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  • Writer's pictureGene Benjamin II

SHAVUOT – 2018

SHAVUOT – 2018

by the Book

Yahweh sets the theme of Leviticus 23 in verses 1 and 2, this chapter is about Yahweh’s appointment calendar festivals. Verse 3 defines and explains the weekly Sabbath as the FIRST of his festivals. Moses uses Strong’s # 7676 and 7677 to say that the weekly Sabbath is an intermission of special holiday, an intermission of cessation from regular work, a Sabbath Sabbathown. 7676 and 7677 are first used back in Exodus 16, where Yahweh resynchronizes the freed Hebrews with His weekly Sabbath. The context of Leviticus 23 has been set. Intermissions and cessations from regular work. 7676 and 7677 come from the root word 7673, used only once in Leviticus 23, in verse 32, in regards to observing (#7673) the Sabbath Day of Atonement.

In Leviticus 23:4-8, Yahweh discusses Passover/Unleavened bread/matsah. There is no mention of intermission of special holiday, but a cessation from servile and all business/employment type work. The words Sabbath and Sabbathown are NOT present in the Passover/ULB text. Aviv 15 and 21 are holy, set apart public assemblies or convocations, but NOT Sabbath or Sabbathown!!

Leviticus 23:9-14 discusses Day of Firstfruits. Sabbath is mentioned in verse 11, day after the Sabbath. According to the context of Leviticus 23 so far, what Sabbath is being talked about? It can ONLY mean the weekly 7th day Sabbath. In these verses, Sabbath is used 1 time, Sabbathown is NOT used at all.

Leviticus 23:15-22 discusses the Feast of Shavuot. Leviticus 23:15-17, “Beginning from the day after the Sabbath, that was the day you brought the sheaf of the wave offering, count seven entire Sabbaths. 16 You must count fifty days, which would be the day after the seventh Sabbath. Then you must present an offering of new grain (wheat) to Yahweh. 17 You must bring out of your houses two loaves of wheat bread made from 4.5 liters of fine flour and baked with yeast; they will be a wave offering of the firstfruits to Yahweh.” So now, in our context of the Sabbath we see Moses say “from the day after the Sabbath”, he can ONLY mean the weekly Sabbath. NO other Sabbath has been mentioned, defined or discussed. Of course, the day after this weekly Sabbath was the Day of Firstfruits from verse 11, the Wave Sheaf Offering day, done by a Levitical priest, done as soon as possible after Passover Day. These Feasts are all wrapped up around the physical agricultural harvests, spring grains and fall fruits. When harvest time came, they did not delay taking sheaves to the priest to wave, because they wanted to get the harvest in to sell and eat. They did the harvest as efficiently as possible, for the most profit possible, but still strove to meet Yahweh’s religious law demands.

Verse 16, the day after the 7th Sabbath, 50 days after Day of Firstfruits, can ONLY be talking about the seventh-day Sabbath, according to the overall context of Leviticus 23. The weekly Sabbath, and ONLY the weekly Sabbath is mentioned three times in the discussion of the Feast of Shavuot. NO other Sabbath is under consideration, according to context. The word translated as weeks (Shavuot, Strong’s # 7620 from Exo. 34:22 and Deut. 16:9-10) is NOT found in verse 15 or 16. This is what causes me to believe that Shavuot will always be on a Sunday. The day after the 7th Sabbath will always be the first day of the week, or Sunday.

Now, please follow me on this train of thought. In verses 4-8, the discussion of Passover / Unleavened Bread, we see a 7-day period mentioned a couple times, but NO Sabbath or Sabbathown word is mentioned! But Abib 15 and 21 are both set apart, or holy, public assembly days. WHY did Moses NOT mention a Sabbath? Because all Hebrews KNOW that in any given 7-day period of time, the regular WEEKLY SABBATH occurs one time. The weekly Sabbath is ASSUMED to occur in verses 4-8. The weekly Sabbath context has already been set. Hebrews did not mention a word again in the same context, as a rule, but it was assumed, all Hebrews understood that way of communication. One Sabbath day occurs during Unleavened Bread, and it is ASSUMED that everyone will take the regular weekly Sabbath day off, they will completely cease from work and rest on the regular weekly Sabbath, even during harvest! A sabbath may be implied for Aviv 15 and 21, but it is NOT explicitly stated in Lev. 23. The only Sabbath that is explicitly stated is the regular weekly seventh day Sabbath, the one that had been occurring since creation week.

