Ezekiel Chapter 47
Verses 1-12: This section reinforces the constant emphasis of the prophets that in the final 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.
Ezekiel 47:1-2 “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.” “Then brought he me out of the way of the gate northward, and led me about the way without unto the outer gate by the way that looketh eastward; and, behold, there ran out waters on the right side.”
Water … issued out or flowing … eastward: A stream of water flows up from underneath the temple (Joel 3:18), going East to the Jordan, then curving South through the Dead Sea area. (Zechariah 14:8), refers to this stream as flowing from Jerusalem to the West (Mediterranean Sea), as well as to the East (Dead Sea).
Its origin coincides with Christ’s Second Advent arrival on the Mt. of Olives, which will trigger a massive earthquake, thus creating a vast East-West valley running through Jerusalem and allowing for the water flow.
Joel 3:18 “And it shall come to pass in that day, [that] the mountains shall drop down new wine, and the hills shall flow with milk, and all the rivers of Judah shall flow with waters, and a fountain shall come forth of the house of the LORD, and shall water the valley of Shittim”.
Revelation 22:1 “And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.”
In verses 3-5: He measured. The escorting angel, wanting to reveal the size of the river, took Ezekiel in the vision, to four different distances from the temple, where the stream was found to be at increasing depths until it was over his head.
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.”
This water was 1500 feet eastward. The biggest flood begins as just a little trickle. That is what I believe is meant by the ankles here (a thousand cubits, each being 18 inches, would be 1500 feet).
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.”
This of course, is another 1500 feet to bring it up to the knees, and another 1500 feet to bring it to the loins. Notice, the water is getting higher.
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.”
Now, this river has grown into a mighty river.
This is how Isaiah tells it:
Isaiah in 35:1-10 “The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose.” “It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing: the glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon, they shall see the glory of the LORD, [and] the excellency of our God.” “Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees.” “Say to them [that are] of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come [with] vengeance, [even] God [with] a recompence; he will come and save you.” “Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.” “Then shall the lame [man] leap as a hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert.” “And the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water: in the habitation of dragons, where each lay, [shall be] grass with reeds and rushes.” “And a highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it [shall be] for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err [therein].” “No lion shall be there, nor [any] ravenous beast shall go up thereon, it shall not be found there; but the redeemed shall walk [there]:” “And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away”.
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.”
Ezekiel is brought back to the land, so he can see, the river of life that flows from God, is a restoring river. This river is the same water that Jesus told the woman at the well to drink of, and she would never thirst again. This tells me that God, Himself, will restore this Promised Land. He will do it with the washing of the water of His Word across the land. Ezekiel is brought back to the bank to observe something else.
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.”
Lush growth has sprung up from the river.
Revelation 22:1 “And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb”.
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.”
Waters are healed: The flow East, then South, runs into the Dead Sea and renders good the salty water which is 6 times more salty as the sea that formerly would not support life because of its high mineral content. The Dead Sea is transformed into a “living sea” of fresh water.
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.”
Multitude of fish: These fish are said to be the same kinds in the Mediterranean (verse 10), probably referring to volume rather that species, since the river and the Dead Sea are now fresh water.
Ezekiel 47:10 “And it shall come to pass, [that] the fishers shall stand upon it from En-gedi even unto En-eglaim; 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.”
En-gedi: The site is on the Dead Sea’s West bank, about halfway along its length, near Masada. En-Eglaim: Possibly it is EnFeska near Qumran at the northwestern extremity of the sea. Some argue for a site on the East bank, so that fishermen on both sides are in view.
Ezekiel 47:11 “But the miry places thereof and the marishes thereof shall not be healed; they shall be given to salt.”
This could be how the salt for the temple offerings is supplied as we read (in chapter 43:24), as well as for food.
Ezekiel 43:24 “And thou shalt offer them before the LORD, and the priests shall cast salt upon them, and they shall offer them up [for] a burnt offering unto the LORD”.
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.”
