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Book of Ezekiel
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 (47:1-2), by the progress and increase of them (47:3-5), by the healing and quickening nature of them, and the places where they were so, and were not (47:8-11), and by the trees which grew upon the banks of them (47:6-7, 12). The borders of the holy land are
fixed (47:13-14), the northern border (47:15-17), the eastern border (47:18), the southern border (47:19), and the western border (47:20), which is to be divided by lot to the tribes of Israel, and the strangers that sojourn among them (47:21-23).
Ezekiel Chapter 47 is focused on the further division of the entire land, and the healing power of the waters that will originate from out of the sanctuary eastward out of the Temple area, with a branch leading toward the Dead Sea and the other branch toward the Mediterranean Sea.
The River from the Temple to the Dead Sea (47:1-12)
Ezekiel 47:1 Afterward he brought me again unto the door of the house; and, behold, waters issued out from under the threshold of the house eastward: for the forefront of the house stood toward the east, and the waters came down from under from the right side of the house, at the south side of the altar. (KJV)
Afterward he brought me again unto the door of the house . . . the door of the Temple, of the Holy of Holies, where the prophet is said to be brought again, or brought back; because he was last in the corners of the outward court, viewing the kitchens or boiling places of the ministers. Now he was brought back into the inner court, to the door that led into the Holiest place of all.
And, behold . . . for what he saw was a matter of wonder, that got his attention.
Waters issued out from under the threshold of the house eastward . . . this is something new, to which there was nothing like it, either in the first or second Temple. One comment on what the prophet saw: a never failing confluence of water, like a large fountain. These waters came out of the Temple, and were not carried by pipes into it; nor were they a common sewer to carry off the filth of it, but formed a delightful and useful river. Where the waters started is not stated, only where they were first seen to come out.
Under the threshold of the house eastward . . . under the threshold of the door of the Most Holy Place; so that they seem to come from the Holy of Holies, the seat of the divine Majesty, and Throne of GOD, which agrees with what John saw (Rev.22:1).
For the fore front of the house stood toward the east . . . the Holy of Holies was at the west end of the Temple; but the front part of it, and the door into it, was to the east, and it was from here these waters flowed.
And the waters came down from under from the right side of the house . . . the waters are said to come down, because the Temple was built high on the top of a mountain; and from under the threshold of the door of it. The waters appeared from under that, and this was on the right side of the house, or on the south side.
At the south side of the altar . . . of the altar of burnt offerings, which stood before the Temple.
*****This part of Ezekiel's vision has a spiritual meaning, because the other parts of his vision also have a spiritual meaning. So this cannot apply to the waters brought by pipes into the Temple for the washing of the sacrifices, the keeping of the Iemple clean, because that would be to turn this pleasant river into a common sewer. The following prophecy may help explain it, of living waters that shall go out from Jerusalem, half of them towards the former sea and half of them towards the hinder sea. Zechariah 14:8 And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea: in summer and in winter shall it be. (KJV)
There is clearly a reference to this in the apostle John's vision of a pure river of water of life, that seems to represent the glory and joy which are the grace of GOD perfected.
Revelation 22:1 And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. (KJV)
Most commentators agree that these waters mean the Gospel of JESUS CHRIST, which went forth from Jerusalem, and spread itself into the countries about, and the gifts and powers of the HOLY SPIRIT which accompanied it, and by virtue of which it spread far and produced wonderful and blessed effects. Up until now, Ezekiel had walked round the house again and again, but did not until now see those waters. Our Lord GOD makes known His mind and will to His people, not all at once, but by degrees, when He wants to!.
Ezekiel 47:2 Then brought he me out of the way of the gate northward, and led me about the way without unto the utter gate by the way that looketh eastward; and, behold, there ran out waters on the right side. (KJV)
Then brought he me out of the way of the gate northward . . . He is still the Man, the propht’s Guide, whose appearance was like the appearance of brass (40:3), brought me out of the inward court where He was, by the way of the north gate, the eastern gate being shut.
And led me about the way without unto the utter gate, by the way that looketh eastward . . . and from there He had him around to the outward eastern gate, where he was at first (40:6), to meet the flow of waters that came through the inward and outward courts eastward.
And, behold, there ran out waters on the right side . . . meaning on the south side of the gate, in a small quantity, and in a very quiet and easy way. When the prophet first saw the waters, they were very small, but when they came to this gate, they became like water as it flows out of the mouth of a small pitcher. From this whole account of the waters, it is plain they cannot be understood literally, but symbolically; and which confirm this to be the sense of the whole vision. They may be applied to, and serve to illustrate the love of our GOD, which is in His Heart and His will, and has run underground from all eternity. This awesome love can be channeled only through CHRIST JESUS, and is issued forth in the mission of Him into the world, under the threshold of the door of the Gospel church. CHRIST is the only Door to GOD and His love.
*****Behold, waters issued out from under the threshold of the house eastward meaning they came from the altar. That is where all blessings begin . . . at the altar. Everything that comes to us by way of blessings comes through the death of CHRIST for you and me upon the cross.
The water here is a type of the HOLY SPIRIT, and many spiritual lessons can be learned from this Passage, IF we are wise!
Ezekiel 47:3 And when the man that had the line in his hand went forth eastward, he measured a thousand cubits, and he brought me through the waters; the waters were to the ankles. (KJV)
And when the man that had the line in his hand . . . the Man, the same one who accompanied the prophet as his guide all along, and of whom already has been spoken of (40:3), and is no other than CHRIST, who appeared in a Human form to the prophet; and who previously had only made use of the measuring reed in taking the sizes of the Temple, and what was associated with it; but now he uses the line of flax He had in His Hand, to measure the waters as they ran.
