Shemini Atzeret and Living Water
That Great Day of the feast
John 7:37 KJV In the last day, that great [day] of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.
38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.
39 (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet [given]; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)
Leviticus 23:36 KJV Seven days ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD: on the eighth (SHEMINI) day shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD: it [is] a solemn assembly(ATZERET); [and] ye shall do no servile work [therein].
Shemini Atzeret is a feast unto itself that extends the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot). In fact, the Hebrew root word of Atzeret (solemn assembly) is atzer, which means:
To restrain, stay, detain, with hold, shut up (Strong’s H6113)
The connection with rain and restrained blessing can be seen in atzer’s usage in the verse below:
Deuteronomy 11:17 KJV And [then] the LORD'S wrath be kindled against you, and he shut up (atzar) the heaven, that there be no rain, and that the land yield not her fruit; and [lest] ye perish quickly from off the good land which the LORD giveth you.
SHEMINI ATZERET FROM A JEWISH PERSPECTIVE
A cultural perspective from Judah is to associate Shemini Atzeret (and sukkot for that matter) with water and the praying for rain. The Nisuch ha-Mayim (pouring of the water) was a popular part of the celebration of the Feast of Tabernacles. It was practiced during the second temple era, including the time of Yeshua.
Judah also believes the world is judged for water on Sukkot. A water offering is brought so that the rains for the coming year should be blessed. A prayer for rain is recited on Shemini Atzeret. This prayer would be offered daily between the Great Eighth Day and Pesach (Passover).
During the Nisuch ha-Mayim the crowd would recite Isiah 12:
Isaiah 12:1 KJV And in that day thou shalt say, O LORD, I will praise thee: though thou wast angry with me, thine anger is turned away, and thou comfortedst me.
2 Behold, God [is] my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH [is] my strength and [my] song; he also is become my salvation.
3 Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.
4 And in that day shall ye say, Praise the LORD, call upon his name, declare his doings among the people, make mention that his name is exalted.
5 Sing unto the LORD; for he hath done excellent things: this [is] known in all the earth.
6 Cry out and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion: for great [is] the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee.
The English translation misses some of the astounding, prophetic imagery as the Hebrew word for salvation is Yeshua. This would have been recited right before Yeshua cried out as we see in John 7:37, while he was in the midst of Israel.
2 Behold, God [is] my yĕshuw`ah (salvation); I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH [is] my strength and [my] song; he also is become my yĕshuw`ah (salvation).
3 Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of yĕshuw`ah(salvation).
6 Cry out and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion (zion means parched land): for great [is] the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee.
A prayer recited during Sukkot is "Please Ha Shem! We pour water before you, from the springs of salvation may we draw water, save now and bring salvation.”
Or Hosanna, Bring Yeshua
On this great eighth day of the feast, this day we are commanded in his word to celebrate, Yeshua taught us that we can be filled with the Ruach Ha Kodesh (The Holy Spirit) and produce abundant spiritual fruit. We could drink of his living water and quench the kindled wrath described in Deuteronomy 11:17.