“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
The *temple river – Ezekiel 47:1-12
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
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.