The good river (Ezek 47:10-47:12)

“People 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.

But its swamps,

With its marshes,

Will not become fresh.

They are to be left

For salt.

On the banks,

On both sides

Of the river,

There will grow

All kinds of trees

For food.

Their leaves

Will not wither.

Their fruit

Will not fail.

But they will bear

Fresh fruit

Every month,

Because the water

For them

Flows from the sanctuary.

Their fruit will be

For food.

Their leaves will be

For healing.”

This mysterious water from the Temple would mean that people could fish out on the northwestern side of the Dead Sea from En-gedi to En-eglaim. All one had to do was spread fishing nets, then all kinds of wonderful fish would be caught, just like in the great Mediterranean Sea. However, the swamps and marshes would not become fresh, but they would remain salty. On both sides of this river, all kinds of trees would grow with monthly fresh fruit and perennial leaves for healing. This river coming from the sanctuary of the Temple had all these wonderful powers because of the power of Yahweh, much like other Canaanite and Mesopotamian mythical rivers.

 

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The tall growth of wisdom (Sir 24:13-24:14)

“‘I grew tall

Like a cedar in Lebanon.

I grew tall

Like a cypress on the heights of Hermon.

I grew tall

Like a palm tree in En-gedi.

I grew tall

Like rosebushes in Jericho.

I grew tall

Like a fair olive tree in the field.

I grew tall

Like a plane tree beside water.’”

Sirach continues with his personification of wisdom in the first person singular. Wisdom points out how she has grown tall like the various trees around Israel. First, she was tall like the cedar and cypress trees in the northern area of Lebanon and Hermon. Then she was like the palm trees on the west side of the Dead Sea in En-gedi and the rosebushes nearby in Jericho. Finally, she was tall like the various planted olive trees and the trees that were planted beside water. Wisdom was a like a tall tree, no matter where she was.

Sweet smells (Song 1:12-1:14)

Female lover

“While the king was on his couch,

My nard gave forth its fragrance.

My beloved is to me

A bag of myrrh,

That lies between my breasts.

My beloved is to me

A cluster of henna blossoms

In the vineyards of En-gedi.”

This female lover responded, while the king was on his couch. She said that her nard plant had a lovely fragrance. Myrrh was another fragrant plant that had a lovely aroma. This bag of myrrh was placed between her breasts. He was like a cluster of colored blossoms in the vineyards. Today En-gedi is a natural preserve on the edge of the Dead Sea, so that it must have been a natural place of beauty for years.

The attack from the southeast (2 Chr 20:1-20:2)

“After this the Moabites and Ammonites, and with them some of the Meunites, came against King Jehoshaphat for battle. Messengers came and told King Jehoshaphat. ‘A great multitude is coming against you from Edom, from beyond the sea. Already they are at Hazazon-tamar that is, En-gedi.”

This attack is coming from the people of Moab and Edom, southeast of Judah on the other side of the Dead Sea. They were joined by the Meunites, who were a small group also from the southeast side of the Dead Sea. The messengers said that they were already at Hazazon-tamar that is, En-gedi. En-gedi was on the western side of the Dead Sea about 10 miles east of Hebron so that they were pretty close.