21st of the 1st month 2021/2022.
Today, on this 1st day of the week after the Sabbath during the Feast of Matzot, we have come to the day of the waving of the sheaf of the first fruits, and this year, this day of the waving of the sheaf of the first, also happens to be the 7th day of Matzot too, which is the last day of Matzot and therefore, today we are able to enjoy this day in celebrating both, the closing day of Matzot as well as the omer rěshiyth (sheaf of the first).
While the waving of the sheaf of the first, will ALWAYS be on a 1st day of the week, which takes place on the morrow after the Shabbat during Matzot, the closing day of Matzot is not always on the same day, but is always on the 21st of the 1st month, which happens to fall on a 1st day of the week this year, giving us this day of double celebration!!!.
Each year I always like to share briefly with you, what the significance of this day reminds us of and the clear importance of understanding the great value of the events that took place on this 1st day of the week during Matzot, as we continue to keep this day before the face of our Mighty Master and Elohim.
I also like to share a message on the closing day of this wonderful festival, which celebrates our cleansing and being equipped to serve as a royal priesthood of Messiah!
Therefore, it is with great joy that I get to expand on these 2 days, that fall this year on the same day, in one combined message..
Much of what I am sharing with you today is, as mentioned, that which I have shared in the past, regarding this day, yet we understand the need to be continually reminded of the great work of deliverance that our Master has brought to us and the price that He paid, so that we may have abundant life in Him, being equipped to serve as a trustworthy royal priesthood..
In this message I will firstly be taking a look at the waving of the sheaf of the first and then discuss the significance of the 7th day and closing of the Feast and as we look at these two days being held together this year on one day, I will be expanding on the great lessons that we are able to continually learn and be reminded of, so that we can be a people who have truly counted the cost and continue to strive to be counted worthy before the face of our great Master and Elohim, יהושע Messiah..
THE OMER RĚSHIYTH
AND THE 7TH DAY OF MATZOT – 2021!
What is worth taking note of, is that much of what we read in the Torah that Mosheh wrote, is that we find very clear shadow pictures of our Master and Elohim, and our Master made this clear to us, as we see in the words that He spoke to the Yehuḏim, who were seeking to kill Him, because He was healing on the Sabbath and because they accused Him for making Himself equal with Elohim:
Yoḥanan/John 5:39 “You search the Scriptures, because you think you possess everlasting life in them. And these are the ones that bear witness of Me.”
Yoḥanan/John 5:46 “For if you believed Mosheh, you would have believed Me, since he wrote about Me.”.
Moshe wrote of Messiah and in the letter to the Iḇ’rim, we also take note of what is said, as seen in:
Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 9:7-9 “But into the second part the high priest went alone once a year, not without blood, which he offered for himself and for sins of ignorance of the people, 8 the Set-apart Spirit signifying this, that the way into the Most Set-apart Place was not yet made manifest while the first Tent has a standing, 9 which was a parable for the present time in which both gifts and slaughters are offered which are unable to perfect the one serving, as to his conscience”
The reason for me highlighting this passage, is to simply point out the English word ‘parable’, as seen in verse 9.
What this passage from Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 9 is teaching us, is that the design and function of the earthly Tabernacle was a parable for us, as it is one that teaches us of the redemptive work of our Master. .
The Greek word that is used here for ‘parable’ is παραβολή parabolē – Strong’s G3850 which means, ‘a placing beside, comparison, parable, proverb, symbol, type’.
This Greek word is used in the LXX (Septuagint – Greek translation of Tanak) for the Hebrew word for ‘proverbs’ which is the word מִשְׁלֵי Mishlĕ, which comes from the root noun מָשָׁל mashal – Strong’s H4912 which means, ‘a proverb, parable, a byword’, which, in its primitive root form, means, ‘to compare, to represent, be like’, and comes from the primitive root verb מָשַׁל mashal – Strong’s H4911 which means, ‘to use a proverb, speak in parables or sentences of poetry’. .
Recognising these key root words helps us to understand the words of Messiah, when He spoke ‘in parables’, by using terms such as,
“The reign of the heavens is like…”
“The reign of the heavens shall be compared to…”.
A ‘parable’ actually presents the truth very clearly, by putting a fresh light on the matter, as it is often presented in a ‘story-like’ format, which represents the message being given, using imagery that is known to the hearer, in order to illustrate, and shed light on, the result of past, current and even future events, as determined by the choices that are made.
Parables can only be understood by the attentive hearer and doer of the Word, while those who do not hear, in order to do, are never able to fully understand the teachings of our Master!
Our Master spoke in parables, and these parables are made clear to those who were ‘in Him’, for those who are ‘outside’ and are not hearing, guarding and doing the Word, will never understand of grasp the clear life-giving instructions that the Word of our Master brings.
When looking at the pictographic rendering of the Hebrew word for ‘proverbs’, which is מִשְׁלֵי Mishlĕ, we are able to clearly see the powerful work of redemption that our Master has brought us, through His Blood, as we see this word being depicted in the ancient script as follows:.
Mem – מִ:
The ancient script has this letter as and is pictured as ‘water’, and also carries the meaning of ‘chaos’ (from the storms of the sea) and can also picture that which is mighty or massive as well as the unknown.
We are also able to understand this letter as representing the nations, for the nations are often likened to the seas in Scripture. Knowing then, that this letter also represents ‘water’, we are able to see how this can render for us the meaning of ‘washing’ or ‘cleansing’..
Shin – שְׁ:
This is the letter ‘shin’ which in the ancient script is pictured as, , which is ‘two front teeth’ and carries the meaning of ‘sharp or press, chew or devour’; which is what the teeth do, and also speaks of the sharpened word that comes forth from the mouth as the teeth ‘chew’ or ‘meditate’ on the Truth, making what comes forth pure and sharp! It also carries the understanding of consuming or destroying – as teeth do to food..
Lamed – לֵ:
The ancient script has this letter as , and is pictured as a ‘shepherd’s staff’, can give the meaning of ‘to or toward’ and can represent that which pushes or pulls a flock in a direction, and can speak of authority or a yoke that is used to lead and guide, as well as the ability to bring back by Authority.
Yod – י:
The ancient script has this letter as which is ‘an arm and hand’, and carries the meaning of ‘work, make, throw’, from the primary functions of the arm and hand, and it also represents worship or giving thanks in the extending of hands as a gesture of this.
The work of one’s hands is the basic meaning of this letter!
And this letter also pictures for us the outstretched Arm and working Hand of Elohim, that is not too short to save!.
When we consider this pictograph for the word that means ‘parables’, we are able to recognise the following, being declared:
CLEANSED BY THE WASHING,
OF THE WORD OF THE SHEPHERD
WHO WORKS REDEMPTION!
Our Master and Good Shepherd came to cleanse us, through the washing of His Word, by coming in the flesh and revealing to us the arm of יהוה, which was given to us in order to know the secrets of the reign of Elohim, for the light is for those in The House!.
As we study and meditate on the Torah and are diligent in obeying the clear instructions of Elohim, and as we guard to keep His Appointed Times, we are enabled to understand the clear lessons that the Feasts of יהוה teach us, as the parables that are contained therein are made plain to us who are in Messiah, while those who are outside, a veil still remains and understanding is lacking..
With that being said, we can therefore understand that the ‘the sheaf of the first fruits’ and ‘the 7th Day of Matzot’ are also very clear parables of Messiah!
They are parables that have been perfectly presented through the clear instructions that are to be guarded and done by attentive hearers and doers of the Word, as they establish for us the proper timing that reflects the work of our Master. .
Sadly, there are many who are blinded to the importance of the Appointed Times of יהוה, as a veil remains over their eyes when ‘Mosheh’ (Torah) is read, while those who have turned to the Master, the veil of ignorance is taken away!
Qorintiyim Bět/2 Corinthians 3:14-16 “But their minds were hardened, for to this day, when the old covenant is being read, that same veil remains, not lifted, because in Messiah it is taken away. 15 But to this day, when Mosheh is being read, a veil lies on their heart. 16 And when one turns to the Master, the veil is taken away.”
Our Master made it clear to His taught ones, that they are able to understand the parables, as it has been given to those who are ‘in Him’ to know the secrets of the reign of Elohim, while to those outside, parables are heard but not understood..
