EDITOR’S NOTE: This groundbreaking series is being offered in celebration of a previously top-secret project and now unprecedented new 3-Volume book series (over 10-years in the making) from best-selling scholar Dr. Thomas Horn and acclaimed biblical history and theology majors Donna Howell and Allie Anderson: THE MYSTERY OF JESUS FROM GENESIS TO REVELATION—YESTERDAY, TODAY, AND TOMORROW
The longer (but still official) title of the book of Acts is “The Acts of the Apostles.” A short overview or outline of the work reveals it as the account of the “acts” or “works” not just of those labeled “apostles,” but also of the disciples who made it their entire lives’ work to build the early Church. The book covers much travel, church-planting, discipleship, and martyrdom, as many men and women died for the sake of their Savior. It picks up where the Gospels end, at the Ascension of Christ, followed by the crucially important Day of Pentecost. In the same way we did not have to look for how Jesus “appeared” in the Gospels—because they were all about His earthly life—we don’t have to try hard to see Him in Acts, because it’s all about the massive, almost overnight expansion of His Church.
Luke, the “careful historian” who wrote the Gospel with the same name, is the author of the book of Acts as well. There has been much debate regarding who he wrote it to, as the first verse states: “The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach” (Acts 1:1). The “former treatise” refers to his Gospel. The word theophilus means “dear to God,” and many have suggested it simply refers to any Christian (all, of course, would be “dear to God”) rather than to a man with that name. (Whether it is one person or a generic address, “Theophilus” is mentioned in Luke 1:3 as well).
The modest opener launches straight into the account of the Ascension, with Jesus instructing His followers to wait for “the promise of the Father.” Jesus then explained exactly what that “promise” was:
For John [the Baptist] truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.…[and] ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. (Acts 1:5, 8)
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Jesus didn’t have fair witnesses toward the end of His earthly life, but now He was building a heavenly army of saints that would absolutely wreck the world’s system in a permanent and beautiful way. These saints would never die out, from generation to generation they would live on, even until the end of the world, preaching, teaching, prophesying, and embodying the true, righteous witnesses of the continuing “case” of Christ on earth.
After our Lord told His disciples about the promise of the Father:
[W]hile they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; Which also said, “Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.” (Acts 1:9–11)
Psalm 110:1 was therefore fulfilled: “The Lord said unto my Lord, ‘Sit thou at my right hand.’”
We love it when the angels speak in Scripture! The questions they ask show us how finite, temporal, and curious human nature is. Just like with Mary Magdalene at the tomb, angels are here again asking what could be a humorous question: “Why are you guys standing here looking at the sky? What is it you think you’re going to see?” It’s one of many “LOL” moments we can glean from Scripture.
In any case, these were the last words Christ spoke upon the earth.
…Or were they? (Stay tuned!)
The disciples returned to Jerusalem and obediently remained there, waiting for the promise to be fulfilled. They stayed, united together in prayer and supplication, in an important location: the Upper Room. Listed among this gathering are: “Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon [the Zealot], and Judas the brother of [or “son of,” in some translations] James…with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren…(the number of names together were about an hundred and twenty)” (Acts 1:13–15). Though we can’t be certain where this Upper Room was, many scholars and archeologists believe they have located it, deeming it to be upstairs in the home of John Mark’s mother (see Acts 12:12), as well as the site of the Last Supper. The Holy Land Experience theme park in Orlando, Florida, before it closed, featured a built-to-scale model of this room where tourists were welcome to go inside, pray, worship, and even sit at a replica of the table where Jesus broke bread with His disciples the night of His arrest. It was hard to imagine a hundred and twenty people gathered in such a small place because, the day we authors visited it, only about seventy people were in our tour group, and even though we tried to put space between each of us since we were strangers, the room was still pretty crowded. (Unfortunately, this park is now said to be closed for good, not having survived the economic impact of COVID-19. But one thing we will stress about its glory days: We had a phenomenal and otherworldly time there! After our visit, a newcomer to the cast was given the role of Jesus and some have said he took his part perhaps…a little too seriously. Stories circulated that the actor was arrogant, both in and out of character. That is not the experience we had. The one who played our “Jesus” was humble, sweet, and sincere, and when he wasn’t in character, he prayed for folks on the street “in Jesus’ precious and holy Name.” We are saddened by the news the park has closed, and we can only pray it will reopen someday. Meanwhile, the Bible museum that it housed was pretty hard to take in at times. In fact, Donna Howell and Allie Anderson were in tears at one point, after being told that what they were seeing on a Bible they were looking at wasn’t a coffee stain, , but blood. It was that of an early martyr who had been forced to look at God’s Word while he was beheaded hovering over it. The blood had turned a dark brown over the years. It was a sobering reminder that we are blessed to be here, in the States, where we’re [at least currently] free to read the Word of God without fear of persecution. If you get nothing else from this three-book series, we pray you’ll walk away with a prompting to thank the Lord—in the midst of political and social upheaval and increased secularization of our society—that His Word is still accessible to us in this era.)
