The previous two articles we published regarding the feast of Shavuot emphasized the proclamation that had to be made as part of our Shavuot celebrations. We felt that this proclamation needed to be a repentance of sin. This repentance should not only be for our own sins, but also for the sins of our fathers. We set out on our trip to Jerusalem with the idea that we as a family needed to make a proclamation. However, we did feel that YHVH may have a bigger plan in mind. Little did we really know what an awesome experience awaited us! Please also read the follow-up post regarding the next proclamation we are making. All that YHVH has spoken, we will do!
Before we arrived in Jerusalem, we received an article from friends regarding the proclamation that has to be made on Shavuot. They had not completed reading our first article regarding Shavuot, and our second was still to be published (completed, but not yet released). They had received the message from another friend and felt it important enough to pass on to us. Once we all arrived in Jerusalem, we had some long discussions on the topic, and all agreed on the significance. We all experienced the same urgency regarding the proclamation of repentance on Shavuot. Slowly, but surely the pieces of the puzzle were coming together.
We found the next big piece of the puzzle on Shabbat morning when another friend from Germany arrived in Jerusalem. He shared his story about the build-up; he had to Shavuot. We had never met him before this day. What was most amazing is that he had been studying the exact same verses of scripture in his preparation for Shavuot without any knowledge of the previously mentioned article that we had published and received. He had also been led to do an extended fast in preparation for the feast. The level of anticipation in our group was surely starting to rise! All of us knew that YHVH had plans for His feast.
Usually when we go up to Jerusalem for the feasts, we present ourselves to YHVH at the City of David. This is one of the nearest places we can currently get to the original temple. We were blessed with a nice open space with enough room for all in the shade. When we arrived, we found a group much larger than we expected gathered together to experience the day with us. In the group, we had people from all over the world including Germany, Finland, United States, Canada, Israel and Jordan. What was also truly interesting for me is that the birthplaces of the group represented most of the continents of the world, namely North-America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Australasia. It was really as if YHVH had gathered people from all the nations to assemble before Him on this special day.
I started us off by sharing our lead-up to the gathering. I explained the three different views of the same message coming together and how all of us felt that the key message for the day was the repentance of sin. Another family later mentioned that they also felt that repentance was a key to this year’s Shavuot.
After this, our new friend from Germany gave his testimony on his build-up to Shavuot. He mentioned that he had known for a couple of years that he would be required to fast. He did not know when or why but was sure that he would know when the time was right. A couple of weeks back he got given six hours’ notice from YHVH to start his fast with no indication of how long it would last. Along the way, he felt discouraged, but, with YHVH’s help, he did not get dissuaded and continued. After 20 days, he knew that the fast would end in seven days. He continued for a total of 27 and one third days. This is equal to one day for every century since the ten Northern tribes were sent into captivity. We also know that Ezekiel was given an instruction to lie on his side 390 days for the years of Israel’s iniquity.
4 “As for you, lie down on your left side and lay the iniquity of the house of Israel on it; you shall bear their iniquity for the number of days that you lie on it. 5 “For I have assigned you a number of days corresponding to the years of their iniquity, three hundred and ninety days; thus you shall bear the iniquity of the house of Israel. 6 “When you have completed these, you shall lie down a second time, but on your right side and bear the iniquity of the house of Judah; I have assigned it to you for forty days, a day for each year.
If we take into account that they would be punished seven years for every year of iniquity we can start making some calculations. We know that the 10 tribes did not repent of their sins after the 390 years of captivity. Thus, they would have been punished seven times for these sins.
23 ‘And if by these things you are not turned to Me, but act with hostility against Me, 24 then I will act with hostility against you; and I, even I, will strike you seven times for your sins.
Thus, if we take the year of captivity for the 10 Northern tribes as 721 B.C., then the captivity should end (390 * 7) 2,730 years later. This brings us to the year of 2009 as the year that the 10 tribes could start their return from exile, provided they repent! What is also significant about this year is that it was a sabbatical year that started the current cycle of seven years. This cycle would end in 2016 as shown in our previous article. Therefore, we are in the time to repent of the sins of our fathers if we do not want to be punished another 7 fold.
As part of his testimony he also shared a number of the scriptures that he had received. The number of verses that were in common with our articles was simply amazing and included Daniel 9, Nehemiah 1 and Joel 2. His study had shown that the only reference to the “great and awesome El” could be found in three places:
5 I said, “I beseech You, O YHVH Elohim of heaven, the great and awesome El, who preserves the covenant and lovingkindness for those who love Him and keep His commandments, 6 let Your ear now be attentive and Your eyes open to hear the prayer of Your servant which I am praying before You now, day and night, on behalf of the sons of Israel Your servants, confessing the sins of the sons of Israel which we have sinned against You; I and my father’s house have sinned.
4 I prayed to YHVH my Elohim and confessed and said, “Alas, O YHVH, the great and awesome El, who keeps His covenant and lovingkindness for those who love Him and keep His commandments, 5 we have sinned, committed iniquity, acted wickedly and rebelled, even turning aside from Your commandments and ordinances.
