the Firstfruits

Understanding the Wave Sheaf Offering

Nearly 3500 years ago God revealed His plan for the redemption of all mankind and the subsequent Kingdom of God to a number of former slaves who had just been thrust out of the nation of Egypt. But for most of those who claim an allegiance to the book we call the Bible, that revelation has been hidden until the past 80 or so years, primarily because the Jewish people missed the coming of the The Messiah the major player in that plan, and those who call themselves Christian have, for the most part, forsaken the blueprint of Gods plan the Festivals of Leviticus 23.

But things are beginning to change. The Jews are beginning to grab hold of The Messiah and Christians are beginning to forsake the idolatrous holidays of their fathers and are now taking a second look at the Biblical festivals.

Gods festivals reveal what He is going to do in a couple of ways. One way is by their close resemblance to ancient Hebrew wedding customs. Each of the festivals represents a stage in that custom including the courtship, betrothal, wedding supper, and even the newly married couple setting up their new home.

The festivals also show Gods intent by the fact that they are all tied to a particular harvest season. God often speaks to His people in agricultural terms, and thus its appropriate that they would understand His doings in regards to the yearly cycle of the three harvest seasons of Israel the early spring barley harvest, the latter spring wheat harvest, and the fall harvest of fruits and vegetables.

Because we have just entered the spring festival season of Passover the time of the barley harvest in Israel, I want to talk about that harvest focusing in on a specific point in that harvest and show how it might tie into Gods overall plan for the salvation of His people. Today were going to talk about what is commonly referred to as the wave sheaf offering - a very special event that is embedded into this Passover season.

In our study, we will:

  1. Take a brief look at the harvest cycle and its associated festivals
  2. Identify who God calls the firstfruits
  3. Learn the mechanics of the wave sheaf offering
  4. Determine the purpose of the wave sheaf offering
  5. See the purpose of the firstfruits in Gods plan

The Biblical Festivals

Gods festivals are spelled out in Leviticus 23 as well as various other places in scripture.

NKJ Leviticus 23:1 And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 2 "Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: 'The feasts of the LORD, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, these are My feasts. 3 ' Six days shall work be done, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, a holy convocation. You shall do no work on it; it is the Sabbath of the LORD in all your dwellings. 4 ' These are the feasts of the LORD, holy convocations which you shall proclaim at their appointed times.

From this passage we can deduce a number of important concepts. First, we can see that the festivals are not Jewish festivals but are rather Gods festivals. They are festivals that God has provided to His people for their own good. Second, we see that (from this and subsequent verses) that the first festival mentioned is the weekly Sabbath. This would indicate that if you do not understand and observe the first festival the Sabbath you will probably not understand the rest of the festivals. Thirdly, we see that the festivals are literally appointments with God. In verse 2, the Hebrew word for feasts is "moed" ( מוֹעְד Strong's 4150). A moed is an appointed time, a specific time when God is going to do something that He wants us to be a part of. Moed is rooted in the Hebrew word "ya'ad" (יָעַד Strong's 3259) which means to fix, appoint, or assemble. The first time we see yaad in scripture it is translated betroth 1. Thus we have the connection of Gods festivals to a wedding. Fourth, we see that the festivals are called holy convocations. The Hebrew term is "miqra qodesh" (מִקְרָא קֹדֶשׁ Strong's 4744 & 6944). Qodesh means holy and a miqra is a reading or calling together for a reading. Strong's also describes it as a rehearsal. Thus we might say that the festivals are where we rehearse our part in the wedding of all time - the wedding of YHVH to His people. Because its important to God that we join Him at the festivals, He made it to where the festivals are considered sabbaths and thus gave us days off from work so that we can join Him.

Reading on into Leviticus 23, we see that the festivals are associated with the three harvest seasons 2, thus each festival represents a particular harvest. There are specific instructions for each harvest, especially in regards to what were to do with the fruit of the harvest.  In the first and second harvest, we are instructed to bring the firstfruits of that harvest 3, but in the third harvest were not.  Instead, in that third harvest it appears we are to rejoice with as much of the harvest as we wish.

Since the firstfruits are the focus of the spring harvest, let us focus in on them so as to determine their identity.

Who are the Firstfruits?

Human beings are oftentimes identified in agricultural terms. One of the first places we see that is where Rachael blames her barrenness on Jacob.