As we guard to keep the Sabbaths and Appointed Times of יהוה, we get greater clarity in our understanding of His perfect Word and we gain great insight from the powerful parables that are contained within the instructions regarding His Feasts. .
Being gathered before the face of our Master today, in clear obedience to His commands,
we are looking at the waving of the sheaf of the first fruits, that was to be done on the morrow after the weekly Sabbath during Matzot/Unleavened Bread as well as the 7th Day of Matzot and the closing day of this joyous Festival of Unleavened Bread..
Before looking at the instructions given for the 7th Day of Matzot, I will first take a closer look at the instructions for the waving of the sheaf of the first, and the commands regarding this day, as found in:
Wayyiqra/Leviticus 23:9-15 “And יהוה spoke to Mosheh, saying, 10 “Speak to the children of Yisra’ĕl, and you shall say to them, ‘When you come into the land which I give you, and shall reap its harvest, then you shall bring a sheaf of the first-fruits of your harvest to the priest. 11 ‘And he shall wave the sheaf before יהוה, for your acceptance. On the morrow after the Sabbath the priest waves it. 12 ‘And on that day when you wave the sheaf, you shall prepare a male lamb a year old, a perfect one, as a burnt offering to יהוה, 13 and its grain offering: two-tenths of an ĕphah of fine flour mixed with oil, an offering made by fire to יהוה, a sweet fragrance, and its drink offering: one-fourth of a hin of wine. 14 ‘And you do not eat bread or roasted grain or fresh grain until the same day that you have brought an offering to your Elohim – a law forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings. 15 ‘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.”.
From this passage, in Wayyiqra/Leviticus 23:9-15, we are told in verse 10 that a sheaf of the first fruits of the harvest was to be brought to the priest, which he was to wave before יהוה. Then verse 11 clearly tells us that this takes place on the morrow after the Sabbath!
This waving of the sheaf of the first, will therefore ALWAYS take place on the 1st day of the week, as it is on the morrow after The Sabbath – not a sabbath-like day, but the weekly sabbath, and this of course being the Sabbath that takes place during the 7 days of Matzot, as Matzot week will always have a Sabbath. It sounds fairly simple enough and it certainly is, but the reason I am highlighting this, is that there are many who follow various teachings that neglect to follow the clear timing in Scripture, as some observe the day of the waving of the sheaf of the first, on the morrow after the set-apart day that begins the Feast which is a ‘Sabbath-like’ day and treated like a Sabbath, but is not the weekly Sabbath!
These instructions that are given in Wayyiqra/Leviticus 23, were clearly given by Elohim, in order to let these events, that take place on this day, shadow picture the clear parable of the waving of the sheaf, in order for us to understand and recognise the work that our Master did, on this day, by being both the sheaf of the first, as well as being the High Priest who would offer and wave the sheaf of the first!.
I would like us to look at a couple of the Hebrew words, in regards to the instructions of this day, in order for us to see the wonderful and powerful pictures of our Master, so that the parable of this waving of the sheaf, can be greatly understood and celebrated with joy..
For most of you, this message will be a reminder of what you have heard before, and for good reason I might add, while to some of you, this will be a fresh new teaching which continues to bring powerful insight and revelation to all of us who continue to have ears to hear with understanding, as it is coupled with an obedient doing of what one hears, aměn!.
The term or phrase, ‘Sheaf of the first fruits’ is written in Hebrew as follows:
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘sheaf’ is עֹמֶר omer – Strong’s H6016 which means, ‘sheaf, omer’ and is also understood to be a dry measure of 1/10th of an ephah. .
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘first-fruits’ is רֵאשִׁית rěshiyth – Strong’s H7225 which means, ‘beginning, chief, first fruits, foremost’ and comes from the primitive root word ראֹשׁ rosh – Strong’s H7218 which means, ‘head, beginning, top, chief’..
This day is often referred to, by some, as ‘Bikkurim’, yet what we must take note of, is that the Hebrew term ‘bikkurim’ is only found to be used, in Scripture, in reference to what will take place in 50 days’ time, at the Feast of Shaḇuoth/Feast of Weeks/Pentecost..
The Hebrew term ‘Bikkurim’ is found in Wayyiqra/Leviticus 23:17, where we are commanded to wave the two loaves of bread on Shaḇuoth:
Wayyiqra/Leviticus 23:17 “Bring from your dwellings for a wave offering two loaves of bread, of two-tenths of an ěphah of fine flour they are, baked with leaven, first-fruits to יהוה.”
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘first fruits’, here in Wayyiqra/Leviticus 23:17, is not רֵאשִׁית rěshiyth but is בִּכּוּרִים bikkurim – Strong’s H1061 which means, ‘first fruits, early ripened thing, ripe fruit’, and comes from the root word בָּכַר baḵar – Strong’s H1069 which means, ‘to bear new fruit, to constitute as first born’..
So, while the bikkurim – Strong’s H1061 is waved on Shaḇuoth, it is on the morrow after the weekly Sabbath, during Matzot, that we in fact wave the sheaf of the first, or better understood as the first of the first, or it could even be understood as the first of the bikkurim; and this waving of the first of the first, gives us the full assurance of the fullness of the harvest that is still to come.
Without the first of the first there can be no assurance of the last!
What is vitally important for us to realise, is that without this day there is no assurance that there will be a first fruit harvest and offering; and if there is no first fruit harvest and offering, then there is no assurance for the end-time harvest, making the remembrance and celebration of this day extremely important!!!.
How much is an omer?
The ‘sheaf’, which is called an עֹמֶר omer, in Hebrew, was the dry measure of food stuffs, and was 1/10th of an ĕphah, as mentioned, which is a dry measurement of grain, equalling to the approximate amount of 22 litres. .
Therefore, an עֹמֶר omer (sheaf) was around 2,2 litres dry equivalent.
Scripture defines for us the value of an omer, as seen in:
Shemoth/Exodus 16:36 “And an omer is one-tenth of an ĕphah.”
Wayyiqra/Leviticus 27:16 “And if a man sets apart to יהוה a field he owns, then your evaluation shall be according to the seed for it – a ḥomer of barley seed at fifty sheqels of silver.”
Yeḥezqěl/Ezekiel 45:11 “Let the ĕphah and the bath be of the same measure, so that the bath contains one-tenth of a ḥomer, and the ĕphah one-tenth of a ḥomer. Let their measure be according to the ḥomer.”
From these verses that I have quoted, we are able to see something very significant, in regards to the sheaf that is waved, as a first of the first!
Here, we see the terms:
omer, ĕphah and ḥomer..
We know that the sheaf is an omer, yet we take note that Wayyiqra/Leviticus 27:16 tells us that the evaluation of a field that is set apart to יהוה, is done according to the seed for it and a ḥomer of barley seed is 50 sheqels of silver!.
That being said, we take note that an ĕphah is 1/10th of a ḥomer, which would make an ĕphah of barley seed to be valued at 5 sheqels. .
Are you with me so far?
With an omer being 1/10th of and ĕphah, that would make an omer of barley seed to be valued at half a sheqel of silver! .
Why is the half a sheqel of silver important for us to understand?
Well, we are able to see the following insight being given to us, in:
Shemoth/Exodus 30:12-14 “When you take the census of the children of Yisra’ĕl, to register them, then each one shall give an atonement for his life to יהוה, when you register them, so that there is no plague among them when you register them. 13 “Everyone among those who are registered is to give this: half a sheqel according to the sheqel of the set-apart place, twenty gĕrahs being a sheqel. The half-sheqel is the contribution to יהוה. 14 “Everyone passing over to be registered, from twenty years old and above, gives a contribution to יהוה.”.
The half a sheqel was the price of atonement for each one who was registered in Yisra’ĕl and this atonement price, was to be taken ‘as a remembrance’ before יהוה.
The half-sheqel is the contribution to יהוה by everyone who was registered and the Hebrew word that is translated as ‘contribution’ is תְּרוּמָה terumah – Strong’s H8641 which means, ‘contribution, offering, allotment, heave offering, offered by lifting’, which comes from the primitive root verb רוּם rum – Strong’s H7311 which means, ‘to be high, exalted, rise, raised, set-apart’, hence we are able to see the clear connection of that which is brought and lifted up before the face of the Master, in an acknowledgment of the atonement price that He has paid by His Blood..
