Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Exclusive Material: Correct reading of the description of the Counting of Omer

I've discussed some of the aspects of this issue in my previous post, however, I wanted to create a separate post to show you exactly what was changed and how we are to properly understand the description of the counting of Omer.

Let's look at the text:
YLT Lv 23:10 'Speak unto the sons of Israel, and thou hast said unto them, When ye come in unto the land which I am giving to you, and have reaped its harvest, and have brought in the sheaf, the beginning of your harvest unto the priest, 
YLT Lv 23:11 then he hath waved the sheaf before Jehovah for your acceptance; from the morrow of the sabbath doth the priest wave it
YLT Lv 23:12 'And ye have prepared in the day of your waving the sheaf a lamb, a perfect one, a son of a year, for a burnt-offering to Jehovah, 
YLT Lv 23:13 and its present two tenth deals of flour mixed with oil, a fire-offering to Jehovah, a sweet fragrance, and its drink-offering, wine, a fourth of the hin. 
YLT Lv 23:14 'And bread and roasted corn and full ears ye do not eat until this self-same day, until your bringing in the offering of your God--a statute age-during to your generations, in all your dwellings. 
YLT Lv 23:15 'And ye have numbered to you from the morrow of the sabbath, from the day of your bringing in the sheaf of the wave-offering: they are seven perfect sabbaths; 
YLT Lv 23:16 unto from morrow of the seventh sabbath ye do number fifty days, and ye have brought near a new present to Jehovah; 
YLT Lv 23:17 out of your dwellings ye bring in bread of a wave-offering, two loaves, of two tenth deals of flour they are, with yeast they are baken, first-fruits to Jehovah. 
YLT Lv 23:18 'And ye have brought near, besides the bread, seven lambs, perfect ones, sons of a year, and one bullock, a son of the herd, and two rams; they are a burnt-offering to Jehovah, with their present and their libations, a fire-offering of sweet fragrance to Jehovah. 
YLT Lv 23:19 'And ye have prepared one kid of the goats for a sin-offering, and two lambs, sons of a year, for a sacrifice of peace-offerings, 
YLT Lv 23:20 and the priest hath waved them, besides the bread of the first-fruits--a wave-offering before Jehovah, besides the two lambs; they are holy to Jehovah for the priest; 
YLT Lv 23:21 and ye have proclaimed on this self-same day: a holy convocation is to you, ye do no servile work--a statute age-during in all your dwellings, to your generations. 
YLT Lv 23:22 'And in your reaping the harvest of your land thou dost not complete the corner of thy field in thy reaping, and the gleaning of thy harvest thou dost not gather, to the poor and to the sojourner thou dost leave them; I Jehovah am your God.'
YLT Dt 16:9 'Seven weeks thou dost number to thee; from the beginning of the sickle among the standing corn thou dost begin to number seven weeks,
As you can see, the changes in the text were very subtle. These changes were probably due to the confusion of the scribe who did not quite understand what he was writing about. The scribe probably could not fit the 2nd Temple period calendar into the Torah description, thus he followed the tradition and added the words to make sense of the text. Or perhaps the scribe was trying to avoid contradictions with his incorrect understanding of the Shabbat and what is permitted to be done on it.

As you can see from the crossed out word, rabbis only added one word in Lev 23:16, while in Lev 23:11 and Lev 23:15 the same word seems to be the original reading. So as you can see, even one word can greatly change the meaning of the text. Had the word in Lev 23:16 been original, it would spell "the morrow" not "from morrow".

Just to repeat my previous post, the reason why crossed out word does not make sense in these passages is because they would produce a very suspicious and unexplainable Shabbat+Holy Meeting combination at the 50th of Omer. Please see the post mentioned in the beginning if you are interested in how it should be.

Please note that in Lev 23:!5 it says to count Shabbats/Weeks but in Lev 23:16 we are counting days.

As Deuteronomy 16:9 states we are to count from "the beginning of the sickle among the standing corn", which means that the counting of 7 weeks (or shabbats) begins on the day after the Shabbat, which is why I think Lev 23:11 is the original reading. However, the Shabbat before the counting of weeks is counted too, so that the 50th day would fall on Shabbat and major Moon Phase. This would solve the problem of a weird Shabbat+Holy Meeting combination.

Also, from Deuteronomy 16:9 we can deduce that we do not harvest on Shabbats. This is obvious but I figured I mention it just in case.

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