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Eze 47:1-23. VISION OF THE TEMPLE WATERS. BORDERS AND DIVISION OF THE LAND.
The happy fruit to the earth at large of God's dwelling with Israel in holy fellowship is that the blessing is no longer restricted to the one people and locality, but is to be diffused with comprehensive catholicity through the whole world. So the plant from the cedar of Lebanon is represented as gathering under its shelter "all fowl of every wing" (Eze 17:23). Even the desert places of the earth shall be made fruitful by the healing waters of the Gospel (compare Isa 35:1).
1. waters--So Re 22:1, represents "the water of life as proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb." His throne was set up in the temple at Jerusalem (Eze 43:7). Thence it is to flow over the earth (Joe 3:18; Zec 13:1; 14:8). Messiah is the temple and the door; from His pierced side flow the living waters, ever increasing, both in the individual believer and in the heart. The fountains in the vicinity of Moriah suggested the image here. The waters flow eastward, that is, towards the Kedron, and thence towards the Jordan, and so along the Ghor into the Dead Sea. The main point in the picture is the rapid augmentation from a petty stream into a mighty river, not by the influx of side streams, but by its own self-supply from the sacred miraculous source in the temple [HENDERSON]. (Compare Ps 36:8, 9; 46:4; Isa 11:9; Hab 2:14). Searching into the things of God, we find some easy to understand, as the water up to the ankles; others more difficult, which require a deeper search, as the waters up to the knees or loins; others beyond our reach, of which we can only adore the depth (Ro 11:33). The healing of the waters of the Dead Sea here answers to "there shall be no more curse" (Re 22:3; compare Zec 14:11).
7. trees--not merely one tree of life as in Paradise (Ge 3:22), but many: to supply immortal food and medicine to the people of God, who themselves also become "trees of righteousness" (Isa 61:3) planted by the waters and (Ps 1:3) bearing fruit unto holiness.
8. the desert--or "plain," Hebrew, Arabah
(De 3:17; 4:49;
which is the name still given to the valley of the Jordan and the plain
south of the Dead Sea, and extending to the Elanitic gulf of the Red
9. rivers--in Hebrew, "two rivers." Hence Hebrew expositors think that the waters from the temple were divided into two branches, the one emptying itself into the eastern or Dead Sea, the other into the western or Mediterranean. So Zec 14:8. However, though this probably is covertly implied in the Hebrew dual, the flowing of the waters into the Dead Sea only is expressed. Compare Eze 47:8, "waters . . . healed," which can apply only to it, not to the Mediterranean: also Eze 47:10, "fish as the fish of the great sea"; the Dead Sea, when healed, containing fish, as the Mediterranean does.
10. En-gedi . . . En-eglaim--En-gedi (meaning
"fountain of the kid"), anciently, Hazazon-Tamar, now Ain-Jidy; west of
the Dead Sea; David's place of refuge from Saul. En-eglaim means
"fountain of two calves," on the confines of Moab, over against
En-gedi, and near where Jordan enters the Dead Sea
These two limits are fixed on, to comprise between them the whole Dead
11. marshes--marshy places. The region is known to have such pits and
marshes. The Arabs take the salt collected by evaporation in these pits
for their own use, and that of their flocks.
12. Instead of the "vine of Sodom and grapes of Gomorrah"
nauseous and unwholesome, trees of life-giving and life-restoring
virtue shall bloom similar in properties to, and exceeding in number,
the tree of life in Eden
(Re 2:7; 22:2, 14).
13. The redivision of the land: the boundaries. The latter are
substantially the same as those given by Moses in
they here begin with the north, but in Numbers they begin with the
It is only Canaan proper, exclusive of the possession of the two and a
half tribes beyond Jordan, that is here divided.
15. Zedad--on the north boundary of Canaan.
16. Hamath--As Israel was a separate people, so their land was a
separate land. On no scene could the sacred history have been so well
transacted as on it. On the east was the sandy desert. On the north and
south, mountains. On the west, an inhospitable sea-shore. But it was
not always to be a separate land. Between the parallel ranges of
Lebanon is the long valley of El-Bekaa, leading to "the entering in of
Hamath" on the Orontes, in the Syrian frontier. Roman roads, and the
harbor made at Cæsarea, opened out doors through which the Gospel
should go from it to all lands. So in the last days, when all shall
flock to Jerusalem as the religious center of the world.
17. Hazar-enan--a town in the north of Canaan, meaning "village of fountains."
22. to the strangers--It is altogether unprecedented under the old covenant, that "strangers" should have "inheritance" among the tribes. There would not be room locally within Canaan for more than the tribes. The literal sense must therefore be modified, as expressing that Gentiles are not to be excluded from settling among the covenant-people, and that spiritually their privileges are not to be less than those of Israel (Ro 10:12; Ga 3:28; Eph 3:6; Col 3:11; Re 7:9, 10). Still, "sojourneth," in Eze 47:23, implies that in Canaan, the covenant people are regarded as at home, the strangers as settlers.