What is Shavuot? It is one of the 7 Feasts of the Lord as outlined in Leviticus 23. There are 4 Spring Feasts, Passover, Unleavened Bread, First Fruits, and Shavuot (aka Pentecost in Greek). There are 3 Fall Feasts, Feast of Trumpets, Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur), and Feast of Tabernacles. The Spring Feasts were all fulfilled by Messiah when He came the first time, the Fall Feasts will be fulfilled when He returns. These are called the Lord’s Moedim, or appointed times.
Shavuot is a harvest festival that is 50 days (thus the name Pent-ecost) after First Fruits (time of Passover). From the time of the First Fruits of the barley harvest at Passover, there is a daily count of a measure of barley called an omer. On day 50 the Israelites were to bring the first fruits of their wheat harvest to the priest to have him present it to God to be consecrated (set apart as Holy). When the first part is deemed Holy, the rest of the harvest is blessed. Two large loaves of bread made from the first fruits of wheat were also brought as a presentation to the Lord.
“So Ruth stayed close to the women of Boaz to glean until the barley and wheat harvests were finished. And she lived with her mother-in-law.”
Traditionally, for various reasons, the Book of Ruth is read on Shavuot.
Traditionally, for various reasons, the Book of Ruth is read on Shavuot. Shavuot is also celebrated as the time of the giving of Torah (First 5 books of the Bible, aka The Law) to Moses on Mt. Sinai, Exodus 19-20. God came down on the mountain in fire and smoke, with thunder and lightning (which in Hebrew means voices or languages), and a loud shofar blast.
So, in Acts 2, the new believers in Jesus/Yeshua the Messiah were all in Jerusalem for the Feast of Shavuot. “When the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. Suddenly a sound like that of a violent rushing wind came from heaven, and it filled the whole house where they were staying. And tongues, like flames of fire that were divided, appeared to them and rested on each one of them. Then they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in different languages, as the Spirit gave them ability for speech.”
The new believers were sealed with the Holy Spirit, they were the first fruits of the “harvest” and they were consecrated to God and given power to go out and harvest the world for the Kingdom of God. This is a brief description of Shavuot/Pentecost. Jesus is our Passover Lamb that came and set the world free from the slavery of sin. He is the First Fruits of those risen from the dead to eternal life. He is the Unleavened (without sin) Bread of Life. Jesus is the Word become flesh, the Living Torah. And He sent the Holy Spirit to live within the hearts of those who believe in Him, to circumcise our hearts and teach us all things of the Father, and to give us power to tell others the Good News. Hallelujah and Amen!