Shavuot and the Giving of the Torah | What’s It Mean for Believers?

Shavuot is a time to celebrate the giving of the Torah. It is a time to celebrate God’s instruction and the coming of the Holy Spirit. Shavuot marks the end of the 50 days from Passover.

What is the Giving of the Torah?

The giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai commemorates the moment after Israel received instruction on how to live a life of freedom in a relationship with their Holy God and Heavenly Father. Many in the Church today are learning to appreciate the love and mercies written within God’s instructions. 

After Israel’s exodus from Egypt, Moses ascends to the mountain to speak with God and receive the Torah and Ten Commandments. God’s giving of the Torah is a release of His love, protection, provision, and empowerment for His people. His vision was for Israel to become a nation committed to serving Him. 

The Biblical Account of Shavuot

The term Shavuot (Hebrew word meaning “weeks”) is the Feast of Weeks, described in Exodus 34:22 (one of the three yearly “feasts of the Lord” seen in Leviticus 23). The giving of the Torah came at Shavuot, and is described in Exodus 19:1-19…

“In the third month after the children of Israel had gone out of the land of Egypt, on the same day, they came to the Wilderness of Sinai. For they had departed from Rephidim, had come to the Wilderness of Sinai, and camped in the wilderness. So Israel camped there before the mountain.

“And Moses went up to God, and the Lord called to him from the mountain, saying, ‘Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel: “You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to Myself. Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine. And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.” These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel.’

“So Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before them all these words which the Lord commanded him. Then all the people answered together and said, ‘All that the Lord has spoken we will do.’ So Moses brought back the words of the people to the Lord. And the Lord said to Moses, ‘Behold, I come to you in the thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak with you, and believe you forever.’ So Moses told the words of the people to the Lord.”

Our Response to God’s Grace and Deliverance

A man’s face lifted & eyes closed in worship, glowing embers surround him, depicting a heart response to freedom in Jesus.

Some have argued that celebrating the giving of the Torah on Shavuot is legalistic or no longer necessary, but this could not be further from the truth. Remember that the nation of Israel received its freedom BEFORE the giving of the Torah. 

They didn’t have to keep the law to receive their freedom. 

Keeping the law was designed to be a response to God’s grace and deliverance. So then, when we celebrate Shavuot, we are celebrating the freedom we have in Christ and the new life He died to give us. 

The Giving of the Law and the Giving of the Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit came on Shavuot—the “Day of Pentecost.” The term Pentecost comes from the Greek word pentekoste, meaning “fiftieth,” referring to the fiftieth day following Passover.

Fifty days after the first Passover, was the giving of the Torah—God’s instruction or the Law. This was released at Mount Sinai.

“You came down also on Mount Sinai, and spoke with them from heaven, and gave them just ordinances and true laws, good statutes and commandments.”

—Nehemiah 9:13 (emphasis added)

Fifty days after Jesus’ death at Passover, was the giving of the Holy Spirit. This was a release of God’s supernatural power that would equip Believers to accomplish His will. The Holy Spirit wrote the Law on our hearts, empowering us and giving us new life in Christ. This was done in Jerusalem, where the Holy Mountain of Zion is located. 

“And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father…”

—Acts 1:4 (emphasis added)

“When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place… Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance… 

[And Peter said] “… this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:

‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, that I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy…’”

—Acts 2:1, 3-4, 16-17

Because of this release, we have been given the mind of Christ. We have been empowered to follow the instruction of God by the Spirit of God. 

“This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them,”

—Hebrews 10:16
The Bible lays open on wooden table, pages glowing, and fiery embers surround it.

At the Feast at Shavuot, the Lord gave the gift of the Torah, providing instruction, relationship, and guidance to the nation of Israel. 

He repeated this pattern, according to His divine calendar, following Jesus’ death, resurrection, and ascension, pouring out the Holy Spirit upon those first Jewish Believers who were gathered together in one accord, observing Shavuot. This was the birth of the Church!

