Frank W. Nelte

March 1995

Deuteronomy 16:9 Examined

In connection with Pentecost, there are two passages that we should examine: Leviticus 23:15 and Deuteronomy 16:9.

So first of all, Leviticus 23:15 reads as follows:

And ye shall count unto you from the morrow after the sabbath, from the day that ye brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven sabbaths shall be complete: (Leviticus 23:15)

The Hebrew words used in this verse are:

A) Hebrew "caphar" is translated as "COUNT".

B) Hebrew "shabbath" is translated as "Sabbath" and as "Sabbaths".

C) Hebrew "tamiym" is translated as "complete".

This Hebrew word "tamiym" is used 91 times in the Old Testament, and only here is it translated as "complete". This Hebrew word really means: perfect, without blemish, without spot, whole.

So Leviticus 23:15 makes clear that 7 SABBATH DAYS were to be completed perfectly. The day after that was to be Pentecost.

Next, let's look at the other Scripture.

Deuteronomy 16:9 reads as follows:

Seven weeks shalt thou number unto thee: begin to number the seven weeks from [such time as] thou beginnest [to put] the sickle to the corn. (Deuteronomy 16:9)

The Hebrew words used in this verse are:

A) Hebrew "caphar" is translated as "NUMBER".

B) Hebrew "shabuwa" is translated as "WEEKS".

So to assess these two verses:

The word "shabuwa" means "week" and it is different from the word "shabbath", which means "Sabbath". The Hebrew for "to number" and "to count" in these two verses is the same word, "caphar".


Leviticus 23:15 shows that 7 Sabbath Days are to be perfectly completed, without any blemish; and then the next day is to be the Feast of Pentecost (Leviticus 23:16).

Deuteronomy 16:9 shows that we are to count, starting with the Sunday on which the wave sheaf was brought, 7 full WEEKS of 7 days each. That will also bring us to a Sunday.

So these two Scriptures give us TWO DIFFERENT WAYS OF COUNTING TO ARRIVE AT THE SAME RESULT ... a Sunday. However, neither one of these scriptures makes clear WHICH SUNDAY MORNING the wave sheaf was to be offered in a year where the 7th Day of U.B. fell on a weekly Sabbath Day. That information we have only been able to get from Joshua chapter 5. To that information we must add the realization that the wave sheaf (picturing Jesus Christ) could never be offered AFTER the Days of U.B. had been completed.

The expression "from such time as you BEGIN to put the sickle to the corn" in Deuteronomy 16:9 is not a reference to farmers starting their harvest, but rather to THE CEREMONY of bringing the very first sheaf cut to the priest for the express purpose of fulfilling this wave sheaf offering, which ceremony always had to precede the farmers starting any harvesting.

This shows that the Pentecost harvest is directly and intimately linked to this wave sheaf offering. Performing this wave sheaf ceremony would not in any way have detracted from the observance of the First Day of U.B., when that was a Sunday. If anything, it would have enhanced the day and its importance in God's plan.

Frank W. Nelte