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John Chapter Seven


I. Content of the Chapter


The Son of God the Savior------the Reality of the Feast of Tabernacles

   A. He Who Has not Believed Him Has Only the Form of the Feast of Tabernacles, but not the Reality:

1. The Jews sought to kill the Lord in Feast of Tabernacles (v.1-2)

2. His brothers provoked Him to make Him known openly in the feast, for they did not believed Him (v.3-10)

3. The Jews judged according to appearance and marveled at His teaching in the feast (v.11-24).

4. The people did not know His origin (v.25-36).

  B. He Revealed to Men that He is the Reality of the Feast of Tabernacles:

1. The people still felt thirsty on the last day of the Feast (v.37a).

2. He called the thirsty men to come to Him and drink (v.37b).

3. He who believes in the Lord, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water and always quench the thirst (v.38-39).

  C. Men’s Reaction to the One Who is the Reality of the Feast of Tabernacles:

    1. There was a division among the people because of Him (v.40-43).

2. The officers disobeyed the command and did not seize Him (v.44-46).

3. The Pharisees firmly refused to believe Him (v.47-49, 52).

4. Nicodemus plead for Him (v.50-51).


II. Verse by Verse commentary


John. 7:1 “After these things Jesus walked in Galilee; for He did not want to walk in Judea, because the Jews sought to kill Him.”

   YLT: “And Jesus was walking after these things in Galilee, for he did not wish to walk in Judea, because the Jews were seeking to kill him,”

   Meaning of Words: “walk”: tread all around, walk at large;

   Literal Meaning:after these things”, it indicated that the author had an idea of the order of time (see 5:1; 6:1).

Jesus walked in Galilee”, “walked” referred to the custom that a rabbi took his disciples to teach all around.

Enlightenment in the Word:

     1) “The Jews sought to kill Him”, this is the best description of the religion ---- on one hand religionists worship God, and on the other they scheme to persecute those who are really of God.

     2) The enmity of the Jews restricted the works of the Lord Jesus ---- “He did not want to walk in Judea”. We shall love Him and obey Him in everything, and thus he will fulfill His works freely in us.


John. 7:2Now the Jews' Feast of Tabernacles was at hand.

YLT: “and the feast of the Jews was nigh -- that of tabernacles --”

The Background: the Feast of Tabernacles”, one of the three great feasts of the Jews, began in the 15th day of July (it was between September and October according to the solar calendar) and continued for seven whole days. After the people had finished reaping the harvest, they went up to Jerusalem to have the feast and dwelt in the booths which were temporarily made of branches (Neh 8:14-17) so as to remember their fathers who had wandered in the wilderness in a desert way and dwelt in booths. Besides, they expressed gratitude to God who had granted them an abundant harvest in that year, so it was also a joyful feast (see Lev23:34, 39-43; Deut 16:13-15).

Literal Meaning: things in chapter six happened when the Passover, the feast of the Jews, was near (see 6:4). There was an interval of about six month between the Passover and the Feast of Tabernacles.

Spiritual Meaning: the Feast of Tabernacles”, the last feast of a year, typifies that men’s labor will finally more or less bring a man some harvest, (see Ex 23:16), i.e. the accomplishments in respect of learning, career, marriage and family. Even though all the above-mentioned attainments may produce some joy and enjoyment, they still seem so limited, just like the thirst in the depths of men’s spirit (v.37) in the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles.

Enlightenment in the Word:

     1) We sojourn as a stranger in the land, dwell in tents and wait for the eternal tent (see Heb 11:9-10), namely, the New Jerusalem (see Rev 21:2-3).

     2) No matter how pleasant we are on the earth, it will never quench the inner thirst of us (see v.37; Rev 22:7). Only abiding in the Lord is the key to every question in our life.


John. 7:3His brothers therefore said to Him, "Depart from here and go into Judea, that Your disciples also may see the works that You are doing.

YLT: “his brethren, therefore, said unto him, `Remove hence, and go away to Judea, that thy disciples also may behold thy works that thou dost;”

Meaning of Words: “depart from”: go, remove;

Literal Meaning: “depart from here and go into Judea”, “here”: Galilee; “go into Judea” indicated that they went up to Jerusalem to have the feast, which was higher in topography than Galilee. So here it used the phrase “go into”.

    “That Your disciples also may see the works that You are doing”, “your disciples” referred to the disciples who abode in the land of Judaea (see 2:23; 3:26; 4:1). “The works that You are doing”, they advised Jesus to do miracles to manifest that He is the Messiah. It also disclosed that the brothers of the Lord did not even know they were disciples of the Lord.


John. 7:4For no one does anything in secret while he himself seeks to be known openly. If You do these things, show Yourself to the world."

YLT: “for no one in secret doth anything, and himself seeketh to be in public; if thou dost these things -- manifest thyself to the world;'”

Meaning of Words: “in secret”: concealed, private; “show”: reveal, manifest;

Literal Meaning: “if You do these things”, note that the brothers of the Lord did not say the Lord “had not done” or “could not do” these things.

  “Show Yourself to the world”, in the sight of the brothers of the Lord Jesus in the flesh, they regarded Jerusalem in Judea as the right place where the Messiah would be manifested.

Enlightenment in the Word:

     1) The actions of men who have not believed (v.5) the Lord are always motivated by developing their own fame and seeking vain glory.

     2) If Satan can not deceive one into seeking his reputation in the world, it will deceive one into that in the assembly (see Luke 4:5-6, 9 “set him on the edge of the temple”).

     3) If we walk with the intention of seeking to be known openly to win the praise from others, we must be totally disappointed in the end. For the heart of men is so unpredictable that they may praise others today but despise tomorrow. If we do not want to be disappointed, the best choice is to seek to be accepted of God.


John. 7:5For even His brothers did not believe in Him.

YLT: “for not even were his brethren believing in him.”

