Ezekiel 47

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on email

Read Ezekiel 47

The River From the Temple

47 The man brought me back to the entrance to the temple, and I saw water coming out 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 temple, south of the altar. He then brought me out through the north gate and led me around the outside to the outer gate facing east, and the water was trickling from the south side.

As the man went eastward with a measuring line in his hand, he measured off a thousand cubits and then led me through water that was ankle-deep.He measured off another thousand cubits and led me through water that was knee-deep. He measured off another thousand and led me through water that was up to the waist. He measured off another thousand, but now it was a river that I could not cross, because the water had risen and was deep enough to swim in—a river that no one could cross. He asked me, “Son of man, do you see this?”

Then he led me back to the bank of the river. When I arrived there, I saw a great number of trees on each side of the river. He said to me, “This water flows toward the eastern region and goes down into the Arabah, where it enters the Dead Sea. When it empties into the sea, the salty water there becomes fresh. Swarms of living creatures will live wherever the river flows. There will be large numbers of fish, because this water flows there and makes the salt water fresh; so where the river flows everything will live.10 Fishermen will stand along the shore; from En Gedi to En Eglaim there will be places for spreading nets. The fish will be of many kinds—like the fish of the Mediterranean Sea. 11 But the swamps and marshes will not become fresh; they will be left for salt. 12 Fruit trees of all kinds will grow on both banks of the river. Their leaves will not wither, nor will their fruit fail. Every month they will bear fruit, because the water from the sanctuary flows to them. Their fruit will serve for food and their leaves for healing.”

The Boundaries of the Land

13 This is what the Sovereign Lord says: “These are the boundaries of the land that you will divide among the twelve tribes of Israel as their inheritance, with two portions for Joseph. 14 You are to divide it equally among them. Because I swore with uplifted hand to give it to your ancestors, this land will become your inheritance.

15 “This is to be the boundary of the land:

“On the north side it will run from the Mediterranean Sea by the Hethlon road past Lebo Hamath to Zedad, 16 Berothah and Sibraim (which lies on the border between Damascus and Hamath), as far as Hazer Hattikon, which is on the border of Hauran. 17 The boundary will extend from the sea to Hazar Enan, along the northern border of Damascus, with the border of Hamath to the north. This will be the northern boundary.

18 “On the east side the boundary will run between Hauran and Damascus, along the Jordan between Gilead and the land of Israel, to the Dead Sea and as far as Tamar. This will be the eastern boundary.

19 “On the south side it will run from Tamar as far as the waters of Meribah Kadesh, then along the Wadi of Egypt to the Mediterranean Sea. This will be the southern boundary.

20 “On the west side, the Mediterranean Sea will be the boundary to a point opposite Lebo Hamath. This will be the western boundary.

21 “You are to distribute this land among yourselves according to the tribes of Israel. 22 You are to allot it as an inheritance for yourselves and for the foreigners residing among you and who have children. You are to consider them as native-born Israelites; along with you they are to be allotted an inheritance among the tribes of Israel. 23 In whatever tribe a foreigner resides, there you are to give them their inheritance,” declares the Sovereign Lord.

Go Deeper

At the beginning of this chapter, Ezekiel is brought to the entrance of the temple where Ezekiel sees a stream of water flowing towards the east from the Temple of the Lord. We notice that every 1,000 cubits (approx 1,700 feet) the water gets deeper. It begins as an ankle deep trickle, then becomes knee deep, then waist deep. Eventually, what began as a small stream becomes a river deep enough to swim in. The bank of the river has trees lining each side on its way to the Dead Sea. When the river empties into the Dead Sea (the lowest place on the face of the earth), the salt water becomes fresh. Ezekiel tells us this is where life is found and flourishing happens (v. 9). What once was not compatible with life is now a source of it. The trees on the river will bear fruit every month and their leaves will be used for healing. In scripture we see that water has the power to destroy and kill (Genesis 6) but also has the power to heal, restore, and nurture. It is the source of life. 

