וַיְשִׁבֵנִי אֶל־פֶּתַח הַבַּיִת וְהִנֵּה־מַיִם יֹצְאִים מִתַּחַת מִפְתַּן הַבַּיִת קָדִימָה כִּי־פְנֵי הַבַּיִת קָדִים וְהַמַּיִם 47:1 יֹרְדִים מִתַּחַת מִכֶּתֶף הַבַּיִת הַיְמָנִית מִנֶּגֶב לַמִּזְבֵּחַ׃
Ezek. 47:1 Then he brought me back to the entrance of the house, and behold, water was issuing from under the threshold of the house eastward, for it was the east face of the house, and the water was descending from under, from the right side of the house, from the altar's south.
וַיֹּוצִאֵנִי דֶּרֶךְ־שַׁעַר צָפֹונָה וַיְסִבֵּנִי דֶּרֶךְ חוּץ אֶל־שַׁעַר הַחוּץ דֶּרֶךְ הַפֹּונֶה קָדִים וְהִנֵּה־מַיִם מְפַכִּים 47:2 מִן־הַכָּתֵף הַיְמָנִית׃
Ezek. 47:2 Then he brought me out by way of the gate to the north and turned me around toward the outside toward the outer gate, toward the one looking east, and behold, water was flowing from the right side.
בְּצֵאת־הָאִישׁ קָדִים וְקָו בְּיָדֹו וַיָּמָד אֶלֶף בָּאַמָּה וַיַּעֲבִרֵנִי בַמַּיִם מֵי אָפְסָיִם׃ 47:3
Ezek. 47:3 On the coming out of the man eastward, with a line in his hand, then he measured a thousand in cubits. Then He took me through into the water, water of ankle depth.
וַיָּמָד אֶלֶף וַיַּעֲבִרֵנִי בַמַּיִם מַיִם בִּרְכָּיִם וַיָּמָד אֶלֶף וַיַּעֲבִרֵנִי מֵי מָתְנָיִם׃ 47:4
Ezek. 47:4 He also measured a thousand; then he had me pass through into water, water knee-deep; and he measured a thousand; then he had me pass through waters of loin depth.
וַיָּמָד אֶלֶף נַחַל אֲשֶׁר לֹא־אוּכַל לַעֲבֹר כִּי־גָאוּ הַמַּיִם מֵי שָׂחוּ נַחַל אֲשֶׁר לֹא־יֵעָבֵר׃ 47:5
Ezek. 47:5 And he measured a thousand; it was a torrent that I was not able to pass through, for the water rose up, water of swimming depth, a river that could not be passed through.
וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלַי הֲרָאִיתָ בֶן־אָדָם וַיֹּולִכֵנִי וַיְשִׁבֵנִי שְׂפַת הַנָּחַל׃ 47:6
Ezek. 47:6 Then He said to me, “Have you observed, human?” Then he led me and brought me back upon the bank of the river. [Return to Zech. 13:1]
Notice the capitalized third-person pronoun at the start of this verse and the lower-case one later in the second statement of the verse. This results from a pure guess on my part. As Ezekiel has been consistently addressed as “human” by the Lord, I have to assume that it is the Lord saying this. And the only one leading Ezekiel anywhere has been the angel. So I have to assume it is the angel being referenced in the second instance. I must say that Ezekiel, while not being careless with his pronouns, sometimes leaves it to the eventual reader to decipher many of them. Such seems to be the case here.
בְּשׁוּבֵנִי וְהִנֵּה אֶל־שְׂפַת הַנַּחַל עֵץ רַב מְאֹד מִזֶּה וּמִזֶּה׃ 47:7
Ezek. 47:7 On my being brought back, then behold, toward the bank of the river an exceedingly great tree was on each side.
וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלַי הַמַּיִם הָאֵלֶּה יֹוצְאִים אֶל־הַגְּלִילָה הַקַּדְמֹונָה וְיָרְדוּ עַל־הָעֲרָבָה וּבָאוּ הַיָּמָּה אֶל־הַיָּמָּה 47:8 הַמּוּצָאִים (וְנִרְפְּאוּ) [וְנִרְפּוּ] הַמָּיִם׃
Ezek. 47:8 And He said to me, “These waters are issuing forth toward the eastern territory and shall descend on to the Arabah and come in to the sea, to the sea of outlets, and the waters shall be healed.”
Several remarks: My first is that I am assuming it is the Lord speaking once again. My second is that the sea of outlets has to be presumed to be the Dead Sea. It’s odd to refer to the Dead Sea this way, as it has no outlets, yet v. 47:11 below confirms the identity. That means that the Dead Sea will become clear water in this future time. Will it still retain its other mineral content? If not, what will become of the Israeli cosmetics industry then? My third and final remark addresses the alleged error in the parentheses. I believe that the spelling is not improper, and the correction in the brackets is unnecessary.
וְהָיָה כָל־נֶפֶשׁ חַיָּה אֲשֶׁר־יִשְׁרֹץ אֶל כָּל־אֲשֶׁר יָבֹוא שָׁם נַחֲלַיִם יִחְיֶה וְהָיָה הַדָּגָה רַבָּה מְאֹד כִּי 47:9 בָאוּ שָׁמָּה הַמַּיִם הָאֵלֶּה וְיֵרָפְאוּ וָחָי כֹּל אֲשֶׁר־יָבֹוא שָׁמָּה הַנָּחַל׃
Ezek. 47:9 “And it shall be, every living soul that can swarm to everywhere where the torrents can come shall live, so there shall be a great abundance of fish, for these waters go there that they shall be healed and shall live everywhere where the river shall go.”
I would like to highlight two points about this verse: The first is that the phrase living soul is the same one I remarked about concerning its use in Gene. 1:30. Others have translated this phrase as living creature or living thing. I believe these are a stretch on the meaning of the term, although the word for soul is occasionally (but rarely) used to mean creature. On a second note, some scholars believe the word I translate as torrents means rivers (as it often does). It may be that the issue from the Temple will be several rivers, but all that is mentioned about it is that it will go out to the Dead Sea. But on its way there it will most certainly flow through valleys and ravines, forming what might be considered rivers, but I think the more appropriate term here is torrents.
וְהָיָה (יַעַמְדוּ) [עָמְדוּ] עָלָיו דַּוָּגִים מֵעֵין גֶּדִי וְעַד־עֵין עֶגְלַיִם מִשְׁטֹוחַ לַחֲרָמִים יִהְיוּ לְמִינָה תִּהְיֶה 47:10 דְגָתָם כִּדְגַת הַיָּם הַגָּדֹול רַבָּה מְאֹד׃
Ezek. 47:10 “And it shall be, fishermen shall stand by it from En-gedi and as far as En-eglaim; a spreading place for nets shall be there; their fish shall be belonging to species, as the exceedingly many fish of the Great Sea.”
Once again we encounter an alleged error that I’m quite certain is no error. The word in the parentheses is translated by me as shall stand in the imperfect plural, fishermen being the subject. I really can’t imagine what the sages were thinking when they flagged this word as an error and changed it to the present tense as in the brackets. Incidentally, on another point, the two places mentioned must be on the shores of the Dead Sea. The first, En-gedi, is thought to be what is now known as Ain-jidi on its western bank. The identity of the second, En-eglaim, is questionable, but it is presumed to be somewhere on the eastern side of the Sea.
On another note, I find an error in the Hebrew, a mismatch in number between noun and verb. It is in the phrase translated as “a spreading place for nets shall be there.” the word for spreading place is singular while the verb shall be is plural. I suspect that Ezekiel connected the verb to the noun nets, which is plural, but the grammar is incorrect. I imagine this is another of Ezekiel’s careless errors.
בִּצֹּאתֹו) [בִּצֹּאתָיו] וּגְבָאָיו וְלֹא יֵרָפְאוּ לְמֶלַח נִתָּנוּ׃ 47:11
Ezek. 47:11 “There shall be its swamps and its marshes, but they shall not be healed; for salt they shall be given.”