Literal Meaning: “fordid not believe in Him”, it indicated that they had not believed Him yet when they said these words, but they still believed Him later (see Act 1:14; 15:13; 1Cor15:7; Gal1:19; James1:1; Jude1:1)

Enlightenment in the Word:

   1) When we come to serve the Lord, there may arise opposition from our family members (see 10:34-36). But we will not give up the faithfulness (see 10:37-39) to the Lord on account of their hindrance.

2) If the closest relatives of a man do “not believe Him”, it will become the greatest cross for him.


John. 7:6Then Jesus said to them, "My time has not yet come, but your time is always ready.

YLT: “Jesus, therefore, saith to them, `My time is not yet present, but your time is always ready;”

Meaning of Words: time”: set or proper time, due time, convenient season;

Literal Meaning: My time has not yet come”, the Lord shows that He does not walk according to His will, but seek the will of God instead (see v.17-18).

  But your time is always ready”. ---- Because they walked according to the will of their own.

Enlightenment in the Word:

1) The Lord neither walks at will, nor being guided by the will of men, but walks according to the “hour” of God.

     2) The Lord, the eternal and infinite God, is willing to come to be restricted in time for us. In order to keep the will of God, we believers should also be willing to lose freedom and be restricted in time.

     3) We shall learn from the Lord who does not do His own will in everything, and learn to wait for God in the inquiring of God. In this way, what we has done will conform to the will of God, and thus keeping us from making mistakes.


John. 7:7The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify of it that its works are evil.

YLT: “the world is not able to hate you, but me it doth hate, because I testify concerning it that its works are evil.”

Literal Meaning: “the world cannot hate you”, “the world” refers to those who neither knows the Lord nor receives Him (see 1:10-11). They are utilized by the Devil to oppose the Lord Jesus. Therefore, all those who do not believe Him are regarded as the ones of the Devil, so the world will not hate them.

Enlightenment in the Word: good advice is harsh to the ear. The men of the world mostly hate others pointing out their faults and dislike being called the wicked (Pro 9:7-8).


John. 7:8You go up to this feast. I am not yet going up to this feast, for My time has not yet fully come."

YLT: “Ye -- go ye up to this feast; I do not yet go up to this feast, because my time hath not yet been fulfilled;'”

Meaning of Words: fully”: be complete, fulfill;

Literal Meaning: I am not yet going up”: “I will not go up (in some old Scripture)”, and they have the same meaning ---- “I will not go up according to the way you have raised”.


John. 7:9When He had said these things to them, He remained in Galilee.

YLT: “and saying these things to them, he remained in Galilee.”


John. 7:10But when His brothers had gone up, then He also went up to the feast, not openly, but as it were in secret.

YLT: “And when his brethren went up, then also he himself went up to the feast, not manifestly, but as in secret;”

Meaning of Words: “openly”: evidently, publicly

Literal Meaning: not openly, but as it were in secret”, it unveiled that the Lord did not go there according to the way raised by His brothers ---- being held up by the people, but went there in an unattractive manner.

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)  The Lord did not only be restricted in time, but also in action.

     2) When we serve in the church, we’d better do more service in secret rather than boast openly to have glory from men (see Matt 6:1-4).


John. 7:11Then the Jews sought Him at the feast, and said, "Where is He?"

YLT: “the Jews, therefore, were seeking him, in the feast, and said, `Where is that one?'”

Literal Meaning: the Jews sought Him”, here, “the Jews”, being apparently different from “the people” (see v.12-13), referred to the leaders of the Jews.


John. 7:12And there was much complaining among the people concerning Him. Some said, "He is good"; others said, "No, on the contrary, He deceives the people."

YLT: “and there was much murmuring about him among the multitudes, some indeed said -- `He is good;' and others said, `No, but he leadeth astray the multitude;'”

Meaning of Words: complaining”: murmuring; “deceive”: go astray, deceive, err, seduce;

Literal Meaning: there was much complaining among the people concerning Him”, “the people”, neither “the Jews (see v.13)” nor the “inhabitants of Jerusalem (see v. 25)”, referred to the men who came to Jerusalem to have the feast. “Complaining” referred to “murmuring” the Lord rather than talking about Him openly (see v.13).

Enlightenment in the Word:

1) One shall not infer or judge the Lord from his rational knowledge. Even the best comment on Him ---- “He is good” ---- is still imperfect.

     2) Both “He is good” and “He deceives the people” are drawn from men’s personal opinions rather than objective facts. Therefore, we shall not care about being judged by others (see 1Cor4:3).


John. 7:13However, no one spoke openly of Him for fear of the Jews.

YLT: “no one, however, was speaking freely about him, through fear of the Jews.”

Meaning of Words: “openly”: frankness, bluntness, publicity;

Enlightenment in the Word:

1) If a man wants to be a true disciple of the Lord Jesus, he should confess Him “openly” (see Matt 10:32-33; Rom 10:9-10).

     2) In those countries or regions where one can not choose his belief with freedom, men dare not declare the opinions concerning belief for fearing the top authority. However, in those countries or regions where one can freely choose his belief, Satan manipulates another threatening scheme ---- it makes men feel shameful, fear to be despised, fear to make mistakes and fear to be bound by one’s own words …. etc, causing many believers to dare not bear the witness in boldness.


John. 7:14Now about the middle of the feast Jesus went up into the temple and taught.

YLT: “And it being now the middle of the feast, Jesus went up to the temple, and he was teaching,”

Literal Meaning: “now about the middle of the feast” refers to any day during the feast.

    Jesus went up into the temple and taught”, “the temple”, which is also called “the porch of Solomon”, refers to the outer court where man can freely come in and go out.


John. 7:15And the Jews marveled, saying, "How does this Man know letters, having never studied?"

YLT: “and the Jews were wondering, saying, `How hath this one known letters -- not having learned?'”

Meaning of Words: “study”: learn, understand; “letters”: epistle, book;

Literal Meaning: the Jews marveled”, “the Jews” here still refer to the leaders of the Jews (see the commentary of verse 11), especially the Pharisees and scribes who are both familiar with the Scriptures.

  How does this Man know letters, having never studied?” ---- “Letters” here refer to the knowledge about the Holy Scriptures. Since the Lord Jesus had never been formally trained by the Rabbi’s teaching, his interpretation on the Scriptures amazed those experts so much that they thought it unbelievable.