So, what do we gather (no pun intended) in understanding from this? Since we are in the harvest season, they wanted everything to click right along to get the grains in the barn. No wasted time, money, or energy, meant no wasted grain and more profit. So, the Sabbath day mentioned in verse 11 for the Day of Firstfruits could ONLY mean the 7th-day Sabbath during the 7-day period of Unleavened Bread. The context of Leviticus 23 is Sabbath, public assembly Festivals, and harvest! No wasted energy, words, or thoughts, or time, or money. Verse 14 really brings this home. Time pressure, efficiency of effort, obedience to Yahweh. “You must eat no bread, nor roasted or fresh grain, until the same day you have brought this offering to your Almighty. This will be a permanent statute throughout your people’s generations, in every place that you live.” They were NOT allowed to eat of the newly harvested barley grain, until the Wave Sheaf Offering was accomplished. Because of the expediency of the harvest season, that DAY, the day after the weekly Sabbath, could ONLY be referring to the 1st day of the week following the WEEKLY SABBATH THAT OCCURRED DURING THE WEEK OF UNLEAVENED BREAD. The context of Leviticus 23 makes this a solid Hebrew assumption. If Yahweh or Moses had meant SOMETHING DIFFERENT, they would have said something different.

Leviticus 23:21, “You must make a proclamation on that same day (Shavuot). There will be a holy assembly, and you must do no ordinary work. This will be a permanent statute throughout your people’s generations in all the places where you live.” Notice the holy assembly verbage is exactly the same as when he talked about the week of Unleavened Bread. Shavuot is NOT a Sabbath or intermission of rest, but it is a set apart day for the congregation of Israel to assemble together and celebrate our wonderful Creator and Savior. Yahweh and Moses proclaimed it. I proclaim it, let’s just do it!

We cannot keep, or observe, or obey these Feasts according to Torah anyway, since we have no temple, or Levitical priests, and we must go to Jerusalem to do them.

Exodus 34:18, 21-24, “You must keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread. As I commanded you, you must eat unleavened bread for seven days at the appointment calendar festival in the month of Aviv, for it was in the month of Aviv you came out from Egypt. . . 21 You may work for six days, but on the seventh day you must rest. Even at plowing time and in harvest, you must rest. 22 You must observe the Feast of Shavuot (Weeks) with the first yield of the wheat harvest, and you must observe the Feast of Ingathering (Sukkot/Tabernacles) at the year’s end. 23 All your men must appear before me, Lord Yahweh, the Almighty of Israel three times every year. 24 For I will drive out ethno-linguistic nations before you and expand your borders. No one will desire to invade your land and take it when you go up to appear before me, Yahweh your Almighty, three times every year.”

I encourage everyone to read Exodus 34:10-28, for I believe this is the first mention of the Feast of Shavuot. The principle of first mention is one of the best ways to interpret Scripture. Notice that Yahweh does NOT mention the REST, word # 7673, the root of Sabbath and Sabbathown, until verse 21, AFTER he has already talked about Feast of Unleavened Bread. WHY? Because the 7-day Feast of Matsah automatically has a 7th day Sabbath on one day during that 7 days. BUT he does mention the 7th day Sabbath REST just before talking about the Feast of Shavuot! WHY? Because it is counted from the day AFTER the weekly Sabbath that occurs during Unleavened, and it is wrapped up in SEVEN SABBATHS, the day AFTER the 7th Sabbath!

Let’s celebrate the Feast and our Almighty Yahweh and Savior Yeshua HaMashiach.

As I’ve written before, Deuteronomy 16 comes AFTER Exodus and Leviticus and can ONLY supplement the Feast teaching, NOT supplant it. Notice that in the discussion of the Feasts in Deuteronomy 16 that the Sabbath words are NOT mentioned at all, not 7676, 7677, nor 7673 the root. WHY? Because they have ALREADY BEEN DISCUSSED and DEFINED many decades before in Exodus and Leviticus! That is why Moses could use a different word, # 7620, that just means sevened, or weeks. The Hebrews ALREADY KNOW the Sabbath schedule, so IT IS ASSUMED in Deuteronomy, at the END of the 40-year wilderness wandering. That’s just how Hebrews think, talk, and write. Deuteronomy 16:9-10, “You will count seven weeks for yourselves; from the time you begin to put the scythe to the standing grain you must start counting seven weeks. 10 You must keep the Feast of Shavuot for Yahweh your Almighty with the contribution of a freewill offering from your hand that you will give, according as Yahweh your Almighty has blessed you.” The starting point, or day, for counting to Shavuot is expressed with different words here in Deut. 16. WHY? Because the starting point, or day, or hour, or minute, has ALREADY BEEN DEFINED AND STATED, many decades earlier in Leviticus 23. They would put the scythe to the grain, IMMEDIATELY AFTER the Wave Sheaf Offering, on the DAY AFTER THE WEEKLY SABBATH that naturally occurred during the 7 days of Unleavened Bread. No waste, but leave some gleanings for us poor folk. Perfectly efficient, perfectly wonderful Feasts!

Deuteronomy 16:16-17, “Three times in a year all your males must appear before Yahweh your Almighty at the place that he will choose: at the Feast of Unleavened Bread, at the Feast of Shavuot, and at the Feast of Tabernacles; and they will not appear before Yahweh empty-handed; 17 instead, every man will give as he is able, that you might know the blessing that Yahweh your Almighty has given to you.”

Next year in Jerusalem, but this year in Canon City, Colorado!!

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