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What scripture was Jesus referring to in John 7:38?

In John 7:38, the Lord Jesus Christ says, "He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water".
This passage can be read as: "If I believe as the Scripture says," which some refer these words to the preceding clause concerning believing in Christ, according to the writings of the Old Testament in Deuteronomy 18:15; Isaiah 28:16; Habakkuk 2:4. Christ is the object of faith to whom the Scripture refers, directs us, and identifies. He who believes in Jesus Christ, believes in Him, the Mighty God, the Prophet, the High Priest, and the King, and the only foundation of the Church, and lives by faith upon Him.
"Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water," belong to what follows rather than any particular place of Scripture, which mentions grace under the metaphor of water, and abundance of water, as rivers and floods of water, and of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, under such allegorical statements, such as in Isaiah 41:17-18,43:20,44:3,58:11; Joel 2:28.

Using the plural in the Syriac version, "as the Scriptures hath said," refers to more than one: "out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water." The grace of the Spirit of God indicates water because it cleanses and purifies, as does faith and hope, as with the blood of Christ, which cleanses us from all sin. This productivity of fruitfulness causes the saints, which are analogous to trees of righteousness, to mature and produce fruit. It cools those who are seared with the heat of a blazing law. It refreshes thirsty souls. Thus, it is called "living" water. By it, those dead in sin are hastened. Weary saints are refreshed and consoled. The spiritual life in them is preserved, championed, propelled to, and arise in eternal life.

This is expressed by "rivers" of living water, because of the abundance of it in renewal, validation, and absolution. Grace for grace is the abundance of grace that believers receive from Christ, in whom is the great measures of grace, that "flow out" again, even "out of his belly" from within the believer, out of his heart where it dwells, by his lips in prayer to God and in dialog with saints, with whom he converses his knowledge of grace, to their comfort, and the glory of God. Grace imparts and disseminates, and out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. It streams out by his existence and dialogue. It is somber, virtuous, and pious.

This is the grace of God that instructs and transforms. This grace is perpetual, steadfast, and eternal in itself. In every way it is ever-flowing and manifested in actions and outcomes. The Jews ought not to unearth flaw in Christ's usage of such expressions, that are acknowledged mystically. They compare Moses and the Messiah and 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." (

Joel prophesied about how in the time of Jesus Christ, "all the brooks of Judah shall be flooded with water; a fountain shall flow from the house of the Lord and water the Valley of Acacias" (Holy Spirit). Thus, as Moses (the first redeemer who redeemed Israel from Egypt) was able to give the people water from the rock, so the last Redeemer (Our Lord Jesus Christ) will bring water and a fountain of water from the house of the Lord, according to Joel 3:18.
Therefore, we ought to review the quote in John 7:38 in the context of its preceding passage in John 7:37-38: "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. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.'
Consider that ancient Greek has no punctuation, and take this quote as a whole. Deconstructing it differently, you can see this rendered: "If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink, whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, 'Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.'" (John 7:37-38). That is, "whoever" is referring to him who thirsts ("if anyone thirsts, let him come"), and the water is coming from Jesus ("let him come to Me and drink"). Thus, the Scripture is not saying water will come from the believer but rather from Jesus. This is much more credible and is comparable to several passages.
Verse 37 refers to a feast, but one must reread verse 2 to understand the reference to the Feast of Booths [Feast of Tabernacles]. This feast was instituted in the Holy Book of Leviticus and was respected despite the infringement. For example, it was celebrated during the rebuilding of Jerusalem under Ezra and Nehemiah.

From Holy Book of Nehemiah 8:13-18, the Holy Scripture reveals that the Feast of Booths was celebrated. Those in attendance honored God by recalling what He had done for them. During this prayer, the priests remembered how God provided for their needs from the rock that Moses struck to bring forth water (cf. Exodus 17:6):
"You gave them bread from heaven for their hunger, and brought them water out of the rock for their thirst, and told them to go in to possess the land which You had sworn to give them" (Nehemiah 9:15).
Thus, flowing water was previously connected to the Feast of Booths. However, this is not the final word that Scripture says about this rock from which water sprang. The Apostle Paul explains that it was always from Christ that the water sprung: "For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ" (1 Corinthians 10:4).

Therefore, Christ is and has always been the source of water flowing for the thirsty. This is not a new discovery. He was the source for Israelites in the Exodus as He is for all who believe in Him even now. The theme of water flows throughout the Holy Bible.

Ezekiel 47 also refers to water flowing from within the temple. This would be unlikely if the source of water is the believer. Thus, we turn our focus and attention to the Lord Jesus Christ. Since the temple is the meeting point between God and man, Jesus is the supreme gathering place between God and man. The Lord Jesus Christ is the Superior Temple. Thus, it can only be Christ that is equated with the temple and the source of water recorded in Ezekiel 47 (
In the passage from John 7:38, the Lord Jesus Christ is referring to the Holy Spirit, as revealed in the next verse, and the believers would receive Him through the Holy Mystery of Baptism: "But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified" (John 7:39). 
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