Shabbat shalom all,
Day 49 of the counting to Shaḇu’ot… that means this coming ‘first day’ is SHAḆU’OT!
Wayyiqra/Leviticus 23:15-17 “And from the morrow after the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering, you shall count for yourselves: seven completed Sabbaths. 16 ‘Until the morrow after the seventh Sabbath you count fifty days, then you shall bring a new grain offering to יהוה. 17 ‘Bring from your dwellings for a wave offering two loaves of bread, of two-tenths of an ĕphah of fine flour they are, baked with leaven, first-fruits to יהוה.”
We began our count 7 weeks ago, on the day after the Sabbath during Matzot (Unleavened Bread), and now we have come to the end of the 7 week count:
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 16:9-12 “Count seven weeks for yourself. Begin to count seven weeks from the time you begin to put the sickle to the grain. 10 “And you shall perform the Festival of Weeks to יהוה your Elohim, according to the voluntary offering from your hand, which you give as יהוה your Elohim blesses you. 11 “And you shall rejoice before יהוה your Elohim, you and your son and your daughter, and your male servant and your female servant, and the Lĕwite who is within your gates, and the stranger and the fatherless and the widow who are in your midst, at the place where יהוה your Elohim chooses to make His Name dwell. 12 “And you shall remember that you were a slave in Mitsrayim, and you shall guard and do these laws.”
The word used for ‘count’ in our instruction to count 50 days to Shavuot is the word סָפַר saphar – Strong’s H5608 – meaning, ‘to score, mark as a tally, record, inscribe, recount, celebrate, commune’. It is used 161 times also being translated into English as, ‘tell, told, number, tell me, declared, numbering’.
This same word is used in the command to count 7 days for the cleansing of the being who has any discharge:
Wayyiqra/Leviticus 15:13 “And when he who has a discharge is cleansed of his discharge, then he shall count for himself seven days for his cleansing, and shall wash his garments, and shall bathe his flesh in running water, and be clean.”
Notice how the command is given to count, after he has been ‘cleansed’ of his discharge. He has been cleansed of his discharge yet must still count 7 days and then wash his garments and bathe in water and then be clean. This is a wonderful picture for us here as we understand the thing that Kěpha/Peter told us not to be hidden from us:
Kěpha Bet/2 Peter 3:8 “But, beloved ones, let not this one matter be hidden from you: that with יהוה one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.”
We have been cleansed by the Blood of the Lamb, and have been cleansed of our ‘discharge’ of sin/lawlessness yet we must still ‘count’ 7 days – as it is only on the 7th day (7th Millennium) when we will finally be clean and our deliverance made complete!!! In our ability to learn how to count we will continually guard ourselves from becoming defiled during the counting time! If the one who had been cleansed from his discharge had not ‘counted’ or had forgot to count, how will he have known when his being declared fully clean would come and if he did not count he may easily find himself in a place where he contaminates his cleansed state and has more discharges which would render the 7th day of no effect for him and this is a picture warning for us as described in:
Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 10:26 “For if we sin purposely after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a slaughter offering for sins.”
If we do not count we cannot be cleansed! To count means to reflect on where we are and repent of our sin. The word סָפַר saphar (spelt from right to left is with a סָ – samek, פַ – pey, ר – resh). Now when we see these symbols as written in the ancient script we get a wonderful picture of what true cleansing entails when we ‘count’:
– THE ANCIENT FORM OF WRITING THE WORD COUNT – SAPHAR!
From right to left – – samek which was pictured as a thorn; – – pey, which is pictured as an open mouth and – – resh, which was pictured as being a head of a man. When seeing the construct of this word for count in its ancient form we have a clear picture of how cleansing entails true repentance through being able to correctly count! When we bring our sins (pictured by the thorn) and confess (open mouth) to our Head (Messiah); and then He is the one who cleanses us, and then we must daily count the cost of following Him totally that we may meet Him face to face with gladness on the 7th day!
Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, He is trustworthy and righteous to forgive us the sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
As we consider this ‘counting period to 50’ we recognise how this is a great season to teach us to continually being a ‘counting people’ who daily ‘count the cost’ of following our Master and Redeemer, יהושע Messiah.