21 “You shall not dread them, for YHVH your Elohim is in your midst, a great and awesome El.
Here we also find the connection between Deuteronomy 30 and the confessions made by Daniel (when he had realized that the 70 years prophesied by Jeremiah was almost over) and Nehemiah when he heard about the distress of the returnees in Jerusalem. We find both quoting the words of Moses:
12 “Then it shall come about, because you listen to these judgments and keep and do them, that YHVH your Elohim will keep with you His covenant and His lovingkindness which He swore to your forefathers.
1 “So it shall be when all of these things have come upon you, the blessing and the curse which I have set before you, and you call them to mind in all nations where YHVH your Elohim has banished you, 2 and you return to YHVH your Elohim and obey Him with all your heart and soul according to all that I command you today, you and your sons, 3 then YHVH your Elohim will restore you from captivity, and have compassion on you, and will gather you again from all the peoples where YHVH your Elohim has scattered you. 4 “If your outcasts are at the ends of the earth, from there the YHVH your Elohim will gather you, and from there He will bring you back.
32 ‘I will make the land desolate so that your enemies who settle in it will be appalled over it. 33 ‘You, however, I will scatter among the nations and will draw out a sword after you, as your land becomes desolate and your cities become waste. 34 ‘Then the land will enjoy its sabbaths all the days of the desolation, while you are in your enemies’ land; then the land will rest and enjoy its sabbaths.
11 “Indeed all Israel has transgressed Your law and turned aside, not obeying Your voice; so the curse has been poured out on us, along with the oath which is written in the law of Moses the servant of God, for we have sinned against Him. 12 “Thus He has confirmed His words which He had spoken against us and against our rulers who ruled us, to bring on us great calamity; for under the whole heaven there has not been done anything like what was done to Jerusalem. 13 “As it is written in the law of Moses, all this calamity has come on us; yet we have not sought the favor of the YHVH our Elohim by turning from our iniquity and giving attention to Your truth.
8 “Remember the word which You commanded Your servant Moses, saying, ‘If you are unfaithful I will scatter you among the peoples; 9 but if you return to Me and keep My commandments and do them, though those of you who have been scattered were in the most remote part of the heavens, I will gather them from there and will bring them to the place where I have chosen to cause My name to dwell.’
These scriptures make it clear that the only way the return from exile can happen is if we:
- return to YHVH
- hear His commandments
- and keep them
Most of us are trying our best to do the last two. However, very few of us have correctly returned to our Father. In the story of the prodigal son, we see how the son returns to the father:
20 “So he got up and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion for him, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. 21 “And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’
Here we see that the return of the son starts with a confession of his sins. I am sure our Father is expecting the same from us. We all felt that we need to be ashamed of the transgression, we and our fathers have committed before YHVH.
15 “Were they ashamed because of the abomination they have done? They were not even ashamed at all; They did not even know how to blush. Therefore they shall fall among those who fall; At the time that I punish them, They shall be cast down,” says YHVH.
Please find below a recording of the presentation made. Unfortunately, it does not include the full presentation made, but does provide you with some more insights as to the scriptures discussed here.
After quoting his last scripture (Joel 2:13-14) it was pointed out that the next verse of scripture mentions the blowing of the shofar on Tzion (Joel 2:15). Within a couple of minutes, we had two shofars and the blast thereof sounded from the group.
We all joined in making a proclamation by repeating the words of Daniel 9 & Nehemiah 1. Please see below a recording of this proclamation:
After this we also listened to more scriptures that had been given to several of the people present. These included Deut 30:1-6 & Isaiah 58 among other things. We also had prayer from different people asking for forgiveness of our sins and the sins of our fathers. Furthermore, we prayed for forgiveness for the sins of Judah (Southern Tribes) as Daniel also prayed for all of Israel.
7 “Righteousness belongs to You, O Elohim, but to us open shame, as it is this day—to the men of Judah, the inhabitants of Jerusalem and all Israel, those who are nearby and those who are far away in all the countries to which You have driven them, because of their unfaithful deeds which they have committed against You.
It was also clear for all of us that this was the start of a process to repent of sins. It was not the end of our journey, but the beginning of a process to bring the message of repentance to all those still in exile. Please help us get this message out. If we do this, we will be restored to the land as YHVH has said in His word.
Of course, Shavuot is not only for repenting and crying! It is a feast. Therefore, it was important for us to rejoice before YHVH and praise His name. We were blessed to also have some talented musicians in the group, and it was not long before we had some singing and dancing. A real feast!
The last step in our feast was some people waving their two loaves before YHVH as an offering. It was also significant that we ended up with 12 loaves of bread.
We spent the rest of the day with a very social and peaceful picnic in the Independence Park. We had some nice conversation with like-minded people while the kids ran around and played. What a blessed day we had!
Please share with us your experience during Shavuot this year. Did you also feel the need for repentance?
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