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The Biblical Feasts: Shavuot

Updated: Jun 13

This week, we'll be celebrating the fourth of the seven Biblical Feasts!

Shavuot is the Hebrew word for the "feast of weeks." In Greek it is known as Pentecost, which means "fiftieth."


If you haven't read our The Biblical Feasts: Pesach, Unleavened Bread & First Fruits blog yet - please do so before reading any further. In the abovementioned blog, we share critical background information to understand the biblical feasts. For the sake of time and to avoid sounding like a stuck record - we won't be repeating it here again.

What we will say before we dive into Shavuot, is the following:

  • The Biblical Feasts are not Jewish feasts, the belong to YHVH (God) - see Leviticus 23.

  • Being a Jew is something you "do" by birth, not by faith convictions. Jews are Jews by birth like I am an Afrikaner by birth.

  • The feasts were established by YHVH right from the start of Creation.

  • Celebrating the Biblical Feasts are NOT about gaining our Salvation, but rather proof thereof.


We read about YHVH's feast days in Leviticus 23, where all 7 of the feasts are described and given as an everlasting instruction to those who stand in covenant with Him. If we are born-again believers, we are included in the covenant. Which means that these feast days still apply to us today. Not in a traditional manner, but a spiritual one!


The first 4 feasts were already fulfilled by Yeshua's first coming. Thus we celebrate them in remembrance and thankfulness for what Yeshua has already done for us. The last 3 feasts are yet to be fulfilled by His second coming. Thus we celebrate them in anticipation & excitement of what He will still come and do when He returns! There is nothing religious about any of this!


Here's a short summary of the 7 biblical feast, just so that you can form a picture in your mind before we dive in deeper!

The 7 Biblical Feasts:

  1. Pesach (Pass Over) - fulfilled by Yeshua's first coming.

  2. Feast of Unleavened Bread - fulfilled by Yeshua's first coming.

  3. Feast of First Fruits - fulfilled by Yeshua's first coming.

  4. Shavuot (Pentecost / Feast of Weeks) - fulfilled by Yeshua's first coming.

  5. Yom Teruah (Feast of Trumpets) - to be fulfilled by Yeshua's second coming.

  6. Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) - to be fulfilled by Yeshua's second coming.

  7. Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles / Booths) - to be fulfilled by Yeshua's second coming.


In Exodus 19:4-6 we read "You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to Myself. Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine. And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel.”

Shavuot, aslo known as The Feast of Weeks or Pentecost (in Afrikaans: Pinkster) is the only feast that stands "on it's own..." The first three (of the seven) feasts are "paired" together in the same season and so are the last three. When we look into the spiritual significance behind Shavuot - it's easy to understand why this feast is "able" to stand on it's own! It's so big and so profound! I'm not saying for one second that the other six are not profound, but the feast of Shavuot is one that's often overlooked / not celebrated and yet it is so beautiful and valuable to us as born-again believers!


Shavuot and Pentecost are two words for the same feast and both are found in Scripture. Shavuot is the Hebrew name which we read about in the Old Testament and Pentecost the Greek one which we read about in the New Testament. Both of these names point to the same biblical feast which takes place 50 days (7x7 days +1 day) after the Feast of First Fruits (Pesach season).


When God called Moses onto Mount Sinai to give Him the Ten Commandments (Exodus 34), God made His covenant with the Israelites in Exodus 34:10 where we read "And He said: “Behold, I make a covenant. Before all your people I will do marvels such as have not been done in all the earth, nor in any nation; and all the people among whom you are shall see the work of the Lord. For it is an awesome thing that I will do with you."

In this chapter, God then confirms the feasts of Pesach, Unleavened Bread and First Fruits. He also confirms the importance of keeping the Shabbat (sabbath).


In Exodus 34:22 we read "And thou shalt observe the feast of weeks (translated from Hebrew word: Shavuot), of the firstfruits of wheat harvest, and the feast of ingathering at the year's end."

The first fruits of wheat relates to Shavuot, whereas the first fruit of barley relates to the feast of First Fruits (in Pesach season).


In Leviticus 23:2 we read "Concerning the feasts of the Lord, you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are My feasts."

Before going into the details regarding each feast, YHVH first established the fact that these feast belong to Him!


