by Jack Kelley
Pentecost comes in the early summer (May-June). It’s the only Levitical Feast Day between the 3 Spring Feasts (Passover, Unleavened Bread, and First Fruits) and the 3 in the fall (Rosh Hashanna, Yom Kippur, and Tabernacles). The Hebrew name for this Day is Shavuot, which means weeks, so in Israel it’s called the Feast of Weeks.
This is because it’s supposed to occur 7 weeks after the Feast of First Fruits (Lev. 23:15-16). Deut. 16:9 confirms this. “Count off seven weeks from the time you begin to put the sickle to the standing grain.” The first cutting of the grain harvest took place on the Feast of First Fruits. Since First Fruits is the first Sunday after Passover, Shavuot should always be on a Sunday, too. But somewhere along the way the Jews began counting from Passover itself, so now Shavuot can come any day of the week, depending on what day Passover is. This year (2010) it began at sundown May 18 on our calendar.