As the Feast of First-Fruits is coming to an end this week, a short introduction of one of the names of this holy season might be interesting to you. For a detailed explanation, see Dr Fruchtenbaum’s “The Feasts and Fasts of Israel: Their Historic and Prophetic Significance.”
Hag Habikkurim, or the Feast of First-Fruits, is the third holy season on the Jewish calendar. The feast is known by four names: Hag Habikkurim, Reishit Ketzirechem, Yom Habikkurim, and Sefirat HaOmer. The fourth name, Sefirat HaOmer, means the “counting of the sheaf.” Leviticus 23:15-16 says:
“And ye shall count unto you from the morrow after the sab-bath, from the day that ye brought the sheaf [omer] of the wave-offering; seven sabbaths shall there be complete: even unto the morrow after the seventh sabbath shall ye number fifty days; and ye shall offer a new meal-offering unto the Lord.”
The command to count is repeated in Deuteronomy 16:9-10. The sheaf, in Hebrew “omer,” is a sheaf of grain. The counting of the omer would begin on the morrow after the Sabbath, “from the day that ye brought the sheaf of the wave-offering” (Lev. 23:15), and continued for 49 days, seven weeks, until Shavuot (the Feast of Weeks or Pentecost). Each night, an omer of barley would be cut from the standing grain in the field and brought to the Temple as an offering. The fifty days of Sefirat HaOmer mark the time from the day of the Exodus to the day the children of Israel were given the Torah at the Mountain of God on Shavuot.
Tonight, after nightfall, we count 47 days of the Omer.