Counting the Omer
by Rabbi Paul Falk. Why are we commanded to count the Omer? Seven (7) weeks of days (Shabbats) completed, and then the day after, for a total of fifty days. Lev 23:17 you shall bring from dwellings two (2) wave loafs. Deuteronomy 16:9-10, you shall count 7 weeks for yourself, from the time you shall put the sickle to the grain. You shall give an offering as Yahweh blessed you. Deuteronomy 16:11-12 . You shall rejoice before Yahweh your Elohim, you, your son, your daughter, your male servant your female servant , the Levite who is in your gates, the stranger, the fatherless, the widow, shall worship and praise Yahweh, and you shall remember you were a slave in Egypt, you shall be careful to observe the statutes.
Key points to consider: Count after first fruits. First fruits in the midst of unleavened bread the first thing to come up was barley. You would cut it (the first of the barley), and offer it to Yahweh. (You could not eat leavened bread again until after first fruits is offered.) New grain offering is going to be baked with leavening.
Connections: to this season of counting is the Sabbath year and the year of Jubilee. (Lev. 25:2-3) Speak to the children of Israel and say “When you come into the land, then the land shall keep a Shabbat to Yahweh. Six years you shall sew your field, and six years your shall prune your vineyard and gather your fruit. But in the seventh (7th) year, there shall be a Shabbat of solemn rest for the land. A Shabbat to Yahweh. You shall neither sew your field nor prune your vineyard. What grows of its own accord of your harvest you shall not reap nor gather the grapes of the undressed vine; for it is a year of rest unto the land.” (listen for more…)