What is the Living Water mentioned in the Bible?

The Living Water and how it is mentioned in The Bible?           

Water is referenced a number of times in the Bible in it's physical form but when it is mentioned as the "Living Water" or "The Water of Life" this is more in a spiritual context. This article will take a closer look at the term "the living water" as it is one of the fundamentals of the Christian faith and compare it to water in it's mere physical form.

What does this expression "living Water" mean or imply, where does it appear in the Bible and how many times, why is it used, who uses this term and which Prophets mention it in a direct or indirect manner. What is the importance of this expression the "living water" especially to those in the Christian faith? It is a topic of vital importance which spans both the Old and New Testament and is mentioned in the final Book of the Bible which is the Book of Revelation. On a search on Bible software the word "water" appears 363 times. In relation to that the term "living water" appears directly only 4 times

There are two main forms of water in the Bible, the first is the Physical Form and the second is a more Spiritual Form

Water in it's Physical form can mean many things, it can have a living form or creative quality about it, it can stand for attacks or enemies and it can represent salvation or eternal life and is used in it's physical form for baptism. It was also used as a form of Judgement in the Days of Noah where a vast amount of water came from the sky and created the great flood where it rained for forty days and forty nights, but this is water in it's physical form.

Water is first mentioned in a living manner in Genesis 1

Genesis 1:20 And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.

Water can also stands for enemies who can attack and need to be overcome such as

Psalm 18:16-17
16. He sent from above, he took me, he drew me out of many waters.
17. He delivered me from my strong enemy, and from them which hated me: for they were too strong for me.

Isaiah 8:7
Now therefore, behold, the Lord bringeth up upon them the waters of the river, strong and many, even the king of Assyria, and all his glory: and he shall come up over all his channels, and go over all his banks:

In both the Old and New Testaments, the word "water" is used for salvation and eternal life, which God offers humankind through faith in his Son

Isaiah 12:33.
Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.

Isaiah 55:1
1. Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.

Water sometimes symbolises the spiritual cleansing that comes with the acceptance of God's offer of salvation

Ezekiel 36:25
Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.

And of course water forms the basis of Baptism, the most famous being of Jesus by St John The Divine in Jordan. This is one of the most famous references to water and it's powers.

Matthew 3:13-16
13. Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him.
14. But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me?
15. And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him.
16. And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:

Water identifies with us of the cleansing of the Christian. It also suggests a profound and/or spiritual life. Just as the Oceans, waters have depth and waters can run deep.

Ephesians 5:26
That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,

But what about the term the "Living Water"

It is not something that is presented in neon lights, but in a more subtle way. The term "living water" (mentioned 4 times) or it's other term "Water of Life" (mentioned 3 times) is used in the Bible sparingly. The "living water" mentioned in the Bible, however is for those who are looking to "satisfy a thirst" but the thirst mentioned here is a "spiritual one". Sin temporarily satisfies such a thirst but the "living water" will permanently satisfy this spiritual thirst. In the New Testament the "Living Water" is referencing the Holy Spirit which resides inside a person when they are Born Again or "Saved"

In the Old Testament "The Living Water" is mentioned and is normally associated with "the presence of God" It is mentioned a number of times in the Old Testament scriptures, God is often referred to or called the source of "living water" but in these instances it is an external presence as was the Holy Spirit throughout the Old Testament.

From the very beginning in the Garden of Eden mentioned in Genesis, where God lived along side man, a river welled up that formed the headwaters of four mighty rivers as mentioned in Genesis 2

Genesis 2:10
And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads.

The four rivers or heads are mentioned in further verses and include the first which is Pison, the second is Gihon, the third is Hiddekel and the last or fourth is the Euphrates. It is the fourth the Euphrates that is most interesting, as it is mentioned in Revelation with the Sixth Trumpet and Sixth Vial Judgements both performed by a sixth angel.

Revelation 9:14
Saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates.

Revelation 16:12
And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared.

