Rev. Jason M. Kaspar, pastor at Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church in La Grange, TX, joins host Rev. Timothy Appel to study Ezekiel 47:1-23.
Ezekiel sees a river flow from the new temple. Although no tributaries join this river, it grows from a trickle into the mightiest of rivers. Because it flows from the presence of God, this river provides life all around. The saltiness of the Dead Sea is made fresh. Multitudes of fish find a home there. All kinds of trees bear all kinds of fruit for food, and their leaves give healing. The vision Ezekiel sees is fulfilled in Jesus, who is the true temple of God who gives water of eternal life in Holy Baptism. St. John sees the fullness of this vision at the end of Revelation. Ezekiel also sees the boundaries of the Promised Land. The LORD will make His people dwell securely here, and He also provides inclusion for sojourners to be made a part of His people. This is a picture of the LORD’s desire to bring salvation through Jesus Christ to all nations.
“The Faithful Watchman” is a mini-series on Sharper Iron that goes through the book of Ezekiel. Just when Ezekiel should have begun his service as priest in the temple in Jerusalem, the LORD called him to be a prophet in exile in Babylon. Through fantastic visions and attention-grabbing action prophecies, the prophet Ezekiel is a faithful watchman who proclaims the word of the LORD to bring people to repentance over their sins and to faith in the coming Savior, Jesus Christ, the glory of the LORD made flesh.
Sharper Iron, hosted by Rev. Timothy Appel, looks at the text of Holy Scripture both in its broad context and its narrow detail, all for the sake of proclaiming Christ crucified and risen for sinners. Two pastors engage with God’s Word to sharpen not only their own faith and knowledge, but the faith and knowledge of all who listen.
Sharper Iron is underwritten by Lutheran Church Extension Fund, where your investments help support the work of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. Visit lcef.org.
Water Flowing from the Temple
47 Then he brought me back to the door of the temple, and behold, water was issuing from below the threshold of the temple toward the east (for the temple faced east). The water was flowing down from below the south end of the threshold of the temple, south of the altar. 2 Then he brought me out by way of the north gate and led me around on the outside to the outer gate that faces toward the east; and behold, the water was trickling out on the south side.
3 Going on eastward with a measuring line in his hand, the man measured a thousand cubits,[a] and then led me through the water, and it was ankle-deep. 4 Again he measured a thousand, and led me through the water, and it was knee-deep. Again he measured a thousand, and led me through the water, and it was waist-deep. 5 Again he measured a thousand, and it was a river that I could not pass through, for the water had risen. It was deep enough to swim in, a river that could not be passed through. 6 And he said to me, “Son of man, have you seen this?”
Then he led me back to the bank of the river. 7 As I went back, I saw on the bank of the river very many trees on the one side and on the other. 8 And he said to me, “This water flows toward the eastern region and goes down into the Arabah, and enters the sea;[b] when the water flows into the sea, the water will become fresh.[c] 9 And wherever the river goes,[d] every living creature that swarms will live, and there will be very many fish. For this water goes there, that the waters of the sea[e] may become fresh; so everything will live where the river goes. 10 Fishermen will stand beside the sea. From Engedi to Eneglaim it will be a place for the spreading of nets. Its fish will be of very many kinds, like the fish of the Great Sea.[f] 11 But its swamps and marshes will not become fresh; they are to be left for salt. 12 And on the banks, on both sides of the river, there will grow all kinds of trees for food. Their leaves will not wither, nor their fruit fail, but they will bear fresh fruit every month, because the water for them flows from the sanctuary. Their fruit will be for food, and their leaves for healing.”
Division of the Land
13 Thus says the Lord God: “This is the boundary[g] by which you shall divide the land for inheritance among the twelve tribes of Israel. Joseph shall have two portions. 14 And you shall divide equally what I swore to give to your fathers. This land shall fall to you as your inheritance.
15 “This shall be the boundary of the land: On the north side, from the Great Sea by way of Hethlon to Lebo-hamath, and on to Zedad,[h] 16 Berothah, Sibraim (which lies on the border between Damascus and Hamath), as far as Hazer-hatticon, which is on the border of Hauran. 17 So the boundary shall run from the sea to Hazar-enan, which is on the northern border of Damascus, with the border of Hamath to the north.[i] This shall be the north side.[j]
18 “On the east side, the boundary shall run between Hauran and Damascus; along the Jordan between Gilead and the land of Israel; to the eastern sea and as far as Tamar.[k] This shall be the east side.
19 “On the south side, it shall run from Tamar as far as the waters of Meribah-kadesh, from there along the Brook of Egypt[l] to the Great Sea. This shall be the south side.
20 “On the west side, the Great Sea shall be the boundary to a point opposite Lebo-hamath. This shall be the west side.
21 “So you shall divide this land among you according to the tribes of Israel. 22 You shall allot it as an inheritance for yourselves and for the sojourners who reside among you and have had children among you. They shall be to you as native-born children of Israel. With you they shall be allotted an inheritance among the tribes of Israel. 23 In whatever tribe the sojourner resides, there you shall assign him his inheritance, declares the Lord God.
- Ezekiel 47:3 A cubit was about 18 inches or 45 centimeters
- Ezekiel 47:8 That is, the Dead Sea
- Ezekiel 47:8 Hebrew will be healed; also verses 9, 11
- Ezekiel 47:9 Septuagint, Syriac, Vulgate, Targum; Hebrew the two rivers go
- Ezekiel 47:9 Hebrew lacks the waters of the sea
- Ezekiel 47:10 That is, the Mediterranean Sea; also verses 15, 19, 20
- Ezekiel 47:13 Probable reading; Hebrew The valley of the boundary
- Ezekiel 47:15 Septuagint; Hebrew the entrance of Zedad, Hamath
- Ezekiel 47:17 The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain
- Ezekiel 47:17 Probable reading; Hebrew and as for the north side
- Ezekiel 47:18 Compare Syriac; Hebrew to the eastern sea you shall measure
- Ezekiel 47:19 Hebrew lacks of Egypt
English Standard Version (ESV)
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Permanent Text Edition® (2016). Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.