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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Fresh water (Ezek 47:8-47:9)

“He said to me.

‘This water flows

Toward the eastern region.

It goes down

Into the Arabah.

When it enters

The sea,

The sea of stagnant waters,

The water will

Become fresh.

Wherever the river goes

Every living creature

That swarms

Will live.

There will be

Very many fish,

Once these waters

Reach there.

It will become fresh.

Everything will live

Where the river goes.’”

This mysterious water from the Temple flowed east to the Arabah, the southern area between the Dead Sea and the Gulf of Aqaba. When this fresh water from the Temple flowed into the Dead Sea, or the stagnant waters, the waters there would become fresh. Many fish and other swarming creatures would live there. Wherever this river flowed, everything would come alive. These were the living waters for all the sea creatures.

The flowing water (Ezek 47:1-47:2)

“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.

The temple faced east.

The water was flowing down

From below

The south end

Of the threshold

Of the temple,

South of the altar.

Then he brought me out

By way of the north gate.

He led me around

On the outside

To the outer gate

That faces toward the east.

The water was coming out

On the south side.”

The bronze man brought Ezekiel to the entrance of the Temple. This time, there was water flowing from below the threshold of the Temple toward the east, since the Temple faced east. This mysterious water movement was coming from the south end, south of the altar. Then the bronze man brought Ezekiel out the north gate and around to the east outer gate. There the mysterious water was coming out once again from the south side of the Temple.