Simchat Torah

John 7:37 Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. 38 He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’” 39 But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

Let’s begin to dig into these verses. I believe that there are many insights to be discovered here.

Now on the last day, the great day of the  feast, Jesus stood and cried out

So, what feast and what “great day” is John talking about? The answer is easily found in Leviticus 23. 

Leviticus 23:34 “Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, ‘On the fifteenth of this seventh month is the Feast of Booths for seven days to the Lord. 35 On the first day is a holy convocation; you shall do no laborious work of any kind. 36 For seven days you shall present an offering by fire to the Lord. On the eighth day you shall have a holy convocation and present an offering by fire to the Lord; it is an assembly. You shall do no laborious work.

The eight day is called Simchat Torah, “The Joy of Torah.” It is a day to celebrate our love for the Torah. Remember who and or what the Torah is? John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. 5 The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Can I just point out the obvious? If Yeshua is the living Torah, how can that have been done away with? I will leave that for another study.

How do we celebrate and show our love for the Torah? 

It is traditional to read the Torah out loud on the “great day” and it is also tradition to dance with the Torah scrolls. Most of us are not blessed with the ability to have a Torah scroll, however the Bible contains that Torah. We can celebrate by reading the Bible out loud and spending time in worship and or dancing before the Lord.

A Holy Convocation? 

What is a convocation/mik·rä’? A Mik-rä is a calling, a reading, or an assembly. Which brings us to the reason why on the last day, the great day of the feast, Yeshua stood and “cried out.” Get this the Living Torah was calling out and reading out loud Torah to the assembly.

In the Hebrew letters of convocation/mik·rä’, we see a Picture of another thing that occurs on Simchat Torah. Simchat Torah is when the Torah scroll is rewound to the beginning. It is the end of the Torah reading cycle so the scroll must be rewound to the beginning to start at Genesis. This is very interesting because the word Mik-rä looks like this מִקְרָא. 

q Is the end or back and r is the beginning or the front.

And even more interesting, m can represent Moses and ) represents YHVH. The Torah was written by YHVH and delivered by Moses. It is known as the law of Moses as well as the law of God because of the combined effort to bring it forth.

“If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink.

During Sukkot there is an interesting ceremony called the Water Drawing Ceremony. Although it is mentioned in Isaiah 12 it is only explained in the Talmud and the Mishnah.

Isiah 12:2 “Behold, God is my salvation,

I will trust and not be afraid;

For the Lord God is my strength and song,

And He has become my salvation.”

3 Therefore you will joyously draw water

From the springs of salvation.

The water drawing ceremony only happen during Sukkot. Other than the sacrifices during Sukkot the height of the season was the water drawing ceremony. Even over the offerings of fine flour mixed with oil and above the wine libations.

The priest was instructed to draw water from the largest Mikva/baptism pool. Which could be interpreted the Springs of salvation, like it says in Isaiah 12:3.That would have been the pool of Shalowa. This Mikva was not only the largest one it also watered the kings garden. This puts me in mind of John 15:5 I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. 

Shalowa was also known as Sha-lee-ak, “The Going Out”. Lets go back to John 7 just above where we were at, 

John 7:33 Therefore Jesus said, “For a little while longer I am with you, then I go to Him who sent Me. 34 You will seek Me, and will not find Me; and where I am, you cannot come.” 35 The Jews then said to one another, “Where does this man intend to go that we will not find Him? He is not intending to go to the Dispersion among the Greeks, and teach the Greeks, is He? 

Yeshua is the Mikva Sha-lee-ak, and He is speaking about “Going out”. These men knew what the message of salvation was what was supposed to be going out. They would have also understood that it was the mandate behind the Sukkot offerings. Reaching the nations was and will always be YHVH’s objective.

One of the reasons for the water drawing ceremony was that Sukkot begins the rainy season in Israel. Judgment is past regarding the rainfall at this time. 

In the Mishnah God says to pour out water before me on your festivals in order that you’re rains for the year maybe blessed. Sukkot 4:9 says that this libation was performed only on Sukkot.

