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Reishit Katzir

April 16, 2014

Meeting Times [מוֹעֵד H4150] – (Seasons)
The sun, moon, and stars indicate set appointments when Yahweh will show up to interact with His people. The Older Covenant feasts, Yahweh’s meeting times (seasons), are determined by the cycles of the moon. The word translated feasts is the Hebrew word, מוֹעֵד Moed. Moed means a divine appointment. In other words: a fixed time or season, specifically a festival.

Moed [מוֹעֵד H4150]
• At this set time – Genesis 17:21, 21:2; Exodus 9:5
• At the appointed time – Genesis 18:14
• An appointed season – Exodus 13:10; Numbers 9:2, 9:3, 9:7, 9:13; Deuteronomy 16:6
• An appointed place (tabernacle / tent of the congregation) – Numerous Exodus, Leviticus passages.

In Greek: Chronos [χρόνος G5550] — time either long or short – time.
Kairos [καιρός G2540] – a fixed and definite time – season.

It is not for you to know the timesG5550 or the season G2540 . . .” – Acts 1:7
But of the times and the seasons . . .” – 1 Thessalonians 5:1

The Moedim were times when Yahweh appointed a מִקְרָא Miqrao. A miqrao is something called out. In other words: a public meeting, an assembly, a holy convocation, a reading, or a rehearsal. In other words, the feasts are a dress rehearsal for the coming of Yeshua. The moedim of Israel have a practical, a symbolic, and a prophetic application.

Miqrao [מִקְרָא H4744]
• A holy convocation – Exodus 12:16; Leviticus 23:2-8; Numbers 28:18, 28:25, 29:12
• An assembly – Numbers 10:2; Isaiah 1:13, 4:5
• A reading – Nehemiah 8:8

The Three Commanded Moedim
Deuteronomy 16:16 – “Three times in a year all your males shall appear before the LORD your God in the place which He chooses, at the Feast of Unleavened Bread and at the Feast of Weeks and at the Feast of Booths, and they shall not appear before the LORD empty-handed.

The Three commanded Moedim are:
• Pesach (Passover), including Chag Ha’Matzoth (Unleavened Bread) and Reishit Katzir (First Fruits)
• Shavuot (Pentecost)
• Sukkoth (Tabernacles)

The Seven Moedim are:
• Pesach (Passover)
• Chag Ha’Matzoth (Unleavened Bread)
• Reishit Katzir (First Fruits) Begins on the third day after Pesach.
• Shavuot (Pentecost)
• Yom Teruah (Trumpets)
• Yom Kippurim (Day of Atonements)
• Sukkoth (Tabernacles)

The Third Holy Day
Exodus 23:16 – “You will keep the feast of harvest, the firstfruits of your labors, which you have sown in the field.”

Leviticus 23:10-11 – “Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, ‘When you enter the land which I am going to give to you and reap its harvest, then you shall bring in the sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest to the priest.  He shall wave the sheaf before the LORD for you to be accepted; on the day after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it’.”

Historical Background Of The Feast Of Reishit Katzir
On the day called Reishit Katzir, also called Firstfruits, the first sheaf (or omer) of barley was waved before Yahweh.  This happened on the morning after the Sabbath which was on the third day after Pesach began.  The first sheaf is a promise and a thanksgiving of the larger harvest to come.  Firstfruits symbolized the consecration of the whole harvest to Yahweh.   From then on, an omer was counted for every day until Shavuot, or Pentecost.  This period is called “the counting of the omer”.

A sheaf in the Bible is used to typify a person or persons (Genesis 37:5-11). Bread was made from fine flour from the barley and was waved before Yahweh.  It expressed the people’s dependence on Yahweh for bread.  The fine flour represented perfect righteousness.  Burnt, Cereal, and Drink Offerings were also given.  None of the new grain was eaten until this day.  The festival of Reishit Katzir looks forward prophetically to the resurrection of  Ha’Mashiach.  That this was foreshadowed to happen is indicated in several places by other types and shadows as well such as those in Genesis 22:1-6; Exodus 3:18, 5:3, & 8:27; Esther 4:15-17; and Jonah 1:7 & 2:1-2).

Modern Background
1 Corinthians 15:20-23 – “But now Yeshua is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.  For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead.  For as in Adam all die, even so in Yeshua all shall be made alive.  But each one in his own order: Yeshua the firstfruits, afterward those who are Yeshua’s at His coming.”