Enlightenment in the Word:

1) In the Christianity today, like the Jews at that time, a lot of men think only the one who has graduated from the theological seminary can understand the knowledge of the Christianity and teach others in the assembly.

     2) The prerequisite of preaching the words of God is the revelation from God (see Gal 1:11-17) rather than the religious training.


John. 7:16Jesus answered them and said, "My doctrine is not Mine, but His who sent Me.

YLT: “Jesus answered them and said, `My teaching is not mine, but His who sent me;”

Literal Meaning: this verse unveils that His teaching comes from a higher origin ---- the Father who sends the Lord is the Lord’s “Rabbi”.

Enlightenment in the Word:

1) The servants of the Lord should often prove him: “is my doctrine of me or of the Lord who has sent me?”

     2) If what we have said or preached is of us, no matter how pleasant it sounds or how excellent the knowledge is, it will be of no true profit to others.


John. 7:17If anyone wills to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God or whether I speak on My own authority.

YLT: “if any one may will to do His will, he shall know concerning the teaching, whether it is of God, or -- I do speak from myself.”

Literal Meaning: this verse means that if there is any one who keeps the will of God like the Lord Jesus and does not seek his own will, he will know that the Lord’s doctrine is of God (see Deut 29:29).

Enlightenment in the Word:

1) Augustus said: “what is ‘willing to do His will’? It is willing to believe. The reward of faith is to know the teaching of God”.

     2) “If anyone wills to do His will, he shall know.” ---- God will not reveal His will to neither those who are unwilling to know nor those who are willing to know but unwilling to keep.

     3) Although there is some believer who is seeking the will of God, he is actually unwilling to keep the will of God at all, regarding the will of God as merely knowledge. He has his own will, and he wants God to approve and accept his will only. In regard to such a man, God will never reveal His will to him.

     4) Margaret Barber said: “95 percent of the mystery of knowing the will of God is obedience, and the rest 5 percent is knowledge.”

     5) Those who keep the will of God have the experience of the words of God and know the words of God in the experience.

     6) If a man earnestly wants to know and keep the will of God, God will reveal to him ---- “obedience is the key to spiritual knowledge”.

     7) Truth can be practiced. And practice is the best way to prove whether a truth is of God or not. All the truth that cannot be practiced is not of God.

     8) Today, many servants of the Lord can only preach the words, but not do the words. Such kind of sermons is of little profit to others.


John. 7:18He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but He who seeks the glory of the One who sent Him is true, and no unrighteousness is in Him.

YLT: “`He who is speaking from himself his own glory doth seek, but he who is seeking the glory of him who sent him, this one is true, and unrighteousness is not in him;”

Literal Meaning: seeks his own glory”, “glory” refers to being praised or honored by men.

  “He is true”: “He is of the truth”. “He” refers to the Lord Jesus. The Book of John reveals that on one hand “God id true” (see v.28; 3:33; 8:26) and on the other “the Lord Jesus is true”, so the Lord Jesus is on an equality with God.

  It manifests four characteristics of the Lord Jesus in this verse: (1) He never seeks His own glory. (2) He seeks only the glory of the Father. (3) His being, His work and His words are all true. (4) There is no unrighteousness in Him at all.

Enlightenment in the Word:

1) Every servant of the Lord should seek the glory of God rather than that of his own. All the sermons which are motivated by seeking one’s own glory have been short of the glory of God.

     2) Only the man who seeks the glory of God is true. In other words, all those who seek their own glory are of vanity.


John. 7:19Did not Moses give you the law, yet none of you keeps the law? Why do you seek to kill Me?"

YLT: “hath not Moses given you the law? and none of you doth the law; why me do ye seek to kill?'”

Literal Meaning: “did not Moses give you the law?” ---- It refers to the Law in the Pentateuch. The Jews boasts of being God's elect and having obtained the Law given by Moses (see Rom 2:17).

  “Yet none of you keeps the law”, the Lord Jesus here manifestly pointed that the Jews had offended the Law which had been all along counted as an honor by them (see Rom 2:17-29 3:10-23Gal 6:13).

   Why do you seek to kill Me?” ---- The Lord Jesus here exposed the scheme of the Jewish leaders that they sought to kill the Him (see 5:18). The law had openly prohibited murdering (see Ex 20:13). The idea of killing equaled to killing, so any scheme of killing had already offended the law.


John. 7:20The people answered and said, "You have a demon. Who is seeking to kill You?"

YLT: “The multitude answered and said, `Thou hast a demon, who doth seek to kill thee?'”

Literal Meaning: “the people answered and said”, “the people” here still referred to those who came to Jerusalem to have the feast.

    “You have a demon”. ---- You are obsessed by some devilish idea, so you acted abnormal (see 8:48; 10:20).

“Who is seeking to kill You?” ---- It indicated that the people who came from other places to have the feast did not know the scheme of the Jewish leaders, but the inhabitants of Jerusalem knew it (v.25).


John. 7:21Jesus answered and said to them, "I did one work, and you all marvel.

YLT: “Jesus answered and said to them, `One work I did, and ye all wonder,”

Literal Meaning: I did one work”, it referred to the miracle the Lord had none at the Pool of Bethesda several months ago ---- He healed a man who had an infirmity thirty-eight years on the Sabbath.


John. 7:22Moses therefore gave you circumcision (not that it is from Moses, but from the fathers), and you circumcise a man on the Sabbath.

YLT: “because of this, Moses hath given you the circumcision -- not that it is of Moses, but of the fathers -- and on a sabbath ye circumcise a man;”

Literal Meaning: Moses therefore gave you circumcision”, “circumcision” originated from the age of Abraham (see Gen 17:10; 21:4). Circumcision had been formally put into the Law by Moses, and thus became the statutes (see Lev 12:3).

  “But from the fathers”, it showed that circumcision was brought forth before the Law. So if there arose any contradiction between them, the former one would enjoy the priority.

