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Shavuot Preparation

Introduction:

We are now at the 49th day of the counting of the Omer a picture of Yisrael being delivered from the Slavery of Mitsrayim (Egypt) through the Passover then journeying until they reach the Mountain of Yahweh that is called Mount Sinai. The people left Mitsrayim (Egypt) in a spirit of faith trusting in YHWH’s provision so much so that through the mouth of YermeYahu (Jeremiah) YHWH reminds them in those later days how he remembers them:

YermeYahu 2:2 ‘Thus said YHWH, “I remember you, the kindness of your youth, the love of your betrothal, when you went after Me in the wilderness, in a land that was not sown.

We also know that in that journey there were obstacles that caused Yisrael to doubt and complain resulting in judgement & punishments from the hand of YHWH but he remained faithful giving them provisions till he finally brought them to the Kodesh (Holy) Mountain called Sinai or Ḥorĕḇ:

How then do we see that this journey relates to us? We see it quite clearly in the lives of the Sh’liychiym (the sent ones) as they have a spiritual awakening that began at Passover that restored their faith and gave them empowered understanding and finally they are prepared for the truth of Shavuot as they await the promise of the Father given to them by Yahshua who commands them to wait in Yerushalayim. 

What we must understand is that Pesach (Passover) is the symbol of our Salvation in Yahshua or the deliverance from the slavery of sin and the counting of the Omer is a preparation that leads to understanding and a heart prepared for the receiving of the Torah & the outpouring of the RUACH Ha Kodesh (the Holy Spirit) at Shavuot. We could therefore say that from Passover to Shavuot is a progressive Journey that Yahweh designed to prepare the heart of his people to receive his word in their heart. 

In light of that we will look to Shavuot (Pentecost) the Feast of Weeks as the completion of the Journey & reflect on that. 

In our Liturgy on Shavuot we will cover much of the features of Shavuot so I will try to prepare us all for this great Feast and add some insights that will greatly inspire us:

The Foreshadowing of Shavuot: 

Interestingly Shavuotfollows seven completed Shabbats (Sabbaths) so it also portrays the Yovel (Jubilee) which occurs after seven completed Shemita cycles being seven year cycles bringing us to the end of 49 years after which is the Yovel (Jubilee) being a year of liberty both from Slavery & debt. Surely the giving of the Torah the very instructions of YHWH is a picture of liberty to those that receive it. Though Yisrael had been redeemed from their Slavery they were not yet free until they received the Torah their instruction for righteous living at Mount Sinai that would teach them how to be a free people. 

Upon the instruction of YHWH we find that Yisrael was also commanded to observe these feasts as a foreshadowing of what YHWH ultimately would do through Yahshua who is the fulfilment of all the Feasts:

Exodus 34:22 Three times in the year all your men shall appear before YHWH, Elohim of Yisrael.  24 For I will cast out the nations before you and enlarge your borders; neither will any man covet your land when you go up to appear before YHWH your Elohim three times in the year. 

 

Since Shavuot commemorates the conclusion of the Barley Harvest and the beginning of the Wheat Harvest it is interesting that in the very middle of the text concerning Shavuot there is also an instruction that must not be overlooked:

 

Vayikra (Leviticus) 23:22 when you reap the harvest of your land do not completely reap the corners of your field when you reap and do not gather any gleaning from your harvest. Leave them for the poor and for the stranger. I am YHWH your Elohim.’”

The Counting of the Omer began with Chag Ha Bikkurim “The Feast of the First Fruits” of the Barley Harvest & ends with yet another Feast of First Fruits being the “First Fruits of the Wheat Harvest.” It is interesting that right in the middle of this reading YHWH is making provision for the Poor & the Goyim or Stranger demonstrating his all-encompassing desire to join those outside the Covenant to Yisrael in the Covenant with all the Covenantal blessings. 

It is for this reason that the book of Ruth plays such a prominent part during this time and is often also studied along with the Torah & Yechezkel (Ezekiel). 

