Counting the Omer

posted by Jeffrey on Friday, April 14, 2006 at 4:06 PM

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Count the what? Yeah, the omer. It is a Jewish unit of measure. According to the Torah, in Leviticus 23:15-16 and Deuteronomy 16:9-10, God's people were (and still are, if you're a devout Jew) to count the days from Passover to Shavu'ot. This period is known as "the Counting of the Omer" and lasts from the 16th of Nissan to the 5th of Sivan (April 14th to June 1st on our calendar).

Sound silly and pointless? Only at first glance. This festival was instituted during the days when God's people were under the Law of Moses (contrast to the grace of Christ later). The counting of the omer was to remind the people of the link between Passover, which commemorates the Exodus when God brought His people out of slavery in Egypt, and Shavu'ot, which is the celebration of the giving of the Law (Torah) to Moses on Mt. Sinai. To the devout Jew, it is symbolic of the fact that delivery from bondage was not complete until the Torah was received.

I, for one, feel that since the Jesus who indwells us today lived and taught (in his physical body that is) in the Law abiding Jewish culture of the 1st century, it just might be important that I understand a little bit about that culture and school of thought. I heard a saying somewhere once that said, "you can't know where you're going until you find out where you've been". Extremely cliche, but true nonetheless. Anyway, I'm finding incredibly intriguing things for me, a follower of Jesus in this 21st century, from studying and meditating on these ancient things and if you'd like, I encourage any who may stumble in here to do the same.

Happy Passover.

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Blogger Kat Coble said...

I've found over the last 20 years that few things are as fulfilling for a Christian as learning about the truest roots of our faith.

April 14, 2006 5:08 PM

Blogger Jeffrey said...

well said Kat. I've been meaning to comment on your Passover post as well.

April 14, 2006 8:08 PM


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