Went forth eastward . . . which was the course the waters took by his direction. The Gospel was first spread in the eastern part of the world, in Asia, where many churches were started by it; it has been since in the south, in Africa, when these waters, the doctrines of grace, flowed largely; and they have been since in the north and west, in Europe, in our northern climates; all which perhaps may be indicated by the right side, or south side, by which these waters flowed, and by the prophet's going to the north gate, and about, to see them; but in the latter day they will move eastward again, when the kings of the east and their kingdoms shall become CHRIST'S (Rev.16:12).
He measured a thousand cubits . . . at the right side where the waters ran out; this was about half a mile.
And he brought me through the waters . . . not the thousand cubits he had measured; but when he came to the end of them, he made the prophet cross the waters, to go through them, that he might see how deep they were.
And the waters were to the ankles . . . the waters were ankle deep, a few inches, or it may intimate the small spread of the Gospel at first in Judea, Samaria, and Galilee.
Ezekiel 47:4 Again he measured a thousand, and brought me through the waters; the waters were to the knees. Again he measured a thousand, and brought me through; the waters were to the loins. (KJV)
And again he measured a thousand, and brought me through the waters; the waters were to the knees. . . when He measured the second time, he measured a thousand. The Man with his line measured another thousand cubits straight on from the first; and then told the prophet to cross and ford the waters again, and then they were knee deep.
Again he measured a thousand, and brought me through; the waters were to the loins . . . a third time He measured a thousand cubits, and told the prophet to wade through them, and then they rose high enough to reach his loins. The waters to the knees and loins may imply greater knowledge of the Gospel, and the mysteries of it, that the apostles had after the SPIRIT was poured forth (Acts 2); and then more greatly spread to the Jews and Gentiles. Or it could mean the wonderful doctrines of the Gospel, and remarkable mysteries of grace, which are beautiful, but hard to understand.
The waters were to the knees . . . the grace of GOD grows by degrees . . . it does not come all at once, just as the Scriptures have their shallows where the youth may wade, but later when he
becomes both a better and a wiser man (1 Jn.2:13-14), he then saw his own shallowness.
Ezekiel 47:5 Afterward he measured a thousand; and it was a river that I could not pass over: for the waters were risen, waters to swim in, a river that could not be passed over. (KJV)
Afterward he measured a thousand . . . a fourth time a thousand cubits is measured. Some think these four measurings indicate the preaching of the Gospel in the four parts of the world; while others think they refer to four notable seasons of the ministry of it; (1), the times of John the Baptist, (2). the disciples of Christ before His death; (3). in the primitive churches of the first three centuries; at the time of the Reformation; and (4). in the latter day glory, which is the fourth and last measuring.
And it was a river that I could not pass over . . . the prophet could not set his foot on the bottom, and wade through it, nor cross over it, as he had done before.
For the waters were risen, waters to swim in . . . the waters were too high to walk in.
A river that could not be passed over . . . could not be passed over, only by swimming. This may mean the large spread of the Gospel in the latter day, when the Earth shall be filled with it, as the waters cover the sea (Num.14:21; Hab.2:14). There shall be great light and knowledge of it, that men shall then have (Isa.11:9). And yet there are some doctrines extremely deep, out of the reach and perception of men, called the deep things of God (1 Cor.2:10), which human minds cannot attain. 1 Cor. 2:9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. (KJV) . . . This can only be reached and embraced by faith; and even though believed, cannot be dived into. For instance, doctrines such as the Trinity of Persons in the GODHEAD, and the separate way they exist; the generation of the SON, who has always been (Jn.1:1-2); the possession of the SPIRIT (Jn,14:16-18, 26); the incarnation of CHRIST (Jn.1:14; Lk.1:31-35), and the resurrection of the dead (Da.12:1-2; Jn.6:40, 44; 54; Phil.3:21),
*****Waters to swim in could mean the fullness of the SPIRIT. This looks forward to the day when GOD shall pour out His SPIRIT on these people of Israel. He is not doing that today.
This was all done in a vision, with these waters being increased, were visional waters; for there was no such natural course of waters in the place, nor can it be supposed, that in three miles or so, the waters would so rise. This is symbolic and has a deep mysterious meaning, including spiritual things, and their wonderful growth from small beginnings to bigger and better things. The progress and expansion of Gospel influences began at Jerusalem as a tiny stream. By our Saviour’s preaching, a few disciples were converted. These few were the means of the conversion of larger number. At first, the stream was shallow, with the whole church being able to meet in one upper room (Acts 1:13). Even after the Pentecostal increase it was but as a little brook. Herod thought that he could dam it up, but his persecutions only made the stream swell (Mat. Ch.2 & 14). Soon after, the waters grew wider and deeper, until it got the attention of the Roman Emperors. Their attempts to stop its course only increased it, for it became stronger and wide than before, going on it went from age to age, until it had become a mighty river, which waters the whole Earth, and greatly blesses all nations. The Lord GOD intends for it to yet grow until it shall be like an ocean, for the knowledge of the Lord shall cover the earth as the waters cover the sea (Isa.11:9; Hab.2:14).