What makes the book of Ruth so interesting is that she had entered into the Covenant through her husband but when he died she was free to go back to her own former life and belief but rather than that she makes this great confession:

 

Ruth 1:16 But Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you, or to turn back from following after you. For wherever you go, I will go; and wherever you lodge, I will lodge. Your people shall be my people and your Elohim my Elohim. 17“Where you die, I will die and there I shall be buried. YHWH do so to me and more also – if anything but death itself parts you and me.”

We also find that Ruth began by gleaning at the beginning of the Barley harvest and continues leading up to Shavuot the wheat harvest all acted out during the counting of the Omer. The book of Ruth therefore is a Picture of the redemption of the Stranger or the Foreigner exactly what Vayikra (Leviticus) is instructing. 

Is it not true that since the outpouring of the RUACH Ha Kodesh (the Holy Spirit) in the book of Acts we are in the time of Gleaning on the edges of the fields of Yisarel to bring in the strangers or Goyim as well though the strangers may also be the lost of Yisrael who have become strangers to the Covenant. 

Romans 11:25 For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Yisrael until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.

The Uniqueness of the First Shavuot:

In all of History there had never been a time like this when a whole Nation heard the voice of YHWH when he manifested and came down on Mount Sinai. 

 

Historically this day celebrates the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai:

We read that upon the instruction of YHWH the people were to prepare themselves for YHWH to descend upon the Mountain:

 

Shemoth 19:10- 12 And YHWH said to Mosheh, “Go to the people and set them apart today and tomorrow. And they shall wash their garments, 11and shall be prepared by the third day. For on the third day HWHY shall come down upon Mount Sinai before the eyes of all the people. 12“And you shall make a border for the people all around, saying, ‘Take heed to yourselves that you do not go up to the mountain or touch the border of it. Whoever touches the mountain shall certainly be put to death.

It was that awesome & frightening that we read in:

 

Shemoth (exodus) 20:18-20 Now all the people witnessed the thunderings, the lightning flashes, the sound of the Shofar (trumpet), and the mountain smoking; and when the people saw it, they trembled and stood afar off.  19 Then they said to Mosheh, “You speak with us, and we will hear; but let not Elohim speak with us, lest we die.”

Yet we read in the following that we have a greater and better hope than they:

 

Ibrim (Hebrews) 12:21- 22 But you have drawn near to Mount Tsiyon and to the city of the living Elohim, to the heavenly Yerushalayim, to myriads of messengers (Angels), 23 to the entire gathering and assembly of the first-born having been enrolled in heaven and to Elohim the Judge of all and to the spirits of righteous men made perfect, 24 and to Yahshua the Mediator of a renewed covenant and to the blood of sprinkling which speaks better than the blood of Heḇel.

It is only by the perfect sacrifice of Yahshua that we can all hope to draw near and be made perfect and it is through Shavuot (Pentecost) that we are assured that his blood was accepted by YHWH our great Elohim: 

 

It is also exceedingly important for us to realize that at the first Shavuot, YHWH did pour out his Ruach on the Seventy elders though not on all the people.

When Moshe gathers the 70 Elders we see a great event that had never happened before:

 

Bemidbar (Numbers) 11:24- 29 Mosheh gathered the seventy men of the elders of the people and placed them around the tabernacle.  25 Then YHWH came down in the cloud, and spoke to him, and took of the Spirit that was upon him, and placed the same upon the seventy elders; and it happened, when the Spirit rested upon them, that they prophesied, although they never did so again. 26 But two men had remained in the camp: the name of one was Eldad, and the name of the other Medad. And the Spirit rested upon them. Now they were among those listed, but who had not gone out to the tabernacle; yet they prophesied in the camp.  27 And a young man ran and told Mosheh, and said, “Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp.” 

28 So Yahushua(Joshua) the son of Nun, Mosheh’s assistant, one of his choice men, answered and said, “Mosheh my Master, forbid them!”

29 Then Mosheh said to him, “Are you zealous for my sake? Oh, that all Yahweh’s people were prophets and that YHWH would put His Spirit upon them!”