Just like believers these days have different ways of calculating when Pesach (Passover) should be celebrated on our Gregorian calendar, there are also differences regarding the date of Shavuot yearly.

As mentioned in the Pesach blog post - we choose to celebrate the feasts alongside our brothers & sisters in Jerusalem, Israel. According to Romans 11, we are grafted in to the covenant which God had made with Judah & Israel. As born-again believers, we are part of Israel and therefore we choose to celebrate these feasts along with the rest of Israel.

The Jews (descendants of Judah, of whom many still live in Israel today) have the most accurate records from history on how to calculate these dates as they have been the ones who have continued to keep Abba's feast days from the start all throughout.

In Scripture, Abba gives the instruction to the Israelites that 3 times a year they had to appear before the Lord (YHVH) in Israel (Exodus 23:14-17 and Exodus 34:23). Therefore, it makes the most sense to celebrate the dates which they celebrate it in Israel. It won't make sense to celebrate the feasts according to our own calculations and convictions and travel to Israel to celebrate the feasts (like the instruction was in Leviticus) and when we come there they have already celebrated for example Shavuot a month earlier or later. Then there would be no feast to attend, thus no need to travel to Israel.


Shavuot is the fourth of the seven biblical feasts. It takes place 50 days after First Fruits.

We have to keep in mind that the biblical feasts are all based on the rhythm of the agricultural year which was set in place by Abba! As you know by now, the feasts are all about harvest:

  • Pesach (Pesach, Unleavened Bread & First Fruits) is at the time when the barley becomes ripe.

  • Shavuot is at the time of the wheat harvest.

  • Sukkot (Yom Teruah, Yom Kippur & Sukkot) is at the time of the juice harvest - grapes, pomegranates, etc.


In Leviticus 23:15-22 we read how YHVH gave the instructions regarding Shavuot to Moses whilst Moses was on Mount Sinai.

"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. Count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath; then you shall offer a new grain offering to the Lord. You shall bring from your dwellings two wave loaves of two-tenths of an ephah. They shall be of fine flour; they shall be baked with leaven. They are the firstfruits to the Lord. And you shall offer with the bread seven lambs of the first year, without blemish, one young bull, and two rams. They shall be as a burnt offering to the Lord, with their grain offering and their drink offerings, an offering made by fire for a sweet aroma to the Lord. Then you shall sacrifice one kid of the goats as a sin offering, and two male lambs of the first year as a sacrifice of a peace offering. The priest shall wave them with the bread of the firstfruits as a wave offering before the Lord, with the two lambs. They shall be holy to the Lord for the priest. 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.

‘When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not wholly reap the corners of your field when you reap, nor shall you gather any gleaning from your harvest. You shall leave them for the poor and for the stranger: I am the Lord your God.”


Thus, in order for us to understand when Shavuot takes place yearly, we first have to understand when First Fruits (barley harvest) takes place.

From Leviticus 23 (and discussed in detail in our former blog post) we know that:

  • Pesach is on 14 Abib (the first month) - this year it fell on the afternoon of 22 April 2024;

  • Unleavened Bread is on 15-21 Abib - this year it fell on sunset 22 April 2024 to sunset on 29 April 2024;

  • First Fruits has no set date mentioned in Leviticus. We know (from former studies, teachings and blog posts) that Yeshua had risen from the grave on the weekly shabbat. He was in the grave for 3 nights and 3 days. The weekly shabbat in the year which Yeshua was crucified, would have been on 17 Abib. However, we are not directly instructed to keep First Fruits on 17 Abib. It's only mentioned that First Fruits was the day after the rest day. Remember that on Shabbat no one went to Yeshua's grave. And on the first day of the week (Sunday) when they got to the grave - it was ALREADY empty (Matthew 28:1; Luke 24:1-3; John 20:1). Thus the wave offering (first fruits) was brought the day after the sabbath.

  • Since the 14th of Abib does not fall on the same Gregorian day every year, the feast dates move to different days during the week. Thus, one could argue that the weekly shabbat is not necessarily 3 days and 3 nights after 15 Abib every year. 17 Abib this year fell on sunset on Wednesday, 24 April until sunset on Thursday, 25 April 2024. Thus not on the weekly shabbat.


This is where the confusion comes in with the calculation of when Shavuot should be kept.