To answer the question as to why I am referring to the Mishnah, because Yeshua did . John 7:37-39

Rain on Sukkot has always and will always be a sign of blessing for the coming year. Sukkot is mostly celebrated outside under the Sukha where there is not much protection from the rain. The effect on the flesh of blessing can be different than the effect on the spirit. Is the rain you are enduring afflicting your soul yet meant to bless your spirit. Selah

So during Sukkot the sacrifices were being offered as prescribed in Numbers 29:12-35, and the libations were being offered along with the water. 

Wine and water being offered on the altar at the same time blood and water were flowing from the temple. In fact in the area where the sacrifices were made were openings along the bottom of the walls. During the time of sacrifice the priest would pour water out to squeegee the blood, so literally blood and water flowed from the foundation of the temple. If that is not a picture of Yeshua, I don’t know what to say to you. This should be sounding familiar to you.

John 19:34 But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out.

This leads us right back to where we started, John 7:37 Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. 38 He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’” 

We are to be that pool that is flowing outwardly, Sha-lee-ak, “The Going Out”.  So how do we do that? Because we should be like our Rabbi, the wine and the water should be flowing from our lives. The offering of wine and water flowing into our world.

The example of how to be this offering is in the next verse, John 7:39 

But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

Now anyone with even a basic knowledge of the Bible would say wasn’t the spirit already given? Starting in Genesis 1:2 we know that the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the water. We know on Mount Sinai it was God’s intention to fill the children of Israel with the Holy Spirit. Unfortunately their fear stop them from receiving this gift. I want to point out that this happened during the former rains. The spring feast are referred to as the former rains in the fall feasts are referred to as the ladder rains.

We know the word said that Saul was filled with the Holy Spirit when he began to rain as king over Israel. We also know among many others, such as the profits, John the Baptist was filled with the holy spirit in his mothers womb. Hannah in 1Samuel 1:12-14 was praying with stammering lips, sounds like praying in tongues to me. How could she have done that if the spirit was not given? So it goes to say that the spirit had been given but in the former rains.

Peter in acts 2 announces the arrival of ladder rains.

Acts 2:14 But Peter, taking his stand with the eleven, raised his voice and declared to them: “Men of Judea and all you who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you and give heed to my words. 15 For these men are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only the third hour of the day; 16 but this is what was spoken of through the prophet Joel:

17 ‘And it shall be in the last days,’ God says,

‘That I will pour forth of My Spirit on all mankind;

And your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,

And your young men shall see visions,

And your old men shall dream dreams;

18 Even on My bondslaves, both men and women,

I will in those days pour forth of My Spirit

And they shall prophesy.

This passage is from Joel 2 but the former and latter rains are summed up best in Isaiah 44.

The Blessings of Israel

44:1 “But now listen, O Jacob, My servant,

And Israel, whom I have chosen:

2 Thus says the Lord who made you

And formed you from the womb, who will help you,

‘Do not fear, O Jacob My servant;

And you Jeshurun whom I have chosen.

3 ‘For I will pour out water on the thirsty land

And streams on the dry ground;

I will pour out My Spirit on your offspring

And My blessing on your descendants;

4 And they will spring up among the grass

Like poplars by streams of water.’

5 “This one will say, ‘I am the Lord’s’;

And that one will call on the name of Jacob;

And another will write on his hand, ‘Belonging to the Lord,’

And will name Israel’s name with honor.

6 “Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts:

‘I am the first and I am the last,

And there is no God besides Me.

So let me point out in this passage, the water pouring ceremony in verse 3 and the former and the latter reigns in verse 6.

Simchat Torah is the celebration of the living Torah. 

That living Torah was poured out onto the ground and it is flowing out to the nations. Sukkot among other things is the time that Israel prays for the nations salvation and conversion. How fitting is it that this water pouring ceremony was a part of those offerings. We are to be poured out as well. We can only be poured out as an offering through the Holy Spirit. The water pouring ceremony and Simchat Torah are to remind us of these things. 

Leviticus 26:2 You shall keep My sabbaths and reverence My sanctuary; I am the Lord. 3 If you walk in My statutes and keep My commandments so as to carry them out, 4 then I shall give you rains in their season, so that the land will yield its produce and the trees of the field will bear their fruit.

Blessing

Baruch Atah Yehovah, Elohainu melech ha-olam, ha gah-shem ha-aretz.

Blessed are You, Yehovah, our God, King of the universe, Who brings forth rain on the earth.