When looking at the pictographic rendering of the Hebrew word עֹמֶר omer – Strong’s H6016, the understanding of what I am sharing with you is made clearer, as this word is pictured as follows:
Ayin – עֶ:
The original pictograph for this letter is and is pictured as ‘an eye’ and represents the idea of ‘seeing and watching’, as well as ‘knowledge’, as the eye is the window of knowledge
Mem – מִ:
The ancient script has this letter as and is pictured as ‘water’, and also carries the meaning of ‘chaos’ (from the storms of the sea) and can also picture that which is mighty or massive as well as the unknown.
We are also able to understand this letter as representing the nations, for the nations are often likened to the seas in Scripture. Knowing then, that this letter also represents ‘water’, we are able to see how this can render for us the meaning of ‘washing’ or ‘cleansing’.
Resh – ר:
The ancient script has this letter pictured as , which is ‘the head of a man’ and carries the meaning of ‘top, beginning, first, chief’, as in being the top of the body or the head of a tribe and the one who rules; and also speaks of possession or inheritance that is decided by the chief. Our true life of praise unto יהוה, our Head, begins when we fear Him, for He is the beginning of our strength, and true separated praise entails a true fear of the One who is Chief over us!.
In light of what we are discussing here, in terms of the omer and the relation to a value of individual atonement, we can see this pictograph giving us the meaning of:.
LOOKING TO/ACKNOWLEDGE THE CLEANSING
BROUGHT BY THE HEAD
Today highlights the clear acknowledgment of who our Head is and the washing that He has brought to us, by His own blood that makes atonement for our lives, which, as individuals, we get to publicly declare this before His face, in the waving of the omer rěshiyth!
The grain that was associated with the ‘sheaf’ (עֹמֶר omer) of first fruits, was barley, as it was the first grain that would be harvested each year. .
The Hebrew word for ‘barley’ is שְׂעֹרָה seorah – Strong’s H8184 and comes from the root word שֵׂעָר sear – Strong’s H8181 which means, ‘hair, hairy’; and from this root word we get the word for goat which is שָׂעִיר saiyr – Strong’s H8163. .
Why am I mentioning all of this?
Well, the sheaf of barley that was to be waved, was estimated at the price of atonement for each person that was registered and therefore, we are able to see the relationship between the goat that is slaughtered for the sin offering, in order to make atonement, being a wonderful shadow picture of the atonement that our Master bought for us, by His own Blood, in order that we may be counted in Him!.
What I also found very interesting and certainly a significant nugget of truth, is that when looking at another word that has similar lettering to the root word, from which we get the words for goat and barley, we are able to see the clear picture of the entrance that we have been given in Messiah!
The root word שֵׂעָר sear – Strong’s H8181 is spelt with a ‘sin’(שֵׂ), ‘ayin’ (עָ) and ‘resh’ (ר).
Another Hebrew word that has the similar letters, is the word that we get for ‘gate’, which, in Hebrew, is the root word שַׁעַר sha’ar – Strong’s H8179 which means, ‘gate, door, entrance’ and comes from the root verb שָׁעַר sha’ar – Strong’s H8176 which means, ‘to think, split open, reason out, calculate, reckon, estimate’.
These words are spelt with a ‘shin’(שַׁ), ‘ayin’ (עָ) and ‘resh’ (ר).
So, when looking at these two root words, for hairy and gate, we take note that one has a ‘sin’ (שֵׂ) and the other a ‘shin’(שַׁ)! .
Why did I find this interesting and significant, in terms of this day?
Well, the Hebrew word for gate: שַׁעַר sha’ar – Strong’s H8179, is the word that is used for the ‘gate’ of the courtyard of the Tabernacle.
The Greek equivalent, that is used in the LXX (Septuagint), is the word πύλη pulē – Strong’s G4439 and this word is used in describing the narrow gate that we are to strive to enter through, as seen in our Master’s words, in:
Luqas/Luke 13:24 “Strive to enter through the narrow gate, because many, I say to you, shall seek to enter in and shall not be able.”.
Ok, so what does this have to do with barley and atonement and the sheaf (omer)?
A great deal… and I will show you why I say this!.
We all know that Messiah is the Door, and we also know that, historically, it was at the gates of a city where right-ruling and justice was administered and where a proper check was done before anyone could enter in. .
Understanding this, we are able to clearly see how our Master, therefore, has provided for us the entrance into His Reign, according to His proper right-ruling and justice. .
As I began to ponder on these various words and the significance thereof, I searched the Word and found a very powerful passage, which echoes the news of deliverance, which some will not hear, while others will.
In the following account we are able to glean some valuable insight:
Melaḵim Bět/2 Kings 7:1 “And Elisha said, “Hear the word of יהוה. Thus said יהוה, ‘About this time tomorrow a seah of fine flour for a sheqel, and two seahs of barley for a sheqel, at the gate of Shomeron.’”
Here, in this verse, we see both of the root words for barley: שְׂעֹרָה seorah and gate: שַׁעַר sha’ar, being used in Elisha’s words.
What we can identify, through the events that took place here, as a clear parable for us, is that Elisha was proclaiming ‘the good news of deliverance’ to the people in Shomeron.
They were surrounded by the Arameans and were facing a severe famine and a lack of provision, as they were under the immense attack and threat of the enemy.
One of the officers of the sovereign did not believe this good news and died in the gate, as he was trampled underfoot!
I encourage you to go and read this account, of how it took four leprous men, who went to see if they could find food and when they came to the enemy camp the enemy was gone, but all the provisions had been left behind!
What you will notice, from the words of Elisha, is that the price that was being declared for wheat and barley, was a lot lower than it had been and this is why some did not believe. .
What is worth taking note of here, is the relationship between the barley and the gate.
The price of two measures of barley was 1 sheqel, making the price of one measure of barley a half of a shekel, which is the price for atonement for each person, as one measure, or omer, of barley is a half a sheqel!
This is a clear parable of deliverance that was being proclaimed through the events that took place here! .
Who has believed our report, we might say, as we consider these events, especially in light of this day of the waving of the sheaf of the first, that we are gathered together in His Name, in order to celebrate and proclaim as Good News!
For we are equipped to understand and acknowledge the entrance into the reign of our Master has been opened to us, by His life, death, resurrection and the waving of the sheaf of the first!
The omer price has been paid and we can legally be grafted into Messiah, as His Body, in order to serve Him forever – and have the assurance that ‘if we stay in Him’, we shall be lifted up when He comes again!!!.
Therefore, an omer, or sheaf, also symbolises a single person and is, in fact, a picture of oneself being turned over to יהוה, for the process of becoming useful to His community – His Bride!
Shemoth/Exodus 16:16 “This is the word which יהוה has commanded: ‘Let every man gather it according to each one’s need, an omer for each being, according to the number of beings. Let every man take for those who are in his tent.’”
Shemoth/Exodus 16:36 “And an omer is one-tenth of an ĕphah.”.
In the Hebrew text the phrase, ‘Wave the sheaf before יהוה’ is written as follows:
וְהֵנִיף אֶת־הָעֹמֶר לִפְנֵי יהוה
veheyniyph eth haomer liphney יהוה
This phrase can literally be expressed as –
“…and wave/present the sheaf/omer before the face of יהוה”.
The Hebrew that is translated as ‘wave’ comes from the root word נוּף nuph – Strong’s H5130 and its fuller meaning is to, ‘move to and fro, shake back and forth, sprinkle, wave’ and is essence carries the broader meaning ‘to present’.
It is from this root verb נוּף nuph – Strong’s H5130 that we get the Hebrew word for the ‘wave offering’, which is תְּנוּפָה tenuphah – Strong’s H8573 which means, ‘a swinging, waving, offering’, which is done to the first fruits on Shaḇuoth..
This waving of the sheaf offering of the first of the first, was a public acknowledgement of the great and perfect goodness, provision and protection of יהוה, and was done with an assured belief in the One who is the provider for all we need! .
This day of the omer rěshiyth is a day where each one gets to publicly declare their acknowledgment of Elohim, their Redeemer and Saviour and Provider, and they get to do it ‘physically’, with their goods!
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 3:9-10 “Esteem יהוה with your goods, and with the first-fruits of all your increase; 10 then your storehouses shall be filled with plenty, and your vats overflow with new wine.”