KJ Genesis 30:1 Now when Rachel saw that she bore Jacob no children, Rachel envied her sister, and said to Jacob, "Give me children, or else I die!" 2 And Jacob's anger was aroused against Rachel, and he said, "Am I in the place of God, who has withheld from you the fruit of the womb?"

Here Jacob likens children to fruit. In this passage, the Hebrew word for fruit is "periy" (פְּרִי Strong's 6529) which according to Dr. Frank Seekins means "to the mouth goes the persons hand" 4. This is an interesting because there actually was a time in Israel's history where the nation's salvation was in a way dependent on those who did actually "put their hand to their mouth "5.

Another case of people or persons being identified in agricultural terms is that of Joseph who in his dream identified himself as a sheaf of grain. 6 The Psalms also speak of the "godly person" as a tree that brings forth fruit in its season

NKJ Psalm 1:1 Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly . . . 2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD . . . 3 He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season,

Good fruit is what God expects His people to be. In his charge against Israel and Judah, YHVH reminded them that they were at one time a good fruit

NKJ Jeremiah 11:16 The LORD called your name, Green Olive Tree, Lovely and of Good Fruit.

But Israel turned from God and was broken off of the olive tree of Israel. Yeshua was later sent to begin gathering up those broken of sticks, but the actual work of the gathering was to be performed by His disciples, as well as those who became disciples after them.

NKJ John 15:5 "I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing . . . 8 "By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.

So we can see that Gods people are often defined in the scriptures as fruit. But God also calls His people by a more specific term. Not only are they fruit, they are his firstfruits.

NKJ Jeremiah 2:3 Israel was holiness to the LORD, The firstfruits of His increase.

In this passage, the Hebrew word for "firstfruits" is "reshiyt" (רֵאשִׁית Strong's 7225).  Reshiyt means "first, beginning, best". It comes from the Hebrew word "rosh" which means head. So the firstfruits are the first, the beginning, the head of the harvest. Being that the firstfruits are the first of the harvest, by implication there is more to be harvested after the firstfruits. In other words, the firstfruits are not the entire harvest.

The term firstfruits is applied to Israel in another passage as well, but this time translated from a different word

 

NKJ Hosea 9:10 " I found Israel like grapes in the wilderness; I saw your fathers as the firstfruits on the fig tree in its first season. But they went to Baal Peor, and separated themselves to that shame; They became an abomination like the thing they loved.

In this case, the word firstfruits is translated from the Hebrew word "bikkowrah" (בִכּוּרָה Strong's 1061). Bikkowrah comes from the root word bakar (בָּכַר Strong's 1069) which means firstborn. Thus Israel is Gods firstborn, which YHVH clearly states in the Passover story

NKJ Exodus 4:22 "Then you shall say to Pharaoh, 'Thus says the LORD: "Israel is My son, My firstborn.

So Israel is Gods firstborn as well as Gods firstfruits. There are no other peoples who are referred to by that term. With that said, lets take a look at some of the details of the Wave Sheaf Offering.

The Wave Sheaf Offering -

This special offering is described in Leviticus 23, beginning in verse 10. In the text, this passage follows the seven days of unleavened bread, but most believe it took place during the Days of Unleavened Bread. According to the text . . .

NKJ Leviticus 23:10-14 . . . 'When you come into the land which I give to you, and reap its harvest, then you shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest to the priest. 11 'He shall wave the sheaf before the LORD, to be accepted on your behalf; on the day after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it. 12 'And you shall offer on that day, when you wave the sheaf, a male lamb of the first year, without blemish, as a burnt offering to the LORD. 13 'Its grain offering shall be two-tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil, an offering made by fire to the LORD, for a sweet aroma; and its drink offering shall be of wine, one-fourth of a hin. 14 'You shall eat neither bread nor parched grain nor fresh grain until the same day that you have brought an offering to your God

This seems pretty straightforward, but there are a few points that need to be clarified. First, the offering is not really the wave-sheaf offering; its more correctly the wave omer offering. A sheaf is a bundle of grain stalks laid parallel together and tied into a bundle, and though sheaves are very much a part of the offering, what is actually waved is a bowl of flour. The word translated sheaf in verse 10 is the Hebrew word "omer" (עֹמֶר Strong's 6016) which means a dry measure of grain of about 2 litres. So an omer of flour was brought to the priests and that is what was waved.

