John 7:39 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

John 7:39, NIV: "By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified."

John 7:39, ESV: "Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified."

John 7:39, KJV: "(But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)"

John 7:39, NASB: "But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified."

John 7:39, NLT: "(When he said 'living water,' he was speaking of the Spirit, who would be given to everyone believing in him. But the Spirit had not yet been given, because Jesus had not yet entered into his glory.)"

John 7:39, CSB: "He said this about the Spirit. Those who believed in Jesus were going to receive the Spirit, for the Spirit had not yet been given because Jesus had not yet been glorified."

What does John 7:39 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

During the last and most important day of the Feast of Booths, Jesus has chosen a dramatic time to make a dramatic point. On this day, priests would carry water into the temple, remembering God's provision of water from a rock (Exodus 17:1–7). Jesus uses this moment to emphasize His claim to being the source of "living water," which is a metaphor for salvation and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. This is a theme Jesus has used before in His teaching, both publicly (John 6:35), and in private (John 4:10–13). Later New Testament writers will continue to draw from this analogy when describing the salvation offered by God through Christ (Revelation 22:1–2).

At this point in time, the Holy Spirit is working only selectively in the world. Perhaps the most dramatic example of the Holy Spirit's temporary work is in the story of Samson, who was given strength when the Holy Spirit was within him (Judges 14:6). Only after Jesus' death and resurrection, followed by His ascension, will the Holy Spirit begin to indwell everyone who professes faith in Christ (Acts 2:1–4).