Wednesday, March 24, 2021

A simple explanation of “Counting the Omer” toward the Feast of Shavuot

NEXT UP: THE COUNTING OF THE OMER, where we physically count the 49 days (right after Passover) to the Feast of Shavuot, beginning after sunset this year (2021) on Sunday, March 28. (See Leviticus 23:15-16.)

“WHAT?” you say.

Well, yes, it’s going to sound a bit confusing and even stressful, as we have many things to do for the next 50 days. But just keep in mind that all of the Shabbats (the weekly, seventh day Sabbath AND all of His seven Feasts) are our “dates” with God! Once you get used to them, you’ll begin to wonder why you never knew this before!

Anyway, here’s a simple explanation of what will happen once the Passover holidays begin and we start looking forward to the very important Feast of Shavuot:

As we explained before, Passover starts on the afternoon of next Saturday (Nisan 14/March 27). Then, right after sunset on that same day (which kicks off the Hebrew calendar date of Nisan 15), we begin to celebrate the High Holy Day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread/Hag HaMatzot, which marks the beginning of a seven day period of eating some UNLEAVENED bread daily (with at least one meal), as the leaven is a symbol of “sin” during that time – see I Cor. 5:6-8). (This is why we rid our homes of ANY leaven for this particular Feast.)

Messiah Yeshua fulfilled this Feast when he was buried and became our righteousness (Rom. 6:4, II Cor. 5:21). See also Exodus 23:14-16.

Now, pay close attention because this important:

On 15 Nisan at after SUNSET next Sunday (March 28) – which will be at the END of the FIRST day of Unleavened Bread, you are to start counting the days to Shavuot. This is called “counting the omer” … and you start each night by saying “This is the first day of omer…" (and so on, incrementing the count for the next 49 days, along with some pertinent short scripture passage reading each night, which you can find here:

The 50th day is the High Holy Day called, Shavuot, which marks both the giving of the Torah AND later in history, the giving of the Holy Spirit (Exodus 34:22). See also our in-depth articles: Counting of the Omer and Shavuot).

The bottom line is, the counting of the days and weeks convey the anticipation of and desire for the Giving of the Torah. In other words, at Passover, the Israelites were freed from their lives of slavery in Egypt; and 50 days later on Shavuot they accepted YHWH's Torah which made them a nation that was set-apart and committed to serving God.

Shavuot was fulfilled by the coming of the promised Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) on the disciples of Yeshua when they were gathered. It represents the beginning of the body of Messiah on Earth, in which ALL believers, redeemed through the blood of Messiah, are lifted up before ADONAI and set apart as holy (Acts 2, John 14:15-18, Ephesians 2:11-22 and the Book of Ruth).

(By the way, the Shavua means “week “in Hebrew, and Shavu'ot is plural, meaning “weeks.” YHWH's people have been, for centuries, counting exactly seven weeks from Passover; 50 days. The number 50 is the number for the Holy Spirit. Yeshua said He would send the Holy Spirit, and He did it on the 50th day after His resurrection. During this time we generally eat dairy products and favorite dishes are cheesecakes and cheese pancakes. In Israel, Shavuot is a state holiday, and a time for pilgrimage to Jerusalem.)

As an aside, the theme of accepting Torah is mirrored by the Book of Ruth, which is to be read on Shavuot. Ruth (King David's great-grandmother and ancestor of Yeshua) is born a Moabite, and becomes the first known convert to Judaism. When her husband dies, she tells her Mother-in-Law Naomi that she will go with her, and accept her people. Ruth says the words, "Your people are my people, and your God is my God." During Shavuot we read Exodus 19:1 thru 20:23; Numbers 28:26-31; Ezekiel 1:1-28, 3:12.

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