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After Jesus ascended to the right hand of the Father, Peter addressed those 120 present in the Upper Room with a fairly significant problem: The “twelve” were now the “eleven” because of the loss of Judas the betrayer. When Peter said, “Men and brethren, this scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake before concerning Judas” (Acts 1:16), he was referring to David’s words of Psalm 41:9: “Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, Which did eat of my bread, Hath lifted up his heel against me.” In John 13:18b, we read that Jesus said, “I know whom I have chosen: but that the scripture may be fulfilled, He that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me.” Frederick Bruce, author of the celebrated and well-known The Book of the Acts commentary often used as a textbook in universities, explains: “The total of twelve was significant: it corresponded to the number of the tribes of Israel, and may have marked the apostles out as leaders of the new Israel (cf. Luke 22:30 par. Matt. 19:28).”[i] But there’s more to it than that.
Peter went on to explain that Judas, who hung himself, ended up disemboweled; the potter’s field came to be known as “the field of blood” (1:18–19). He then stated: “For it is written in the book of Psalms, Let his habitation be desolate, and let no man dwell therein: and his bishoprick let another take” (1:20). This reference to the Psalms actually points to two verses: “Let their habitation be desolate” (Psalm 69:25a); “And let another take his office” (Psalm 109:8b). In other words, let the dwelling place of enemies (Judas’ field) be deserted and forgotten, and let another, worthy man replace the man who was lost (Judas). This, then, is the key justification for finding a replacement for the twelfth apostle. Peter noted (Acts 1:21–22) two qualifications for one to be called an apostle: He must have been 1) taught personally by Jesus for many years, and 2) a witness of the Resurrected Christ. (Scholars note there is within this list a third implied qualification: a man had to be personally called by Jesus for His work.) Two men among them met these qualifications: Barsabas and Matthias. So, those gathered prayed for God’s guidance in choosing which man should be chosen for such an important role, and then they cast lots. This is how Matthias became the twelfth apostle.
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Luke wastes no time hurling the reader into action from this point. In the very next scene, we are thrust into rushing winds and tongues of fire. This was the “promise of the Father” the early Church was waiting for.
Day of Pentecost—Not Your Average “Sunday School” Interpretation!
The Day of Pentecost is documented in Acts 2. As most are aware, this was the day the Holy Spirit fell upon those gathered in the Upper Room; afterward, they ran into the streets preaching the Gospel in new languages they had never learned, leading to the most intense Church-growth event of history: “And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance” (Acts 2:1–6).
This was done to fulfill the prophecy: “I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy… And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit” (Joel 2:28–29).
Peter then “lifted up his voice” to the crowd and identified that the Holy-Spirit outpouring on the Day of Pentecost was “that which was spoken by the prophet Joel” (Acts 2:14–16). (It’s interesting that we have an account of women rushing to preach the Gospel in this account! We know the Spirit fell on all who were gathered in the Upper Room, and that included women [Acts 1:12–14], so this is an early proof of women preachers being established by the Spirit, Himself. More to come on this subject soon.)
