- What is this?
- Humility is what pleases Adonai (the LORD)
- The “bursting of the womb” with New Life
- The new life of Innocence, Purity, and Humility
What is this?
זֶה הַדָּבָר אֲשֶׁר צִוָּה ה’ לִקְטוּ מִמֶּנּוּ אִישׁ לְפִי אָכְלֹו עֹמֶר לַגֻּלְגֹּלֶת מִסְפַּר נַפְשֹׁתֵיכֶם אִישׁ לַאֲשֶׁר בְּאָהֳלֹו תִּקָּֽחוּ׃
This is what Adonai has commanded, “Gather of it every man as much as he should eat; you shall take an omer apiece according to the number of persons each of you has in his tent” (Exodus 16:16).
רֵאשִׁית בִּכּוּרֵי אַדְמָתְךָ תָּבִיא בֵּית ה’ אֱלֹהֶיךָ׃
“You shall bring the very first of the first fruits of your soil into the house of Adonai Eloheicha” (Exodus 34:26a).
As stated previously, the English word “sheaf” comes from the Hebrew word “omer” (עֹמֶר) and is simply “a dry measure equal to about five pints.” The Hebrew word for “first” is re’shit (רֵאשִׁית.) It means “the first of its kind.” The word “firstfruits” is bikkuri (בִּכּוּרֵי). The root word for bikkuri is bakar (בָּכַר). Bakar means to be “born first” and “to be born early.” The Omer is a dry measure that is equal to the amount of manna that was allocated as a daily portion of food while the children of Israel journeyed from Egypt to the Promised Land.
וַיִּקְרְאוּ בֵֽית־יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶת־שְׁמֹו מָן וְהוּא כְּזֶרַע גַּד לָבָן וְטַעְמֹו כְּצַפִּיחִת בִּדְבָֽשׁ׃
“The house of Israel named it man-na (מָן), and it was like coriander seed, white, and its taste was like wafers with honey” (Exodus 16:31).
The word “manna” comes from the interrogative pronoun “mah” (מָה) that means “what?” of “What kind?” Therefore the meaning of the word manna is, “What’s this?” An Omer contains a portion equal to the manna that was assigned to each individual for his daily allotment of food while Israel was transiting from the wilderness to the Promised Land.
Humility is what pleases Adonai (the LORD):
וְהֵנִיף אֶת־הָעֹמֶר לִפְנֵי ה’ לִֽרְצֹנְכֶם מִֽמָּחֳרַת הַשַּׁבָּת יְנִיפֶנּוּ הַכֹּהֵֽן׃
“He shall wave the sheaf before Adonai (the LORD) for you to be accepted (רָצוֹן); on the day after the sabbath the priest shall wave it” (Leviticus 23:11). The sheaf (omer) of barley is waved before the Heavenly Father to be “accepted” by Him.
The word “accepted” comes from the Hebrew word “ratzon” (רָצוֹן) meaning “a delight,” what is pleasing, acceptable, and approved.
What is acceptable to God is what gains His “favor.” The lowly barley grain (the grain/bread of the poor) in its `budding out stage’ is “waved” to gain favor from Adonai. This favor that the humble (poor in spirit) barley grain elicits from the Holy One is what causes the grain ripening process to continue right up until the time of the glorious “golden” wheat harvest that begins at Shavuot (the Feast of Weeks).
The “bursting of the womb” with New Life:
As stated previously the word firstfruits comes from the Hebrew word ‘bikkur.’ This word means the firstfruits of the crop. This is a different Hebrew word and meaning than the term ‘reshit’ that means the first of its kind. Bikkur derives its meaning from its root word ‘bakar’ which means to “burst the womb.” The word picture here is one of a woman giving birth to her first child or a fruit tree giving forth early fruit.
The new life of Innocence, Purity, and Humility:
The barley had to be budding green before the new moon that begins the month of Abib (Nisan).
A couple of weeks must elapse between the time of budding and flowering barley and the maturation of the embryo (new) grain that must be waved during the days of Unleavened Bread. Thus, there is always sufficient time between the budding green barley and the formation of the new ears to be waved and blessed. This means the green barley always ‘reveals’ itself at the beginning of the first month of Abib. Therefore, we can see that the Jewish calendar of the heavenly Father is based on observation by watching for the formation of the new ears of green barley. This means: “Hearing” according to the color of the green barley is symbolic of our hearing with the “new ears” of innocence, purity, and humility.
This revelation of the new ears of green barley describes the character and virtue of the Mashiach, the Pure, Innocent, Humble Man.
The revelation of the Humble Man reached its maturity at the point of the Messiah voluntarily sacrificing His life as an atonement for our sin. Thereafter, on the third day the Humble Man was resurrected from the dead. Then the Humble Man became the Glorified Man. Thereafter, we observe the unveiling of the next (new) harvest that is a witness to the Messiah’s death, resurrection and glorification.
וּסְפַרְתֶּם לָכֶם מִמָּחֳרַת הַשַּׁבָּת מִיֹּום הֲבִיאֲכֶם אֶת־עֹמֶר הַתְּנוּפָה שֶׁבַע שַׁבָּתֹות תְּמִימֹת תִּהְיֶֽינָה׃ עַד מִֽמָּחֳרַת הַשַּׁבָּת הַשְּׁבִיעִת תִּסְפְּרוּ חֲמִשִּׁים יֹום וְהִקְרַבְתֶּם מִנְחָה חֲדָשָׁה לַ ה’׃
“You shall also count for yourselves from the day after the sabbath, from the day when you brought in the sheaf of the wave offering; there shall be seven complete sabbaths. You shall count fifty days to the day after the seventh sabbath; then you shall present a new grain offering to Adonai” (Leviticus 23:15-16).
This extended period of harvest time, called the “Counting of the Omer,” speaks of the maturation and harvesting of the followers of the Messiah and their ultimate glorification, symbolized in the firstfruits harvesting of the “golden grain” of wheat (that comes 50 days after the harvesting of the lowly “green barley”).
The wheat harvest is a testimony to the heavenly Father sending the gift of His Indwelling Presence to live in our hearts forever.
The Spirit of Holiness helps us grow, mature spiritually (from the Inside-out), in this life and He is the One who will perfect us on the day of resurrection. Moses gave us the Torah that is on stone (a heart of stone). The Messiah gave to us the “Living Torah” or “Law of the Spirit” (a Heart of flesh). The gift of Abba our Father, the heavenly gift of the Holy Spirit, was given to us on Shavuot (the feast of Weeks). The eternal life of the Holy Spirit is the life of the Golden Grain, the life of the Resurrected-Glorified One. The celebration of the Life of the Spirit of Messiah, the giving of Living Torah, is symbolized in the wheat harvest that is celebrated on the fiftieth day of HaBikkuim (the festival of weeks, Shavuot (חַג שָׁבֻעֹת); also called the fiftieth day, Pentecost (πεντηκοστή).