And as obedient followers of our Master and King, we take heed to be faithful in obeying the clear command to count to 50, having counted 7 completed weeks. The word Shaḇu’ot is the plural for the word שָׁבוּעַ shaḇua – Strong’s H7620 which means, ‘a period of 7 (days, years)’, which comes from the word שֶׁבַע sheḇa – Strong’s H7651 which is the Hebrew word for ‘seven’, and from this word we get the denominative verb – שָׁבַע shaḇa – Strong’s H7650 which means, ‘to swear, exchange oaths, take an oath, vow’.
Shaḇu’ot (Feast of Weeks)is therefore the feast that comes as the result of ‘counting 7 – 7’s’, but also has a great shadow picture for us, of the great promises we have in Messiah who has, by His Blood, brought us near to the ‘oaths’ made with Abraham, Yitsḥaq and Ya’aqoḇ; and Shaḇu’ot being on the 50th day after counting the 7 weeks, we see the promise of ‘release’ as 50 represents the Yoḇel/Jubilee – the year of release! So this Feast of Shaḇu’ot is a celebration and reminder that we who were once enslaved by sin, have been bought at a price and are reminded how we, as faithful counting the cost followers of Messiah, are to guard and do His commands – now that we have been brought near to that which were once far off from!
Eph’siyim/Ephesians 2:11-13 “Therefore remember that you, once gentiles in the flesh, who are called ‘the uncircumcision’ by what is called ‘the circumcision’ made in the flesh by hands, 12 that at that time you were without Messiah, excluded from the citizenship of Yisra’ĕl and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no expectation and without Elohim in the world. 13 But now in Messiah יהושע you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of the Messiah.”
As we consider the blessing and joy we now have in being brought near to the sure covenants of promise, we begin to understand more clearly how it is a joy to rejoice and celebrate these great Appointed Times of our Creator!
Tonight I want to look at the ‘new grain offering’ and what that means for us today, in how we are to live set-apart lives unto the One who called us out of darkness into His marvelous light, and so in a message tonight called, ‘BE A DAILY LIVING OFFERING’ may we be encouraged to do just that! From the passage in Wayyiqra/Leviticus 23 that we read first up, we see the term ‘new grain offering’, which is from two Hebrew root words. The Hebrew word for ‘new’ is חָדָשׁ ḥadash – Strong’s H2319 which means, ‘new, new thing, something new’ and in its primitive root form means, ‘to renew, repair, restore’, which in the hithpael form represents a reflexive action, and can carry the meaning, ‘to renew oneself’. The Hebrew root word used for ‘grain offering’ is מִנְחָה minḥah – Strong’s H4503 and means, ‘a gift, tribute, meal offering, present’. This ‘minḥah’ does not always require blood, and is most frequently referred to as the ‘grain offering’ which represents the gift being offered, that was prepared by the hands of the one bringing the gift, and given to the High Priest to present before יהוה, and a remembrance portion was taken from the offering and offered up to יהוה, and the rest was set-apart for the priests only. What we also see in terms of what this offering signifies, we are able to see in the offerings that Heḇel and Qayin offered in:
Berěshith/Genesis 4:4-5 “And Heḇel also brought of the first-born of his flock and of their fat. And יהוה looked to Heḇel and his offering, 5 but He did not look to Qayin and his offering. And Qayin was very wroth, and his face fell.”
Both of their ‘offerings’ were ‘minḥah’, and יהוה looked to Heḇel and his minḥah, but not to Qayin and his minḥah.
What we see from this is that יהוה looks to the heart and the obedience that flows from a heart filled with the true commitment and set-apartness that is called for. Heḇel displayed true heartfelt commitment, while Qayin lacked true submission. So while the minḥah offering is primarily a ‘bloodless offering’ we see here with Heḇel that his gift reflected a true gift from the inferior to the superior. What this teaches us is that we are to give our best – all the time. A powerful shadow picture here too is seen it that the offering of the Blood of The Lamb is the One offering that satisfies our ability to draw near to Elohim with a clean conscience, showing that it is not by the works of our hands that can give us access into His set-apart presence, but by loving obedience and submission to the work of His hands through His own Blood been given for us. And it is because of this amazing gift that we now have a responsibility to continue offering Him our best, offering our all, as we bring to Him the praise of being a daily living sacrifice, being transformed by the renewing of our minds, in order that we can be pleasing before His eyes that He may look to us and our offering that we bring in obedient loving obedience to His Word!
