Meeting Times [מוֹעֵד H4150] – (Seasons)
The sun, moon, and stars indicate set appointments when Yahweh will show up to interact with His people. The Older Covenant feasts, Yahweh’s meeting times (seasons), are determined by the cycles of the moon. The word translated feasts is the Hebrew word, מוֹעֵד Moed. Moed means a divine appointment. In other words: a fixed time or season, specifically a festival.
Moed [מוֹעֵד H4150]
• At this set time – Genesis 17:21, 21:2; Exodus 9:5
• At the appointed time – Genesis 18:14
• An appointed season – Exodus 13:10; Numbers 9:2, 9:3, 9:7, 9:13; Deuteronomy 16:6
• An appointed place (tabernacle / tent of the congregation) – Numerous Exodus, Leviticus passages.
In Greek: Chronos [χρόνος G5550] — time either long or short – time.
Kairos [καιρός G2540] – a fixed and definite time – season.
“It is not for you to know the timesG5550 or the season G2540 . . .” – Acts 1:7
“But of the times and the seasons . . .” – 1 Thessalonians 5:1
The Moedim were times when Yahweh appointed a מִקְרָא Miqrao. A miqrao is something called out. In other words: a public meeting, an assembly, a holy convocation, a reading, or a rehearsal. In other words, the feasts are a dress rehearsal for the coming of Yeshua. The moedim of Israel have a practical, a symbolic, and a prophetic application.
Miqrao [מִקְרָא H4744]
• A holy convocation – Exodus 12:16; Leviticus 23:2-8; Numbers 28:18, 28:25, 29:12
• An assembly – Numbers 10:2; Isaiah 1:13, 4:5
• A reading – Nehemiah 8:8
The Three Commanded Moedim
Deuteronomy 16:16 – “Three times in a year all your males shall appear before Yahweh your God in the place which He chooses, at the Feast of Unleavened Bread and at the Feast of Weeks and at the Feast of Booths, and they shall not appear before Yahweh empty-handed.”
The Three commanded Moedim are:
• Pesach (Passover), including Chag Ha’Matzot (Unleavened Bread) and Reishit Katzir (First Fruits)
• Shavuot (Pentecost)
• Sukkot (Tabernacles)
The Seven Moedim are:
• Pesach (Passover)
• Chag Ha’Matzot (Unleavened Bread)
• Reishit Katzir (First Fruits) Begins on the third day after Pesach.
• Shavuot (Pentecost)
• Yom Teruah (Trumpets)
• Yom Kippurim (Day of Atonements)
• Sukkot (Tabernacles)
The Fourth Holy Day
Leviticus 23:17 – “You shall bring from your dwelling places two loaves of bread to be waved, made of two tenths of an ephah. They shall be of fine flour, and they shall be baked with leaven, as firstfruits to Yahweh.”
Leviticus 23:20-21 – “And the priest shall wave them with the bread of the firstfruits for a wave offering before Yahweh, with the two lambs: they shall be holy to Yahweh for the priest. And ye shall proclaim on the selfsame day, that it may be a holy convocation unto you.”
The Feast of Pentecost official Hebrew name is Shavuot, literally the Feast of Weeks. Shavuot is the fourth of the seven feasts commanded by Yahweh. Shavuot is the second harvest festival of thanksgiving, a day to remember the Covenant Yahweh made with His people at Mt. Sinai.
Key Scripture: Acts 2:1‑4 – “When Shavuot had fully come all of them were filled with the Ruach Ha’Kodesh”
Key Word: Thanksgiving
Date Of Moed: 50th Day after Chag Ha’Matzot (Unleavened Bread)
Actions: Cereal offering given, using new grain from the wheat harvest. Burnt, Drink, Sin, and Peace offerings given. No hard work done. A wave offering of two loaves of leavened bread is waved before Yahweh.
Prophetic Fulfillment: Yeshua’s Giving Of The Ruach Ha’Kodesh (Holy Spirit)
Specifically, Shavuot is the only moed between the Spring Feasts (Pesach, Chag Ha’Matzot, and Reishit Katzir) which were all fulfilled in Yeshua’s first coming, and the Fall Feasts (Yom Teruah, Yom Kippur, and Sukkot) which will all be fulfilled in Yeshua’s second coming.
Shavuot is the feast that celebrates the gathering of the harvest and the two loaves of leavened bread held aloft by the High Priest. It is also called “decorating the bride”, symbolizing the preparing of a Jewish bride’s evening escapade with her bridegroom. She would spend the time getting dressed in her bridal gown, adorning various pieces of jewelry and fixing her veil. Today, we would say that the bride is preparing for the catching away of the church – in other words, the Rapture!
Shavuot is also the only Jewish festival for which there is no fixed date – it simply occurs on the fiftieth day after the Feast of Reishit Katzir, a process called “Counting The Omer”. In Greek, it is called Pentecost.