Secondly, the omer of flour is waved before YHVH to be accepted on behalf of the people. The phrase to be accepted on your behalf is translated from the Hebrew phrase "li-rzonchem" which is the combination of the Hebrew preposition "li" which means "to" and the 2nd person masculine plural form of the noun "ratson" (רָצוֹן Strong's 7522) which means pleasure, delight, and acceptance. The thought is that God is looking down from Heaven at what the priest was waving back and forth and God is pleased with what He sees.

The third point is that the wave offering is not offered alone. It is accompanied by a burnt offering of a one year old male lamb without blemish as well as an associated grain and drink offering. What that means is that the waving of the omer of flour is dependent upon having the one year old lamb . . . without the lamb, you cannot make the offering.

And one other point . . . this offering had to be made before any of that year's harvest could be eaten. This is generally understood to mean that the rest of the fields could not be harvested until the offering had been made.

In his book "the Temple and its Ministry and Services", Alfred Edersheim describes the wave-omer offerings of the second Temple period 7.

. . . Already, on the 14th of Nisan, the spot whence the first sheaf was to be reaped had been marked out by delegates from the Sanhedrim, by tying together in bundles, while still standing, the barley that was to be cut down. Though, for obvious reasons, it was customary to choose for this purpose the sheltered Ashes-valley across Kedron, there was no restriction on that point, provided the barley had grown in an ordinary field, of course in Palestine itself, and not in garden or orchard land, and that the soil had not been manured nor yet artificially watered (Mishnah, Menach. viii. 1, 2).

When the time for cutting the sheaf had arrived, that is, on the evening of the 15th of Nisan (even though it were a Sabbath, just as the sun went down, three men, each with a sickle and basket, formally set to work.

But in order clearly to bring out all that was distinctive in the ceremony, they first asked of the bystanders three times each of these questions: Has the sun gone down? With this sickle? Into this basket? On this Sabbath (or first Passover-day)?and, lastly, Shall I reap? Having each time been answered in the affirmative, they cut down barley to the amount of one ephah, or ten omers, or three seahs, which is equal to about three pecks 8 and three pints of our English measure. The ears were brought into the Court of the Temple, and thrashed out with canes or stalks, so as not to injure the corn; then parched on a pan perforated with holes, so that each grain might be touched by the fire, and finally exposed to the wind. The corn thus prepared was ground in a barley-mill, which left the hulls whole. According to some, the flour was always successfully passed through thirteen sieves, each closer than the other. The statement of a rival authority, however, seems more rational that it was only done till the flour was sufficiently fine (Men. vi. 6, 7), which was ascertained by one of the Gizbarim (treasurers) plunging his hands into it, the sifting process being continued so long as any of the flour adhered to the hands (Men. viii. 2). Though one ephah, or ten omers, of barley was cut down, only one omer of flour, or about 5 1 pints of our measure, was offered in the Temple on the second Paschal, or 16th day of Nisan. The rest of the flour might be redeemed, and used for any purpose. The omer of flour was mixed with a log, or very nearly three-fourths of a pint of oil, and a handful of frankincense put upon it, then waved before the Lord, and a handful taken out and burned on the altar.

The remainder belonged to the priest. This was what is popularly, though not very correctly, called the presentation of the first or wave-sheaf on the second day of the Passover-feast, of the 16th of Nisan.

From Edersheims account we learn more about the offering. We see that there was nothing special about the grain that was used in the offering. It did not come from a special field, but could be selected from anywhere within the boundaries of Israel. It was selected before the Passover, but was not cut until after the Passover lambs were slain and eaten. The individual corns (grains) were separated from the head, then parched in a pan specially designed so that each corn would be touched by fire. Then the corns were subjected to the wind, presumably to remove the husks that were now detached from the grain. The grain was then ground and sifted until it was deemed pure enough for the offering, and though three sheaves of barley were cut, only one omer of fine flour was actually used for the offering.