In Scripture we also take careful note that the daily ‘grain offering’ that was to be brought, was a minḥah, that was offered without leaven:
Wayyiqra/Leviticus 2:1 “And when anyone brings a grain offering to יהוה, his offering is to be of fine flour. And he shall pour oil on it, and put frankincense on it”
The ‘grain offering’ – minḥah – was a daily offering:
Wayyiqra/Leviticus 6:20 “This is the offering of Aharon and his sons, which they bring near to יהוה, beginning on the day when he is anointed: one-tenth of an ĕphah of fine flour as a daily grain offering, half of it in the morning and half of it at night.”
This is a great picture of how we are to meditate on the Torah day and night – for the one who delights to do this shall be blessed, for we shall be secure and steadfast, able to continually bear fruit!
At Shaḇu’ot we wave two loaves as the ‘new grain offering’ – and this offering of bread is with leaven!!! However, no portion of this offering is burnt on the slaughter place for a remembrance offering, for this leaven that is offered with this bread is a picture of the ‘good leaven’ of the Kingdom that has permeated the whole body of Messiah, as the old leaven of sin has been cleansed and washed away!
Luqas/Luke 13:20-21 “And again He said, “To what shall I compare the reign of Elohim? 21 “It is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of flour until it was all leavened.”
This parable teaches us that this flour that this three (3) measures of flour that leaven has been hidden in until all is leavened is a great picture of the three (3) times a year all men were to go up to Yerushalayim to celebrate the Feasts of יהוה, which collectively would cover all seven (7) Feasts; and this wave offering of the ‘Leavened bread’ at Shaḇu’ot is a clear picture of the establishment of a ‘renewed’ Covenant, sealed in the Blood of Messiah and confirmed by the outpouring of His Spirit, so that the 3 witness together – water, blood and spirit – which can also represent the 3 measures of flour:
Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 5: 6-8 “This is the One that came by water and blood: יהושע Messiah, not only by water, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is the Truth. 7 Because there are three who bear witness: 8 the Spirit, and the water, and the blood. And the three are in agreement.”
With no more need for a sacrifice of Blood, the body can be brought together as One in Messiah and presented as a pleasing offering before Elohim, in the hands of the High Priest and King, יהושע Messiah, having been fully leavened by His Word and Kingdom message!
We also are told that every offering must be seasoned with salt, and Messiah told us that we are to have salt in ourselves, which speaks of being a Covenant people, and be at peace with each other:
Marqos/Mark 9:49-50 “For everyone shall be seasoned with fire, and every offering shall be seasoned with salt. 50 “Salt is good, but if the salt becomes tasteless, how shall you season it? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace among one another.”
We must never become tasteless, by neglecting to keep His Appointed Times, nor neglect being a daily living sacrifice, lest we are found to be useless and thrown out!
In the ancient Hebrew script the word מִנְחָה minḥah is pictured as:
The letters are, from right to left, ‘mem, nun, ḥet, hey’:
The ‘mem’ מִ – is pictured as water;
The ‘nun’ נְ – is pictured as a sprouting seed;
The ‘ḥet’ חָ – is pictured as a tent wall;
They ‘hey’ ה – is pictured as a man with his arms raised.
As we look at this word in the understanding of a gift offering or tribute, we can see how this can represent our joy in bringing our lives daily before our Master and Redeemer, as a daily living sacrifice; for here in the ancient script we can see by this word the truth of how we, who are immersed in Messiah, having died to self, and are raised to new life in Him to become a part of His body, His Tabernacle as pictured by the tent wall, in order to offer up the daily praise due to his Name!!!
In the LXX (Septuagint) – which is the Greek translation of the Tanak (O.T.), the Greek word used here for the ‘grain offering’ or minḥah is the Greek word θυσία thusia – Strong’s G2378 which means, ‘a sacrifice’. Now what is very powerful for us to take note that this Greek Word is used in several texts and when we see this we can understand what Sha’ul, and Kěpha and the early emissaries were teaching us in regards to the minḥah, still being applicable to us each and every day! This word θυσία thusia, is seen in:
Romiyim/Romans 12:1 “I call upon you, therefore, brothers, through the compassion of Elohim, to present your bodies a living offering – set-apart, well-pleasing to Elohim – your reasonable worship.”
Verse 2 continues and tells us to ‘renew’ our minds – so this clearly pictures for us the ‘new grain offering’.
We also see in:
Eph’siyim/Ephesians 5:2 “And walk in love, as Messiah also has loved us, and gave Himself for us, a gift and an offering to Elohim for a sweet-smelling fragrance.”