The disciples received the Spirit, which was promised to them by Jesus… 

“And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever—the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.”

—John 14:16-18

The Giving of God’s Instruction | Signs and Wonders 

“Now all the people witnessed the thunderings, the lightning flashes, the sound of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking; and when the people saw it, they trembled and stood afar off.

—Exodus 20:18

Thunder and lighting, sounds of trumpets, smoke… Can you imagine witnessing such glorious signs and wonders? 

God’s appearance at Mount Sinai was nothing short of miraculous and consuming. His glory filled the atmosphere. 

The Filling of the Holy Spirit | Signs and Wonders 

“…a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit… And there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven. And when this sound occurred, the multitude came together, and were confused, because everyone heard them speak in his own language. Then they were all amazed and marveled…”

Acts 2:2-7

In Acts 2, we see a similar event to that depicted in Exodus 20. 

The Spirit of God was poured out upon His people dwelling in Jerusalem, the Holy Mountain of Zion. 

Why are Shavuot and Pentecost Separate on the Calendar this Year? 

Usually, Shavuot and Pentecost are on the same days or very close, but many have noticed it is different this year. Similar to Resurrection Sunday and Passover, Pentecost and Shavuot are nearly three weeks apart. Why is this? Sometimes due to differences in the Hebrew calendar (lunar) and Gregorian calendar (solar), there can be changes like this. In the case of this year (2024) much is due to the effects of it being a leap year.

In some ways, the distance on the calendar can be seen as symbolic of the disconnect between the Bride and her Jewish Heritage – a breach Jesus is eager to heal and rectify. This disconnect, though it has been permitted for a time, is coming to a close as…

  • God puts a fire in our hearts to pray in agreement with His heart for Israel
  • We honor His covenant with the Jewish people
  • We embrace the heritage we have alongside them in Messiah Yeshua 

Pentecost’s connection to Shavuot is far more powerful when we understand. We see more of God’s character, His kindness, and beautiful intention. He sends the wind and fire of His Holy Spirit to fill the upper room on the same date as He sent His instruction at Sinai generations before. He provides Himself to dwell within His people, empowering them to follow His instruction through His Spirit. 

God’s past, present, and future movements in and through Israel are core to understanding the story we’ve been grafted into. So why has the modern Church become so separate from her understanding of her Jewish heritage? 

Did You Know?…

At the Council of Nicaea in 325 CE, the Church abandoned the biblical calendar God provided in scripture and adopted a fixed solar calendar of 365 days. As a result, the Jewish roots of the faith were removed, cutting the Church off from understanding and experiencing God’s divine blessings released at His appointed times. It also began to breed antisemitism in the Church. Truly, this breach from our Jewish roots was diabolical in nature —and has ravaged the Church not only of her heritage but also much of her power. Many have noticed something is missing in the House of God but are unsure what it is. It is greatly connected to Israel. 

In the Bible, God set festivals, events, and times according to the lunar calendar of 354 days. God’s timetable meant that these events didn’t align with man’s ways but His. This separation was not God’s intent. He is restoring all that has been lost. He is restoring His Bride to her roots, asking her to fully return to Him, the God of Israel. 

The Takeaway 

Knowing this removal of the roots of our faith helps you see the significance of God’s calendar… 

Shavuot is a time to celebrate. It is a time to remember the giving of the Torah and the Holy Spirit, who empowers us. These events on God’s calendar were established through the Jewish people and point us to the roots of our faith. When we discover the hidden treasures deep within our spiritual roots, we begin to think and act differently. Our habits and patterns change and align with God’s heart. We delight in His ways. 

Celebrate Shavuot, the giving of the Torah—the instruction and law written in our hearts and the infilling of the Holy Spirit. Step into and experience your freedom in Jesus in new ways by understanding God’s feasts and divine appointments that allow you to respond in a way that opens the doors of Heaven. 

Join us online or in person on June 11 for Shavuot 2024. Receive His instruction and Holy Spirit empowerment as we celebrate becoming new creations in Him!