When studying "Festival of The-Tabernacles" in [John 7:2-43], we read about Jesus' rather non-Messianic actions on the 8th [last] day of חַ֧ג הַסֻּכּ֛וֹת. Chag Ha-Sukkot :

"**On the last day**, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink." ( 7:37 Ἐν δὲ τῇ ἐσχάτῃ ἡμέρᾳ τῇ μεγάλῃ τῆς ἑορτῆς εἱστήκει ὁ Ἰησοῦς καὶ ἔκραξεν λέγων, Ἐάν τις διψᾷ ἐρχέσθω πρός με καὶ πινέτω )
  • Perceived as a Prophet & Messiah, the 2nd temple crowd does not notice Jesus the Nazarene disregards Burnt Offerings in fulfillment of Torah for the 8th day of Rest during Chag Sukkot as stated in [Leviticus 23:36].
"seven days you shall bring offerings by fire to the LORD. **[On the eighth day], you shall observe a sacred occasion and bring an offering by fire to YHVH. It is a solemn gathering. You shall not work at your occupations.**" ( שִׁבְעַ֣ת יָמִ֔ים תַּקְרִ֥יבוּ אִשֶּׁ֖ה לַיהֹוָ֑ה בַּיּ֣וֹם הַשְּׁמִינִ֡י מִקְרָא־קֹ֩דֶשׁ֩ יִהְיֶ֨ה לָכֶ֜ם וְהִקְרַבְתֶּ֨ם אִשֶּׁ֤ה לַֽיהֹוָה֙ עֲצֶ֣רֶת הִ֔וא כׇּל־מְלֶ֥אכֶת עֲבֹדָ֖ה לֹ֥א תַעֲשֽׂוּ )

Also remembering [Leviticus 23:39] for Sukkot, Israelites were to :

"Mark, on the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you have gathered in the yield of your land, you shall observe the festival of the LORD [to last] seven days: a complete rest on the first day, and **a complete Rest on the eighth day**." ( אַ֡ךְ בַּחֲמִשָּׁה֩ עָשָׂ֨ר י֜וֹם לַחֹ֣דֶשׁ הַשְּׁבִיעִ֗י בְּאׇסְפְּכֶם֙ אֶת־תְּבוּאַ֣ת הָאָ֔רֶץ תָּחֹ֥גּוּ אֶת־חַג־יְהֹוָ֖ה שִׁבְעַ֣ת יָמִ֑ים בַּיּ֤וֹם הָֽרִאשׁוֹן֙ שַׁבָּת֔וֹן וּבַיּ֥וֹם הַשְּׁמִינִ֖י שַׁבָּתֽוֹן )
  • Instead of bringing Burnt Offerings to the temple for honoring YHVH, Jesus in [John 7:37] distracts crowds from a day of Rest as God commanded for worshipping YHVH.

  • Instead of respecting the final day of complete Rest during Sukkot, Jesus causes Unrest between Israelites in [John 7:43] "So there was a division among the people because of Him" ( 7:43 σχίσμα οὖν ἐν τῷ ὄχλῳ ἐγένετο δι᾽ αὐτόν· ).

If the Festival of Tabernacles in John 7:2-43 was an actual account Jesus during the 8th day of Chag Sukkot,

[Why] did Jesus in John 7:2-43 ignore fulfillment of Leviticus 23:36-39 for the 8th day of חַ֧ג הַסֻּכּ֛וֹת Chag Sukkot causing Unrest instead of Rest with burnt offerings to YHVH?

  • These actions do not seem Messianic.

3 Answers 3


All your accusations are completely baseless, my friend. You are not familiar how the actual celebrations of Sukkot and Shemini Atzeret in the 2nd temple period looked like. The scene when Jesus cried out took place during the ceremony called simchat beit hashoavah (water-drawing festival). The ritual took place at the end of the day, well after all the sacrifices. Your idea of the day of rest is also completely detached from how Shemini Atzeret really looked like too.

Simchat Beit Hashoavah: The Water-Drawing Festival.

This lively ancient Sukkot ritual included juggling and gymnastics.

At this most joyous season of the year, with all the electric anticipation along the caravan trails, the stirring ceremonies, and the lively singing and feasting, the epitome of celebration in Temple times took place surrounding a water ritual: the Rejoicing (Simchat) at the Place of (Beit) the Water Drawing (Hashoavah).

Every day of the year, after the sacrifice was burned, an offering of wine was poured on the altar. During Sukkot, there was also a water libation (nisukh hamayim). Some have suggested that it was a folk rite, an inducement for rain made by pouring out water at the season’s onset, transformed by the rabbis into a symbolic Temple ritual.