Some of what we’ll focus on in this section will be taken from our “Pentecost” study in The Messenger.[ii] However, to keep things easier to read, we will not be using block quotations for lengthy excerpts as they were in the original.
First, we must understand the background of Pentecost.
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Beginning with the wave offering of the barley firstfruits each day for seven weeks, the Israelites observed the “Counting of the Omer.” (An omer is one tenth of an ephah, and an ephah is equivalent to a bushel of dry goods, like grain or barley.) This involved the blessing—“Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe, who has sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us to count the Omer”—followed by the number of the day: “Today is the first day of Omer”; “Today is the second day of Omer” and so on. The end of this seven-week counting lands at precisely forty-nine days. The following day, then, makes fifty, which is what the Greek word pentecost means; the Feast of Pentecost takes place on the fiftieth day. This is why there is no official observance date. Nevertheless, it falls in the early days of the Hebrew month Sivan, which, on our Gregorian calendar, overlaps the second half of May and the first half of June. This counting ritual bridges the Feast of Firstfruits to the Feast of Pentecost (or “Feast of Weeks”).
There are many names for the Feast of Pentecost, the alternative “Feast of Weeks” being the most referenced. However, the nature and practice of this feast has earned it several other titles worth mentioning: “Feast of Harvest,” “Day of Firstfruits,” and “Latter Firstfruits.” The first wheat crops (not to be confused with the barley of the last feast) would be harvested and the first two loaves of bread baked from that yield would then be presented to the Lord in a wave offering. The offering of these “firstfruit” loaves is the reason behind the many names of this feast or festival.
Unlike the bread prepared during the week of Passover, the two loaves of bread for the Feast of Pentecost are to be baked with leaven. The flour for these loaves must be the finest, not just in quality, but in its preparation: It is to be sifted repeatedly until it is completely separated from any course material.
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Prior to the diaspora (the scattering of the Jews), this feast was an acknowledgement of dependence upon God’s providence in the abundance of wheat for their daily bread, a thanksgiving toward Him for the harvest, and a day to remember when the Torah was given to the people. After the diaspora, when Jews were no longer united to celebrate the same land harvests as they were all over the known world at that time, the agricultural roots of the feast faded and the focus became heavily the delivery of the Law on Mt. Sinai.
With that in mind, it’s important to note the delivery of the Law at the base of that mountain was “the inauguration of the Old Testament church.”[iii] The Day of Pentecost in the book of Acts is the inauguration of the New Testament Church, and the parallels are, well, for lack of a better word: astonishing! We almost always view the “thunder and lightning” at Sinai and the “wind and tongues of fire” from Acts as two unrelated, separate phenomena, but when we dig a little deeper, we see the latter strictly parallels the former in a supernatural expansion and completion. What we’re about to tell you is nothing new to the scholars; they’ve been writing about these connections and links for two thousand years. However, this information has been all but lost from today’s mainstream pulpit, and its significance is crucial to understanding not just the event of Pentecost for the apostles, but also exactly what that “power from on high” did for them.
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Read the full account of the first occurrence in Exodus, paying special attention to what is said about thunder and lightning:
And it came to pass on the third day [this would be 6 Sivan on the Hebrew calendar[iv]] in the morning, that there were thunderings and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud; so that all the people that was in the camp trembled.
And Moses brought forth the people out of the camp to meet with God; and they stood at the nether part of the mount. And mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the Lord descended upon it in fire: and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly.
And when the voice of the trumpet sounded long, and waxed louder and louder, Moses spake, and God answered him by a voice. And the Lord came down upon mount Sinai, on the top of the mount: and the Lord called Moses up to the top of the mount; and Moses went up. (Exodus 19:16–20)
Here we stumble upon an awkward translation that, sadly, dampens what actually occurred that day. The Hebrew words qowl and baraq, represented here as “thunderings” and “lightnings,” mean something different than what the English translation suggests.
See, qowl, first and foremost, means “voice,” “sound,” or “noise,” and this is the translation used almost every time qowl appears elsewhere in the Word. As one quick example (of which there are hundreds): “Did ever people hear the voice [qowl] of God speaking out of the midst of the fire, as thou hast heard, and live?” (Deuteronomy 4:33).
