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Shavuot

In this study on Shavuot, we hope to show you how Pentecost (the Feast of Weeks, or what is called Shavuot in Hebrew) relates to the Ancient Hebrew Wedding Ceremony. Because we believe this will show us the kind of spirit Yahweh our Creator wants us all to have for His feast. Further, we will also see why Yeshua’s disciples eagerly continued to keep the law of Moshe (Moses), also called the Torah in Hebrew, even after the Messiah’s death, burial, and resurrection. And we will see why we should happily be keeping the Torah also.

Israel’s vow as a Proverbs 31 bride

One of the most powerful themes that run all throughout Scripture is the fact that our creator Yahweh is seeking a righteous Proverbs 31 bride for His Son, Yeshua.

Mishle (Proverbs) 31:10-11
10  Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies.
11  The heart of her husband safely trusts her. So he will have no lack of gain.

Thankfully, our forefathers agreed that we would grow into this role, and are not we glad? As we show in many places, our Creator Yahweh also told us to keep certain feasts. And these feasts symbolically correspond in a prophetic sense to the three different phases of the Ancient Hebrew Wedding.

Shemote (Exodus) 19:8
8  Then all the people answered together and said, “All that Yahweh has spoken we will do.” So Moses brought back the words of the people to Yahweh.

Ancient Hebrew Wedding: the Shiddukhin (match)

The first of the three phases is called shiddukhin and it refers to making the match, or what is called a shiddukh. One example of a shiddukh is when Avraham sent his servant Eliezer to find a bride for his son Yitzhak (Isaac). Eliezer then found Rivka (Rebecca). Then there was a negotiation with Rivka’s father Laban and they all agreed that Rivka should go with Eliezer to marry Yitzhak. That is a shiddukh (a match). It is a wedding agreement.

B’reisheet (Genesis) 24:2, 4
2  So Abraham said to the oldest servant of his house, who ruled over all that he had, “Please, put your hand under my thigh,…
4  but you shall go to my country and to my family, and take a wife for my son Isaac.”

Then, Avraham’s representative Eliezer shared a commemorative meal with Laban and his family to commemorate the shiddukh and celebrate it. Which in those days was really more like a merging of families.

B’reisheet (Genesis) 24:54
54  And he and the men who were with him ate and drank and stayed all night. Then they arose in the morning, and he said, “Send me away to my master.”

Another shiddukh was when Yitzhak’s son Yaacov (Jacob, later renamed Israel) went to Laban’s house to flee his brother Esau and to find a bride for himself. Yaakov loved Laban’s daughter Raquel (Rachel) and agreed to serve seven years for her. That agreement was another shiddukh. Meaning, it was another marriage match.

B’reisheet (Genesis) 29:19-20
19  And Laban said, “It is better that I give her to you than that I should give her to another man. Stay with me.”
20  So Jacob served seven years for Rachel, and they seemed only a few days to him because of the love he had for her.

When Yahweh called Israel out of Egypt that was yet another shiddukh. Yahweh chose Israel as a bride for His Son Yeshua forever. And the Pesach (Passover) was a commemorative and celebratory meal cementing the marriage deal, so to speak. And it was always understood that Yahweh would greatly bless Israel and bring her to an inheritance, in a land flowing with milk and honey, where He would provide for all of her needs. The only thing was that she had to submit to His righteous headship. And of course, she had to obey all of His house rules.

Patriarchal culture

Now, the world, and most of the mainstream church and some strains of Judaism also, have their own ideas about marriage. However, Biblical Hebrew culture is a patriarchal culture. And in a patriarchal Hebrew culture, when a woman gets married, technically what happens is that her headship transfers out from under her father, and then she comes under her husband’s headship. And the two become one flesh and they learn to love and take care of each other and raise their family. So, first, a young girl learns to follow her father’s house rules whereas now as a mature married woman she learns how to follow her husband’s house rules. And at one level that is basically what the Torah is. A collection of our good heavenly Father’s house rules. And our husband Yeshua also kept these house rules perfectly.

Kepha Aleph (1 Peter) 2:22
22 “Who committed no sin, nor was deceit found in His mouth”;

So, the idea behind the Torah is that any disciple who wants to join himself to Israel and become part of Yeshua’s bride can join himself to the nation, and then purify himself by learning how to keep the Father’s Torah. In other words, he can learn how to keep the Father’s house rules. Yet even though the house rules are there precisely so that any disciple can learn how to purify himself and to perhaps become part of Yeshua’s bride.

