Hashabat Hashabyat: Feast of Weeks

Hashabat Hashabyat literally means the seven sabbaths. The Feast of Weeks is a celebration of the first complete reaping of the harvest of the year. This occurs over seven weeks beginning on the Firstfruits Harvest Feast Day, “Soulfood Sunday”, and ending on the seventh sabbath that follows that day. Exactly 49 days later, the completion of the reaping season occurs. On the 50th day, the season is celebrated with a feast. This is the Feast of Weeks!

Per Yah’s instructions, Israel is to bring bread from their homes. It describes the bread is leavened and the process for making the bread as being similar to the process for making sourdough bread. Literally, Leviticus 23:16-17 reads, ” Until from after the sabbath the seventh, you will record 50 days and you will approach her as a  gift to Yahuwah.  From your dwellings, you will bring him bread. You will shake the sitting ones, two tenths of a basket she will exist as leaven. They will be baked in firstfruits to Yahuwah.”

In verse 16, Yah instructs Israel to count 50 bundles of grain per day to be given to him as a gift. The “sitting ones” He refers to is the sourdough bread starter. A “bundle” and a “basket” were standards of measurement. Flour and water were to be mixed and set out to acquire natural yeasts. When done, it was to be added to the “firstfruits”, which is the flour from the recently harvested grain, to make a loaf of bread. It was to then baked in honor of Yahuwah.

Very simply, Yahuwah gives Israel detailed instructions about exactly how to prepare the food for the feast celebration. He went on to tell Israel how much meat to slaughter and cook and that it was to be put on the bread.

Verse 19 is an interesting instruction. It reads, “And you will do goat hair of the goats one to sins and two subdued ones sons two to slaughter complete ones.” Goat hair was the material used to build tents in those days and the animal skins were used for writing. So when verse 21 says, ” And you will call in abundance of this day, a holy meeting he will exist to them. All business work, not you will do. You will inscribe the ancient one in all your dwellings for your generations.”

I think maybe, just maybe, the Israelites were recording the stories of ancient times to pass down through the generations. I can’t be certain, but it really sounds like it.  What is certain is that He instructed us to do something in every household.

Also, the saying, “in the abundance of this day” refers to a particular time of day, but I haven’t yet figured it out. English translations interpret this to mean “the same day”; however, I disagree. Here’s why… the phrase used repeatedly to indicate it was the same day is literally “the day the this”, meaning it was on this same day.

Also, this phrase, “in the abundance of this day” is clearly something more specific. On this one day, Israel is instructed to both cook a feast (what many call a sacrifice) and not to work. Typically, God instructs one or the other. For example, on the Firstfruits Feast day, they must cook and have no instruction not to work. On weekly sabbaths, there’s no work and no cooking.  During the feast of unleavened bread, there is no work and no cooking on the first and seventh days. During Pesach, there is cooking and no instruction not to work. So God demonstrates that you can do one or the other because cooking is work. As a matter of fact, slaughtering animals and sieving grain to turn it into flour is a lot of work.

So, the instruction here is to cook, eat, and then have a set apart meeting, calling, or reading, inscribing the “ancient one” in our own dwellings for the generations. It is during this time, in the abundance of this day, that God instructs us not to do any work and to segregate ourselves to His service.

When I think of the abundance of the day, I am reminded of high noon. However, it may also mean when the hours of daylight are abundant, meaning when it is almost evening.

Simply knowing the order of events helps us to do our best to obey God’s instructions. We can wake up early, cook, eat, and clean up, then go our separate ways to meditate on God’s Word.

This is usually what my day looks like when we have family gatherings anyway!

Included in this commandment, is an amendment that accounts for provision for those less fortunate and travelers. That is, they were told not to harvest the outer edges of their fields so that that the poor and those who were traveling could have food as well. (Leviticus 23:22) Since this is no longer practical for most of us, we must simply remember to give back what God has given to us, to those in need.

All and all, or as scripture says, “hand and hand”, this day is about celebrating God’s provision by giving back that which was provided by God,  to ourselves, and to everyone else.

Like all the other feast days, this was a feast instructed to be kept forever.

This year, in 2018, it occurs on Sunday, May 20. Another Soulfood Sunday, except it only with bread and meat! This time a portion of the day is to be set-apart to God and no work shall be conducted during that set-apart period.

The next observance is one, I had never heard of before these studies, the Sabbath of Remembrance.

Shabatown Zacarown: Sabbath of Remembrance

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