Friday, July 15, 2011
Will the traditional Count to Pentecost stand up to scrutiny?
True Count to Pentecost: Questions that must be answered
Questions that need to be answered if the traditional count to Pentecost is to be upheld.
When did the Israelites arrive at Mt Sinai?
According to scripture the Israelites arrived on the 15th day of the 3rd month. This is 7 days after the traditional count to Pentecost, on Sivan 9. Why would they arrive at Mt Sinai to receive the law after the time when the giving of the law is allegedly related to? Moses is called before YHWH on the 16th day, to have the people prepare themselves for the verbal giving of the law. (Jubilees 1:1) Granted the law, including the 10 commandments, is verbalized by YHWH on the 18th day of the 3rd month, but this is still after the fact, now 10 days after the traditional Pentecost of Sivan 9. Because of being pinpointed on the 1st day of the 2nd week, this does not make the 9th day of the 3rd month very specifically related to anything.
No Feast mentioned during the third month in Exodus
If the traditional Pentecost count is the 9th day of the 3rd month, why is there no mention of the word “feast” or “chag” around that time in Exodus 16-19, but there is mention of “feast” 50 days later from Sivan in Exodus 32? The feast mentioned in Ex 32 is at the very end of the 4th month, when Aaron declares a feast, and when Moses comes down from the mount after 40 days. with the tables of the testimony. (NOTE: chag, ḥag̱: H2282. A noun meaning a feast, a festival. This word is used numerous times throughout the Old Testament referring to the feasts of the Hebrew religious calendar. It is used of the major feasts, including the Feast of Unleavened Bread and the Passover Feast, the Feast of Weeks, and the Feast of Tabernacles. Complete Word Study H2282)
What happened to the wheat in the “plague of hail.”
Exodus 9:18-35 says this about the wheat. The plague of hail smote every herb of the field, broke every tree. Flax and barley were smitten; wheat and rye were not smitten, for they were not grown up (not out of the ground). Winter wheat would have been destroyed; spring wheat had not yet been planted. So if there is no wheat harmed by the hail, what is the wheat that is supposed to be harvested around Sivan 9, just a little over two months or so later?
What is the wheat that was supposed to be harvested in the 3rd month?
Winter wheat is planted in the fall, takes 7 months to harvest, would have been ready in the 3rd month, were it not for the hail. By the time of the hail, about 4 months or so into the growth cycle, winter wheat would have been substantially out of the ground, that it would have been destroyed during the plague of hail. At the time of the hail, it was nearing the planting time of the spring wheat, which planted in the first week or so of Nisan, would be harvested in 4 months, 110-120 day to maturity.
Is Pentecost related to the giving of the law?
It is said that Pentecost is related to the giving of the law. If this is the case, why isn’t the giving of the law in Exodus mentioned around the first week of the 3rd month, the time of the traditional Pentecost of the 9th day of the 3rd month? Granted, the law was spoken from the mount by YHWH on the 18th day of the 3rd month, but there is no mention of a feast here. Why is there no mention of a feast, if Pentecost is related to the giving of the law?
When was the law on the tables of stone given?
Although the law was spoken on the 18th day of the 3rd month (third day after arrival at the mount) , Moses doesn’t come down from the mount with the tables of stone until 41 days after the law is spoken. He goes up the mount on the 19th day of the 3rd month, to begin the 40 days, and doesn’t come down until the 29th day of the 4th month, the day Aaron declared a feast (chag).
How many died; how many saved
Acts 2:41 states that 3000 souls were saved on the day of Pentecost in the NT. In the Old Testament, that same identical number is used to declare that 3000 souls were lost or died. (Exodus 32) When did this happen. It happened on the day Moses came down from the mount with the tables of stone; at the very end of the 4th month, on the 29th day, ironically, 50 days from the end of the seven Sabbaths complete. There is no mention of 3000 dying in the early 3rd month, at the time of the traditional Pentecost. Is this number just coincidental, while occurring at the same feast time in the OT and NT?
When was the healing of the paralytic in the NT?
In John 5, we have the account of Jesus healing the paralytic on the Sabbath and then being confronted by the Pharisees for doing so. When did this occur. A close read of John 5 will reveal that this occurred during a feast, one of the 3 annual chags. This appears to be after the time of Jesus first appearance in the temple, around Passover, so it is a bit later in the year, at a feast, (chag) which is very likely Pentecost. Passover is earlier during the year John 2:13, and Tabernacles later, John 7:2. Notice that the healing of the paralytic took place on a Sabbath, which pinpoints it on the 29th day of the 4th month, the same day Moses came down from the mount with the tables of stone.
Is the traditional Pentecost on a Sabbath?
Why does the traditional count of Pentecost not correlate with the rest of the annual feasts, which have Sabbaths as part of the theme? If we follow the count of the days and periods of time in Exodus 12 through 32, we find that the count will pinpoint the 29th day of the 4th month, a Sabbath. The traditional count to Pentecost bring us out on the 1st day of the 1st week of the 3rd month, which appears to have no scriptural significance to the rest of the annual feast plan.
Where is the 50 day count applied?
If the 50 days is from Nisan 16 to Sivan 9, where is the mention of Pentecost in Exodus at the corresponding time? (somewhere between Exodus 16 and 19) Leviticus says to count these days, but it is unclear where the count is anchored and there is confusion where the 50 days is counted from. If we look in Exodus 12 through 32, and follow the count, we find that “coincidentally” there is 50 days from the end of the seven Sabbaths complete to the end of the 4th month on the 29th day, were a “feast” is mentioned. Could this be more than just coincidence.
Where does Ellen White place the wheat harvest of Pentecost
Ellen White uses the terms springtime, midsummer, and autumn to describe the times of the three annual feasts. Midsummer is not in the springtime, during the 1st week or so of the 3rd month, usually in early June. Midsummer could be described as sometime during July and August, more likely midsummer.
“But three times a year seasons were appointed for social intercourse and worship. The journey to Jerusalem, in the simple, patriarchal style, took place amidst the beauty of the springtime, the richness of midsummer, or the ripened glory of autumn.” Compiled from Educ pgs 41-42 EGW
Although much confusion and controversy continues regarding the count to Pentecost, there are some serious questions and problems with the traditional count that need to be addressed. There are issues that are not easily resolved with the traditional count, whereas the pieces of the puzzle seem to fit together much better with a count that ends at the very end of the 4th month. So lets settle in, knuckle under, and let YHWH’s spirit lead in this matter. Let the scriptures, all the related ones, speak for themselves.