In Genesis 2 there is a river in the Garden of Eden. Towards the end of the scriptures, in Revelation 22 we see a similar river, but instead of flowing from the altar of the temple it will flow from the throne of God and the Lamb (Revelation 22:1). God’s plan is becoming more clear as we move throughout scripture, to redeem not just humanity but the entire earth. This river described in Ezekiel is yet to come. Many scholars believe it will be during Jesus’s thousand year reign while the one in Revelation 22 will be even later (in the New Heavens and New Earth after the final judgment), when God restores Eden and we live in His presence for eternity.

Jesus, in the gospel accounts of His life, tells us to come to Him and drink. He told the woman at the well, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (John 4:7-8). In John 7, Jesus said, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive” (John 7:37b-39). 

Like the Dead Sea in Ezekiel’s vision, we were once dead in our sin but because of Christ’s payment for our sin on the Cross, we have been made fresh or clean and we are no longer bound by our sin. Through the blood of Jesus Christ we are made whole by the outpouring of the Holy Spirit into the believer. This means we can have an abundant life that leads to eternal life. As we develop in our spiritual walk with Christ we will grow into deeper waters, welling up to the eternal life promised to the believer.  

Towards the end of this chapter, Ezekiel was told that the foreigners living among the Israelites will also receive an inheritance. Friends, this is Good News! The Lord’s heart from Genesis to Revelation has always been to bless the nations through the nation of Israel. Because of God’s grace through our faith in Jesus Christ, we are children of God and receive an inheritance as a part of an eternal kingdom in the New Heavens and New Earth!


  1. What did this chapter teach you about God? What did it teach you about humanity?
  2. What spiritual disciplines are you struggling with in this season? Talk to your Life Group and develop a plan to grow in your walk with Jesus. 
  3. What does this chapter teach you about eternity? Spend time fixing your mind on what eternity holds today.

Keep Digging

Interested in learning more about the healing trees (v. 12)? Check out this article from GotQuestions.org.

Leave a Comment below

Did you learn something today? Share it with our Bible Reading Plan community by commenting below.

3 thoughts on “Ezekiel 47”

  1. God is in the business of healing and restoring all creation. From the beginning, he intended to dwell with mankind, but his ideal was fractured by our sin. He saw the terrible state we were in, much like the Dead Sea that cannot sustain life, and crafted a plan to save us. Through Christ we are transformed, no matter our background or how messed up we are. He lavishes his love on us and gives us far more than we deserve. He then commissions us to go and make disciples wherever we go, taking the hope of Christ to the ends of the earth.

  2. God has/had a great plan throughout all of history. This plan is still coming. The details are recorded for our benefit to help us know and recognize when it is happening. God is fulfilling His promises. We must honor God’s name and His glory. In Ezekiel, He continually tells us “They shall know that I am the Lord”. We are His temple at this time, if you have believed in Jesus and know that He is your Savior then you have new life. We are here to worship the Lord our God and to go about doing the Lord’s work of the great commission. Our job isn’t to save people but to give them the opportunity to know how to have the River of Life flowing through them also. “Jesus answered and said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again; but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.” John 4:13-14. All of this is God bringing life to the dead places.

    God thank You for showing me how You are working in this world today. Thank You for the new life. Thank You for boldness to share the Gospel. God You have not given me the spirit of fear but of power and love and a sound mind so that I can proclaim You. I fear not being a part of You more that I fear man. Thank You for helping my anxiety. I will not be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, I am letting my requests be made known unto You God; and Your peace which surpasses all understanding, will guard my heart and mind through Christ Jesus”. I believe it so I will stand on that today minute by minute in Jesus name amen

  3. Diane Frances Rogers

    The river symbolizes life from God and the blessings that flow from His throne to us. It is His power that can transform us no matter how lifeless and sinful we are. As unworthy that we are or feel, God’s power can heal us. Glorify Him in all you do for He is our Holy Father and His love is everlasting. Amen and thanks be to God!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.