Ezekiel 47:6 And he said unto me, Son of man, hast thou seen this? Then he brought me, and caused me to return to the brink of the river. (KJV)
And he said unto me, son of man, hast thou seen this . . . He is still the Man that measured the waters; He said to the prophet, hast thou seen this . . . have you carefully seen, from where and how the waters flowed? They start from small beginnings, then rose, and slowly increased. They first came forth as water out a bottle; and now, in the area of about two or three miles, they become a deep river, and impassable.
Then he brought me, and caused me to return to the brink of the river . . . brought me to the brink of the river to stand and see the nature of the waters, and the course of them; the multitude of fish in them; and the trees which grew on the banks of all which an account is given in the following verses.
*****This seems only right and of value to see as the rise and progress of the Gospel of JESUS CHRIST, and how it has spread in the world, and what it will accomplish.
Ezekiel 47:7 Now when I had returned, behold, at the bank of the river were very many trees on the one side and on the other. (KJV)
Now when I had returned . . . to the brink of the river,
Behold, at the bank of the river were very many trees on the one side, and on the other . . . behold is a note of admiration, because he now sees a new wonder, which had not been there before. Suddenly sprung up trees on each side of the river, of a perfect stature, and full of fruit; which the prophet had not seen when he went along with the Man on the bank of it, as He measured the waters, but after returning, sees this wonderful sight. These trees are a symbol of TRUE Christians, believers in CHRIST, regenerate persons who are trees of righteousness (Isa.61;3), trees planted by the river of divine love (Ps.1:3); watered with the grace of GOD, and doctrines of the Gospel; so that they become fruitful in good works (Eph.2:10; 1 Tim.6:18; Tit.3:8).
*****The apostle John saw only one tree, one on each side of the river, which he calls the tree of life (Rev.22:2), but Ezekiel sees many, as appears from (47:12). Some say that many trees mean the fruit that will be in our lives, while others think that for the people of Israel, it shall be an eternal spring of water coming out of that altar in that day which will bring blessings to that land. And, dear one, they need blessings in that land today.
Ezekiel 47:8 Then said he unto me, These waters issue out toward the east country, and go down into the desert, and go into the sea: which being brought forth into the sea, the waters shall be healed. (KJV)
Then said he unto me . . . then said he (47:6). The Man that measured the waters spoke to the prophet again, and showed him the course of the waters; the speed and healing virtue of them, and the multitude of fish in them.
These waters issue out toward the east country . . . the Gospel was first preached in the eastern parts of the world (47:3), or in Galilee. For in Galilee CHRIST began to preach, and performed His first miracle (Jn.2:1-11); there He called His disciples, and there He had the greater followers, and some of the first Christian churches were formed here after His ascension, and it was there He met with His disciples after His resurrection, and commanded Peter to feed his sheep and lambs (Jn.21:15-18).
And go down into the desert . . . desert or wilderness, meaning the wilderness of the people, the Gentiles; to whom the Gospel was carried when rejected by the Jews (Mat.13:1; Jn.10:16; Gal.3:26-29) and who before were like a barren desert, but now became as a fruitful field (Isa.35:1). And go into the sea . . . the Dead Sea, where nothing is said to live; a symbol of dead sinners; and may represent the worst of sinners, as the Sodomites were (Gen.13:13); and to such the Gospel was sent, and became effective in the saving of souls. The sense of the whole of this is, that the Gospel should be FIRST preached in Judea and Galilee (Rom.1:16; 2:9-10); then among the Gentiles throughout the Roman Empire; and in the latter days, throughout the world, when it shall be covered with the Gospel, as the waters cover the sea (Isa.11:9),
Which being brought forth into the sea, the waters shall be healed . . . meaning the waters of the river being directed and brought into, either the Dead sea, or the great ocean (Mediterrian), the waters of the one, or of the other, were healed; and bitter waters were made clear, sweet, and wholesome; thus indicating the change made in sinful men by means of the Gospel, who are thereby made alive, made partakers of the grace of GOD, and have their sins pardoned, which is often meant by healing in Scripture (Ps.103:2-14), pardon of sin flows from the love and grace of GOD (Ps.103:12). The great doctrine of the Gospel, by which the LORD speaks peace and pardon, and communicates healing of all spiritual diseases to sinners wise of them (Ps.107:20).
Ezekiel 47:9 And it shall come to pass, that every thing that liveth, which moveth, whithersoever the rivers shall come, shall live: and there shall be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters shall come thither: for they shall be healed; and every thing shall live whither the river cometh. (KJV)
And it shall come to pass that everything that liveth, which moveth . . . that live and move, and has his being in GOD, as all men have (Acts 17:28),
Whithersoever the rivers shall come, shall live . . . wherever the waters divided, east and west; they shall live spiritually; not to whosoever it is preached, for to some it is not profitable (47:11), but is the savor of death; but to all to whom it is accompanied by the SPIRIT of GOD it is the savor of life, for the SPIRIT gives life, and is the means and way of it. The love of GOD is the river of water of life (Rev.21:1), it is the only fountain of spiritual life to dead sinners, and the only thing that can revive wilting saints, enliven their faith, graces, hope and love; and the only thing that can enliven and cheer their spirits, and greatly influence true religion and godliness, and promote the life and power of it. Dear one, the grace of the SPIRIT is living water, by which dead sinners are quickened; the work of grace in saints is revived, and which continues always and issues in eternal life (Jn.4:10). While the Gospel of JESUS CHRIST and its doctrines are intended, the way of quickening those who are dead in trespasses and sins is the HOLY SPIRIT.
