Feast of Weeks
What is the Feast of Weeks? I asked Google. Thank you Google!
Tomorrow will be the biblical Feast of Weeks for all of us who accept invitations and commandments from our Creator and Father. How do I know? Because His Holy Word tells me so. Thank you Bible Gateway!
Thou shalt observe the Feast of Weeks
And thou shalt observe the feast of weeks, of the first fruits of wheat harvest,
and the feast of ingathering at the year’s end. Exodus 34:22
Thou shalt keep the Feast of Weeks
And thou shalt keep the feast of weeks unto the Lord thy God with a tribute
of a freewill offering of thine hand, which thou shalt give unto the Lord thy God,
according as the Lord thy God hath blessed thee … Deuteronomy 16:10
Do not appear empty
Three times in a year shall all thy males appear before the Lord thy God
in the place which he shall choose; in the feast of unleavened bread,
and in the feast of weeks, and in the feast of tabernacles:
and they shall not appear before the Lord empty … Deuteronomy 16:16
According to the commandment
Even after a certain rate every day, offering according to the commandment of Moses,
on the sabbaths, and on the new moons, and on the solemn feasts,
three times in the year, even in the feast of unleavened bread, and in the feast of weeks,
and in the feast of tabernacles. 2 Chronicles 8:13
A Holy Convocation … a statute for ever in all your dwellingsYe shall bring out of your habitations two wave loaves of two tenth deals;
they shall be of fine flour; they shall be baken with leaven; they are the firstfruits unto the Lord
And ye shall proclaim on the selfsame day, that it may be an holy convocation unto you:
ye shall do no servile work therein: it shall be a statute for ever in all your dwellings
throughout your generations. Leviticus 23:17-21
How do Jewish people celebrate the Feast of Weeks or Shavuot?
One of my favourite biblical scholars, Nehemia Gordon, tells us that ‘Shavuot is a pilgrimage-feast, in Hebrew chag. As a chag, Shavuot is one of the three annual biblical festivals on which every male Israelite is commanded to make a pilgrimage to the Temple.’ Nehemia then continues to explain in depth what Shavuot is all about on his website Nehemia’s Wall in an article called The Truth About Shavuot. As an aside, there is no temple today to make a pilgrimage to. More about that later.
Additional information about this wonderful Feast can be found on the Chabad.org site which tells us that ‘The Torah was given by G‑d to the Jewish people on Mount Sinai more than 3300 years ago and every year on the holiday of Shavuot we renew our acceptance of G‑d’s gift, and G‑d “re-gives” the Torah. On this day G‑d swore eternal devotion to us, and we pledged everlasting loyalty to Him.’
 Also Jewish people read out the Book of Ruth during Shavuot. The story of the Book of Ruth is set during harvest time. Ruth is the ancestor of King David and Jesus as well as an example from the Bible of a Gentile who choose to join the God of Israel. According to the Karaite Jews, “Anyone who 1) is circumcised [males only], 2) accepts the God of Israel [YHWH] as their own God, and 3) accepts the People of Israel as their own people is a full-fledged Jew [Israelite], see Exodus 12,43-49 and Ruth 1,16.[finish edit 25/05/2015]
More info still on the Wikepedia site. Thank you Wikepedia!
Should or shouldn’t we celebrate Shavuot?
I’ve heard ‘Christian’ people say that they don’t feel it is necessary to celebrate any of the Feasts after Jesus’ crucifixion. And I’ve heard ‘Jewish’ people say that because there is no temple there is nowhere to celebrate or give the sacrifices. I also hear Bible students say that only males are to celebrate these Feasts and that God doesn’t like sacrifices.
Whose Feasts are these?
With regards to any of the Feasts: this is what The LORD says about them. He doesn’t call them Christian Feasts and He doesn’t call them Jewish Feasts and the Lord doesn’t call these Feasts Biblical either. No, what He says is instead that these are ‘The Feasts of the Lord, holy convocations, my Feasts.’
And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,
Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them,
Concerning the feasts of the Lord,
which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations,
even these are my feasts.
Ye shall do no manner of work:
it shall be a statute for ever
throughout your generations in all your dwellings.
‘Being Jewish’ explains ‘Why we do no longer bring animal sacrifices’ and why we cannot bring sacrifices without a temple. Christianity stack exchange explains where in the bible it says that sacrifice can only be done in the temple.