A traditional Shavuot celebration begins by spending the entire night studying Torah at a synagogue or at home. When dawn arrives, the morning prayer is recited, the Ten Commandments are chanted and the Book of Ruth is read. Food, as in all moedim, plays a big part and traditional foods include dairy foods such as cheese, cheesecake, milk, and honey. No work is permitted on this day.
Other Names For Shavuot Include:
• Chag Shavuot, or the Festival of Weeks. Exodus 34:22 –“You shall observe the Feast of Weeks, the firstfruits of wheat harvest, and the Feast of Ingathering at the year’s end.” This festival is so named because the festival follows a seven-week count (Counting the Omer) that begins on the second day of Pesach. It is celebrated on the fiftieth day.
• Chag Ha’Katzir, the Festival of the Harvest. Exodus 23:16 – “You shall keep the Feast of Harvest, of the firstfruits of your labor, of what you sow in the field. You shall keep the Feast of Ingathering at the end of the year, when you gather in from the field the fruit of your labor.” This festival celebrates the agricultural harvest, and looks forward to the harvest at the end of the age.
• Yom Ha’Bikkurim, or the Feast of First Fruits. Leviticus 23:9-12 – “When you come into the land that I give you and reap its harvest, you shall bring the sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest to the priest, and he shall wave the sheaf before Yahweh.” Shavuot was the first day on which individuals could bring the Bikkurim, or the first fruits to the Tabernacle or Temple. The Bikkurim were brought from the seven fruits and grains for which Yahweh is praised: wheat, barley, grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives, and dates.
• Zeman Mattan Torateinu, or The Time of the Giving of our Torah. Fifty days after celebrating Pesach and leaving Egypt the Hebrews arrived Mt. Sinai and there received the Ten Commandments.
The Historical Patterns
Shavuot is the fourth festival is the Festival of Weeks, which is translated Pentecost in the New Testament. It is one of the few feasts in which the days and weeks are counted. Seven days times seven weeks, or 49 days. This same method is used to determine the day of Shavuot. Each day during this festival a sheath of barley was waved before Yahweh. This is waved for the entire 49 days. Day 50 was the climax of the feast, hence Pentecost.
Fifty days after celebrating Passover and leaving Egypt, Moses and all the children of Israel came to Mt. Sinai. It was there that Moses received straight from Yahweh’s own hand the Covenant, called the Ten Commandments, which in reality was a Marriage Ketubah, a Marriage Covenant between husband and bride. This is called the first Shavuot.
According to tradition, Shavuot is the day that Enoch, one of the patriarchs, was born and the day that Enoch was also translated [raptured] to be with Yahweh (Genesis 5), Moses received the Law on Mt. Sinai in the wilderness and the nation Israel was born (Exodus 19-20), the day Boaz took Ruth to be his bride, and the day that King David was born and died.
The Book of Ruth is read on Shavuot in both Jewish synagogues and Messianic churches. After the death of her husband Naomi travels to Moab. When she decides to return to the land of Israel she is accompanied by Ruth, a gentile woman who has sworn never to leave her. Once back in Bethlehem Boaz falls in love with Ruth and marries her, redeeming Naomi’s land and position according to the law. (Leviticus 25:25; Deuteronomy 25:5-6).
Acts 2:1-4 – “When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a noise like a strong, blowing wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw something like flames of fire that were separated and stood over each person there. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they began to speak different languages by the power the Holy Spirit was giving them.”
Shavuot is the day the Ruach Ha’Kodesh fell on the Disciples in Jerusalem and the Church was born (Acts 2). It is a picture of the redemption plan of God and the birth of the church. Yeshua was crucified on Passover, was in the grave during Unleavened Bread, rose and was seen alive during the Festival of First Fruits. At the climax of the Festival of Weeks, the Holy Spirit was given, which we now call Pentecost, and the church was born. At Mt. Sinai fire descended on the summit of the mountain. At Pentecost fire came to rest on each of the apostles. On Mt. Sinai the Covenant was inscribed on the stone tablets stone by the finger of God. At Pentecost, the Ruach Ha’Kodesh wrote the Covenant on the apostles’ hearts. At Mount Sinai, 3,000 were killed due to their disobedience. In Jerusalem, 3,000 were granted eternal salvation in response to their faith.
