Feast of Weeks – Part 1
FEAST OF WEEKS, SHAVUOT
Let’s process Shavuot down from a whole grain to a useful fine flour, digestible to our spirits. This may take several posts, or parts. This study is inspired by the teaching of Avi ben Mordechai of http://www.m7000.com.
Exodus 34:22, “And you shall observe the Feast of Weeks, of the firstfruits (bikkurim) of wheat (chitah) harvest (Raisheet K’tzir, first cutting). . .” Firstfruits, Hebrew word, bikkurim, is specifically talking about the 50th day of the counting of the Omer, Shavuot, or Pentecost Day itself. The 50th day, Shavuot, marks the end of the wheat harvest. The Feast of Shavuot is always talking about the late spring wheat harvest in the Holy Land. The Hebrew word, Strong’s # 2406, chitah, is the word for wheat, not any other grain. Wheat becomes mature, or ripe, possibly up to a month after barley. The only religious purpose of aviv barley is to determine the first day of the first month (Aviv, now known as Nisan) of the new Hebrew year. Barley is never used in an offering to Yahweh in Temple service. In Numbers 5, barley is used in the ordinance to determine if a married woman is an adulteress, but never as a grain offering to Yahweh, especially not a firstfruits offering.
Let’s count the Omer to Shavuot. Leviticus 23:15-16, “And you shall count for yourselves from the day after the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf (omer, dry measure) of the wave offering (brandishing, undulating, shaking): seven Sabbaths shall be completed. 16Count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath; then you shall offer a new grain offering (mincha, always wheat) to Yahweh.”
1 – The wave sheaf offering has to be made the day after the Sabbath.
2 – The counting of the omer begins after there has been a certain quantity of grain waved to Yahweh as part of a national mincha or grain offering.
Deuteronomy 16:9, “You shall count seven weeks for yourself; begin to count the seven weeks from the time you begin to put the sickle to the (standing) grain.” This is an often overlooked Scripture, but it may prove to be the very key that unlocks end times understanding. In the light of Deuteronomy 16:9, now consider Yeshua’s words in Matthew 24:36, “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only.” Do you realize that no farmer, and certainly no city dweller, knows what day or hour a field of wheat is ready to be harvested, until the moment that it is ready to be harvested!?! Only Yahweh, the Great Controller of the universe, knows all the weather conditions, the soil conditions, the heat and cold conditions, the former and latter rain conditions, or the moisture content of the plants, of any particular wheat field. Only our Father knows when the moment will arrive when the wheat is ripe and ready for harvest. Humans and angels simply do not know ahead of time when that moment of harvest will come. Could it be that Yeshua was specifically referencing Deuteronomy 16:9 in His Matthew 24:36 statement? Let that soak into your spirit for awhile. Yeshua’s agricultural parables will come into clearer focus as you contemplate the possibility that Yeshua’s words pointed to the Feast of Weeks, or Shavuot. Let Yahweh alter your Second Coming theology based solely on the living Word of Yahweh. The wheat farmer does not know ahead of time the moment of HIS HARVEST, the moment when he can put his sickle to his standing grain. The farmer could not go to Jerusalem to celebrate the Feast of Shavuot (Weeks), until he had harvested enough grain for his offering and possibly to eat. Deuteronomy 16:16, “Three times a year all your males shall appear before Yahweh your Mighty One 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 Yahweh empty-handed.” The farmer had to complete this wheat harvest in the 49 days prior to the Feast of Weeks, Pentecost, on day 50, so he could take his offering with him to the Feast.
Leviticus 23:9-14, “And Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, 10“Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘When you come into the land (Holy Land, Israel) which I give to you, and reap its harvest, then you shall bring a sheaf (omer, dry measure of grain, minus stalks) of the firstfruits of your harvest (Raisheet K’tzirchem, first cutting) to the priest (Kohen). 11He (the Kohen) shall wave the sheaf (omer) before Yahweh, to be accepted on your behalf; on the day after the Sabbath the priest (Kohen) shall wave it. 12And you shall offer on that day, when you (a collective offering done by the Kohen) wave the sheaf (omer), a male lamb of the first year, without blemish, as a burnt offering to Yahweh. 13Its grain offering (mincha, always wheat) shall be two-tenths of an ephah of fine flour (solet, always wheat) mixed with oil, an offering made by fire to Yahweh, for a sweet aroma; and its drink offering shall be of wine, one-fourth of a hin. 14You shall eat neither bread nor parched grain nor fresh grain (produce) until the same day that you have brought an offering to your Mighty One; it shall be a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.”
The priests perform this wave omer offering on behalf of the entire nation of Israel, in the Land. Then each farmer can begin HIS HARVEST and begin to enjoy the blessings of Yahweh’s provision again this year.
Now let’s get a better understanding between wheat and barley.
2 Kings 7:1, “Then Elisha said, “Hear the word of Yahweh. Thus says Yahweh: ‘Tomorrow about this time a seah of fine flour (solet, always wheat) shall be sold for a shekel, and two seahs of barley (se’orah) for a shekel, at the gate of Samaria.’””
2 Kings 7:16, “Then the people went out and plundered the tents of the Syrians. So a seah of fine flour (solet) was sold for a shekel, and two seahs of barley (se’orah) for a shekel, according to the word of Yahweh.”
Ezekiel 16:13, “Thus you were adorned with gold and silver, and your clothing was of fine linen, silk, and embroidered cloth. You ate pastry of fine flour (solet), honey, and oil. You were exceedingly beautiful, and succeeded to royalty.”
Ezekiel 16:19, “Also My food which I gave you—the pastry of fine flour (solet), oil, and honey which I fed you—you set it before them as sweet incense; and so it was,” says Sovereign Yahweh.”
