Mt. Sinai. Photo by Ehab Samy,

About Shavuot

The Hebrew word Shavuot means “weeks.” Also called the Feast of Weeks, it is one of the three pilgrimage festivals when we are to come before the Lord with an offering, as directed in Deuteronomy 16:16. Leviticus 23:15-21 says to celebrate Shavuot 50 days after First Fruits. This 50-day countdown is called the Counting of the Omer.

Shavuot commemorates God's physical and spiritual provision. As this is the time of the year when the wheat ripens in Israel, Shavuot celebrates the wheat harvest. It also commemorates the giving of the Sinai Covenant and the giving of the New Covenant.

Centuries before Yeshua's ministry, the Rabbis decided that Shavuot was the time when G-d appeared upon Mount Sinai and instituted his covenant to the Jewish people. The remembrance is bittersweet, however, because the Israelites backed away from meeting G-d.

“All the people experienced the thunder, the lightning, the sound of the shofar, and the mountain smoking. When the people saw it, they trembled. Standing at a distance, they said to Moshe, "You speak with us, and we will listen. But don’t let God speak with us or we will die! (Exodus 20:15-16, Complete Jewish Bible)”

Because of the Israelites’ fear, G-d changed them from a nation of priests (Exodus 19:5-6) to a nation with priests (Exodus 28:1). As a result, Jewish people hold an all-night vigil on Shavuot to plead with G-d, promising that if He would again offer to make Israel a people of priests, they would not refuse Him again. This vigil is called Tikkun La’il Shavuot.

The year that Yeshua died and rose, G-d answered the prayers of that vigil. As described in Acts 2:1-21, the Messianic Body gathered together to pray during the night. Early in the morning, the physical presence of G-d came in wind, sound and fire—as on Mt. Sinai—and fell over the Believers there. The people of priests was firmly established (1 Peter 2:9).

Even though we cannot perform the animal sacrifices now as Leviticus 23 commands, we can be thankful for and celebrate G-d’s physical provision of food, as well as G-d’s spiritual provision of the Word and his Spirit.  

More about Shavuot

God's Spirit and Shavuot

Torah and Shavuot

Prophetic Fullfillment