The Life-Giving River

47 Then he brought me back to the entrance of the temple and there was water flowing from under the threshold of the temple toward the east, for the temple faced east. The water was coming down from under the south side of the threshold of the temple, south of the altar.(A) Next he brought me out by way of the north gate and led me around the outside to the outer gate that faced east; there the water was trickling from the south side. As the man went out east with a measuring line in his hand,(B) he measured off a third of a mile[a] and led me through the water. It came up to my ankles. Then he measured off a third of a mile and led me through the water. It came up to my knees. He measured off another third of a mile and led me through the water. It came up to my waist. Again he measured off a third of a mile, and it was a river that I could not cross on foot. For the water had risen; it was deep enough to swim in, a river that could not be crossed on foot.

He asked me, “Do you see this, son of man?” Then he led me back to the bank of the river. When I had returned, I saw a very large number of trees along both sides of the riverbank.(C) He said to me, “This water flows out to the eastern region and goes down to the Arabah. When it enters the sea, the sea of foul water,[b][c] the water of the sea becomes fresh.(D) Every kind of living creature that swarms will live wherever the river flows,[d] and there will be a huge number of fish because this water goes there. Since the water will become fresh, there will be life everywhere the river goes. 10 Fishermen will stand beside it from En-gedi to En-eglaim.[e] These will become places where nets are spread out to dry. Their fish will consist of many different kinds, like the fish of the Mediterranean Sea.(E) 11 Yet its swamps and marshes will not be healed; they will be left for salt. 12 All kinds of trees providing food will grow along both banks of the river. Their leaves will not wither, and their fruit will not fail.(F) Each month they will bear fresh fruit because the water comes from the sanctuary. Their fruit will be used for food and their leaves for medicine.”(G)

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Footnotes

  1. 47:3 Lit 1,000 cubits, also in vv. 4,5
  2. 47:8 Or enters the sea, being brought out to the sea; Hb obscure
  3. 47:8 = the Dead Sea
  4. 47:9 LXX, Vg; MT reads the two rivers flow
  5. 47:10 Two springs near the Dead Sea

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