Matthew 12:40  – “For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the sea monster, so will the son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.”

The key word describing Reishit Katzir is Resurrection.  Yeshua, the perfect lamb, entered into Jerusalem riding on a donkey on what today we call Palm Sunday.  Like the Pesach lamb, he was examined for four days, then sacrificed on Pesach.  Three days later, on Reishit Katzir, he rose from the dead, fulfilling the Feast of Firstfruits and the sign of Jonah.

By comparing the Newer Covenant accounts with the Jewish Talmud, Mishnah and Midrash Rabbah, one is able to establish the following:
•Yeshua was executed on the 14th of Nisan which was either a Thursday or Friday, and He rose again the following Sunday which was either the 16th or the 17th of Nisan.
•The “First of Weeks”, described in Matthew 28:1 and various other passages, was the First Day of the Omer according to the Sadducees.
•If the crucifixion was on Friday, the “First of Weeks” would also have been the First Day of the Omer according to the Pharisees.

This has the clear meaning that Yeshua rose from the dead on the Festival of Firstfruits when the priest would have waved the sheaf of barley before the Lord on the First day of the Omer.

Yeshua: The Firstfruits Of The Barley Harvest
Matthew 1:23-25 – Yeshua is the firstborn of Mary
Romans 8:29 – Yeshua is the firstborn of many brethren
1 Corinthians 15:20-23 – Yeshua is the first fruits of the resurrected ones
Colossians 1:15 – Yeshua is the firstborn of every creature
Hebrews 1:6 – Yeshua is the first-begotten of Yahweh
Revelation 1:5 – Yeshua is the first-begotten from the dead

Yeshua is indeed the sheaf of the firstfruits of the barley harvest!  After being crucified and dying, he rose on the third day.  So if Yeshua’s resurrection is a picture of the barley harvest on Reishit Katzir, his tomb represents the field after the harvest: empty!  Just as the barley harvest foreshadows the wheat harvest yet to come on Shavuot, so His resurrection foreshadows a greater one that is yet to come.  When Mary saw Yeshua outside the empty tomb, He told her not to hold on, as He had to present himself before the Father (John 14:20).  Just as no one could partake of the grain until the Wave Sheaf Offering, no one could partake in the joy of his resurrection until he appeared before his Father.

Other Firstfruits Scriptures
Exodus 4:22 – Israel is Yahweh’s firstborn.
Matthew 6:33 – We are called to seek first the Kingdom of God.
Matthew 10:5-6 – The gospel was preached to the Jew first and then to the Gentile. Therefore, the Gentiles became the first to receive Yeshua Ha’Mashiach, and the Jews, as a corporate people, will accept Yeshua as Mashiach as well at the end of this present age.
Matthew 27:52-53 – Those who arose from the dead with Yeshua during His resurrection became the firstfruits of all those who will rise from the dead.
Mark 10:31 – The first will be last and the last will be first.  Again, the Jews will be last, and the Gentiles first.
1 Corinthians 15:46 – The natural is before the spiritual.
James 1:17-18 – The early believers were a kind of firstfruits.
Revelation 14:1-4 –  The martyred saints of the tribulation period are firstfruits.

The Church
The Church was born on the next Festival of Firstfruits, at Shavuot, when the priest waved the two loaves of bread, baked from the fine flour of the wheat crop.  Why two loaves? One loaf was for the Jews and one for the Gentiles.   Members of the church “have the firstfruits of the Spirit and groan inwardly as they wait eagerly for their adoption as sons and the redemption of their bodies” (Romans 8:23).  Yeshua’s death and resurrection mirrored the planting and harvesting of the barley harvest on Reishit Katzir, while the coming resurrection of Yeshua’s followers will be as the wheat harvest at Shavuot.  Church members eagerly await that day, just as they eagerly await the bountiful harvest sure to come on Shavuot!

Conclusion
The Feast of Reishit Katzir symbolizes the barley harvest, which points to the wheat harvest yet to come on Shavuot at the finish of the counting of the Omer.   This feast was fully fulfilled in Yeshua’s resurrection on the third day, on the morning of the day after the Sabbath of Pesach – on the day of Reishit Katzir.

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