Calculating First Fruits & Shavu’ot
Confusion & Clarity
Yeshua is the point of all of the Feasts. The Feasts are YHVH’s prophetic teaching appointments, rehearsals to teach us about Him and His redemptive and restorative purpose through His Son Yeshua. Yeshua did/does/will do, all of this work on the “appointed time” of the Feasts – they are YHVH’s “appointed times” that He says He will do His redemptive and restorative work. They are “shadow” pictures that teach us spiritual Truth, Col 2:17, Heb 8:5, 10:11. All caps are for emphasis only.
Yeshua the Reality
When Yeshua came, died, was buried, arose, and the Holy Spirit was given – all of these were done ON – Pesach, Unleavened Bread, FF and Shavuot. We obediently do these as memorials and to learn the prophetic that has yet to be fulfilled by His Return.
The Fall Feasts – Trumpets, Day of Atonement, and Tabernacles have yet to be fulfilled. They will be with Yeshua’s return. We rehearse them, learn by the obedient doing of them about His Return until He does. YHVH doesn’t ask/command us to DO something unless it has purpose. The physical DOING has SPIRITUAL REALITY in the Heavenlies. What we are to DO has not only a physical aspect but a SPIRITUAL purpose and it shows and teaches us that through the physical DOING.
The evidence of the days that Yeshua fulfilled and did His redemptive work is the commandments to observe these Feasts in the Torah. The days that the Feasts are observed are the days that Yeshua did His Father’s Work. There are key words and themes all through the Word that also tells us pieces of this process. YHVH and Yeshua use/used things of this world (that He created to work the way that they do) that were familiar to the people. In most cases the agricultural things. They understood the process of what happens when they grew crops and is an excellent teaching example. We as a society are removed from that process and learning about them can give us great insight and understanding of the Word.
Lev 23 tells us about Pesach, Unleavened Bread, First Fruits and Shavuot. There is confusion about the calculations for these feasts. This explanation does not go into the different Lunar models not dose it bear upon the outcome of the explanation. We also, had for several years, been confused about the exact timing and calculation of First Fruits and Shavuot. These two feasts as well as the weekly Shabbat are tied together in purpose and in timing. We studied it out and tried and tested all the models to see which one would line up to Torah commands as well as the prophecies – it all has to agree.
Lev 23:11 tells us that the First Fruits offering had to be waved on the FIRST DAY (of the week) after the SHABBAT (the 7th day of the week). This same day is the day that the count to Shavuot is started. In Lev 23:15 it tells us that you have to count off 7 FULL WEEKS, and then the 50th day after that is Shavuot.
Here are the passages with the pertinent information underlined to easily see (NIV):
Lev 23:9 The LORD said to Moses, 10 “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘When you enter the land I am going to give you and you reap its harvest, bring to the priest a sheaf of the first grain you harvest. 11 He is to wave the sheaf before the LORD so it will be accepted on your behalf; the priest is to wave it on the day after the Sabbath. 12 On the day you wave the sheaf, you must sacrifice as a burnt offering to the LORD a lamb a year old without defect, 13 together with its grain offering of two-tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil–an offering made to the LORD by fire, a pleasing aroma–and its drink offering of a quarter of a hin of wine. 14 You must not eat any bread, or roasted or new grain, until the very day you bring this offering to your God. This is to be a lasting ordinance for the generations to come, wherever you live.
