A CASE FOR A SUMMER RAPTURE
Discussing the Discrepancy of Deuteronomy 16
by Luis B. Vega
for PostScripts News (PSN) | www.PostScripts.org
You shall count seven weeks. Begin to count the seven weeks from the time the sickle is first put to the standing grain.’ Then you shall keep the Feast of Weeks to the LORD your God with the tribute of a freewill offering from your hand, which you shall give vas the LORD your God blesses you. -Deuteronomy 16:9-10
The purpose of this article is to compare and contrast Deuteronomy 16:9-10 with that of Leviticus 23:16 concerning the true calculation of when Shavuot or Pentecost is to occur. The reason why is that in several articles presented already, it has been shown how Pentecost should/is a Feast of YHVH that depends on a ‘double count’ of 49 days and then 50 days from the ‘morrow’ after the 1st Sabbath once Passover and the Feast of First Fruits occurs. This calculation would put the true observance of Pentecost in mid-Summer and when the Spring Wheat turns ‘white’ and ready for harvest, etc. Deuteronomy 16:9-10 infers at best that there is no additional ’50-day’ count. Is this the case? Does this verse confirm the prevailing interpretation of Shavuot is to be at the 49th day marker with then the addition ‘50th day’ from the Spring Feasts of YHVH?
It is already known and understood that for each year, Shavuot depends on when Passover starts, thus it is observed during different dates every year. Why this becomes pertinent is that the true count for Pentecost seems to be ever so elusive to calculate accurately. Not only that, but such studies presented strongly infer that Pentecost is the strongest argument for the time that the Resurrection/Rapture is to take place. It has already been presented in prior studies that connects Shavuot with the typology of the Almond Tree and Menorah patterns that demonstrates this supposition. As it is, there are many theories as to how to calculate Pentecost and is cause for much confusion. Suffice to say that Pentecost is a Summer harvest feast, not a Spring time one as Spring Wheat cannot possibly be harvested around late April/May of a given year.
Nonetheless, the prevailing interpretation is that Leviticus 23:16 is a single count. Very few believe it is a double count. Then there is when does the countdown start. There are now both Jewish and Christian traditions as to the calculation. There are those that count Shavuot starting with the Omer. Then there are those that count the ‘morrow after the Sabbath’, the Sunday after Saturday of the Passion Week. Then there are those that count Pentecost a week out to the next Sabbath that comes. In recent years however, there has been a revisiting of the interpretation of Leviticus 23:16, if at least that there actually might be 2 counts. The studies presented have reflected and supported this new assertion. Have in mind though that so far, ALL the prognostications to date have been a moving target regarding the true counting of when is Pentecost.
Perhaps it was not meant to be known as it will be linked with the Rapture date in particular, but Jesus did command His Disciples to ‘watch’. The command by Jesus to ‘watch’ infers an understanding of keeping ‘time’ and thus counting and numbering if you will. This is even more crucial as with each passing year, as the now ominous ‘End of the Age’ is fast approaching with a world in greater distress. What Age? The Age of the Pentecost, the Age of Grace in which the Gentiles are being ‘grafted in’. And primarily, given this agricultural type seen in the Almond Tree from which the Menorah is patterned after, ‘grafting’ only occurs, can only occur in the 4th stem which is the main stock. It is a type of Jesus, ‘I AM the Vine, you are the Branches’, etc. So, the argument is that Pentecost is when this Age of the Gentiles commenced and when it will end.
What is so special about this Age? It is a time specific wherein all those that come to Jesus as true Believers and Followers of Jesus will constitute the Bride of Christ. This cannot be said of Old Testament Saints nor for the coming Tribulation Saints. Using linear logic, it might well be the time it concludes, in some given year during the true count of Pentecost, etc. This Pentecost Intermission between Daniel’s prophetic 70 Week of Years, has come also with the Royal Commission to preach the Gospel and make Disciples from among the Nations. The point is that during the coming 7-year Tribulation Period, the Commission will be given, but not to the Church but to the 144,000 Jews and the 2 Witnesses in particular.
