Ezekiel 47:1-12

The River From the Temple

1 The man brought me back to the entrance to the temple, and I saw water coming out from under the threshold of the temple toward the east (for the temple faced east). The water was coming down from under the south side of the temple, south of the altar.
2 He then brought me out through the north gate and led me around the outside to the outer gate facing east, and the water was trickling from the south side.
3 As the man went eastward with a measuring line in his hand, he measured off a thousand cubits[a] and then led me through water that was ankle-deep.
4 He measured off another thousand cubits and led me through water that was knee-deep. He measured off another thousand and led me through water that was up to the waist.
5 He measured off another thousand, but now it was a river that I could not cross, because the water had risen and was deep enough to swim in—a river that no one could cross.
6 He asked me, “Son of man, do you see this?” Then he led me back to the bank of the river.
7 When I arrived there, I saw a great number of trees on each side of the river.
8 He said to me, “This water flows toward the eastern region and goes down into the Arabah,[b] where it enters the Dead Sea. When it empties into the sea, the salty water there becomes fresh.
9 Swarms of living creatures will live wherever the river flows. There will be large numbers of fish, because this water flows there and makes the salt water fresh; so where the river flows everything will live.
10 Fishermen will stand along the shore; from En Gedi to En Eglaim there will be places for spreading nets. The fish will be of many kinds—like the fish of the Mediterranean Sea.
11 But the swamps and marshes will not become fresh; they will be left for salt.
12 Fruit trees of all kinds will grow on both banks of the river. Their leaves will not wither, nor will their fruit fail. Every month they will bear fruit, because the water from the sanctuary flows to them. Their fruit will serve for food and their leaves for healing.”

Ezekiel 47:1-12 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO EZEKIEL 47

This chapter gives an account of the vision of the holy waters, and of the borders of the holy land, and the division of it to Israelites and strangers. The waters are described by the original and spring of them, Eze 47:1,2, by the progress and increase of them, Eze 47:3-5, by the healing and quickening nature of them, and the places where they were so, and were not, Eze 47:8-11, and by the trees which grew upon the banks of them, Eze 47:6,7,12. The borders of the holy land are fixed, Eze 47:13,14, the northern border, Eze 47:15-17, the eastern border, Eze 47:18, the southern, Eze 47:19, and the western, Eze 47:20, which is to be divided by lot to the tribes of Israel, and the strangers that sojourn among them, Eze 47:21-23.

Ezekiel 47:1-12 In-Context

1 The man brought me back to the entrance to the temple, and I saw water coming out from under the threshold of the temple toward the east (for the temple faced east). The water was coming down from under the south side of the temple, south of the altar.
2 He then brought me out through the north gate and led me around the outside to the outer gate facing east, and the water was trickling from the south side.
3 As the man went eastward with a measuring line in his hand, he measured off a thousand cubits and then led me through water that was ankle-deep.
4 He measured off another thousand cubits and led me through water that was knee-deep. He measured off another thousand and led me through water that was up to the waist.
5 He measured off another thousand, but now it was a river that I could not cross, because the water had risen and was deep enough to swim in—a river that no one could cross.
6 He asked me, “Son of man, do you see this?” Then he led me back to the bank of the river.
7 When I arrived there, I saw a great number of trees on each side of the river.
8 He said to me, “This water flows toward the eastern region and goes down into the Arabah, where it enters the Dead Sea. When it empties into the sea, the salty water there becomes fresh.
9 Swarms of living creatures will live wherever the river flows. There will be large numbers of fish, because this water flows there and makes the salt water fresh; so where the river flows everything will live.
10 Fishermen will stand along the shore; from En Gedi to En Eglaim there will be places for spreading nets. The fish will be of many kinds—like the fish of the Mediterranean Sea.
11 But the swamps and marshes will not become fresh; they will be left for salt.
12 Fruit trees of all kinds will grow on both banks of the river. Their leaves will not wither, nor will their fruit fail. Every month they will bear fruit, because the water from the sanctuary flows to them. Their fruit will serve for food and their leaves for healing.”
13 This is what the Sovereign LORD says: “These are the boundaries of the land that you will divide among the twelve tribes of Israel as their inheritance, with two portions for Joseph.
14 You are to divide it equally among them. Because I swore with uplifted hand to give it to your ancestors, this land will become your inheritance.
15 “This is to be the boundary of the land: “On the north side it will run from the Mediterranean Sea by the Hethlon road past Lebo Hamath to Zedad,
16 Berothah and Sibraim (which lies on the border between Damascus and Hamath), as far as Hazer Hattikon, which is on the border of Hauran.

Cross References 20

  • 1. S Isaiah 55:1
  • 2. Psalms 46:4; Joel 3:18; Revelation 22:1
  • 3. S Ezekiel 40:35
  • 4. S Ezekiel 40:3
  • 5. S Genesis 2:10
  • 6. Isaiah 11:9; Habakkuk 2:14
  • 7. ver 12; Revelation 22:2
  • 8. S Deuteronomy 1:1; S Deuteronomy 3:17; Joshua 3:16
  • 9. Isaiah 41:18
  • 10. Isaiah 12:3; Isaiah 55:1; John 4:14; John 7:37-38
  • 11. S Isaiah 19:8; Matthew 4:19
  • 12. S Joshua 15:62
  • 13. Ezekiel 26:5
  • 14. S Psalms 104:25; Matthew 13:47
  • 15. S Numbers 34:6
  • 16. S Deuteronomy 29:23
  • 17. ver 7; Revelation 22:2
  • 18. S Psalms 1:3
  • 19. S Isaiah 55:1
  • 20. S Genesis 2:9; S Jeremiah 17:8; Ezekiel 36:8

Footnotes 2

  • [a]. That is, about 1,700 feet or about 530 meters
  • [b]. Or "the Jordan Valley"
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