And there shall be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters shall come thither . . . there shall be a multitude of fish in the Dead Sea, where none lived before, because those waters came there, showing the great number of living Christians, TRUE believers, who shall appear wherever the Gospel is correctly, purely and powerfully preached.
For they shall be healed . . . (47:8).
And everything shall live whither the river cometh . . . everything shall live where the waters come, not only live, but continue to live, nor shall they die the second death (Rev.2:11; 20:6, 14; 21:8), but shall have eternal life (Jn.3:15; 10:28; 17:3; 1 Jn.5:11) because of the plan of GOD, who has ordained them to it; and the Promise of GOD (Jn.20:31; Tit.1:2; 1 Jn.5:10-13), Who is faithful to fulfill it; and because they have security of their life in CHRIST, to whom they are united (Jn.14:16-18; Rom.8:9); and because once the HOLY SPIRIT is given, He is there for ever (Jn.14:16; 2 Jn.1:2).
Ezekiel 47:10 And it shall come to pass, that the fishers shall stand upon it from Engedi even unto Eneglaim; they shall be a place to spread forth nets; their fish shall be according to their kinds, as the fish of the great sea, exceeding many. (KJV)
And it shall come to pass . . . in Gospel times in the latter days. What follows was fulfilled in the first times of the Gospel of JESUS CHRIST, and will be much greater in the latter times.
That the fishers shall stand upon it . . . the fishermen shall stand on the brink of the river, or the shore of the sea (47:8), whose waters will be healed by this river running into them. These fishers are the apostles of CHRIST, who being fishermen, were made fishers of men by JESUS (Mat.4:19); to whom He gave a call, a commission and gifts qualifying them to preach the Gospel; and by this Gospel they caught men, and brought them to CHRIST. These fishers were the instruments of saving the souls of great numbers, both in Judea, and in the Gentile world.
Dear one, the same is meant of all other ministers of the Gospel, especially those that will be in the latter day (Rev.7). They are compared to fishers for the low and distasteful service in the eyes of the world; for their difficulty in it, and for their patient waiting for success, as they go through the storms and tempests they are exposed to, day after day, which is the reproach and persecution of mankind. It is only their continual persistence in bringing the Truth to people that they draw souls out of the deep hole of sin and misery and into the Arms of CHRIST for life and salvation. Dear one . . . it is NOT only pastors who have this job . . . it is ALL those who have been adopted into the family of GOD! We, who are not pastors do have a huge duty and obligation to bring the Word of GOD, the Gospel of JESUS CHRIST, to those around us. IF we do not confess with our mouth the Lord JESUS (Rom.10:8), we are ashamed of Him, and that in His Eyes is terrible! Mark 8:38 Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels. (KJV) . . . Speak out for JESUS! Love Him and be proud of it!
From Engedi even unto Eneglaim . . . En-gedi means fountain of the kid, also called Hazazontamar (2 Chron.20:2), the city of palms, where grew the best balsam in the world, even though it was close to the Dead Sea. It was David's place of refuge from Saul. Eneglaim means fountain of two calves, on the border of Moab, over against Engedi, and near where Jordan enters the Dead Sea (Isa.15:8). These two bounds are fixed on to include between them the whole Dead Sea.
They shall be a place to spread forth nets . . . spread their nets from Engedi even unto Eneglaim
for theseplaces shall be made use of for that purpose; which purpose is the Gospel, which is compared to a net, for its regard of the world . . . nets that draw souls out of the depths of sin unto the grace of CHRIST (Mat.13:47-50). The spreading and casting of nets mean the preaching of the Gospel, and the opening, enlightening and explaining the doctrines of it, which are shut up and hidden to men. To do this requires wisdom, words and skill, also strength, persistence and patience, which is supplied by the HOLY SPIRIT . . . sometimes nets are cast where fish are, and sometimes not; but in the latter days, it shall be done with great success.
For their fish shall be according to their kind, as the fish of the great sea, exceeding many. . . the great sea is the Mediterranean, and has many kinds of living creatures, just as the Earth has.
There shall be fish of all kinds, small and great, and in large numbers, as in the great ocean, and these seem to mean regenerated persons, who are born of water and the SPIRIT (Jn.3:5), by the Word of GOD, they cannot live but in these waters of the sanctuary, and where the doctrines of grace are preached. Many of all nations, and men of all ranks, will be called; kings, princes, nobles, as well as peasants; men high and low, rich and poor, and multitudes of them, like the fishes of the sea; which will be the case when the Jews will be converted, and the fullness of the Gentiles (Rom.11:12, 25) be come in.
Ezekiel 47:11 But the miry places thereof and the marishes thereof shall not be healed; they shall be given to salt. (KJV)
But the miry places thereof, and the marshes thereof . . . miry places of the sea; the waters of which were healed, from the waters of the sanctuary coming into them . . . but the ditches and miry, marshy ground, separate from the sea, which lay near it, and upon the borders of it,
Shall not be healed . . . these seem to mean the wicked part of the world, stubborn and obstinate sinners that do NOT restrain themselves from their filthy immoral lusts, and sensual pleasures. They wallow like pigs in the muddy mire and filth of sin; being totally immersed in the things of this world, caring only for the things that this wicked world can offer them . . . never once thinking of eternity and Judgment Day that shall surely come to them.
