“And the Dvar (word) HaShem took on gufanyiut ( corporealty) and made his mishkan (tabernacle) among us an we gazed upon his Kavod ( glory), the Shechinah ( cloud of glory) of the Ben Yachid from Elohim haAv, full of HaShem’s chesed ( compassion) v’ Emes ( truth).”
Yochanan, OJB, verse 1:14
(John) Yochanan’s Gospel transcribed in a Jewish context, like in the Orthodox Jewish Bible version will enlighten details one would not even be able to notice. It is very important to understand the very Jewish concepts that come out in Yochanan’s text.
What is Sukkoth about?
Leviticus 23:41-43: ” You are to observe it as a feast to HaShem seven days in the year; it is a permanent regulation, generation after generation, kept in the seventh month. You are to live in sukkoth for seven days; every citizen of Israel is to live in a sukkah to that generation after generation of you will know that I made the people of Israel live in sukkoth when I brought them out of the land of Egypt.”
The celebration of Sukkoth usually takes place on the 15th of Tishrei (usually between late September and late October, depending on the year.) The feast, that lasts 7 days, strongly contrasts with the preceding one, Yom Kippur, that is about repentance and forgiveness.
Sukkoth is the essence of JOY.
“For seven days you are to celebrate in the presence of the Lord your God at the place where the Lord will choose; for the Lord your God will bless you in all your harvest and in everything you do, and your joy will be complete.” Deuteronomy 16: 15
For seven days you are to celebrate in the presence of the LORD your God at the place where the LORD will choose; for the LORD your God will bless you in all your harvest and in everything you do, and your joy will be complete.
Sukkot customs: “arba minim”: the four species
The four spieces used during Sukkoth are:
-etrog ( a big lemon)
-hadas ( myrtle)
-lulav ( date palm)
-aravah ( willow)
These four types of species represent the four types of Jewish people. They are bound together symbolically, meaning that we need all of them.
The etrog, this huge lemon, has both: flavor and taste. It stands for the Jew who studied Torah and who is loving in his actions.
Hadas, the myrtle smells good, so it has a taste, but you wouldn’t be able to eat it. It symbolizes the person with good deeds, but who is deprived of wisdom.
Lulav, the date palm, is edible, yet has no smell. It represents a person filled with wisdom, but who lacks good deeds.
Finally, aravah, the willow tree, has zero taste and zero smell, so it refers to a person with no Torah study and no good actions.
The Gospel of John, Chapter 7 pictures Yeshua during Sukkoth
“Therefore with joy shall you draw water out of the wells of Salvation “( Isaiah 12:3)
וּשְׁאַבְתֶּם-מַיִם, בְּשָׂשׂוֹן, מִמַּעַיְנֵי, הַיְשׁוּעָה
Once again, it is very important that we read Yochanan, John, in context.
The Gospel of John has often been wrongly used by antisemites to spread their hateful views against Jewish people, especially because the recurrent term that appears in John’s text are ” the Jews”…”the Jews” seem to always oppose Yeshua. Many people have understood that “the Jews” were actually Yeshua’s enemies.
Let us think logically. Yochanan, Yeshua’s disciple is a Jew. Yeshua our Messiah Himself is a Jew. So why would Yochanan attack the “Jews” in his gospel? It would be like self-stabbing and it doesn’t make sense, right?
The explanation lies in the mistranslation of the term “Jews”…Yochanan did not speak of the Jews, he spoke of the Judeans, the inhabitants of Judea as opposed to the Galileans.
Each time you come across a translated text that says “the Jews” replace the expression by the Judeans and you will see that it truly makes sense.
Do not forget that in John 7, Yeshua traveled from Galilee and came to Judea to secretly celebrate Sukkoth.
“After these things Yeshua went into the land of Galil, continually passing through. For he did not desire to walk into Yehudah since the “Yehudim” (Judeans) were seeking to pu him to death. The festival of the Yehudim was drawing near-the Festival of Sukkoth.
His brothers said to him,
Arise and go from there to the land of Yehudah, so that your disciples may also see the deeds that you do. For no one who wants to be known does a thing in secret. If you are doing things like this, be shown to the world!