Consider that if the Church Body of Jesus were to still be present during the Tribulation, there would be no additional need for a further ‘Witness’ and Testimony. Although Christ is sovereign and can do as He pleases. And to also say that by no means is one adamite in insisting that Pentecost has to be on another day from which most interpret it to be. If Pentecost is on the 50th day as a single count and that is the Rapture also then sometime in late Spring, one will not complain. One is not saying that ‘one has figured it out’ or ‘knows’ that Leviticus 23 is actually inferring to a double count and much less that it is to be tied to the Resurrection-Rapture. One does realize that one is going against centuries of orthodoxy. So, the following will be some thoughts about the Deuteronomy 16 discrepancy regarding the Leviticus 23 interpretation of how and when Pentecost is to be counted. For basics, one is of the interpretation that true Pentecost is to be celebrated from the immediate 1st Sabbath after Passover and First Fruits.
That the 1st counting is 7 Sabbaths or 49 days and then a numbering of 50 days is to occur. The current prevailing belief and interpretation is that the phrase, ‘number 50 days’ with the ‘then’ after ‘counting 7 Sabbaths’ or 49 days is not after the 7 Sabbaths but is the 50th day to be numbered. However, the language is clear that if it were to be a numbering of only 1 day after, the tense would have been singular, ‘then number the 50th day’, not ‘number 50 days’, plural. Therefore, one is of the interpretation that an additional count of 50 days is to continue to arrive at the true day of Pentecost, ‘when it fully came’. This language is a key and clue that alludes to the fact that Pentecost was a process and had a midpoint to then later be completed. However, there are those that have asked then, what about Deuteronomy 16: 9-10 where it reiterates Leviticus 23 and there is no mention, hint, or suggestion of an additional 50-day count? Or does it?
This study will address this verse in light of how it is believed that the alternative interpretation of the immediate ‘morrow’ after the Sabbath means, to ‘count 49 days’ and then to ‘number 50 days’. It leads then to a count for 2020 to the true Pentecost that occurs on July 20, based on Leviticus 23:16. The following is the breakdown of this calculation. This calculation would be based on the April 8 Passover. Then from the morrow after Sabbath from First Fruits = April 12. Then 7 Sabbaths or 49 days. Then 50 days = July 20 or Tammuz 28. The calendar that is used is the Gregorian against the Rabbinical for the purposes of this study. Do have in mind however as mentioned, that there are discrepancies and there are also at least 8 calendars to go by.
Nonetheless, based on the Rabbinical Calendar, Pentecost or the ’50th day’ is in the wrong segment as only the traditional 1st portion of the 49th days is counted. This lends credence to the Almond Tree-Menorah type in that the the 4th stem or Pentecost Feast pivots the Spring and Fall Feasts with the Summer harvest of Pentecost and thus folds into both. Many have questioned this alternative calculation and wanted a comparison of the verses from Deuteronomy to consider that based on the conventional interpretation of Leviticus 23:16, Pentecost is a single count of 50 days. But to reiterate, the objectives of investigating the alternative interpretation of Leviticus 23:16 has been based solely on the Biblical clues given and where that leads to.
True Pentecost Timeline
ADAR NISSAN IYAR SIVAN TAMMUZ
Spring Equinox Passover Unleavened Bread First Firsts Sabbath Morrow + Count 49 -- Then number 50
Spring Wheat Planting Nissan 14 Nissan 15 Nissan 17 Nissan 18 Nissan 19 -- Tammuz 28
*Spring Wheat First Fruits (~4 months) ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------> = mid-Summer
MARCH 21 APRIL MAY JULY 20
*Spring Wheat cannot mature nor be harvested in late May nor early June. Thus, a May/June Pentecost calculation cannot be accurate based on agriculture maturing of time it takes for Spring Wheat to mature. Spring Wheat matures around 4th month, ~120 days from Spring Equinox in March 21.
One cannot say 100% as probably no one can if the date for 2020, for example will indeed be the true count of Pentecost, ‘when it fully comes’ around July 20. It is much less if it is then to be tied to the end of the Church Age and the subsequent Resurrection/Rapture event. Some have questioned this theory but there is a growing awareness that such a calculation might well be valid and true. The following will be the analysis of the reiteration account of the Feast of Weeks as retold in Deuteronomy 16. Regarding the timing of Pentecost, Scriptures has many layers of depth and meaning to it. Here is the main argument for supporting the single ’50-day count’ from Deuteronomy 16:9 in contrast to Leviticus 23:16.
