The number Fifty can be found 154 times in the Bible. Its meaning is directly related to the coming of God’s Holy Spirit. The word fifty, in the Greek, comes from “pentekostos” and it simply means “fiftieth.
Deuteronomy 16:9: “You shall count seven weeks for yourself; you shall begin to count seven weeks from the time you begin to put the sickle to the standing grain.10 Then you shall celebrate the Feast of Weeks to the Lord your God with a tribute of a freewill offering of your hand, which you shall give just as the Lord your God blesses you; 11 and you shall rejoice before the Lord your God, you and your son and your daughter and your male and female servants and the Levite who is in your town, and the stranger and the orphan and the widow who are in your midst, in the place where the Lord your God chooses to establish His name.12You shall remember that you were a slave in Egypt, and you shall be careful to observe these statutes.
Pentecost is also called “The feast of weeks” because the timing is determined by by counting seven weeks from the Wave Sheaf Offering. This day is commonly called Pentecost because we have counted fifty days. The word “Pente” means 50.
Leviticus 23:15‘You shall also count for yourselves from the day after the sabbath, from the day when you brought in the sheaf of the wave offering; there shall be seven complete sabbaths. 16You shall count fifty days to the day after the seventh sabbath; then you shall present a new grain offering to the Lord.17 You shall bring in from your dwelling places two loaves of bread for a wave offering, made of two-tenths of an ephah; they shall be of a fine flour, baked with leaven as first fruits to the Lord.
Fifty denotes fullness or completion. It is the issue of 7 x 7 +1 or 7 squared + 1, and it points to deliverance and rest following on as the result of the perfect consummation of time.
- On the fiftieth day after leaving Egypt, God met Israel at Sinai, = the first Pentecost (this Greek word “pentekostos” means “50th day”) [Exodus 19:1; 14-16].
- Fifty is grace = 5 multiplied by perfect order = 10.
- In the fiftieth year, known as a Jubilee year, all debts were to be forgiven, all Hebrew slaves were to be freed, and all land returned to the original owner. [Leviticus 25:8-19].
- On the fiftieth day after the Resurrection, the Holy Spirit came to the disciples in the Upper Room; it was the second great Pentecost (the first was the Theophany of God at Mt. Sinai [Acts 1:3; 2:1].
- God promised Abraham that if he found only 50 righteous people in Sodom and Gomorrah he would not destroy both cities (Genesis 18:23 – 26).
Fifty is a spiritual measure of the Fullness of God’s Grace. The Children of Israel were told to count 50 days from the day that the Wave Sheaf was waved before the Lord as a Firstfruits Offering to the Lord. When the Wave sheaf was accepted, the entire Harvest was accepted. The wave sheaf offering always fell on the morrow after the Sabbath (Lev.23), or on a Sunday. Why a Sunday? Sunday was the day AFTER the day of Rest (Shabbat/Sabbath). Pentecost always falls on a Sunday. If we think about it, Sunday is a representation of the consummation and restoration of all things. God made the earth in 6 days and rested on the 7th, creating the 7 day week cycle. God sanctified the 7th Day (Saturday), and commanded that it be a “day of rest”. Jesus Christ IS Lord of the Sabbath, and our Sabbath Rest. Looking at patterns, God gave mankind 6 “days” to go his own way, but the 7th “day” belongs to the Lord (A Sabbath day of rest). Using the 1000 years is as a day principle found in 2nd Peter 3:8, God gave mankind 6000 years to go our own way, but the 7000th year belongs to the Lord. This final 1000 year period, the Millennial Reign of Jesus Christ, is a Sabbath Rest for mankind. During these final 1000 years, mankind will not be subject to satan’s deceptions, battles, voice hammering in our ears (Rev. 20:1-3). During this 1000 years, satan will be locked up in the bottomless pit where he will have no access to mankind for 1000 years! In this current age of man, we are still in a Spiritual Battle (Ephesians 6:12), the battle for mankind’s souls, but in the final 1000 years of this current earth, we will have our “day” of rest. The Millennial Reign of Jesus Christ is pictured or foreshadowed in the 7th day Sabbath (Saturday) (Rev. 20:6). What happens after that? Heaven and Earth become One as the New Jerusalem comes down out of Heaven as a Bride adorned for her husband (Rev. 21:1-5). This begins a “new day” a new dawn, a new time when Jesus hands the Kingdom back to the Father (1 Corinthians 15:24). This new day is pictured as the “8th” day, Sunday. If we take the number 8 and turn it sideways, we get an “infinity” sign.
God’s Kingdom has no end, it is EVERLASTING. Pentecost ALWAYS falls on a Sunday (the “day” after the SABBATH) because it represents God’s INFINITE Kingdom, a New Day, a New Dawn. Jesus is making ALL THINGS NEW!
