“People will stand fishing
Beside the sea,
It will be a place
For the spreading
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
On the banks,
On both sides
Of the river,
There will grow
All kinds of trees
Will not wither.
Will not fail.
But they will bear
Because the water
Flows from the sanctuary.
Their fruit will be
Their leaves will be
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.
“It is the first of the great acts of God.
Only its Maker can approach it with the sword.
The mountains yield food for it.
It is there where all the wild beasts play.
Under the lotus plants it lies.
It lies in the covert of the reeds and in the marsh.
The lotus trees cover it for shade.
The willows of the brook surround it.
Even if the river is turbulent
It is not frightened.
It is confident though Jordan rushes against its mouth.
Can one take it with hooks?
Can one pierce its nose with a snare?”
Clearly this monster has limits since it was the work of God. Only God the maker can kill it. It lives in the mountains where all the wild beasts play. It lies under a lotus tree for shade in the reeds, willows, and marshes. Even when the Jordan River is turbulent, it is not worried. No one can catch it with hooks or snares. This sure sounds like a large hippo! It is not clear if there is more than one of these large beasts.
“After these things were reported to Jonathan and his brother Simon, they said.
‘The family of Jambri was celebrating a great wedding.
They were conducting the bride,
A daughter of one of the great nobles of Canaan,
From Nadabath with a large escort.’
They remembered how their brother John had been killed. They went up and hid under the cover of the mountains. They looked out and saw a tumultuous procession with a great amount of baggage. The bridegroom came out with his friends and his brothers to meet them with tambourines, musicians, and many weapons. Then they rushed upon them from the ambush. They began killing them. Many were wounded and fell. The rest fled to the mountains. The Jews took all their goods. Thus the wedding was turned into mourning. The voice of their musicians was turned into a funeral dirge. After they had fully avenged the blood of their brother, they returned to the marshes of the Jordan River.”
Jonathan and his brother Simon were upset about the attack and death of their brother John at the hands of the Jambri family. They saw that the Jambri family was celebrating a big wedding. One of daughters of a Canaanite was marrying a man from Jambri. They were having a great procession with tambourines and musicians. Jonathan, Simon, and his group attacked the wedding party. They wounded and killed some, while others fled. Their joyous wedding music turned into a mourning funeral dirge. After they avenged the blood of their brother, they returned to the marshes along the Jordan River.