The story of Ruth has been called “The Romance of Redemption” wherein Naomi, a Jewish woman from Bethlehem and Ruth, a Moabite (Gentile) woman, return to Bethlehem. Naomi represents the role of Israel, destitute and alone; Ruth represents the Church, the gentile bride; and Boaz represents the Kinsman Redeemer [Messiah]. Just as Ruth placed her fate with Naomi, the church is to join its fate with Israel and the Jewish people. Her example underlies the reason why the church is to uplift Israel and the Israelis
Feast of Weeks is a Picture of Pentecost
Shavuot is a celebration of the Hebrews receiving the Law under Moses. It was fifty days from when they left Egypt until Moses is given the law. It is also a picture of what would happen in the New Testament, when the Day of Shavuot had fully come:
OT Feast of Weeks on Mt. Sinai
• On A Holy Mountain – Exodus 19:23
• Trembling Mountain – Exodus 19:18
• Fire On The Mountain – Exodus 19:18
• Sound Of A Trumpet – Exodus 19:19
• Glory Filled The Mountain – Exodus 24:16
• 3,000 Died (Golden Calf) – Exodus 32:28
• Kingdom Of Priests – Exodus 19:6
NT Shavuot in Jerusalem
• On A Holy Mountain – Acts 2:1-2
• Trembling House – Acts 2:1-2
• Cloven Tongues Of Fire – Acts 2:3
• Sound Of A Mighty Rushing Wind – Acts 2:2
• Glory Filled The House – Acts 2:2
• 3,000 Added To Their Numbers – Acts 2:41
• Kings And Priests To God – Revelation 5:10
Comparisons between the Day of Shavuot and the Day of the Rapture
The Rapture pattern also persists in the Shavuot feasts. The first Shavuot occurred on Mt. Sinai after the Hebrews had left Egypt – the trumpet was sounded loud and long, Yahweh descended in a cloud, and a voice commanded Moses to ascend (Exodus 19:18-20). This is a perfect parallel of 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 – “Yeshua himself will come down from heaven with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of Yahweh.” Yeshua comes down, the trumpet sounds, and His bride goes up. The pattern is diagrammed as follows:
Day of Pentecost
• The day of Pentecost had fully come
• Two loaves waived before Yahweh
• Seven fruits presented to the priest
• Birth of the church (Bride of Christ)
Day of the Rapture
• The fullness of time will come
• Jews and Gentiles will be caught up
• Seven continents of people presented to Yahweh
• Bride presented to Yeshua in Heaven
Nothing in scripture demands that the rapture must necessarily fall on any Jewish Holy Day, or especially on Shavuot. Paul’s writings may simply indicate that the Rapture is a number specific event, not a date specific one. The rapture is not dependent upon any specific prophecy being fulfilled. It comes on a day and hour that no one knows. It will come, as Paul indicates, when the full number of Gentiles has come in. The phrase full number is taken from a nautical term that described the number of soldiers and sailors that had to be on board before a ship could set sail. As soon as the full number was accounted for, the ship could leave.
Remember that all of the feasts are rehearsals for the real thing. The Spring Feasts were fulfilled at Yeshua’s first coming and the Fall Feasts will ultimately be fulfilled at His second coming. It is noteworthy, that at both Mount Sinai and Jerusalem, no one was taken or caught up to the clouds at either Shavuot, so though there are comparisons, it is highly unlikely that the rapture will take place at any future Shavuot.
The Beginning and End of the Age of Grace
The second Shavuot occurred some 1300 years later in Jerusalem, instituting the Age of Grace and the Church Age (Acts 2). The third and final Shavuot may, indeed, mark the end of Grace and the beginning of Daniel’s Seventieth week marked by a return to living under Law, complete with temple sacrifices. This pattern represents a full circle of time or a cycle – from Law – to Grace – back again to Law.
Scripture tells us that all this happened when the day of Shavuot was fully come. Yeshua returns when the fullness of time takes place. The flood came when the fullness of the days of Lot and Noah were complete. The coming of Yeshua shall be as in the days of Noah – Matthew 24:37-39: “When the Son of Man comes, it will be like what happened during Noah’s time. In those days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving their children to be married, until the day Noah entered the boat. They knew nothing about what was happening until the flood came and destroyed them. It will be the same when the Son of Man comes.”
Acts 2:1-4 – “When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit.”
Shavuot (Feast of Weeks or Pentecost (Leviticus 23:16) was observed “the day after the seventh Sabbath following the Sabbath of the Feast of Firstfruits”, or fifty days later. It was also when the Jews commemorated the day when Yahweh gave the Covenant written on stone to Moses on Mount Sinai. Notice that when Moses descended from Mount Sinai with the Tablets of the Covenant, “about three thousand men” died because of the people’s idolatry (Exodus 32: 28). In contrast, after Peter preached on the day of Pentecost, “about three thousand souls” converted to Yeshua! (Acts 2: 41) It was on this day of Shavuot (Feast of Weeks/Pentecost) that the Ruach Ha’Kodesh was poured out writing the Covenant on the heart, marking the beginning of the time of grace that will continue until the return of Yeshua. At the third and final Shavuot, this event will institute a full circle of time or a cycle – from Law – to Grace – back again to Law.
The Feast of Shavuot, or Pentecost, symbolizes the summer wheat harvest during which two leavened loaves of bread are waved before Yahweh by the High Priest. These two loaves of the Older Covenant represent the Newer Covenant Jews and the Gentiles who become one in Yeshua Ha’Mashiach. At Mt. Sinai, Shavuot became the day that the Hebrews were called to be Yahweh’s people, Yahweh’s bride. In Jerusalem, Shavuot became the day that the apostles were sealed as Yeshua’s bride. Shavuot represents the summer harvest, a larger harvest than Reishit Katzir (Firstfruits), but not so large as the fall crops. This feast was fulfilled in Yeshua’s giving of the Ruach Ha’Kodesh.