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Water Flowing from the Temple

47

Then he brought me back to the entrance of the temple; there, water was flowing from below the threshold of the temple toward the east (for the temple faced east); and the water was flowing down from below the south end of the threshold of the temple, south of the altar. 2Then he brought me out by way of the north gate, and led me around on the outside to the outer gate that faces toward the east; and the water was coming out on the south side.

3 Going on eastward with a cord in his hand, the man measured one thousand cubits, and then led me through the water; and it was ankle-deep. 4Again he measured one thousand, and led me through the water; and it was knee-deep. Again he measured one thousand, and led me through the water; and it was up to the waist. 5Again he measured one thousand, and it was a river that I could not cross, for the water had risen; it was deep enough to swim in, a river that could not be crossed. 6He said to me, “Mortal, have you seen this?”

Then he led me back along the bank of the river. 7As I came back, I saw on the bank of the river a great many trees on the one side and on the other. 8He said to me, “This water flows toward the eastern region and goes down into the Arabah; and when it enters the sea, the sea of stagnant waters, the water will become fresh. 9Wherever the river goes, every living creature that swarms will live, and there will be very many fish, once these waters reach there. It will become fresh; and everything will live where the river goes. 10People will stand fishing beside the sea from En-gedi to En-eglaim; it will be a place for the spreading of nets; its fish will be of a great many kinds, like the fish of the Great Sea. 11But its swamps and marshes will not become fresh; they are to be left for salt. 12On the banks, on both sides of the river, there will grow all kinds of trees for food. Their leaves will not wither nor their fruit fail, but they will bear fresh fruit every month, because the water for them flows from the sanctuary. Their fruit will be for food, and their leaves for healing.”


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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 Zec 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 does.

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 kindsJerome 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. Compare Mt 13:47, the gospel net; the apostles being fishermen, at first literally, afterwards spiritually (Mt 4:19).

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 flocks.

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.




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