Jesus was the Wave Sheaf Offering, fulfilling that role on the Sunday of His Resurrection. We don’t really know if Jesus rose on the Sabbath (Saturday before sunset) or if He rose on Sunday after sunset. Remembering that Jewish days begin at sunset. All we know is that Jesus ROSE from the Grave and the Tomb was found EMPTY in the wee hours of Sunday morning, while it was yet dark. The counting of the Omer begins with the Wave Sheaf offering, and continues for 50 days until Pentecost. In the days of Jesus, we know that Pentecost is the day that the Disciples received God’s Holy Spirit. This was an INCREDIBLE GIFT for mankind, as now God would pour out His Spirit on all mankind, starting with Jesus’ Disciples. Jesus’ Disciples went out in power, healing the sick, raising the dead, and casting out demons, and witnessing to the world the POWER, GRACE, and MERCY of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Why did God teach mankind to count 50 days after the wave sheaf offering to arrive at Pentecost/Shavuot? In the days of Moses, Shavuot was the day that Moses received the ten commandments (God’s laws written on tablets of stone). In the days of Jesus, the Disciples received God’s Holy Spirit (God’s law written on human hearts) on the same day. But what is the significance of the 50 day count?
What does it mean “to count”?
The Book of Numbers, the 4th book in the Bible, was named after the first key word Bemidbar in Hebrew Scripture, which appropriately means “in the desert,” the place where the Israelites spent forty years following the Exodus. The book is called Numbers because of the two censuses taken of the twelve tribes of Israel during their journey towards the Promised Land, following the Exodus from Egypt. The first census begins the Book and was taken in the Sinai desert in the year following the Exodus; the second census begins in Chapter 26 and occurs on the plains of Moab. God was “numbering” the children of Israel during their 40 years in the Wilderness. Counting, in terms of measuring, becomes a metaphor for evaluation or for judgment. This plays a large part in the reason why God has us count 50 days to Pentecost. That is, this idea of measuring something.
In Psalm 90, a prayer of Moses, we learn that man’s days are but a breath compared to the eternity of Almighty God. Psalm 90 tells us that we should “number” our own days, count them, measure them, evaluate them, making sure that we are living God’s way, and not our own. When we “measure” or evaluate our days, then we can present to God a heart of Wisdom. All wisdom comes from God. Why are we to do this? Because of our sins and iniquities, God’s judgment is always in front of us. The children of Israel were forced to wander in the desert for 40 years because of their sin. Mankind has been “in the desert” for 6000 years, since we were exiled from the Garden of Eden. However, God is in the business of “restoring His Garden”, which He is doing through the Grace that He has offered to ALL mankind through His Son Jesus the Christ. The Restored Garden is really the Kingdom of God.
Psalm 90: A Prayer of Moses, the man of God.
Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations.
2 Before the mountains were born
Or You gave birth to the earth and the world,
Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.
3 You turn man back into dust
And say, “Return, O children of men.”
4 For a thousand years in Your sight
Are like yesterday when it passes by,
Or as a watch in the night.
You have swept them away like a flood, they fall asleep;
In the morning they are like grass which sprouts anew.
6 In the morning it flourishes and sprouts anew;
Toward evening it fades and withers away.
7 For we have been consumed by Your anger
And by Your wrath we have been dismayed.
8 You have placed our iniquities before You,
Our secret sins in the light of Your presence.
9 For all our days have declined in Your fury;
We have finished our years like a sigh.
10 As for the days of our life, they contain seventy years,
Or if due to strength, eighty years,
3 You turn man back into dust
And say, “Return, O children of men.”
12 So teach us to number our days, That we may present to You a heart of wisdom.
Job said? “God, You’re numbering my steps (Job 14:5).” Moses said (Ps. 90:? “God, teach us to number our days.” Jesus, Himself, told us to “count the costs” of following Him (Luke 14:28). Job’s comes across a bit like an accusation. Moses is coming across as asking for help, because he does not have the ability (on his own) to do it properly. He wants the aid that only God’s Spirit can give to properly evaluate his life. That is, the time that he has remaining. The things that he still needs to accomplish. Why? To gain a heart of wisdom.
In numbers 1, we see that Moses was told to number all adult males from twenty years old and above. The number 20 represented the age when a man reached full adulthood, the age a man could go to war in Israel. Seventy minus twenty equals fifty years of full adulthood. A normal person has 50 years of full adult accountability. It is the norm—it is the average—that we have 50 years in order to do all the things that we need to do, to live our lives as a mature individual.
