Archive for category Pentecost
When all of the window dressing is removed, we discover that the entire issue about when to begin the year rests with the instructions regarding the Khag of Ingathering and its tequphath (season of the year).
The late Jews tell of four תקופת (tequphath) of the year (spring, summer, autumn, and winter), each calculated as a period following one of the days of a תקופה (tequphah): the vernal equinox, the summer solstice, autumnal equinox, and winter solstice.1
It is also important for us not to confuse the occurrence of a tequphah (i.e., equinox or solstice) with the season (tequphath) although the same word is sometimes used in common speech for both.
To begin with, a tequphah (equinox or solstice), as spoken of by Scriptures, is a solar event, marking a point of passage of the earth around the sun. It represents a day wherein one of two visual effects occur.
1. A solstice day is a day when the sun, as seen along the earth’s horizon, reaches its furthest point of rising or setting either on the north or south.
2. On the day of an equinox, on the other hand, the rising and setting of the sun lies on the horizon precisely in the middle between the two solstice points. As a consequence, the length of the periods of daytime and nighttime on that day of the equinox are almost exactly equivalent.
The Hebrew word תקופת (tequphath)—various transliterated as tekufath, tequfoth, tequfath, and so forth—is a form of the term תקופה (tequphah)—tekufah, tequfah, and so forth. Tequphah is itself derived from the word קופ (quph), meaning to, “go round.”2 The term תקופה (tequphah) more precisely means, “a revolution, i.e. (of the sun) course, (of time) lapse:—circuit, come about, end”;3 a “circuit,”4 “orbit of the sun . . . circle of the year.”5
An important fact to realize is that there were eight basic premises concerning Passover, the seven days of Unleavened Bread, and Pentecost which were almost universal and formed the foundation upon which the overwhelming majority of the early Christian assemblies, whatever system they followed, stood:
1. The Passover celebration was required for all Christians.1
2. The Christian Passover was an innovation in that it did not require any ritualistic animal sacrifice.2
3. The Passover lamb of the Torah and its sacrifice was a typology of the death of the messiah, the true Passover lamb of Yahweh.3
In our last post titled 17. Passover – Pentecost Clarity I we addressed the four approaches for keeping Pentecost. Of these four systems the oldest is the Aristocratic, which counted the 50 days from the day after the weekly Sabbath following Passover, Sunday to Sunday.
Its antiquity is demonstrated by the fact that both the ancient conservative Samaritan and Sadducean (Boethusian) priesthoods practiced the identical Pentecost system—this despite their loathing for each other.
This common approach among competing branches of the Zadokite priests reflects a common history, indicating that this system was used by the Zadokite priests prior to the fourth century B.C.E. (the time when the Samaritan schism took place).1
These Aristocratic priests were “heirs to the old Zadokite tradition in Jerusalem.”2 This Aristocratic system was later followed by the early Christian assemblies,3 demonstrating their belief in its antiquity as well.
As found with the celebration of Passover, there existed a great debate among the various Jewish factions, beginning in about the second century B.C.E., with regard to just how and when one was to count to the Khag of Shabuath (Weeks), also called Pentecost.
This debate was sparked by the fact that there is no direct statement found in Scriptures telling us exactly on which date one is to keep the Festival of Weeks.
During this period a great dispute was already under way among the Jews, not just over exactly how the nation of Judaea should observe these festivals but over the approach to religion itself.
This debate was fought between the two leading factions of Judaism: the Hasidic and the Aristocratic schools.
As we continue our discussion regarding the connection between Passover and Pentecost, we discover that there were three other requirements attached to the Festival of Weeks:
(1) appearing and being worthy, (2) rejoicing, and (3) remembering.
An important part of the celebration of Passover and the seven days of Unleavened Bread was the day on which the high priest waved the עמר (omer) of freshly cut grain in front of the altar of Yahweh as an offering.
This event occurred on the first day of the 50-day count to the חג שבעות (Khag Shabuath; Festival of Weeks).
As a result, for the Jews and later the Christians, the events associated with the 50 days of the Festival of Weeks (also called Pentecost) were regarded as an important facet of the Passover celebration.