Pen´ti-kost; from Gk., “fiftieth”
A religious observance that has roots in the OT and continues to be observed in both Judaism and Christianity. In the Hebrew OT, the customary name for the observance is the Festival of Weeks. It is regarded as the second of three obligatory observances, coming between Passover and Tabernacles (Exod 23:14-17; Exod 34:18-24; Deut 16:16; 2Chr 8:13). In (Exod 34:22), the Festival of Weeks is further defined as “the first fruits of wheat harvest.” Thus, it was originally an agricultural festival, an occasion on which the community was expected to show gratitude to God for the first fruits of the harvest. In the NT, the book of Acts reports that the first Pentecost after the death and resurrection of Jesus was the occasion when the apostles and other believers in Jerusalem were filled with God’s Holy Spirit (Acts 2:1-42). The apostle Peter then interpreted the event as a fulfillment of the prophecy of (Joel 2:8-32). As a result, about three thousand persons were added to the group of believers.