June 6, 2011

WHAT IS SHAVUOT?

By Veronique

Shavuot is a major Biblical Holy Day that begins 49 days after Passover.  The first day of the first month is always determined by both the new moon and the ripeness of the barley, when it is very green.  Hence we have the name Aviv, which means green, for that first month.  On the second day of Passover an omer of barley is offered and waved at the temple, then the barley harvest begins.  Barley is symbolic of the first resurrection, the first and early harvest.  Barley is a grain that looks very much like wheat, it has a lighter color and it always mature first whereas the wheat harvest comes later, just before the summer.  The wheat harvest is symbolic of the second resurrection of believers and all other non-believers.  The wheat grows with the tares (weeds) and both are harvested at the same time and separated later.

Barley and Wheat

Shavuot is one of the seven annual festivals YHWH commands us to observe as written in Leviticus 23:15-21 and Numbers 28:26-31.  Shavuot is a Hebrew word meaning “weeks" and in this case, there are 7 weeks or 7x7=49 days.   Shavuot commemorates the day when YHWH gave the Israelites the Torah following Moses’ descent from Mount Sinai.

It is customary to stay up all night during Shavout to study and discuss the Torah.  The Book of Ruth is also read during Shavuot.

Why Ruth? Ruth was a gentile from Moab, who voluntarily chose to join herself to Israel and because of her kindness to her mother-in-law, Naomi, became the great-grandmother of King David, the ancestor of the Messiah, Yeshua of Nazareth.  The story goes like this... Naomi's family were Israelites who went to live in Moab during a severe famine in Israel.  When Naomi's husband and two sons died, she decided to return to her homeland, to Bethlehem (which means house of bread).  Ruth, her daughter-in-law joined her, despite the fact Moab and Israel were enemies.  Ruth loved her mother-in-law very much, as demonstrated with these beautiful and moving words:

“Do not press me to leave you
or to turn back from following you!
Where you go, I will go;
Where you lodge, I will lodge;
Your people shall be my people and your God my God.
Where you die, I will die
There I will be buried.
May YHWH do thus and so to me
And more as well
If even death parts me from you!”



Naomi and Ruth arrived in Bethlehem in time for the barley harvest.  Boaz, a kinsman/relative of Naomi, fell in love with Ruth while she was gleaning (gathering the leftover of the harvest) in the barley field.  He married her and they had a child named Obed who, in an interesting turn of events, was nursed by Naomi, his grandmother.  Ruth said to Naomi, “Praise to YHWH, who has not left you this day without a kinsman-redeemer.  May His name become famous throughout Israel! He will renew your life and sustain you in your old age.”  Eventually, Ruth became the great grandmother of King David.

Customary scriptures reading for Shavout:
The 10 commandments Ex 19-20
The book of Ruth
Ezekiel chapters 1-3
Revelation 10:10
Habakkuk 2:20-3:19
Isaiah 59:20-21
Jeremiah 31:31
Acts 2

Individual requirements according to Deut 16:9-12: Freewill offering, rejoice, praise and worship, remembering freedom from slavery.

It is also a Jewish tradition to eat dairy products mixed in honey, such as cheese blintz or cheesecake.  The reason for that is because meat could not be eaten on Shavout, hence dairy was the substitute. Shavout is a Shabbat and animals slaughter were prohibited during a Shabbat.



It is interesting to note that the cheese blintz (crepe filled with fresh cheese and honey then rolled) looks very much like the little scroll described in Ezekiel 3, when the prophet was commanded to eat the scroll, it tasted very sweet.  The Apostle Yochanan (John) in Revelation 10:10 also ate a scroll that tasted very sweet but turned bitter in his stomach.  YHWH’s words are sweet and healing to the soul but often when they are spoken to the world at large and not accepted, it can turn the stomach bitter.  That is the way life is for the believers, who has been set apart from the rest of the world for His purpose.

Have a joyous Shavuot and may YHWH give you more revelations you as you study and meditate on His words.  Let the Holy Spirit be your guide and teacher, this is His promise as foretold to the prophet Jeremiah:

Jeremiah 31:31-34
“The time is coming,” declares YHWH,
“when I will make a new covenant
with the house of Israel
and with the house of Judah.
It will not be like the covenant
I made with their forefathers
when I took them by the hand
to lead them out of Egypt,
because they broke my covenant,
though I was a husband to them
declares YHWH.
“This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel
after that time,” declares YHWH.
“I will put my law in their minds
and write it on their hearts.
I will be their Elohim,
and they will be my people.
No longer will a man teach his neighbor,
or a man his brother, saying, ‘Know YHWH,’
because they will all know me,
from the least of them to the greatest,”
declares YHWH.
“For I will forgive their wickedness
and will remember their sins no more.”


© Copyright 2011. By Veronique, Signs & Wonders Ministry. All Rights Reserved. No part of this story might be reprinted, re-posted on the internet or forwarded in email without permission.

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