Feast of Weeks (Shavu’ot)
15 ” ‘From the day after the Sabbath, the day you brought the sheaf of the wave offering, count off seven full weeks. 16 Count off fifty days up to the day after the seventh Sabbath, and then present an offering of new grain to the LORD. 17 From wherever you live, bring two loaves made of two-tenths of an ephah of fine flour, baked with yeast, as a wave offering of firstfruits to the LORD. 18 Present with this bread seven male lambs, each a year old and without defect, one young bull and two rams. They will be a burnt offering to the LORD, together with their grain offerings and drink offerings–an offering made by fire, an aroma pleasing to the LORD. 19 Then sacrifice one male goat for a sin offering and two lambs, each a year old, for a fellowship offering. 20 The priest is to wave the two lambs before the LORD as a wave offering, together with the bread of the firstfruits.* They are a sacred offering to the LORD for the priest. 21 On that same day you are to proclaim a sacred assembly and do no regular work. This is to be a lasting ordinance for the generations to come, wherever you live. 22 ” ‘When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. Leave them for the poor and the alien. I am the LORD your God.’ ”
* This is the loaves that were baked from the sheaf that was waved – the “fullness” (His Spirit given to us)
Visual of the Commands
We saw the reality of this when we had made our Omer counting calendar and put 7 FULL weeks starting with day 1 (we did not put any Gregorian days of the week names on the calendar, only the numerical day of the week notations as in Genesis 1) and ending with the 7th day. The next row under that started with 8 and when to 14. We did the same to mark 7 FULL weeks and had the 50th day as the last under these 7 sets of FULL WEEKS. This visual showed us the understanding of the Lev commandments. Here is an example of how we did that:
It is arranged with the FIRST day of the week and goes to the 7th Day of the week ending with the Shabbat, 7 FULL CREATION WEEKS. It could easily be done with 7, 1-7 day notations as well.
Lev 23 tells us how to know when these Feasts are. We are to DO “this” on THESE days of the MONTH (it is LUNAR Based). There are 5 that are LUNAR based and 3 that are CREATION WEEK based. Gen 1:14 – “”Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years”. We are to use all to count the time, and different things are counted by each. A day is from eve to eve.
Calculations Based on the Lunar Month
We are commanded to determine and count certain Feasts using the LUNAR MONTHS. The start of the month is determined on the phase of the moon. Again, there are different models as to just which phase is to be used, the conjunction, the sliver and there are those that advocate the full moon. This explanation does not go into that question nor does it have any bearing upon the calculations for First Fruits and Shavuot discussed, as you will see. The LUNAR MONTHS do not “line up” according to the Solar Year, not the FIXED and PERPETUAL CREATION WEEK DAYS. This is an important observation.
The 5 Feasts listed below are counted and determined using the LUNAR MONTHS and the specific DAYS in and according to those MONTHS – example – a certain DAY “OF the MONTH” as calculated from the starting point FIRST “DAY OF THE MONTH”.
PESACH– TAKE a lamb on the 10th DAY of the FIRST month, KEEP IT for 3 DAYS (from that day). On the 14th DAY (of the lunar month) at twilight, is YHVH’s Passover (the FIRST event from Egypt and the commanded MEMORIAL Feasts). We can see that we are to count days from whatever is determined to be the FIRST DAY of the LUNAR MONTH and DO something on that DAY. These specific DAY counted from the start of the LUNAR MONTH will not be on a specific day on the Gregorian calendar that uses the FIXED CREATION WEEK. It can “float” on any day during the CREATION WEEK from year to year.
UNLEAVENED BREAD – On the 15th DAY of the SAME MONTH. For 7 DAYS (after the day that it starts) do not eat unleavened bread. Have a HOLY CONVOCATION on the FIRST DAY of the feast (the 15th DAY) and the 7th DAY (from the 15th DAY) is a HOLY CONVOCATION. These are a continuation of the above LUNAR MONTH count.
(First Fruits and Shavuot are discussed below)
TRUMPETS– on the FIRST DAY of the SEVENTH MONTH a HOLY CONVOCATION.
DAY OF ATONEMENT– ON EXACTLY the 10 DAY of the 7th MONTH, from the evening of the 9th DAY to the evening on the 10th DAY, afflict your souls, it is a SABBATH.
FEAST OF TABERNACLES/BOOTHS– On the 15th DAY of the 7th MONTH, for 7 DAYS (from the 15th DAY of the 7th MONTH). The FIRST day (the 15th day of the month) is a HOLY CONVOCATION. On the 8th DAY is a HOLY CONVOCATION a SABBATH. More on the 8th DAY in a moment.
We can see that each of the above 5 Feasts are determined and counted using specific DAYS counted from the beginning of a LUNAR MONTH and that they do not fall on the same day of the CREATION WEEK, from year to year.
Calculation Using the Creation Week
These 3 Feasts are based in the CREATION WEEK we see given us in Genesis. The perpetual 7 day WEEK ending with Shabbat is FIXED from CREATION. We can see that as in the pattern of Gen 1:14 tells us, the moon/monthly – LUNAR is used to determine in the above 5 Feasts, and the SUN – perpetual days/weeks – is used to determine these three feasts below.