Solet is what we know today as semolina, fine pastry flour from durum or hard wheat. The Septuagint calls it semidalis. The Latin Vulgate calls it simila. This is finely ground wheat flour, known also in the Scriptures as “choice flour”. It’s the best baking flour you can purchase. Solet is wheat, not barley; they are two different grains. The general Hebrew word for wheat is chitah. Here are sample Scriptures for this term:
2 Samuel 17:28, “brought beds and basins, earthen vessels and wheat (chitah), barley (se’orah) and flour, parched grain and beans, lentils and parched seeds,”
Deuteronomy 8:8, “a land of wheat (chitah) and barley (se’orah), of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive oil and honey;”
Isaiah 28:24-25, “Does the plowman keep plowing all day to sow? Does he keep turning his soil and breaking the clods? 25When he has leveled its surface, does he not sow the black cumin and scatter the cummin, plant the wheat (chitah) in rows, the barley (se’orah) in the appointed place, and the spelt in its place?”
Joel 1:11, “Be ashamed, you farmers, wail, you vinedressers, for the wheat (chitah) and the barley (se’orah); because the harvest of the field has perished.”
Chitah is wheat. Solet is the chitah that has been ground up and processed into fine pastry flour. Solet is what is always used in the offerings to Yahweh. See Numbers 6:15, 7:13, and 8:8. More examples:
Exodus 29:1-2, “And this is what you shall do to them to hallow them for ministering to Me as priests (kohanim): Take one young bull and two rams without blemish, 2and unleavened bread, unleavened cakes mixed with oil, and unleavened wafers anointed with oil (you shall make them of wheat flour [chitah solet]).”
Leviticus 2:1, “When anyone offers a grain offering (mincha qorban) to Yahweh, his offering shall be of fine flour (solet, always wheat). And he shall pour oil on it, and put frankincense on it.” Fine flour is the Hebrew word, Strong’s # 5560, solet, which can only be made from wheat grain, or berries. Barley is a rough and coarse grain and can never make fine flour.
The general Hebrew word for any kind of flour is kemach; it could be wheat, barley, oat, rye, etc. Examples of the use of kemach:
Judges 6:19a, “So Gideon went in and prepared a young goat, and unleavened bread from an ephah of flour (kemach).”
Isaiah 47:2a, “Take the millstones and grind meal (kemach).”
Hosea 8:7, “They sow the wind, and reap the whirlwind. The stalk has no bud; it shall never produce meal (kemach). If it should produce, aliens would swallow it up.”
Kemach could be attached to solet for fine wheat flour, or to barley for barley flour. For example:
Numbers 5:15a, “then the man shall bring his wife to the priest. He shall bring the offering required for her, one-tenth of an ephah of barley meal (se’orah kemach).”
Genesis 18:6, “So Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah and said, “Quickly, make ready three measures of fine meal (solet kemach); knead it and make cakes.””
Notice Abraham offered the finest wheat flour cake to Yahweh’s messengers. That is the biblical use of solet, or fine flour. Passover matzah is also made from solet, not barley, or se’orah. Passover matzah can be made from a previous year’s harvest of chitah. There is no Scriptural requirement to use only the current year’s new harvest or first cutting of chitah, or solet, for baking matzah.
When we put Leviticus 2:1 together with Leviticus 23:12-13, we see that Yahweh wants solet, or fine wheat flour, whenever we make a mincha, or grain offering to Him. There is no room for Pharisaical barley flour when offering to Yahweh.
Leviticus 2:1, “When anyone offers a grain offering (mincha qorban) to Yahweh, his offering shall be of fine flour (solet). And he shall pour oil on it, and put frankincense on it.”
Leviticus 23:12-13, “And you shall offer on that day, when you wave the sheaf (omer), a male lamb of the first year, without blemish, as a burnt offering to Yahweh. 13Its grain offering (mincha) shall be two-tenths of an ephah of fine flour (solet) mixed with oil, an offering made by fire to Yahweh, for a sweet aroma; and its drink offering shall be of wine, one-fourth of a hin.”
Even the Sanctuary showbread was to be made from fine wheat flour. Leviticus 24:5-8, “And you shall take fine flour (solet, always wheat) and bake twelve cakes (challah) with it. Two-tenths of an ephah shall be in each cake (challah). 6You shall set them in two rows, six in a row, on the pure gold table before Yahweh. 7And you shall put pure frankincense on each row, that it may be on the bread (lechem) for a memorial, an offering made by fire to Yahweh. 8Every Sabbath (Hebrew: Sabbath day Sabbath day, or daily from Sabbath to Sabbath) he shall set it in order before Yahweh continually (daily), being taken from the children of Israel by an everlasting covenant.” This bread is known as the Lechem haPanim, the showbread, or the bread before THE FACE. The bread is in Yahweh’s face to always remind Him of His love covenant and commitment to the sons of Israel, the Israel of Yahweh. Gal. 6:16. We are the redeemed of Israel, the solet of Yahweh, harvested out of the world as an offering, a living sacrifice, often crushed and ground down until we are made useful to Him. Solet, fine wheat flour, symbolizes a redeemed, new nature, submitted and willing to obey Yahweh.
Scripture teaches that we use solet, fine wheat flour, in our wave sheaf offering, after the first cutting, often during the week of Unleavened Bread, and for the two loaf offering on the Day of Pentecost, not barley. Barley may only be used to help set the first day of the first month (Aviv, Nisan) of the new Hebrew year. No barley offerings to Yahweh in the Book. Check it out.
We will continue this study as we can.
Gene Benjamin II
June 6, 2011 CE