Do You Shavuot?

Do You Shavuot?

How many of you know what Shavuot is? Go ahead, let me see a show of hands…you can raise them now…anybody, anybody…so is that everyone, a majority, a few, or none?? Since I can’t see you, I will assume that the answer is 50/50 for the time being.

Shavuot was a pilgrimage-feast. It is the feast of weeks or the feast of first fruits. It is also one of the three annual biblical feasts. The interesting thing about the festival of Shavuot is that it has no fixed date. It is celebrated at the end of a 50-day period. The counting would start the day after the first weekly Sabbath during the Feast of Unleavened Bread. The purpose of this blog post is not to get into the timing, but let me say this: to know the day, the barley must be Aviv in Israel, followed by the sighting of the new moon in Israel. The feast of Unleavened Bread will start the 15th day after this sighting. According to this, Sunday, June 12, will be the Biblical timing for 2016 Shavuot.

Now to my point…an interesting thing happened on Shavuot around 30AD…Lets read:

“When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one was hearing them speak in his own language. And they were amazed and astonished, saying, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language? Parthians and Medes and Elamites and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabians—we hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God.” And all were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” But others mocking said, “They are filled with new wine.””
Acts 2:1-13

Did I not mention that Pentecost is the Greek word for Shavuot? Shavuot means weeks, while Pentecost means fiftieth. These verses in Acts are the last big description we get of Shavuot in the Bible…now let’s take a look at the possible first one…

“On the morning of the third day there were thunders and lightnings and a thick cloud on the mountain and a very loud trumpet blast, so that all the people in the camp trembled. Then Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet God, and they took their stand at the foot of the mountain. Now Mount Sinai was wrapped in smoke because the Lord had descended on it in fire. The smoke of it went up like the smoke of a kiln, and the whole mountain trembled greatly. And as the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Moses spoke, and God answered him in thunder. The LORD came down on Mount Sinai, to the top of the mountain. And the LORD called Moses to the top of the mountain, and Moses went up…So Moses went down to the people and told them. And God spoke all these words, saying…”
Exodus 19:16-20, 25; 20:1

What similarities do we see between the two??

  1. The nations are present
  2. There is Fire
  3. This is a meeting…a gift-giving meeting
  4. A message is received from God
  5. A voice is heard in their own language

There is a message that God wants to give to all the nations…God’s heart is for the nations. It says in both Isaiah 2:2-4 & Micah 4:1-4 (two witnesses) all nations…somebody say all nations…shall come to the mountain of the house of the LORD. In Jeremiah 3:17 says, “At that time Jerusalem shall be called the throne of the LORD, and all nations (say “all nations”) shall gather to it, to the name of the LORD in Jerusalem…” One more in Isaiah 56:7, “For My house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples (say: all nations).”

My hope is that this Shavuot/Pentecost, you will experience the fire of God’s love and receive a message from God about His mighty works in your own language. This is a not a day about the birth of the church but a day that God reveals Himself to the nations and invites them unto Himself.



PS. Timing of the people leaving Egypt and arriving at Mt. Sinai for Shavuot

Exodus 12:6-7 – they ate the Passover on the 15th day of the first month
Exodus 16:1 – 15th day of the second month…30 days later
Exodus 19:1 – third new moon…45 days later
Exodus 19:3-9, 16-25 – 1-2 days later…47 days later
Exodus 19:11 – be ready for the third day…50 days later

Other verses…
Exodus 23:16; 34:22; Numbers 28:26; Deuteronomy 16:9; Acts 20:16; 1 Corinthians 16:8

The title “Do You Shavuot?”doesn’t make sense if you translate Shavuot into English. I know this. My question was, “do you know and do you celebrate the day?”… Just so there is no confusion. Also, with the great advancement in technology, many search for the aviv barley and sight the new moon in Israel and post their results on websites and social media.