In Jeremiah the living water is mentioned again, twice, in relation to Israel who had left their God and instead started worshipping idols and worshippers of a false religion. In both these instances Israel is rebuked for forsaking God for with what he calls cisterns that will in no way satisfy their "thirst." that is a "spiritual thirst" because of their falseness.

Jeremiah 2:13 For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.
Jeremiah 7:13 O LORD, the hope of Israel, all who forsake you will be put to shame. Those who turn away from you will be written in the dust because they have forsaken the LORD, the spring of living water.
The living waters mentioned in the Prophecy of Zechariah predicted a flow out of Jerusalem East and West in both summer and winter. This was in reference to the spreading of the gospel from Jerusalem and was helped by the influences of the Holy Spirit which would overcome idols, false religion, anti-christian power, although they would remain as rivals.

Zechariah 14:8 And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea: in summer and in winter shall it be.

The Living Waters In the New Testament

The phrase the "living water" is most famously attributed to Jesus speaking with the Samarian woman whom he meets at Jacob's Well in Sychar. This scene is referred to as "the woman at the well". This is where Jesus used the term the "living water" much to the confusion of the woman concerned.

John 4:9-14
9. Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans.
10. Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.
11. The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water?
12. Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle?
13. Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again:
14. But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.

Again this references a spiritual water or a water of life that is real that will quench a "spiritual thirst". He is also implying just as the water in the well will temporarily satisfy a thirst, the dead water of false faiths will never quench or satisfy that "spiritual thirst" only the "living water" that is the Holy Spirit.

When Jesus was in Galilee on the day of Feast of Tabernacles he mentioned the phrase "the living water" again at The Temple.

John 7:37-39
37. In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.
38. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.
39. (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.)

When he said these words The gift of the Spirit (the living water) was not yet available at that time it could not be passed on until Acts

Acts 10:43–45
43. To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.
44. While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.
45. And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Mentioned in the Book of Revelation

In the Book of Revelation there is no mention of "living water" but instead there is reference to the equivalent which is the "water of life"

Revelation 21:6
And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.

Revelation 22:1
And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.

In both these references, the term Water of Life refers to the Holy Spirit just as Jesus referred to it as the "living water"

The External influence of the Holy Spirit had always been given in the conversion and sanctification of the Old Testament saints and prophets which changed and became indwelling under the New Covenant. Many people say that Jesus is the living water, BUT Jesus Himself intended the phrase to mean the Holy Spirit who dwells in believers and seals them for salvation (Ephesians 1:13–14)

Ephesians 1:13–14
In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,

Water is continually mentioned throughout the Bible and the "living water" or the "water of life" carries with it the connotation of spirituality where the person that receives this living water becomes dependent on God and living the way he intended rather than being independent of him. This is illustrated again by water with the spiritual lesson for the Israelites when they left the land of Egypt for the promised land of Canaan. They left a land of security that had little rain but by their OWN efforts they relied on the River Nile and irrigation to provide water to the land. However when God chose a land for his people, he didn’t choose a place where they could have security because of their own efforts, he chose a land where they would be far more dependent on him and would need his presence watching over them to send them the living water of rain.

Deuteronomy 11:10 – 12
10. For the land, whither thou goest in to possess it, is not as the land of Egypt, from whence ye came out, where thou sowedst thy seed, and wateredst it with thy foot, as a garden of herbs:
11. But the land, whither ye go to possess it, is a land of hills and valleys, and drinketh water of the rain of heaven:

This can be said today of many Christians who have seen God do the same thing in their own lives. When they decide to trust and follow him and his ways he takes them from security of making their own way in life and instead they become dependant on him where "The Lord will provide", which doesn’t always include prosperity as the world sees it.

Anywhere the "living water" touches it gives new life and an intimate relationship with God. The “living water” is therefore understood to mean a true knowledge of God and this can only be achieved through the Holy Spirit, who teaches us God’s will and guides, comforts and directs us.

Bible Quote:

John 4:14
But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.
What is the Living Water mentioned in the Bible? What is the Living Water mentioned in the Bible? Reviewed by Frank John on March 02, 2017 Rating: 5
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