Actually, in (qowl’s) 506 appearances in the Bible, only two instances are translated “thunderings,” and both are right at this spot in Exodus. In a few other places, the English renders qowl as the more generic “thunder,” but it’s likely the translators met the same challenge as here in Exodus, choosing a weather term because it’s the closest English terminology they had to choose from.
Here’s the problem… In almost every place where “thunder” (or “thunderings,” “thundered,” etc.) is chosen as the appropriate English swap-out for a Hebrew word that truly means “voice,” the scene in question is of God displaying extreme vocal power from the heavens in a way as can be seen with human eyes. Exodus 20:18 explicitly states that “all the people saw the thunderings [qowl].” It’s linguistically awkward to “see” a “voice,” so the translators, whose job is certainly unenviable at times, chose what they felt was the closest English alternative. Thunder is loud, comes from the heavens, and can be terrifying, but because of the rolling clouds and other weather phenomena accompanying it, it can also be seen, which makes it at least a decent place-holder when a narrative literally describes something indescribable (such as “seeing” a “voice”). Additionally, there is a historical association between “voice” and “thunder” in literature, though it’s more poetic than literal. For instance, if you were to read the following sample sentence from a fiction novel—“‘That’s it! I’ve had enough! I’m warning you!’ the large, angry man thundered”—you would know “thundered” was being used as an adjective to describe the character’s volume and intensity—obviously not anything related to weather. This, too, may have played a part in why the translators chose “thunderings” instead of the more accurate reference to a speech experience, because we know for certain God’s shout was more than just a gentle speaking engagement.
This qowl describes a roar so loud, so rushing, and so atmospherically encompassing that there are no accurate one-word trade-outs from Hebrew to English.
Imagine screaming at the very top of your lungs, bloody-murder style, and your voice doesn’t even register as a sound above the intense reverberation of the atmosphere. Your own loudest, blood-curdling shrieks of terror are completely muted under the waves of sound coming from heaven. God’s declaration rumbles the ground around you, sinks into your skin, and makes you feel as if you will vibrate away, disintegrate away, without ever even being touched by any force other than that of His voice.
The Israelites at the foot of Mt. Sinai who had just heard God’s qowl were convinced they would all be killed if He used His strong voice to speak to them again (Exodus 20:19b: “let not God speak with us, lest we die”). But in addition, we can look at what God’s intense, qowl-from-heaven shout did in a similar set of circumstances we read of in 1 Samuel 7:10: “And as Samuel was offering up the burnt offering, the Philistines drew near to battle against Israel: but the Lord thundered [ra’am; Hebrew “roar”] with a great thunder [qowl] on that day upon the Philistines, and discomfited them; and they were smitten before Israel.” On a purely technical level, this should read: “the Lord roared with a great voice from heaven.”
If you “go there” all the way in your imagination, then you’re probably taking the same thought journey the translators did when they placed themselves into the narrative to choose the most suitable English word for the Mt. Sinai episode in Exodus. A translator’s responsibility isn’t just to replace each foreign word with an English one, but to understand, study, and respect the context in which each word or phrase is used throughout the whole native work (the Bible, in this case). What else, in English, besides the word “thunder” comes from the heavens and is visible, loud, and potentially frightening enough to confuse multitudes and strike entire armies dead? In this case, “thunder” wasn’t the worst possible choice.
However, amiability to the translators aside, it was not the most accurate choice.
All the Hebrew says about the supposed “thunderings” is that a “voice” came from God, Himself, as He descended on the mountain, and that the Israelites “saw” it.
Just to be perfectly clear: There is no reason in the Hebrew to believe thunder was a part of the display of God’s power on Mt. Sinai on the day the Law was given!
In the end, as grammatically awkward as it is to say “the Israelites saw a voice,” that is the true meaning, and this will become clear after reflecting upon the larger picture. As to what the voice looked like, put a pin in that thought for a moment while we hone in on the “lightnings.”