“And you circumcise a man on the Sabbath”, according to the Law of Moses, the flesh of a baby’s foreskin shall be circumcised on the eighth day (see Lev 12:3), and no one can make an exception on the Sabbath.


John. 7:23If a man receives circumcision on the Sabbath, so that the law of Moses should not be broken, are you angry with Me because I made a man completely well on the Sabbath?

YLT: “if a man doth receive circumcision on a Sabbath that the law of Moses may not be broken, are ye wroth with me that I made a man all whole on a Sabbath?”

Meaning of Words: “be broken”: break (up), destroy, dissolve; “well”: healthy;

Literal Meaning: “if a man receives circumcision on the Sabbath”, it means that it is allowable on the Sabbath to resect some part of one’s body.

  “So that the law of Moses should not be broken”: so that the statute in the Law of Moses that the flesh of a baby’s foreskin shall be circumcised on the eighth day should not be broken.

  I made a man completely well on the Sabbath”. ---- One’s body had been completely reserved on the Sabbath (see 5: 5-10).

  Are you angry with Me?” ---- The Lord Jesus meant: “since the work like circumcision is permitted on the Sabbath, shall not the work of healing others be more allowable to be done on the Sabbath? Obviously, your anger is unsuitable.”

Enlightenment in the Word:

1) If we judge whether we should do something from merely the letters of the Bible, we will make the same mistake as the Jews. We should know the will of God from the spirit of the Bible so as to avoid making mistakes.

     2) Man's wrath does not work God's righteousness (James 1:20). Believers should not rage at others for the controversial understanding concerning some certain knowledge. One should accept those who hold distinct views with him, but let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind (Rom 14:1, 5).


John. 7:24Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment."

YLT: “judge not according to appearance, but the righteous judgment judge.'”

Meaning of Words: appearance”: the visage, an external show, countenance;

Literal Meaning: “do not judge according to appearance”. ---- It is also required in the Law of Moses that one shall not judge according to appearance (see Deut 1:16-17). The Lord Jesus meant that the Jewish leaders, according to the letters of the law, judged He should not heal others on the Sabbath, because such judgment is judging according to appearance.

  “But judge with righteous judgment”, when one judges a certain matter, he should always thoroughly consider the whole course and judge whether the principle of solving the matter has disobeyed the spirit of the law or not.

Enlightenment in the Word:

1) Men tend to judge according to appearance rather than the reality, thus they usually make mistakes repeatedly.

     2) Jehovah is a God of judgment (Is 30:18), for righteousness and judgment are the foundation of his throne (Ps 97:2). Only in him can we make fair judgment.


John. 7:25 Now some of them from Jerusalem said, "Is this not He whom they seek to kill?

YLT: “Certain, therefore, of the Jerusalemites said, `Is not this he whom they are seeking to kill?”

Literal Meaning:some of them from Jerusalem” referred to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, who were different from “the people (see v.12, 20, 31, 32, 40)” in this chapter.

  “Is this not He whom they seek to kill?” ---- “they” referred to the Jewish leaders, whose scheme of killing Jesus was known to inhabitants of Jerusalem, but not to the people who came from other places for the feast.


John. 7:26 But look! He speaks boldly, and they say nothing to Him. Do the rulers know indeed that this is truly the Christ?

YLT: and, lo, he doth speak freely, and they say nothing to him; did the rulers at all know truly that this is truly the Christ?”

Meaning of Words: “indeed”: surely, truly;

Literal Meaning:Do the rulers know indeed that this is truly the Christ?” ---- In the original, such an interrogative tone must bring about a negative answer. Christ is a synonym of “Messiah” in Greek.

Enlightenment in the Word:

   1) The Lord had known the Jews sought to kill Him (see v.19, 25), but He still spoke boldly. Only the one who can preach the words of God in such a risky situation can know what the “cross” is.

   2) Admittedly, we believers need not take unnecessary risks (see v.10). But when the danger is unavoidable, no matter how dangerous it is, we will not hesitate to confront it.


John. 7:27 However, we know where this Man is from; but when the Christ comes, no one knows where He is from."

YLT: “but this one -- we have known whence he is; and the Christ, when he doth come, no one doth know whence he is.'”

Literal Meaning:but when the Christ comes, no one knows where He is from”, according to the view of people at that time, they thought the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem (see v. 42; Matt 2:5-6), but no one knew His birth and residence. And His real identity would not be revealed until he suddenly appeared before the people. That was why they thought Jesus who obviously came from Galilee (see v.41, 52) could not be the Messiah.


John. 7:28 Then Jesus cried out, as He taught in the temple, saying, "You both know Me, and you know where I am from; and I have not come of Myself, but He who sent Me is true, whom you do not know.

YLT:Jesus cried, therefore, in the temple, teaching and saying, `Ye have both known me, and ye have known whence I am; and I have not come of myself, but He who sent me is true, whom ye have not known;

Meaning of Words: “know (the two words are the same word in the original)”: be aware (personal knowledge);

Literal Meaning:I have not come of Myself”, the Lord Jesus who came to the world had neither been of His authority, nor His will.

  But He who sent Me is true”, the Lord Jesus here points out that He is true, for God who sent Him is true.

  Whom you do not know”, it indicated that they did not know Him for they had not known God.

  The Lord Jesus here disclosed that although the Jews knew His residence in the flesh, they did know the heavenly origin of Him.

Enlightenment in the Word:

   1) If one wants to know God, he should know the Lord Jesus who has been sent by God. Knowing God is the mystery of knowing every thing of God.

   2) According to the appearance, the Lord Jesus was of humble birth ---- all the Jews knew He was born in Nazareth of Galilee. But actually, He is of God the Father by nature ---- however, the Jews did not know God. We believers should pay attention to the heart of a man instead of the outward appearance.

   3) We believers have this treasure in earthen vessels. Therefore, we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.  (see 2Cor 4:7, 16 in the original).


John. 7:29 But I know Him, for I am from Him, and He sent Me."

YLT:and I have known Him, because I am from Him, and He did send me.'