They mind nothing but earthly things, whose god is their belly and whose glory in their shame (Phil.3:19), hypocrites and apostates may be here meant, those who despise the Gospel, and the doctrines of it, who cast it far away from them, thinking they are not worthy of everlasting life.
Isaiah 6:9-10 And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not. 10 Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed. (KJV) . . . So many people refuse to hear the Truth!
They shall be given to salt . . . left to the hardness of their hearts; given up to their lusts, dedicated to their ruin and destruction and remain barren and unfruitful, as places demolished and sown with salt are (Deut.29:23), or made an example of, as Lot's wife was (Gen.19:26); that others may learn wisdom, and shun those things that have been the cause of their ruin.
*****In miry places are heretics who do not live by the SPIRIT of JESUS CHRIST, but separate themselves from His Gospel and His church. They are evil professors who dishonor the Gospel church, for they are not TRUE members of the Body of CHRIST. This description applies to the scribes and Pharisees (Mat.23), and the Roman Catholic Church that teaches damnable heresies (2 Pet.2:1) which oppose the Holy Word of GOD (Mat.15:9).
Ezekiel 47:12 And by the river upon the bank thereof, on this side and on that side, shall grow all trees for meat, whose leaf shall not fade, neither shall the fruit thereof be consumed: it shall bring forth new fruit according to his months, because their waters they issued out of the sanctuary: and the fruit thereof shall be for meat, and the leaf thereof for medicine. (KJV)
And by the river on the banks thereof, on this side and on that side . . . on each side of the river banks of it, by the river, all along this river, whichever way it runs, the waters shall make it fruitful, that both sides shall be abundantly planted with the best trees. They shall grow, take root, flourish and be fruitful, as trees that like their soil.
Shall grow all trees for meat . . . these shall not be as trees that are only for beauty and pleasure, their fruit shall be for food. They shall bear fruit that may be eaten, and is good for food. I think that these trees mean truly gracious souls, converted persons, TRUE Christians, TRUE believers in the Lord JESUS CHRIST. http://www.godcannotlie.org/saving_faith.htm
CHRIST, Who like trees has roots, and His roots are deeply rooted in the love of GOD. The Person of CHRIST, is blessed by the SPIRIT of GOD and Who also is their sap, of which they are full and so grow in grace, and in the knowledge of CHRIST. The trees grow up in Him, and grow upwards and heavenwards in their affections and desires, and in the exercise of faith and hope. They are the trees of the LORD, trees of righteousness, good trees, that bring forth good fruit (Mk.4:20); and are often in Scripture compared to trees of the most excellent kind, as palm trees, cedars and olives. Wherever the Gospel comes, these trees rise, and are watered and made fruitful by it. Saints as Trees; (Num.24:6; Ps.1:3; 52:8; 92:12; Isa.61:3; 65:22; Jer.11:16; 17:8; Eze.47:7, 12; Hos.14:6, 8; Mat.7:17. 12.33).
Whose leaf shall not fade . . . not fade but be always green and flourishing, as trees in the spring and in their prime. Leaves will not fade, drop off and fall as the leaves of trees in autumn, like those of false professors of religion (hypocrites, Pharisees), who bear no fruit, only have the leaves of a profession, and this they drop when any trouble or difficulty arises. TRUE believers profess on principles of the grace of GOD, which they hold fast without wavering (Heb.10:23).
Neither shall the fruit thereof be consumed . . . there shall never be so little as to be totally consumed and gone, it shall never rot nor decay, there shall always be abundant fruit and always enough because of the grace of the HOLY SPIRIT, and continual good works flowing from them. Hosea 14:9 Who is wise, and he shall understand these things? prudent, and he shall know them? for the ways of the LORD are right, and the just shall walk in them: but the transgressors shall fall therein. (KJV)
It shall bring forth new fruit according to his months . . . meaning every one of these trees, or every TRUE believer, shall be continually in the exercise of grace, and their performance of duty. They shall be constant and immovable, always abounding in the work of the LORD; they shall never stop yielding fruit or doing good; even in their old age (Ps.92:14). According to his months . . . these trees have, just as the tree of life, their fruit every month (Rev.22:2).
Because their waters they issued out of the sanctuary . . . because the waters which came out of the Temple, ran by these trees, and watered them, and made them fruitful, and so is called their waters. The fruitfulness of these trees (TRUE believers), is NOT owing to themselves, nor to their free will and power; nor to their diligence but to the supplies of the grace of GOD they receive which comes from the Gospel, and its doctrines . . . for only the Gospel of JESUS CHRIST can bring forth fruit, wherever it comes with its power (Col.1:5-6),
And the fruit thereof shall be for meat . . . not for saints who live not, on their graces, nor their works; although they do eat the fruits of their doings (Isa.3:10), meaning they do enjoy good things, resulting from their works, through the free favor and good will of GOD; but for meat for others; for their fruit, which appears in their words and actions, and are very helpful to others; their fruit is as a tree of life (Pro.11:30), for the lips of the righteous feed many (Pro.10:21), with knowledge and understanding; with the Gospel, and the doctrines of it. Their fruit is meat and food for CHRIST Himself; Who comes into His garden, and eats His pleasant fruits, feeds and feasts, and delights Himself with His own people.