In Leviticus 23:15 we read that we should count 50 days from the morning AFTER the shabbat to get to Shavuot. The counting of the 50 days is also known as "counting of the omer."


All biblical feasts are connected to shabbat / rest days, regardless on what day of the week (Gregorian Calendar) it falls. Remember that a day according to the Bible is considered to be from sunset to sunset (not from 00:01-00:00 like we know it today).


There are 3 ways (that I am aware of) in which people count the omer:

  1. From the day after the rest day at the start of Unleavened Bread (15 Abib - remember that the first and the seventh day of the feast are kept as rest days, if you work from the view point that 15 Abib was the sabbath referred to in Scripture), thus from 16 Abib. This year the counting would then have been from 24 April 2024.

  2. From the day after 3 days and three nights have passed after Pesach (14 Abib), thus from 18 Abib (if you work from the view point that first fruits have to be after the three days and three nights after Pesach every year). First fruits this year would then have been on 26 April 2024. This year the counting would then have been from 27 April 2024.

  3. From the day after the weekly shabbat after Pesach (the first weekly shabbat after 14 Abib, if you work from the view point that first fruits are connected to the weekly shabbat regardless how many days have passed since Pesach). First fruits this year would then have been on 27 April 2024. This year the counting would then have been from 28 April 2024.


Let's take a look at how the 50 days would then play out for the different options:

  1. If the omer is counted from the day after the rest day at the start of Unleavened Bread (15 Abib): The counting would have started this year on 24 April 2024. Shavuot this year would then fall on 12 June 2024.

  2. If the omer is counted from the day after the three days and three nights have passed after Pesach (14 Abib): The counting would have started this year on 27 April 2026. Shavuout this year would then fall on 15 June 2024.

  3. If the omer is counted from the day after the first weekly shabbat after Pesach (the first weekly shabbat after 14 Abib, if you work from the view point that it's connected to the weekly shabbat regardless how many days have passed since Pesach): The first weekly shabbat this year after Pesach was on 27 April: The counting would have started this year on 28 April 2024. Shavuot this year would then fall on 16 June 2024.


These are the possible dates for Shavuot based on the dates Pesach was celebrated in Israel this year. From our Pesach blog, you would know that there are also differences amongst believers as to when the correct dates for Pesach this year was. Therefore, to those who determine their own dates for Pesach and don't stick to Israel's calendar - their dates for calculating Shavuot would also differ.


As mentioned in former blogs as well as earlier in this blog - we choose to celebrate the feast dates alongside our brothers and sisters in Israel. According to their dates, Shavuot 2024 will take place on 12 June 2024 (from sunset 11 June until sunset on 12 June 2024).


According to the Bible, Shavuot is only a one day feast - in other words, from sunset to sunset. If you Google the dates for Shavuot 2024, you will notice that it shows the dates being over two days: from sunset on 11 June 2024 until sunset on 13 June 2024.

The reason for the dates being over two days instead of only one dates back to history.

The diaspora (Israelites who no longer lived in Israel) travelled to Israel for the feasts. But since travelling wasn't as easy, accessible and convenient as it is today and those who opposed Biblical traditions tried to make it as hard as possible (if not impossible) for true believers to make their way to Israel for the feasts - the travels often took longer than expected. Therefore the custom was established to keep Shavuot over two days instead of only one.


So that's enough for staying with me with all the dates, counting and calculations! Let's dive into the deeper meaning of Shavuot and why it is still important for us today!


When we as born-again believers celebrate YHVH's feasts - we don't do it in a traditional or obligatory way. We get to celebrate the fact that Yeshua (Jesus) already came and fulfilled the first four feasts and the last three we celebrate with great excitement, knowing that He will also fulfill them when He comes again!


We have established earlier that the shadow of Shavuot, was the day that the Ten Commandments were given to the Israelites at Mount Sinai after they were set free from Egypt. The Ten Commandments were given to give the Israelites guidance on how they should live their lives. The Israelites ordered their lives according to Abba's instructions.

If the Ten Commandments was the shadow, what was the fulfillment?

With Yeshua's First Coming, He fulfilled the feast of Shavuot. Fulfilled, not done away with.

Shavuot was the day on which YHVH poured out His Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) on believers. The Holy Spirit is our Guidance, like the Ten Commandments were back in the days of the Israelites in the desert.