Each morning of Sukkot, the priests went to the pool of Siloah (Silwan) near Jerusalem to fill a golden flask. Shofar blasts greeted their arrival at the Temple’s Water Gate. They then ascended and poured the water so that it flowed over the altar simultaneously with wine from another bowl. When the priest was about to pour the water, the people shouted “Raise your hand!” because of an incident that occurred in a previous year: The high priest Alexander Jannaeus (103-76 B.C.E.) showed contempt for the rite by spilling the water at his feet, a transgression for which worshippers threw their citrons at him.

Sadducees vs. Pharisees

The pelted priest had demonstrated his alliance with the Sadducees, who took a literal interpretation of Torah and followed only what was specifically in Torah. (Explained as an oral instruction given to Moses at Sinai, this water rite was not mentioned in The Five Books [Torah].) The deliriously happy celebration connected with the water drawing developed when the Pharisees (who believed in the Oral Tradition and interpretation of Torah and gave us the rabbinic Judaism we know today) triumphed over them in the first century.

Based on Isaiah’s promise “With joy shall you draw water out of the wells of salvation” (12:3), rejoicing began at the end of the first day and took place every night except Shabbat. Talmud recorded that “one who had never witnessed the Rejoicing at the Place of the Water Drawing had never seen true joy in his life.” (Although the celebration was for the libation that would be made the next morning it was named for the preparation for the ritual - the water drawing - which the rabbis said showed that getting ready was sometimes of greater merit than the mitzvah, or commandment, itself because of its positive effect on the person doing it.)

The Talmud describes the festivities in detail, from the lighting of immense candelabrum set in the Temple courtyard (each holding gallons of oil and fit with wicks made from priests’ worn-out vestments), which generated such intense light that they illuminated every courtyard in the city. A Levite orchestra of flutes, trumpets, harps, and cymbals accompanied torchlight processions, and men who had earned the capacity for real spiritual joy through their purity, character and scholarship danced ecstatically to the hand-clapping, foot-stomping, and hymn-singing crowds.” (Source)

So Jesus cried out during the ceremony added to the feast of Sukkot by tradition. And it was during a wild celebration. And why did He do it? The link above tells us that the ritual was based on Isaiah 12:3.

וּשְׁאַבְתֶּם-מַיִם, בְּשָׂשׂוֹן, מִמַּעַיְנֵי, הַיְשׁוּעָה.

Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation (HaYeshua).

Jesus/Yeshua was the one Isaiah wrote about.

If that is not messianic, I don't know what is.


JOHN 7:2 Now the Jews’ Feast of Tabernacles was at hand

Jesus bypassed the feast of tabernacles by design. It was intentional. He did not participate, and was not looking to fulfil this feast - although (in the end) he did travel to Jerusalem and engage with the people - which was expected as he was a teacher (Rabbi). It was ‘right’ that he was there as a spectator, but not as a participant.

Jesus is destined to fulfil all the feasts. But only some during this ‘first coming’. Pesaḥ (Passover), Unleavened Bread — Leviticus 23:6, First Fruits — Leviticus 23:10, Shavuot (Feast of Weeks, or Pentecost),

And, in this, - He was following the ‘lead’ of his Father

JOHN 7:17 If anyone wills to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God or whether I speak on My own authority.

The next (as yet unfulfilled) feast is Trumpets, Yom Kippur, and then the Feast of Tabernacles or Booths — Leviticus 23:34.

These will be a future fulfilment - in his second coming, so Jesus could not participate in these here at this time, here in John 7.

These, including tabanacles, will be (that is, need to be) fulfilled in His second coming. They could not be fulfilled this time. Tabanacles (living or residing here on earth with his people) will be fulfilled in the Millennium. Jesus could have fulfilled this, but that would have required the Jews to accept him as Messiah, but because they rejected him, he could not participate in this feast at this time. It would have been inappropriate. Hence his reaction as seen in John 7.


To answer this question of whether Jesus was truly acting as the savior requires an understanding of Tabernacles as well as burnt offerings. Once that is obtained, the answer to the question is given by Christ himself in the passages cited by the OP.


The Feast of the Tabernacles is the wedding feast, it is a prophecy of the marriage supper of the Lamb. It is a parable for all creation, for in the first seven days there is feasting and celebration, but on the eighth day, the marriage is consummated. During the week, we go through the seven days and then cycle back to the first day. But to reach the eighth day is to escape this cycle. So the eighth day is always symbolic of eternity, of escaping the seven day loop. Only those entering eternity in the marriage supper of the Lamb are allowed into the eighth day - the great day - while everyone else is sent away from the wedding feast.

Thus Tabernacles marks the union of God (in the form of Christ) and his church (consisting of both jew and greek), in eternity.

In the Law of Moses, Israel acts out this divine union by performing various symbolic rituals. Without going into details of all the performance, here are some key points:

  • Israel is a type for the church, all those who see God. Thus all Israel participates as the bride.

  • Jesus is the groom. The groom is represented by the burnt offering and by the high priest. But these are only types for the groom.

  • living in booths for seven days is a type for our life in the flesh.

