Ezekiel 47 (CEV)
The Stream Flowing from the Temple
The man took me back to the temple, where I saw a stream flowing from under the entrance. It began in the south part of the temple, where it ran past the altar and continued east through the courtyard.
2 We walked out of the temple area through the north gate and went around to the east gate. I saw the small stream of water flowing east from the south side of the gate.
In all of its recorded history, Jerusalem never had such a river. There were streams and springs, but never a rich, mighty river, and never one flowing from this part of the city. In the semi-arid geography of Israel a river like this was both a blessing and a miracle. It brought life, growth, vitality, refreshment, hope, and security.
3 The man walked east, then took out his measuring stick and measured five hundred sixty yards downstream. He told me to wade through the stream there, and the water came up to my ankles. 4 Then he measured another five hundred sixty yards downstream, and told me to wade through it there. The water came up to my knees. Another five hundred sixty yards downstream the water came up to my waist. 5 Another five hundred sixty yards downstream, the stream had become a river that could be crossed only by swimming.
“We need the ankle-depths of walking to be exchanged for the knee-depths of praying; and these for the loin-depths of perfect purity; and these for the length, depth, breadth, and height of the love of Christ.”
–F. B. Meyer
6 The man said, “Ezekiel, son of man, pay attention to what you’ve seen.”
We walked to the riverbank, 7 where I saw dozens of trees on each side. 8 The man said:
This water flows eastward to the Jordan River valley and empties into the Dead Sea, where it turns the salt water into fresh water. 9 Wherever this water flows, there will be all kinds of animals and fish, because it will bring life and fresh water to the Dead Sea. 10 From En-Gedi to Eneglaim, people will fish in the sea and dry their nets along the coast. There will be as many kinds of fish in the Dead Sea as there are in the Mediterranean Sea. 11 But the marshes along the shore will remain salty, so that people can use the salt from them.
12 Fruit trees will grow all along this river and produce fresh fruit every month. The leaves will never dry out, because they will always have water from the stream that flows from the temple, and they will be used for healing people.
from This Day with the Master
by Dennis F. Kinlaw
We should never despise small things if God is in them. Ezekiel 47 illustrates this for us. The prophet stood before the temple of the Lord in Jerusalem and saw a small trickle of water seeping out from under the threshold. The small stream flowed eastward.
The prophet was led out some 1,500 feet and found that the trickle had now become a stream that was ankle deep. He was led out another 1,500 feet, and the water was up to his knees. Another 1,500 feet and it reached to his waist. When he was led another 1,500 feet, he found that it was a river to swim in, a river no one could cross.
He noticed then that the stream was flowing down into the Dead Sea. To his delight he observed the waters of the Dead Sea being turned into waters moving with life. The salt water had become fresh. Animals came to drink. Fish leaped into the sea. Trees sprang up on the shore, bearing fruit of all kinds, and their leaves had power to heal. A scene of sterility, barrenness, and death was now a scene of healthy, productive life.
The final picture of the New Jerusalem in Revelation 22 picks up this scene. There the stream flows from the throne of God and the Lamb. The tree of life stands on each side, bearing a different fruit for each month. Its leaves are for the healing of the nations. The darkness is past. Mourning, pain, and death are no more. Everything is new. The thirsty are invited to come and drink of the water of life. The Lamb and his bride reign with the Father through the Spirit. And everything started with what appeared to be a trickle.
Someone has said, “Find where God is at work and join in.” That work may be small, as the time-bound eyes of humans see it. But if God is in it, its future is as large as the promises of God.
The Borders of the Land
13-14 The Lord God said to the people of Israel:
When the land is divided among the twelve tribes of Israel,
“Although the nation had been divided politically for nearly four hundred years, as in the case of all his prophetic colleagues Ezekiel’s vision of Israel’s future is based on the tradition of a united nation consisting of twelve tribes of Israel descended from Jacob’s twelve sons.”
–Daniel I. Block
the Joseph tribe (that is, the two tribes of Manasseh and Ephraim, Joseph’s sons) will receive two shares. Divide the land equally, because I promised your ancestors that this land would someday belong to their descendants. These are the borders of the land:
15 The northern border will begin at the Mediterranean Sea, then continue eastward to Hethlon, to Lebo-Hamath, then across to Zedad, 16 Berothah, and Sibraim, which is on the border between the two kingdoms of Damascus and Hamath. The border will end at Hazer-Hatticon, which is on the border of Hauran. 17 So the northern border will run between the Mediterranean Sea and Hazar-Enon, which is on the border between Damascus and Hamath.
18 The eastern border will begin on the border between the two kingdoms of Hauran and Damascus. It will run south along the Jordan River, which separates the territories of Gilead and Israel, and it will end at the Dead Sea near the town of Tamar.
19 The southern border will begin at Tamar, then run southwest to the springs near Meribath-Kadesh. It will continue along the Egyptian Gorge and will end at the Mediterranean Sea.
20 The western border will run north along the Mediterranean Sea to a point just west of Lebo-Hamath.
Using landmarks on the north, east, south, and west, God described the borders of Israel in the period of Ezekiel’s temple, a period regarded by some as the millennial reign of Jesus Messiah.
21 That is the land to be divided among the tribes of Israel. 22 It will belong to the Israelites and to any foreigners living among them whose children were born in Israel. These foreigners must be treated like any other Israelite citizen, and they will receive 23 a share of the land given to the tribe where they live. I, the Lord God, have spoken.
As we read these chapters about plans for a temple, a place to worship the Most High God, I want us to hear some of the hymns that have been sung for many generations in many different countries and denominations. These are some of a Christian’s most precious treasures!
HERE is a song I sing to myself almost every day — “Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing.” The line that I love most —
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above.