What is “The Last Great Day of the Feast”?

John 7:37–41, On the last day. Haggai 2:1 is occurred on Hoshana Rabbah, the Last Great Day. In Haggai 2:7, the coming Messiah is referred to as the “Desire of All Nations,” and the prophet assures the Jews of his time that who were building the second temple, that though it was inferior in physical glory to Solomon’s Temple, it would experience a greater glory than even the previous temple. This is because the promised Messiah would be coming to that second temple.

Indeed, Yeshua come to the second temple and glorified it with his presence, but that temple is now long gone. The Testimony of Yeshua teaches us that the saints are now the temple of Elohim, since they are the temple of the Set-Apart Spirit (1 Cor 3:16; 2 Cor 6:16). The saints become that temple when the Spirit fell on them on the Day of Pentecost as recorded in Acts 2, and when the Spirit falls on and inhabits each saint subsequently. This is the glory of Elohim coming on individuals—Yeshua inhabiting the temple of his body. And this is only the beginning of the heavenly glory that the saints can hope to experience as 1 Cor 2:9 tells us, for a greater, and incomprehensible glory is yet coming to the overcoming saint (see also Isa 4:3–6 and 1 John 3:1–3).

In verse 37, Yeshua invites those who thirst spiritually to come to him. How thirsty are we for the spiritual waters of salvation that he has to offer? As Ps 118:24, the Hoshana Rabbah psalm, notes, we must cry out to the Messiah for salvation by declaring, “Hoshianah!” or “Save us now O Great One!” Similarly, we must come to the wells of salvation (Heb. Yeshua) and drink deeply (Isa 12:3) if we are to experience heaven’s blessing.

In verse 38, Yeshua declares that only those who believe in him will experience heaven’s outpouring of spiritual water for the thirsty soul. Each saint needs the glory of YHVH to fill his temple, so that the rivers of living water can flow out of us onto others. When we are baptized in the Set-Apart Spirit, our spiritual cup will be filled and will run over onto others, and we will become a river of life to those around us.

In verse 39, Yeshua explains that this river of life will flow once he has been glorified and the Spirit of Elohim has been poured out. Yeshua has been glorified and the Spirit poured out on the saints. This is what the second temple water pouring ceremony prophetically prefigured and hoped for—something that has already occurred. Therefore, at Sukkot, when we do the water pouring ceremony, we also need to realize that the Spirit has already been given. Therefore, it behooves the saint on the Last Great Day to present himself as an empty vessel to YHVH and let him fill us anew so that we can be a river of life to those around us.

Interestingly and related to verses 37 to 39, in verses 40 to 41, the gospel records that there was theological division and strife among the people pertaining the work and person of Yeshua. This juxtaposition of concepts implies that division and strife in the body of Yeshua prevents the outpouring of the Spirit. The glory of Elohim can’t fall on the body or temple of Yeshua’s body unless it is together in one place and in one accord as the saints were on the Day of Pentecost. This is a serious warning and a call for saints to put away strife and division and to come together in one accord, so that YHVH may glorify his temple by the outpouring of his Spirit thus empowering the saints to be a river of life to those around them.

John 7:37–38, On the last day. This was the last day of the seven-day long Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles) celebration known as “the Last Great Day” (in Heb. Hoshana Rabbah). On this day, a joyous festival occurred called the Water Pouring Ceremony, where the Jews prayed for rain for the upcoming agricultural season resulting in a bountiful harvest. These rains were referred to as the former (fall) and latter (spring) rains, and were necessary to bring the crops to fruition. The Jewish people also believed that these rains were prophetic of a great outpouring of the Set-Apart Spirit that would occur during the Messianic Age (or Millennium), to which Sukkot was a prophetic allusion resulting in a great harvest of souls (again relating to the fall harvest season during which the feast of Sukkot occurred each year). During the Water Pouring Ceremony, the Jews would joyously sing Isaiah 12:2.

Behold, God (Heb. El) is my salvation [Heb. Yeshua]; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD [Heb. Yah] JEHOVAH [Heb. Yehovah] is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation [Heb. Yeshua].

Here, in typical Jewish poetic style using encrypted Hebraisms, Yeshua is claiming to be deity and the Messiah, and to be source of salvation or living waters without overtly saying it.

 

7 thoughts on “What is “The Last Great Day of the Feast”?

  1. I was under the impression that ‘Shemini Atzeret’, which is the 8th day, as laid out in Leviticus 23:36 & 39, is ‘The Last Great Day’ of The Festival in John 7:37? But you are saying that ‘The Last Great Day’ referred to is in fact ‘Hoshana Rabbah’?
    Please can you explain as I’m somewhat confused now?
    Many thanks

    • The Last Great Day is the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles or Sukkot and is not the Eighth Day as is mistakenly taught and believed by some people. Here is why. The Jews originated the term, the Last Great Day many millennia ago and according to their ancient writings, it applies to the seventh day of Sukkot, not to the Eighth Day, which follows the seven day Sukkot celebration and is a separate biblical holiday altogether. When Yeshua refers to the last great of the feast in John 7:37, he is referring to the last day of Chag (Feast) haSukkot (of Tabernacles. This is when the second temple Jews would do their water pouring ceremony which prophetically pictured YHVH pouring out his Spirit upon earth’s inhabitants. This is the Last Great Day and is at the end of the feast or Chag of Sukkot. The Eighth Day technically is not a feast, although it is a Shabbat and a commanded assembly. According to the Torah, only three of the seven biblical holidays are feasts or chagim. They are the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Feast of Weeks or Pentecost and the Feast of Tabernacles. Again, the Eighth Day is not a feast, therefore, Yeshua could not be referring to it, therefore it is not the Eighth Day, which, again, is not a part of the Feast of Tabernacle. There you have it. Blessings!

  2. Natan, your first sentence in your answer to Pavlos Sylianou contradicts what you mean to say. First of all, my understanding is that /Shemini Atseret or The Eighth Day is a set apart day that happens the day AFTER the seven day Chag of Sukkot and that Hoshana Rabba is the Last Great Day or the Last Day of the Seven Day Festival/Chag of Sukkot. Please reread your first sentence in you answer to Pavlos. It seems to contradict your answer.

  3. Thank-you, Natan, for clarifying what Yochanan 7:37 was referring to, versus the 8th day (which until now I assumed was the last day). Interesting how a careful reading of each word (last day of the Feast, underscore, and not ‘the 8th day is the last day after the Feast).
    Blessings to you and Sandi. Anita Chag Sameach! (the 8th day : )

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