Shavu’ot #1 | The First Fruits

Shavu’ot, the Festival of Weeks/Harvest/First Fruits, is the second of the three major festivals with both historical and agricultural significance (the other two are Passover and Sukkot). 

Agriculturally, it commemorates the time when the first fruits were harvested and brought to the Temple. We count each of the days from the second day of Passover to the day before Shavu’ot, 49 days or 7 full weeks, hence the name of the festival.

The counting reminds us of the important connection between Passover and Shavu’ot: Passover freed us physically from bondage, but the Spirit of unity poured out on Shavu’ot redeemed us spiritually from our bondage to idolatry and immorality and seals us by Yahweh. 

The Jews believes Shavu’ot was the giving of Torah; however, there is no mention of this in the Torah. In Christian circles Shavu’ot is known as Pentecost, because it falls on the 50th day; hence, penta (50). However, Shavu’ot has no particular similarity to the Christian dove worship holiday of Pentecost, which is signified by the outpouring of the Holy Spirit during their Spring holiday.

The truth of Shavu’ot has a far deeper meaning than just speaking in tongues. It (1) signifies the reuniting of the original languages scattered at the tower of Babel; and (2) the return of the people of God as a unified nation; and (3) the offering of first fruits of the harvest of The Lord.

Finally, it will culminate with the ingathering of all peoples and nations back to Yahweh.