And the leaf thereof for medicine . . . or for bruises, for the healing of them, which is only done by the Blood of CHRIST; who is the only Physician (Mat.8:12), the sun of righteousness that rises with healing or pardon in his wings (Mal.4:2), It seems that this Passage is borrowed from the apostle John, and applied to CHRIST the tree of life (Rev.22:2), and the Gospel professed by TRUE believers directed to Him for healing, or for the remission of sin (Mat.26:28; Mk.1:4; Lk.1:77; 3:3; 24:47; Acts 2:38; 10:43; Rom.3:25), and is the means of applying it (Ps.107:19-21). CHRIST and His Gospel is the Christian's leaf for good medicine, who are encouraged to go on with pleasure in the ways of GOD. For medicine, to heal the nations (Rev.22:2), These trees most likely were palmetto trees, where the balm that heals, the fruit that feeds, and the juice that refreshes and relieves our thirst.
*****Trees are for meat, whose leaf shall not fade, which is a description that suits the righteous, who are to produce: (1). fruits of faith, (2). fruits of the SPIRIT, (3). fruits of love to GOD, obedience to His Holy will, and love to all men. Compassion, mercy, charity, kindness, etc. are the leaves for medicine (Rev.22:1-5). The leaves of the trees are the holy profession of the righteous, and is a spiritual medicine. Righteousness is always greatly encouraged in the Holy Word of GOD.
Verses 1-12, reinforce the constant importance of the prophets that in the Millennial Kingdom, amazing physical and geographical changes will occur on the Earth, and especially the land of Israel. This chapter deals mainly with changes in the water.
Israel's inheritance of the land (47:13-21)
Ezekiel 47:13 Thus saith the Lord GOD; This shall be the border, whereby ye shall inherit the land according to the twelve tribes of Israel: Joseph shall have two portions. (KJV)
Thus saith the Lord GOD, this shall be the border . . . of the land of Israel, as described in the following verses; which is different and much larger, and more extensive, than it was in the times of Moses or Joshua, or than it was either before or after the captivity in Babylon. It shows that this must be understood either of the land of Canaan, as it will be when possessed and inhabited by the Jews, upon their conversion in the latter days. This shall be the border . . . here the prophet returns again to the dividing of the land, begun (45:1-2), having been interrupted by many outstanding matters, of great use to the Gospel church.
Whereby ye shall inherit the land, according to the twelve tribes of Israel . . not literal Israel, or according to the flesh, for these are not ALL Israel, not the children of GOD, and so not heirs, and shall not inherit . . . this refers to spiritual Israel, the special people of GOD, that shall dwell in the church, and enjoy all the privileges of it; these are the sealed ones of all the tribes of Israel, an equal number out of each tribe (Rev.7:4).
Joseph shall have two portions . . . he had so by his father’s will, and for his two sons adopted by his father. Joseph shall have two portions for his two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, and in virtue of the birthright which fell to him on the forfeiture of it by Reuben; he was a well-known type of CHRIST, with whom the saints are joint heirs (Rom.8:17); and who has two portions, one for Himself as Mediator, and another for them.
Ezekiel 47:14 And ye shall inherit it, one as well as another: concerning the which I lifted up mine hand to give it unto your fathers: and this land shall fall unto you for inheritance. (KJV)
And ye shall inherit it, one as well as another . . . meaning the twelve tribes shall equally inherit it; one tribe shall not have more, and another less, but each tribe the same. This was not so at the division of the land, in the times of Moses and Joshua; for to the tribes as were very numerous, a greater inheritance was given; and to those that were fewer in number a lesser inheritance (Num.26:53-54), and upon the return from the Babylon captivity, as the tribes of Judah and Benjamin were the largest, and indeed the only tribes that returned as such, they had the share of the land; but as this is in regards to the latter days, it indicates, that those who are TRUE Israelites, shall share in the same Gospel church state, the privileges and immunities of it alike, with all the blessings of grace and eternal glory; they being all one in CHRIST JESUS (Gal. 3:26-29).
Concerning the which I lifted up my hand to give it unto your fathers . . . the LORD swore that He would give unto them the land of Canaan; typical of the Gospel church state and the heavenly glory; which are as sure to all the seed, by the Word and oath of GOD (20:5; 36:7). Unto your fathers, first to Abraham (Gen.13:15; 15:18), then to Isaac (Gen.26:3), then to Jacob (Gen.28:13); for all three are often mentioned, as those to whom the LORD swore in this thing (Ex.33:1; Deut.1:8; 6:10).
And this land shall fall unto you for inheritance . . . by lot, by the appointment of GOD, and a goodly one it is (Ps.16:6). Shall fall, speaks of this inheritance which is sure and firm by an undeniable right, and comes into their actual possession. Unto you, returned captives who were carried away as if nothing were their own, and as if they never would have anything . . . but Israel shall inherit the land one day . . . . . . . . . . . . . http://www.hisservants.org/israel_promised_land_h_s.htm
Ezekiel 47:15 And this shall be the border of the land toward the north side, from the great sea, the way of Hethlon, as men go to Zedad; (KJV)
And this shall be the border of the land toward the north side . . . the description of the land begins on the north side; because the Gospel, and the interest of CHRIST, would be, as they now are, mainly in the northern part of the world, before the latter day glory takes place, and from there spread into the other parts.
From the great sea, the way of Hethlon, as men go to Zedad . . . the line of this border shall begin at the Mediterranean sea, often called the great sea, and then proceed to Hethlon, a city in Syria, and from there to Zedad (Num.34:8). The description is taken all along from the places which were on the border of Canaan, or in countries nearby, which clearly point out the enlargement of it, far larger than the land of Canaan ever was. The land shall be from one end of the kingdom of Damascus to the other. Hethlon is called Hethalon in the tribe of Asher, and is at the foot or near the Mount Herman or Senir (27:5). Zedad is Sedada, a small town under the same hill, and near the head of the river Eleutherus, anciently called Gebat.