SHABBAT– Shabbat is a WEEKLY Feast. AFTER working 6 DAYS, the 7th DAY (from the FIRST DAY WORKED; is a perpetual day starting from the FIRST WEEK in CREATION), is the SABBATH – each WEEK. It is not based, counted, nor determined by/in a LUNAR MONTH. The counting of the days for a week ending in Shabbat, the 7th day is perpetual, continuing year after year without end.
FIRST FRUITS – You will notice that this Feast as well as Shavuot do not have a “DO this on a specific DAY of the MONTH” notation. But they do have a “AFTER the SABBATH” notation and are tied together. They are both tied to the FIRST Feast listed in Lev 23, the SABBATH. As noted above, the SABBATH is based in/on the fixed CREATION WEEK, not the LUNAR MONTH.
Lev 23 tell us to: “WHEN YOU ENTER THE LAND” (also important), to wave a sheaf ON THE DAY AFTER THE SABBATH. The SABBATH is the WEEKLY 7th DAY SABBATH that is mentioned as the FIRST FEAST in Lev 23 and is counted from CREATION WEEK.
The DAY AFTER THE SABBATH is the FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK. This is the DAY that Yeshua arose. The weekly 7th day SABBATH ends in the eve and the 1st DAY of the WEEK starts then. It doesn’t matter what day Pesach fall on, First Fruits will always be on THE FIRST DAY of the week AFTER the WEEKLY SHABBAT AFTER PESACH.
Yeshua arose on the FIRST DAY as the FIRST FRUITS on FRIST FRUITS. If as some models count, First Fruits, then the day of First Fruits would not be the same every year and would not be ON the FIRST DAY – the prophetic requirement of the Feast and that which testifies to Yeshua as the FIRST FRUITS.
COUNTING OF THE OMER (to SHAVUOT) – verse 15 – You shall count FROM THE DAY AFTER THE SABBATH (the WEEKLY 7th DAY SABBATH), FROM THE DAY WHEN YOU BROUGHT IN THE SHEAF (the sheaf of the First Fruits above). They are to be 7 FULL WEEKS (from day 1 of the WEEK to the 7th day, the Shabbat). Then the 50th DAY AFTER that is SHAVUOT and it will be the FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK (as it is AFTER the 7th DAY SABBATH). The issue of 7 FULL weeks is important.
SHAVUOT – is the 50th DAY AFTER counting 7 FULL 7 DAY WEEKS from the DAY AFTER the SABBATH (the FIRST DAY) AFTER PASSOVER. The same day of the week, the FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK, that Yeshua arose. He gives His Spirit on Shavuot, on – the FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK.
The 8th Day
The Spring Feasts and the Fall Feasts match in their number and pattern/length of days. And, the 8th DAY of Tabernacles where it differs is prophetic. While in the CREATION WEEK the 8th day is in reality the FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK, here it is the 8th day in the COUNT of Tabernacles, in a LUNAR MONTH and can be confusing until we remember this.
The 8th Day which is a part of the Feast of Tabernacles is prophetic of the 1000 year MILLENNIUM the great SHABBAT to come. It relates back to the FIRST feast in the list in Lev 23, the weekly Shabbat, and from CREATION. YHVH is working toward RESTORING us to as it was in the CREATION before the fall. The 8th Day is the FIRST DAY of the new heavens and the new earth to come, the full restoration of “all things”. The 8th day should remind you also of the day that the baby boys are to be circumcised. We see the picture of the “circle”, the never ending cycle, the beginning from the end, in it as well. The Feasts are cyclical and we do this year after year (week after week – Shabbat) to learn of His Redemptive and Restorative plan.
The Sign – 3 Days & Nights
The confusion for us came because of not understanding what was considered the Shabbat (because of the notations of “rest” which is to be done on a Shabbat), and the High Shabbats (also had rests). And which were based upon and counted from/in the LUNAR MONTH and which were set in the CREATION WEEK tied to the WEEKLY SHABBAT FEAST.
