Definition of Pentecost

  1. Pentecost Proper noun A Jewish festival (also known as Shavuot, the Feast of Weeks) seven weeks after the feast of Firstfruits or Yom Habikkurim, originally a harvest festival but, since the destruction of the Temple, also commemorating the anniversary of the giving of the Ten Commandments to Moses and the Israelites at Mount Sinai. [See Wikipedia article on Shavuot for further information on, and chronology of, these feasts.]
  2. Pentecost Proper noun The particular (Jewish) Pentecost 49 days (inclusive) after the resurrection of Jesus on the (Jewish) Day of First Fruits, when (in Christian teaching) the Holy Spirit descended upon the Apostles with miraculous effects including the ability to explain the Gospel intelligibly in languages they did not know; or a similar occasion since.
  3. Pentecost Proper noun Christian festival (also known as Whitsun or Whitsunday), which commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles (see above definition).
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