Ezekiel 47:16 Hamath, Berothah, Sibraim, which is between the border of Damascus and the border of Hamath; Hazarhatticon, which is by the coast of Hauran. (KJV)
Hamath, Berothah, Sibraim . . . Hamath very near to the head of Eleutherus, or Gebat, and to Sedada, most likely mentioned (Isa.10:9). Berothah, Berotha, a small town or village lying east of Sedada. Sibraim, or Sabarim, a place of no further note than the former, known thus by being a boundary. It lay between these two, Hamath to the west of it, and Damascus to the east by north, somewhat nearer to Hamath than to Damascus. Sibraim, this is named only here in the King James Version of the Bible.
Which is between the border of Damascus . . . Damascus is the chief city in Syria: and the border of Hamath; before mentioned.
Hazarhatticon, which is by the coast of Hauran . . . this may explain Sibraim, which lay between the border of Damascus and the border of Hamath; and therefore is called the middle town or village, as Hazarhatticon indicates; and lay by the coast of Hauran, which one calls a town of Damascus, with which it is mentioned (47:18), from where the country joining is called Auranitis, as this place is here by the some.
Ezekiel 47:17 And the border from the sea shall be Hazarenan, the border of Damascus, and the north northward, and the border of Hamath. And this is the north side. (KJV)
And the border from the sea shall be Hazarenan, the border of Damascus . . . which was the furthest part and end of the northern border, as fixed by Moses (Num.34:9),
And the north northward, and the border of Hamath . . . if this is carrying on the border further, it seems to be another Hamath, different from the one before (47:16).
And this is the north side . . . of the land, and the description of the northern border of it, from the Mediterranean Sea to Hazarenan.
Ezekiel 47:18 And the east side ye shall measure from Hauran, and from Damascus, and from Gilead, and from the land of Israel by Jordan, from the border unto the east sea. And this is the east side. (KJV)
And the east side ye shall measure Hauran . . . the line of the eastern border of the land shall begin at Hauran or Auranitis (47:16), which lay to the south of Damascus,
And from the land of Israel by Jordan, from the border unto the east sea . . . and so from Damascus, the capital of Syria; and too from Gilead, a mountain and country beyond Jordan; and also from that part of the land of Israel near to Jordan; and so from the northern border to the east sea, or sea of Galilee or Tiberias.
And this is the east side . . . of the land, or the eastern border of it, reaching from Hauran to the lake of Gennesaret, or to the Salt Sea, the sea of Sodom (Num.34:10).
Ezekiel 47:19 And the south side southward, from Tamar even to the waters of strife in Kadesh, the river to the great sea. And this is the south side southward. (KJV)
And the south side southward from Tamar . . . Tamar is not Jericho, as several say, called by this name from the palm trees which grew near it; this is Palmyra, so called for the same reason; but it is instead Engedi, called Hazazontamar (2 Chron,20:2). The line of the southern border started here, and went on, Tamar was near the sea of Sodom 47:10).
Even to the waters of strife in Kadesh . . . to the waters of Meribah in Kadesh; so called, from the trouble of the children of Israel with the LORD there (Num.20:1; 27:14),
The river to the great sea . . . it proceeded by the river of Egypt, the river Sihor, the Nile, which is before Egypt (Josh.13:3) and so on to the Mediterranean Sea.
And this is the south side southward . . . the southern border of it.
Ezekiel 47:20 The west side also shall be the great sea from the border, till a man come over against Hamath. This is the west side. (KJV)
The west side also shall be the great sea from the border . . . from the border of Egypt, and the Nile River, to the Mediterranean Sea, is the west side of the land, and the western border of it, so the western boundary of the land is the Sea.
Till a man come over against Hamath . . . Antioch in Syria (47:16).
This is the west side . . . of the land, and of the western border of it. This boundary begins where the river falls into the Mediterranean, south of Gaza; this the south point of the western boundary, and the line runs all along the seashore northward, until you come in a straight line to Hamath; and this is the northern point of the west frontier.
Ezekiel 47:21 So shall ye divide this land unto you according to the tribes of Israel. (KJV)
So shall ye divide this land unto you . . . divide the land within the boundaries.
According to the tribes of Israel . . . (47:13), according to the twelve tribes of Israel; except what is allotted to prince, priests, Levites and the city. This is holy and must be reserved; and when reserved, a very large portion is left to the twelve tribes, if you measure the holy portion by cubits, and not by reeds (45:1).
Provisions for the Gentiles (47:22-23)
Ezekiel 47:22 And it shall come to pass, that ye shall divide it by lot for an inheritance unto you, and to the strangers that sojourn among you, which shall beget children among you: and they shall be unto you as born in the country among the children of Israel; they shall have inheritance with you among the tribes of Israel. (KJV)
And it shall come to pass . . . in the last days, under the Gospel dispensation:
That ye shall divide it by lot for an inheritance unto you . . . who were Israelites, both by natural descent, and by the SPIRIT and grace of GOD (Gal.3:26-29). The Gospel was first preached to Israel and was effective in bringing some to CHRIST, and the first churches were made up of Jews, of which all the blessings and privileges came to them, as they also will in the latter days, when converted.
