“From the day after the Sabbath, the day you brought the sheaf of the wave offering, count off seven full weeks (Shavuot).” (Leviticus 23:15)
Have you ever wondered why Shavuot is not a fixed date on the Jewish calendar but is instead counted 50 days from Passover?
The 50 days comes from the Torah's command to count the seven weeks until Shavuot beginning on the day after the first Sabbath of Pesach (Passover). This counting period is called Sefirat HaOmer (Counting the Omer).
Sefirat HaOmer begins with a wave offering of barley and continues for 49 days (7 days x 7 weeks = 49 days) until the wheat offering on Shavuot on this fiftieth day.
For this reason, Hellenist Jews called the holiday Pentecost, from the Greek word pente meaning fifty.
The number 49 in Judaism represents the natural end of a full cycle or a full quota or measure. The word for measure in Hebrew is middah (מדה), and this word has a numeric value of 49. So the number 49 represents the epitome of a good measure. (Jewish Wisdom in the Numbers)
Moving from 49 to 50 can represent moving through all the natural stages into the supernatural, since 50 in Judaism is the number of transcendence. It also represents a designated endpoint.
For instance, the Exodus from Egypt can be seen as the beginning of 50 days of ascending redemption for the Jewish People, beginning with the redemption at Passover and ending with the pinnacle of Shavuot — the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai.
God uses this same Biblical pattern for weeks of years. After 49 years (seven cycles of Shemitah years — a sabbatical rest for the land every seven years), a Yovel (Jubilee) is reached on the 50th year, which represents freedom and liberation.
This fiftieth day on Pentecost, therefore, also points to the year of Jubilee, at which time the shofar (ram’s horn) would sound, all slaves would go free, and all debts would be cancelled.
“And you shall consecrate the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee [yovel] for you, when each of you shall return to his property and each of you shall return to his clan.” (Leviticus 25:10)
Of course, the number seven is also significant. Seven is a number representing wholeness, perfection and completion; for example, in six days, God created the universe but on the seventh day, His work was completed and, therefore, He rested.
Following this pattern of the counting of the Omer — seven weeks of seven (49) that lead to a day of harvest and transcendence — we are also counting down the days in the expectation of a supernatural harvest when all will be complete and perfect.
During the Messianic reign, faithful followers of Yeshua (Jesus) will rule, reign, and judge with Him in a world that recognizes the God of Israel. (Revelation 2:26–27; 2 Timothy 2:12; 1 Corinthians 6:2–3)
Now that is the epitome of transcendence.