EZEKIEL CHAPTER 47.
The Blessings of the New Canaan.
THE STREAM OF LIVING WATERS. — V. 1. Afterward He brought me again unto the door of the house, from the outer court to the main portal of the Temple; and, behold, waters issued out from under the threshold of the house eastward, symbolical of the divine blessings which flow from His Church; for the forefront of the house stood toward the east, the Temple facing in the same direction as had the Tabernacle and the Temple of Solomon, and the waters came down from under from the right side of the house, at the south side of the altar, welling up from below the center of the Sanctuary as its fountainhead. V. 2. Then brought He me out of the way of the gate northward, for the portal on the east was locked, and led me about the way without unto the utter gate by the way that looketh eastward, so that Ezekiel might follow the course of the wonderful stream; and, behold, there ran out waters on the right side, before the southern half of the front. V. 3. And when the Man that had the line in His hand went forth eastward, He measured a thousand cubits, namely, at this distance from the walls; and He brought me through the waters: the waters were to the ankles. V. 4. Again He measured a thousand, namely, from the first place of crossing, and brought me through the waters: the waters were to the knees, being supplied and increased in this marvelous manner from the sacred miraculous source in the Temple. Again He measured a thousand and brought me through: the waters were to the loins, ever growing deeper. V. 5. Afterward He measured a thousand, and it was a river, it had grown to the dimensions of a great stream, that I could not pass over, for the waters were risen, waters to swim in, a river that could not be passed over, like an impetuous mountain torrent, swollen by the spring rains, making swimming necessary if a person wanted to cross at all. V. 6. And He said unto me, in order to impress upon the prophet every detail of the picture, Son of man, hast thou seen this? Then He brought me, and caused me to return, to the brink of the river, back to the bank of the stream which he had apparently attempted to wade. V. 7. Now, when I had returned, his attention now being directed to the bank rather than to the stream, behold, at the bank of the river, lining it on either side, were very many trees on the one side and on the other. V. 8. Then said He unto me, These waters issue out toward the east country, the term used designating the entire valley of the Jordan, and go down into the desert, a word used of the steppes of Southeastern Judea, and go into the sea, here the Dead Sea; which being brought forth into the sea, the waters shall be healed, its deadly saltness being relieved so that it could again be inhabited by fishes. V. 9. And it shall come to pass that everything that liveth, which moveth, literally, “every living soul that creepeth,” which had the breath of life in itself, whithersoever the rivers shall come, shall live, on account of the fullness of life borne by them; and there shall be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters shall come thither, their freshness enabling the fishes to live and to multiply most abundantly, for they, the waters of the Dead Sea, shall be healed; and everything shall live whither the river cometh, being endowed with a miraculous vitality by coming into contact with it. V. 10. And it shall come to pass that the fishers shall stand upon it from En-gedi, on its western shore, where David had once found refuge, even unto Eneglaim, on the eastern shore, in the confines of Moab; they shall be a place to spread forth nets; their fish shall be according to their kinds as the fish of the Great Sea, exceeding many. V. 11. But the miry places thereof, the swamps formed by the natural recession of the waters, and the marshes thereof shall not be healed; they shall be given to salt, unfit for cultivation and for every living thing. V. 12. And by the river upon the bank thereof, on this side and on that side, shall grow all trees for meat, springing lip and bearing the richest kind of food, whose leaf shall not fade, neither shall the fruit thereof be consumed; it shall bring forth new fruit according to his months, fruit maturing every month, because their waters they issued out of the Sanctuary, and were thus filled with marvelous life; and the fruit thereof shall be for meat and the leaf thereof for medicine, its foliage for healing. Without attempting to give an interpretation of every detail of this picture, its general meaning is clear. The miraculous river pictures the spread of the Gospel, the gaining of new members for the Church, the increase of divine blessings in the Messianic era. The trees represent the wonderful blessings given through the ministry of the Word. The fishermen of the Lord are busily engaged in bringing in the base-born and the noble, the rich and the poor, out of the sea of the world to the salvation earned by Jesus Christ. “Searching into the deep things of God, we find some easy to understand, others more difficult, others beyond our reach, of which we can only adore the depths.” Where the stream of the Gospel flows, the putrid and poisonous waters of this world are cleansed, but the swamps and morasses of men’s hatred and enmity toward God are shut off, by their own fault, from His mercy. All this, and more, is indicated in Rev. 22, 1-6, where we also have a description of the final perfection of the Church of Christ.
THE BOUNDARIES OF THE NEW CANAAN. — V. 13. Thus saith the Lord God, This shall be the border, the boundary of Canaan proper, whereby ye shall inherit the land according to the twelve tribes of Israel: Joseph shall have two portions, as in the first division of the land. Cp. Gen. 48, 5; 1 Chron. 5, 1. V. 14. And ye shall inherit it, one as well as another, every one an equal portion, concerning the which I lifted up Mine hand, in a solemn oath accompanying his promise, Gen.12, 7; 13, 15; 15, 7; 17, 8; 26, 3, to give it unto your fathers; and this land shall fall unto you for inheritance. V. 15. And this shall be the border of the land toward the north side, from the Great Sea, the Mediterranean Sea, the way of Hethlon, as men go to Zedad, these two towns being on the northwestern border: v. 16. Hamath, the ancient northernmost point, Berothah, a city in Syria conquered by David, 2 Sam. 8, 8, Sibraim, which is between the border of Damascus and the border of Hamath, on the caravan road toward Palmyra; Hazarhatticon, which is by the coast of Hauran, a province on the east side of Jordan, south of Syria. V. 17. And the border from the sea, as one draws the northern border from the Mediterranean Sea to the beginning of its eastern boundary, shall be Hazar-enan, in the extreme northeastern corner, the border of Damascus, and the north northward, and the border of Hamath, the description indicating that this entire northeastern section was included. And this is the north side. V. 18. And the east side ye shall measure from Hauran, from the extreme northeastern boundary of this section, and from Damascus, as indicating the limit of extent in that direction, and from Gilead, in the center east of Jordan, and from the land of Israel by Jordan, extending to the river along its whole length, from the border unto the East Sea, that is, the Dead Sea. And this is the east side, which therefore included Canaan proper only. V. 19. And the south side southward, along the southern boundary, from Tamar, probably south of the Dead Sea, even to the waters of strife in Kadesh, cp. Num. 20, near Kadesh-barnea, the river to the Great Sea, the Wady el Arish, whose brook flows into the Mediterranean Sea, the boundary toward the southwest being clearly defined. And this is the south side southward. V. 20. The west side also shall be the Great Sea from the border, all along from the river of Egypt, till a man come over against Hamath, the Philistine coast thus being included in the Holy Land and the whole description being held along ideal lines. This is the west side. V. 21. So shall ye divide this land unto you according to the tribes of Israel, this statement summarizing what has been said concerning the boundaries of Canaan. V. 22. And it shall come to pass that ye shall divide it by lot for an inheritance unto you and to the strangers that sojourn among you, which shall beget children among you; for he who connects himself with the true Church may enjoy the privileges and blessings of the true Church; and they shall be unto you as born in the country among the children of Israel, as Hobab and his tribe did at the time of Moses; they shall have inheritance with you among the tribes of Israel. V. 23. And it shall come to pass that in what tribe the stranger sojourneth, there shall ye give him his inheritance, saith the Lord God. In the New Testament the middle wall of partition between Jews and Gentiles has been fully removed, so that through Him they both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. Cp. Eph. 2, 14-18.