Yeḥezqěl/Ezekiel 44:30 “And the first of all the first-fruits of all, and every contribution of all, of all your contributions, belong to the priests. And the first of your ground meal you give to the priest, so that a blessing rests on your house.”
In fact, I will even go so far as to say, that if you are not bringing a wave offering to the priest then you are not guarding this day as commanded. .
What we are to remember and celebrate, is that Messiah, as High Priest, offered up, on this day of omer rěshiyth, the wave offering the first of the first fruits, when He presented those who were raised after His resurrection! .
This offering of the sheaf of the first fruits, secures for us the fullness of the harvest to come, for without this wave offering of the sheaf of the first, we would not have complete assurance of the promise!
And so, what took place on this day, assures us that we have an expectation that is sure and will not fail, as it is waved before the face of the One in whom we put our trust and who is our trust!.
In Bemiḏbar/Numbers 8:11 we see how Aharon was to ‘wave’, that is: ‘to present’, the Lěwites before יהוה, as a ‘wave offering’ from the children of Yisra’ĕl, and from this very clear picture, we are able to see how Messiah, as High Priest and first of the first, being first born of all creation and first born from among the dead, presented the first of the first fruits of the new priesthood, in the order of Malkitseḏeq – on this day!!!.
This, in itself, is a powerful revelation, as to the great significance of this day, as we recognise that when Qayapha, who was high priest at the time of Messiah’s death, tore his garments just before the sentencing and death of Messiah, he, in a manner of speaking, tore away his office of high priest, in this act of rebellion and, in the process, a clear change of the priesthood would take place and Messiah could therefore become the True High Priest forever, in the order of Malkitseḏeq, after His death and resurrection and it is His Blood that would be used to cleanse and set-apart His own priesthood forever and not the blood of bulls and goats, which were a shadow picture of the coming good matters of our Great Redeemer and King!.
By His life, death and resurrection, He, as High Priest, presented the first of the first fruits before the Father, and symbolically therefore, presents us as a royal and set-apart priesthood that is able to serve and worship the Father in Spirit and Truth!
When we consider this, we realise how significant this day was, and is for us to continually remember – causing us to remember that we are a royal, chosen and set-apart priesthood and should therefore live as such!.
As a called out and set-apart priesthood that has been cleansed by the Blood of Messiah, we get to present our lives, as a wave offering, before the Master and publicly declare our loving-commitment to Him, shown in the wave offering that we present before His face, in total belief/faith! .
This day of the omer rěshiyth reminds us very clearly that we are to put יהוה first, and in putting Him first, we declare our all unto Him!
יהושע has fully met the requirements for these Feasts that we are celebrating and speaking of right now – for we remember that He is our Passover Lamb and He is the Bread of Life and He is the First Fruit offering and He is our High Priest who waves the omer rěshiyth (First of the first) of souls to everlasting life!.
יהושע was resurrected at the end of Shabbat, at the start of the first day of the week (at sunset), offering Himself as the first of the first fruits to all generations, by fulfilling the sign of Yonah (Jonah), being 3 days and 3 nights in the heart of the earth, becoming the first born among those who sleep!
יהושע is the head of the first fruit of the Barley Harvest that was ripe and ready to be presented and waved before the face of Elohim! .
Let us look at a few other Scripture references that speak of Messiah, as the ‘first’:
1. יהושע is the firstborn of Miryam/Mary:
Mattithyahu/Matthew 1:23-25 ““See, a maiden shall conceive, and she shall give birth to a Son, and they shall call His Name Immanu’ĕl,” which translated, means, “Ěl with us.” 24 And Yosĕph, awaking from his sleep, did as the messenger of יהוה commanded him and took his wife, 25 but knew her not until she gave birth to her Son, the first-born. And he called His Name יהושע.”.
2. יהושע is the first-born of the Father:
Iḇ‘rim/Hebrews 1:6 “And when He again brings the first-born into the world, He says, “Let all the messengers of Elohim do reverence to Him.” .
3. יהושע is the firstborn over all creation:
Qolasim/Colossians 1:15 “who is the likeness of the invisible Elohim, the first-born of all creation.”..
4. יהושע is the firstborn from the dead:
Ḥazon/Revelation 1:5 “and from יהושע Messiah, the trustworthy witness, the first-born from the dead, and the ruler of the sovereigns of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood,”.
5. יהושע is the firstborn of many brethren:
Romiyim/Romans 8:29 “Because those whom He knew beforehand, He also ordained beforehand to be conformed to the likeness of His Son, for Him to be the first-born among many brothers.” .
6. יהושע is the first fruit of those who have fallen asleep:
Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 15:20 “But now Messiah has been raised from the dead, and has become the first-fruit of those having fallen asleep.”.
7. יהושע is the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End, the Aleph and the Taw:
Ḥazon/Revelation 22:13 “I am the ‘Aleph’ and the ‘Taw’, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.”.
8. יהושע is the head of the body, the assembly – First in all:
Qolasim/Colossians 1:18 “And He is the Head of the body, the assembly, who is the beginning, the first-born from the dead, that He might become the One who is first in all.”.
He is the Most Set-Apart One of ELOHIM and He is both the first born of ELOHIM and the first fruit unto ELOHIM.
In Messiah, the assurance that we have, is that ‘in Him’ we are redeemed:
The Feast of Pěsaḥ/Passover speaks of our redemption, Matzot/Unleavened Bread speaks of our sanctification – that is – being set-apart and cleansed from leaven of sin; and the waving of the Sheaf of the First Fruits, is the assurance of our promise of eternal life and resurrection in Messiah.
Blessed are those who have part in the first resurrection for the second death has no power over them!!!
Ḥazon/Revelation 20:6 “Blessed and set-apart is the one having part in the first resurrection. The second death possesses no authority over these, but they shall be priests of Elohim and of Messiah, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.”
Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 15:20-24 “But now Messiah has been raised from the dead, and has become the first-fruit of those having fallen asleep. 21 For since death is through a man, resurrection of the dead is also through a Man. 22 For as all die in Aḏam, so also all shall be made alive in Messiah. 23 And each in his own order: Messiah the first-fruits, then those who are of Messiah at His coming, 24 then the end, when He delivers up the reign to Elohim the Father, when He has brought to naught all rule and all authority and power.”
This passage from Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians15, is a wonderful passage that Sha’ul is writing, which describes what we are truly celebrating, on the waving of the sheaf of the First Fruits – for Messiah is the first fruit among those who have fallen asleep (died) and it is in Messiah that we are made alive.
This passage is read, as a commentary on the order of resurrection, but we also take note that Sha’ul is also referring here to the waving of the sheaf of the First Fruits: in that יהושע, in being the first to be raised, has fulfilled this Feast, by securing the promise of the future harvest to be raised when He comes again.
So, at this Feast, we celebrate the resurrection of יהושע and in doing so, we also celebrate the assurance of the future completed resurrection of His Bride, which is to come when He comes again, as each are made alive in Messiah, each in his own order!.
יהושע’s resurrection was, in effect, a sheaf wave offering that was presented before the Father, as first fruits of the harvest to come!
He also, as High Priest, presented His sheaf of the first-fruits offering to the Father on this day..
Mattithyahu/Matthew 27:52-53 “and the tombs were opened, and many bodies of the set-apart ones who had fallen asleep were raised, 53 and coming out of the tombs after His resurrection, they went into the set-apart city and appeared to many.”
These verses, from Mattithyahu/Matthew 27, are part of a passage in Scripture that is not often understood by most and is very quickly skipped through, due to a lack of understanding.
יהושע presented a waving of the sheaf of the first fruit offering of souls unto the Father, as He presented those who were raised, as a sheaf of the first fruits.
Those graves, that were opened when He died, lay open for 3 days and 3 nights and after His resurrection, the dead from the tombs that were opened came out of the tombs and appeared unto many! .
Can you picture the scene for a moment and imagine what this must have been like? .
At His death the temple veil was torn and there was a huge earthquake and the tombs of many were opened and they stayed open for 3 days and 3 nights until יהושע was raised, after which the dead of those who were in those tombs came out and appeared to many.
These raised ones were then taken up the next day when יהושע ascended and presented the sheaf of the first fruit offering unto the Father, on the morrow after the weekly Sabbath during Matzot – fulfilling this Feast and its requirements:
Wayyiqra 23:12 “And on that day when you wave the sheaf, you shall prepare a male lamb a year old, a perfect one, as a burnt offering to יהוה.” .
