The annual Jewish feast of Pentecost is also called "Feast of Weeks" (cf. Exod. 34:22; Deut. 16:10). The term "Pentecost" means "fiftieth." This feast was held fifty days (seven weeks) after Passover (i.e., numbering from the second day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread). It had three purposes in Jesus' Day.

  1. commemoration of giving of the Law to Moses (cf. Jubilees 1:1)
  2. thanksgiving to God for the harvest
  3. an offering of the first fruits (i.e., a sign of YHWH's ownership of the whole harvest) of the grain harvest; the OT background is in Exod. 23:16-17; 34:22; Lev. 23:15-21; Num. 28:26-31; and Deut. 16:9-12)

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