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Lesson 7

Pentecost means fifty and it is the Greek name for the Feast of Weeks, or the Feast of Harvest. It is calculated from the Sunday following the first weekly Sabbath of Unleavened Bread season. That first Sunday is when the wave sheaf was offered to God at the First Fruits ceremony. The grain sheaf was offered in thanks to God for the start of the spring harvest. Pentecost coming fifty days later, after seven full weeks have been completed, focuses its offering on giving thanks for the harvest gathered. Both offering days are celebrated on the day of the week, Sunday, rather than on a date of the month like the rest of the holy days. Calculating when to keep this day at times is convoluted, depending on what day of the week passover falls on. The Bible description for what Sabbath to keep the First Fruit offering can be confusing to some. These two celebrations were not to be kept until the Israelites entered the promised land many years in the future. The Holy Spirit came at Pentecost to comfort and lead the newly harvested Christian converts. Did you know that Pentecost Sunday was one of God’s holy days? Why do some believe Christians represent the smaller spring harvest of mankind?

Leviticus 23:9-21 Contemporary English Version Offering the First Part of the Harvest
9 The Lord told Moses 10 to say to the community of Israel: After you enter the land I am giving you, the first bundle of wheat from each crop must be given to me. So bring it to a priest 11 on the day after the Sabbath. He will lift it up in dedication to me, and I will accept you. 12 You must also offer a sacrifice to please me. So bring the priest a one-year-old lamb that has nothing wrong with it 13 and four pounds of your finest flour mixed with olive oil. Then he will place these on the bronze altar and send them up in smoke with a smell that pleases me. Together with these, you must bring a quart of wine as a drink offering. 14 I am your God, and I forbid you to eat any new grain or anything made from it until you have brought these offerings. This law will never change.

The Harvest Festival

The Lord said: 15 Seven weeks after you offer this bundle of grain, each family must bring another offering of new grain. 16 Do this exactly fifty days later, which is the day following the seventh Sabbath. 17 Bring two loaves of bread to be lifted up in dedication to me. Each loaf is to be made with yeast and with four pounds of the finest flour from the first part of your harvest. 18 At this same time, the entire community of Israel must bring seven lambs that are a year old, a young bull, and two rams. These animals must have nothing wrong with them, and they must be offered as a sacrifice to please me. You must also offer the proper grain and wine sacrifices with each animal. 19 Offer a goat as a sacrifice for sin, and two rams a year old as a sacrifice to ask my blessing. 20 The priest will lift up the rams together with the bread in dedication to me. These offerings are holy and are my gift to the priest. 21 This is a day of celebration and worship, a time of rest from your work. You and your descendants must obey this law.

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