He is our High Priest who presented the wave offering, being the ‘year old perfect lamb’ who ascended up to the Father!.
Yoḥanan/John 20:17 “יהושע said to her, “Do not hold on to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father. But go to My brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My Elohim and your Elohim.’”
That day, He ascended and presented the sheaf of the first fruit offering and the next evening, He came and stood in the midst of His taught ones and breathed on them and they received the Set-Apart Spirit – which was also a sheaf of the first fruit of the Spirit, that would later be poured out on many at Shaḇuoth, as the first fruits of many who would be grafted in to the Bride of Messiah!
A sheaf of the first fruit of the bride of Messiah, and a commissioned and equipped priesthood, in the order of Malkitseḏeq!
YOU SHALL COUNT!!!
It is also on this day of omer rěshiyth that we are also commanded to begin our COUNT TO 50!!!
We are commanded to count 7 completed Sabbaths – until the morrow after the 7th Sabbath – which is 50 days from omer rěshiyth – where we will celebrate Shaḇuoth!.
The number 50 is symbolic of the Yoḇel and signifies the release and so, in our counting to 50, we are reminded that, as a cleansed and presented priesthood, we are to count the cost of following the Master and possess our lives by endurance until He comes again!.
The Hebrew root word that is used for ‘count’, in our instruction to count 50 days to Shaḇuoth, is the word סָפַר saphar – Strong’s H5608 which means, ‘to score, mark as a tally, record, inscribe, recount, celebrate, commune’.
This root word סָפַר saphar is the denominative root verb of the word סֵפֶר sepher – Strong’s H5612 which means, ‘a missive, document, writing, book, scroll, letters’, and is used to describe the Book of the Torah!.
As we consider the clear importance of this commanded ‘counting period to 50’ we recognise how this is a great season that teaches us to continually be a ‘counting people’, who daily ‘count the cost’ of following our Master and Redeemer, יהושע Messiah. .
And to be faithful in being a ‘counting people’, we need to realise that we cannot do this without the Word of Elohim – as we are to meditate on His Torah day and night and allow this סֵפֶר sepher or Book of the Torah to lead us each and every day:
Yehoshua/Joshua 1:8 “Do not let this Book of the Torah depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you guard to do according to all that is written in it. For then you shall make your way prosperous, and act wisely.”
If we do not count, we cannot be cleansed!
To count means to reflect on where we are and repent of our sin.
This word is used 161 times, also being translated into English as, ‘tell, told, number, tell me, declared, numbering’.
This Hebrew word סָפַר saphar – Strong’s H5608 (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 pictographic script, we get a wonderful picture of what it means to truly count the cost of being built up in righteousness: .
THE ANCIENT FORM OF WRITING THE WORD “COUNT/RELATE/TELL” – SAPHAR!
Samek – סָ:
The ancient script has this letter pictured as , which is a thorn and has the meanings of ‘pierce and sharp’ and can also carry the meaning of ‘a shield’, as thorn bushes were used by shepherds to build a wall to enclose their flock in the night against the attack of predators. Another meaning would be ‘to grab hold of’ as a thorn is a seed that clings to hair and clothing.
The Word of Elohim is sharper than a doubled edged sword and when we find that we do not grab hold of His Word and allow His Word to be our shield of faith, we may find ourselves being pierced through with sin and compromise! Our praise we have for our Master is that in Him we are upheld forever, for He is the shield of our Help, as He Himself took the crown of thorns upon His head, bearing our sin and shame that we may be found to be shielded in Him! It can also give a meaning of ‘turning’, for it is the thorn that turns us away from danger to that which is secure..
Pey – פָּ:
This is the letter ‘pey’, which is pictured as , which is an ‘open mouth’ and carries the meaning of ‘speak and blow’, from the functions of the mouth, and can have the meaning of ‘scatter’ by blowing. It can also mean sword or beard as in things with edges, as well as a region in depicting a place with edges or boundaries. It also can represent that which has been spoken forth from the words of one’s mouth, as being established!..
Resh – ר:
The ancient script has this letter pictured as , which is ‘the head of a man’ and carries the meaning of ‘top, beginning, first, chief’, as in being the top of the body or the head of a tribe and the one who rules; and also speaks of possession or inheritance that is decided by the chief. Our true life of praise unto יהוה, our Head, begins when we fear Him, for He is the beginning of our strength, and true separated praise entails a true fear of the One who is Chief over us!
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 and relate the Truth to others!
This ancient grouping of letters can carry various meanings for us, and in terms of being a people who count and who relate the Truth of the Word to our children, we realise that this can only be done when we:.
GRAB HOLD OF THE WORD OF THE HEAD!.
This picture, in terms of counting, teaches us that our shield and refuge is in our Head and Master, who teaches us through His Word to number our days and we recognise the following:
When we bring our sins (pictured by the thorn) and confess them (open mouth) to יהושע our Messiah (head of a man); then He is the one who cleanses us! .
Guys, this is a season and time to prepare – so let us prepare with great joy, as we celebrate and recognise the very work that our Master and Saviour has done, in becoming our Passover Lamb, our First born from the dead and the very Living Bread, of which we are His body, and in Him we are one, able to be presented to Elohim as a pleasing offering!.
יהושע is the omer rěshiyth that was waved and He is also our High Priest that waved the omer rěshiyth!
He is the Bread from heaven who paid the atonement price for us all, so that we can be numbered in Him.
He is the first fruit and He is the beginning and the end!
He is our Deliver and Redeemer of our beings. .
If we do not properly count the cost of following our Master, then we may end up being unable to finish what we so eagerly started!
And this is why this season of counting to 50 is extremely important, in teaching us to number our days and walk in the wisdom of Elohim!
This commanded period of counting is truly a time of assessing our own lives, as we become more and more integrated into His Body being able to be presented before Elohim. .
The English word ‘count’ you will find being used 31 times in the Scriptures 2009 Edition, and is translated from 4 different Hebrew words, which are
1 – מָנָה manah – Strong’s H4487 which means, ‘weigh out, allot, enrol, appoint, number, prepare, set, tell’.
It is used 28 times and is also translated as number, appointed, prepare.
It is first used in the promise given to Aḇram in:
Berěshith/Genesis 13:16 “And I shall make your seed as the dust of the earth, so that, if a man could count the dust of the earth, then your seed also could be counted.” .
2 – סָפַר saphar – Strong’s H5608 which means, ‘to score, mark as a tally, record, inscribe, recount, celebrate, commune’, which we have already taken a look at in the ancient script. It is used 161 times also being translated into English as tell, told, number, tell me, declared, numbering..
3 – כָּסַס kasas – Strong’s H3699 which means, ‘estimate, compute, divide, make your count’.
It is used only once, which is in:
Shemoth/Exodus 12:4 “And if the household is too small for the lamb, let him and his neighbour next to his house take it according to the number of the beings, according to each man’s need you make your count for the lamb.”.
4 – חָשַׁב ḥashaḇ – Strong’s H2803 which means, ‘to plait, weave, plot, think, regard, value, compute’.
It is used 124 times and is also translated into English as ‘intended, thought, the designer’..
Why am I expanding on all of these various root words, that we find being translated as ‘count’?
Well, it is extremely important for us to gain a greater understanding as to what it means ‘to count’.
The Hebrew word that is used for ‘count’, in our instruction to count 50 days to Shaḇuoth, comes from the root word סָפַר saphar, as already discussed.
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 who had been cleansed of his discharge, had to still count 7 days and then wash his garments and bathe in water and then would 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 Bět/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 we have been cleansed of our ‘discharge’ of sin/lawlessness, yet we must still ‘count’ 7 days, so to speak, 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 would he have known when his being declared fully clean would come and if he did not count, he may have easily found himself in a place where he contaminated his cleansed state and had 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!
In the Greek text, we also see various words being used to translate into English as ‘count’.
The first Greek word that I would like to look at, is the word ψηφίζω psēphizō – Strong’s G5585 which means, ‘to count or calculate, to compute’ and this root word is used only 2 times in the Renewed Writings and helps understand our need to be able to count with understanding.