The first word in this verse, before the left parenthesis, is missing a yad. The correction in the brackets makes the word plural, as it should be.
וְעַל־הַנַּחַל יַעֲלֶה עַל־שְׂפָתֹו מִזֶּה וּמִזֶּה כָּל־עֵץ־מַאֲכָל לֹא־יִבֹּול עָלֵהוּ וְלֹא־יִתֹּם פִּרְיֹו לָחֳדָשָׁיו 47:12 יְבַכֵּר כִּי מֵימָיו מִן־הַמִּקְדָּשׁ הֵמָּה יֹוצְאִים (וְהָיוּ) [וְהָיָה] פִרְיֹו לְמַאֲכָל וְעָלֵהוּ לִתְרוּפָה׃
Ezek. 47:12 “And near the river every fruit tree shall rise up on its banks on each side; none of its leaves shall wither and fall and its fruit shall not be exhausted; in each of its months it shall bear new fruit, for its waters, they shall be coming forth from the sanctuary, so its fruit shall be for food and its leaf for healing.”
In this verse we have an error that is the opposite of that in the preceding verse. The word in the parentheses here (translated as shall be) is plural and should be singular, its subject being the word translated as its fruit. The replacement of the vav with the heh in the brackets makes the word singular.
כֹּה אָמַר אֲדֹנָי יְהוִה גֵּה גְבוּל אֲשֶׁר תִּתְנַחֲלוּ אֶת־הָאָרֶץ לִשְׁנֵי עָשָׂר שִׁבְטֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל יֹוסֵף חֲבָלִים׃ 47:13
Ezek. 47:13 “Thus says the Master, the Lord: This shall be the region that you shall divide the land for an inheritance according to the twelve tribes of Israel (Joseph, two portions).”
In this verse the second-person pronoun in the word translated as you shall divide is plural. I imagine it refers to the individuals of the people, although it doesn’t seem completely appropriate. I would have expected it to be singular. It would not be the individuals who would divide the land, but the whole of the people, or one individual representative, such as the prince. Perhaps it’s the prince and the priest, although the next verse, in which all of the second-person pronouns are plural, suggests it is the individuals among the people.
וּנְחַלְתֶּם אֹותָהּ אִישׁ כְּאָחִיו אֲשֶׁר נָשָׂאתִי אֶת־יָדִי לְתִתָּהּ לַאֲבֹתֵיכֶם וְנָפְלָה הָאָרֶץ הַזֹּאת לָכֶם 47:14 בְּנַחֲלָה׃
Ezek. 47:14 “And you shall inherit it, each as another, that which I raised My ‘hand’ to give to your fathers, and this land shall fall to you by inheritance.”
וְזֶה גְּבוּל הָאָרֶץ לִפְאַת צָפֹונָה מִן־הַיָּם הַגָּדֹול הַדֶּרֶךְ חֶתְלֹן לְבֹוא צְדָדָה׃ 47:15
Ezek. 47:15 “And this shall be the border of the land: In regard to the northern edge, from the Great Sea, the direction of Hethlon, going to Zedad,
חֲמָת בֵּרֹותָה סִבְרַיִם אֲשֶׁר בֵּין־גְּבוּל דַּמֶּשֶׂק וּבֵין גְּבוּל חֲמָת חָצֵר הַתִּיכֹון אֲשֶׁר אֶל־גְּבוּל חַוְרָן׃ 47:16
Ezek. 47:16 Hamath, Berothah, Sibraim, which are between the border of Damascus and the border of Hamath, Hazer-hatticon, which is at the border of Hauran.”
וְהָיָה גְבוּל מִן־הַיָּם חֲצַר עֵינֹון גְּבוּל דַּמֶּשֶׂק וְצָפֹון צָפֹונָה וּגְבוּל חֲמָת וְאֵת פְּאַת צָפֹון׃ 47:17
Ezek. 47:17 “And the border shall be from the sea, Hazar-enon of the border of Damascus and northward to the north, and the border is Hamath. So with the northern side.”