Lets now summarize what weve seen so far:

  • God has given us his festivals to learn about how He intends to build his kingdom.
    • The festivals parallel the Hebrew wedding
    • The festivals parallel the three annual harvests
  • God calls Israel His firstfruits as well as His firstborn
  • The sheaves of barley grain that ultimately become the wave-omer offering come from anywhere in the land. There is nothing special about them
  • The refining of the grain did not begin until after the Passover meal was eaten
  • The grain goes through a refining process that includes being blown by the wind
  • More grain was chosen than was actually used.
  • The offering must be accompanied by a one-year-old male lamb without blemish

Before moving on, lets add a little more information about the wave-omer offering, information that is not necessarily specific to this offering, but to other grain offerings as well. We find this information at the beginning of the book of Leviticus where all the offerings are described.

NKJ Leviticus 2:14 & 16 If you offer a grain offering of your firstfruits to the LORD, you shall offer for the grain offering of your firstfruits green heads of grain roasted on the fire, grain beaten from full heads . . . 16 then the priest shall burn the memorial portion: part of its beaten grain and part of its oil, with all the frankincense, as an offering made by fire to the LORD.

Here we see that from the omer of highly refined barley flour, a small portion call the memorial portion - "azkarah" in Hebrew - is separated from the whole and burned on the altar. As for what happens to the rest of the omer of flour after it is waved, the scripture is silent. It is assumed that it was eaten by the priests just as the other grain offerings 9.

With the information we have so far, can we determine the purpose of the wave-omer offering? Can we know what it represents? I believe we can, especially with the help of Paul's expert understanding of the Torah and the prophets.

What Does the Offering Represent?

Paul's letter to the Romans was written to mend a rift that was developing between the Jewish and non-Jewish believers in Yeshua. As one of his arguments Paul showed that simply being a descendant of Abraham did not buy you a ticket to the kingdom. Instead, the kingdom was only available by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit which was made possible by the sacrifice of the Messiah.

NKJ Romans 8:9-11 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. 10 And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.

Paul was saying that those of us within whom Gods spirit dwells have in effect died because of sin, but the spirit of God now gives us life. Paul then went on to say that our sufferings (experiences) in this life our trials are nothing compared to the glory that those sufferings will bring.

NKJ Romans 8:18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

And what is that glory? Paul tells us in the very next verse.

NKJ Romans 8:19 For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God.

Gods sons are His firsborn, the children of Israel. Their revealing, gathering, and restoration as a people is what brings glory to God.

NKJ Isaiah 44:23 Sing, O heavens, for the LORD has done it! Shout, you lower parts of the earth; Break forth into singing, you mountains, O forest, and every tree in it! For the LORD has redeemed Jacob, And glorified Himself in Israel.

Paul's trials were all a part of his ministry of restoration - the revealing and the restoration of the sons of God Israel - Gods firstborn, His firstfruits. Paul speaks of it in practically all his epistles. He went on to make this even more clear

ESV Romans 8:22 For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. 23 And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.

As shown earlier, Gods people Israel are the firstfruits. But not everyone who is born an Israelite is part of the firstfruits as Paul clearly states in his letter to the Romans

NKJ Romans 9:6 For they are not all Israel who are of Israel . . .

The true Israelites are those who have His spirit dwelling in them, and (as the epistle seems to indicate) are taking part in bringing about the revealing of the sons of God.

James, in his letter to the twelve tribes scattered abroad supported what Paul taught to the Romans. James began his letter by discussing the trials and temptations that befall all of us. These could be trials that came upon Israel as a people 10 or those we experience individually. In either case, he went on to say (quoting from the New Jerusalem Bible)

NJB James 1:17-18 . . . all that is good, all that is perfect, is given us from above; it comes down from the Father of all light; with him there is no such thing as alteration, no shadow caused by change. 18 By his own choice he gave birth to us by the message of the truth so that we should be a sort of first-fruits of all his creation.

Like Paul, James seems to have indicated that those facing trials in association with their walk - and that is probably all of us - are counted as the firstfruits.

Who then does the wave-omer offering represent? Lets put the puzzle together by first comparing the wave-offering with those we have identified as the firstfruits.

The Wave-Omer Offering

Israel the Firstfruits

   The stalks of grain can be harvested from anywhere in the land.

   Israel is gathered from the four corners of the earth

   Three sheaves of barley are cut, but only a small amount makes it through the process

   Many are called, but few are chosen

   The grain goes through an extensive process before it is refined enough to be a part of the offering

   Gods people go through many trials in order to fulfill their calling

   The wind helps separate the parched grain from the husk.

   The ruach, Gods Holy Spirit helps us be separated from the world.

