The Feasts of Jehovah: The Feast of Weeks


The seven feasts are divided into two sections. Four have had their prophetic fulfillment, whereas the latter three point forward to events still future. This Feast of Weeks (Deu 16:10) concludes the first section, and foreshadows the events of the Day of Pentecost (Act 2). It took place 50 days after the waving of the sheaf of firstfruits (Lev 23:15-16), so its alternative title is “Pentecost,” from the Greek word meaning “fifty.”

Darby’s translation of Acts 2:1 is interesting: “And when the day of Pentecost was now accomplishing….” Young’s Literal Translation confirms the concept by translating it as “being fulfilled.” There is the suggestion that the feast was not only a religious routine but that it anticipated something as its “fulfillment.” We have been applying that principle to each of the feasts. In this case, “the fulfillment” was the events of Acts 2.

The Timing

From Firstfruits, seven Sabbaths were counted, and Pentecost was the day after the seventh Sabbath. On the very day that a priest in Jerusalem was waving the two loaves before the Lord, elsewhere in the city believers “were all with one accord in one place” (Act 2:1).[1] The Holy Spirit descended, and by baptism in the Spirit, from Jew and Gentile, the two segments of humanity, there was formed a new entity described as “the church, which is his body” (Eph 1:22-23); a new era had dawned.

Follow this next point carefully, for speed-reading will make it unintelligible! Because Pentecost was always on the first day of the week, its date could vary by up to seven days. The next feast, Trumpets, was on a fixed date, the first day of the seventh month (Lev 23:24). This meant that there was an undefined period between the two feasts; it could fluctuate by up to a week. So the Day of Pentecost (Act 2) introduced an indeterminate period of time, the Church Age, which will end at the Rapture. The date of the Rapture cannot be predicted, but New Testament believers were taught to regard it as imminent; thus, Thessalonian Christians were waiting for His Son from heaven (1Th 1:10).

The harvest season was during that indefinite period (Lev 23:22), but the corners of the fields were not reaped, nor were the gleanings gathered. In picture, it indicates that during this Gospel Age universal evangelization will not be achieved. That awaits the Tribulation period; of that day the Lord said, “This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world … and then shall the end come” (Mat 24:14). The corners of the field will be reaped then, and the gleanings gathered, as “a great multitude” of cleansed Gentiles will emerge from the “great tribulation” (Rev 7:9-17).

The New Meat Offering

At Pentecost, “a new meat offering” was offered (Lev 23:16). It is “new” in contrast to the meat (meal) offering of Leviticus 2 which typifies the perfections of Jesus. The essential difference is that the new meal offering was “baken with leaven” (Lev 23:17). That could never prefigure the Savior, for invariably leaven depicts evil. This new meal offering portrays the Church. In fact, the word “new” describes what came into existence at Pentecost, “one new man” (Eph 2:15).

Leaven – sin – has marked everyone who comprises the body of Christ, but the phrase “baken with leaven” indicates that these loaves had been in the oven, and the leaven was no longer active. Thus it is with believers. Once linked with Adam, they were “made sinners” (Rom 5:19). That innate sinnership expressed itself in sinful behavior (3:23). But things are different now. “Our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed” (6:6). That is, because of being linked with the crucified Christ, our bodies are no longer the mediums through which sin expresses itself; in their character as bodies of sin they have been rendered idle. Positionally, we have been “perfected for ever” (Heb 10:14), but even at a practical level, we do not consistently practice sin (1Jo 3:9). The leaven is no longer active and its effectiveness has ended!

Like the meal offering of Leviticus 2, the basic ingredient of this new meal offering was fine flour (Lev 23:17). Although the presence of leaven signals a major difference, there is a fundamental similarity. The lesson is that believers do resemble their Lord. Indeed, it is the hallmark of all who know Christ; “He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked” (1Jo 2:6).

The two loaves are regarded as “firstfruits unto the Lord” (Lev 23:17). Uniquely, the Lord Jesus is “the firstfruits of them that slept” (1Co 15:20), but James designates believers as “a kind of firstfruits of his creatures” (1:18). Among the seven billion inhabitants of the planet, there are people who have been begotten by God, and they are very special to Him!

The Two Loaves the Offerings

Two loaves were used in this new meal offering, but it was one offering, “a new meal offering,” singular (Lev 23:16). The loaves were waved as a unit before the Lord. This harmonizes with what transpired on the Day of Pentecost, for what came into being that day is comprised of converted sinners from the two sections of humanity, Jew and Gentile. That is the great mystery of Ephesians, “that the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body” (3:6). This is the “one flock” (Joh 10:16 RV), the “one new man” (Eph 2:15). It is the “one body” to which both Jew and Gentile have been introduced by baptism in the Spirit (1Co 12:13).

Unlike Firstfruits, at this feast a sin offering and a peace offering were additional offerings (Lev 23:19). The emphasis here is on the Church and not on Christ, and our inclusion into the body of Christ required these aspects of His death. Sin had to be dealt with, and as far as peace is concerned, Ephesians 2 touches two aspects of peace: there is the vertical peace with God that both Jew and Gentile required, and then the necessary horizontal peace between these two hostile sectors of humanity (vv13-19). “He is our peace, who hath made both one” (v14). Both have been reconciled unto God in one body.

“Servile work” was forbidden (Lev 23:21), a reminder that the creation of the body of Christ was a divine work without human contribution. Passively, “in one Spirit were we all baptized into one body” (1Co 12:13 RV), and Christ was the baptizer (Mat 3:11). We are privileged to be members of that divinely arranged body!

[1] This and all remaining Bible quotations are from the KJV unless otherwise noted.