Acts 1-2 are two valuable chapters in the Bible when it comes to Shavuot. In Acts 1:2 we read that Yeshua gave His commandments through the Holy Spirit after He was resurrected. How beautiful that the shadow of Shavuot was the giving of the Ten Commandments at Mount Sinai many years before Yeshua walked the earth. And then after His resurrection, He once again imprinted His commandments on the hearts of His disciples. After His resurrection, He appeared to many for the 40 days until His ascension.


When God gave the Israelites the Ten Commandments at Mount Sinai, He made a covenant with them. As long as they lived according to His instructions, they would experience and live in His promises over their lives.

When Yeshua gave His disciples commandments, He confirmed the covenant and instructed them in Acts 1:4-5 to "wait for the promise of the Father, which, says He, you have heard of Me. For John truly baptized with water; but you shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days from now."

Yeshua was referring to the outpouring of the Holy Spirit that took place 50 days after His resurrection (aka Shavuot).


With all the "confusion" that can so easily creep in with all the different dates and opinions of when the biblical feasts should be celebrated - I found Acts 1:7 to be so profound!

"And He said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power."

So many times we think that we should have it all figured out and understand everything straight away. But here Yeshua gently comes to remind His disciples that it's okay that they don't grasp everything yet. If YHVH wanted us to celebrate First Fruits and Shavuot on specific dates - He would have given us those specific dates - like He did with all of the other 5 feasts. As long as we observe YHVH's instructions as He has given it to us, we don't have to have it all figured out. Through His Holy Spirit, He will continuously teach us, take us deeper and give us more revelation!

In John 13:7 we read "Yeshua answered and said unto him (Peter), What I do you know not now; but you shall know hereafter."

In normal everyday life, we (more) easily accept that we don't know or understand everything. Yet when it comes to the spiritual things, we have been indoctrinated to believe that we must understand everything. Which is crazy! The God we serve is far greater than our brains could ever comprehend. Thus thinking that we should just instantly "get it all" when we start out with our faith walk is a very immature and uninformed belief system to submit to.


Shavuot is in the middle of the 7 biblical feasts. When we connect the feasts to the seven branches of the menorah (Hebrew for candlestick), Shavuot is then also the middle branch of the menorah. The middle branch was considered to be the main branch which supplied the other 6 branches with oil so that it could burn.

Shavuot is often considered to be the feast that "connects" heaven and earth; as the Torah was given by God (from heaven) to the Israelites (on earth) on this day and also because the Holy Spirit was poured out from heaven to earth.

Shavuot is the last feast that Yeshua fulfilled with His First Coming. The last three He will to come fulfill with His Second Coming. Shavuot (the middle branch of the menorah) could thus also be seen as the connection between what Yeshua has already done and what He still will come and do.


In Acts 1:11 we read "this same Yeshua, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as you have seen Him go into heaven."

How beautiful! It's like YHVH gave us this promise in His Word that there will be a pause between the first 4 feasts and the last 3 feasts. But also that it should not discourage us - because Yeshua is most definitely coming back!

This verse here in Acts directly links to the 5th feast, which is Yom Teruah (the Feast of Trumpets), when Yeshua will return on the clouds!


After Yeshua went back to heaven, His disciples along with other believers (including Mary, Yeshua's mother) went to the place that's called the Upper Room in Jerusalem (Acts 1:13). The Upper Room is considered to be the same place in Jerusalem where Yeshua had the Last Supper with His disciples and to be the place where His followers continued to go to after His ascension.

The concept of celebrating the Ascension Day (Afrikaans: Hemelvaartsdag)- that those who grew up in church would be familiar with - is often times based upon Acts 1:22 which says that the day on which Yeshua was taken up (returned to heaven) should be ordained to be a witness / testimony of His resurrection. From earlier in Acts 1 we know that Yeshua was on the earth for 40 days after His resurrection and then was taken up to heaven. Although the idea of Ascension Day is not a bad thing - God did not necessarily instruct us to keep / celebrate it - it came in through manmade customs / traditions / church doctrine. Which should immediatley remind us of Mark 7:13.


In Acts 2:1 we read "And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place." Referring to the Upper Room where Yeshua's followers gathered together after His ascension. Remember that in Acts 1:4 Yeshua told them to remain in Jerusalem until they have received the promise of the Father, which was the pouring out of the Holy Spirit.