Romim (Romans) 12:2
2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you many prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of Elohim.

Why the ‘nailed to the cross’ theology is wrong!

The Christian church tells us that no, we do not need to keep Yahweh’s house rules. They tell us that we can now safely ignore our King’s commandments. But what sense does that even make?

Hoshea (Hosea) 4:6
6  My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being priests for Me; because you have forgotten the law of your Elohim, I also will forget your children.

If we want to be chosen as Yeshua’s bride, then should not we consider the fact that our husband Yeshua has gone back to His Father’s house to prepare a place for us to live? Meaning, in His Father’s house.

Yochanan (John) 14:2
2  In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

And if we go back to live in Yeshua’s Father’s house, then will not we need to obey His Father’s house rules?

Yochanan (John) 15:9-10
9  “As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love.
10  If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.”

Or why would a righteous Son like Yeshua bring a bride back to His Father’s house in the first place if she is not going to obey His Father’s house rules just like He does? What? Yeshua the Messiah has to obey His Father’s Torah but His bride does not need to? She is the only one in the whole kingdom who does not have to obey the King? What sense does that make? It does not make any sense, but that is what the Babylonian Roman church system teaches.

Kepha Aleph (1 Peter) 2:8
8 and “A STONE OF STUMBLING AND A ROCK OF OFFENSE.” They stumble, being disobedient to the word, to which they also were appointed.

Ancient Hebrew Wedding: the erusin (betrothal/announcement)

Well, after the shiddukh has been made, the next phase of the Ancient Hebrew Wedding Ceremony is the public announcement of the match, which in Hebrew is called erusin, also known as a betrothal. What we need to realize here is that, in Scripture, the wedding becomes officially and lawfully binding at the time it is announced because that is the time of the betrothal. Even though the consummation and the wedding week might not take place for several more months. That means that once the wedding is announced, that is erusin and the marriage is now lawfully binding, even though the cohabitation will not take place until later.

So what we as Nazarene Israelites need to realize is how all of this applies to us in our walk. The Ancient Hebrew Wedding model makes it clear what is going on at the time of the Pesach. In the Ancient Hebrew Wedding model, when two families came to an agreement to merge (to marry), they would celebrate. They would hold a private commemorative meal. And that is exactly what is going on with the Pesach. When Yahweh decided that He and Israel would be together forever they celebrated it with a commemorative meal. And that is why we celebrate the Pesach year by year.

Devarim (Deuteronomy) 4:37
37  And because He loved your fathers, therefore He chose their descendants after them; and He brought you out of Egypt with His Presence, with His mighty power…

That is also why Yeshua and His disciples kept the Pesach in the first century.

Luqa (Luke) 22:13-14
13  So they went and found it just as He had said to them, and they prepared the Passover.
14  When the hour had come, He sat down, and the twelve apostles with Him.

And it was always understood what Yahweh was going to bring to the deal. Yahweh would provide Israel with a good land, a land flowing with milk and honey, and He would take care of all their needs.

Shemote (Exodus) 3:17
17  And I have said “I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt to the land of the Canaanites and the Hittites and the Amorites and the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites, to a land flowing with milk and honey.”

Israel (both houses) said “I do”

Well, in the wilderness at Mount Sinai, all of our forefathers heard Moshe describing the terms and conditions of the marriage. And they all answered together and said, “All that Yahweh has spoken we will do.”

Shemote (Exodus) 19:8
8  Then all the people answered together and said, “All that Yahweh has spoken we will do.” So Moses brought back the words of the people to Yahweh.

In other words, Israel said their “I do’s”, and so the marriage was on. And praise Yah, we also are already bound by that covenant. If we self-identify as returning gentile Ephraimites (Nazarene Israelites) grafted into the Jewish root Yeshua, then praise Yah, we are already bound by that oath that our forefathers took at the foot of Mount Sinai, just simply by virtue of who we are. In other words, we are already accountable to the bridal instructions in the Torah because of our identity.

Shemote (Exodus) 24:3
3  So Moses came and told the people all the words of Yahweh and all the judgements. And all the people answered with one voice and said, “All the words which Yahweh has said we will do.”

