In my vision, the man brought me back to the entrance of the Temple. There I saw a stream flowing east from beneath the door of the Temple and passing to the right of the altar on its south side. The man brought me outside the wall through the north gateway and led me around to the eastern entrance. There I could see the water flowing out through the south side of the east gateway.
Measuring as he went, he took me along the stream for 1,750 feet and then led me across. The water was up to my ankles. He measured off another 1,750 feet and led me across again. This time the water was up to my knees. After another 1,750 feet, it was up to my waist. Then he measured another 1,750 feet, and the river was too deep to walk across. It was deep enough to swim in, but too deep to walk through.
He asked me, “Have you been watching, son of man?” Then he led me back along the riverbank. When I returned, I was surprised by the sight of many trees growing on both sides of the river. Then he said to me, “This river flows east through the desert into the valley of the Dead Sea. The waters of this stream will make the salty waters of the Dead Sea fresh and pure. There will be swarms of living things wherever the water of this river flows. Fish will abound in the Dead Sea, for its waters will become fresh. Life will flourish wherever this water flows.” (Ezekiel 47:1-9)
The same messenger who guided Ezekiel in the vision beginning in chapter 40 continues his tour. This river is similar to the river mentioned in Revelation 22:1-2. Both rivers are associated with the river in the Garden of Eden (see Genesis 2:10). The river symbolizes life from God and the blessings that flow from his throne. It is a gentle, safe, deep river, expanding as it flows.
The Dead Sea is so salty that nothing can live in it. The river will freshen the Dead Sea’s water so it can support life. This is another picture of the life-giving nature of the water that flows from God’s Temple.
God’s power can transform anything in us no matter how lifeless or “salty” it seems. Even when we feel messed up and beyond hope, his power can heal us. Pray for people or situations in need of God’s life-giving river.