Fifty adult years of life to learn the lessons, to grow in the grace and the knowledge of Jesus Christ, to do the things that need to be done to reflect the character of God. Remember that we said earlier that numbering and counting are talking about judgment and evaluation? Well, the other side of the coin is that God has given us 50 years to number our steps. God has us given us 50 years for HIM to evaluate our progress. God has given us 50 years for HIM to judge our spiritual growth. So, we have 50 years—during which God calls, converts, and prepares us for inclusion into His Family.
God starts the 50 day count at the Wave Sheaf offering and ends with Mankind receiving His Laws and His Holy Spirit (Pentecost/Shavuot), all symbolizing the average span of a person’s life, 50 years, to grow in the Grace, and the knowledge and wisdom of Jesus Christ so our character can be molded into something that is more like our Savior. However, if we fail to receive Jesus, if we fail to receive God’s Grace, then there is judgment waiting for us.
THE fiftieth year is a Jubilee – Slaves set free, debts are forgiven
Leviticus 25: 8 ‘You are also to count off seven sabbaths of years for yourself, seven times seven years, so that you have the time of the seven sabbaths of years, namely, forty-nine years. 9 You shall then sound a ram’s horn abroad on the tenth day of the seventh month; on the day of atonement you shall sound a horn all through your land. 10 You shall thus consecrate the fiftieth year and proclaim a release through the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you, and each of you shall return to his own property, and each of you shall return to his family. 11 You shall have the fiftieth year as a jubilee; you shall not sow, nor reap its aftergrowth, nor gather in from its untrimmed vines. 12 For it is a jubilee; it shall be holy to you. You shall eat its crops out of the field. 13 ‘On this year of jubilee each of you shall return to his own property.
Again, like the counting of the Omer (50 day count until Pentecost) we have the seven times seven (49), the counting up to 50, but this time in years, not days. Fifty symbolizes deliverance or freedom from a burden. God commanded ancient Israel that every 50th year, on the Day of Atonement, that a Jubilee YEAR was to be declared with the sound of a trumpet (Leviticus 25).
During the Jubilee YEAR ALL debts were settled in favor of the debtor and inheritances were returned to their rightful owners. Also, those who worked as slave laborers in order to repay a debt were granted their freedom to return home to their families and land. Spiritually speaking, ALL mankind is a slave to sin UNTIL they are set free by the blood of Jesus Christ.
A person can only begin to make their exodus out of Egypt (Egypt is a metaphor for “slave to sin”) AFTER they RECEIVE the PASSOVER LAMB OF GOD, JESUS the CHRIST! Like Israel was enslaved in Egypt, mankind is enslaved to sin. Jesus took 39 stripes to heal mankind completely and then shed His Divine Blood at the Cross to FREE mankind from the bondage of sin and death. Jesus IS the Passover Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! The word “stripes” is a metaphor for the scourging or whipping or even pressing of our sin into Jesus’ flesh. In Judaism, the sins of the people were PRESSED into the Lamb before it was slaughtered. Our sins were “pressed” into Jesus’ flesh 39 times before He was crucified. I believe there is a connection between the 39 stripes, the 40 years that the Israelites wandered in the Wilderness (we are still in our Wilderness experience until Jesus comes again), and the 40 days that Jesus was tempted by satan, but never sinned. Jesus completely and totally covered each and every sin of every human being who would accept Him as their Savior by FAITH during this wilderness experience. In Biblical times, it was the custom of Covenant partners to exchange robes. Jesus exchanged His WHITE Robes of Righteousness (Jesus is God wrapped in the likeness of human flesh), with our filthy rags of sin, sickness, and death. This is the NEW COVENANT. After our sins were pressed into His Flesh, Jesus then took those “stripes” to the Cross and buried them forever. By His Stripes we are HEALED, clothed in WHITE RAIMENT, healthy and whole, (even if we haven’t yet experienced it in its fullness)! Those who are in Christ are no longer wearing those filthy rags riddled with sin, sickness, and death! This is what Jesus did for mankind. Hallelujah!!! 💖
If we consider the Jubilee in Spiritual terms, Fifty ADULT years (on average) were given to each person to receive the Savior Jesus Christ (the only One who can pay our debt), and to learn and grow in the knowledge of God’s Grace. At the end of these 49 YEARS, God calls a JUBILEE YEAR, where slaves are set FREE, all debts are paid, and the person returns to their homeland (Kingdom of God/Promised Land). The Jubilee is a joyous time, and falls on the Day of Atonement (At ONEment), symbolizing the final reunion between God and man, the time when we will experience, in its fullness, the joy of wearing God’s robes of Righteousness.
Pentecost, the day when the 2 Wave Loaves are waved before the Lord, symbolizing Jew and Gentile, one in Messiah, is a BEAUTIFUL day indeed!