The ketubah/Torah (marriage contract)

Now, according to tradition, fifty days after Israel left Egypt, Israel came to the foot of Mount Sinai. That is where Yahweh made the public announcement of His intent to marry Israel and that is when Yahweh gave Israel her bridal instructions (His Torah). And the Torah also serves in the role of what is called a ketubah, or a written witness of the wedding. Further, it also describes the marriage relationship. It lists the duties and responsibilities of each party, in this case, Elohim and Israel. It also lists any penalties involved for disobedience. All of those things are written right into the Torah, or the law of Moshe. That is why it is so easy to understand it as a ketubah, or a covenantal marriage agreement.

And that is one of many reasons why when Yeshua came, He told us plainly not to think that He had been sent to do away with even the tiniest part of the Torah, or with any of the prophecies. Not only because these things speak of His return, but they also serve as the bride’s wedding contract. He did not come to destroy the bride’s wedding contact. That is the church’s role.

Mattityahu (Matthew) 5:17-18
17  “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.
18  For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the laws till all is fulfilled.”

The law of Moshe (the Torah) is the bride’s ketubah. So why would the bride want to do away with her ketubah or with any of the prophecies that speak of her Husband’s return and of Him taking her eternally in marriage? And why does the church advocate this position when it makes no logical sense? When it is not something that a bride would want to do?

Yirmeyahu (Jeremiah) 31:3
3  Yahweh has appeared of old to me, saying: “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.”

Shavuot (Pentecost) significance

Do we see the relationship between Shavuot (Pentecost) and the indwelling of the Groom’s Spirit? Traditionally, in the ancient Hebrew wedding model, after the shiddukh has been made, the bride and the groom are kept strictly apart, and they normally communicate with each other through the groom’s best friend. Which in Yeshua’s case is the Spirit.

Yochanan (John) 13:33
33  Little children, I shall be with you a little while longer. You will seek Me; and as I said to the Jews, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come,’ so now I say to you.

Yochanan (John) 14:15-16
15  “If you love Me, keep My commandments.
16  And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever.”

Now, both in Hebrew and in Aramaic, the Spirit is effeminate. And if we receive Yeshua’s Spirit and let her lead us, she will show us not only who our Husband Yeshua is, but also what He is like, what He likes, and how to please Him. That is what Yeshua’s Spirit does if we do not quench it. And it helps us to build His true unified kingdom.

Ma’asei (Acts) 1:8
8  But you shall receive power when the Set-Apart Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

We know that Yeshua’s Spirit fell in Ma’asei (Acts) chapter 2, which in context was Shavuot (Pentecost).

Ma’asei (Acts) 2:4
4  And they were all filled with the Set-Apart Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

Renewal of wedding vows

So, just as the Torah was given as a codification of the Spirit in the wilderness of Sinai, in Ma’asei chapter 2, the Spirit herself was given. And she also serves as a witness to the renewal of the wedding vows. And that is why we call it a Renewed Covenant. Because it is the same marital covenant, just renewed.

Yirmeyahu (Jeremiah) 31:31
31  “Behold, the days are coming, says Yahweh, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah.”

And now the Spirit also serves as an additional ketubah because the indwelling of the Spirit is how Elohim can tell if the bride has already invited His Son’s Spirit in.

Ma’asei (acts) 19:2
2  He said to them, “Did you receive the Set-Apart Spirit when you believed?” So they said to him, “We have not so much as heard whether there is a Set-Apart Spirit.”

Are we wise virgins, ready for the wedding?

So, brothers and sisters. What about us? Are we truly ready for the marriage with Yeshua? Because it is coming right up. It is an end-time event. Are we the kind of people Yeshua will want to take to Himself as a Proverbs 31 bride? Are we doing all that we can so that He can sit in honor in the gates?

Philipim (Philippians) 2:12
12  Therefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

And are we obeying all of the Father Yahweh’s household rules so that His Son can bring us back home to his Father’s house, without rebuking His Father in a sense for bringing home a bride that does not obey His house rules?

Tehillim (Psalm) 112:1
1  Blessed is the man who fears Yahweh, who delights greatly in His commandments.

One of the beauties of Shavuot is that it is a time for dedicating ourselves in the Spirit and rededicating ourselves in the Spirit. It is a time for asking for and receiving His Spirit and for asking and receiving more of His spirit. And it is also a time for learning how not to quench it.

Yochanan (John) 15:5
5  “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.”

Are we abiding in the vine at all times? Or are there times our connection is broken and we are cut off from the vine and become withered? And if that ever happens to us, then is not this the perfect time to pray and ask Yahweh for even more of His Son Yeshua’s Spirit so that we can abide in the vine at all times?

Hitgalut (Revelation) 22:12
12  “And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work.”

Chag Shavuot.
Shalom.

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