It has to do with the word to ‘count’, and then to ‘number. The Question is, are they referring to the same count or are there 2 distinct counts? Some do interpret this verse on the surface that it does not infer to ‘add’ 50 more days. But rather to ‘number’ or ‘celebrate’ that 50th day that falls right after the 7 weeks or 49 days with a new meat offering. This is not and cannot be Pentecost then. However, some that hold to his orthodoxy would concede that there is bases for which one could support the adding of 50 more days. This would come to light in how the ‘New Wine’, that Peter alluded to.
The mystery of the ‘New Wine’ statement which begins to be harvested in mid-July comes in to play in the timing mentioned by the Apostle Peter. So here are some assessments about Deuteronomy 16:9-10 in relation to Leviticus 23:16.
1. First of all, Deuteronomy 16:9-10 is a review or reiteration of Leviticus 23. So, not all the details will or have to be recited, which in this case, the 50-day count is apparently not mentioned. It is not known why unless it is inferred, which could be the case.
2. This then leads, logically to distinguish the counts that Leviticus does say 50 days to be 'numbered' in addition to how it can be read. And as mentioned prior in posts, 7 Sabbaths or 49 days cannot be 50 days, unless it is inferred that the following day is that day in which the celebration/offering is to take place. But it does not,
3. It specifically mentions the 49th day, that is when the offering is to take place, unless again, it is inferred that they are to be complete 49 days and then the offering takes place the day after, on the 50th day, etc. One has to also consider the context and how the audience at the time would have precisely understood any unwritten inferences.
4. Another possible assessment is that it is only highlighting the Counting of the Omer right after Passover. Which in this case, would be the 49th day and it would be a time of an offering but only in the sense that the 'halfway' milestone has been reached. Or in the whole scheme of the Leviticus 23 segment would be the halfway marker.
5. Another interpretation of Deuteronomy 16:9-10 is that it is exactly telling what is to be interpreted, controversy over. The 49 days is then the Feast of Weeks and the 50 days referenced in Leviticus 23 is thus the day after the 49th and is all inclusive. As to the 1st portion stating ‘count’ but then the 2nd segment stating, ‘number’? The meaning of ‘to number’ is the same as to count. When someone says, ‘can you number how many students are in the classroom’? One would count them.
6. But then this leads to the inference Peter gave that the harvest of the New Wine was in progress and this clue suggests then a mid-summer time frame, as that is when the Grape Harvest begins and can never occur a mere 49 days out from the Spring Feasts.
7. Another issue is ‘when’ the sickle is to be put to the grain. It is really ambiguous. Is this referring to the first time that the sickle was used to gather the first fruits of the Spring Wheat grain that were offered on the Feast of First Fruits that was the day Jesus rose with several other from the tombs? Note that if so, it was the grain that matured early. This would mean that the type of Wheat is a Spring Wheat that could not mature in 50 days from that time around the end of May, early June.
8. Consider a very important clue, that Spring Wheat is usually planted around mid-March just after the Equinox. And this ties in, to what Jesus said, ‘is not there 4 months and then comes the harvest’. So, a Spring Wheat planting is then harvested between July and September. In other words, it takes 4 months or 120 days to be around June.
9. This timeline then would suggest that this Spring Wheat could not be ripe enough to be harvested by late May, which most believe is when Pentecost occurs. Or one could say that 'the grain standing' would be the wheat stalks that starts to mature at the halfway marker or the 49th day. So, to reiterate, the only time this Spring Wheat crop could mature enough would then have to be at a mid-summer harvest time. It would be July 20, exactly 120 days from the Equinox, based on the Jewish 30-day month count and by the way, would be 33% of the year.
In summary, concerning Deuteronomy 16:9-10, if there is a subsequent and separated 50-day count, it is ambiguous at best. It does not really resolve the discrepancy in general if indeed Leviticus is implying a double count. To some, providing such an analyzes of Deuteronomy 16:9-10 might make sense but only to a point. It would appear that there is a degree of Cognitive Dissonance and Normalcy Bias going on here in terms of how to count to Pentecost. But such a debate also occurs as with other major theological issues/topics, etc. It is understandable and many do state that they get lost in all of the deeper harvest timings and overlays. It is especially true when calculating which is the correct abib, is it on a leap year and so on.
