ספירת העומר the counting of the OMER

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Isaac Fried
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ספירת העומר the counting of the OMER

Postby Isaac Fried » Wed Apr 11, 2018 12:00 pm

See
Lev. 23:10-11
כִּי תָבֹאוּ אֶל הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר אֲנִי נֹתֵן לָכֶם וּקְצַרְתֶּם אֶת קְצִירָהּ וַהֲבֵאתֶם אֶת עֹמֶר רֵאשִׁית קְצִירְכֶם אֶל הַכֹּהֵן וְהֵנִיף אֶת הָעֹמֶר לִפְנֵי יהוה לִרְצֹנְכֶם מִמָּחֳרַת הַשַּׁבָּת יְנִיפֶנּוּ הַכֹּהֵן
NIV: "When you enter the land I am going to give you and you reap its harvest, bring to the priest a sheaf of the first grain you harvest. He is to wave the sheaf before the Lord so it will be accepted on your behalf; the priest is to wave it on the day after the Sabbath."
Also
Lev 23:15-16
וּסְפַרְתֶּם לָכֶם מִמָּחֳרַת הַשַּׁבָּת מִיּוֹם הֲבִיאֲכֶם אֶת עֹמֶר הַתְּנוּפָה שֶׁבַע שַׁבָּתוֹת, תְּמִימֹת תִּהְיֶינָה. עַד מִמָּחֳרַת הַשַּׁבָּת הַשְּׁבִיעִת תִּסְפְּרוּ חֲמִשִּׁים יוֹם וְהִקְרַבְתֶּם מִנְחָה חֲדָשָׁה
NIV: "From the day after the Sabbath, the day you brought the sheaf of the wave offering, count off seven full weeks. Count off fifty days up to the day after the seventh Sabbath, and then present an offering of new grain"
and also
Deut. 16:9-10
שִׁבְעָה שָׁבֻעֹת תִּסְפָּר לָךְ מֵהָחֵל חֶרְמֵשׁ בַּקָּמָה תָּחֵל לִסְפֹּר שִׁבְעָה שָׁבֻעוֹת וְעָשִׂיתָ חַג שָׁבֻעוֹת
NIV: "Count off seven weeks from the time you begin to put the sickle to the standing grain. Then celebrate the Festival of Weeks"

All of which suggests the פשט that the date of the Festival of Weeks is ostensibly not a calendar event, but depends rather on the start of the reaping of the mature harvest only, as it happens to occur at that year.
Namely, the שַּׁבָּת , the Sabbath, here is indeed apparently but one undistinguished summer Sabbath just happening to fall immediately following the yearly start of the קציר, the reaping of the ready harvest.

Isaac Fried, Boston University

S_Walch
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Re: ספירת העומר the counting of the OMER

Postby S_Walch » Wed Apr 11, 2018 1:21 pm

I've always understood the reference to הַשַּׁבָּת, in both the Leviticus verses above, as a direct reference to the Sabbath day that will occur during the festival of Unleavened Bread week (now more just Passover week), hence Firstfruits will always be the first Sunday during the same week, and Weeks the 7th Sunday afterwards (=50th day).

Is that the understanding you would give that here, Isaac?
Last edited by S_Walch on Wed Apr 11, 2018 9:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Ste Walch

Isaac Fried
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Joined: Sat Sep 28, 2013 8:32 pm

Re: ספירת העומר the counting of the OMER

Postby Isaac Fried » Wed Apr 11, 2018 9:22 pm

It seems (just seems) to me that הַשַּׁבָּת is an actual שַּׁבָּת, any (any!) sabbath, that happens to fall right after the start of the קציר, the reaping of the ready harvest. Deut. 16:9-10 is quite clear about it. Of course, this is not the prevailing custom, as it would cause a mighty confusion and uncertainty about the date of חג השבועות, the Festival of Weeks. Today the counting of the omer is but a mere ritual as the Festival of Weeks is independent of any wielding of a sickle in a field of ready wheat, but is rather marked on the calendar; this year on May 20th.

Isaac Fried, Boston University

Jemoh66
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Joined: Sat Sep 28, 2013 11:03 pm

Re: ספירת העומר the counting of the OMER

Postby Jemoh66 » Fri Apr 13, 2018 4:31 pm

This was one of the disagreements between the Saducees and the Pharisees. The Sadducees understood it as a regular shabbat. The Pharisees took it as the high Sabbath on the 15th.
Jonathan E Mohler
Studying for a MA in Intercultural Studies
Baptist Bible Theological Seminary

S_Walch
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Joined: Fri May 23, 2014 4:41 pm

Re: ספירת העומר the counting of the OMER

Postby S_Walch » Sat Apr 14, 2018 6:33 am

I'd agree with the Sadducees on that one.

Reading through Leviticus 23, not once does it refer to the first day of Unleavened bread (=15th) as some 'shabbat'.

Though it does use the same wording as given for the Sabbath (כל מלאכת עבדה לא תעשו = you shall not do any regular work), there is no mention that the first and last days of Unleavened Bread are 'Sabbath's' in the same sense that the seventh day is the Sabbath.

The same also applies to the parallel in Deut 16.

Would others here agree/disagree with this?
Ste Walch

Isaac Fried
Posts: 964
Joined: Sat Sep 28, 2013 8:32 pm

Re: ספירת העומר the counting of the OMER

Postby Isaac Fried » Sat Apr 28, 2018 10:06 pm

Speech, the issue of the mouth, and vegetation, the sprouting of the earth, are often conceptually, then semantically, paralleled in Hebrew.
In Jeremiah 9:21(22) we find עָמִיר AMIYR, 'sheaf'
וּכְעָמִיר מֵאַחֲרֵי הַקֹּצֵר וְאֵין מְאַסֵּף
NIV: "like cut grain behind the reaper, with no one to gather them."
In Isaiah 17:6 we find the related אָמִיר, 'tree top'
וְנִשְׁאַר בּוֹ עוֹלֵלֹת כְּנֹקֶף זַיִת שְׁנַיִם שְׁלֹשָׁה גַּרְגְּרִים בְּרֹאשׁ אָמִיר אַרְבָּעָה חֲמִשָּׁה בִּסְעִפֶיהָ פֹּרִיָּה
KJV: "Yet gleaning grapes shall be left in it, as the shaking of an olive tree, two or three berries in the top of the uppermost bough, four or five in the outmost fruitful branches thereof"
In Ps. 19:1-3 we find אֹמֶר OMER, 'saying'
הַשָּׁמַיִם מְסַפְּרִים כְּבוֹד אֵל וּמַעֲשֵׂה יָדָיו מַגִּיד הָרָקִיעַ יוֹם לְיוֹם יַבִּיעַ אֹמֶר וְלַיְלָה לְּלַיְלָה יְחַוֶּה דָּעַת
KJV: "The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge."

Isaac Fried, Boston University


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