Shavuot (Festival of Weeks or Pentecost) 6th–7th of Sivan

The Israelites were to present an offering of new grain in the Temple exactly seven weeks and one day after Yom HaBikkurim (The Feast of Firstfruits).  The Hebrew word Shavuot means weeks, just as the Greek word Pentecost means fifty.  This concludes the fifty-day Counting of the Omer, the period from the harvesting of barley to the harvesting of wheat (the “first fruits” of the wheat harvest), the last of the grain to ripen, on Shavuot.  It was probably the most difficult of the pilgrim festivals as it fell in the middle of the growing season.

Shavuot commemorates the divine gift of Torah received at Mount Sinai by Moses.  So it can be said that this is the “birthday of the Torah“! 

A very well known event took place on this date as well in the New Testament.  The Spirit of God fell upon the first followers of Yeshua with them speaking in tongues of fire and other languages.  This event more than likely established the Church, the Body of Messiah.

The holiday is celebrated with the reading of the account of the reception of the Torah (Exodus 19-20), the Book of Ruth (a book about harvest and redemption), and ending with the genealogy of King David who, according to tradition, was born and died on Shavuot.

Sadly, no major festival suffers greater neglect than Shavuot.  This was a day that freedom from slavery was recast into fidelity to law and literacy.  The Torah was born!  The spirit of God fell upon Yeshua’s first followers!  Yet it flies under the radar of most synagogues and churches alike.

Scriptural references:  Leviticus 23:16-21; Exodus 23:16; Acts 2

Shavu’ot | Jewish Virtual Library

When is Shavuot in 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023, 2024 and 2025?