What Is The Omer; How Do You Count It?

What Is The Omer; How Do You Count It?

Have you ever wondered what an Omer is?

When you first start learning about the annual journey through the feast days, one topic that might cause some confusion is the "Counting of the Omer."

There may be some confusion regarding when, how, and why. The purpose of this article is to simplify the topic, providing a clearer understanding and practical ways to incorporate the count into our lives. It will also explore how implementing this spiritual practice can enrich our walk with the Messiah. 

During the counting of the Omer, we have a significant opportunity for personal growth and deep contemplation of the Word. But what exactly is the "Omer"? If you're like me, you've probably seen this term in the Bible and quickly moved on, thinking, "Omer, I wonder what that is..." Maybe that's as far as you got.

Let's look at the command given in Leviticus 23. Verse 10 states:

“Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, When you come into the land that I give you and reap its harvest, you shall bring the sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest to the priest..."

And then in verse 15:

“You shall count seven full weeks from the day after the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering. You shall count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath. Then you shall present a grain offering of new grain to the Lord. You shall bring from your dwelling places two loaves of bread to be waved, made of two tenths of an ephah. They shall be of fine flour, and they shall be baked with leaven, as firstfruits to the Lord.”

The word "sheaf" in verse 10 is transliterated as "Omer." An Omer is a biblical unit of measurement used for dry goods. It specifies the amount of barley that had to be presented to the Lord on the day of firstfruits.

Now, let's discuss how the Omer can be counted. The Omer is counted daily, and here are some examples of how we can do it:

1. Start in the evening:

When the sun sets, you can start by quoting Leviticus 23:15,

"It is written, And you shall count for yourselves from the morrow of the Shabbat, from the day that you bring the omer [offering] that is raised, seven complete weeks there shall be until the morrow of the seventh week you shall count fifty days.”

And end with,

“We bless your Name, our King of Kings, and we thank you for our daily bread."

2. Announce:

State the current day of the count. For example, if it is the 16th day, you could say,

"Today is sixteen days, which is two weeks and two days of the Omer."

3. Read and study a verse of the day:

Meditate on that verse throughout the day. Choose verses that emphasize liberty, spiritual growth, and our connection to the Most High. This can bring you insight as you contemplate the Scripture. For example, in Psalm 139:23-24, it says,

"Examine me, God, and know my heart; test me, and know my thoughts. See if there is in me any hurtful way, and lead me along the eternal way."

4. Record:

Write your thoughts and reflections on the text. This can help deepen your understanding and connection to the Scripture.

5. Pray:

After reflecting on the verse, offer a prayer related to your meditations.

6. Take action:

Consider how you can apply your reflections to your daily life.

7. Share:

Impart what you received with others who are highlighted to you by the Father.

8. Be in Expectation:

Contemplate what the holiday of Shavuot (Pentecost) will bring to you and your family.

9. Worship:

Spend time singing and worshiping, giving thanks for the holiday.

10. Jar of Barley/Wheat:

Use two jars, one filled with 50 grains of barley. Transfer one grain each day for a visual representation of the count. This can be a fun activity to do with your children.

We hope you enjoyed learning more about the Omer and that the next time you see the word in Scripture, you'll have a greater understanding.

In celebration of the day of Shavuot, we've created some kits to help you go deeper in your study of the Scriptures. We've included some keepsakes to place in your home that can serve as reminders and talking points for anyone who visits. As always, your purchase goes towards empowering Israelis to provide for their families and support for their communities.

Please take a look at the kits and consider giving towards these precious families:

Shavuot Celebration Sets

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