  • The giving of burnt offerings is a type for dedicating ourselves wholly to Christ and simultaneously it is a type for his complete dedication to the Father. This mutual dedication is itself a type for the union of God and man. When we seek him, we offer him as the sacrifice, but when we are like him, we offer ourselves as living sacrifices.

  • During the seven days of the feasts, the garments of the priests are drenched in oil and burned to provide light for the people. This is a type of Christ expending his flesh in order to be the light of the world but also of him giving teachings to the bride.

  • But in the eighth day the booths are burned -- our own flesh is destroyed on the eighth day, which is when we enter into eternity, into union with him.

  • In the eighth day, there is a procession in which the paradise apples (in the form of pomegranates) are smashed, as the congregation symbolicly promises to never judge for themselves what is good and evil. This is a type for the transformation of our minds as we are made one with Christ.

Was Jesus performing his duty as the groom?

Now Jesus was fulfilling his role as the groom, because

  1. he was the burnt offering, fully dedicated to God. We know that his offering was accepted because he was transfigured by the Father (most likely on a different Tabernacles, as Peter wanted to build booths then).

Luke 9.35:

And a voice came from the cloud, saying, “This is my Son, my Chosen One. Listen to him!” [LEB]

  1. He was giving his teachings to the bride
  2. He had come to tabernacle among man.

Was Israel performing her duty as the bride?

The bride was playing the whore. The jews were refusing to follow him and to feast with him, but were following their own ideas and idols. Thus their burnt offerings were not accepted!

How do we know that their burnt offerings were not accepted? We have in Hosea 6.6:

Because I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice, and knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings. [LEB]

It was more important, in God's eyes, for the jews to know Jesus than to perform the burnt offerings. Of course the best was to know Jesus and perform the burnt offerings in Spirit and Truth. But as that was not on the table, he sent his Son to call the bride to repentance even on Tabernacles. He was giving light (teaching) during the feast.

How Jesus responds to save the bride

Being sent by the Father, Jesus began to call out, as per the parable of the wedding feast [which was spoken with Tabernacles in mind and most likely on Tabernacles]:

And continuing, Jesus spoke to them again in parables, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man—a king—who gave a wedding celebration for his son. And he sent his slaves to summon those who had been invited to the wedding celebration, and they did not want to come. Again he sent other slaves, saying, ‘Tell those who have been invited, “Behold, I have prepared my dinner; my oxen and fattened cattle have been slaughtered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding celebration!” ’ But they paid no attention and went away—this one to his own field, that one to his business. And the others, seizing his slaves, mistreated them and killed them. And the king was angry and sent his troops and destroyed those murderers and burned their city. Then he said to his slaves, ‘The wedding celebration is ready, but those who had been invited were not worthy. Therefore, go out to the places where the roads exit the city and invite to the wedding celebration as many people as you find.’ And those slaves went out into the roads and gathered everyone whom they found, both evil and good, and the wedding celebration was filled with dinner guests. But when the king came in to see the dinner guests, he saw a man there not dressed in wedding clothes. And he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you come in here, not having wedding clothes?’ But he could say nothing. Then the king said to the servants, ‘Tie him up hand and foot and throw him into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth!’ For many are called but few are chosen.”

In other words, Jesus could have said "screw Israel, they are not feasting with me, their groom, during the wedding feast, so let them offer their vain sacrifices and be locked out of the eighth day. I will feast with the few who know me already."

But from his mercy as messiah, he decided to intervene by calling his bride to him.

When is the right time to save the bride?

Now the original poster, like the pharisees, is complaining that this is the wrong day to save Israel! But Jesus answers both the pharisees accusing him and the OP with this statement:

John 7.23-24:

If a man receives circumcision on the Sabbath so that the law of Moses would not be broken, are you angry with me because I made a whole man well on the Sabbath? Do not judge according to outward appearance, but judge according to righteous judgment!” [LEB]

In other words, don't worry that I am saving souls on the wrong day, bringing them into the true wedding feast and the true rest! Do not judge according to the outward form, but judge according to what is right!

  • My goodness, what an awesome question, what incredible insights - hats off! Thank you for sharing your knowledge and your time one and all.
    – user36337
    Commented Sep 15, 2021 at 4:51
  • Could this answer be improved by focusing on the original question (regarding Messianic prophecy in Tanakh)? - Perhaps simply studying the terms of Jeremiah 33:17-18. Commented Sep 15, 2021 at 10:45
  • @חִידָה The point is for the groom to not save the bride on the wedding feast and leave her in apostasy would not be messianic. A true messiah would try to his own bride and give light to her on the wedding feast. Therefore it's important to understand that tabernacles is a wedding feast, that the Jesus is the groom, and Israel is the bride, that israel needed saving and the the groom was saving her.
    – Robert
    Commented Sep 15, 2021 at 16:06

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