Sivan is the third month of the biblical calendar year. The name "Sivan" is the Babylonian name of the month. It is referred to as such in the Bible, "So the king's scribes were called at that time in the third month (that is, the month of Sivan), on the twenty-third day..." 1 The Torah refers to the month simply as "the third month" as it says in Exodus 19:1, "In the third month after the sons of Israel had gone out of the land of Egypt, on that very day they came into the wilderness of Sinai."
In the land of Israel, Sivan is the beginning of the harvest season. In biblical times, the Feast of Shavuot (6 Sivan) began the season of bikkurim, that is, the first fruits of the harvest. Stretching from Shavuot to the Feast of Sukkot, the farmers of the land of Israel would bring the first share of their crops to the Temple with great fanfare and celebration.
Shavuot is also traditionally observed as the anniversary of the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai. It was on this day that all Israel heard God speak the Ten Commandments from the mountain. Israel beheld the smoking fire, the resounding shofar blast, and the pearls of lightning and thunder. It was a fearsome sight.
While celebrating the Feast of Shavuot in Jerusalem just after the Master's ascension, the believers also beheld an awesome site, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in tongues of fire and a violent rushing wind.2 It was the promised Comforter that Messiah Yeshua had promised they would receive. He had instructed them to tarry in Jerusalem until they had received the promise of the Father. From there the message of the Gospel would go forth to Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and even to the remotest parts of the earth. Throughout the rest of the book of Acts, we see the believers continuing to bring the harvest from the nations.
But the Acts of the Holy Spirit did not end with chapter 28. We stand today as a continuation of that Great Shavuot Commission. Like our brothers and sisters in Messiah who have gone before us, we are also given the awesome privilege of gathering in the harvest from the nations. We are those witnesses at the remotest parts of the earth. Yet, we long for the day when we bring the harvest to the Temple, and we all come to Jerusalem with great fanfare and celebration. In that day, both Jews and Gentiles will be the first fruits of Zion.
Chag Shavuot Sameach—Have a Joyous Shavuot!
1. Esther 8:9, which is incidentally, the longest verse in the Bible. 2. Acts 2:2-3