- The Offering of the New Harvest
- Tenufat HaOmer
- Nisan 16
In the time of the tabernacle and the first and second temples of Jerusalem, Habikkurim was the day when a sheaf (omer) of barley (the first grain crop to ripen) was waved before Adonai in a prescribed ceremony. This day marks the start of the counting of the omer that starts the forty-nine day countdown to the festival of Shavuot:
וַיְדַבֵּר יְהוָה אֶל־מֹשֶׁה לֵּאמֹֽר׃ דַּבֵּר אֶל־בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וְאָמַרְתָּ אֲלֵהֶם כִּֽי־תָבֹאוּ אֶל־הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר אֲנִי נֹתֵן לָכֶם וּקְצַרְתֶּם אֶת־קְצִירָהּ וַהֲבֵאתֶם אֶת־עֹמֶר רֵאשִׁית קְצִירְכֶם אֶל־הַכֹּהֵֽן׃ וְהֵנִיף אֶת־הָעֹמֶר לִפְנֵי יְהוָה לִֽרְצֹנְכֶם מִֽמָּחֳרַת הַשַּׁבָּת יְנִיפֶנּוּ הַכֹּהֵֽן׃ וַעֲשִׂיתֶם בְּיֹום הֲנִֽיפְכֶם אֶת־הָעֹמֶר כֶּבֶשׂ תָּמִים בֶּן־שְׁנָתֹו לְעֹלָה לַיהוָֽה׃
“And Adonai spoke to Moses, saying, ‘Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘When you come into the land that I give you and reap its harvest, you shall bring the sheaf (omer) of the first (re’shiyth) of your harvest (katzir) to the priest, and he shall wave the sheaf before Adonai so that you may be accepted. On the day after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it. And on the day when you wave the sheaf, you shall offer a male lamb a year old without blemish as a burnt offering to Adonai'” (Leviticus 23:9-12).
The Offering of the New Harvest:
On Habikkurim the priest would wave a sheaf (omer) of green barley of the new harvest before Adonai (north, south, east, then west; i.e. the Sign of the Tav) as a symbolic gesture of dedicating it to Him. A male lamb was then sacrificed as a burnt offering to Adonai (olah) along with a minchah (unleavened bread mixed with oil) and wine (Leviticus 23:13):
וּמִנְחָתֹו שְׁנֵי עֶשְׂרֹנִים סֹלֶת בְּלוּלָה בַשֶּׁמֶן אִשֶּׁה לַיהוָה רֵיחַ נִיחֹחַ וְנִסְכֹּה יַיִן רְבִיעִת הַהִֽין׃
Its grain offering shall then be two-tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil, an offering by fire to Adonai for a soothing aroma, with its drink offering, a fourth of a hin of wine. Only after the wave offering was performed could the crop begin to be used (Leviticus 23:14):
וְלֶחֶם וְקָלִי וְכַרְמֶל לֹא תֹֽאכְלוּ עַד־עֶצֶם הַיֹּום הַזֶּה עַד הֲבִיאֲכֶם אֶת־קָרְבַּן אֱלֹהֵיכֶם חֻקַּת עֹולָם לְדֹרֹתֵיכֶם בְּכֹל מֹשְׁבֹֽתֵיכֶֽם׃
Until this same day, until you have brought in the offering of Eloheikha, you shall eat neither bread nor roasted grain nor new growth. It is to be a perpetual statute throughout your generations in all your dwelling places.
On this day (the first day of the week) a male lamb without defect was offered along with bread and wine. These are the very same symbols the Suffering Messiah Ben Joseph used to give remembrance to His once-in-eternity sacrifice.
The wave offering, called tenufat HaOmer, was performed “the day after the Sabbath” on Yom Rishon (Sunday). This was the interpretation of the Tzedukkim (צְדוּקִים-Sadducees) priests who interpreted the Torah ‘literally.’ The Wave Offering, therefore, occurs on the first Sunday after the regular weekly Sabbath. Since the Tzedukkim (lit. Righteous Ones) controlled the Temple worship schedule we know that in the time of Messiah’s first appearance the Wave Offering would have occurred on the Sunday immediately following His sacrifice as the Korban Pesach; literally ‘the day after’ the weekly Sabbath.
This is the day when the resurrection of the Mashiach occurred.
At the time of the Wave Offering is when Messiah first appeared to His disciples. In other words, the morning appearances of the Resurrected Messiah to His disciples and the time of the morning Wave Offering at the temple both occurred at about the same time.
The wave offering occured on Nisan 16, the day following the High Sabbath of the first day of Chag HaMatzot (Joshua 5:11). Messiah was raised from the dead on Nisan 16 (16th-seen, 17th-not seen; explanation given later). Messiah is the Firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep (death is referred to as sleep in the Tanakh). Through the first Adam we inherited death. Through the New Adam (Messiah) we inherit eternal life. In the first Adam all are appointed once to die. In the Anointed One, the last Adam, all are made alive, never to die again. Each is resurrected in his own order. Messiah is the Firstfruits. At His coming, all who belong to Messiah will be resurrected to eternal life. According to the Tanakh and the Brit Chadashah the following events occurred on the 16th day of Nisan:
Nisan 16. Israel entered Promised Land and ate the first fruit of Eretz Israel (Joshua 5:10-12).
Nisan 16. King Hezekiah completed the cleansing and rededication of the Temple (2 Chronicles 29:1-28).
Nisan 16. Queen *Esther hosted the ‘first’ of two banquets with the King of Persia and wicked Haman attending (Esther 5:4-8).
Nisan 16. was the day of the resurrection of King of Glory (as seen without counting the hidden day of Messiah).
*As you undoubtedly know the Festival of Pesach follows Purim for good reason. The spiritual understanding that we acquire in our observance of Purim is what prepares us for the greater revelation that follows in our observance of the Festival of Pesach; a festival that includes Chag HaMatzot and Yom HaBikkurim. For this reason, before going any further in this study, it is necessary that we go back and revisit some of the material that we covered in the previous document, the Messiah in Purim. Therefore, the next four chapters (2-5) are provided as a necessary review to provide us an adequate prophetic foundation for this study. Thereafter, in chapter six we will return to the study of the Messiah in HaBikkurim.