Nazarene Space

Why Shavuot is Always on a Sunday
James Scott Trimm

15: And you shall count unto 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 unto the morrow after the seventh sabbath shall ye number fifty days; and you shall offer a new meat offering unto YHWH.
17: Ye 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 firstfruits unto YHWH.
(Lev. 23:15-17)

The Pharisaic system places the Firstfruits offering on the day after the first annual Sabbath during Unleavened Bread (thus always placing it on Nissan 16) and then counts forward always placing Shavuot on Sivan 6.

The Essene and Sadducean system places the Firstfruits offering on the day after the WEEKLY Sabbath that takes place during Unleavened Bread (thus always placing it on a Sunday) and counts forward always placing Shavuot on a Sunday as well.

One might ask, if the Pharisaic system is correct, why would the Torah not say simply that Shavuot is on the 6th of Sivan in the same form that it tells us on what days the other festivals are? The reason is because unlike the other festivals, Shavuot does not occur on a fixed day of the month.

There is a fatal flaw in the Pharisaic system. If you are counting seven Sabbaths, and you are counting from the 15th of Nissan as an annual sabbath, then would you not also have to have counted the 21st of Nissan as a Sabbath? But then you would be counting seven Sabbaths, but six the text can only be referring to the WEEKLY sabbath. If you start counting from the day after the WEEKLY Sabbath and are NOT counting annual Sabbaths, then and only then to you count seven sabbaths and seven weeks and then you would always end your count on a "Sunday".




According to the Dead Sea Scrolls "THE TEMPLE SCROLL" that is how the Essenes counted it.

Finally if we follow the Essene system then Messiah, the firstfruits from the dead, was resurrected on the day of the firstfruits offering.

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Views: 441

Comment by Ellie Agee on May 22, 2011 at 8:55am

It seems to me that there is at least one deadly error in a Sunday Shavuot.

 God told Moses to tell the children of Israel to wash themselves and wash their clothes and come up to Him on the third day.

I have never seen God tell His people to work on the Shabbat to come up to Him on Sunday.


In my interlinear texts, the word "morrow" can be translated "NEXT" and the word "AFTER" isn't there, thus reading "the next Sabbath"

In the New Testament at the Resurrection; It says on the first DAY of the week. the word DAY isn't there and the word "week" is Sabbaton meaning plural weeks or Sabbaths. If there is a first , then there would be a second, thus the counting toward Shavuot. It looks like the Wave offering, the Resurrection and Shavuot all fall on Sabbath.

I have never seen these things addressed.


Comment by Aish Tamid on May 22, 2011 at 12:00pm
For what it's worth, this is also how the Karaites celebrate Shavuot, although their accounting will vary by a day or two because the start of their month is determined by the crescent moon vs. the Pharisaic dark moon.
Comment by James Trimm on May 22, 2011 at 1:23pm
If you take the "morrow after the 'sabbath'" to refer to the annual Sabbath at the beginning of ULB then you are already taking 'sabbath" to include annual Sabbath's in your interpretation of the passage.  You cannot have it both ways.
Comment by James Trimm on May 22, 2011 at 1:56pm

That's my point, you must use the same definition of a word to interpret that word within the same passage.  In this case the same verse and sentence.


Either "sabbath" in Lev. 23:15 means "weekly Sabbaths only" or "both weekly and annual Sabbaths" it has to mean one or the other, one cannot change its meaning in the middle of a sentence. 

Comment by James Trimm on May 22, 2011 at 1:57pm
There is evidence that the Essenes and Sadducees counted the way I have laid out as the "Nazarene System"
Comment by James Trimm on May 22, 2011 at 3:26pm
Not gunna debate Lunar Sabbath here, do that in the calendar group.
Comment by Catherine on May 22, 2011 at 5:53pm

I agree, and have kept the count this way, for many years now. Glad to see that there are more coming out with the truth. Shalom.

Comment by Larry Acheson on June 18, 2011 at 11:47am

I respectfully disagree with the author of the study "Why Shavuot is Always on a Sunday."  First, Mr. Trimm did not properly count the 50 days from the morrow of the festival Sabbath.  "Day 1" of the count (Abib 16) was on April 20th this year. If you inclusively count 50 days starting with April 20th, Pentecost falls on June 8th, NOT June 7th as shown on Mr. Trimm's calendar.

Secondly, Pentecost does not always fall on Sivan 6 for those who, like us, do not abide by modern Judaism's calculated calendar.  In fact, this year it fell on Sivan 5. For those who need proof of this, the new moon was sighted over Israel after sunset on June 3, 2011, making June 4th "Sivan 1." June 8th, then, was Sivan 5.  Again, June 8th was "day 50" when counting inclusively from Abib 16. If we had observed Pentecost on the date shown on Mr. Trimm's calendar, we would have observed it on Sivan 4.

Third, the article mentions a "fatal flaw" that did not exist for first century believers who used the Septuagint text as Scripture. I might add that it can be demonstrated that the majority of the NT borrowed its Tanakh quotations from the Septuagint translation of Scripture. According to the the Septuagint text, the mandate is not to count "seven complete sabbaths," but seven complete weeks. If the 3rd century BCE Hebrew scholars who translated the Torah into Greek were certain that the Hebrew word "Shabbat" can be understood to also mean "week," who are we to say they didn't properly understand this to be a possible rendering of the word?  Do we understand Hebrew better than they did?  Of course, another question that remains unresolved is whether or not the underlying Hebrew text from which the Septuagint was translated represents a better foundation than the Hebrew text from which the Masoretic Text is derived. Either way, those who used the Septuagint reading could not have been aware of Mr. Trimm's "fatal flaw" argument because it didn't exist for them. For those who prefer a literal understanding of "seven complete sabbaths" as presented in the Masoretic Text while avoiding the understanding as presented by the 3rd century BCE scholars who translated the Septuagint, we understand and respect your preference. However, we feel it is a shame that believers professing the "love of Messiah" often exhibit a disrespectful, smug approach when discussing an issue as controversial as the count to Pentecost. This applies to proponents of both sides of this issue.


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