SHAVUOT, FEAST OF WEEKS, PENTECOST

 Shavuot, Feasts of Weeks, or Pentecost (different names for the same feast) began June 3, at sundown.

SHAVUOT IN THE TORAH

Shavuot

From the day after the Sabbath [Firstfruits], the day you brought the sheaf of the wave offering, count off seven full weeks.   Count off fifty days up to the day after the seventh Sabbath,and then present an offering of new grain to the LORD (Leviticus 23: 15, 16 NIV).

Count off seven weeks from the time you begin to put the sickle to the standing grain.  Then celebrate the Feast of Weeks to the LORD your God by giving a freewill offering in proportion to the blessing the LORD your God has given you.  And rejoice before the LORD your God at the place he will choose as a dwelling for his Name–you, your sons and daughters, your menservants and maidservants, the Levites in your towns, and the aliens, the fatherless and the widows living among you.  Remember that you were slaves in Egypt, and follow carefully these decrees (Deuteromony 16: 9-12 NIV).

Shavuot celebrates the giving of the Law to the Hebrews at Mount Sinai.

It is customary to read the Book of Ruth on Shavuot.  Ruth arrives in Bethlehem at the beginning of the barley harvest (Ruth 1: 22) and meets Boaz, her kinsman redeemer, while gleaning from his fields. (The redemption theme runs strong throughout the book.)  Boaz, a descendant of Judah, marries Ruth, a Moabitess (Gentile).  Ruth and Boaz become the great-grandparents of King David.

PENTECOST (SHAVUOT) IN THE BOOK OF ACTS

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The New Testament begins with the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David (Matthew 1: 1).  He is our Redeemer, God’s Lamb, who takes away the sins of the world.  He was crucified on Passover, rose from the dead on Firstfruits, and appeared to his disciples many times between His resurrection and Shavuot or Pentecost.  The Holy Spirit came in power on  Pentecost, and the believers were filled with the Spirit and praised God in different tongues.  Some 3000 people repented and were added to the number of believers on that day.

When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place.  Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting.  They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them (Acts 2: 1-4 NIV).

Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: “Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say.  These men are not drunk, as you suppose.  It’s only nine in the morning!  No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: 

” ‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people, Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.  Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy.  I will show wonders in the heaven above and signs on the earth below, blood ad fire and billows of smoke.  The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord.  And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved’ “ (Acts 2: 14-21 NIV).

For more information about Shavuot and Pentecost, click here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Love Your Enemies

Most of what you read in the New Testament has a counterpart in the Old Testament.  For example, the “love your enemies” principle is found throughout the entire Bible

 

OLD TESTAMENT

If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink: For thou shalt heap coals  of fire upon his head, and the LORD shall  reward thee (Proverbs 25: 21, 22 KJV).

If you come across your enemy’s ox or donkey wandering off, be sure to take it back to him.  If you see the donkey of someone who hates you fallen down under its load, do not leave it there; be sure you help him with it (Exodus 23: 4, 5 NIV).

And the king of Israel said unto Elisha,when he saw them [the enemies of Israel], My father, shall I smite them?  Shall I smite them?  And he [Elisha] answered, Thou shalt not smite them: wouldest thou smite those whom thou hast taken captive with thy sword and with thy bow?  set bread and water before them, that they may eat and drink, and go to their master (II Kings 6: 21, 22 KJV)

NEW TESTAMENT

Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.  Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.  Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good (Romans: 12: 19-21 KJV).

Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.  But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; (Matthew 5: 43, 44 KJV).

 

 

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