The Feast of Harvest
The Feast of Weeks
The Feast of Pentecost
All three names above apply to the same Holy Day or Feast! Why is that?
There is always good reason behind what God does. With a short review of the meaning behind the names mentioned above, we will get a deeper understanding of God’s intention’s about that day and its implications for all humanity.
It might sound simple, but God has a plan. It was determined from the very beginning of time. The book of Revelation states as much when it says, “the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Revelation 13:8 Revelation 13:8And all that dwell on the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
American King James Version×).
The Passover begins this plan with the shedding of an innocent lamb’s blood. Ancient Israel daubed this blood on the door posts and lintel. This was a sign of protection that spared the life of the firstborn child (Exodus 12:29-30 Exodus 12:29-30 29 And it came to pass, that at midnight the LORD smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sat on his throne to the firstborn of the captive that was in the dungeon; and all the firstborn of cattle.
30 And Pharaoh rose up in the night, he, and all his servants, and all the Egyptians; and there was a great cry in Egypt; for there was not a house where there was not one dead.
American King James Version×). Following this comes the seven Days of Unleavened Bread. During these seven days, there was a very special event that has a great deal to do with the resurrection of Jesus and the giving of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. It’s a day when a special offering was made called “the wave sheaf offering” (Leviticus 23:9-12 Leviticus 23:9-12 9 And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 10 Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them, When you be come into the land which I give to you, and shall reap the harvest thereof, then you shall bring a sheaf of the first fruits of your harvest to the priest: 11 And he shall wave the sheaf before the LORD, to be accepted for you: on the morrow after the sabbath the priest shall wave it. 12 And you shall offer that day when you wave the sheaf an he lamb without blemish of the first year for a burnt offering to the LORD.
American King James Version×). Three things stand out about this offering. First, it was a sheaf made from the firstfruits of the early barley harvest (v.10). Second, a sheaf of this harvest was to be waved before the LORD to be acceptable to him (v.11). Third, it was to be accompanied with a sacrifice of a lamb without blemish. This was the early barley harvest. The first ripe barley was harvested and waved before the LORD to be acceptable to him.
How do these three things apply to observing this festival today?
God’s plan of salvation for humanity begins with the forgiveness of sin. First is the Passover Lamb. Jesus fulfilled this sacrifice—He is the Lamb of God, slain from the foundation of the world (Revelation 13:8 Revelation 13:8And all that dwell on the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
American King James Version×).
Second, the ripe barley represented the first of the harvest presented to God by the priest. Jesus was the embodiment of this sheaf—which was the very first ripe grain of the firstfruits of the harvest—when He was resurrected and ascended to God the Father (1 Corinthians 15: 20-23). When Mary saw Jesus after His resurrection, John 17:20 John 17:20Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;
American King James Version×records that Jesus said, “Do not touch Me for I have not yet ascended to My Father.”
Third, it has to be acceptable. Jesus, being sinless and perfect His entire life, was an acceptable offering to God.
Fifty Days Later—The Feast of Weeks or Harvest
“The Feast of Weeks of the firstfruits of the wheat harvest” (Exodus 34: 22) is represented in the later harvest after the early barley harvest. Today, we recognize this day as Pentecost, which is the Greek name for it. It is a Holy Day and is described in Leviticus 23:15-22 Leviticus 23:15-22 15 And you shall count to you from the morrow after the sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven sabbaths shall be complete:
16 Even to the morrow after the seventh sabbath shall you number fifty days; and you shall offer a new meat offering to the LORD.
17 You shall bring out of your habitations two wave loaves of two tenth deals; they shall be of fine flour; they shall be baked with leaven; they are the first fruits to the LORD.
18 And you shall offer with the bread seven lambs without blemish of the first year, and one young bullock, and two rams: they shall be for a burnt offering to the LORD, with their meat offering, and their drink offerings, even an offering made by fire, of sweet smell to the LORD.
19 Then you shall sacrifice one kid of the goats for a sin offering, and two lambs of the first year for a sacrifice of peace offerings.
20 And the priest shall wave them with the bread of the first fruits for a wave offering before the LORD, with the two lambs: they shall be holy to the LORD for the priest.
21 And you shall proclaim on the selfsame day, that it may be an holy convocation to you: you shall do no servile work therein: it shall be a statute for ever in all your dwellings throughout your generations.
22 And when you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not make clean riddance of the corners of your field when you reap, neither shall you gather any gleaning of your harvest: you shall leave them to the poor, and to the stranger: I am the LORD your God.
American King James Version×. This time the first ripe grain of the later wheat crop was cut and waved before God by the priest. This was also a firstfruit offering, which was holy to the LORD. God’s people are called firstfruits (James 1:18 James 1:18Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first fruits of his creatures.
American King James Version×, Revelation 14:4 Revelation 14:4These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb wherever he goes. These were redeemed from among men, being the first fruits to God and to the Lamb.
American King James Version×). It’s fitting then that God gave His Holy Spirit—which is His guarantee of resurrection to eternal life (2 Corinthians 5:5 2 Corinthians 5:5Now he that has worked us for the selfsame thing is God, who also has given to us the earnest of the Spirit.
American King James Version×)—to His Church on this Feast of Harvest.
Notably, in Leviticus 23:22 Leviticus 23:22And when you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not make clean riddance of the corners of your field when you reap, neither shall you gather any gleaning of your harvest: you shall leave them to the poor, and to the stranger: I am the LORD your God.
American King James Version×, God ends the description of this Feast of Weeks with the instructions to Israel to leave the corners of their fields un-harvested for the poor to eat. Everyone is included in the meaning of this day.
This year, the Feast of Harvest is this weekend. Read a more in-depth explanation of this Holy Day and its symbolism here.