And to the strangers that sojourn among them . . . not being strangers to spiritual and divine things; for this would contradict the rule in (44:9), but converted Gentiles, so called because of their natural descent and civil state, being, with respect to both, aliens from the commonwealth of Israel; yet were to be, as they have been, and will be, taken into the same Gospel church state with the believing Jews. Galatians 3:26-29 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise. (KJV)
Which shall beget children among you . . . not only natural ones, but spiritual ones . . . leading many souls to the lively hope of a glorious inheritance (Jn.14:2-3. 1 Pet.1:4).
And they shall be unto you as born in the country among the children of Israel . . . meaning that the children begotten by the Gentiles shall be considered all one as those of the children of Israel, being born again of the same SPIRIT and grace; and so have an equal right to the same privileges, and to which they shall be admitted.
They shall have inheritance with you among the tribes of Israel . . . this is something new and what in a literal sense was never granted; although in the times of Moses and onward, and by his direction from the LORD, Gentiles have been called strangers, foreigners (Lev.17:10; 19:34; 24:22) and have been admitted to various privileges, by conforming to certain rules, rites and ceremonies, yet never were allowed to have any inheritance in the land; nor after the captivity. But this is in regard to Gospel times in the latter days, and the alliance of Jews and Gentiles in the same church state; where there is no difference, because CHRIST is the all in all in TRUE believers everywhere whether they be Jew or Gentile!
That the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the Gospel . . . (Eph.2:12; 3:6),
*****And to the strangers that sojourn . . . in former divisions of the land, no place was given to strangers; but in this division, which seems to refer the Gospel of JESUS CHRIST, because literally no such division ever took place. The strangers are to have an inheritance; implying the calling of the Gentiles into the church, to an inheritance that is incorruptible, undefiled, and that fadeth not away (1 Pet.1:4). Glory be to God for His unspeakable Gift!
Not only the Israelites by descent, but those who join themselves to Israel by allegiance to the true GOD, shall have a right of inheritance. I do not know if this is the strangers who come to CHRIST under the preaching of the Gospel by the 144,000 Jews (Rev.7), during the Millennial Kingdom or not. I would only be guessing, because the saints, those TRUE believers raptured before the Tribulation Period, shall be taken Home to New Jerusalem (Rev.21), which shall be their eternal Home.
Ezekiel 47:23 And it shall come to pass, that in what tribe the stranger sojourneth, there shall ye give him his inheritance, saith the Lord GOD. (KJV)
And it shall come to pass, that in what tribe the stranger sojourneth . . . (47:22) the stranger; every proselyte or Gentile that joins himself to the people of GOD, whatever specific congregation or church these strangers and sojourners (as all the LORD'S people are in this world), shall be nearest to, they shall be readily admitted.
There shall ye give him his inheritance, saith the Lord GOD . . . allow him a name and a place; put him in the possession of all church privileges and protections; look upon him as a member, a brother, a fellow citizen, as an heir together of the grace of life, and as equally entitled to the inheritance of the Jews. No stranger shall be excluded out of the tribe’s inheritance, among whom he has stayed and begotten children.
These waters signify the Gospel of JESUS CHRIST which went forth from Jerusalem, and spread into the countries all around. It also indicates the gifts and powers of the HOLY SPIRIT which always accompanies it, by which is spread far and wide, and produced wondrous effects. CHRIST is the Temple; and He is also the Door; for only from Him do living waters flow, out of His pierced side. They are increasing waters. As we see the progress of the Gospel in the world, we see the process of the work of grace in the heart; brought about by the blessed HOLY SPIRIT under Divine guidance.
Any time that we search into the deep things of GOD, we find that some things are very clear and easy to understand, which are as the waters that were but to the ankles . . . while others are harder, which need a much deeper search, as the waters to the knees, or the loins . . . and there are some quite beyond our reach, which we cannot penetrate; for some of His ways are past finding out (Rom.11:33), but we must as the apostle Paul did, understand just how deep the things of GOD are to us . . . and that of Him, through Him are all things: to whom be glory for ever (Rom.11:36).
It is indeed wisdom to start with something that is easy, before we proceed to that which is dark and hard to understand. The Promises of the Holy Word and the privileges of believers, as shed abroad in their souls by the SPIRIT, enlightens and abounds where the Gospel is preached. The wonderful doctrines of the Gospel nourish and delight the souls of spiritually hungry; for they never fade nor wither, nor do they ever tire. Even the leaves of trees serve as medicines to the soul: the warnings and reproofs of the Word, although less pleasant than Divine comforts, tend to heal the diseases of the soul. All who believe in CHRIST, and are united to Him by His sanctifying SPIRIT (Rom.8:9) will share the privileges of Israelites. There is room in the church, for all who seek the blessings of that new covenant of which CHRIST is Mediator.
Song of Songs 4:15 A fountain of gardens, a well of living waters, and streams from Lebanon. (KJV)
Jeremiah 2:13 For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water. (KJV)
Jeremiah 17:13 O LORD, the hope of Israel, all that forsake thee shall be ashamed, and they that depart from me shall be written in the earth, because they have forsaken the LORD, the fountain of living waters. (KJV)
Zechariah 14:8 And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea: in summer and in winter shall it be. (KJV)
John 4:10-11 Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water. 11 The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water? (KJV)
John 7:38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (KJV)
Zechariah 14:8 And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea: in summer and in winter shall it be. (KJV)
Revelation 7:17 For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes. (KJV)
Revelation 22:1 And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. (KJV)
Book of Ezekiel
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