On May 24 (the 6th of Sivan on the Jewish calendar) Israel will celebrate Hag Ha Shavout, the Feast of Weeks, or the Feast of Pentecost.
This comes from Leviticus 23:15-22, which points to "the morrow after Shabbat after Passover" (the Feast of First Fruits) plus 50 days (thus, in Greek, pentecost.)1
This is one of the only three of the seven feasts of Moses which was compulsory for every able male to attend.2 This indicates that these three were of particular significance.
The seven Feasts of Moses are not only commemorative, they are also prophetic.3 The first three, in the month of Nisan, are predictive of the First Coming of Jesus. The last three, in the month of Tishri, are associated with His Second Coming.
It is this one, in between, which is associated with the Church.4
The Birth of the Church
The Birth of the Church appears to be a fulfillment of the Feast of Pentecost, or Shavout. Jesus predicted it,5 and it is noteworthy that it was also fulfilled precisely on the Feast of Pentecost.6 It is interesting that this is the only Feast of Moses in which leavened bread is allowed, which seems to give it a Gentile flavor! (Leaven is always a "type" of sin. Jesus and Paul both used in this way.7 It corrupts by puffing up.)
Most writers assume that the Feast of Pentecost was completely fulfilled in Acts 2. But maybe there's still more to come.
The Feast of Weeks is associated with the birth of Israel and the giving of the Law in Exodus 19. Thus, it is also called the Feast of Revelation.8 There is also a tradition that David died on the 6th of Sivan.
It is interesting that Jewish traditions associate the Book of Ruth with the Feast of Pentecost and it is usually read at this time. Ruth is one of the most revealing books of prophecy concerning the church in the Old Testament.9
There is also a provocative rabbinical tradition that Enoch was born on the 6th of Sivan. Enoch is an interesting mystery in the Old Testament. (The first prophecy by a prophet in the Bible is a prophecy of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ,10 uttered by Enoch before the flood of Noah!)
Another provocative tradition about Enoch is that he was also translated ("raptured?") on his birthday, the 6th of Sivan.
There were three groups of people facing the judgment of the flood of Noah:
- those that perished in the flood;
- those that were preserved through the flood (in the Ark);
- those that were removed prior to the judgment of the flood.
It is interesting that Enoch might prove to be a foreshadowing of a removal prior to judgment, in contrast to Noah and his family who were protected through it.
The Trumpet of God
(It is interesting to carefully compare Acts 2 with Exodus 19, both of which apparently occurred on the 6th of Sivan.)
Could both of these references to the "Trumpet of God" be connected with the 6th of Sivan? (Don't confuse the "Trumpet of God" with the temple trumpets or the shofar.)
The Feast of Harvest
Another name for the Feast of Weeks is Hag Ha Kazir, The Feast of Harvest, since it is celebrated at the time of the "first harvest." It is interesting that Jesus frequently used "the harvest" as an idiom to refer to the ingathering of believers.13
The Interval in God's Plan for Israel
In the famed Seventy Week prophecy in Daniel 9, where the Angel Gabriel outlines God's plan for Israel, we find four key verses:14
- 9:24, The Scope of the prophecy;
- 9:25, 69 weeks (of years) climaxing in the
- presentation of the Messiah the King;
- 9:26, an interval before the 70th week;
- 9:27, 70th week.
From verse 26, it appears that the sequence of events regarding Israel directly is interrupted for a period of time.
The day is approaching when the Church is "complete" and God will remove it and again continue with His program with Israel.
Is it possible that His "clock" will restart on the 6th of Sivan, the very day that it was halted?
While these conjectures are fun to explore, let's remember they are always just conjectures. We don't believe in setting dates: expect Him at any moment. "For in such an hour as ye think not the Son of Man commeth."
Every day that the Lord tarries is another day for us to do His work, to share His blessings, and to pray for our unsaved loved ones.
Have you taken the imminent return of the Lord Jesus seriously? Are you personally really ready? Is this just a conceptual acknowledgement or is it the active dynamic in your personal life? How about in your Professional Life? Or your family life?
Isn't it time to take the Bible seriously? Isn't it time to take Him seriously?