The Counting of the Omer is the 50-day period between Passover and Shavuot. The first Believers were Jewish. They were gathered in Jerusalem for Passover and stayed there for Shavuot, which is a Hebrew word meaning “weeks.”
Yeshua instructed them to stay in the city and wait…
“Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high.”—Luke 24:49
“And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, ‘which,’ He said, ‘you have heard from Me;’”—Acts 1:4
…this waiting took place during the Counting of the Omer written about in Leviticus and Deuteronomy.
“And you shall count for yourselves from the day after the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering: seven Sabbaths shall be completed. Count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath; then you shall offer a new grain offering to the Lord.”—Leviticus 23:15-16
“You shall count seven weeks for yourself; begin to count the seven weeks from the time you begin to put the sickle to the 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 as the Lord your God blesses you. You shall rejoice before the Lord your God… And you shall remember that you were a slave in Egypt, and you shall be careful to observe these statutes.”—Deuteronomy 16:9-12
Counting of the Omer | What is an Omer?
The Counting of the Omer begins on the second night of Passover when an omer—about two quarts—of barley was traditionally brought to the Temple as a grain offering. This offering came to simply be called ‘the Omer.’
The Omer would be counted daily until the night before Shavuot to help the Israelites remember the link between Passover and Shavuot. Passover commemorates the Exodus from Egypt, while Shavuot commemorates the giving of the Torah, the first five books of the Bible, to Moses on Mount Sinai. It serves as a reminder that we become empowered when we receive the instruction of the Word released at Shavuot.
What Happens During the Counting of the Omer?
It is a Jewish custom to pray a prayer each day when Counting the Omer. Below is a portion of the daily prayer, of which an important part is Psalm 67. (In the original Hebrew, Psalm 67 consists of 7 verses and 49 words, matching the 49 days that the Omer is counted—and is a central part of each day’s reciting of the count, meditation, blessing and prayer—from the second day of Passover to Shavuot)…
“May God be gracious to us and bless us; may He make His countenance shine upon us forever; that Your way be known on earth, Your salvation among all nations. The nations will extol You, O God; all the nations will extol You. The nations will rejoice and sing for joy, for You will judge the peoples justly and guide the nations on earth forever. The peoples will extol You, O God; all the peoples will extol You, for the earth will have yielded its produce and God, our God, will bless us. God will bless us; and all, from the farthest corners of the earth, shall fear Him.”
“We implore You, by the great power of Your right hand, release the captive. Accept the prayer of Your people; strengthen us, purify us, Awesome One. Mighty One, we beseech You, guard as the apple of the eye those who seek Your Oneness. Bless them, cleanse them; bestow upon them forever Your merciful righteousness. Powerful, Holy One, in Your abounding goodness, guide Your congregation. Only and Exalted One, turn to Your people who are mindful of Your holiness. Accept our supplication and hear our cry, You who knows secret thoughts. Blessed be the name of the glory of His kingdom forever and ever.” (emphasis added)
These 50-days from Passover to Shavuot are not about saying the right prayer or decreeing the right words. Simply ask the Spirit to guide your prayers during the Counting of the Omer and remind you each day of the connection between Passover and Shavuot.
What’s the Connection between Counting the Omer and Pentecost?
Pentecost comes from the Greek word for “fiftieth”—50 days from Passover marks the end of Counting the Omer. It was the day of Shavuot, the Feast of Weeks (Day of Pentecost), when the Holy Spirit was powerfully released, filling the disciples of Yeshua gathered in Jerusalem, empowering and birthing the Church. This 50-day period when we Count the Omer is completed at Pentecost (the word we see in most English translations of the Bible), referred to in Acts 2:1…
“When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.”
Counting the Omer | A Time of Introspection
As Believers today, we can be encouraged to use this 50-day period as a time of introspection. Spiritually speaking, a new year began at Passover and we have been given 50 days set apart to seek the Lord, to seek His vision and His wisdom, before He releases His empowering Word at Shavuot, or Pentecost.
3 Steps to Move into a New Season
A Spiritual Exodus
Passover is a time of a spiritual exodus, a time of coming out of a place of agreement with the bondage and the worshiping of idols that may have influenced us in the past year.
A Time of Introspection
Counting the Omer is the next step. A time to reflect and take these burdens before the Lord, asking Him to move them out as His Spirit moves within.
An Impartation of Instruction
After the Counting of the Omer, when the 50-day period comes to a close, you will be ready to receive the impartation of His instruction at Shavuot.
Again, this is not intended to be formulaic, but rather reveals a framework for which God operates according to His timeline—from Passover to Shavuot—and gives you an opportunity to step into His ways of operation.
An Omer | An Offering and an Opportunity
Consider this special period of Counting the Omer as a time to truly respond and reflect your desire for the Lord’s guidance. Ask Him to bless and cleanse you, bestowing mercy and instruction into your life.
Furthermore, as you spend this time reflecting upon the Lord’s mercy and goodness, ask His Spirit to reveal to you how you can move His Kingdom forward. The Omer, being an offering, can still be viewed as an opportunity to sow a seed into His Kingdom, into Israel, so that she too is blessed, cleansed, and receives the Lord’s merciful righteousness.
After all, this is her prophetic destiny. God’s Word declares her restoration, and you can be a part of this prophetic fulfillment as we grow closer to the time of His return.