And I collected a stack of Scripture references where the Lord in no uncertain terms expresses his displeasure with the sacrifices.
For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.
Accept the invite or decline?
Sacrifices or not, temple or not, male or not; what I read in the Bible is our Creator telling us to celebrate His Feasts f o r e v e r and OBVIOUSLY in the right spirit. Sure the LORD said that He is not interested in hypocrites who are trying to bribe Him by offering Him slaughtered animals. He also said that ‘His Feasts are a Holy Convocation, a statute for ever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.’
The excuses given for not showing up to the party remind me of the wedding party story. In a nutshell: The King invites guests to his party and everyone has an excuse. All the initial guests end up in a bad place and a whole new crowd is being invited. Guess what? It appears that only those not wearing the right wedding garment are kicked out.
Sure you can decline and sure you can have an excuse. No doubt a very legitimate excuse too, just like the guests who couldn’t make it to the wedding and declined the invitation.
But when my Creator invites me, I brush up and I show up. And everyone else can do whatever their heart tells them to.
How to celebrate Shavuot?
On this occasion we are to bring a gift (freewill offering). You can read about my favourite charity here. I’ve been told that Feed the Hungry.org provides one hundred meals to hungry kids for six bucks only! It’s the best value around. And not only that but 100% of donated funds ends up with the kids because all services such as transport as well as all food and administrative work are donated by volunteers.
To argue that we’re not to bring a freewill offering during this Feast strikes me as a bit, dare I say it? Pharisaical maybe?
The timing of this Feast coincides with the giving of the Law so what better time to commemorate the giving of the Law? A Pact of Love as far as I’m concerned. So here goes once more.
And God spake all these words, saying,
I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.
Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:
But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God:
in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant,
nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:
For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is,
and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
Honour thy father and thy mother:
that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.
Thou shalt not commit adultery.
Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.
Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.
And all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it, they removed, and stood afar off.
And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die.
And Moses said unto the people, Fear not: for God is come to prove you, and that his fear may be before your faces, that ye sin not.
And the people stood afar off, and Moses drew near unto the thick darkness where God was.
And the Lord said unto Moses, Thus thou shalt say unto the children of Israel, Ye have seen that I have talked with you from heaven.
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May 24, 2015 at 11:16 pm
You didn’t mention that the Pentecost event occurred on Shavuot making the celebration of the giving of Torah at Sinai and the giving of the Holy Spirit to the Apostles in Acts 2 the same festival for the believer. While most Christians don’t find it necessary to celebrate any of the moadim (appointed times) commemorated by religious Jews, I believe that in the Messianic Age, we all will be observing them.
Also, just to expand on what you said about “sacrifices,” in Hebrew, the word Christian Bibles usually translate as “sacrifice” is “korban”. Korban gives the sense of “drawing nearer,” so it wasn’t a matter of killing an animal to appease the Almighty so much as an offering in order to draw nearer to God, literally in the days of the Tabernacle and Solomon’s Temple since the Divine Presence dwelt in the Holy of Holies.
Shavuot, along with the other so-called “pilgrim festivals,” was a time of great joy for the Jewish people in the days of Solomon’s and Herod’s temples, and when Jesus returns and completes all the tasks the Messiah is supposed to perform according to prophesy, he will rebuild the temple and those festivals, including Shavuot, will be celebrated again to the glory of God.
May 25, 2015 at 9:46 am
Wow! Thank you James for filling that in. The other thing I didn’t mention is that Jewish people observe Shavuot by reading out the Commandments and the Book of Ruth which is about harvesting. Ruth being the ancestor of King David and Jesus. Jewish people also enjoy all kinds of cheese dishes on Shavuot. Thank you for stopping by and God bless.
May 26, 2015 at 4:58 pm
We serve and love an amazing God who has blessed us with appointed times! He is not limited by these times, but uses them to make clear to us His ways and character and the eternal plan of redemption. Celebrating the feasts (even imperfectly as I am just learning) has definitely drawn me closer to Him! To read His word and know He is the same yesterday, today and forever is of great comfort. We celebrate the fulfilled feasts in remembrance and gratitude for His work completed…we celebrate the Feasts yet to be fulfilled with all hope and anticipation of His continued work and return. I agree…the feasts are for all who love the Lord and want to draw near. They certainly are meaningful and established “holidays” by God and not man. God bless and thanks for posting!
May 26, 2015 at 9:22 pm
Amen Jennifer! Thank you for stopping by and God bless.
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