Shavuot and the day of Pentecost

Today marks the end of the Feast of Weeks, otherwise known as Pentecost. We count fifty days from the weekly Sabbath during the Feast of Unleavened Bread to get to this day. There are two related and significant events that happened in history today. It is a long held belief that it is the time at which Yahweh spoke to His people in an audible voice at Mount Sinai, giving His called out assembly the Ten Commandments, and it is also the time at which Jesus breathed His holy breath on His people empowering them with grace and truth. First, let’s look at the giving of the commandments in the third month. Passover is the fourteenth day of the first month, so this is not speaking of the Gregorian calendar we follow today. The third month puts us in the right time frame for Pentecost.

Exo 19:1 In the third month after the Israelites went out from the land of Egypt, on this day they came to the Sinai desert.
Exo 19:2 They set out from Rephidim, and they came to the desert of Sinai, and they camped in the desert, and Israel camped there in front of the mountain.
Exo 19:3 And Moses went up to God, and Yahweh called to him from the mountain, saying, “Thus you will say to the house of Jacob and you will tell the Israelites,
Exo 19:4 ‘You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and I brought you to me.
Exo 19:5 And now if you will carefully listen to my voice and keep my covenant, you will be a treasured possession for me out of all the peoples, for all the earth is mine,
Exo 19:6 but you, you will belong to me as a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words that you will speak to the Israelites.”

Their covenant with Yahweh was brand new when they first broke the terms, making the golden calf as a representation of Yahweh to worship. This is something they were specifically told not to do.

Exo 32:20 And he took the bull calf that they had made, and he burned it with the fire, and he crushed it until it became fine, and he scattered it on the surface of the water, and he made the Israelites drink.
Exo 32:21 And Moses said to Aaron, “What did this people do to you that you brought on them such a great sin?”
Exo 32:22 And Aaron said, “Let not my lord become angry. You yourself know the people, that they are intent on evil.
Exo 32:23 And they said to me, ‘Make for us gods who will go before us, because this Moses, the man who brought us up from the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.’
Exo 32:24 And I said to them, ‘Whoever has gold, take it off.’ And they gave it to me, and I threw it in the fire, and out came this bull calf.”
Exo 32:25 And Moses saw the people, that they were running wild because Aaron had allowed them to run wild, for a laughingstock among their enemies.
Exo 32:26 And Moses stood at the entrance of the camp, and he said, “Whoever is for Yahweh, to me.” And all the sons of Levi were gathered to him.
Exo 32:27 And he said to them, “Thus says Yahweh, the God of Israel, ‘Put each his sword on his side. Go back and forth from gate to gate in the camp, and kill, each his brother and each his friend and each his close relative.'”
Exo 32:28 And the sons of Levi did according to the word of Moses, and from the people on that day about three thousand persons fell.

Because of this sin, three thousand were put to the sword. As we fast forward to the day of Pentecost in New Testament times, we see all the disciples of Jesus gathered in Jerusalem for the feast. One must keep in mind that the day of Pentecost(Greek language), or the feast of Shavuot (Hebrew language), was established at least 1500 years before the Holy Spirit was given to the believers celebrating the feast. Yahweh acts on His appointed times, not ones created by man.

Act 2:1 When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place.
Act 2:2 And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting.
Act 2:3 And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them.
Act 2:4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.
Act 2:5 Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven.
Act 2:6 And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one was hearing them speak in his own language.
Act 2:7 And they were amazed and astonished, saying, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans?
Act 2:8 And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language?
Act 2:9 Parthians and Medes and Elamites and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia,
Act 2:10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome,
Act 2:11 both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabians—we hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God.”
Act 2:12 And all were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?”

Peter explains what this means:

Act 2:33 Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you yourselves are seeing and hearing.
Act 2:34 For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he himself says, “‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at my right hand,
Act 2:35 until I make your enemies your footstool.”’
Act 2:36 Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.”
Act 2:37 Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”
Act 2:38 And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Act 2:39 For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.”
Act 2:40 And with many other words he bore witness and continued to exhort them, saying, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation.”
Act 2:41 So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.

It is interesting that “about three thousand souls” were added on this day in contrast to the three thousand put to the sword at Sinai after the golden calf event. A little later, Peter is again addressing the people, explaining the events that took place on this important appointed time of Yahweh.

Act 3:17 “And now, brothers, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did also your rulers.
Act 3:18 But what God foretold by the mouth of all the prophets, that his Christ would suffer, he thus fulfilled.
Act 3:19 Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out,
Act 3:20 that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus,
Act 3:21 whom heaven must receive until the time for restoring all the things about which God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets long ago.
Act 3:22 Moses said, ‘The Lord God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your brothers. You shall listen to him in whatever he tells you.
Act 3:23 And it shall be that every soul who does not listen to that prophet shall be destroyed from the people.’
Act 3:24 And all the prophets who have spoken, from Samuel and those who came after him, also proclaimed these days.
Act 3:25 You are the sons of the prophets and of the covenant that God made with your fathers, saying to Abraham, ‘And in your offspring shall all the families of the earth be blessed.’
Act 3:26 God, having raised up his servant, sent him to you first, to bless you by turning every one of you from your wickedness.”

In Act 3:19-20, “Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord”, what is he telling us to repent from? What are we to “turn back” to? What is being refreshed, or breathed new life into? It is the commandments and covenant that were given at Pentecost on Mount Sinai by Yahweh himself, and the people’s ability to be obedient through the power of the Spirit. In Deuteronomy, it is told to us that these commandments are not too hard for us to do. If they are too hard, the only conclusion we can make is that we are doing them wrong, and outside of faith in Christ. Jesus, or in Hebrew, Yeshua, came and showed us how, empowering and refreshing us with His Spirit.

Deu 30:11 “For this commandment that I command you today is not too hard for you, neither is it far off.
Deu 30:12 It is not in heaven, that you should say, ‘Who will ascend to heaven for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’
Deu 30:13 Neither is it beyond the sea, that you should say, ‘Who will go over the sea for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’
Deu 30:14 But the word is very near you. It is in your mouth and in your heart, so that you can do it.
Deu 30:15 “See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil.
Deu 30:16 If you obey the commandments of the LORD your God that I command you today, by loving the LORD your God, by walking in his ways, and by keeping his commandments and his statutes and his rules, then you shall live and multiply, and the LORD your God will bless you in the land that you are entering to take possession of it.

Paul also tells us even if we were once strangers to the covenants, we can be brought near.

Eph 2:12 remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.
Eph 2:13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

Repent and turn back that your sins may be blotted out!

Happy Shavuot!

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