To such, it is best to just sit on the proposition that Pentecost and the Rapture could be any given day position as a safe bet. For others, the Fall Feasts are just as much a high watch time also if not more so to many. Others keep saying that, only God really knows when the Blessed Hope will finally come. This is true, in general but it avoids the clues clearly presented. Yet other people are adamant about looking for the Rapture in Spring, solely based on the described timing of the love relationship and marriage between King Solomon and the Shulamite which only begins in the Spring.
This typology in the Song of Songs is a very powerful type to consider and a favorite. But consider that the ‘scene’ opens-up in the Spring, true. But she then flees. So, sorry no Spring Rapture. Then she plays hard to get and then an exchange in dialog begins over time. He comes to visit her by the widow and the relationship starts to mature. Then they do pledge to each other and he then leaves for a long time. They think on each other longing for the day they will be together, etc. Then sometime later, Solomon comes with his train of entourages come to pick her up and ‘lift her up’ to be taken to the palace. Is this not like what Jesus will come with and do at the Rapture? He will come and ‘lift-up’ His Bride and take her to His palace. This will be far greater than the Fiery Chariot come down to pick up Elijah.
No, in this case it will be the very Merkavah Chariot of YHVH Himself come to meet the Bride halfway in the Sky like the pre-incarnate Jesus met Moses, Joshua and the 70 Elders of Israel halfway up Mt. Sinai to have a feast. This also echoes the ancient Jewish wedding procession that occurred around midnight as the Bride and her attendants brought her out and the Groom with his groomsmen proclaimed the shout. They then met around a halfway point or marker as the Groom then took her by the arm to escort her back to his father’s house that he had had been preparing for a year. The point is that the Spring time was just the opening scene, then the ‘courtship’ and development. And as a clue, they talk about fruit that are then harvested in the Summer.
This is to say again that Spring was when he came calling…then the relationship had to develop, as he pursued her. Then it matured and then naturally led to the wedding after, the Summer harvest, like Ruth and Boaz. Spring and Summer were a time to tend to the fields. During Summer, all hands were and are needed to bring-in the harvest. In ancient Israel, this harvest was critical as they depended on this for food to last through the cold winters, etc. It was only after the harvest work done that then one could take rest from one’s labor. It was then to be celebrated and most notably, marriages then occurred after the harvest. So too will it be the case that once the Bride of Christ has been ‘harvested’ of the last Gentile during this Pentecost harvest, the Marriage Super of the Lamb will ensue.
Will it not be the same that currently during this time of the ‘Pentecostal Age’ that laborers have been sent out to gather the Gentiles in particular and only then when the harvest is all gathered in will the owner of the field marry-off his sons? Well, for 2020, the end of Spring will be June 20 on the Summer Solstice as Summer beings. Let the countdown begin. Why are these celestial markers pertinent? Consider in the chart provided that illustrates the timeline for 2020 from the Spring Equinox of March 20. Given the ancient Jewish calendar of counting 12 months each with 30 days. Then it would exactly be 4 months or 120 days to July 20, 2020. Amazingly, in the midst of this countdown is the 72nd anniversary of Israel’s birth, May 14, 2020. These celestial markers are prophetic codes that have already been discussed in the prior studies dealing with the decree given by YHVH in how the Sun, Moon and the Stars were for ‘Seasons and counting time’.
Then as mentioned, Jesus cryptically inferred about the ‘White Harvest’ to come in 4 months or 120 days. When? At mid-Summer. Then what is also very interesting is that the time consisting of the 5 months in which these events happen from the months of March to July is exactly a timespan of 153 days. This is the same number of fish that were caught in the net by the Disciples as directed by the risen Jesus Christ. It was a foreshadowing of how many souls would come into the net during the Pentecostal Age, that had a beginning and will have its end. Why? It is because the Bride ‘has made herself ready’, and the Commission to witness and testify of Jesus will be transferred to the 140,000 and the coming 2 Witnesses in preparation for the 7-Year Tribulation Period or that to conclude Daniel’s 70th Week of Years.
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