In Acts 2:2-4 we read "And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them cloven tonques like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance."


The people in Jerusalem at that time were completely perplexed, they did not understand what was happening. The Holy Spirit caused Yeshua's followers to speak in all kinds of different languages - so that all who could hear them could understand and would hear the "wonderful works of God" (Acts 2:11-12) in their native languages.

This is a reminder to us once again that Yeshua's work on the cross, His resurrection and the pouring out of the Holy Spirit was not done only for one nation or one group of people. In the same way, the three feasts which He will still come to fulfill is also available to all. The gospel of Yeshua is for all mankind, it's available to all and understandable to all who are teachable.


In Acts 2:17-21 Peter spoke to those who did not understand what was going on. He refered back to God's words which were recorded by the prophet Joel in Joel 2:28, where we read: "And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out My Spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out My Spirit."


In Ecclesiastes 1:9 we read "That which has been is what will be, That which is done is what will be done, And there is nothing new under the sun."

We serve an amazing God, Who pays attention to so much detail! Right from the very start of the Bible He had a plan and a purpose with mankind. And all throughout Scripture we see how He continues to confirm it.


In Acts 2:21 we read that "whoever shall call upon the Name of the Lord shall be saved." This gift of everlasting life with Yeshua is available to all. We are all invited to partake in His wonderful Redemption Plan. The Biblical Feasts are something to teach us and help us understand what this Redemption Plan of YHVH is all about! There is nothing legalistic about it!


Futher along in Acts chapter 2 we see how Peter refers back to the crucifixion and resurrection and even mentions how David - who lived before it all happened - had the understanding of the things to come, through YHVH's Spirit. Just like the prophets and disciples we read about in the Bible had the understanding and discernment to grasp the things which would still take place - based on YHVH's Word - in the same manner we can rest in His revelation and His written Word to teach us and guide us about the things still to come.


When the people whom Peter addressed gained understanding of what was going on, they didn't know what to do. But Peter answered them and said in Acts 2:38 "repent and be baptiszed everyone of you in the name of Yeshua for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost."


If your background story somehow relates to mine - where I grew up in church not even aware of YHVH's feast and then discovering them... We are just like the people whom Peter addressed in Acts 2. When we come to learn about His feasts, we have to repent for all the years which we have been ignorant of them (knowingly or unknowlingly) and be willing to allow His Holy Spirit to teach us and guide us on how we should observe and keep His feasts so that we won't just fall into religion and tradition again - observing the right thing but doing it without understanding.


In Acts 2:39 Peter continued to say "For the promise is to you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call." Once again confirming that it still applies to us today. It wasn't limited to only a few people or a specific group / nation we read about in the Bible.

When we first hear about the biblical feasts, people who come from a church background (I can say this because I was like that as well) often think that it's so Old Testament and that it was only applicable to the Israelites. But when we start to read (like actually read) the New Testament, we see how many times the New Testament refers back to the Old Testament and how the instructions given in the Old Testament is re-confirmed and still being kept in the New Testament.


Many times we (I'm not pointing fingers, I used to be in this exact boat) think the New Testament no longer confirms or requires the instructions of the Old Testament, but when we are willing to be taught by His Spirit, we soon come to realise that it's not the New and Old Testament that differ from one another, but rather the doctrine we grew up with which differs from the complete Word (New & Old Testament) of YHVH.


The Holy Spirit (what Shavuot is all about) is the One Who gives us counselling and guidance on how we are to keep the feasts of the Lord - both the ones which were already fulfilled and also those which are yet to be fulfilled.


Just like with the other six biblical feast, celebrating Shavuot is NOT about the traditions and performance of specific rituals and eating of specific foods. It's about remembering and celebrating the faithfulness of the God we serve! As born-again believers, we don't celebrate the feasts like the Jews do still to this day. Many of them believe that Yeshua still has to come and die on the cross - therefore they (Orthodox Jews) still hold on to the Old Testament instructions that went along with keeping of the feast days. We know that Yeshua already came, walked the earth - healed the sick, performed miracles and touched so many lives. We also know that He died on the cross for our sins and rose again so that we could also be set free from the bondage of sin and death. However, His goodness and mercy didn't stop there! He also poured out His Spirit on us and He is coming back again soon to also fulfill the last three feasts as mentioned in the Word.


