John 6:4, Passover, a feast of the Jews. This could be an indirect reference to the Samaritan Passover, which was on a different day. That is to say, “Passover, a feast of the Jews instead of the Samaritan Passover.”
John 6:7, Two hundred denarii. This is approximately 200 days wages for an unskilled worker or peasant.
John 6:8–9, Barley loaves. Yeshua’s miracle of the multiplication of the bread to feed the large crowd is reminiscent of Elisha’s similar miracle when he fed 100 disciples with 20 barley loaves (2 Kgs 4:42–44).
John 6:14, The Prophet. This is a reference to the “prophet like Moses” of Duet 18:15.
John 6:21, Immediately. This appears to have been a miracle. The disciples had rowed three or four miles out into the Sea of Galilee (v. 19) and still at several miles to go to reach the other side (the Sea of Galilee is 13 miles long by eight miles wide). Yet when Yeshua stepped into the boat they were immediately on the other side of the sea. There’s a spiritual lesson here. Even in the midsts of life’s most ferocious storms, when Yeshua is in your spiritual boat, you will cross safely and quickly through the storm to the other side.
John 6:41, The Jews than complained [or grumbled]. (See also vv. 43 and 61.) The Jews grumbled against Yeshua over his bread statements even as the Israelites similarly grumbled against Moses. This is another of the parallels John makes likening Yeshua to Moses—the Prophet-like Moses that YHVH would raise up (Deut 18:15).
John 6:53, Drink his blood. This calls to remembrance the symbolic language of the blood of the grapes (a metaphor for wine) in Jacob’s messianic prophecy over Judah (Gen 49:11).
John 6:54, Flesh…blood. “Eats flesh and drinks my blood” is not some ribald admonition on the part of Yeshua to involve themselves in cannibalism, as I have heard some biblically naive and ignorant people claim. What did Yeshua really mean when he made this statement?
This phrase, in fact, is merely a Hebrew idiom or metaphor meaning “the whole person” (see Matt 16:17; 1 Cor 15:50; Gal 1:6; Eph 6:12; Heb 2:14). This relates to Moses’ instructions that “man shall not live by bread alone…but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of YHVH” (Deut 8:3). This applies to Yeshua who was that Word of Elohim who “became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:1 and 14).
When one puts their faith in Yeshua (John 6:29 and 5:24), then one must also believe him—that is, not only accept him as the Son of Elohim and one’s Savior, but also follow and obey (or “eat”) him who is the Living Manna-Word of Elohim from heaven.
This involves believing his words by loving him and keeping his Torah-commands (John 14:15, 23 cp. Exod 20:6), which are his literal words.
This is why YHVH instructed the Israelites to eat the whole Passover lamb, and to leave nothing left over (Exod 12:10).
This teaches us that we are to “eat” all of Yeshua—his whole Person as represented by the bread and the wine at communion on Passover. We are to accept the totality of his Word, not just the parts that suit us, or fit with our conventional religious viewpoints as per the traditions of men.
Many believers claim “to eat” all of Yeshua’s flesh and drink all of his blood, yet through their anti-Torah theologies they rip pages out of their Bibles and toss many of YHVH’s biblical instructions and commands into the spiritual trash can claiming these were for the Jews and not for Christians.
Sadly, this is exactly what Adam and Eve did when they listened to the serpent’s lies at the tree of knowledge and rebelled against YHVH’s clear commands. The devil deceived them into take a pick-and-choose approach to the Word of Elohim. This was the first sin that humans committed.
The Bible defines sin as violating the words, commands or Torah of Elohim (1 John 3:4). It is also a sin not to believe in Yeshua (John 16:9; 3:18–19) who is the Living Torah-Word of Elohim incarnate. It is also sin to act in unrighteousness (1 John 5:17). The Bible defines unrighteousness as violating YHVH’s Torah commands (Ps 119:172), which are the words of Yeshua.
In summary, when we accept all of Yeshua by eating his flesh and drinking his blood, (i.e. partaking of the bread and wine at communion) we are confessing that we accept the totality of who he was and is. If we fail to believe and obey all of his words, then to the degree that we do so we are walking in sin, don’t love him and don’t even know him (1 John 2:3–4).
