I am writng an Easter play for my children's church class. In it, there's a fictional "villain" who tries to cover up the fact that Jesus rose from the dead because he's in the business of selling animals for sacrifices.

My play begins on the Day of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit came upon the disciples. I realize many displaced Jews were in the Holy City this day because of the Pentecost celebration. I've read Leviticus 23: 16-20. My question is: EXACTLY what animals were required for a sacrifice that day? Most of what books I've read on Jewish feasts say only the loaves and the 2 lambs, but looking at verse 19, there's a number of other animals.

Also, Pentecost was also known as the Feast of Weeks. Did it only last one day, or one week?

  • NOt a full answer, but: jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/12012-pentecost Feb 7, 2014 at 19:30
  • Numbers 28: 26 - 31 and Leviticus 23: 15 - 21. The sacrifices are spelled out exactly. Also Proverbs 3: 9 - 10. The festival lasts only one day. Two outside Israel. Eat dairy foods. Flower displays. Pentacost means fiftieth day. Shavuos means weeks. Original name Chag ha-Kotsir - Feast of Harvest or Yom ha-Bikkurim - Offering First Harvest. Linked to giving of law at Sinai fifty days after leaving Egypt. Possible connection with Acts 2: 1 - 4. Good luck. Feb 8, 2014 at 21:58
  • Your last question can be answered by Wikipedia.
    – Flimzy
    Jun 24, 2014 at 18:54

1 Answer 1


The Pentecost festival was the end of the Festival of Weeks.

A few things may help here:

  1. The Festival of weeks itself was a several week affair that celebrated the entire harvest. It began when the barley was ready, and ended with the wheat. As such, it was a season - but the highest day thereof was the single day of Pentecost.

  2. As a harvest festival, the primary offerings would have been the non-living sacrifices. The barley offering and the grain offering were the primary things one would think of - in the same way that a modern American would associate Thanksgiving with turkey.

  3. That said, there were animal offerings - but these were not proscribed directly. Rather, the most common would have been sheep (because that was the primary herd animal - your other suspects: pigs would have been unkosher, cows would have been too expensive, chickens would have been seen as bad luck). Had you been unable to afford a sheep, however, as a freewill offering, you could substitute other less expensive animals - like two turtledoves / pigeons.

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