As mentioned earlier, the shadow of Shavuot took place when the Israelites were encamped at Mount Sinai after they left Egypt. Moses was on the mountain with the Lord for 40 days (Take note that Yeshua was also on the earth for 40 days after His resurrection and before He ascended to heaven). The Israelites thought that Moses had died in God's presence and that he wouldn't return, so they took matters into their own hands. When Moses came down the mountain with the stone tablets - the Ten Commandments, which were a written version of YHVH's Ketubah / marriage contract / covenant - Moses saw that the Israelites had fallen into idolatry.


In Exodus 32 we read that when Moses came down the mountain he saw that the Israelites had made a golden calf. He threw the stone tablets down on the floor so that it broke (Ex 32:19). When we first read this, we might assume that Moses lost His temper and broke the stone tablets out of anger. But when we dwell upon this verses a little longer, we come to realise that Moses's act of breaking the stone tablets was actually a massive act of intercession. Moses understood the consequences of breaking covenant. He understood that if he entered the camp with the Ten Commandments (which God Himself wrote on the stone tablets according to Ex 32:16), the Israelites would have been guilty of breaking the covenant with God. According to the customs of the Word; covenant is broken, you pay for it with your life. Moses understood that if He presented the covenant (Ten Commandments) to the Israelites in the current circumstances that God would have the right to destroy the Israelites because they choose to break the covenant. Therefore, Moses interceded for them by breaking the stone tablets. Moses destroyed the golden calf and adressed the people according to YHVH's instructions.

In Exodus 32:25-28 we read "Now when Moses saw that the people were unrestrained (for Aaron had not restrained them, to their shame among their enemies), then Moses stood in the entrance of the camp, and said, “Whoever is on the Lord’s side—come to me!” And all the sons of Levi gathered themselves together to him. 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.’ So the sons of Levi did according to the word of Moses. And about three thousand men of the people fell that day."

Three thousand men died that day! Because they were disobedient and unwilling to repent and turn from their wicked ways!!!


In Exodus 34 we read how YHVH then instructs Moses to cut out two stone tablets like the first ones. Remember that the first stone tables were created and written on by YHVH Himself. After Moses broke them and interceded for the Israelites, YHVH accepted His intercession and said that He would not destroy the Israelites and gave Moses the instructions to create two new stone tablets. Moses went onto Mount Sinai again as per YHVH's instructions and spent 40 days and 40 nights on the mountain with the Lord.


In Exodus 34:29-30 we read "And it came to pass, when Moses came down form Mount Sinai with the two tables of testimony in Moses's hand, when he came down from the mount, that Moses knew not that the skin of his face shone while he talked with Him. And when Aaron and all the children of Israel saw Moses, behold, the skin of his face shone; and they were afraid to come near him."

How beautiful isn't it to realise that when we spend time in YHVH's presence that we will be transformed! We might not notice any difference ourselves, but those around us would be able to see that His Light is shining in and through us! What a testimony!


After Moses returned from the mountain the second time, he spoke to the Israelites and gave them the commandments and instructions which YHVH had given him including the specifications regarding the building of the tabernacle (Exodus 35).


We know that the giving of the Ten Commandments was the shadown of Shavuot. But what's also interesting to see is that on the day when the Israelites sinned and made their golden calf; we read that 3000 men died that day.

In Acts 2:41 we read that when the Holy Spirit was poured out and Peter explained to the masses what was going on; that 3000 people got saved that day!

"Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added to them about three thousand souls."

How profound is that? It immediately made me think of Deuteronomy 30:19 which says "I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live."

Each one of us have a choice to make; obedience and LIFE or disobedience and death.

YHVH is in the business of restoration! In the shadow of Shavuot, 3000 men died at Mount Sinani because of their disobedience. In the fulfillment of Shavuot, 3000 people got saved when YHVH poured out His Spirit and people were willing to repent of their disobedience.


A traditional custom used at Shavuot, is to present two loaves of bread before YHVH (Leviticus 23:17). These two loves are baked as symbols of the two stone tablets. Although we don't keep the feasts in a traditional way (since Yeshua already fulfilled it), there still is a beatiful symbolic meaning behind it. The two loaves of bread is symbolic of YHVH's provision in our lives - which are on both a physical as well as a spiritual level.


