There was a ritual connected with the feast of weeks or
Pentecost season as some call it today, that the priests of
Israel were to perform in the Temple or Tabernacle of the
Lord. It is recorded for us in Lev.23:9-14.
"Say to the people of Israel, when you come into the land
which I give you and REAP its harvest, you shall bring the SHEAF
OF THE FIRST FRUITS OF YOUR HARVEST to the priest; and he shall
WAVE the sheaf BEFORE the Lord, that you may find acceptance; ON
THE MORROW AFTER THE SABBATH the priest shall wave it......And
you shall eat neither bread nor grain parched or fresh until this
This ceremony was to do with the FIRSTFRUITS. It was a
WAVING of the FIRST OF the firstfruits by the priest before the
Lord. It was to be fulfilled before any of the NEW harvest could
be gathered in, or used for bread, or eaten in any way.
Samuele Bacchiocchi has correctly observed that: "The
countdown to Pentecost began with the offering of the first
barley sheaf(known as the omer).......The purpose of the
wave-sheaf was offering was to consecrate and inaugurate the
Spring grain harvest which lasted about seven weeks until
Pentecost.......The cutting of the first barley sheaf
entailed a lively ceremony. The sheaf was cut in the evening,
put into baskets, and held until the next day, when it was
brought to the temple....to be ceremonially waved by the
priest. The Talmud states that a priest would meet a group of
pilgrims on the edge of the city and from there lead them to the
Temple mount singing and praising God. Together with a priest
they proclaimed: 'A wandering Aramaen was my father; and he went
down into Egypt......and the Lord brought us out of
Egypt.....into this place and gave us this land, a land flowing
with milk and honey. And behold, now I bring the first of the
fruit of the ground, which you, O Lord, have given me'
(Deut.26:5, 8, 9, 10).
When they arrived at the Temple, the priest would take the
sheaves, lift some in the air and wave them in every direction to
acknowledge God's sovereignty over the whole earth. Before the
offering of the sheaves, no reaping of the harvest for personal
use could be done (Lev.23:14). A portion of the wave-sheaf was
placed on the altar and the rest was eaten by the priest. A male
lamb was sacrificed as a burnt offering (Lev.23:12)"
(God's Festivals, pages 170,171).
Let us back up a little to the time when these first sheaves
were to be cut. This particular happening is interesting in its
ceremony and also shows the time as to when it was done by the
teaching of the Pharisees. The Sadducees disagreed with the
Pharisees as to the DAY this cutting and waving of the sheaf was
to be performed. The Pharisees taught the sheaf was cut the
evening of the 15th of the first month, at the very beginning of
the first Sabbath of the feast of Unleavened Bread. The Sadducees
taught it was to be cut and presented to the Lord on the first
day of the week DURING the feast of Unleavened Bread, a Sunday
wave sheaf day.
Because among the religious sects of Judah the common people
were in the main, followers of the Pharisees, it was their
teaching of the cutting and waving of the sheaf that got center
stage and the largest spot light.
Actually and technically, it was the Sadducees that held the
correct understanding as to WHAT DAY the first sheaf of the
spring harvest was to be waved before the Lord. It is not the
purpose of this study to answer that question. I have done this
in another in- depth, technical study paper that the reader can
request from me.
In this typology study I want to focus on the RITES of the
cutting for a moment, and not so much on the calendar day it was
This "reaping" of the Omer Barley offering was a special
ceremony performed BY a select group of individuals, who
performed the "cutting" and "bringing" of the Omer "on behalf of"
all the people of God. This SPECIAL offering was NOT brought by
each and every man in Israel.
Reading from THE TEMPLE AND ITS MINISTRY AND SERVICES, by
Dr.Alfred Edersheim, page 258, we find exactly how this Barley
Omer Offering was first "cut- reaped" and how it was then
"brought" to the priest in the Temple.
" Already, on the 14th of Nisan, the spot where the FIRST
SHEAF was to be REAPED had been MARKED OUT by delegates from THE
SANHEDRIN, 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 Kidron, 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. When the time for CUTTING THE SHEAF (Omer) 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 THE BARLEY to the amount of ONE EPHAH, or TEN OMERS, or
THREE SEAHS, which is equal to about THREE PECKS 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(barley grain); then 'parched' on a pan perforated with
holes, so that each grain might be touched with by the fire, and
finally exposed to the wind. The corn(barley grain) thus prepared
was ground in a barely-mill, which left the hulls whole.
According to some, the flour was always successively 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,
which was ascertained by one of the 'Gizbarim' (treasurers)
plunging his hands into it, the sifting process being continued
as long as any of the flour adhered to the hands.
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........."
In corroboration of these facts, the SONCINO TALMUD, a
special limited anniversary edition of the Babylonian Talmud in
English, published by The Soncino Press, tells about these
procedures followed by these three men from the Beth Din(House of
Judgment-Sanhedrin), to REAP this same Omer Barley Offering,
"MISHNAH. What was the procedure? The messengers of the
Beth Din used to go out on the day before the Festival and tie
the unreaped corn in bunches to make it easier to reap. All the
inhabitants of the towns near by assembled there. AS SOON AS
IT BECAME DARK he called out ' Has the sun set?' And they
answered 'Yes.' ' Has the sun set?' And they answered 'Yes.' '
With this sickle?' And they answered 'Yes.' ' With this
sickle?' And they answered 'Yes.' ' Into this basket?' And
they answered 'Yes.' ' Into this basket?' And they answered
'Yes.' On the Sabbath he called out further, 'On this Sabbath?'