John 7:2, The Jews’ Feast of Tabernacles. A casual reading of this verse (and other similar references in the Gospels to the “Jewish festivals”) may lead one to believe that the biblical feasts are of Jewish origination and thus for the Jews only. This is a prevalent notion in the mainstream church. However, understanding the Gospel writers’ comments in the cultural and spiritual context in which it was written will shatter this erroneous concept. A study of the Bible will first reveal that the biblical feasts were given not only to the Jews, but to all the tribes of Israel (of which the Jews, who are descended from the tribe of Judah, are but one tribe) by YHVH himself when he gave them the Torah after the children of Israel left Egypt. Second, in the first century, different religious sects had different calendars so that they observed the biblical feasts at different times. For example, the Samaritans had their own calendar that differed from that of the mainstream Jews. Moreover, the Dead Sea scrolls reveal that the Essenes toyed around with several calendars. Within mainstream Judaism, there was even a difference of opinion (between the religious sects of the Sadducees, Boethusians and Pharisees), for example, as to when to celebrate the Feast of Pentecost. So when John uses the term, “the Jews’ Feast of Tabernacles” he is not indicating that the feasts were of Jewish origination and thus belonged exclusively to the Jews, but rather which calendar he is referring to or on which days certain feasts were to be observed.
John 7:5, Even his brothers. Most people do not believe something until after they see it or after the event has occurred. For the majority of people, until they see something, they do not believe it. This was the case with Yeshua’s brothers three of whom became apostles after Yeshua’s resurrection. It takes great faith to believe in a “God-thing” before it happens, and it also takes great faith to believe it afterwards, since the biblical record reveals that most people don’t Elohim believe either before or afterward he does something.
John 7:24, Righteous judgment. Here Yeshua is referring to righteous judgment as opposed to the hypocritical judgment of Matthew 7:1.
John 7:27, Authority…Son of Man. Yeshua has the legal right to judge man not only because in his incarnate state as Elohim he created man, but because he became a man, lived without sin and thus never came under sin’s judgment, and because he was a man he can judge with grace, mercy and empathy, since he understands firsthand the frailties of man’s flesh nature.
John 7:35, The Dispersion among the Greeks . Note the reference in Hosea1:4 to Jezreel.
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]. (KJV)
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.
John 7:38, Rivers of living water. In Scripture, a river is a Hebraic metaphor for a Spirit-led and -filled life—a life of purpose and direction (Ps 1:3; Rev 22:1; Ezek 47:1–12; Isa 35:6; 41:17–18; 42:20; 44:3; 55:1). The Jordan River is a picture of this (2 Kgs 2:6–13; Mark 9:10). The Spirit of Elohim, like a river, also cleanses the saint of sin and sanctifies him of which baptism in a river is a picture (Eph 5:26; 1 Cor 6:11; Tit 3:5; Rom 6:1–14). Moreover, the Spirit of Elohim continually flows, like a river, to give the saint a continual fresh anointing and supply of the dynamic power of Elohim to live a godly life (Gal 3:5; Phil 1:19; John 4:13–14; Isa 12:3).
By comparison and conversely, the raging, foaming and turbulent sea represents all of spiritually lost and unsaved humanity, which is like the sea, is aimless and without direction, tossed to and fro with the wind (Jas 1:6–8; Jude 13; Isa 57:20–21). Moreover, a sea is the same water that goes back and forth. The Red Sea which was attached to Egypt and which the Israelites crossed over and left behind is a Hebraic metaphor of this.
The Jordan River is a picture of the Set-Apart Spirit in another way as well. The word Jordan means “a descender.” The Jordan flows down from the often snow-covered Mount Hermon, the highest mountain in that region at just under 10,000 feet tall. Similarly, the Spirit of Elohim descends from heaven to impart spiritual life (i.e. the fruit of the Spirit, Gal 5:22–23) to the saints, even as the Jordan River imparts agricultural life to the region of Galilee and the Jordan Valley.
John 7:39, The Set-Apart Spirit was not yet given. Up until that time, the Spirit of Elohim only dwelt with the saints of Elohim, but was not yet in them (John 14:17). After Yeshua ascended, the Spirit of Elohim began to dwell in the saints, not merely with the saints. This fact gives new meaning to John’s statement in John 7:37 that the Set-Apart Spirit had not been given yet because Yeshua hadn’t yet been glorified. In fulfillment of this promise in John 20:22, Yeshua breathed on his disciples and they received the Spirit in them. Then on the day of Pentecost, the Spirit was given universally when she was poured out on all of the saints who were present that day.
John 7:40, The Prophet. This is the prophet of Moses’ prophecy in Deuteronomy 18:15.