Yeshua died on the cross for our sins. But it's so much more than simply the covering with His Blood for our sins. He came to set us free from the bondage and curses of the law when He redeemed us with His grace. We are no longer bound by the law. It does however NOT mean that the law no longer applies. In Matthew 5:17-20 Yeshua made it very clear that the law still applies when He said "Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven."


Yeshua died on the cross to fulfill the law (since we cannot), NOT to destroy or nullify the law.

The word "law" which we read in today's English Bibles is translated from the Greek word "nomos" which means:

anything established, anything received by usage, a custom, a law, a command...

...of any law whatsover; a law or rule producing a stated approved of God, by the observance of which is approved of God; a precept or injuction; the rule of action prescribed by reason.

...of the Mosaic law, and referring to the context - either to the volume of the law or to it's contents.

...the Christian religion: the law demanding faith, the moral instruction given by Christ, especially the precept concerning love .

A better translation for the Greek word "nomos" to English would be "instruction" (instead of law").


From these few verses in Matthew 5 we can see the following:

  1. Yeshua did not destroy the law - He said so Himself (verse 17) . Anyone who teaches anything contrary to that is busy with false doctrine (verse 19).

  2. Till ALL (Genesis to Revelations) is fulfilled not a jot or tittle will pass of the law - He said so Himself (verse 18). Heaven and earth haven't passed, since we are still living here on earth. A jot or a tittle refers to the smallest of smallest details. If the smallest details won't pass till all is fulfilled, how can people argue that the big things have changed? Anyone who teaches that the law no longer applies is busy with false doctrine (verse 19).


All seven of YHVH's feast days are still just as important to us as believers today as they were back in the day of the Israelites in the wilderness. How often do we read the Scripture and our minds are blown to see how the Israelites were disobedient time and time again! YHVH gave them instructions, they followed their own hearts and convictions... and they bore the consequences of their disobedience. Yet today, where we have much more information and sources available to us, we are just as (if not more) disobedient to His instructions! Yet we justify it by quoting Scripture out of context and holding onto false doctrine! We should be far less judgemental of the disobedience of the Israelites, because we're not doing any better than them in the school of obedience.


If YHVH said that His feasts, including Shavuot, was an everlasting instruction (Leviticus 23:21) for those who stand in covenant with Him... It means that it's everlasting - not only until we choose to interpret Scripture differently.


1 John 4:1 warns us "Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world."

The times we are living in, where modern day Christianity has become so watered down and lukewarm; we have to pray more than ever that YHVH will increase our discernment!


His feasts mattered back in the day and they still matter today! The only difference between the way that Israelites used to celebrate the feasts back then and how we get to celebrate them today is that Yeshua already was the Ultimate Sacrifice (Pesach). He was the sinless Lamb that was slain so that we could be saved (Unleavened Bread). His work didn't stop with the cross, He overcame death and rose again so that we could live as new creations through Him (First Fruits). After the first three feasts, things shifted from the physical to the spiritual - when He poured out His Spirit on His children (Shavuot). Since we celebrate the spiritual significance of these feast days, we no longer have to bring physical sacrifices, we ourselves (the way we live our lives) should be the living sacrifices we offer unto Him. It requires a daily lifestyle of dying to ourselves and pursuing His instructions - a repentant lifestyle that brings honour and glory to the King of Kings!


It was prophecied in Jeremiah & Ezekiel and confirmed in Hebrews & 2 Corinthians that YHVH will write His instructions on our hearts and that it won't simply remain on the stone tablets:

Jeremiah 31:33 "But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people."

Ezekiel 11:19-20 "And I will give them one heart, and a new spirit I will put within them. I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, that they may walk in my statutes and keep my rules and obey them. And they shall be my people, and I will be their God."

Hebrews 10:16 "This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them."

2 Corinthians 3:3-6 "You are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read by all men; clearly you are an epistle of Christ, ministered by us, written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of flesh, that is, of the heart. And we have such trust through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God, who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life."


