John 7:38
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them."

New Living Translation
Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, 'Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.'"

English Standard Version
Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’”

Berean Study Bible
To the one who believes in Me, it is just as the Scripture has said: 'Streams of living water will flow from within him.'"

Berean Literal Bible
The one believing in Me, as the Scripture has said: 'Out of his belly will flow rivers of living water.'"

New American Standard Bible
"He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, 'From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.'"

King James Bible
He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
The one who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, will have streams of living water flow from deep within him."

International Standard Version
The one who believes in me, as the Scripture has said, will have rivers of living water flowing from his heart."

NET Bible
let the one who believes in me drink. Just as the scripture says, 'From within him will flow rivers of living water.'"

New Heart English Bible
He who believes in me, as the Scripture has said, from within him will flow rivers of living water."

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
“Everyone who trusts in me, just as the scriptures have said, rivers of living water shall flow from within him.”

GOD'S WORD® Translation
As Scripture says, 'Streams of living water will flow from deep within the person who believes in me.'"

New American Standard 1977
“He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water.’”

Jubilee Bible 2000
He that believes in me, as the scripture has said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.

King James 2000 Bible
He that believes on me, as the scripture has said, out of his heart shall flow rivers of living water.

American King James Version
He that believes on me, as the scripture has said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.

American Standard Version
He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, from within him shall flow rivers of living water.

Douay-Rheims Bible
He that believeth in me, as the scripture saith, Out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.

Darby Bible Translation
He that believes on me, as the scripture has said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.

English Revised Version
He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.

Webster's Bible Translation
He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.

Weymouth New Testament
He who believes in me, from within him--as the Scripture has said--rivers of living water shall flow."

World English Bible
He who believes in me, as the Scripture has said, from within him will flow rivers of living water."

Young's Literal Translation
he who is believing in me, according as the Writing said, Rivers out of his belly shall flow of living water;'
Study Bible
Living Water
37On the last and greatest day of the feast, Jesus stood up and called out in a loud voice, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. 38To the one who believes in Me, it is just as the Scripture has said: ‘Streams of living water’” will flow from within him. 39He was speaking about the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were later to receive. For the Spirit had not yet been given, because Jesus had not yet been glorified.…
Cross References
Isaiah 12:3
Therefore you will joyously draw water From the springs of salvation.

Isaiah 35:6
Then the lame will leap like a deer, And the tongue of the mute will shout for joy. For waters will break forth in the wilderness And streams in the Arabah.

Isaiah 44:3
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;

Isaiah 55:1
"Ho! Every one who thirsts, come to the waters; And you who have no money come, buy and eat. Come, buy wine and milk Without money and without cost.

Isaiah 58:11
"And the LORD will continually guide you, And satisfy your desire in scorched places, And give strength to your bones; And you will be like a watered garden, And like a spring of water whose waters do not fail.

Ezekiel 47:9
"It will come about that every living creature which swarms in every place where the river goes, will live. And there will be very many fish, for these waters go there and the others become fresh; so everything will live where the river goes.

Zechariah 14:8
And in that day living waters will flow out of Jerusalem, half of them toward the eastern sea and the other half toward the western sea; it will be in summer as well as in winter.

John 4:10
Jesus answered, "If you knew the gift of God and who is asking you for a drink, you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water."

John 4:14
But whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a fount of water springing up to eternal life."
Treasury of Scripture

He that believes on me, as the scripture has said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.

He that.

Deuteronomy 18:15 The LORD your God will raise up to you a Prophet from the middle …

out.

John 4:14 But whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst…

Job 32:18,19 For I am full of matter, the spirit within me constrains me…

Proverbs 10:11 The mouth of a righteous man is a well of life: but violence covers …

Proverbs 18:4 The words of a man's mouth are as deep waters, and the wellspring …

Isaiah 12:3 Therefore with joy shall you draw water out of the wells of salvation.

Isaiah 44:3 For I will pour water on him that is thirsty, and floods on the dry …

Isaiah 58:11 And the LORD shall guide you continually, and satisfy your soul in …

Isaiah 59:21 As for me, this is my covenant with them, said the LORD; My spirit …

Ezekiel 47:1-12 Afterward he brought me again to the door of the house; and, behold, …

Zechariah 14:8 And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from …

Galatians 5:22,23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, …

Ephesians 5:9 (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)

(38) There can be little doubt that our English version rightly gives the meaning of the original here; though representatives of both the earliest and the latest schools of interpretation have tried so to read the verse as to avoid its difficulties. Some would attach the first clause to the preceding verse, reading, "If any man thirst, let him come unto Me; and let him that believeth on Me drink." Others would have us think that the words, "as the Scripture hath said," belong to the clause before them, and not to that which follows, making the sense, "He that believeth on Me according to the Scriptures, out of his belly (I say) shall flow rivers of living water." The reader of the English will, it is believed, feel, and the reader of the Greek will feel still more strongly, that these are attempts to avoid what it is hard to explain, and that while they miss the difficulty they also miss the meaning.

He that believeth on me . . .--We have here an advance on the thought, "If any man thirst let him come unto Me and drink." That represented the satisfaction of the individual mind. This teaches the fuller truth that every one in living communion with Christ becomes himself the centre of spiritual influence. There is in him a power of life which, when quickened by faith, flows forth as a river, carrying life and refreshment to others. No spirit grasps a great truth which satisfies its own yearnings as the waters of the fountain slake physical thirst, without longing to send it forth to others who are seeking what he himself had sought. There is in him a river whose waters no barrier can confine. This is the spirit of the prophet and the evangelist, of the martyr and the missionary. It is the spirit of every great teacher. It is the link which binds men together and makes the life of every Christian approach the life of Christ, for he lives not for himself but for the world.

The exact words "Out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water," are not found in any part of the Canonical Scriptures of the Old Testament, and yet Christ Himself utters them with the formula of quotation. This will be a difficulty only to those who value letter and syllable above spirit and substance. It may be that the words which our Lord actually uttered in the current language of Jerusalem were nearer to the very words of some passage in the Old Testament than they seem to be in the Greek form in which St. John has preserved them to us. But it is instructive that the thought is that which our Lord Himself, or St. John as representing Him, considers as the essence of the quotation. The thought meets us again and again in the Old Testament. See the following passages: Exodus 17:6; Numbers 20:11; Psalm 114:8; Isaiah 44:3; Isaiah 55:1; Isaiah 58:11; Joel 2:23; Joel 3:18; Ezekiel 47:1; Ezekiel 47:12; Zechariah 13:1; Zechariah 14:8.

This frequent reference to the refreshment and life-giving power of water is the more natural in the East, where drought is a fearful evil ever to be guarded against, and a well of water a blessing always sought for as the first necessity of life.

The abundance is suggested by the contrast between the small quantity poured out in the Temple and the streams which flowed from the rock struck in the wilderness. The vessel they carried contained but three logs, or about a quart, of water, brought from the tank of Siloam. This was poured through a perforated silver bowl. In the spiritual interpretation the water shall not be carried to the Temple, for every believer shall be a temple of the Holy Ghost and a source of life; it shall not be a limited quantity in vessels of gold and silver, but shall be as rivers bursting forth in their strength and fulness.

Verse 38. - He that believeth on me. The ὁ πιστεύων in the nominative absolute, followed by another construction, gives great force to the mighty words. This is not the first time that Christ has represented believing under the form of both "coming" and "drinking." The one term seems to cover that part of faith in Christ which unites the soul to him, which sides with him, which utterly abandons self to take his word as true and his power as sufficient; the other term, when applied to participation in his blood, implies receiving into the soul the full solace of his imparted life. He that believeth on me, as the Scripture hath said, out of his belly shall rush torrents of living water. From his newly given, divinely imparted life shall proceed, as from the innermost depths of his consciousness, illimitable supplies of refreshment and fertility for others as well. Each soul will be a rock smitten in the thirsty land, from which crystal rivers of life-giving grace shall flow. Godet urges, against Meyer, the great sufficiency of this particular illustration of the rock in the wilderness as justifying the reference to the phrase, "as the Scripture hath said," and points especially to Exodus 17:6, "Behold, I will stand before thee there... in Horeb; and thou shalt smite the rock, and out of it (מִמֶּנּוּ) water shall come, that the people may drink" (cf. Numbers 20:11; Deuteronomy 8:15; Psalm 114:8; passages read during the feast). He thinks the κοιλίας αὐτοὺ corresponds with "from out of it" of Exodus. Hengstenberg laid long and fantastic emphasis on the Canticles,where the κοιλία of the bride of Jehovah is described. It is certain that the numerous passages in the Old Testament, in which the gift of refreshing water is made the symbol of national mercies and spiritual blessings, do, for the most part, fall short of this remarkable expression. Still, Isaiah 44:3; Isaiah 55:1; Isaiah 58:11; Joel 3:18; Zechariah 14:8, all more or less approach the thought; but Ezekiel 47:1-12, where from the altar the living, health giving, mighty river flows for the healing of the nations, is so akin to the saying of the Lord, as soon as we recognize the fact that he is greater than the temple, and that his Church is God's temple, and each body of man a temple of the Holy Ghost, that all real difficulty vanishes. The whole history of the Church is one continuous comment and illustration of the exhaustless fulness of his Word. Just as a soul of man comes and drinks of the water of life, he becomes himself a perennial source of life to others. He supplies not cisterns of stagnant water, but rivers of living water (Romans 8:9-11; 1 Corinthians 3:16). Chrysostom adds, "One may perceive what is meant, if he will consider the wisdom of Stephen, the tongue of Peter, the vehemence of Paul; how nothing withstood them - not the anger of multitudes, nor the uprising of tyrants, nor plots of devils, nor daily deaths - but, as rivers borne along with loud rushing sound, they went on their way." He that believeth on me,.... Which explains what is meant by coming to Christ, and drinking; for these acts are no other than for a man to go out of himself to Christ, and live by faith on him, and his grace. To which what follows is a great encouragement;

as the Scripture hath said: some refer these words to the preceding clause concerning believing in Christ, which the writings of the Old Testament speak of, as in Deuteronomy 18:15, and the sense is, that he that believes on Christ, the object of faith the Scripture points at, and in him, as that directs and requires; that believes in him as the mighty God, and as the prophet, priest, and King, and as the only foundation of the church, and lives by faith upon him, as just men do, then

out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water, though rather they belong to what follows; and do not design any particular place of Scripture; for no such one is to be found, where the following passage is expressed in so many words; but all those Scriptures which speak of grace, under the metaphors of water, and abundance of water, as rivers and floods of water, and of the effusion of the Holy Spirit, under such figurative expressions, such as Isaiah 41:17. Hence the Syriac version reads in the plural number, "as the Scriptures hath said"; referring to more than one: "out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water"; the grace of the Spirit of God is signified by water, because it is of a cleansing and purifying nature, as faith and hope are, having to do with the blood of Christ, which cleanses from all sin; and because it fructifies and causes the saints, as trees of righteousness, to grow, and bring forth fruit; and especially because it is cooling to those who are scorched with the heat of a fiery law, and very refreshing to thirsty souls: and it is called "living" water, because by it dead sinners are quickened, drooping saints are revived, and comforted; spiritual life in them is maintained and supported, and it springs up to, and issues in eternal life: and it is expressed by "rivers" of living water, because of the abundance of it in regeneration, justification, and pardon; it is grace for grace, abundance of grace believers receive from Christ; and from him, in whom those large measures of grace are, they "flow out" again, even "out of his belly": from within him, out of his heart, the seat of it, by his lips, both in prayer to God, and in conversation with the saints, to whom he communicates his rich experiences of grace, to their comfort, and the glory of God: for grace is of a diffusive and communicative nature; out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaketh: and also it flows out by his life and conversation, which is sober, righteous, and godly; and this the grace of God teaches and influences: and this grace, as it is permanent and lasting itself, even perpetual, and always abiding; so it continues to flow, and to show itself in its acts and effects, in one way or another. The Jews ought not to find fault with Christ's using such expressions, mystically understood, since they, comparing Moses and the Messiah together, say,

"as the first Redeemer caused a well to spring up, so the last Redeemer shall cause waters to spring up, according to Joel 3:18 (e).''

(e) Midrash Kohelet, fol. 63. 2.38. as the scripture hath said—These words belong to what follows, "Out of his belly, as the scripture hath said, shall flow," etc. referring not to any particular passage, but to such as Isa 58:11; Joe 3:18; Zec 14:8; Eze 47:1-12; in most of which the idea is that of waters issuing from beneath the temple, to which our Lord compares Himself and those who believe in Him.

out of his belly—that is, his inner man, his soul, as in Pr 20:27.

rivers of living water—(See on [1801]Joh 4:13). It refers primarily to the copiousness, but indirectly also to the diffusiveness, of this living water to the good of others.7:37-39 On the last day of the feast of tabernacles, the Jews drew water and poured it out before the Lord. It is supposed that Christ alluded to this. If any man desires to be truly and for ever happy, let him apply to Christ, and be ruled by him. This thirst means strong desires after spiritual blessings, which nothing else can satisfy; so the sanctifying and comforting influences of the Holy Spirit, were intended by the waters which Jesus called on them to come to Him and drink. The comfort flows plentifully and constantly as a river; strong as a stream to bear down the opposition of doubts and fears. There is a fulness in Christ, of grace for grace. The Spirit dwelling and working in believers, is as a fountain of living, running water, out of which plentiful streams flow, cooling and cleansing as water. The miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit we do not expect, but for his more common and more valuable influences we may apply. These streams have flowed from our glorified Redeemer, down to this age, and to the remote corners of the earth. May we be anxious to make them known to others.
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