More interesting and edifying comments on the typology of
this feast of Pentecost is to be found in the book GOD'S
FESTIVALS by Dr. Samuele Bacchiocchi. The following is taken
from pages 174, 175.
" Pentecost: A Symbol of Remission. The meaning of Pentecost
is found not only in the offering of the first fruits which took
place on the first and fiftieth day, but also in the fact that it
lasts fifty days, that is to say, SEVEN TIMES SEVEN weeks, plus
one day. From this characteristic the usual titles are derived,
the Feast of Weeks or Pentecost(fiftieth). This lends support to
Van Goudoever's insistence that 'the counting of seven times
seven days is more than just an agricultural custom'(Biblical
Calendars, p.16). The grain harvest in Palestine could hardly
have been completed every year precisely between Passover and
Pentecost. There must be a reason for the Biblical instruction
to count seven weeks between the beginning and end of the Spring
The reason is found in the seventh-day Sabbath, which is the
basis for the seven- weeks structure of time. The Sabbath
provided release and liberation from the hardships of life and
social inequalities, not only ever seven days but also every
seven years (sabbatical year - Lev.25:4) and ever seven weeks of
years (jubilee year - Lev.25:8). At these annual institutions
the Sabbath became the liberator of the oppressed in the
Hebrew society. The land was to lie fallow to provide free
produce for the dispossessed and animals. The slaves were
emancipated if they so desired, and debts owed by fellow
citizens were remitted (Lev.25:4-55).
Van Goudoever points out: ' In Leviticus 23 and 25 there is
a strong parallelism between the counting of seven times seven
days and the counting of seven times seven years. Just as we may
suppose a relation between the seventh day (Sabbath) and the
seventh year (the sabbatical year), so we may suppose a
relationship between the Feast of Weeks and the Year of Jubilee
(the 50th year)' (Biblical Calendars).
As the Jubilee year concluded the preceding period of 49
years, so the Feast of Weeks (or Pentecost) concluded the
preceding 49 days. As in the Jubilee year the land was to lie
fallow to provide free produce for the poor, so at the Feast of
Weeks the poor and stranger were to be invited to a special
fellowship meal, and the borders of the fields were to be left
unreaped ' for the poor and the stranger ' (Lev.23:22).
The common denominator between the seven weeks of days and
the seven weeks of years is the number 50......"
The number 50 is used by God for FREEDOM, REDEMPTION,
LIBERTY, and HOLY SPIRIT. In 2 Corinthians 3:17 we read: " where
the SPIRIT of the Lord is, there is LIBERTY." In the year of
Jubilee under the Old Covenant Israel was to proclaim
LIBERTY throughout the land. Land returned unto its original
owners, as well as lying in sabbatical rest. Those sold as bond
slaves were set free. Debts were remitted. It was truly a great
time of REDEMPTION AND LIBERTY, as well as a great time of
REJOICING in the LAW and MERCY(grace) of God.
The number 7 stands for PERFECTION, COMPLETENESS, REST from
the work of man(carnal works of the sinful flesh), which
spiritually means perfection and rest from the way that seems
right unto man, but which ends in death. This FREEDOM comes
through the working of the SPIRIT of the Lord. Seven times Seven
is FULL PERFECT COMPLETENESS. When the Spirit of the Lord as COME
(as it did on the day of Pentecost to the disciples in Jerusalem
- Acts 2) and FULLY COMPLETED its work of LIBERTY from sin and
death, there will be in this earth PERFECT COMPLETENESS. There
will be no more death, sorrow, pain, or sin. All things will be
NEW AND PERFECT. There will be a new heavens and a new earth
wherein only RIGHTEOUSNESS WILL LIVE AND EXIST (Rev.21,22).
The number 5 is used by the Lord to represent GRACE and
MERCY. The number 10 represents LAW. When 5 is multiplied by 10
the end product is 50. If 10 - the law - is multiplied by 5 -
grace - the end number is 50. LAW and GRACE together equal 50,
or REMISSION of sins(the breaking of the law - 1 John 3:4;
Rom.7:7) by GRACE, to produce true FREEDOM in the SPIRIT, whereby
no condemnation lies upon the child of God, for he now walks not
after the flesh that will produce sin and death, but he now
walks after the Spirit, that the righteousness of the law may be
fulfilled in us (Romans 8:1- 17).
