Compliments of First Fruits of Zion
reprinted by permission of FFOZ
Torah : Exodus19:1–20:23; Deuteronomy 15:19–16:17;
Haftarah : Ezekiel 1:1–28; 3:12; Habakkuk 2:20–3:19
Gospel : Acts 2
Thought for the Week:
(An excerpt from Torah Club)
Long before Acts 2, the Sages considered Pentecost to be the anniversary of
the day God spoke the Torah at Mount Sinai. In Judaism, it is called the
festival of the “Giving of the Torah.” Before tongues of fire ever fell upon the
believers in Jerusalem, there was fire falling on Mount Sinai. As the disciples
of the risen Messiah were gathering to celebrate Pentecost in Jerusalem, they
were gathering to celebrate the anniversary of the giving of the Torah.
The Giving of the Torah
(Based on Torah Club)
The holy festival of Shavuot falls on Monday, June 12th this year. It is also
called Pentecost. Pentecost means “fifty.”
Let’s consider the significance of the first Pentecost at Mount Sinai. Exodus
19 and 20 tells the story. God stepped down from the heavens; He stepped onto
the top of a mountain. There was wind; there was lighting; there was thunder;
there was smoke; there was the very loud sound of a ram’s horn trumpet blowing,
and there was fire. The entire nation audibly heard the voice of God speaking
the Ten Commandments.
According to Jewish legend, when God spoke the Ten Commandments on Mount
Sinai, His voice spoke forth in all the languages of mankind and it took the
shape of fiery sparks that encircled the camp of Israel and came to rest on each
individual Jew. (Shabbat 88b; Shemot Rabbah 5:9; Midrash Chazit)
Is that how it really happened? It does not matter whether the legends are
true. Perhaps God’s voice did speak in every language. Perhaps it did not.
Perhaps His words came forth as fiery sparks that rested on each individual.
Perhaps they did not. It is important, however, to remember that Peter and the
disciples and followers of Yeshua were all well aware of the Pentecost legends.
They must have known the story of the giving of the Torah on Pentecost. They
knew the story of the words of fire resting on each individual. They knew the
story of God’s voice speaking to all mankind in every language. Therefore, the
miracles, signs and wonders that came upon them in Acts chapter two carried deep
significance. The tongues of fire and the speaking in every tongue were both
direct allusions to the Mount Sinai experience and the receiving of the Torah.
It is as if God drew a line of connection between the giving of His Torah and
the giving of His Spirit. We are not to see the one without considering the
other. The two events are interconnected. God’s Spirit and His Torah are
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