Friday, August 31, 2012

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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 11 But the miry places thereof and the marishes thereof shall not be healed; they shall be given to salt. 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.”

“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. 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. 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; 16 Hamath, Berothah, Sibraim, which [is] between the border of Damascus and the border of Hamath; Hazarhatticon, which [is] by the coast of Hauran. 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. 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. 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. 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. 21 So shall ye divide this land unto you according to the tribes of Israel. 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. 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.” (Ezekiel 47:1-23 AV)

*Israel’s new country – Ezekiel 47:1 to 48:29

Chapter 47

The *temple river – Ezekiel 47:1-12

v1 The man brought me back to the entrance of the *temple. And I saw that water was coming out from under the doorway. It flowed toward the east. (The front of the *temple was toward the east.) The water flowed down from the south side of the *temple and south of the *altar. v2 He then brought me out through the north gate. He led me round the outside to the outer east gate. The water came out on the south side of the gate.
v3 The man went toward the east with a line in his hand. With the line he measured 1000 *cubits. Then he led me through the stream. The water came up to my ankles. v4 He went another 1000 *cubits and he led me through the water. Now the water came up to my knees. He measured the next 1000 *cubits and he led me through the water. It was now up to my stomach. v5 He measured the next 1000 *cubits. But now the water was a river that was too deep for me to cross. The water had risen, and it was deep enough to swim. Nobody could walk across this river. v6 The man said to me, ‘*Son of man, look carefully at this.’
Then he led me back to the edge of the river. v7 As I went back, I saw many trees on both sides of the river. v8 The man said to me, ‘This water flows toward the east. It goes down into the Arabah and it enters the sea. As a result, the waters of the sea become fresh. v9 Wherever the river goes, there will be many living things. Wherever the river goes, there will be many fish. Wherever this water goes, the salty water will become fresh. So wherever the river flows, everything will live. v10 Men who fish will stand along the shore of the sea. They will spread their nets from En Gedi to En Eglaim. It will be a sea that has many kinds of fish, like the Great Sea. v11 But the muddy areas and the land that is always wet will not become fresh. They will remain there to provide salt. v12 Fruit trees of all kinds will grow on both sides of the river. Their leaves will not dry up and die. The trees will have fresh fruit every month. This is because of the water that flows to them. This water comes from the *temple. Their fruit will be for food and their leaves to cure the people.’
Verses 1-12 Ezekiel saw water as it flowed from the *temple. It flowed toward the east. It came from the south side of the *temple and the *altar of *sacrifice, in the inner area. The water went through the outer area. Then it went along the south side of the outer east gate.
The man took Ezekiel to explore this river. At a third of a mile (538 metres) from the *temple, the depth of the water was up to the height of Ezekiel’s ankles. After another third of a mile (538 metres), it was up to his knees. At about a mile (1.6 kilometres), the water was up to Ezekiel’s stomach. At 1.3 miles (2.1 kilometres) from the *temple, the river was very deep. To cross it he would have to swim. The increase of the size of the river could not be natural. It could only be by the power of the *Lord.
The river flowed to the south and east. It flowed into the valley of the Jordan River and into the Dead Sea. Today nothing can live in the Dead Sea because of the salt. But when this river flows into the Dead Sea, it will bring pure water. Where now no fish can live then there will be many fish. Men who catch fish will spread their nets along the coast of the sea. They will catch all kinds of fish.
Where the river flows, it will bring life. Trees will grow along both sides of the river. These trees will have all kinds of fruit. Their leaves will not die. There will be fruit every month. The fruit will be good for food. And the leaves will be good medicine to cure people.
The muddy areas will remain to provide salt.
This is not the same river as in Revelation 22:1-5. That river flows from the *throne of God and of the Lamb. (A lamb is a young sheep. But in the Book of Revelation, the word ‘lamb’ is a word picture for Jesus, the *Messiah.) In the new earth, there will be no *temple (Revelation 21:22). But here in the Book of Ezekiel, the river flows from the *temple.

The country called *Israel – Ezekiel 47:13-23

v13 The *LORD your King says, ‘The country will have these borders. Divide the country into 12 parts for the *tribes of *Israel. One part shall be for each *tribe but two parts shall be for Joseph. v14 You will divide the country so that each part is the same size. I promised to give this country to your *ancestors. So, this country will be for you as family property.
v15 The country will have these borders. On the north side, the border will start at the Great Sea. It will go by way of Hethlon, toward Lebo Hamath and on to the town called Zedad. v16 It will continue through Berothah and Sibraim. These towns are on the border between Damascus and Hamath. This border will end at the town called Hazer Hatticon on the border of the country called Hauran. v17 So the border will go from the Great Sea east to the town called Hazar Enan. Here the land that belongs to Damascus and Hamath will be on the north side. This will be the northern border of the country. v18 On the east, the border goes south from a point between Hauran and Damascus. It will go along the Jordan between Gilead and the country called *Israel. It will continue to the town called Tamar on the east sea. This will be the east side of the country. v19 On the south side, the border will go east from Tamar all the way to the waters called Meribah Kadesh. Then it will go along the river of Egypt to the Great Sea. This will be the southern border of the country. v20 On the west side, the Great Sea will be the border up to a place across from Lebo Hamath. This will be the western border of your country.
v21 You will divide this country between the *tribes of *Israel. v22 You will divide the land and you will give it to your families to possess it. Those foreign families who have lived among you must have a share of the land. You must accept these foreigners the same as people born in *Israel. They must share the land with the *tribes of *Israel. v23 You will include the foreigners with the *tribes in which they live.’ This is what the *LORD your King says.
Verses 13-14 In this future period, each of the 12 *tribes of *Israel will receive a share of the country. All these shares will be the same size. The *tribe called Levi will not have a share. Their part will be in the *holy area. But the family of Joseph will be as two *tribes. Joseph had two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh. The 12 *tribes will include these two families. They will each receive a share.
In the *Old Testament, the *tribes selected their shares of the country. The *tribes called Reuben, Gad and half of Manasseh took the country east of the Jordan River. But in this future time all the *tribes will be to the west of the Jordan River. They will not select their shares. God has fixed the share for each *tribe.
God has promised to give this country to the *Israelites (Genesis 15:18-21). They must make sure that each *tribe keeps its share of the country.
Verses 15-20 These verses mention the names of places on *Israel’s borders. These borders are similar to the ones that God gave to ancient *Israel (Numbers 34:3-12). But the names in these verses are the names of places when Ezekiel was alive. After many centuries, places often have new names. So, we do not know many of these places now.
The western border will be the Mediterranean Sea. The border to the east will be the Jordan River. The north border probably goes to the east from the mouth of the Litani River. The southern border reaches the ‘river of Egypt’. The ‘river of Egypt’ does not mean the river Nile. It means Wadi el Arish, which is at the border of *Israel and Egypt.
Verses 21-23 Foreigners who live in *Israel will also receive a share of the land. They will be as members of the *tribe among whom they live.