   The wave-omer offering requires the sacrifice of a male lamb without blemish.

   Israels redemption required a male lamb without blemish.

 

The parallels are clear. We are the firstfruits from which the wave-omer is derived. We offer our lives as a living sacrifice, doing our part to further the restoration of all things, which is acceptable and pleasing to God. 11

NKJ Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.

The wave-omer offering represents those who dedicate their lives to walking in the ways of God. It represents those who share in the work of the kingdom and long for its restoration. It represents those who imitate the walk and cling to every word of our King Messiah Yeshua. It represents those who truly understand that their salvation was and is dependent on what He has done, and continues to do for us. And because we do these things, we like the wave-omer offering - are unleavened.

NKJ 1 Corinthians 5:7 Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us.

In other words, God looks at us as part of the unleavened wave-omer offering because of Yeshua's sacrifice. 12

What Part Does the Offering Play in Gods Plan?

What are we to do with this understanding? Is it important that God considers us His firstfruits? Yes very much so. God has a plan, and as we continually grow in our understanding of that plan, our desire to be a part of the plan will grow.

While in captivity, the prophet Daniel spoke of a coming kingdom that would not pass away.

NKJ Daniel 7:13 " I was watching in the night visions, And behold, One like the Son of Man, Coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the Ancient of Days, And they brought Him near before Him. 14 Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, That all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, Which shall not pass away, And His kingdom the one Which shall not be destroyed.

We understand this kingdom to be the coming Kingdom of God with Messiah Yeshua at the helm. This was the main message of the angel Gabriel who was sent by God to the pregnant virgin the betrothed wife of Joseph.

NKJ Luke 1:26-33 26 Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God . . . 27 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin's name was Mary. 28 And having come in, the angel said to her, "Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!" . . . 31 "And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS. 32 "He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. 33 "And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end."

Yeshua was to be the king of Israel in a kingdom that would never end. That was Gabriel's focus, and it was Yeshua's focus as well.

NKJ Matthew 6:33 "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.

But the kingdom was to come in stages. As the parable of the mustard seed indicates, it would start very small and continue to grow and spread. Yeshua also likened the kingdom to leaven, a small lump that eventually permeates the entire loaf. 13

But before the Kingdom could begin, Yeshua knew that He must first die.

NKJ John 12:24 24 "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain.

Yeshua understood that at least one reason for His death was so that others could be drawn to Him . . . to His kingdom.

NKJ John 12:32 32 "And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself."

This drawing of His people began when Yeshua breathed on His disciples, imparting on them the power of the Holy Spirit

NKJ John 20:19-22 19 Then, the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, "Peace be with you . . . , as the Father has sent Me, I also send you." 22 And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit is what they needed in order to do the job they had been trained for raising up disciples to Messiah Yeshua. 14 Once they received the spirit, they were able to be sent out to the various parts of the known world and begin the process of restoration, and the Spirit, the Power to do the job that was assigned to them, could not come until Yeshua had been sacrificed. God has an order to things.

Just as the Messiah had to die in order for the restoration to begin, a relatively small group of believers would have to be sent out to spread the message of Messiah around world; and not until that message had been spread could the masses of humankind recognize and turn to Him. As we have seen, this relatively small group of believers is represented by the wave-omer offering.

In like manner, Yeshua was the first to be resurrected to eternal life. Without His resurrection, there could be no other resurrection.  But Yeshua has risen, and the next resurrection will be that of those who have performed the work of the kingdom. It is the resurrection of the firstfruits. Paul mentions this in his letter to the Corinthians.

NKJ 1 Corinthians 15:19-24 9 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable. 20 But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. 23 But each one in his own order: Christ, 15 the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ's at His coming. 24 Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power.

In this passage we see that the first to be resurrected from the dead to eternal life is Yeshua himself. His resurrection is followed by the resurrection of the firstfruits, which will be followed by yet another resurrection, the one that includes all those who have turned to God and His Messiah as a result of the work of the firstfruits, and just as the gospel message was sent out according to Gods order, these resurrections all take place in Gods order.

How does this fit into the three annual harvest festivals? There are three harvest festivals and according to Paul, there are three resurrections.

Festival Season

Resurrection of -

   Passover (barley harvest)

   Messiah Yeshua

   Shavuot (wheat harvest)

   the Firstfruits (both unleavened and leavened?)