On the topic of counting, and taking up and bearing our stake as we should, יהושע uses the following imagery in the following parable:
Luqas/Luke 14:28-30 “For who of you, wishing to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? 29 Otherwise, when he has laid the foundation, and is unable to finish it, all who see it begin to mock him, 30 saying, ‘This man began to build and was unable to finish.’”.
When we become followers of יהושע we may even ask,
“Do I have what it takes to finish?”
And typically, the answer is always no!
But it is not our resources that are necessary, for Elohim provides all we need for life and reverence.
What יהושע is talking about here, is total commitment, which is a picture of an enduring persevering heart, which does not give up when the times get bad and the going gets rough.
Do not be one who gives up on following wholeheartedly after יהושע; for if you do, others will then look on and say that you began but couldn’t finish or follow through what you started.
Let me tell you this: a true follower of יהושע does not shrink back and get destroyed, even when setbacks come, but rather, a true follower is one who believes and is saved, one who lives by belief with works (Torah observance), even when it is rough and the chips are down! .
Often people are initially committed, but only for a while and then, through various reasons, they drift away and quickly turn away from following the Truth, as they walk away from יהוה when circumstances become a little tough.
Do not be one of those.
Are you willing to pay the price for true discipleship?.
The other time we see this word ψηφίζω psēphizō – Strong’s G5585 being used is in:
Ḥazon/Revelation 13:18 “Here is the wisdom! He who has understanding, let him calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man, and his number is 666.”
This is pretty awesome stuff!!!
Our need to properly count, requires us to have wisdom and understanding, and as we know, we are instructed to get wisdom and understanding:
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 4:5 “Get wisdom! Get understanding! Do not forget, and do not turn away from the words of my mouth.”.
We now begin to grasp a little more of our need to be able to ‘count’ and to ‘count’ correctly, so as to gain a proper and clear understanding of the Word, so that we are able to calculate and discern what is the number and mark of the beast, who has attempted to change the Appointed Times (Feasts of יהוה) and Laws (which would amount to lawlessness), and has caused so many to be drunk and unable to count correctly, causing them to not be properly grafted in to the True Body of Messiah! .
If we do not properly count the cost of following our Master then we may end up being unable to finish what we so eagerly started!
And this is why this season of counting to 50 is extremely important in teaching us to number our days and walk in the wisdom of Elohim!.
Another Greek word that is translated as ‘count’ is ἡγέομαι hēgeomai – Strong’s G2233 which means, ‘to lead, command, consider, account, suppose, think carefully upon, count’.
This is used 30 times and is also translated as ‘governor, think, thought, esteem’.
It is the word that is used in a verse that we all have heard many times, especially when facing tough times:
Ya’aqoḇ/James 1:2 “My brothers, count it all joy when you fall into various trials.”
Ya’aqoḇ did not waste time in his letter to make it clear we are to be a counting people; and when we link the concept of counting to Shaḇuoth, which is a joyful harvest feast of the wheat being brought in and the joy of the bread being made, as a pleasing wave offering unto Elohim, we see how Ya’aqoḇ encourages us to count it joy – for the end result is worth it and we ought to go through the counting period, until our Messiah comes again, with great joy and perseverance!.
When we look more closely at our Master’s commands, to count the cost of following Him, we recognize that it does come with some real heavy decisions to consider!
In fact, He tells us that if any one of us comes to Him and does not hate father and mother, and wife, and children, and brothers, and sisters, and his own life too, is unable to be His taught one; and whoever does not bear his stake and follow after Him is unable to be His taught one.
Hard words they may be, but what He is saying in effect is that we are to put our total trust in Him and not in others and to do that may cost us some things that we will find hard to count as lost! .
When we count the cost of walking in Him, we will be hated!
Mattithyahu/Matthew 10:22 “And you shall be hated by all for My Name’s sake. But he who shall have endured to the end shall be saved.”
As much as none of us like to or want to be hated – we must consider the cost of being made into the Bread/Body of Messiah, which is presented before Elohim; and Shaḇuoth is a picture of the Yoḇel release that will be fulfilled at The Second Coming of Messiah on Yom Kippur, where He will take up His ready Bride, and we have this very assurance by the fact that the sheaf of the first fruit offering has already been given as a guarantee of the full harvest that will be brought in..
While we are to be counting during this period, we find, and start to see, how this is a great training for us to readily be a counting people, every single day, who will gladly ‘work out our deliverance’ with fear and trembling!
In the process of counting, we also see the need for us to be an alert, and active people in our counting.
The time of counting to 50, is about having been rid of sin and lawlessness, as pictured through Pěsaḥ and Matzot; and now, in this period of counting, we are being permeated with the good leaven of the Kingdom that many will taste and see that יהוה our Saviour is Good!.
Learning to count, as commanded, gives us wisdom and understanding that we may be a united loaf in Messiah, which we will look at and celebrate this coming Shaḇuoth – in 50 days’ time!!!
Counting requires a concentrated effort and it requires a daily choice of choosing life over death, blessing over curse and the joy that this responsibility brings must result in our alert ability to call many out of darkness – for we know the times – after all we can now count!
The only way to be a part of his body is to ‘count’..
With the sheaf of the first having been waved, by our Master Himself, we recognise that the harvest has therefore begun and it is plentiful.
We are to ask the Father of the harvest for workers!
As we acknowledge this day and the work of our Master, we also publicly declare before His face that we will be workers in the harvest, as we lift up our hands before His face and bring before Him our declaration of our best, as symbolised by our act of faith, in bringing a sheaf of the first before His face..
As we give remembrance to this day, and the importance thereof, may we be reminded to put first things first and make sure that our priorities are in proper order, as we put our Master and Elohim first in all!.
On this day of the waving of the omer rěshiyth, what do you bring before the face of יהוה?
יהושע has indeed fully met the requirements of this Feast and as Yoḥanan says, we who claim to stay in Him ought also to walk even as He walked. .
So, we too must come and give our best, declare our best, giving our all unto יהוה, being continually prepared to be part of a Bride who makes herself ready – a Bride that is rid of the leaven of sin, yet is becoming permeated with the good leaven of the Kingdom, and this day is a wonderful opportunity in declaring, your commitment, thanksgiving and determined belief in the Master!
As each ‘sheaf’ offering of the first is waved, we give a great shout and thanks to our Master, Elohim and King, for lifting us up from death to life, enabled to serve Him as a set-apart priesthood.
May this waving of the first and the symbolic lifting of our hands, before our Elohim, remind us of how we are His and that we are to serve Him daily in Spirit and Truth!.
Before doing any waving of any omer rěshiyth offerings, let us also consider the clear fact that we are also gathered here on THE 7TH DAY OF MATZOT, as a closing festival for this wonderful Feast..
Bemiḏbar/Numbers 28:25 “And on the seventh day you have a set-apart gathering, you do no servile work.”
This is a set-apart day and closes the Feast that commemorates the redeeming work of our Master and Elohim, who shed His blood for many and then rose again so that we may have life in Him and be equipped to be made ready, into His Perfect Bride that He is coming back for..
So, what is it about this 7th day of Matzot, besides it being the omer rěshiyth this year, that we are to recognise as significantly different from the rest?
Besides it being called as a Sabbath-like day and a commanded set-apart gathering, some may often ask what is unique about this day. .
Firstly, we know that the Hebrew word that is used here for ‘seventh’ is שְּׁבִיעִי shâḇiy`iy – Strong’s H7637 which simply means ‘seventh’, and comes from the word שֶׁבַע sheḇa – Strong’s H7651 which means, ‘seventh’ which comes from the primitive root verb שָׁבַע shaḇa – Strong’s H7650 which means, ‘to swear, exchange oaths, take an oath, vow’..
An ‘oath’ is typically an obligation that is taken upon yourself rather than that which is imposed upon you.
To “swear”, in Scripture (which is also the root word שָׁבַע shaḇa), was to give one’s sure and promised unbreakable word in testimony, that the one swearing would faithfully perform some promised deed, or that he would faithfully refrain from some evil act. .
Occasionally, we see in Scripture that one ‘swore an oath’ that he freely acknowledged a truth and would continue to acknowledge it in the future by sticking to what he has heard. In Hebrew, when one promises to complete something, it is considered ‘done’ and the word could be depended upon, as that what was said would be accomplished. .
Our Master’s Word shall not return void, for the work that He who has begun a good work in you shall perfect it until the day of יהושע Messiah.
