Eze 47:1-23. Vision of the
Temple Waters. Borders and Division of The land.
The happy fruit to the earth at large of God's
dwelling with Israel in holy fellowship is that the blessing is no
longer restricted to the one people and locality, but is to be diffused
with comprehensive catholicity through the whole world. So the plant
from the cedar of Lebanon is represented as gathering under its shelter
"all fowl of every wing" (Eze 17:23).
Even the desert places of the earth shall be made fruitful by the
healing waters of the Gospel (compare Isa 35:1).
1. waters—So Re 22:1, represents "the water of life as
proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb." His throne was
set up in the temple at Jerusalem (Eze 43:7). Thence it is to flow over the earth
(Joe 3:18; Zec 13:1; 14:8). Messiah is the temple and the door;
from His pierced side flow the living waters, ever increasing, both in
the individual believer and in the heart. The fountains in the vicinity
of Moriah suggested the image here. The waters flow eastward, that is,
towards the Kedron, and thence towards the Jordan, and so along the
Ghor into the Dead Sea. The main point in the picture is the rapid
augmentation from a petty stream into a mighty river, not by the influx
of side streams, but by its own self-supply from the sacred miraculous
source in the temple [Henderson].
(Compare Ps 36:8, 9; 46:4; Isa 11:9; Hab 2:14). Searching into the things of
God, we find some easy to understand, as the water up to the ankles;
others more difficult, which require a deeper search, as the waters up
to the knees or loins; others beyond our reach, of which we can only
adore the depth (Ro 11:33).
The healing of the waters of the Dead Sea here answers to "there
shall be no more curse" (Re 22:3;
compare Zec 14:11).
7. trees—not merely one tree of
life as in Paradise (Ge 3:22), but
many: to supply immortal food and medicine to the people of God, who
themselves also become "trees of righteousness" (Isa 61:3) planted by the waters and (Ps 1:3) bearing fruit unto holiness.
8. the desert—or "plain," Hebrew,
Arabah (De 3:17; 4:49; Jos 3:16), which is the name still given to the
valley of the Jordan and the plain south of the Dead Sea, and extending
to the Elanitic gulf of the Red Sea.
the sea—the Dead Sea. "The sea"
noted as covering with its waters the guilty cities of the plain, Sodom
and Gomorrah. In its bituminous waters no vegetable or animal life is
said to be found. But now death is to give place to life in Judea, and
throughout the world, as symbolized by the healing of these
death-pervaded waters covering the doomed cities. Compare as to "the
sea" in general, regarded as a symbol of the troubled powers of nature,
disordered by the fall, henceforth to rage no more, Re 21:1.
9. rivers—in Hebrew, "two
rivers." Hence Hebrew expositors think that the waters from the temple
were divided into two branches, the one emptying itself into the
eastern or Dead Sea, the other into the western or Mediterranean. So
14:8. However, though this
probably is covertly implied in the Hebrew dual, the flowing of
the waters into the Dead Sea only is expressed. Compare Eze 47:8, "waters … healed," which
can apply only to it, not to the Mediterranean: also Eze 47:10, "fish as the fish of the great sea";
the Dead Sea, when healed, containing fish, as the Mediterranean
10. En-gedi … En-eglaim—En-gedi
(meaning "fountain of the kid"), anciently, Hazazon-Tamar, now
Ain-Jidy; west of the Dead Sea; David's place of refuge from Saul.
En-eglaim means "fountain of two calves," on the confines of Moab, over
against En-gedi, and near where Jordan enters the Dead Sea (Isa 15:8). These two limits are fixed on,
to comprise between them the whole Dead Sea.
fish … according to their
kinds—Jerome quotes an ancient
theory that "there are a hundred fifty-three kinds of fishes," all of
which were taken by the apostles (Joh 21:11), and not one remained uncaptured;
signifying that both the noble and baseborn, the rich and the poor, and
every class, are being drawn out of the sea of the world to salvation.