And they answered 'Yes.' ' On this Sabbath?' And they answered
'Yes.' ' Shall I reap?' And they answered 'Yes.' ' Shall I
reap?' And they answered 'Yes.' He repeated every matter three
times, and they answered, 'Yes' - 'Yes' - 'Yes.' "
Again, let me remind you that what you have read above was
the PHARISEE teaching and practice of the CUTTING and PREPARING
the FIRST SHEAF for offering in the Temple by the priest.
They did it after the sun set on the beginning of the 15th
of the first month, the annual Sabbath of the beginning of the
feast of Unleavened Bread, and it was waved by the priest in the
Temple on the day after this annual Sabbath, or the 16th of the
This was the common practice of the Pharisees, and as the
largest segment of the "religious" population belonged to the
sect of the Pharisees, this practice was carried out and
performed by the Temple administration, who in the main were
Sadducees. Yet the Sadducees themselves in "theology" teaching
DID NOT AGREE with this interpretation of WHEN this first barley
sheaf should be cut and waved before the Lord in the Temple.
They said the waving of the FIRST SHEAF of the FIRST
HARVEST, before the Lord in the Temple should be on the MORROW
after the weekly Sabbath, which came during the feast of
We have seen in past studies on the typology of this
Pentecost feast, and especially concerning the typology of the
WAVE SHEAF, or FIRST FRUIT cutting of the barley grain, that this
FIRST SHEAF of grain REPRESENTED the FIRST of the FIRST- FRUITS
of the SPIRITUAL HARVEST RESURRECTION to the heavenly Father,
which was typical and was fulfilled by CHRIST JESUS, as the first
of the firstfruits - see again 1 Cor.15:20-23; James 1:18.
The FIRST SHEAF of the FIRST harvest to the Lord, was
offered or WAVED BEFORE THE LORD, on a certain morning of a
certain day, which was also connected to the feast of Unleavened
Bread. As this sheaf REPRESENTED the Messiah Christ, being waved
or accepted by the Father in heaven, as the FIRST of the FIRST
harvest of souls for His family, can we find anywhere in the
Gospels where this typology was fulfilled by Jesus and heaven?
YES INDEED WE CAN!!
In John chapter twenty and verse 17, we read that on the day
that Jesus appeared to Mary(verses 11-16) and was about to touch
Him, He told NOT TO DO SO, for He was not yet ASCENDED UNTO THE
Jesus was not talking about His permanent ascension to the
Father for two thousand years or so, until His return to earth,
BECAUSE later that SAME DAY, He appeared to his disciples and
they DID touch Him - see Matthew 28:8-10.
These two accounts in the Gospels make it very clear that
Jesus DID for a short while, ascend to the Father in heaven and
return. He allowed no one to touch Him until He had presented
Himself to the Father, and then after that on His return to earth
that SAME DAY, He allowed Himself to be touched.
WHAT DAY did all this take place? A reading of the last
chapters of the Gospels show quite plainly and without
contradiction, that this ascending of Jesus to present
Himself as the FIRST OF THE FIRSTFRUIT HARVEST, THE WAVE SHEAF OF
THE FIRST HARVEST TO THE HEAVENLY FATHER, WAS ON THE FIRST DAY OF
THE WEEK FOLLOWING THE WEEKLY SABBATH, DURING THE FEAST OF
The WAVE SHEAF DID NOT REPRESENT THE RESURRECTION OF CHRIST!
IT REPRESENTED THE CHRIST ALREADY RISEN, BEING WAVED OR
ACCEPTED BY THE FATHER IN THE TEMPLE OF HEAVEN, AS THE FIRST OF
THE FIRSTFRUITS, THE FIRST OF THE SPIRITUAL HARVEST TO BE MADE
IMMORTAL FROM FLESH AND BLOOD. THE REST OF THIS HARVEST OF SOULS
TO BE ALSO SO MADE IMMORTAL WHEN JESUS COMES AGAIN(1 Cor.15:23; 1
THIS TOOK PLACE ON THE FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK, AFTER THE
WEEKLY SABBATH, DURING THE UNLEAVENED BREAD FEAST.
IN THIS PARTICULAR CASE THE SADDUCEES HAD THE CORRECT DAY AS
TO WHEN THE WAVE SHEAF WAS TO BE OFFERED TO GOD IN THE TEMPLE!
TYPOLOGY AND PROPHECY WAS FULFILLED. THAT WHICH HAD BEEN
FORETOLD IN SYMBOLISM AND TYPE HAD COME TO PASS EXACTLY AS THE
TYPOLOGY HAD PICTURED, ON THE EXACT DAY IT HAD BEEN PRACTICED AND
PERFORMED FROM THE BEGINNING UNDER MOSES AND IN THE WILDERNESS
THIS SHOULD STRENGTHEN OUR FAITH BRETHREN. ALL THAT GOD HAS
PROMISED AND FORETOLD IN PROPHECY AND TYPOLOGY, EITHER HAS
ALREADY COME TO PASS, OR YET WILL COME TO PASS. WE CAN COUNT ON
IT, WE CAN LOOK TO IT AS UNTO A LIGHT THAT SHINES IN A DARK
PLACE, UNTIL THE DAY DAWN, AND THE DAY STAR ARISE IN YOUR HEARTS
SO IT IS WRITTEN, SO IT WILL COME TO PASS!
Written May 1997