Streams of Living Water: The Feast of Tabernacles and the Holy Spirit

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This year the festival of Sukkot, or Tabernacles, takes place on October 9—16. JERUSALEM PERSPECTIVE has asked the famous biblical landscape reserve, Neot Kedumim, to provide our readers with some of the reserve’s wonderful insights into this festival, and Neot Kedumim staff member Beth Uval has contributed the following.

On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and cried out, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me, and let him who believes in me drink. As the Scripture has said, ‘Streams of living water will flow from within him.’” Now he said this about the Spirit, which believers in him were to receive…

(John 7:37-39, NRSV, NIV).

Jesus was speaking during the holiday of Sukkot, the Feast of Tabernacles. He had gone up to Jerusalem to celebrate the Feast, one of the three biblical pilgrimage festivals.

A citron (etrog) tree. This tree’s fruit is equated in Jewish tradition with the “fruit of the goodly trees” (Lev. 23:40), one of the “four species,” whose use is prescribed for the Sukkot celebration.

The Feast of Tabernacles comes at a crucial juncture in Israel’s agricultural cycle—the end of one agricultural year and the beginning of the next. The farmers finish harvesting the grapes, figs, pomegranates and dates. Soon the ripe olives will be picked. Sukkot is thus a time of rejoicing and thanksgiving.

But this is also the time when thoughts and prayers turn anxiously toward the year’s first rains, which in Israel often begin soon after Sukkot.

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This article, reprinted from Christians and Israel, Vol. III, No. 4, 1994, is based on research by Nogah Hareuveni, founder, and the staff of Neot Kedumim, the Biblical Landscape Reserve in Israel.
A date palm (foreground) and willow-poplar beside of the “Pool of Solomon” at Neot Kedumim.
This article originally appeared in issue 49 of the Jerusalem Perspective magazine. Click on the image above to view a PDF of the original magazine article.

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  • Beth Uval

    Beth Uval

    A native of New York, Uval has lived in Israel since 1975. After several years of free-lance writing and translation, she was "quite easily and happily convinced" to work as a writer and guide at Neot Kedumim, the biblical landscape reserve in Israel ( "Our…
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