For even his brothers did not believe in him. ” Yochanan 7:1-5, Delitzsch Hebrew Gospels
The Judeans are suspicious about Yeshua. Their intentions to kill Him are quite clear. Yochanan is telling us that even Yeshua’s brothers did not believe in Him. ( However, at some point, Yaakov and Yehudah, both brothers of Yeshua, became believers…maybe it was post resurrection…)
The Judeans knew that Yeshua was very observant in His practice. They sought Him.
People were speaking about Yeshua, whether in good or in bad, but always secretly, because they all feared the religious establisment.
His brothers preceded Yeshua who stayed in the Galil.
The Galil, near Migdal..I took this picture last September, on the way to Tsfat. This picture is subject to copyright. Please ask before using it. Thanks.
Yeshua came halfway through the Festival. Our rabbi offered His teachings in the Temple and, well, the Judeans were amazed at His wisdom.
“Halfway through the festival, Yeshua went up to the Temple and taught. The Yehudim were amazed an said: “How has he become such a scholar not having studied?” Yochanan, Chapter 7, verse 14, Delitzsch Hebrew Gospels
In John, Chapter 7, people start questioning if Yeshua is the Messiah.
“Some of the people who lived in Yerushalayim said: ‘Is this not the one they sought to kill? Here he is speaking in public, and they do not reprimand him. Surely our leaders know that this is the Maschiach! But when the Maschiach comes, no one will know where he is from.” Yochanan 7:25-27
I never paid attention to this verse, but a more attentive examination of it allows me to understand that it mixes a statement of faith ( this is the Maschiach) and an expression of doubt ( but when the Maschiach comes, no one will know where he is from).
Yeshua’s link with Simchat beit hashoeivah
What is Simchat beit hashoeivah or the Joyous Water drawing ceremony?
The Joyous Water drawing ceremony is deeply linked with Salvation. You will understand why.
The Jewish custom is for priests to leak living water onto the altar during the six days of the festival while people would join in prayers, reciting the verse of Psalm 118:25:
“We beseech you Lord, save now”
אָנָּא יְהוָה, הוֹשִׁיעָה נָּא; אָנָּא יְהוָה, הַצְלִיחָה נָּא
During these 6 days people will stand in circle around the altar. They would hold their palms in their hands and sing the verse mentioned above. On the 7th day of the festival, the worshippers would prepare for the final libation, staying around the altar and shaking their palms while generating a sound of wind and water.
These rituals symbolize the accomplishment of Isaiah’s words:
וּשְׁאַבְתֶּם-מַיִם, בְּשָׂשׂוֹן, מִמַּעַיְנֵי, הַיְשׁוּעָה
Therefore with joy shall you draw water out of the wells of Salvation
To check it more in depth, I invite you to explore the following link.
“On the last, great day of the festival, Yeshua stood and called out, saying: “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink” Yochanan 7:37 Hebrew Delitzsch Gospels
Note that, by making the following statement, Yeshua declares that He is the Source of the Living Water.”
The Living Water is the promise for Messianic times. When Yeshua is making this solemn declaration, He is revealing publicly that He IS the Messiah.
This raises, of course, a big controversy within the religious establisment.
Naqdimon, Yeshua’s secret disciple and ally from the Sanhedrin, takes His defense:
“Does our Torah judge a man before investigating to know what he has done?” Yochanan 7:51
Yeshua’s detractors think that the Messiah cannot come from Galilee.
Their opinion is due partly to the ignorance of Isaiah’s prophecies that point at the “Galil of the nations” and also to their ignorance of Yeshua’s place of birth : Bethlehem.
וְאַתָּה בֵּית-לֶחֶם אֶפְרָתָה, צָעִיר לִהְיוֹת בְּאַלְפֵי יְהוּדָה–מִמְּךָ לִי יֵצֵא, לִהְיוֹת מוֹשֵׁל בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל; וּמוֹצָאֹתָיו מִקֶּדֶם, מִימֵי עוֹלָם
“But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days.” Micah 5:1
Rejoice, for Yeshua is the Source of Eternal Life.
May He bring Salvation to the whole nation of Israel and to all who are willing to repent and receive it with humble hearts.
© 2017 by Isabelle Esling