Meaning of Words: “send”: send out; execute a mission, as an authorized delegate;


John. 7:30 Therefore they sought to take Him; but no one laid a hand on Him, because His hour had not yet come.

YLT:They were seeking, therefore, to seize him, and no one laid the hand on him, because his hour had not yet come,

Meaning of Words: “take”: catch, seize;

Literal Meaning:but no one laid a hand on Him”, there might be two reasons as follows: (1) they had not found appropriate chance that could avoid incurring the wrath of the people and stirring up any trouble (see v.31) (2) They kicked the ball onto others and refused to take the initiative to do the thing which might arouse the public anger.

    Because His hour had not yet come”, the above-mentioned two reasons were only superficial ones. In fact, it was because the hour when the Lord Jesus had to be killed according to God’s will had not come yet (see 8:20).

Enlightenment in the Word:

1) “The hour” is in the hands of the Lord. He predominates all that men have done.

   2) The Lord did not go to the feast immediately, because His hour had not yet come” (see v.6). And He had not been seized by men was also because His hour had not yet come”. The Lord always lives in the “hour” of God, which is His constraint and shield. Likewise, if we are willing to be humble and learn to live in the “hour” of God, He will keep us according to His predominating “hour”. He will not let us meet too difficult things until the “hour” comes.


John. 7:31 And many of the people believed in Him, and said, "When the Christ comes, will He do more signs than these which this Man has done?"

YLT: “and many out of the multitude did believe in him, and said -- `The Christ -- when he may come -- will he do more signs than these that this one did?'”

Literal Meaning: these men who had believed Him obviously believed Him for having seen the miracles that the Lord had done. Such motive of believing is not very good (see 2:23-25).


John. 7:32 The Pharisees heard the crowd murmuring these things concerning Him, and the Pharisees and the chief priests sent officers to take Him.

YLT:The Pharisees heard the multitude murmuring these things concerning him, and the Pharisees and the chief priests sent officers that they may take him;

Literal Meaning:sent officers to take Him”, they suggested that the officers had to wait for a good chance to take the Lord without arousing any tumult among the people (see Matt 26:4-5).


John. 7:33 Then Jesus said to them, "I shall be with you a little while longer, and then I go to Him who sent Me.

YLT:Jesus, therefore, said to them, `Yet a little time I am with you, and I go away unto Him who sent me;

Literal Meaning: the Lord Jesus metaphorically prophesied that He would be killed, fulfill the work of salvation and come back to the Father (namely, His resurrection and ascension).

Enlightenment in the Word: the Lord has repeatedly mentioned “the One who sent Him” (see v.16, 18, 28, 29) for the purpose of manifesting that His origin is the eternal Father. And all His works on the earth are the manifestation of all the fullness of the Godhead (see Col 2:9).


John. 7:34 You will seek Me and not find Me, and where I am you cannot come."

YLT: “ye will seek me, and ye shall not find; and where I am, ye are not able to come.'”

Literal Meaning: “You will seek Me and not find Me”, it indicated that He would be risen up from among dead and ascend to the heaven, and even His body could be found nowhere.

  “Where I am you cannot come”, for one comes to the Father unless by the Lord (see 14:6)

Enlightenment in the Word:

1) Seek the Lord Jesus while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near (Is 55:6) lest the chance is missed and never comes again.

   2) All those who reject the Lord Jesus can not draw near God, for Jesus is the only way by whom one can come to the Father (see 14:6). All the religions in the world try to seek god. Unfortunately, they, except for Christianity, have found no way.


John. 7:35 Then the Jews said among themselves, "Where does He intend to go that we shall not find Him? Does He intend to go to the Dispersion among the Greeks and teach the Greeks?

YLT: “The Jews, therefore, said among themselves, `Whither is this one about to go that we shall not find him? -- to the dispersion of the Greeks is he about to go? and to teach the Greeks;”

Literal Meaning: “the Dispersion among the Greeks” refers to the Jewish sojourners of dispersion of the whole Roman Empire (see 1Pet 1:1). “The Greeks” refers to Greece. Before the rising of the Roman Empire, Greece had forcibly occupied every country along the bank of the Mediterranean Sea, including Asia Minor, Persia, Syria, Palestine and the parts of Egypt.

  “Go to teach the Greeks?” ---- The Jews did not believe the true Messiah would teach the Gentiles, so the words disclosed that they had further denied that Jesus was the Messiah.


John. 7:36 What is this thing that He said, "You will seek Me and not find Me, and where I am you cannot come'?"

YLT:what is this word that he said, Ye will seek me, and ye shall not find? and, Where I am, ye are not able to come?'

Literal Meaning: they could not understand the meaning of the words of the Lord Jesus, for they were unwilling to accept Him.

Enlightenment in the Word: it is said: “if a man is unwilling to behold, he will be blinder than any other one.” If we want to know the words of the Lord, we should firstly prepare a right heart towards Him.


John. 7:37 On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, "If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink.

YLT: “And in the last, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, `If any one doth thirst, let him come unto me and drink;”

The Background: according to the customs at that time, during the Feast of Tabernacles, every day the priests drew water from the pool of Siloam (see 9:7), and poured the water in to the laver of silver with holes near the altar in the temple. Then, the water would flow out through the holes of the silver laver. In addition, they also read the Scripture concerning the living water (e.g.: Is 12:3; Zech 14:8; Eze 47:1). By the ceremony of libation, on one hand they reminded the history that Moses had struck the rock and the water then came out, and the thirst of the Israelite was quenched (see Ex 17:6). On the other hand, they hoped the Messiah would come to deliver them from the ruling of the nations.

Literal Meaning: “on the last day”, there were seven days of the Feast of Tabernacles. On the eighth day, there was a holy convocation for conclusion (see Lev 23:36), which was a “solemn assembly” (see Num 29:35) after the great joy. Some Bible exegetes held “the last day” was the seventh day, and some also believed it was the eighth day. Taking the Feast of Tabernacles as the background, the author John purposefully intended to declare that Christ is the reality of the Feast of Tabernacles. From this point of view, if “the last day” was interpreted as “the eighth day”, the spiritual meaning might be more highlighted.