Again, we must look to Revelation for the meaning of this. Revelation 22:2 speaks of the tree giving fruit for each month of the year. The leaf for medicine is in the same verse. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
Revelation 22:2 “In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, [was there] the tree of life, which bare twelve [manner of] fruits, [and] yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree [were] for the healing of the nations”.
The scene describes the blessing of returning to Eden like abundance. Leaves … fruit: The fruit is for food and the leaves serve a medicinal purpose, probably both in preventative and corrective senses. The fruit is perpetual, kept so by a continual supply of spring water from the temple.
Verses 13-23: We find “These are the borders”. The picture is that of an enlarged Canaan for all to inhabit. The boundaries are substantially larger than those given to Moses (in Numbers 34:1-15).
Palestine, promised in God’s covenant with Abraham has specific geographical limits within which Israel will finally occupy tribal areas which differ from the occupation in Joshua’s day. This is the complete fulfillment of the promise of the land in the Abrahamic Covenant.
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.”
Suddenly, Ezekiel’s thoughts are brought back to the land of Israel. We note in this, that Joseph is to get two portions of land. This is in keeping with the promise of Jacob to Joseph.
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.”
This is speaking of the Promised Land, which God had sworn to Abraham would be their land forever. This is the Hebrews’ inheritance.
(In verses 15-20), the borders of the millennial Promised Land are described
(1) To the North (verse 15-17);
(2) To the East (verse 18);
(3) To the South (verse 19); and
(4) To the West (verse 20).
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;”
The “great sea” is the Mediterranean. Hethlon is a place in Palestine.
Ezekiel 47:16 “Hamath, Berothah, Sibraim, which [is] between the border of Damascus and the border of Hamath; Hazar-hatticon, which [is] by the coast of Hauran.”
This is just a list of the areas that are included in this.
Ezekiel 47:17 “And the border from the sea shall be Hazar-enan, the border of Damascus, and the north northward, and the border of Hamath. And [this is] the north side.”
Hazar-enan means village of fountains. Hamath was the border.
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.”
The Dead Sea is probably the sea mentioned here. The land seems to lie west of the Jordan.
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.”
This Tamar was, probably, a village at the southern end of the Dead Sea. The “waters of strife” were, probably, the waters of Meribah Kadesh.
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.”
This is saying from the Mediterranean to Hamath.
Ezekiel 47:21 “So shall ye divide this land unto you according to the tribes of Israel.”
Each tribe would get a portion of land to live upon. It is their inheritance.
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.”
They believed that God had chosen a certain place of the land for them, when they were decided by casting lots.
This reminds us that children will be born all through the 1,000 year rule of Messiah. Not all will believe and be saved, as evidenced by the final rebellion in Revelation.
Revelation 20:8-9 “And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom [is] as the sand of the sea.” “And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them”.
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.”
This is just saying that a stranger living with them shall have his portion of land, the same as the sons.
This provision is in keeping with Leviticus:
Lev. 19:34 “[But] the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt: I [am] the LORD your God”.
Ezekiel Chapter 47 Questions
1. What does this part of the vision of Ezekiel seem to be speaking of in verse 1?
2. The Word of God is the sword of the ________.
3. When a person partakes of this river of living water, he shall never _______.
4. The biggest flood begins with just a little _________.
5. What happens, as we get more involved in reading the Word of God?
6. What do God’s people, who are filled with His Spirit, become like?
7. How will God restore the Promised Land?
8. Why was Ezekiel brought back to the bank?
9. What does verse 7 remind the author of?
10. This water of life flows across the dry parched land and ends up in the _______ _____.
11. What will live because of the flowing river?
12. In Revelation 2:2, we saw the healing of the _______.
13. Who did Jesus tell He would make them fishers of men?
14. What does “En-gedi” mean?
15. What does “En-eglaim” mean?
16. Who is verse 11 speaking of?
17. What chapter and verse of Revelation clears up what verse 12 of this lesson means?
18. What change takes place in verse 13?
19. What is the Hebrews’ inheritance forever?
20. What is the “great sea” speaking of?
21. What portion of the land shall a stranger have?