וּפְאַת קָדִים מִבֵּין חַוְרָן וּמִבֵּין־דַּמֶּשֶׂק וּמִבֵּין הַגִּלְעָד וּמִבֵּין אֶרֶץ יִשְׂרָאֵל הַיַּרְדֵּן מִגְּבוּל עַל־הַיָּם 47:18 הַקַּדְמֹונִי תָּמֹדּוּ וְאֵת פְּאַת קָדִימָה׃
Ezek. 47:18 “Now the east side, from between Hauran and Damascus and from between Gilead and the land of Israel you shall measure the Jordan. So it shall be with the eastern side.
פְאַת נֶגֶב תֵּימָנָה מִתָּמָר עַד־מֵי מְרִיבֹות קָדֵשׁ נַחֲלָה אֶל־הַיָּם הַגָּדֹול וְאֵת פְּאַת־תֵּימָנָה נֶגְבָּה׃ 47:19
Ezek. 47:19 “And the southern side to the south shall be from Tamar out to the waters of Meriboth-kadesh, to the Brook, to the Great Sea. So it shall be with the southern side to the south.”
וּפְאַת־יָם הַיָּם הַגָּדֹול מִגְּבוּל עַד־נֹכַח לְבֹוא חֲמָת זֹאת פְּאַת־יָם׃ 47:20
Ezek. 47:20 “And the western side shall be the Great Sea from the border as far as opposite to the entry of Hamath. This shall be the western side.”
In the verses describing the new Israel border, vss. 47:15 to 20, the description is similar to the same description given in Chapter 34 of Numbers, but there are some differences. Some of the places mentioned here are not mentioned there and vice versa. Perhaps some of the names changed during the intervening centuries. Maybe Elijah will explain this too. Generally, though, the borders may be the same, they are just described differently.
וְחִלַּקְתֶּם אֶת־הָאָרֶץ הַזֹּאת לָכֶם לְשִׁבְטֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל׃ 47:21
Ezek. 47:21 “And you shall divide this land for yourselves according to the tribes of Israel.”
וְהָיָה תַּפִּלוּ אֹותָהּ בְּנַחֲלָה לָכֶם וּלְהַגֵּרִים הַגָּרִים בְּתֹוכְכֶם אֲשֶׁר־הֹולִדוּ בָנִים בְּתֹוכְכֶם וְהָיוּ לָכֶם 47:22 כְּאֶזְרָח בִּבְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל אִתְּכֶם יִפְּלוּ בְנַחֲלָה בְּתֹוךְ שִׁבְטֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל׃
Ezek. 47:22 “And it shall be, you shall assign it by lots for an inheritance for yourselves; as for the strangers dwelling among you who have children among you, then they shall be to you as a native among the children of Israel; together with you they shall cast lots for an inheritance among the tribes of Israel.” [Return to Ezek. 49:27]
The inclusion of strangers in the lot is new. The discussion of dividing the land is found in Numb. 26:53 to 55, and no strangers are mentioned there, only the children of Israel. At that time, the Israelites were still in the wilderness, although there seem to have been some strangers with them. But at the time of these prophesies, I’m guessing, there will be many strangers among them, and they will also have their own land, although it will be a parcel within the borders of one of the tribes. Now if our time could be the time of the prophesy (though highly unlikely!), then what does that say about the Arabs living in Israel?
וְהָיָה בַשֵּׁבֶט אֲשֶׁר־גָּר הַגֵּר אִתֹּו שָׁם תִּתְּנוּ נַחֲלָתֹו נְאֻם אֲדֹנָי יְהוִה׃ 47:23
Ezek. 47:23 “And it shall be, in the tribe with which the stranger abides, there you shall grant his inheritance, declares the Master, the Lord.”
One more thought seems appropriate at this time, and it may be important. It’s this: All the referrals to the tribes of Israel convinces me that the ancestry of every Jew will be identified at that future time. Actually, we may be on the verge of that illumination in our present time. DNA analysis can accomplish that now or will be able to in the near future at an affordable cost, I’m sure.
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