So Who’s Omer ?
God’s Biblical calendar cycle is outlined in the book of the Exodus and has it’s first memorial in the Passover. During the ensuing week there is a regular 7th day Sabbath and then ‘the day after the Sabbath’.
Leviticus 23:15 “And ye shall count unto you from the morrow after the sabbath, from the day that ye brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven sabbaths shall be complete:
16 Even unto the morrow after the seventh sabbath shall ye number fifty days; and ye shall offer a new grain offering unto the LORD.”
This is what christianity has come to call ‘Pentecost’, from the word for ‘fifty’. In the Hebrew it is known as ‘Shavuot’ or literally ‘weeks’, named so due to the counting down of seven weeks and seven Sabbaths. The process of counting down the fifty days is known as ‘the counting of (or from) the omer’(omair). I went to school with a guy named Omer . . . this is not about him.
We actually see the word ‘omer’ in the English text of the King James translation in Exodus 16:16-36 when God is giving instructions concerning the gathering of ‘manna’ for the daily portion. An omer is a relative unit of measure. It can refer to a sheaf of grain or to a quantity of the grain berries ( approximately a quart or so) and comes from the word ‘amar’ which is to ‘bind up sheaves’. Leviticus 23:10 speaks of a ‘day of the wave offering’. This is the day the church system celebrates as the day of the Resurrection. The wave offering referred to is the ‘Raysheet Omer’, the First of the Sheaves or the First of the Harvest. On that day we begin to count down fifty days to the ‘day after the 7th Sabbath’, or the 50th day (Pentecost). This is not only the day recognized in the Bible and the christian church as the day of a great outpouring of the Spirit of God ( Acts 2) but also the day of God’s giving of the Torah and His covenanting for the first time with a ‘nation’ – literally the birth of the new covenant and the birth of the ‘church’ . . . ( Exo. 19-20 , Acts 7:37-38) . . . and there’s two other cans of worms we’ve opened . . .
So these two holy days or seasons are connected, the Passover season and Shavuot or Pentecost, for in the process of one we begin counting down to the next. Let’s take a quick glance at just one of the ways these two ‘Feasts of the Lord’ are linked.
If you recognize Passover as the forerunner of the coming of Yeshua the Messiah, the Lamb of God, then you should understand that this coming of a Messiah was a promise of the Father. ( Genesis 3:15, Deuteronomy 18:15) But Luke 24:49, Acts 1:4-11 and 2:14-21 also speak of a ‘Promise from the Father’, the promise given by the Prophet Joel and manifested on what we call the ‘Day of Pentecost’ and the Hebrew Scriptures refer to as Shavuot. These two ‘feasts’ are inexorably linked because they are two halves of one promise – the promise of the Heavenly Father. Did ya ever wonder how, if in Acts 2 it was the first Pentecost, how did they know what to call it ? ‘Cause it wasn’t the first one. That’s why they were there, to celebrate this centuries old memorial – Shavuot, the Feast of Weeks.
By the way, another quick side note. Shavuot or ‘weeks’ comes from the Hebrew word for ‘seven’ – shavua. Many understand the number ‘7’ to exhibit completion. But why ? Shavua or ‘7’ comes from the Hebrew root word ‘shava’ which means ‘to swear by’ or ‘take an oath’. Every time you see a ‘seven’ in the Bible it is not only a sign of completion but it is a picture of God’s seal on what He is doing – literally His promise to fulfill His promise . . . Isaiah 55:10 “As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
11 so is my Word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” Shalom –