Hope of Israel Ministries (Ecclesia of YEHOVAH):
Philo On Shavuot/Pentecost
People today are keeping the prelude to the GREATEST FEAST (Shavuot/Pentecost) which is erroneously assigned to the number 50 -- instead of counting to the 50th day from the prelude. The 50th day was NOT reckoned from the Wave Sheaf (Nisan 16), but from the Morrow AFTER the Seventh Sabbath.
by HOIM Staff
For us to better understand how they counted to Shavuot/Pentecost, let us go to the eyewitnesses that lived at the time of the Messiah to see how it was done. Philo the Jew, who lived at the time, shows that the 50-day count to Shavuot/Pentecost “begins” on the Morrow “AFTER” the Seventh Sabbath complete -- NOT 50 days from the Wave Sheaf, and therefore the 50th day after the WAVE SHEAF is NOT Pentecost. You are to number 50 days AFTER the 7th Sabbath and then offer the new grain offering on the day of Pentecost. The 50th day is counted from the day “after” the Seventh Sabbath complete, NOT from the Wave Sheaf.
Quoting from The Works of Philo -- The "Special Laws, 11" page 584, chapter 30 (176) “THE SEVENTH FESTIVAL XXX" (176):
"The solemn assembly on the occasion of the festival of the sheaf having such great privileges, is the prelude to another festival of still greater importance; for from this day the fiftieth day is reckoned, making up the sacred number of seven sevens, with the addition of a unit as a seal to the whole; and this festival, being that of the first fruits of the corn, has derived its name of Pentecost from the number of fifty, (pentekostos)" (translated by C. D. Yonge, Hendrickson Publishers, 2004).
From the above we see that the waving of the barley sheaf was a solemn assembly Festival, and this day (Nisan16) was a prelude to another festival of greater importance, referring to the Morrow after the Seventh Sabbath, because FROM IT -- the Morrow after the 7th Sabbath -- the 50th day was reckoned. THE 50TH DAY WAS NOT RECKONED FROM THE WAVE SHEAF (Nisan 16), but from the Morrow after the Seventh Sabbath, and that’s why it was of greater importance. Please read the quote.
They observed the 16th of the 1st month of Nisan as a Feast and solemn assembly when they waved the sheaf -- and it was called a “prelude” or introduction to “ANOTHER” feast that was “more important” than the “first feast” that was held on the 16th. Why was it greater? Because it was from “this more important feast” that the 50th day is reckoned which consists of seven sevens plus one making up the sacred number which equals 50 -- which means Pentecost. (How much plainer can it get?????).
This 2nd feast that is more important than the 1st Feast (or the 16th) is the Morrow after the Seventh Sabbath complete, and it is the day that people today are keeping for the traditional Pentecost! But according to chapter 30 above, they are keeping the feast that is “greater or more important” than that of the “Wave Sheaf” -- but it is NOT Pentecost (even though it is greater) because Pentecost is numbered or reckoned from this day. The traditional feast that people are keeping is the one that Philo says is more important than the Wave Sheaf because the 50th day, which is the GREATEST FEAST, is reckoned from it, and Pentecost is the “GREATEST” Feast. This is in harmony with Leviticus 23 where it says “even unto the morrow AFTER the seventh Sabbath shall you number fifty days and then bring a new meat offering”.
Now to show a living EXAMPLE from Philo, where it was done as described above, and where Pentecost was kept 50 days “after” the Seventh Sabbath complete.
Quoting from The Works of Philo page 704, chapter eight (65) "ON THE CONTEMPLATIVE LIFE V111" (65) we read about a group of Orthodox Jews called Therapeutae and Therapeutrides. Philo says,
“they devoted their whole lives and themselves to the knowledge in contemplation of the affairs of nature in accordance with the most sacred admonitions and precepts of the Prophet Moses" (V111 (64)).
After saying this he continues by saying,
“In the first place, these men assemble at the end of seven weeks, venerating not only the simple week of seven days, but also its multiplied power, for they know it to be pure and always virgin; and it is a prelude and a kind of forefeast of the greatest feast, which is assigned to the number fifty” (65).
