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Verse 37. In the last day. The eighth day of the festival.

That great day. The day of the holy convocation or solemn assembly, Le 23:36. This seems to have been called the great day,

1st. Because of the solemn assembly, and because it was the closing scene.

2nd. Because, according to their traditions, on the previous days they offered sacrifices for the heathen nations as well as for themselves, but on this day for the Jews only (Lightfoot).

3rd. Because on this day they abstained from all servile labour (Le 23:39), and regarded it as a holy day.

4th. On this day they finished the reading of the law, which they commenced at the beginning of the feast.

5th. Because on this day probably occurred the ceremony of drawing water from the pool of Siloam. On the last day of the feast it was customary to perform a solemn ceremony in this manner: The priest filled a golden vial with water from the fount of Siloam (See Barnes "Joh 9:7") , which was borne with great solemnity, attended with the clangour of trumpets, through the gate of the temple, and being mixed with wine, was poured on the sacrifice on the altar. What was the origin of this custom is unknown. Some suppose, and not improbably, that it arose from an improper understanding of the passage in Isa 12:3: "With joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation." It is certain that no such ceremony is commanded by Moses. It is supposed to be probable that Jesus stood and cried while they were performing this ceremony, that he might,

1st. illustrate the nature of his doctrine by this; and

2nd. call off their attention from a rite that was uncommanded, and that could not confer eternal life.

Jesus stood. In the temple, in the midst of thousands of the people.

If any man thirst. Spiritually. If any man feels his need of salvation. See Joh 4:13,14; Mt 5:6; Re 22:17.

The invitation is full and free to all.

Let him come unto me, &c. Instead of depending on this ceremony of drawing water let him come to me, the Messiah, and he shall find an ever-abundant supply for all the wants of his soul.

{f} "last day" Le 23:36 {g} "If any man thirst" Isa 55:1; Re 22:17

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