The Hebrew word baraq can certainly be used in a sentence to mean “lightning,” but only because its root definition indicates something extremely bright, like a flash of light. By itself, translators may have chosen to say “bright lights” or “flashes of light” were seen coming from the sky, but because of the word’s agreeable association with “lightning” elsewhere in ancient Hebrew—and because, by now, the translators had probably already agreed to make qowl read “thunderings”—it made sense to make this second, observable phenomenon a part of an erratic weather pattern. Again, however, “lightning” just doesn’t completely capture this word.
In fact, this term is used in other passages that don’t even have the first thing to do with lightning or storms, such as the following, where baraq appears as a flash of light upon a sharp blade: “If I whet my glittering [baraq] sword, and mine hand take hold on judgment; I will render vengeance to mine enemies, and will reward them that hate me” (Deuteronomy 32:41); “It is drawn, and cometh out of the body; yea, the glittering [baraq] sword cometh out of his gall: terrors are upon him” (Job 20:25). For the word baraq, the “light reflecting off of a sword,” along with other similar uses, are more abundant throughout the Old Testament than “lightning.” Besides just the numerous “sword” and “spear” allusions (see Ezekiel 21:15, 28; Nahum 3:3; Habakkuk 3:11) baraq also refers to the brightness of a flame, like from a lamp or torch (Ezekiel 1:13).
Fortunately, the “lightnings” of Sinai don’t solely rely on our ability to analyze just baraq.
After the delivery of the Ten Commandments to the people, this supernatural phenomenon was still going on, but, in an unexpected and bizarre turn of events, the Hebrew words aren’t exactly the same, nor are they quite where we expected them to be: “And all the people saw the thunderings [qowl], and the lightnings [lappiyd]” (Exodus 20:18).
Wait a second… What is lappiyd? Where did that word come from, and why is rendered “lightnings” here, when back in Exodus 19:16 “lightnings” was baraq? Were the “bright, flashing lights” from before morphed into something new now?
First of all, please note the Hebrew word for “fire”—meaning any regular reference to fire, from what belongs on an altar to what engulfed the burning bush, to what roasts meat, and so on—is ’esh. Here, suddenly, the “lightnings,” or lappiyd, refers to a sort of fire, but it’s a specific enough kind of fire that it prompted the Hebrew author to steer around using the most common ’esh. As noted, baraq means a bright flash of light. Here, in the same context as baraq, with an identical “lightnings” translation treatment later, the word lappiyd describes the evolution from mere flashes of light to bright flashes of fire!
The Hebrew lappiyd means “torch” (or “lamp”), which is how it is translated most often in the Old Testament (Genesis 15:17; Judges 7:16, 20; Job 12:5; 41:19; Isaiah 62:1; Ezekiel 1:13; Daniel 10:6). Consider the context of this word as a tool: The Hebrews would have had hundreds of useful purposes for regular fire in the middle of the day in the sunshine, such as cooking, forging, cleansing, etc. However, they wouldn’t have had use for a torch in broad daylight. In proper context, a “torch” or “lamp” are tools that burn brighter than their surroundings.
There is a certain peculiarity about this word, however, that appears fairly consistent. Not only does lappiyd indicate a fiery flame, but, at times, this flame appears to have a life of its own, like a kind of floating, animated symbol, as it does here: “And it came to pass, that, when the sun went down, and it was dark, behold a smoking furnace, and a burning lamp [lappiyd] that passed between those pieces. In the same day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates.” (Genesis 15:17–18). As recorded in Judges 15:4–5, Samson tied a crude hunk of burning wood between two foxes over and over again, eventually setting about three hundred foxes with these lappiyd “firebrands” into the corn stalks of the Philistine fields. This fiery scene isn’t the only one that depicts a wild, out-of-control brush fire caused by lappiyd. Nahum once compared lappiyd torches to pure chaos, when he prophesied that the chariots in the streets of Nineveh would violently rage and thrash about and “justle one against another in the broad ways: they shall seem like torches [lappiyd]” (Nahum 2:4). In Zechariah, the image is that God will “make the governors of Judah like an hearth of fire among the wood, and like a torch [lappiyd] of fire in a sheaf; and they shall devour all the people round about, on the right hand and on the left: and Jerusalem shall be inhabited again in her own place, even in Jerusalem” (Zechariah 12:6).