  That great day”, it was the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles as well as the last day of all the feasts of a year (see Lev 23), so it was a great day.

  Jesus stood and cried out”, when the rabbi taught others, they sit and spoke. Here, the Lord Jesus “stood” and “cried” ---- how urgent His will to gain man is!

Spiritual Meaning: “on the last day, that great day of the feast”, it typified that the enjoyment of life had been over and the old things had passed away. There was a new beginning hereafter (the eighth day).

  “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink.” ---- The Lord indicates that He is the spiritual rock (see 1Cor 10:4), which flows out the living water of life and quenches the deep thirst of men.

Enlightenment in the Word:

   1) Each of the fulfillments and enjoyment of men has its “last day” ---- one’s wealth, health, career and happy marriage will inevitably come to an end. Therefore, we should not immerse ourselves in them so much that we neglect to come to the Lord.

   2) Many people will not realize that it is vanity of vanities (see Eccl 1:2; 2:11) until “the last day” ---- when the happiness has reached the summit. Only those who have true wisdom can realize it seasonably rather than wait till that day.

   3) If a man has not felt his “thirst”, he will not come to the Lord to “drink”. When people are still be satisfied with the earthly happiness, they will never come to seek the heavenly joy.

   4) Look steadfastly on Jesus (Heb 12:2). Believers will not turn to the Lord Himself until they find they cannot rely on any other things except for the Lord.

   5) “Drink” means “imbibe”. Every time we come to the Lord, we should be open to Him and fully enjoy Him. Many believers have the “coming” action, but lack the “imbibing” experience.

   6) We should come to the Lord Jesus to “drink” and enjoy Him instead of merely seeing, hearing, searching, or discussing Him. Only by “imbibing Him into us” can we obtain profit.


John. 7:38 He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water."

YLT:he who is believing in me, according as the Writing said, Rivers out of his belly shall flow of living water;'

Literal Meaning:as the Scripture has said”, where it quoted from was not quite clear (probably, it quoted from Is 55:1; 58:11; Pro9:4; 18:4 etc.)

    “Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water”, “he” refers to the one who believes the Lord.

Spiritual Meaning: “out of his heart will flow rivers of living water”, “rivers of living water” shows life has flown in many ways (see Rom15:30; 1The 1:6; 2The 2:13; Gal 5:22-23). “Flow rivers of living water”, it indicates that the Holy Spirit in believers, like a fountain, makes their life flowing ceaselessly (see v.39). It unveils the features of the Spirit of life as below:

1.    Rivers always have their origin ---- the origin was in the heaven before, but now in men.

2.    The flowing of rivers is natural ---- there is no men’s power, but natural flowing.

3.    Rivers flow into lower places ---- a humble man may easily obtain the living water.

4.    Rivers are abundant ---- the living water surges up vividly instead of trickling sluggishly.

5.    Rivers flow ceaselessly ---- they will never fall into drought or exhaustion.

6.    The water is living ---- which grants us life, and it is necessary for the growth of men’s life.

7.    There are many branches of the rivers ---- life is of all forms and various characteristics.

8.    The rivers flow into all the people ---- the provision of life is not only for one’s self and other men as well.

9.    The rivers are linked to the heaven ---- all those who enjoy the living water must have fellowship with God.

Enlightenment in the Word:

   1) Christ, the bread of life, satisfies one’s hunger (see 6:35). The Holy Spirit, the living rivers, quenches one’s thirst.

   2) It mentions in chapter four that the Lord has become in us “a fountain of water” (see 4:14). Here He has become in us “rivers of living water”. Thanks the Lord! His abundant grace is not only like “a fountain” that satisfies us forever, but also “rivers” that flow out of us and present provision to others. 

   3) Only can those who have obtained the fountain of living water by believing flow the living water. We should firstly enjoy the grace of the Lord, and then bring others to taste it together.

   4) Every time when we believers come together, we should make the living water in us flow out. If there are only several men who perform their function, the gathering will be dried up. If all of us perform our functions, there will be great living water flowing out in the gathering, and thus everyone receives full provision of life from one another.

   5) We have already received the fountain of living water (see 4:14). But the fountain is often restricted within us so that the living water can not flow out. The reason is nothing more than the following two points: (1) one lacks prayer. (2) One prays in knowledge and reason rather than in spirit.


John. 7:39 But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

YLT:and this he said of the Spirit, which those believing in him were about to receive; for not yet was the Holy Spirit, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

Literal Meaning:for the Holy Spirit was not yet given”, it does not mean the Spirit did not exist before that time, but the Spirit had not been sent by the Son as His representative (see 14:26; 15:26; 16:7).

  “Because Jesus was not yet glorified”, in the Book of John, the way that Jesus will be glorified is His death, resurrection and ascension (see 12:16, 23; 13:31-32; 17:1).

Enlightenment in the Word:

   1) One who believes the Lord must receive the Spirit. Once we have believed the Spirit, we have the indwelling Spirit. The problem today is not whether we have had the Spirit or not, but whether we have been filled with it or not (see Eph 5:18).

   2) The more one has experienced the death and resurrection, the wealthier one has the Spirit within.

   3) The Holy Spirit, the product and sign that Jesus has been glorified, is specially granted to glorify Jesus. The rivers of living water that we have imbibed and that have flown out of us is the Spirit of Jesus who have been glorified. Therefore, no matter imbibing or giving the living water, we should both feel and manifest the glory of Jesus. For the rivers of living water not only quench one’s thirst, but also glorify Jesus.


John. 7:40 Therefore many from the crowd, when they heard this saying, said, "Truly this is the Prophet."

YLT: “Many, therefore out of the multitude, having heard the word, said, `This is truly the Prophet;'”

Literal Meaning: “truly this is the Prophet.” ---- The definite article “the” before “Prophet” referred to the prophet who had heard or known, or the promised prophet who like unto God in the Book of Deuteronomy (see Deut 18:15; 1:21; 6:14).