People today are keeping the prelude to the GREATEST FEAST which is erroneously assigned to the number 50 -- instead of counting to the 50th day from the prelude. We have gone from the Wave Sheaf Feast that was on the 16th of Nisan or Aviv to a “greater feast/prelude” that was on the Morrow AFTER the 7th Sabbath complete, to the “GREATEST” Feast (Pentecost) which is assigned to the number 50. According to Philo, there were TWO feasts before Pentecost (the Wave Sheaf and the Morrow after the Seventh Sabbath) and BOTH were called preludes or introductions to another Feast.
The first one was the 16th (Wave Sheaf) which introduced the second feast (which was the Morrow after the Seventh Sabbath complete) and this second feast was of greater importance than the first because “from it” the “GREATEST” Feast (Pentecost) was reckoned -- and according to Philo, the second feast (the one after the Seventh Sabbath complete) was a kind of “forefeast” of the GREATEST Feast (Pentecost) that took place after numbering 50 days including the one after the 7th Sabbath.
This “prelude” (and a kind of “forefeast”) is speaking of the morrow AFTER the seventh Sabbath complete -- it is NOT Pentecost which takes place 50 days from “it”. This forefeast was not Pentecost -- it is the feast that people are keeping for Pentecost today. In the Messiah's time these Orthodox Jews kept it as a PRELUDE to the greatest Feast (Pentecost) which took place on the 50th day from there. Remember that the 16th -- when the Wave Sheaf is offered -- is a prelude to another festival that takes place on the Morrow after the 7th Sabbath, and is of greater importance than the 16th itself because it is from this day that the 50th day is reckoned. He is not talking about the 50th day of Pentecost here, but the day the 50th day is reckoned from.
Everyone knows that Pentecost is “greater” than the 16th; he is speaking of the Morrow after the 7th Sabbath when the numbering to the 50th day begins -- and it is also called a “prelude” to Pentecost, same as the 16th/Feast was called a prelude to the Morrow after the Seventh Sabbath. We have record where Philo speaks of men keeping this second feast as a prelude and a kind of forefeast to the “GREATEST” FEAST -- i.e., Pentecost. In other words, this second feast was greater than the first Feast (Wave Sheaf) on the 16th -- but it was NOT the GREATEST Feast (Pentecost) which took place after numbering 50 days.
Now to prove that our interpretation of Philo is correct, we will let Philo interpret Philo, the same as we let Scripture interpret Scripture. We will now quote from Colson's Translation of Philo to prove what we are saying is correct. Quoting from the "Special Laws, 11" Chapter 30:
“The festival of the sheaf, which has all these grounds of precedence, indicated in the Law, is also in fact, anticipatory of another greater feast. For it is from it [the greater feast] that the 50th day is reckoned, [how is it reckoned?] by counting seven sevens, [not Sabbaths], which are then crowned with the sacred number by the monad, which is spent in corporal image of YHWH,”
In speaking of the “greater feast”, Philo says, “for it is 'from it' that the 50th day is reckoned.” How is the 50th day reckoned? By counting seven sevens (not Sabbaths) which are then crowned with the sacred number by the monad (one) which is spent in the corporal image of YHVH. How much plainer could Philo have made it?
The Morrow after the 7th Sabbath is the feast of greater importance than the 16th or Wave Sheaf that Philo spoke of because it is a prelude -- or a kind of forefeast -- to the GREATEST Feast i.e., Pentecost. Similarly the 16th or Wave Sheaf was a prelude to the 2nd feast or the Morrow after the Seventh Sabbath. The bottom line is that in Philo's day -- and in Aaron's day -- the Feast of Pentecost (50th day) was numbered from the Morrow “after” the Seventh Sabbath complete -- as Leviticus 23 clearly teaches.
Hope of Israel Ministries -- Searching the Scriptures Daily to See if These Things Are So!
|Scan with your