Turning once more to the book GOD'S FESTIVALS by
Dr.Bacchiocchi, pages 175 and 176, we read:
" The Ritual of the Feast of Pentecost. Pentecost was a
joyous feast that afforded an opportunity to the Israelites to
express their thanksgiving for the completion of the Spring
harvest. It was a HOLY CONVOCATION which called for abstention
from ORDINARY work (Lev.23:21).......
As with other great feasts, a special offering was made in
addition to the daily burnt offering. The MAIN offering of the
day was the special CEREAL offering consisting of ' two loaves of
bread '(Lev.23:17) which were made with flour milled from the NEW
WHEAT crop and baked with LEAVEN......None of the bread was
placed on the altar because it was baked with leaven. Instead,
the leavened bread was eaten by the priests.........
It is significant that while NO LEAVEN was
permitted(Ex.12:15, 19-20; Lev.2:1, 4-5) at Passover, the Feast
of Unleavened Bread, and the regular meal offerings, at
Pentecost, the TWO LOAVES of bread presented as a wave offering
were baked with LEAVEN. The reason given by Edersheim and others
is that while the Paschal Lamb and the unleavened bread
represents the death of Christ, who was without sin and gives
power to overcome sin, the TWO LOAVES offered at Pentecost
represented Israel's RESPONSE to the blessing of salvation.
Though Israel was called by God to be HOLY unto Him, SIN still
EXISTED in the LIVES of the people. This explains why at
Pentecost the loaf offerings were accompanied by sin offerings."
Some have seen, I think rightly, that the TWO LOAVES baked
with LEAVEN and presented on the day of Pentecost, represents the
people of God under BOTH the Old Testament(from Adam to Christ)
and the New Testament(from Christ's first coming to His coming in
glory and the first resurrection). The goal of God's children is
to be HOLY and to NOT SIN(1 John 2:1; 1 Peter 1:13-16), yet human
nature is still there within us, and while it is sin will
manifest itself from time to time (Rom.7:14-25; 1 John 1:8-10;
Continuing with the quote from Bacchiocchi:
" As the first wave-sheaf at the Passover season marked the
period when new grain could be used in the land, so the
presentation at Pentecost of the wave-loaves marked the beginning
of the use of the new flour for the meat-offerings in the
sanctuary. The feast was concluded by eating the COMMUNAL MEALS
to which the POOR, the STRANGER, and the LEVITES were invited.
Thus, the feast served not only to honor the God of Israel, but
also to recognize the BOND OF UNITY that existed among the
members of the covenant community.
Pentecost was also the Feast of FIRST-FRUITS (Num.28:26).
After the offering of the loaves, INDIVIDUAL worshippers could
present their own personal first-fruits. These private offerings
were accompanied by a moving recital of THANKSGIVING for the
miraculous way God delivered Israel from SLAVERY and brought it
to the Promised Land (Deut.26:1-11).
Thus, Pentecost celebrated not only the BLESSINGS of the
GRAIN HARVEST but ALSO the blessings of REDEMPTION and
As Dr.Bacchiocchi goes on to show on page 179 of his book,
many leading Jewish rabbis see that the release of Israel from
Egyptian bondage at the Passover was to lead them to a HIGHER
spiritual purpose in serving the Eternal God, which found its
completion in the seven times seven weeks, seven Sabbaths
complete, and then the day of full redemption and FREEDOM,
represented by the feast of Pentecost.
It was on this very feast day that the Holy Spirit came to
infuse the disciples of our Lord. The SPIRIT came to impart the
very NATURE and MIND of God to His children. The Spirit that
will ensure as long as we allow it to be WITHIN us, our
redemption and our glorification in the FIRST resurrection, as
part of the FIRST FRUITS of God in His master plan of the
harvesting of lives for His family and Kingdom.
The reader may want to request other vital articles and
studies concerning personal SALVATION. They are "SAVED BY GRACE"
- "REAL REPENTANCE" - "SAVING FAITH" and "A CHILD OF GOD."
The above studies can be sent either E-mail, or Regular
Written May 1997