Since we as born-again believers carry the instructions (poorly translated as "law") on our hearts and not on mere stone tablets... celebrating YHVH's feasts went from an outward "obligation" to an inward choice out of love and thankfulness for the amazing grace we have received freely and undeservingly! When we celebrate Shavuot, we are reminded that we get to celebrate that YHVH gave us His Word (shadow of Shavuot) but also that He gave us His Spirit (fulfillment of Shavuot).


The Israelites needed the law to keep them "in line" with Abba's instructions. However, we have the Holy Spirit living inside of us Who guides us. The Holy Spirit is there to give us guidance on a daily basis on how we are to live according to His instructions, and also to remind us what Yeshua taught us through His life here on earth, so that we can follow in His footsteps.


In Matthew 19:17 we read "Now behold, one came and said to Him, “Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?” So He said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.


Shavuot is our (born-again believers) yearly reminder that we have a serious responsibility. In Deuteronomy 16:16 we read "Three times a year all your males shall appear before the LORD your God in the place which He chooses: at the Feast of Unleavened Bread, at the Feast of Weeks, and at the Feast of Tabernacles; and they shall not appear before the LORD empty-handed."

When YHVH gave the instructions that the feasts should be kept, He also said that we shouldn't appear empty handed before Him on those feast days. In the time of the Israelites, they had to bring offerings. We know that we no longer have to bring offerings and sacrifices, since we are the living sacrifices. In Romans 12:1 we read "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service."


The feasts of YHVH are all about harvest. Eventhough we don't have to bring physical offerings anymore, we still have to present a harvest unto Him. As believers, we all have the responsibility to not appear empty handed before the King of Kings! We are called to be fishers of men (Matthew 4:19), to go and make disciples (Matthew 28:19-20). We have a responsibility to go out and collect the harvest!


Galatians 6:7-9 teaches us that we can only have a harvest when we have sown something prior. If we never plant, we will never have a harvest.

"Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart."

Our lives are the seeds we sow. The gospel is the seed we sow. Our testimonies of how Abba came through for us in our lives are seeds. How we live has an impact on others. It's not my (nor your) responsibility to convince anyone of anything. However, it is our responsibility to share with others what YHVH has taught us through His Spirit! Sharing the Truth are seeds. If we don't sow seeds - we won't be able to collect and enjoy a harvest.


Shavuot is about celebrating the instructions of YHVH, the fulfilled instructions of our loving Father. Through His Spirit He enables us to remain on the right path and follow His instructions as we live our lives in obedience.


There are no specific instructions given in Scripture on how we should celebrate Shavuot. YHVH hates manmade traditions (Mark 7:13). We are not called to celebrate His feasts in a traditional way, but from a spiritual point of view. Simply put; celebrating Shavuot as a born-again believer should be a day of rest, spending time in His Word and having fellowship with other believers. We should also pray for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the lives of people who have not yet received His Spirit.


As believers we have a responsibility to sow seeds so that we will be able to stand before God and present a harvest! It should be our heart's desire to bring a harvest unto Him - to thank Him for setting us free from slavery (sin and bondage).

Matthew 9:37 says "Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few."


If this is the first time that you realise that you have a responsibility to bring in a harvest (winning souls for His Kingdom) or maybe you knew it but haven't been sowing as much as you should be - there's still time for us to collect a harvest. But time is running out. We cannot postpone it. Yeshua is coming back for His Bride! And we all have a responsibility to gather, equip and strengthen one another as we await the return of our Bridegroom!


In Ezekiel 44:24 we read "In a dispute they shall take their stand to judge; they shall judge it according to My ordinances. They shall also keep My laws and My statutes in all My appointed feasts and sanctify My sabbaths."


I want to finish of this blog post with the beatiful words of John 15:10-11 which says "If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full."


Chag Shavuot Sameach! It means "Have a blessed Shavuot!" in Hebrew!


 

Scripture to study on your own time:

  • Genesis 1:14-19

  • Exodus 19-20; 32-35

  • Leviticus 23

  • Deuteronomy 16; 26

  • Ruth

  • Jeremiah 31

  • Ezekiel 7; 36

  • 2 Chronicles 8

  • Mattehw 5

  • Luke 22-24

  • John 14; 36

  • Acts 1-2; 20

  • Romans 11

  • 1 Corinthians 12

  • 2 Corinthians 3

  • Galatians 5

  • Ephesians 2

  • Hebrews 8


 

Links to helpful resources:

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