We open with another attempt on the Lord’s life, which failed because His hour was not yet come (v.30). The Lord knew about when He’d die from Daniel 9:25,26, which predicted that He would die “after” Palm Sunday. The Lord then knew the day He’d die since He knew He was the Passover lamb (ICor.5:7). If He knew the exact hour, it was because He was a prophet.
“Many” believed on Him because of the miracles (John 7:31). When they began to murmur that He might be Christ, the Pharisees sent officers to arrest Him (v.32). But the Lord dissuaded them from taking Him by telling them they needn’t be concerned with Him, He was leaving soon and would be out of their hair. The Lord’s prediction that they’d seek and not find Him (v.34) came true after the disciples started preaching the resurrection. To shut them up, Israel’s religious leaders no doubt looked for His body in an effort to silence all that resurrection talk.
The “dispersed” (John 7:35) were the Jews dispersed in the Babylonian captivity (Ezekiel 12:15, cf. 1-14). In this pas-sage, Ezekiel is told to act out what will happen to Israel’s king Zedekiah and the rest of the nation. Zeke was told to pack for a journey, make a hole in the wall in full view of the people, and leave town with his face covered so he couldn’t see the ground. This was to symbolize how Nebu-chadnezzar would dig through the city wall and capture and blind him, and force him to carry his things to Babylon.
The unfaithful Jews who did not return to Israel after the captivity were later dispersed from Babylon, the head of the nations, to all nations. When the Lord announced He was going someplace they couldn’t follow Him, they thought He was going to these dispersed Jews, for Jerusalem Jews would not follow him “among the Gentiles” (John 7:35).
“The last day” of the feast of tabernacles was a “great day”
(7:2 cf. 7:37). It was the “eighth day” of the 8-day feast, and 8 is the number of new beginnings. There are 7 days in a week, and the 8th day starts a new beginning. There were 8 people on the ark with Noah, and they all stepped off the ark to a new beginning. There were 8 people raised from the dead in the Bible to a new beginning.
The feast of tabernacles, the last of Israel’s feasts, was a type of the kingdom, the last number on Israel’s program. So the last day of the feast was symbolic of the last day of the millennium, when God will make a new beginning with the New Heaven and New Earth. The feast started and ended with a Sabbath (Lev.23:39), because believing Jews will begin the millennium by resting in the kingdom, and end the millennium by resting in the New Creation
Notice also that “fire” is associated with the eighth and last day of the feast (Lev.23:36), a symbol of the fire of the battle of God and Magog that will come at the last day of the millennium (Rev.20:7-90, and the fire that will end the old heaven and earth (IIPet.3:10-13; Rev.21:1). You say, “but the fire of Leviticus 23:36 was an offering.” True, but just as it was at Armageddon, if you reject the sacrifice of Christ for your sins, you must become an offering for your sins.
Now remember on the last day of the feast, the Lord challenged all who thirsted to come to Him—just as He will on the last day of the millennium (Rev.22:17). The book of John is a book of symbols.
Thirsting after God was a concept with which the Jews should have been familiar (Ps.42:1,2; 63:1). Only He can satisfy the innate thirst in man for something more in life. On the cross, the Lord cried “I thirst” (John 19:28) so that you don’t have to thirst spiritually in this life, nor in hell in eternity.
According to the Superman legend, when Krypton was about to explode, scientists Jor-el put his son in a rocket and launched him to earth, where he became the man of steel. But when the elements are melting with a fervent heat (IIPet.3:10) and the heavens are on fire (v.12), this plan will not work. If you are not saved, “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31).