13:47, the gospel net; the
apostles being fishermen, at first literally, afterwards spiritually
11. marshes—marshy places. The region is
known to have such pits and marshes. The Arabs take the salt collected
by evaporation in these pits for their own use, and that of their
not be healed—Those not reached by the
healing waters of the Gospel, through their sloth and
earthly-mindedness, are given over (Re 22:11) to their own bitterness and barrenness
(as "saltness" is often employed to express, De
29:23; Ps 107:34; Zep 2:9);
an awful example to others in the punishment they suffer (2Pe 2:6).
12. Instead of the "vine of Sodom and grapes
of Gomorrah" (De 32:32),
nauseous and unwholesome, trees of life-giving and life-restoring
virtue shall bloom similar in properties to, and exceeding in number,
the tree of life in Eden (Re 2:7; 22:2, 14).
leaf … not fade—expressing not
only the unfailing character of the heavenly medicine of the tree of
life, but also that the graces of the believer (as a tree of
righteousness), which are the leaves, and his deeds, which are
the fruits that flow from those graces, are immortal (Ps 1:3; Jer 17:8; Mt 10:42; 1Co 15:58).
new fruit—literally, "firstlings," or
first fruit. They are still, each month afresh, as it were, yielding
their first-fruit [Fairbairn]. The
first-born of a thing, in Hebrew idiom, means the
chiefest. As Job 18:13,
"the first-born of death," that is, the most fatal death.
13. The redivision of the land: the
boundaries. The latter are substantially the same as those given by
Moses in Nu 34:1-29; they here begin with the north, but in
Numbers they begin with the south (Nu 34:3). It is only Canaan proper, exclusive of
the possession of the two and a half tribes beyond Jordan, that is here
Joseph … two portions—according
to the original promise of Jacob (Ge 48:5, 22). Joseph's sons were given the
birthright forfeited by Reuben, the first-born (1Ch 5:1). Therefore the former is here put
first. His two sons having distinct portions make up the whole
number twelve portions, as he had just before specified
"twelve tribes of Israel"; for Levi had no separate inheritance,
so that he is not reckoned in the twelve.
15. Zedad—on the north boundary of
16. Hamath—As Israel was a separate
people, so their land was a separate land. On no scene could the sacred
history have been so well transacted as on it. On the east was the
sandy desert. On the north and south, mountains. On the west, an
inhospitable sea-shore. But it was not always to be a separate land.
Between the parallel ranges of Lebanon is the long valley of El-Bekaa,
leading to "the entering in of Hamath" on the Orontes, in the Syrian
frontier. Roman roads, and the harbor made at Cæsarea, opened out
doors through which the Gospel should go from it to all lands. So in
the last days, when all shall flock to Jerusalem as the religious
center of the world.
Berothah—a city in Syria conquered by
8:8); meaning "wells."
Hazar-hatticon—meaning "the middle
Hauran—a tract in Syria, south of
17. Hazar-enan—a town in the north of
Canaan, meaning "village of fountains."
18. east sea—the Dead Sea. The border is
to go down straight to it by the valley of the Jordan. So Nu 34:11, 12.
19. Tamar—not Tadmor in the desert, but
Tamar, the last town of Judea, by the Dead Sea. Meaning "palm tree"; so
called from palm trees abounding near it.
22. to the strangers—It is altogether
unprecedented under the old covenant, that "strangers" should have
"inheritance" among the tribes. There would not be room locally within
Canaan for more than the tribes. The literal sense must therefore be
modified, as expressing that Gentiles are not to be excluded from
settling among the covenant-people, and that spiritually their
privileges are not to be less than those of Israel (Ro 10:12; Ga 3:28; Eph 3:6; Col 3:11; Re 7:9, 10). Still, "sojourneth," in Eze 47:23, implies that in Canaan, the
covenant people are regarded as at home, the strangers as