The timing of Pentecost is one of the most debated subjects related to the Lunar Sabbath!
This is because it is often cited by critics as proof that the Lunar Sabbath Calendar is flawed when compared to Scripture.
This page explains how Pentecost is reckoned both traditionally and according to the Lunar Sabbath Calendar, links to common arguments that Pentecost occurs in the fourth month instead of the third month, and common objections.
The timing of Pentecost, also known as Shavuot and the Feast of Weeks, is referred to in Judaism as the "Counting of the Omer". The instructions for determining the day of Pentecost are found in Leviticus 23:15-16 :
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 the LORD.
The traditional interpretation of Leviticus 23:15-16 is that one should count seven sabbaths from the day after the Sabbath after Passover. This equals fifty days from the day after the first Sabbath to the day after the seventh Sabbath. Therefore verse sixteen can be seen as a clarification of verse fifteen, since you can either count seven weeks plus one day, or fifty days, to arrive at the same date. This interpretation is valid both for the Rabbinic Pentecost calendar, which interprets the "Sabbath" as the First Day of Unleavened Bread, or the Sunday Pentecost calendar which uses the first Sabbath after Passover. However, this interpretation does not work when using the Lunar Sabbath Calendar, because two Sabbaths are not always separated by seven days.
Lunar Sabbath Reckoning
The timing of Pentecost can also be reckoned in a way that aligns with the Lunar Sabbath Calendar. This is because Leviticus 23:15-16 can be interpreted as instructions to first count seven Sabbaths and then fifty days. The phrase "even unto” in the KJV can be interpreted such that that the count of fifty days should begin after the seven Sabbaths are complete. This results in Pentecost being reckoned in the fourth month of the calendar instead of the third.
The calendar below shows an example of how the timing of a Lunar Sabbath Pentecost is determined.
Arguments for a Fourth Month Pentecost
Click on the hotlinks below to view the page related to each argument:
- Paul's Third Missionary Journey proves that the count between Passover and Pentecost was more than fifty days
- The Children of Israel kept Pentecost as a “Feast to YHVH” fifty days after the 7th Sabbath
- There are no feasts found in the Bible occurring in the third month, but there is a fourth month feast
- There is no wheat harvest (or harvest of any kind) in the Third month but there is a fourth month wheat harvest
- There are no scriptures citing a wheat harvest in the “spring” instead of “summer”
- The Law was not given to Moses at Sinai until the end of the Fourth month (50 days after the 7th Sabbath)
- There is no “Chag” found in Scripture in the Third month but there is a chag in the fourth month.
- Historical evidence that in the 1st century Pentecost was kept in the fourth month
- Nature proves the 4th month Pentecost
- There was not enough time for the Children of Israel to travel to Mount Sinai for a 3rd month Pentecost
- Acts 1:5 does not disprove a 4th month Pentecost
There is a second place in scripture that describes the reckoning of Pentecost, and which does not do so as ambiguously as Leviticus 23:
Seven weeks shall thou number unto thee; begin to number the seven weeks from such time as thou beginnest to put the sickle to the corn. And you shall keep the feast of weeks unto YHVH thy God with a tribute of a freewill offering of thine hand, which thou shalt give unto YHVH thy God, according as YHVH thy God hath blessed thee: (Deu 16:9-10)
This passage clearly does not specify seven weeks and then fifty days, it only requires the counting of seven weeks. Therefore the interpretation of Leviticus 23:15-16 must refer to counting seven weeks or fifty days, which is not possible on the Lunar Sabbath Calendar.
The definition of "Even Unto"
The phrase "even unto” is an Old English phrase from the King James Version of the Bible that means "even to". That is the opposite meaning of "beginning from". Refer to our page on Even Unto for an exegesis of the Hebrew phrase translated as "even unto", as well as the Greek translation of Lev 23:16 from the Septuagint.
Pentecost as a Sabbath
It's clear from Scripture that Pentecost is to be a day of rest:
And ye shall proclaim on the selfsame day, that it may be an holy convocation unto you: ye shall do no servile work therein: it shall be a statute for ever in all your dwellings throughout your generations. (Lev 23:21)
Also in the day of the firstfruits, when ye bring a new meat offering unto YHVH, after your weeks be out, ye shall have an holy convocation; ye shall do no servile work: (Num 28:26)
However, a Lunar Sabbath Pentecost has a 50% chance of falling on the 28th of the month instead of the 29th, and the 28th on the Lunar Sabbath Calendar always falls on the sixth day of the week instead of the seventh. Since Pentecost is not a work day, the 29th cannot be a weekly Sabbath that month because it is not preceded by six work days. The sample calendar below illustrates this scenario: