In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come to me, and drink.…
While the morning sacrifice was being prepared, a priest, accompanied by a joyous procession with music, went down to the pool of Siloam, whence he drew water into a golden pitcher capable of holding three log (rather more than two pints). But on the Sabbath they fetched the water from a golden vessel in the Temple itself, into which it had been carried from Siloam on the preceding day. At the same time that the procession started for Siloam, another went to a place in the Kedron valley, close by, called Motza, whence they brought willow branches, which, amid the blasts of the priests' trumpets, they stuck on either side of the altar of burnt offering, bending them over toward it so as to form a kind of leafy canopy. Then the ordinary sacrifice proceeded, the priest who had gone to Siloam so timing it that he returned just as his brethren carried up the pieces of the sacrifice to lay them on the altar. As he entered by the "water-gate," which obtained its name from this ceremony, he was received by a threefold blast from the priests' trumpets. The priests then went up the rise of the altar and turned to the left, where there were two silver basins with narrow holes — the eastern, a little wider, for the wine; and the western, a little narrower, for the water. Into these the wine of the drink offering was poured, and at the same time the water from Siloam, the people shouting to the priest, "Raise thy hand," to show that he really poured the water into the basin which led to the base of the altar .... As soon as the wine and water were poured out, the Temple music began, and the Hallel (Psalm 113.-118.) was sung... Salvation in connection with the Son of David was symbolized by the pouring out of water Thus the Talmud says distinctly, "Why is the name of it called the drawing out of water? Because of the pouring out of the Holy Spirit, according to what is said: ' With joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.'"... We can now in some measure realize the event. The festivities of the week of tabernacles were drawing to a close. "It was the last day, that great day of the feast."... It was on that day after the priest had returned from Siloam with his golden pitcher, and for the last time poured its contents to the base of the altar; after the Hallel had been sung to the sound of the flute, the people shouting and worshipping as the priests three times drew the threefold blasts from their silver trumpets — just when the interest of the people had been raised to its highest pitch, that from the mass of the worshippers, who were waving towards the altar quite a forest of leafy branches as the last words of Psalm 118, were chanted — a voice was raised which resounded through the Temple, startled the multitude, and carried fear and hatred to the hearts of their leaders. It was Jesus who "stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto Me, and drink." Then by faith in Him should each one truly become like the pool of Siloam, and from his inmost being "rivers of water flow." "This spake He of the Spirit, which they that believe on Him should receive." Thus the significance of the rite, in which they had just taken part, was not only fully explained, but the mode of its fulfilment pointed out.
(A. Edersheim, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: 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.