 

This surely was fulfilled if we observe what happened in the Book of Acts when all the faithful were filled with the RUACH Ha Kodesh (The Holy Spirit). A question does arise however. On the occasion of the 70 Elders we see two men who were of the Elders but that had remained in the camp having the RUACH Ha Kodesh (Holy Spirit) resting upon them also. 

In the book of Acts we are driven to think that at the giving of the RUACH Ha Kodesh there were 120 believers present based on Acts 1:15 though the number is not mentioned in Acts 2 but we also know that Shaul (Paul) tells us in 1 Corinthians 15:6 that over 500 saw the risen Master. The question arises based on our reading whether any that were not at the appointed place & time on this Feast like Eldad & Medad were filled with the RUACH Ha Kodesh seeing that possibly not all the faithful were at the appointed place.

The Ten Covenant Words inscribed by the Finger of YAHWEH: 

Following the fear of the people over hearing the voice of YHWH we find Mosheh ascending the mountain to receive the ten Covenant Words or what is commonly known as the “Ten Commandments.” We can know what the sages say, to enhance our understanding as to how totally awesome this event was:

 

The Sages say when Mosheh went up the Mountain in Shemoth 24 that YHWH wrote the Covenant words on Sapphire cubes rather than Tablets with his own finger so they would be seen on both sides and when Mosheh would lift them up the fire of YHWH would hit the tablets to produce a Rainbow effect referred to as the Bow of YHWH and this would marvellously project the Hebrew letters written on them by the finger of YHWH on the people and would give the image of fiery letters which historical witnesses say appeared as tongues of Fire. We read in:

YermeYahu (Jeremiah) 23:29 Is not My Word like a fire?” declares YHWH

The Ancient Rabbis also taught that not only did Yisrael hear the voice of YHWH but actually saw the sound waves as they emerged from the mouth of Yahweh. They taught that each commandment was a fiery substance that left YHWH’s mouth, travelled around the whole camp and finally engraved itself on the Tablets: (Marish on Shmot page 182.) 

“Rabbi Johanan said that the voice as it was uttered split into seventy languages so that all the Nations might understand.” (Quote- Sh’mot (Exodus) Rabbah 5:9) 

Also that the Divine voice spoke so that all the children of men might understand its world-embracing and man redeeming message” - Rabbi Joseph Hertz, quoted from the authorized daily prayer book page 791.

The Fulfilment of Shavuot:

If we now return to the Brit Chadashah (New Testament) we can now obtain better truth without the burden of the commonly held traditions:

 

Firstly from our former teaching we remember the Following:

Luke 24:51- 53 And it came to be, while He was blessing them, that He was parted from them and was taken up into the heavens. 52 And they worshipped Him, and returned to Yerushalayim with great joy, 53 and were continually in the Beyth Ha Mikdash (The Temple) praising and blessing Elohim! Amĕn.  

Though the Sh’liychiym (the Apostles) had returned to Yerushalayim (Jerusalem) it is clear that they were constantly in the Temple even before the Feast of Shavuot. Though the Apostles may have stayed in a rented apartment they were gathering with other taught ones (disciples) in Solomon’s Porch on the Temple Mount. When we read that at Shavuot they were in the house they were in the “Beit Ha Mikdash”  the House of Prayer being the Temple according to the Command of YHWH that all faithful Yahudim (Jews) would be obedient to. Sadly the misunderstanding of them being in a small upper room tradition has led to Replacement theology and caused a loss of the wonder and power of this significant event. 

It was during this time that the believers were all gathered as we read and certainly they were reading the Scrolls of the Torah, Ezekiel, Ruth and the Prophets such as Yoel (Joel) in an upper study room of the Beit Mikdash (the Temple):

 

It was at this time that the fulfilment of the Prophet Yoel (Joel) was seen:

Acts 2:1 And when the Day of the Festival of weeks had come, they were all with one mind in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from the heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind and it filled all the house where they were sitting. 3 And there appeared to them cloven (divided) tongues, as of fire and settled on each one of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Set apart Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them to speak.

