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Chag HaShavuot: The Role of Shavuot in the Ancient Hebrew Wedding Feast!

“Chag HaShavuot” is part 10 in the video series Feasts of the First Month. In this series, we have been talking all about the feasts of the first month. Now we will talk about Shavuot, (Pentecost, or the Feast of Weeks). And the role of Shavuot in the Ancient Hebrew Wedding Feast.

Ancient Hebrew Wedding Process

1. The families make their match and share their celebratory meal (Pesach).
2. Start the 50-day count to the announcement on the first day of the week (Yom HaNafat).
3. Count 50-days (omer) to the public announcement of the marriage (waiting seven sets of seven, plus one).
4. Announce the wedding at the start of a fresh new week (erusin, they are married).

Yom HaNafat haOmer

Chag HaShavuot takes place at the start of the third month. However, we need to understand that the date of Shavuot is effectively set by the date of Yom HaNafat HaOmer, a feast of the first month. So, if we want to understand Shavuot, the first thing we need to do is to take a look at Yom HaNafat HaOmer. To start, we will talk about:

  1. The timing of Yom HaNafat HaOmer and why it always falls on the first day of the week during the Feast of Unleavened Bread (HaMatzot).
  2. The symbolism and why HaMatzot is where we are getting rid of any leaven (sin) from our lives, which includes false doctrine.
  3. How this corresponds to building Yeshua’s unified, global kingdom centered around the one true, unified doctrine.
  4. What Yeshua’s bride is meant to be doing during the fifty day count up to Chag HaShavuot (Pentecost).
Yeshua’s refined bride

We will also see that traditionally, Yom HaNafat HaOmer took place just after the exodus. And that:

  1. In Exodus chapter twelve, Yom HaNafat HaOmer was basically a type of immersion.
  2. Israel was immersed, so to speak, as they passed through the Reed Sea, and then they were born again into a new life with Yahweh Elohim on the far side.
  3. The wave sheaf (omer) corresponds with resurrection and renewed lives. We leave our old lives in slavery to the world system and now we begin our renewed life with Yeshua and with His Spirit.
  4. During the fifty day count up to Shavuot, Yeshua’s bride should be refining herself, trying to learn how to please our husband, Yeshua.
  5. The symbolism behind why there are seven complete weeks plus one day in the count from Yom HaNafat HaOmer up to Chag HaShavuot.

Torah given at Chag HaShavuot

According to tradition, Chag HaShavuot is when the Torah was originally given to Israel at Mount Sinai. One of the reasons is that Yahweh took Israel out of Egypt, from the house of slavery and bondage, and then gave her His covenant. And the Torah not only functions as a covenant, but it also functions as what is called a ketubah, or effectively, a wedding contract.

Shavuot and erusin

In the ancient Hebrew wedding tradition, the marriage is publicly announced at what is called erusin, which corresponds to Shavuot. We will see that:

  1. The marriage is announced and becomes lawfully binding at the erusin (Chag HaShavuot).
  2. The groom and the bride are then kept completely apart and they are only going to communicate through the groom’s best friend.
  3. Spiritually speaking, Yeshua’s best friend would be the Spirit. And that is how He says He communicates with us.
  4. “Ruach” (Spirit) is effeminate in Aramaic. And Yeshua describes the Spirit as a ‘helper’ who would abide with His bride.

Yochanan (John) 14:16-18
16  “And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that She may abide with you forever—
17  the Spirit of truth [Torah], whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Her nor knows Her; but you know Her, for She dwells with you and will be in you.
18  I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.”

Ma’asei (Acts) 2:1-4
1  When the Day of Shavuot had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
2  And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting.
3  Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them.
And they were all filled with the Set-apart Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

We will explain all these things and more in this segment on Chag HaShavuot. And if you would like to learn more about the different kinds of tongues, and which kinds are legitimate (and which are not!), please check out our study “About Speaking in Tongues” in Nazarene Scripture Studies, Volume One.

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