John. 7:41 Others said, "This is the Christ." But some said, "Will the Christ come out of Galilee?

YLT: “others said, `This is the Christ;' and others said, `Why, out of Galilee doth the Christ come?”

Literal Meaning: “will the Christ come out of Galilee?” ---- There contained an emphatically surprising and negative tone, i.e. “The Christ will never come out of Galilee, will He?”

Enlightenment in the Word:

   1) Obviously, men like infer according to their knowledge ---- they know Him according to the flesh so that they have many different views. But we now know him according flesh no more, but according to His inner reality.

   2) As to a believer, he should not know others according to only the flesh, spiritual knowledge, tongue and gift, but the measure of the stature of Christ in them.


John. 7:42 Has not the Scripture said that the Christ comes from the seed of David and from the town of Bethlehem, where David was?"

YLT:Did not the Writing say, that out of the seed of David, and from Bethlehem -- the village where David was -- the Christ doth come?'

Literal Meaning:the Christ comes from the seed of David”, the Scripture has manifestly mentioned the coming Messiah had to be the seed of David (see Ps 89:3-4; 132:11; Is 11:1).

  From the town of Bethlehem, where David was”, the Scripture has also manifestly mentioned the coming Messiah would come out of Bethlehem (Mic 5:2), where David was (1Sam 17:12).

  They had right Scripture knowledge of the Messiah, but a smattering of knowledge of the birth of the Lord Jesus: (1) His foster father Joseph and foster mother Mary were both the seeds of David (see Matt 1:6, 16; Luke 3:23, 31). (2) They merely knew the Lord Jesus was from Nazareth (see 1:45), but was ignorant of the fact that He had been born in Bethlehem (see Matt 2:1; Luke 2:4-7).


John. 7:43 So there was a division among the people because of Him.

YLT:A division, therefore, arose among the multitude because of him.

Meaning of Words: “division”: split, schism;

Enlightenment in the Word:

   1) This chapter repeatedly mentioned the divisions and disputes raised by the people who held different views upon the Lord Jesus (see v.12, 40-41). It tells us that if men hold various views upon Christ, there will be none harmony. There will be none true peace among people until they all arrive at the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God (Eph 4:13).

   2) The people disputed for they held different views upon the Lord Jesus, so it is no wonder today that the one who is more spiritual and whose life is richer will more easily arise more opinions from others.

   3) Do not take much heed of the misunderstandings about us from others. What is really important is the reality of us before the Lord.


John. 7:44Now some of them wanted to take Him, but no one laid hands on Him.

YLT:And certain of them were willing to seize him, but no one laid hands on him;


John. 7:45 Then the officers came to the chief priests and Pharisees, who said to them, "Why have you not brought Him?"

YLT:the officers came, therefore, unto the chief priests and Pharisees, and they said to them, `Wherefore did ye not bring him?'


John. 7:46 The officers answered, "No man ever spoke like this Man!"

YLT:The officers answered, `Never so spake man -- as this man.'

Meaning of Words: “no…ever”: never;

Literal Meaning: the officers were apparently commissioned to seize the Lord Jesus in a seasonable chance (see v.32), but they were greatly shocked by His words and unable to seize Him.


John. 7:47 Then the Pharisees answered them, "Are you also deceived?

YLT:The Pharisees, therefore, answered them, `Have ye also been led astray?

Meaning of Words: deceived”: go astray, seduce;


John. 7:48 Have any of the rulers or the Pharisees believed in Him?

YLT:Has any of the rulers believed in him, or of the Pharisees?

Literal Meaning:the rulers or the Pharisees”, “the rulers” here referred to the rulers like the priests. “The Pharisees”, it showed that the Pharisees were arrogant and considered themselves different from the common people.


John. 7:49 But this crowd that does not know the law is accursed."

YLT:but this multitude, that is not knowing the law, is accursed.'

Literal Meaning:this crowd that does not know the law”, it disclosed that the Pharisees despised the common people who were not so familiar with the Old Testament like the Pharisees. It also indicated that if one had known the law he would not believe the Lord Jesus (see v.48).

  “Is accursed” ---- if one disobeys the law for being ignorant of the law, he must be accused and perish (see Lev 20:22, 26).


John. 7:50 Nicodemus (he who came to Jesus by night, being one of them) said to them,

YLT:Nicodemus saith unto them -- he who came by night unto him -- being one of them,

Literal Meaning:he who came to Jesus by night”, the dialogue between the Lord Jesus and Nicodemus is recorded in chapter three (see v.1-15)


John. 7:51 "Does our law judge a man before it hears him and knows what he is doing?"

YLT:`Doth our law judge the man, if it may not hear from him first, and know what he doth?'

Enlightenment in the Word:

   1) Judas, in the end of chapter six (see 6:70-71), was close to the Lord Jesus every day, but had not received Him yet. Nicodemus, in the end of chapter seven, though having seen the Lord Jesus only once, received the Lord in secret. Even though men believe Him privately, they will also enjoy the provision of the living water.

   2) If we want to know the Lord Jesus, we should endeavor to read and search His words ---- the Holy Scriptures, which is able to make us wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus (2 Tim 3:15).


John. 7:52 They answered and said to him, "Are you also from Galilee? Search and look, for no prophet has arisen out of Galilee."

YLT:They answered and said to him, `Art thou also out of Galilee? search and see, that a prophet out of Galilee hath not risen;'

Literal Meaning:Are you also from Galilee?” ---- The Galilean had their own local accent, which was despised by the Jews.

  No prophet has arisen out of Galilee.” ---- Strictly speaking, it was not quite correct, for the prophet Jonas in the Old Testament was out of Galilee (see 2King 14:25; Josh 19:13).

  The answer of the Pharisees disclosed that they believed the sin of the Lord Jesus was so obvious that any oral confession was unnecessary.

In some old Scriptures, it placed the first sentence of chapter eight (“and everyone went to his own house”) in the end of this verse. And some other version presented it as another verse (verse 53) in this chapter.