   Tabernacles (fruit & vegetable harvest)

   Those who are Yeshua's at His coming

It appears that the first harvest was that of Messiah during the Passover festival. It is likely that He was resurrected on the day of the wave-omer offering, and being a part of Israel, He would be included as one of the firstfruits, but instead of being "waved" as was the the rest of the first-fruits offering, Yeshua was the memorial portion that was burned on the altar.  He did not have to be waved before God, Yeshua's job as an human being was finished, and YHVH was pleased as evidenced by the opening of the graves, the sun going dark, the earthquakes, the veil of the Temple being rent in two, and of course, His own resurrection.  He was the first to complete His job, paving the way for us to complete ours as well.

The next harvest festival is Shavuot (Pentecost/Feast of Weeks).  Shavuot is directly connected to the wave-omer offering and as such has a firstfruits offering as well.  But unlike the bowl of highly refined unleavened grain, the "Shavuot" firstfruits are leavened and baked into two loaves - probably representing the two houses of Israel that come together as one at the close of this age.  How the resurrection of the unleavened firstfruits of the wave-omer offering and the resurrection of the leavened firstfruits of Shavuot takes place is not clear (at least not to this author).

The third harvest festival is the fall festival of Sukkot. If the analogy stands, this would be the resurrection of those who are Christ's at His coming.  Being that they are represented by the final harvest of the yearly cycle, and are composed of all manner of fruit and produce, it could be understood that this harvest takes place during the festival - the 1000 year reign of Messiah Yeshua.

Will these harvests take place on the days of their yearly observance? We understand that Yeshuas resurrection actually did take place during the spring festival season, but will the others take place at their respective times of the year, or during the age pictured by that festival? These are still questions looking for an answer. As God continues to draw his people, and as more and more of us begin to observe the festivals, God will continue to reveal His plan to us, after all -

NKJ Proverbs 25:2 It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, but the glory of kings is to search out a matter.

What's more important than knowing the timing of the end times events is the reality that YHVH and the Messiah have given us a job to do.  As we proceed though the spring festival of Passover, we should reflect on the events that happened immediately following that fateful night. The Passover story points out that when Israel was thrust out of Egypt, they did not head directly for the Promised Land. Instead, Moses lead them south away from the promised land - to the city of Sukkot in order to fulfill the oath their fathers had taken roughly 270 years earlier.

NKJ Genesis 50:25 Then Joseph took an oath from the children of Israel, saying, "God will surely visit you, and you shall carry up my bones from here."

Israel's first order of business was to gather the bones of Joseph - the sheaf to whom all his brothers had bowed. The gathering of his bones might very likely have happened on the day of the wave-omer offering. They collected the bones, and then carried those bones for nearly 80 years until after the death of Joshua, at which time, they buried his bones in Shechem.

God has called us carry the bones of Joseph as well - the bones of Messiah Yeshua - the son of Joseph.  He has charged us with the responsibility of carrying His message of the restoration of the Kingdom to our communities, nation, and ultimately the world 16. When we pick up those bones and begin to fulfill our calling, God looks down at us as thousands of finely sifted grains of barley and says -

NKJ Matthew 25:23 " . . . Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.

Shalom Alecheim


1 Ex. 21:8
2 vs. 10 (barley), vs. 17 (wheat), vs. 39 (fruit, produce)
3 vs. 3 & 17
4 Hebrew Word Pictures, Seekins, Living Word Pictures, Inc, Phoenix, AZ, 1994, pg. 141
5 Judges 7:5-7
6 Gen. 37:7
7 The Temple, Its Ministry and Services; Alfred Edersheim; Hendrickson Publishers, Peabody, MA; copyright 1994; 4th printing (1998); pg.204
8 peck is about 2 gallons
9 Lev. 2:10
10 1 Cor. 10:11
11 Note that the context of Romans 9, 10, and 11 is that of the restoration of all Israel.
12 Take out the period . that was added by the translators between the words unleavened and for and the passage fits into the context of what Paul had been saying.
13 Luke 13:18-21
14 Matt. 28:19-20
15 The comma after Christ is added by this author. The Greek contains no punctuation, thus the placement of punctuation marks is by the understanding of the translators.
16 Matthew 24:14
       
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  Contact Us - About Ami Yisrael - Resources -
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