The timing of Pentecost on the Lunar Sabbath Calendar hinges on the translation of the phrase Even Unto in Lev 23:16.
This page presents the rationale for why Even Unto should be translated as "From", and discusses several objections.
The instructions for calculating the timing of Pentecost in Lev 23:15-16 are as follows:
- And ye shall count unto you from the morrow after the sabbath, from the day that ye brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven sabbaths shall be complete: Even unto the morrow after the seventh sabbath shall ye number fifty days; and ye shall offer a new meat offering unto YHVH.
The phrase "Even Unto" in the KJV is translated from two Hebrew words. The first word is ad (עד), Strong's Number H5704. Ad is a preposition and adverb that is used to describe time, space or the inclusiveness of a category of things. The Koehler and Baumgartner Lexicon states that Ad can mean "Just Before", "And" (as a conjunction), or "After". The second word is min (מִין), Strong's Number H4480. Min is a preposition that, when used with other words, indicates "from" or "away from".
The KJV translators ignored the word "min" in the phrase "ad min mokhorat" and translated it as "even unto the morrow...". This translation using "even unto" is incorrect because it refers to "space" instead of "time". The Hebrew word "min" is at the beginning of the verse along with the word "ad", and means "from". A correct translation incorporating the word "min", within the context of time, can be seen in the Ferrar Fenton translation of Lev 23:15-16:
Then, after the seventh Sabbath, you shall count fifty days, when you shall present a new offering to the Ever-LIVING.
This clearly shows that after counting seven Sabbaths we are to count an additional fifty days.
Translation from Hebrew
The phrase in Lev 23:16 translated Even Unto" in the KJV comes from the Hebrew word ad (עד), Strong's Number H5704, and the Hebrew word min (מִין), Strong's Number H4480.
These two words are often used to describe boundaries of distance or time, with min meaning "from", and ad meaning "to" or "until". Here are a few examples:
In the same day YHVH made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from (min) the river of Egypt unto (ad) the great river, the river Euphrates... (Gen 15:18)
And all the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from (min) the firstborn of Pharaoh that sitteth upon his throne, even unto (ad) the firstborn of the maidservant that is behind the mill; and all the firstborn of beasts. (Ex 11:5)
And if a leprosy break out abroad in the skin, and the leprosy cover all the skin of him that hath the plague from (min) his head even to (ad) his foot, wheresoever the priest looketh; (Lev 13:12)
In Lev 23:16 these two words are used together ("ad min mokhorat"), but not in the way described above. If ad means "to", and min means "from", then this should read as "to from the morrow" which doesn't make much sense. However we must note here that the Hebrew phrase is actually written as "ad m'mokhorot" (עד ממחרת). This provides some evidence that (min) in this case should not be translated as "from". The Complete Word Study Dictionary provides this note in it's definition of mokhorat, Strong's Number H4283:
With min (H4480) on the front, it indicates on (from) the day after the sabbath, the new moon respectively (Lev_23:11; 1Sa_20:27).
Here are the passages cited as examples by the Complete Word Study Dictionary:
And he shall wave the sheaf before YHVH, to be accepted for you: on the morrow (m'mokhorot) after the sabbath the priest shall wave it. (Lev 23:11)
And it came to pass on the morrow (m'mokhorot), which was the second day of the month, that David's place was empty: and Saul said unto Jonathan his son, Wherefore cometh not the son of Jesse to meat, neither yesterday, nor to day? (1Sa 20:27)
If we define the phrase m'mokhorot as "on the morrow", and translate ad as "to" or "until", the passage reads:
And ye shall count unto you from the morrow after the sabbath, from the day that ye brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven sabbaths shall be complete: Until (on) the morrow after the seventh sabbath shall ye number fifty days; and ye shall offer a new meat offering unto YHVH.
This shows that the fifty days are numbered until you number the last one on the day after the seventh Sabbath.
The word ad has to be somehow ignored in order to translate "ad m'mokhorot" as "after the Sabbath".
Translation from Greek
The Septuagint is a Greek translation of the Old Testament performed by seventy-two Hebrew scholars in the 3rd century BCE. The Septuagint is useful to determine what Greek words these Hebrew scholars felt were equivalent translations of the Hebrew. In Lev 23:16, the phrase even unto was translated as the Greek word heos (εως), Strong's Number G2193, which means “until”. This provides additional evidence that the KJV translation is correct.