In these verses it speaks of a “Mighty Rushing Wind” but the term in Aramaic is “Rucha Ruach” which means a “Breathing Breath.” Therefore RUACH often translated as the Spirit or RUACH Ha Kodesh is the breath of YHWH. 

An interesting note is that according to the tradition of the Yahudim (Jews) when the Cohenim (Priests) ministered in the Mishkan (the Tent of Meeting) or what is called the Mikdash (the Sanctuary) when the esteem of YHWH would come and fill the Tent the walls of the Tent would begin to expand and contract and they would hear breathing and know his presence was there.

Just as with Mount Sinai the Fire of YHWH came down even so here they saw a pillar of fire that divided and appeared as cloven tongues and they were all filled with the Spirit (RUACH). 

The Significance of King Messiah’s Sacrifice

Shavuot for all who believe is the sign that the sacrifice of King Messiah was accepted resulting in the giving of the RUACH Ha Kodesh who is the manifestation of the Father & the Son:

Yochanan (John) 14: 23 Yahshua answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.

Since we noted that the Sh’liychiym (The Apostles) were asked by Yahshua to remain in Yerushalayim awaiting the promise of the Father Shavuot becomes ever so important. Through the outpouring of the RUACH Ha Kodesh that was now available to all believers a great boldness was available not only the twelve or the 120 but to all who call upon the name and receive faith in Yahshua. The truth of Scripture is now available to all through the work of the RUACH ha Kodesh but it is still a partnership with people of open hearts to Yahweh’s words lest divisions arise as we have seen throughout all history.

The Former & Later Rain:

We read in Acts how Kepha (Peter) explains that the outpouring of the RUACH Ha Kodesh (The Holy Spirit) at that Shavuot was a fulfilment of the words of the Prophet Yoel (Joel):

 

Acts 2:17 17‘And it shall be in the last days, says Elohim, that I shall pour out of My Spirit on all flesh. And your sons and your daughters shall prophesy and your young men shall see visions and your old men shall dream dreams,

 

Since Yisrael was a highly agricultural Nation the term Former rain refers to the Spring rain while the Later rain refers to the Autumn rain and we see YHWH using his agricultural Calendar to spiritually fulfil these too. 

Yoel (Joel) 2:23 And you children of Tsiyon, be glad and rejoice in YHWH your Elohim, for He shall give you the Teacher of Righteousness and cause the rain to come down for you, the former rain and the latter rain, as before.

Since Shavuot could be seen as the time period of the former rain and this is when its fulfilment came by the outpouring of the RUACH Ha Kodesh (The Holy Spirit) there is an expectation of the latter day outpouring before that great and awesome Day of YHWH. 

 

The Prophecy of the latter rain is the fulfilment of the ingathering of the lost of Yisrael from the four corners of the World. Now this is the age of the Feast of Tabernacles (Succoth) the time of the latter rain:

 

In Conclusion:

As we prepare ourselves for Shavuot (Pentecost) may we prepare ourselves by not only the cleansing of our bodies as the Yisraelites were told to do by Mosheh for three days but may we immerse ourselves in His word like all his Talmidim (Disciples) did awaiting the promise of the Father.  

 

  1. We remember the Sinai Shavuot as the giving of the Torah which was then written on stone.
  2. At the Shavuot of Acts we remember the RUACH ha Kodesh was given to all the believers because the sacrifice of Yahshua was completely acceptable.
  3. At Sinai even though YHWH knew what was happening in the camp he still wrote out the Covenant with his finger. The result was that 3000 of the ringleaders of the cult of the Bull were killed by the faithful Levites and in contrast at Shavuot when Kepha preached of the Salvation found only in Yahshua 3000 were immersed into the faith. 
  4. The outpouring of the Ruach gave to believers the anointing for boldness and that Yahweh’s Torah might be written on hearts that were now able to receive them.

 

Have a blessed Shavuot


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