Home Articles Festivals Shavuot (Pentecost) Part II
Shavuot (Pentecost) Part II Print E-mail
Written by Victoria Radin   

As the Early Harvest Festival, the first Shavuot was the first harvest of souls from the earth, those who were chosen by G-d to carry His word written on tablets of stone. The fulfillment was realized in Jerusalem on Shavuot (aka Pentecost) after Yeshua’s resurrection when the 120 in the Upper Room were chosen by G-d to carry His word written on their hearts by the power of the Holy Spirit. It also points to the future harvest of souls just before the return of the L-rd.

It Is the Day of Giving the Torah

On Shavuot the nation of Israel entered into a Covenant with the Almighty––the Covenant of the Law. Through the commandments, statutes, decrees, and ordinances of the Torah, G-d empowered man to achieve harmony and unity with each other and with G-d. The commandments governed their personal lives, the statutes their religious rituals, and the ordinances governed their relationships with their neighbors. Decrees were commands that did not seem to have an explanation, but were obeyed anyway.

The Torah was given on Shavuot in the month of Sivan under the first ‘human’ celestial sign*, Gemini (Teumim) the twins.** It is believed that Gemini is a symbol of oneness, of different people joined in spiritual kinship, to point that they resemble each other, like twins. G-d named all the stars and the constellations which tell the ‘story’ of G-d’s redemption of His creation.

*G-d placed the stars and constellations in the heavens as signs, prophetic signs that tell the story of redemption.

**This is not to be confused with astrology, an evil perversion used as divination by worshipers of the creation rather than the Creator.

The leavened loaves offered up to G-d on Shavuot represent all mankind (both Jew & Gentile), leavened because leaven is symbolic of sin. But, through perfect obedience to the Torah, man would be empowered to live in the midst of a sinful world and not be tainted by it.

This too, pointed to a New Covenant fulfillment: Yeshua (Jesus), the living Torah, sent the Holy Spirit (the spiritual ‘law’) to empower His people on the very same day that the law was given to the Israelites at Sinai. Through obedience to the Holy Spirit, man was enabled to live in the midst of a sinful world and not be affected by it.

The Israelites Experienced the Visible Manifestation of G-d

Rabbi Michael Strassfeld in his book The Jewish Holidays, describes the revelation of G-d at Sinai:

“The revelation at Sinai can be viewed as an experience so cosmic and mysterious that no ritual could encompass it.”

On the first Shavuot, G-d said to Moses:

Lo, I come unto thee in a thick cloud, that the People may hear when I speak with thee, and believe thee forever...And it came to pass on the third day in the morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount; and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud; so that all the People that was in the camp trembled....and mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the L-rd descended upon it in fire..." (Exodus 19:9, 11, 16, 18)

The translation in the Interlinear Bible clearly describes the extraordinary scene that confronted the Israelites at Mt. Sinai that day:

“...all the people saw the sounds and the flames and the sound of the ram’s horn and the mountain smoking....”

The rabbis explain that the voice of G-d ‘appeared’ as ‘tongues of fire’ and that every fiery word was divided into seventy languages! The ‘table of nations’ (Gen. 10) lists seventy nations in the world. Therefore, G-d spoke His law in every language.

Luke, in the book of Acts, describes the scene in the Upper Room on Shavuot (Pentecost) as the 120 waited upon the L-rd.

"And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven...[who] were confounded because every man heard them speak in his own language." (Acts 2:2-5, 6b)

The external fire that wrote G-d’s instructions on tablets of stone (Deuteronomy 33:2) became an internal fire that instructed and guided them from within.

“But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel;...I will put My law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts....” (Jeremiah 31:33)

The L-rd told the Israelites that on the third day the L-rd would come down in the sight of all the People. Twice, G-d said, “a thousand years...is like a day that has just gone by” (Psalm 90:4, 2 Peter 3:8). Accordingly, the ‘third day’ from Yeshua's (Jesus') first appearance would begin in the year 2000. Prophetically, Shavuot points to a future manifestation of G-d in visible form that will frighten many people just as it did at Mt. Sinai:

“...when the L-rd Yeshua (Jesus) shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire, taking vengeance on them that know not G-d and that obey not the gospel of our L-rd Yeshua (Jesus) Christ...” (2 Thessalonians 1:7, 8)

In speaking of the L-rd’s return, Paul said:

“Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.” (1 Corinthians 3:13)

Barukh HaShem (Blessed is the Name of the L-rd

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