III. Outlines of the Spiritual Lessons


I. The Need of Men Who are Thirsty

A. The Thirsty Condition of One’s Life:

  1. The Jews sought to kill Him (v.1). ---- They got rid of those who held a view different from their own on account of their thirst.

  2. The Jews' Feast of Tabernacles was at hand (v.2). ---- They seek the joy of the Feast on account of their thirst.

  3. They walk to seek to be known openly (v.3-4). ---- They seek men’s reputation on account of their thirst.

B. The Reason for the Thirst of One’s Life:

  1. They do not believe in Him (v.5) ---- There is none joy in the life without the Lord.

  2. Your time is always ready (v.6) ---- They walk without the constraint of God.

  3. Its works are evil (v.7). ---- They commit sins and do evil.

  4. They neither knew the Lord Jesus (v.15), nor the will of God (v.17).

  5. They seek their own glory rather than the glory of God (v.18).

  6. They keep the letters of the law, but disobey the spirit of the law (v.19-23).

  7. They judge according to appearance instead of righteousness (v.24).

  8. They walk by sight so that they are misled by what they have known and do not know the Lord is “true” (v.25-29).

  9. They do not catch the chance to believe the Lord, but prosecute the Lord (v.30-36).

C. Only the Lord can Quench One’s Thirst:

  1. On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out (v.37a). ---- The Lord comes to knock the door of men’s heart just when they feel disappointed and thirsty.

  2. If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink (v.37b). ---- The Lord announces to men that He can quench men’s thirst.

D. How to Quench One’s Thirst?

  1. Thirst (v.37b) ---- their souls feel no joy, but urgent thirst.

  2. Come (v.37c) ---- they come to seek the Lord.

  3. Drink (v.37c) ---- they open their hearts to receive the Lord

  4. Believe (v.38a) ---- the way to receive is to believe Him, i.e. to receive Him by believing.

E. The Way to Quench One’s Thirst and the Effect that One’s Thirst has been Quenched

  1. Out of his heart (v.38b) ---- the internal joy of one’s soul, not the external one.

  2. The living water (v.38b) ---- not of material, but of life.

  3. Flow rivers of living water (v.38b) ---- the one who believes Him can not only quench his own thirst, but also flows rivers of living flow to satisfy the thirst of others.

F. How Does the Lord Quench One’s Thirst?

1. Jesus was not yet glorified (v.39b). ---- The Lord’s living water of life should be given out through His death on the cross.

2. Those believing in Him would receive the Spirit (v.39a). ---- After the Lord’s resurrection and ascension, He has become the quickening spirit who dwells in men and provides life for others.


II. As Regards Christ, What’s Your Opinions?

  A. The Jews (the Leaders of the Jews)

1. They sought to kill Him (v.1, 19, 25) ---- for He destroyed the traditional customs in the Sabbath.

2. They sought Him at the feast (v.11) ---- they set themselves against Him.

3. They marveled at His teachings (v.15) ----they thought Him unlearned and ignorant

4. They sent officers to take Him (v.32) ---- they wanted to close His mouth.

5. They did not know the words of Him (v.35) ---- they were eclipsed by the worldly logic.

6. They did not believe Him (v.47-49) ---- they were arrogant and proud that dthey knew the law.

7. They judged that the Lord was not sent by God from His birth (v.52) ---- they misapplied the Scriptures.

  B. The Brothers of the Lord in the Flesh

1. They incited the Lord to go to Jerusalem (v.3) ---- they thought that was the most suitable place.

2. They provoked the Lord to do miracles manifestly to make Him known openly (v.4) ---- they thought He walked for the reputation of His own.

3. They did not believe Him (v.5) ---- they were deceived by the relationship in the flesh.

  C. The People who Went to Jerusalem to Have the Feast

1. There was much complaining among the people concerning Him (v.12a) ---- they regarded Him as news and gossiped about Him only.

2. Some said, "He is good" (v.12b). ---- They believed that He was only a moral man with good virtue.

3. Some said He deceives the people (v.12c). ---- They thought He was evil

4. Some said He was a demon (v.20). ---- They thought He was crazy.

5. Some of them believed in Him (v.31). ---- They thought He was surpassing.

6. Some said He was the Prophet (v.40). ---- They thought He was the prophet who was sent by God.

7. Some said He was the Christ (v.41a). ---- They thought He was the Messiah who was sent by God to save the Jewish nation.

8. Some said He was absolutely not the Christ. (v.41b-42) ---- They thought He could not be the Messiah that the Scripture had promised, for His birth was not right.

  D. The Inhabitants of Jerusalem:

1. They did not understand why He could still speak openly without fearing the rulers’ scheme of killing Him (v.25-26a) ---- They thought He was marvelous.

2. They judged that He was not the Christ (v.26b-27) ---- since they knew His birth in the flesh, they thought it did not conform to the concept of the Messiah.

  E. Nicodemus:

1. He dared oppose the prejudice of the Pharisees for Him (v.50-51) ---- he was bold to speak in the public, for he had ever received and profited from the Lord’s teaching.

2. He held that men had to hear the interpretations from His own (v.51) ---- to know the Lord works from the His words.


III. The Right Knowledge Concerning Christ

  A. My time has not yet come (v.6, 8) ---- He walked in the restriction of “the hour of God” (v.9).

  B. I testify of it that its works are evil (v.7). ---- He came to manifest the men’s darkness.

C. Not openly, but as it were in secret (v.10). ---- His manner of walking was in the restriction of “the hour of God” (v.9)..

D. My doctrine is not Mine, but His who sent Me (v.16-17). ---- His doctrine is not of Himself, but of God.

E. He did not seek his own glory, but the glory of the One who sent Him (v.18).

F. Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment (v.24).

G. I have not come of Myself, but He who sent Me is true” (v.28-29).

H. I shall be with you a little while longer, and then I go to Him who sent Me.

I. Only He can quench men’s thirst (v.37-38).

  J. The Holy Spirit will given to quench men’s thirst after He has been glorified (v.39).


── Caleb HuangChristian Digest Bible Commentary Series

   Translated by Mary Zhou