We also take note that the 7th day of Creation, the day in which our Master completed His work and rested, clearly shadow pictures for us His Day when He comes, in the 7th Millennium, to complete His work so that we can all enter into His perfect rest forever! .
The number 7 represents for us completion or fullness, as pictured through the 7 days of the week, the 7 Feasts/Appointed Times of יהוה, the seven assemblies in Ḥazon/Revelation, the counting of 7’s to Shaḇuoth, the seven lamps of the Menorah/Lampstand which shines light on the showbread table..
But what is it about this 7th day of Matzot, a day which can fall on any day of the week?.
I briefly want to share some insight into what I believe took place this day, based on Scriptural accounts, that gives us a better understanding as to the importance of guarding to keep the Appointed Times of יהוה.
We guard to keep this Feast of Pěsaḥ/Matzot as we remember the work that our Master has done in paying the price for our sin and we are also told to remember how יהוה delivered Yisra’ĕl from bondage in Mitsrayim and from the harsh slavery that they had been bound to, which pictures for us the prefect shadow picture of our release from bondage to sin and lawlessness! .
As we therefore take a look at the events that took place when Yisra’ĕl was delivered from Mitsrayim we gain some insight as to what took place on this day during their exodus!
Let us take a quick look at:
Bemiḏbar/Numbers 33:2-8 “And Mosheh wrote down the starting points of their departures at the command of יהוה, and these are their departures according to their starting points: 3 So they departed from Raʽmeses in the first month, on the fifteenth day of the first month, on the morrow of the Passover the children of Yisra’ĕl went out with boldness before the eyes of all the Mitsrites, 4 and the Mitsrites were burying all their first-born, whom יהוה had smitten among them. Also on their mighty ones יהוה had executed judgments. 5 Then the children of Yisra’ĕl departed from Raʽmeses and camped at Sukkoth. 6 And they departed from Sukkoth and camped at Ětham, which is on the edge of the wilderness. 7 And they departed from Ětham and turned back to Pi Haḥiroth, which is east of Baʽal Tsephon. And they camped near Miḡdol. 8 And they departed from before Haḥiroth and passed over through the midst of the sea into the wilderness, went three days’ journey in the Wilderness of Ětham, and camped at Marah.”
Here we are able to see part of the recorded journey that took place from Mitsrayim and I have simply read to verse 8 for a specific reason, as we take note of the following scenario from the written text that we have, which makes perfect sense in teaching us a valuable lesson in regards to the work of our Master and our need to be working out our deliverance with fear and trembling..
Yisra’ĕl departed from Ra’meses on the 15th of the 1st month and then camped at Sukkoth. The Hebrew root word used for ‘camped’ is חָנָה ḥanah – Strong’s H2583 which carries the meaning of, ‘to decline, bend down, encamp, pitched, remain camped, lay siege against’. They pitched their tents and rested!
They then departed from Ra’meses on the 16th on the 1st month and camped at Ětham.
They then departed from Ětham on the 17th and camped at Miḡdol.
They then departed from Miḡdol/Haḥiroth on the 18th and they passed over through the Sea of Reeds.
This would have been the 4th day of Matzot. After having come through the Sea of Reeds they went for 3 days and then camped at Marah.
After 3 days journey they would have now come to Marah and camped on the 21st of the 1st month, this being the 7th day of Matzot..
While there may be various debates, in regards to where the crossing of the Sea of Reeds took place and, by some estimations, it may seem impossible for the journey from Ra’meses to Marah to be only 7 days, what I am sharing with you today is what I firmly believe is given to us in the text, as a parable, regarding this time of year, in order to teach us some vital lessons in our walk/journey of belief in our Master and Elohim. .
Based on the text, we see a clear pattern of ‘point of departure then camping, point of departure and camping’ and then, between the Sea of Reeds crossing and Marah, there is a clear time given of 3 days journey before a camping took place and therefore, we are able to deduce from Moshe’s account, a parable type that could be further understood in expanding on the importance of the Appointed Times of יהוה.
It is therefore with this concept of a parable in mind, that I ask you to bear with me in presenting this this picture that we have, of the beginning of the exodus, and glean some valuable insight from the stop at Marah and see how it can relate a powerful message for us today, in terms of this 7th day of Matzot!.
What took place at Marah?
Shemoth/Exodus 15:22-26 “And Mosheh brought Yisra’ĕl from the Sea of Reeds, and they went out into the Wilderness of Shur. And they went three days in the wilderness and found no water. 23 And they came to Marah, and they were unable to drink the waters of Marah, for they were bitter. So the name of it was called Marah. 24 And the people grumbled against Mosheh, saying, “What are we to drink?” 25 Then he cried out to יהוה, and יהוה showed him a tree. And when he threw it into the waters, the waters were made sweet. There He made a law and a right-ruling for them, and there He tried them. 26 And He said, “If you diligently obey the voice of יהוה your Elohim and do what is right in His eyes, and shall listen to His commands and shall guard all His laws, I shall bring on you none of the diseases I brought on the Mitsrites, for I am יהוה who heals you.”.
After the victory at the Sea of Reeds, Yisra’ěl went on a 3-day journey and came to Marah, where they complained, as they had no water as the water at Marah was bitter and so, the people grumbled and rebelled against Mosheh.
Marah is a lesson for us in rebellion against the Word of Elohim and putting trust in His provision. Marah still exists today. There is a village there. The water is still bitter.
But, guess what?
The bitter water is not harmful.
In fact, it has health benefits in that it kills parasites and bad bacteria in the digestive system, while not harming the good bacteria.
Could it be that יהוה wanted to cleanse their bodies internally from the effects of Mitsrayim?.
What we take note of here, is that the waters were made sweet, when Mosheh threw the tree into the waters, which is a perfect picture of how the sacrifice of our Master has made our bitterness sweet!
We also take note that the Word of Elohim is made sweet in Him.
Many who do not acknowledge who our Master, Elohim and Saviour is, find the Word too bitter to swallow.
Yet what we take note of on this day, is that a conditional promise was given to Yisra’ĕl! .
In verse 26 we see some very clear covenant language being spoken, as יהוה said that if they diligently obeyed His voice and did what was right in His eyes, listen to His commands and guard His laws, then He would bring none of the diseases that He brought on the Mitsrites upon them and He declared that He is יהוה who heals!
This same conditional clause applies to each of us who are grafted into Messiah by His own blood! .
We have a deliverance to work out with fear and trembling and to do that we are to be on guard against bitterness and rebellion to His Word.
They had been delivered and here, on this 7th day, as a clear parable picture for us today, they were given a clear conditional clause to which they would swear to guard to do! .
The complete work of our Healer has been made known to us, and His work comes with His clear conditions of obedience and when we guard to keep His Word, we find how sweet it becomes to our taste.
Having said that, we also take note that with the eating of His Sweet Word there comes a responsibility to proclaim His Reign, which may not always be sweetly received, yet we must hold fast to our belief in the One who made the waters sweet!.
As we consider the events that took place, we are able to see very powerful pictures and parables of our Master.
As we consider the parable behind the exodus, we can take note that based on the assumption of this parable type timing of journeying from stop to stop that took place during Matzot, that on the 4th day of Matzot the Sea of Reeds was split open!
How interesting it is that on the 4th day of Creation Week the lights were made to divide the day from the night, just as our Master came on the 4th Millennium, The Light of the world, to call us out of darkness into His marvelous light, and now, here in this 7th day we are reminded that His work is sufficient for us and we are warned against bitterness and rebellion, as we take heed to the conditions of the Covenant and swear to guard His commands..
There is much to celebrate as we set this day apart and recognise how sweet to the taste our Master’s Word is!
Tehillah/Psalm 119:103 “How sweet to my taste has Your word been, more than honey to my mouth!”.
On this day, we celebrate the sweet joy of redemption and the full work of our Master that will be competed when He returns!
Our responsibility now is to guard the Word with joy and put off all bitterness as we live set-apart for He who heals us is set-apart!.
We also take note how this day can picture for us many who will be bitter in the Day of יהוה and will blaspheme His Name, while those who have accepted the work of our Redeemer will find refuge in Him and rejoice at His return.
What we recognise, by this stop at Marah, is that there was still a long journey that lay ahead and this journey required proper obedience and so, as we close this Feast of Matzot today, we too recognise that the journey that lay ahead is long and it needs a proper steadfast endurance, in order to walk and work out our deliverance with fear and trembling.
