“From the day after the day of rest — that is, from the day you bring the sheaf for waving — you are to count seven full weeks, until the day after the seventh week; you are to count fifty days; and then you are to present a new grain offering to Adonai. You must bring bread from your homes for waving — two loaves made with one gallon of fine flour, baked with leaven — as firstfruits for Adonai.”-Leviticus 23:15-17
From verse 15, the topic switches from the Spring Feast of BIKKURIM or Firstfruits over to the summer festival of SHAVUOT or Pentecost.
The ritual starts off with two loaves of bread that are brought to the priest who will offer them up as a TENUFAH (wave offering).
What’s interesting to note is that these two loaves of bread are referred to as CHAMETS.
In other words, we’re talking about leavened bread here.
Since nothing leavened can ascend and approach the Altar of Burnt Offering, we know for a fact that these two loaves of bread had to be presented at the foot of the stairway leading up to the altar.
If the priest would have carried the two leavened loaves of bread even one step up towards the altar, he would have defiled God’s HOLY sanctuary.
We’re told that in addition to the two loaves, the following are also offered up:
7 Young Male Rams:
Although the Bible leaves out the words “young”, we know from the Hebrew that this is the case. The Hebrew word being used is KEBES and it indeed means “young male rams”.
1 Young Bull:
The Hebrew word used to indicate the age of the bull is PAR, and it means a yearling bull, NOT a mature bull.
The Hebrew word used to refer to the “2 rams” is AYIL and it means a fully grown and mature ram.
These offering are all Burnt Offerings or of the OLAH category.
Here’s a quick quiz question for you.
Given that these particular sacrifices are all of the OLAH category, which other sacrifice do we know for sure was offered up with this OLAH type of sacrifice?
If you said MINCHAH, bingo!
Yup, traditionally the MINCHAH offerings or “Grain Offerings” always accompanied the OLAH offerings.
Now let’s take a look at verse 19.
“Offer one male goat as a sin offering and two male lambs one year old as a sacrifice of peace offerings.”
So in addition, a HATTA-AT or Sin Offering (I opt to call this the “purification offering”) is performed using a male goat.
Then a ZEVAH SHELAMIM or Peace Offering is presented using 2 more KEBES (male lambs) and is present as a TENUFAH (wave offering).
Before closing, there are a couple of points I want you to notice.
First, notice that every one of the sacrifices offered up so far is a male.
Second, notice that the 50th day of Shavuot was also to be a Sabbath day.
Again, this is different than the weekly 7th day Sabbath day.
It was another one of those feast days when normal work was to cease so that a gathering and celebration could occur.