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Shavuot (Pentecost) Part III Print E-mail
Written by Victoria Radin   

An important, prophetic feature of this most important festival is that the Trumpet Call of G-d was heard by the Israelites at Mt. Sinai.

“And it came to pass on the third day in the morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, …and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud;...And when the voice of the trumpet sounded long, and waxed louder and louder, Moses spake, and G-d answered him by a voice." (Exodus 19:16‑17, 19)

At Mount Sinai on Shavuot is the only time that the Bible recalls that the trumpet of G-d was heard. The rabbis say that the trumpet of G-d was heard worldwide. The Scriptures record a future day when the trumpet of G-d will be heard:

"Then the L-rd will appear over them; His arrow will flash like lightning. The Sovereign L-rd will sound the trumpet." (Zechariah 9:14)

"And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven...all the tribes of the earth [shall] mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven....And He shall send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together His elect...." (Matthew 24:30,31)

"For the L-rd Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of G-d: and the dead in Christ shall rise first…” (1 Thessalonians 4:16)

These Scriptures connect the blowing of the shofar from heaven with several prophetic events  (l) The L-rd will appear (2) Israel will mourn, (3) the elect shall be gathered, and (4) the dead in Christ shall rise. These New Testament Scriptures concerning the trump of G-d shed light on the next interesting tradition connected with Shavuot––Tikkun Leil Shavuot.

 

Observant Jews commemorate Tikkun Leil Shavuot or literally, Restoration during the evening of Shavuot widely. The custom to stay awake all night developed in order to prepare for the momentous revelation of G-d that could again take place as it did on the first Shavuot. They rise before midnight for all-night prayers and study of the Tanakh (the Bible). Shavuot is seen as the time of redemption––the time of the great ingathering of the Jews from all the nations where G-d scattered them.

"And when you and your children return to the L-rd your G-d and obey Him with all your heart and with all your soul according to everything I command you today, then the L-rd your G-d will restore your fortunes and have compassion on you and gather you again from all the nations where He scattered you."  (Deuteronomy 30:3)

To be in G-d’s favor is to be living in the Land of Israel. To be in His disfavor is to be living in the Diaspora (any country other than Israel). Thus, the spiritual restoration of the Jewish people is very closely tied to their physical return to Israel. Ezekiel records that G-d will return them to Israel (Ezekiel 37:12) and then put His Spirit in them. In other words, many will return to Israel in unbelief where G-d will then restore them spiritually.

Yeshua spoke several parables addressing the tradition to stay awake. For instance:

“Therefore keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back - whether in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or at dawn. If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping. What I say to you, I say to everyone: 'Watch!"'  (Mark 13:35-37)

“Behold, I come like a thief! Blessed is he who stays awake and keeps his clothes with him, so that he may not go naked and be shamefully exposed." (Revelation 16:15)

Shavuot Is the Wedding of G-d to Israel

Since Shavuot is viewed as the wedding (betrothal) of G-d to Israel, Yeshua (Jesus) may have had this in mind when He told the parable of the ten virgins illustrating a future day:

"At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep. At midnight the cry rang out: 'Here's the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet and the door was shut. Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour." (Matthew 25:1, 5, 6, 10, 13)

This parable describes the five wise virgins as those who are ready and prepared at the time the call comes to meet the bridegroom. It is both astonishing and tragic that only half the L-rd’s people will be prepared and ready!

On Shavuot, in the synagogue, the Ark is opened and a Ketubah (Marriage Contract that is presented at the betrothal) is read which contains all the legal information showing Israel as the bride and G-d as the bridegroom. G-d invites the bride to His palace and promises to bind Himself to her forever. At the wedding, all is forgiven and they begin marriage in a state of purity.

Ruth, (a Gentile who has embraced the G-d of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob) initiates the marriage proposal by approaching Boaz (a type of G-d) at the threshing floor. When Boaz throws his cloak over her, he has made known his intention to redeem her. The Jews say that when Boaz redeemed Ruth and her property, it was her betrothal by saying, "Today in this assembly you are witnesses" (chapter 4). According to the Law, they were married at that point. The wedding would take place at a future date.

G-d will take back His unfaithful wife [Israel] in the last days:

“The L-rd will call you back as if you were a wife deserted and distressed in spirit––a wife who married young, only to be rejected....” (Isaiah 54:6)

"'In that day', declares the L-rd, 'you will call me "my husband", you will no longer call me "my master".... I will betroth you to me forever.... and you will acknowledge the L-rd."' (Hosea 2:16, 19‑20)

An interesting ritual is observed in Israel, that demonstrates the ‘wedding’ theme of Shavuot: A procession of people coming to Jerusalem to celebrate the Feast are led by an ox whose horns have been painted gold and decorated with olive branches. Musicians followed by children wearing white gowns and headbands of flowers follow the ox.

In the absence of the Temple, the ox represents the sin offering of the Feast. Its horns represent its strength, and gold expresses its divine nature. The olive tree is the symbol of Israel's religious privileges, the sign of having peace with G-d. The children in white gowns represent purity, forgiven Israel, purified as a virgin bride ready for her wedding. All of this takes place while musicians lead the people in praises to G-d.

The last prophetic symbol associated with Shavuot is that it is the day the fruit trees are judged, which is described in all its spiritual significance in Shavuot, Part IV.

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

 
 
 
 
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