The Pentecost that we read about in Acts 2 fell on the fiftieth day after Passover. As such, the English name “Pentecost” holds its root in the Greek equivalent meaning “fiftieth day,” while the Hebrew name for the holiday, Shavu’ot, means “weeks” in reference to counting seven full weeks from Passover.

Shavu’ot is a harvest festival that coincides with the ripening of the wheat crop in Israel. It’s the time that the Torah specifies to bring the first fruits of that wheat harvest to the Temple as an offering. Perhaps related to the Hebrew name for the measurement of wheat flour required for the offering—an omer—these fifty days that connect Passover week with Pentecost are also known by their Hebrew title, Sefirot haOmer, “the Counting of the Omer.”