And it is in this season where we are commanded to count 7 competed 7’s, so therefor let us make sure that we are completely committed to living set-apart lives unto our Master, where there can be no room for compromise, lest bitterness sets in and causes rebellion, which is as witchcraft, and will be destroyed by our Master!.
Today we celebrate the work of our King and how He has cleansed us and removed our sins from us, set us apart as a royal priesthood in Him, and continues to wash us through His Word, so that we may be perfectly prepared for His return! .
This day we celebrate His work and how He has made the bitter sweet, how He has taken the bitter sting of death for us, and therefore, we recognise our need to remain in Him lest our garments become defiled and we find that sin causes the sweet to become bitter!.
This is a season of counting and counting we shall do as we count the cost of following our Master and serve Him in complete set-apartness and do so with joy and praise for His Mighty Name that saves!.
As I meditated on the significance of this 7th day of Matzot and the clear call that we all have, to go and make taught ones of the nations, we realise and recognise the responsibility that we have in ‘eating the word’, which is a Hebraism which means to ‘receive knowledge’. .
I was reminded of two accounts we have in Scripture, regarding the sweet Word that we are to eat:
Yeḥezqěl/Ezekiel 3:3 “And He said to me, “Son of man, feed your stomach, and fill your stomach with this scroll that I am giving you.” And I ate it, and it was as sweet as honey in my mouth.”.
As we read further, we see the responsibility that comes with eating the sweet Word:
Yeḥezqěl/Ezekiel 3:4-11 “And He said to me, “Son of man, go to the house of Yisra’ĕl, and you shall speak to them with My words. 5 “For you are not sent to a people of foreign speech and of difficult language, but to the house of Yisra’ĕl, 6 not to many people of foreign speech and of difficult language, whose words you do not understand. If I had rather sent you to them, they would have listened to you. 7 “But the house of Yisra’ĕl is going to refuse to listen to you, for they refuse to listen to Me. For all the house of Yisra’ĕl are hard of head, and hard of heart. 8 “See, I shall make your face as hard as their faces and your forehead as hard as their foreheads. 9 “Like adamant stone, harder than flint, I shall make your forehead. Do not be afraid of them, nor be discouraged at their looks, for they are a rebellious house.” 10 And He said to me, “Son of man, receive into your heart all My words that I speak to you, and hear with your ears. 11 “And go! Come to the exiles, to the children of your people, and speak to them and say to them, ‘Thus said the Master יהוה,’ whether they hear, or whether they refuse.” ..
Ḥazon/Revelation 10:9-11 “And I went to the messenger and said to him, “Give me the little book.” And he said to me, “Take and eat it, and it shall make your stomach bitter, but it shall be as sweet as honey in your mouth.” 10 And I took the little book out of the messenger’s hand and ate it, and it was as sweet as honey in my mouth, but when I had eaten it, my stomach was made bitter. 11 And he said to me, “You have to prophesy again concerning many peoples and nations and tongues and sovereigns.” .
The Hebraism of eating the sweet word, is to grow in knowledge and with the sweet word becoming bitter in our stomach, is another Hebraism that teaches us how many may not receive the Good News of Reign and what we will see happen, in these days, may reflect a bitterness on the part of many, yet we must endure and proclaim the Truth, while holding fast to walking set-apart, knowing that we will be the fragrance of life to life to some and to others we will be the fragrance of death to death, yet our Master is the One who makes us competent for such a task, as we eat of His Sweet Word and throw off all bitterness!.
Let this day be a good taste of the sweet victory we have in our Master and while we realise that the days of distress are fast approaching and are already here, we hold fast to the joy of our Master that strengthens us to proclaim His reign, as we sojourn here as faithful ambassadors of our Mighty Healer and King!.
This year we are celebrating the omer rěshiyth on the 7th day of Matzot and, in many ways, it is kind of a double celebration which highlights a clear need for us to have a continued committed and steadfast readiness, as it is today that we begin our count to 50, counting the true cost of serving and worshipping our Master and Elohim in Spirit and Truth, as we cling to our Master and Head, יהושע Messiah, as we lift our hands in complete praise and surrender unto Him!.
As you celebrate this 7th day of Matzot, which is also the omer rěshiyth this year, what do you bring, as you begin your count to 50, as a sheaf of the first before the face of יהוה?
THE OMER RĚSHIYTH
AND DAY 7 OF MATZOT –
a day made sweet in our Master!.
There is still a journey ahead – a set-apart race, in which we are to run and compete, according to His Kingdom rules.
We are able to do so, because the secret that will be fully revealed at the sounding of the 7th messenger, has been revealed to us, His Bride!.
The Greek word that is translated as ‘secret’ is μυστήριον mustērion – Strong G3466 which means, ‘hidden thing, secret, mystery, secrets confided only to the initiated’.
I want to highlight a couple of passages, which show us how the secret of Elohim has been revealed to us, for it has been given to us to know the secrets of the reign:.
Mattithyahu/Matthew 13:11 “And He answering, said to them, “Because it has been given to you to know the secrets of the reign of the heavens, but to them it has not been given.”.
Qolasim/Colossians 1:21-28 “And you, who once were estranged and enemies in the mind by wicked works, but now He has completely restored to favour 22 in the body of His flesh through death, to present you set-apart, and blameless, and unreprovable before Him, 23 if indeed you continue in the belief, founded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the expectation of the Good News which you heard, which was proclaimed to every creature under the heaven, of which I, Sha’ul, became a servant, 24 who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up in my flesh what is lacking in Messiah’s afflictions, for the sake of His Body, which is the assembly, 25 of which I became a servant according to the administration of Elohim which was given to me for you, to fill the word of Elohim, 26 the secret which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His set-apart ones, 27 to whom Elohim desired to make known what are the riches of the esteem of this secret among the nations: which is Messiah in you, the expectancy of esteem, 28 whom we announce, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, in order to present every man perfect in Messiah יהושע”.
Ephsiyim/Ephesians 3:4 “In reading this, then, you are able to understand my insight into the secret of Messiah”.
As we bring this Feast of Matzot to a close, may we be encouraged by the clear and sure promises of the Word of Elohim, that is yes and Aměn in Messiah, and be firmly equipped to pursue set-apartness and guard the good deposit that has been revealed to us, as we go out and boldly proclaim the coming reign, of which we are to be faithful ambassadors of, here and now!.
This 7th day of Matzot is also a picture of a cleansing period of His Tabernacle!
That is … of you and me, for we are His Dwelling Place!
All is to be cleansed by blood, and as we know from The Torah, the Tabernacle had to be cleansed for 7 days, in order for it to be made ready to function, as a means of drawing near to Elohim!
What we can therefore recognize, is that we are a royal priesthood that has been CLEANSED TO SERVE!.
Today we celebrate the joy of serving our Master, who has, by His Sweet Word, caused the bitter to be made sweet!
As we celebrate together, in His presence, take time to consider what things, if any, has His sweet Word caused to become bitter in your stomach…!
And in doing so, recognise that it is through His redeeming work that the bitter has been made sweet, giving us all we need to serve Him, in complete set-apartness and joy, armed in His Torah and ready to proclaim His Truth!.
As you celebrate this day of the waving of the omer rěshiyth this year, on this the 7th day of Matzot, what do you bring, as you begin your count to 50, as a sheaf of the first before the face of יהוה?.
This is now time to present and or declare your wave offering before the face of our Master!.
Let me close with the words of Sha’ul, before performing the wave offering before the face of our Master:
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.”
Romiyim/Romans 12:1-2 “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. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you prove what is that good and well-pleasing and perfect desire of Elohim.”
Romiyim/Romans 16:24-27 “The favour of our Master יהושע Messiah be with you all. Aměn. 25 And to Him who is able to establish you according to my Good News and the preaching of יהושע Messiah, according to the revelation of the secret which was kept silent since times of old, 26 but now has been made manifest, and by the prophetic Scriptures has been made known to all nations, according to the command of the everlasting Elohim, for belief-obedience. 27 To Elohim, wise alone, be the esteem, through יהושע Messiah forever. Aměn.”.
יהוה bless you and guard you; יהוה make His face shine upon you and give you favour; יהוה lift up His face upon you and give you Shalom!.