In context within Scripture, lappiyd looks almost feral, untamed, unmanageable, at least out of human control, and at times even autonomous or self-governing. In other words, the account in Exodus is not talking about a regular, everyday, run-of-the-mill fire, and it certainly isn’t referring to lightning. According to the witness of the Hebrew author, what started as bright, flashing lights (baraq) became, by the end of God’s delivery of the Ten Commandments, bright, flashing fire (lappiyd)!
UP NEXT: The Mystery of Jesus and “The Voice”
[i] Bruce, F. F., The Book of the Acts (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.; 1988), 44.
[ii] See: Horn, Thomas, The Messenger… 101–129.
[iii] “Exodus 19:1,” Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary, Biblehub, last accessed July 8, 2020, https://biblehub.com/commentaries/exodus/19-1.htm.
[iv] Note that the way these authors arrived at this date is complicated, and though the full explanation of it is included in our book, [BOOK OF FEASTS], pages [???], drawing research from multiple sources, we will cover the “gist” of the explanation here. (Our sources are: Brown, F., Driver, S. R., & Briggs, C. A., Enhanced Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon [Oxford: Clarendon Press; 1977]; Heinrich Friedrich Wilhelm Gesenius, Gesenius’ Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon, accessed online through Blue Letter Bible Online on March 15, 2022, https://www.blueletterbible.org/study/lexica/gesenius/index.cfm—and pay special attention to his treatment of the Hebrew words “chodesh” [“month”] and “yowm” [“the same day”] appearing in Exodus 19:1–2.) Some have suggested that these verse’s refer to their departure from Rephidim, and that is all the clarification one needs, essentially arranging the facts in contemporary English like this: “The same day that the Israelites left Rephidim, they arrived at the foot of Mt. Sinai, which was sometime in the third month, Sivan.” Others interpret that the day’s “same as” description is grammatically joined to the word “month,” ultimately rendering: “The Israelites arrived at Sinai in the third  month, and on the day that is numerically the same as the month, the third  day.” (In other words, the third day of the third month.) In Gesenius’ Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon, the word chodesh was shown to refer to “the new moon” or “the day of the new moon”; i.e., “the first day of the month” (see: https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H2320&t=KJV). Gesenius, in a lengthy explanation, shows how yowm stems from another root word meaning “to be hot,” and therefore etymologically evolves to refer to “the heat of the day” (see: https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H3117&t=KJV). Now, putting modern language together with what Gesenius (and countless language scholars after him) believes the true origins were behind chodesh and yowm, these two verses (Exodus 19:1–2) communicate: “On 1 Sivan, the same day that the Israelites left Rephidim on their journey away from Egypt, around noon when the sun was at its hottest, the Israelites arrived at the foot of Mt. Sinai.” Amidst the ocean of Hebrew linguists that have adopted this same conclusion are a number of classic biblical literature commentators that have assisted in working out the timeline of events between Sivan 1 (their arrival) and the day the Law was given to Moses: 1) The Israelites arrived at the foot of Mt. Sinai on 1 Sivan; 2) on 2 Sivan, Moses went up the mountain to hear from the Lord and take His word to the Israelites (Exodus 19:3); 3) on 3 Sivan, Moses took the agreeable response of the Hebrew elders back up Sinai to God (19:7–8); 4) on 4, 5, and 6 Sivan, the three-day time period God gave His people in Exodus 19:11 to sanctify themselves and wash their clothes, the people prepared for the promised appearance of God, “for the third day the Lord will come down in the sight of all the people upon mount Sinai.” Altogether, this is a total of fifty days exactly from the first Passover covenant with God Almighty to the day when He, Himself, descended upon Sinai. Thus, we have the event that instigated the annual Feast of Pentecost, or, the Feast of “the fiftieth day.” This is why we can state that the “thunderings and lightnings” event of Mt. Sinai occurred on 6 Sivan.
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