third month, nor does it give the precise day, and therefore this tradition cannot be totally substantiated. Nevertheless, Israel would have reached Sinai at about the time of the Feast of Weeks in their wilderness journey.

The two loaves that were offered during the Feast of Weeks consisted of what ingredient(s)?

d. Leviticus 23:17 tells us that the two wave loaves were two tenths of an ephah in measure, and consisted of fine flour and yeast. The prophetic significance of the two loaves may refer to those who will be resurrected at Yahshua’s Second Coming and approved of Yahweh like the wave sheaf. With this Barnes Notes agrees, “The loaves appear to be distinctively called ‘the first fruits for Yahweh,’ and to them are found in Rom. 11:16; 1Cor. 15:20, 23; James 1:18; Rev. 14:4, etc. As these loaves offered before Yahweh sanctified the harvest of the year, so has ‘[Messiah] the firstrfuits’ sanctified the [assembly], which, in its union with Him as the firstfruits, becomes also the Sanctifier of the world.”

The Feast of Weeks prohibits what activity(ies)?

d. Yahweh in the Law specifies that no work of any kind is allowed on the Feast of Weeks (Leviticus 23:21). The word “servile” in Leviticus 23:21 is from the Hebrew word abodah, which according to the Strong’s Concordance means, “work of any kind.” Moreover, the Old Testament also states that buying and selling should be avoided on the weekly Sabbath and on a holy day (Nehemiah 10:31).

The word “Pentecost” means

b. “Pentecost” is a Greek word meaning, “fiftieth,” referring to its observance on the 50th day from the wave sheaf offering.

What significant event occurred in the New Testament on the day of Pentecost

c. The outpouring of the Holy Spirit occurred on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2), and as a result, it is written that they who were gathered at this Feast heard one another in their own language. This is the first instance of the gift of tongues. The word “tongue” is from the Greek word glossa, which Strong’s Concordance says is “of uncertain affinity; the tongue; by implication, a language (specially, one naturally unacquired).” The word tongue defines a known language that is acquired by supernatural means through the Spirit. This gift allowed the Apostles to communicate with those of other nations, and helped to expedite the Truth at that time. Paul said this gift, however, would cease (1Cor. 13:8). Yahweh’s Spirit enables us to be obedient to Him, Ezek. 36:26-27. 11

Who in the New Testament kept the Feast of weeks after Yahshua’s death and resurrection?

d. It is written that all twelve Apostles were gathered at Jerusalem for the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1, 14). In addition, the Apostle Paul, as his custom was, continued keeping the Feast of Weeks years after Yahshua’s death (Acts 20:16). It’s noteworthy that no modern holiday is mentioned in either Old or New Testament, including Christmas, Easter, and Lent.

What does Pentecost foreshadow prophetically?

a. The Feast of Weeks (Pentecost) prophetically symbolizes the resurrection of the saints, which will take place at Yahshua’s Second Coming (1Thes. 4:16-17). Yahshua was resurrected during the Feast of Unleavened Bread, thus becoming the first of the firstfruits among those who sleep and await His Second Coming (1 Cor. 15:20-23). Pentecost is the second harvest Feast of the year and symbolizes the resurrection of many brethren who are prophesied to follow Yahshua’s resurrection at His return.

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