As discussed earlier, we see in:
Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 11:4 “By belief, Heḇel offered to Elohim a greater slaughter offering than Qayin, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous, Elohim witnessing of his gifts. And through it, having died, he still speaks.”
And again we see in:
Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 13:15 “Through Him then, let us continually offer up a slaughter offering of praise to Elohim, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His Name.”
And then Kěpha tells us in:
Kěpha Aleph/1 Peter 2:4-5 “Drawing near to Him, a living Stone – rejected indeed by men, but chosen by Elohim and precious – 5 you also, as living stones, are being built up, a spiritual house, a set-apart priesthood, to offer up spiritual slaughter offerings acceptable to Elohim through יהושע Messiah.”
What we can certainly see is that Sha’ul and Kěpha knew that the grain offering (minḥah) was a picture of how we too must continue to bring our daily tribute/gift to Elohim and the esteem of His Mighty Name, as a royal and set-apart priesthood!
We are to offer ourselves daily – not just once – but daily! As a called out and cleansed chosen one, I do not just offer ‘some’ of my life, but rather I offer up my whole life/being – that is all I am and all I have to give – giving always the best I have to give – continually! And that goes for each and every one of us, as we are each a part of the unified body of Messiah.
As I mentioned earlier in Wayyiqra/Leviticus 2:1 that anyone who brings a minḥah, it must be of fine flour – which speaks of being completely ‘sifted’ of all the fleshly ways that are to be thrown off. We discussed at Bikkurim the 10 steps of the bread that is waved, going from seed that is sown to the two fresh loaves (minḥah)that are waved before יהוה, with the sifting and testing that comes as the last two steps before the baking – and we recognise how it can only be ‘fine flour’ that passes the test that can be baked! The minḥah was also to have oil poured on it as well as frankincense – which is a picture of the anointing of the Spirit and the aroma/fragrance of Messiah – which is the pleasant fragrance that we will become as a result of the total set-apart commitment we walk in daily, as we give our all, offering up our lives as a minḥah, walking with pure joy in the Spirit as the pleasant aroma of Messiah – who to some we will be the aroma of life to life, while others the aroma of death to death:
Qorintiyim Bet/2 Corinthians 2:14-16 “But thanks be to Elohim who always leads us on, to overcome in Messiah, and manifests through us the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. 15 Because we are to Elohim the fragrance of Messiah among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. 16 To the one we are the smell of death to death, and to the other the fragrance of life to life. And who is competent for these?”
The grain offering was given every morning and evening – and so too are we called to be a continual sweet fragrant offering, as we meditate on His word day and night, guarding to do all that is commanded us, in order that the true fragrance of Messiah and the anointing of His Word can be lived out as we grow in knowledge and understanding of His Word, being steadfast in the Wisdom that He gives us from above, causing us to make our complete boast in Him, and not of ourselves; in order that our arms and hands are raised in total submission and thanksgiving to our Great King.
As we consider what Shaḇu’ot pictures for us, in being a complete Bride, united as One in the hands of Messiah, we are also reminded how we each must do our part, as each member of the body has to do their part, so that we, being grounded in love, are knit together as One in Messiah. We each have a responsibility to come and offer up our lives, with the fine flour of a sincere faith, good conscience and a clean heart, sprinkled by the Blood of the Lamb, walking in His fragrance and the anointing of His Spirit, which has been poured out lavishly upon us – so that when He, our great Husband, High Priest and King, comes again and lifts us up, we shall each be a part of the completeness of the two loaves that have been permeated with His Kingdom rules, and able to be waved as an acceptable offering, without blemish, before Elohim.
Therefore Shaḇu’ot is a great reminder of what we have been given, as a called out and chosen priesthood and collective Bride of Messiah, and how each of us must keep ourselves clean by walking daily in the spirit as we cling to His Word that leads our path.
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy tells us that we are to perform this Feast according to the voluntary offering you give from your hand – and this is a clear reminder that we offer up our all and this is a voluntary sacrifice – not under compulsion or grief, but joyously as each one purposes in His heart – for יהוה loves a joyous giver – and longs to look upon us and the offering of our lives, as He did to Heḇel, whose offering by faith still speaks to us today as a reminder of this!
We are commanded to count in this season and Messiah tells us to consider the cost of following Him, and we must therefore be earnest in our dedication, as His called out, royal and set-apart priesthood to – BE A DAILY LIVING OFFERING!
יהוה bless you and guard you; יהוה make His face shine upon you and dhow favour to you; יהוה lift up His face to and give you shalom!