In Leviticus 23:15-17 we read:
15 And ye shall count unto you from the morrow after the Sabbath, from the day that ye brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven Sabbaths shall be complete:
16 Even unto the morrow after the seventh Sabbath shall ye number fifty days; and ye shall offer a new meat offering unto the LORD.
17 Ye shall bring out of your habitations two wave loaves of two tenth deals: they shall be of fine flour; they shall be baken with leaven; they are the firstfruits unto the LORD.
Seven weeks after the waving of the First Fruits mentioned in the foregoing verse we celebrate Shavuot. To Jews Shavout is the giving of the Law and to Christians it is Pentecost the giving of Grace or the birth of the Church. More accurately it was the giving of the Comforter (Holy Spirit-Ruach Ha Kodesh), which writes the law on our hearts and enables us to live it.
In the Bible a popular metaphor represented here by Hosea 2:1 in which Israel is depicted as the bride and G-d the bridegroom says: “And I will betroth you unto me forever.” The marriage that took place at Mount Sinai between the children of Israel and G-d was sealed with the words “we will do and we will hear.” This ketubah or marriage contract specifies the obligations between Israel and G-d and according to Hebrews 8:5, the things of ancient Israel are a “shadow of heavenly things.”
This ancient festival is a shadow of today’s latter day assemblies of G-d. We are the Ekklesia, the called out ones, which was mistranslated “church;” a Germanic word originally used to described an occult circle. And as called out believer’s we have first to be obedient to the shadow before we can receive the substance.
In Gen. 37:5-8 Joseph, a type of the Messiah had a dream, an in it, he was represented by a “sheaf” and his brothers were each represented by a “sheaf” All of who eventually bowed down to Joseph. As prophecy goes it usually has an immediate realization as well as one that comes about in the future. But, from this Scripture illustration we see that “sheaves” represent people, which also points to Mark 4:26-29 and Matthew 13:39 that speak of people in the Kingdom of G-d as seed and harvest.
According to tradition, the central concept of Shavuot is the “revelation of G-d.” True to this understanding about 2,000 years ago a small group of Jewish Israelites were gathered in Jerusalem on Shavuot, and at that convocation the Father again “revealed” Himself even as Yahshua promised; fifty days after His First Fruits resurrection, he sent the “Comforter.” Thus His followers experienced the first refreshed renewed Covenant Shavuot.
In His Torah the Father forbids anything of leaven being “offered up to Him in smoke.” The Shavuot loaves could be waved before Him but they could not “ascend as an soothing aroma on the altar.” (Lev. 2:12) so we have to ask ourselves what do these two loaves of leavened bread represent?
Even as the twelve loaves of “show bread” found in the Tabernacle-Temple represented the twelve tribes of Israel, so the “two ” leavened loaves represent “both houses of Israel.” Two is the number for Ephraim/Israel and Judah/Israel. For each is imperfect, each has leaven, which is waved before the Lord. While the bread of truth can be found in both houses neither has all the truth.
Yahshua instructed His followers to gather His “other sheep”, the scattered sheep of Ephraim/Israel, calling them out to His “congregation of the First-Born”. In Hos 8:8 we read: Israel is swallowed up: Now shall they be among the Gentiles as a vessel wherein is no pleasure. Amos 9:9 reads: For, lo, I will command, and I will sift the house of Israel among all nations, like as corn is sifted in a sieve, yet shall not the least grain fall upon the earth. And in John 10:16 16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd. Furthermore, we read in:
Gen 48:17-19 And when Joseph saw that his father laid his right hand upon the head of Ephraim, it displeased him: and he held up his father’s hand, to remove it from Ephraim’s head unto Manasseh’s head 18 And Joseph said unto his father, Not so, my father: for this is the firstborn; put thy right hand upon his head. 19 And his father rfused, and said, I know it, my son, I know it: he also shall become a people, and he also shall be great: but truly his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his seed shall become a multitude of nations.
So we have a lost scattered Israel making up many nations represented by Ephraim as a “fullness of Gentiles” who one day would respond to the Father and thus be regathered back into their rightful place, Israel. Judah/Israel and Ephraim/Israel represented by these two loaves. And it is interesting to note that for almost 3,500 years these two loaves have been represented on the Sabbath table, being broken and joined together, united as one under the Kippur (Covering) of the Sabbath wine that represents Yahshua’s blood. What a lovely picture of the regathering of Israel unto Yahshua.
Judah/Israel like Ephraim/Israel has stumbled. Judah has maintained the Law as “good and necessary” while Ephraim has not. G-d said of Ephraim, “though I wrote ten thousand precepts of My Law, they were a strange thing to him” Hos. 8:11 Because Ephraim hath made many altars to sin, altars shall be unto him to sin. 12: 1 have written to him the great things of my law, but they were counted as a strange thing. Hos 4:6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy G-d, I will also forget thy children. PS. 78:9-10 The children of Ephraim, being armed, and carrying bows, turned back in the day of battle. 10 They kept not the covenant of G-d, and refused to walk in his law;
One of the loaves, Ephraim/Israel: lost Israel and “Gentile Christians” still believe the Law is “foreign”, dead, and continue to stumble over the sanctuary that is Yahshua.
Yahshua came to deliver us from the curse of death from breaking the law (Gal. 3:13) The “sacrificial” laws have changed with Yahshua’s death, but G-d’s principles, His Laws are eternal. To live with G-d in eternity mankind will have to want to have no other G-ds before Him, not lie, observe and obey His precepts, et al. And Judah unfortunately does not recognize the Father’s Son and has made the Law burdensome.
Shalom, Rabbi Phil Davis ~ Beth Elohim Messianic Synagogue