Also, a point of confusion was the “SIGN” of 3 days/nights. We thought that it WAS a requirement FOR the calculations to determine FF because it is emphasized AND HAPPENED that way when Yeshua died, was buried and arose. When we inductively studied the commands as in above, we saw that it is not in the commands to count 3 days and nights, but only a SIGN.
The 3 days/nights is a SIGN, just like the SIGNS that are given for His return. You cannot calculate a SIGN as a “day”, “day of the week”, or “such and such day of a such and such month” like in the commands for the Feasts. It is just that a SIGN that points to a time/thing/person is TRUE. We have other SIGNS in the WORD.
The Rainbow is a SIGN that YHVH would not destroy the world by flood again. Circumcision is a SIGN in the flesh (outward and visible), of your inward conviction and commitment to the covenant/Torah. On the first Passover the blood on the door was a SIGN, our observance of the memorial Feast is a SIGN. Observing the Shabbat is an SIGN of our faith and that it is YHVH that makes us holy. We see Yeshua giving us SIGNS of His Return, these are not on a specific DATE/DAY. They are to be WATCHED FOR, just as the SIGN of 3 days/nights was to be done.
None of the above SIGNS is determined by a calculation. The SIGN only shows and points, is a determiner to a TRUTH about something. A study on signs, their prophetic pictures, how they relate to one another, is eye opening! But then again, what study of His Word wouldn’t be? It is the same with the SIGN of 3 days/nights. It is not a calculation requirement only an indicator that “this is the time”, “this is the person” who prophecy is speaking will come.
Putting it all Together
We can see the perfection in YHVH’s calendar in the fact that since Pesach and ULB are set and calculated in/by the LUNAR MONTH that they will “float” – not be on the same fixed CREATION DAY in the fixed CREATION WEEK every year. As well as none of the other Feasts that are based/calculated in/by a LUNAR MONTH.
But, First Fruits, the Omer counting and Shavuot are FIXED in the FIXED CREATION WEEK so that they are always on the SAME DAY of the WEEK and are not tied/calculated based in the LUNAR MONTH that “floats”. These are prophetic specific DAYS in the Word, FIRSTS.
Yeshua tells us of how He fulfills and is the details of the Feasts. He is the FIRST BORN, the FIRST FRUITS of the dead raised etc. etc. He had to fulfill all of the prophetic timing AND signs of that timing to be the TRUE Messiah. Since Passover “floats” during the FIXED CREATION WEEK due to the calculations based in a LUNAR MONTH, the SIGN of 3 days/nights could not happen EVERY YEAR.
On those years that Passover was not 3 days/nights BEFORE the FIXED DAY of First Fruits, anyone who came claiming to be the Messiah would/could NOT be the Messiah. All of the SIGNS would not be there. The SIGN HAD to be there THAT YEAR for Yeshua to be the TRUE Messiah, and it was. It was a SIGN that THE Messiah was the TRUE Messiah. The timing only HAD to line up that way when the TRUE Messiah – came, died, was buried and arose on FF of that year that had the SIGN. The SIGN is a flashing beacon that was to LOOK for. We do not have to look for it (as a sign of His COMING) as He has come and the important issue of the Feast is that it is the FIRST DAY – prophetic.
If you try to use the SIGN of 3 days/nights from the “floating” Passover, as a basis to calculate the day of First Fruits you will not be starting on the FIRST DAY of the WEEK as Lev 23:11 tells us that it has to be. You will also be using the SIGN as a calculation determiner that is not in the command as well.
I believe it also plays a part in future prophecy as well as we see it in Revelation and may be significant in the greater exodus to come. We are studying this out to see if it has weight and importance.
By testing all of the calculation methods available we concluded that the above fits all of the requirements of Torah commands and the prophetic as well as a full picture. The SIGN of 3 days/night does not play a part in the calculations nor does it determination the FIXED date of First Fruits and thereby Shavuot.
It is not a commanded determiner nor does it give us the FULL WEEKS/FIRST DAY starting point as commanded in Torah. The DAY of First Fruits is the FIRST DAY – that DAY is all about YESHUA and His “FIRSTS”. It doesn’t change, nor does He. YHVH’s calendar is perfection in it’s ways and when we take into consideration the whole counsel of the Word, we can see the grand picture and clear up any confusion. As with all things, TEST it against His Word.