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The verse in Vayikra (23:16) says:

עד ממחרת השבת השביעית תספרו חמישים יום
even unto the morrow after the seventh week shall ye number fifty days (OJPS, emphasis added)

In my experience the omer is only counted for 49 days. Is that accurate? In light of the above verse, why is that so?

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See Torah Temima. – Double AA May 12 '14 at 21:56
See here: youngerlight.blogspot.com/2011/06/temimos-ii.html – Yehuda May 12 '14 at 22:00
as an idea, we count as anticipation of matan torah. no point in counting further once you're there. – Gizbar May 13 '14 at 17:57
@Ray - interesing "drash". Of course, a counter-argument would be that you should count further to rpresent increasing your knowledge of Torah! Just the same, the Torah, itself makes no direct mention that Shavuot is the day that the Torah was given, and as a matter of fact, if I understand, correctly, it was only the day that Aseret Hadibrot were announced (i.e. - the "start" of things.) Would be good for a different question on what exactly happened when... – DanF May 13 '14 at 19:11

For a start, the words before the ones you mention are:

שֶׁבַע שַׁבָּתוֹת, תְּמִימֹת תִּהְיֶינָה

Seven complete weeks are only 49 days.

Secondly, we see other times in Chumash that a number means "until, but not including" that number. For example in Devarim (25:3):

אַרְבָּעִים יַכֶּנּוּ, לֹא יֹסִיף

We only strike him 39 lashes; all the up to - but not including - 40.

That's also the simple explanation for the 70 souls that came down to Egypt with Yaakov: Breishith (46:27)

כָּל-הַנֶּפֶשׁ לְבֵית-יַעֲקֹב הַבָּאָה מִצְרַיְמָה, שִׁבְעִים

If you count them you only get to 69; all the up to - but not including - 70. (And yes, there's a known Medrash that the 70th was Yocheved born as they came through the gates.)

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עד ממחרת השבת השביעת תספרו חמשים יום

Ralbag (ad loc.) and Tosafos (Menachos 65 amud 2 s.v. "Kasuv", first explanation) explain this as:

until the day after the seventh week you should count — which is day fifty.

Thus, you count 49.

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That doesn't fit with the Trop. – Double AA May 14 '14 at 13:42

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