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Bible Commentaries
Ezekiel 47

Utley's You Can Understand the BibleUtley Commentary


Ezekiel 47:0


Vision of the Restored Temple and Land(Ezekiel 40:1-35)Vision of the Future Temple(Ezekiel 40:1-35)
Water From the TempleThe Healing Waters and TreesThe Sacred RiverThe Stream From the TempleThe Spring in the Temple
Ezekiel 47:1-2Ezekiel 47:1-2Ezekiel 47:1-2Ezekiel 47:1-6aEzekiel 47:1-12
Ezekiel 47:3-12Ezekiel 47:3-5Ezekiel 47:3-6a
Ezekiel 47:6-12
Ezekiel 47:6-12Ezekiel 47:6-12
Borders of the LandIsrael's BoundariesThe Boundaries of the LandThe Frontiers of the Holy Land
Ezekiel 47:13-14Ezekiel 47:13-20Ezekiel 47:13-14Ezekiel 47:13-14Ezekiel 47:13-23
Ezekiel 47:15-17 Ezekiel 47:15-17Ezekiel 47:15-17
Ezekiel 47:18 Ezekiel 47:18Ezekiel 47:18
Ezekiel 47:19 Ezekiel 47:19Ezekiel 47:19
Ezekiel 47:20 Ezekiel 47:20Ezekiel 47:20
Ezekiel 47:21-23Ezekiel 47:21-23Ezekiel 47:21-23Ezekiel 47:21-23

READING CYCLE THREE (see “Guide to Good Bible Reading”)


This is a study guide commentary, which means that you are responsible for your own interpretation of the Bible. Each of us must walk in the light we have. You, the Bible, and the Holy Spirit are priority in interpretation. You must not relinquish this to a commentator.

Read the chapter in one sitting. Identify the subjects (reading cycle #3). Compare your subject divisions with the five translations above. Paragraphing is not inspired, but it is the key to following the original author's intent, which is the heart of interpretation. Every paragraph has one and only one subject.

1. First paragraph

2. Second paragraph

3. Third paragraph

4. Etc.

Verses 1-2

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: Ezekiel 47:1-2 1Then he brought me back to the door of the house; and behold, water was flowing from under the threshold of the house toward the east, for the house faced east. And the water was flowing down from under, from the right side of the house, from south of the altar. 2He brought me out by way of the north gate and led me around on the outside to the outer gate by way of the gate that faces east. And behold, water was trickling from the south side.

Ezekiel 47:1 “water was flowing” For desert people water was a sign of God's blessing and presence (i.e., Joel 3:18). The eschatological sense is present in Ezekiel 47:1 and 14:8. It is used by John in Revelation 22:1, Revelation 22:17. The covenant promises of Deuteronomy 27-30 have become a reality!

This is metaphorical (cf. Psalms 46:4; Psalms 65:9) and not meant to be taken literally. It conveys

1. original creation

2. Eden

3. covenant promises

Verses 3-12

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: Ezekiel 47:3-12 3When the man went out toward the east with a line in his hand, he measured a thousand cubits, and he led me through the water, water reaching the ankles. 4Again he measured a thousand and led me through the water, water reaching the knees. Again he measured a thousand and led me through the water, water reaching the loins. 5Again he measured a thousand; and it was a river that I could not ford, for the water had risen, enough water to swim in, a river that could not be forded. 6He said to me, “Son of man, have you seen this?” Then he brought me back to the bank of the river. 7Now when I had returned, behold, on the bank of the river there were very many trees on the one side and on the other. 8Then he said to me, “These waters go out toward the eastern region and go down into the Arabah; then they go toward the sea, being made to flow into the sea, and the waters of the sea become fresh. 9It will come about that every living creature which swarms in every place where the river goes, will live. And there will be very many fish, for these waters go there and the others become fresh; so everything will live where the river goes. 10And it will come about that fishermen will stand beside it; from Engedi to Eneglaim there will be a place for the spreading of nets. Their fish will be according to their kinds, like the fish of the Great Sea, very many. 11But its swamps and marshes will not become fresh; they will be left for salt. 12By the river on its bank, on one side and on the other, will grow all kinds of trees for food. Their leaves will not wither and their fruit will not fail. They will bear every month because their water flows from the sanctuary, and their fruit will be for food and their leaves for healing.”

Ezekiel 47:3 “the man” This is the angel of Ezekiel 40:3. This measuring angel is also mentioned by John in Revelation 21:0.

Ezekiel 47:7 “many trees on the one side and the other” This is a metaphor of fertility (cf. Ezekiel 47:12). This is another metaphor used by John in Revelation 22:0.

Ezekiel 47:8 Many commentators have asserted that the verse refers to a miraculous change of saltwater to fresh water, but it seems to me that it refers to the abundance of waters which fills up the Arabah depression and overflows it.

Verses 13-14

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: Ezekiel 47:13-14 13Thus says the Lord God, “This shall be the boundary by which you shall divide the land for an inheritance among the twelve tribes of Israel; Joseph shall have two portions. 14You shall divide it for an inheritance, each one equally with the other; for I swore to give it to your forefathers, and this land shall fall to you as an inheritance.

Ezekiel 47:13 This is the beginning of the reallocation of the land (i.e., Joshua 12-23).

Ezekiel 47:14 “each one equally” In Joshua the land was divided according to the size of the individual tribes.

“for I swore to give it to your forefathers” This reflects the promises to the Patriarchs beginning in Genesis 12:0 and 15.

Verses 15-17

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: Ezekiel 47:15-17 15”This shall be the boundary of the land: on the north side, from the Great Sea by the way of Hethlon, to the entrance of Zedad; 16Hamath, Berothah, Sibraim, which is between the border of Damascus and the border of Hamath; Hazer-hatticon, which is by the border of Hauran. 17The boundary shall extend from the sea to Hazar-enan at the border of Damascus, and on the north toward the north is the border of Hamath. This is the north side.

Ezekiel 47:15-20 The southern boundaries are close to Joshua' boundaries (cf. Numbers 34:1-12) and the kingdoms of David and Solomon, but the northern part is expanded northward and eastward as far as Hamath and including most of Syria.

Verse 18

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: Ezekiel 47:18 18”The east side, from between Hauran, Damascus, Gilead and the land of Israel, shall be the Jordan; from the north border to the eastern sea you shall measure. This is the east side.

Verse 19

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: Ezekiel 47:19 19”The south side toward the south shall extend from Tamar as far as the waters of Meribath-kadesh, to the brook of Egypt and to the Great Sea. This is the south side toward the south.

Verse 20

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: Ezekiel 47:20 20”The west side shall be the Great Sea, from the south border to a point opposite Lebo-hamath. This is the west side.

Verses 21-23

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: Ezekiel 47:21-23 21”So you shall divide this land among yourselves according to the tribes of Israel. 22You shall divide it by lot for an inheritance among yourselves and among the aliens who stay in your midst, who bring forth sons in your midst. And they shall be to you as the native-born among the sons of Israel; they shall be allotted an inheritance with you among the tribes of Israel. 23And in the tribe with which the alien stays, there you shall give him his inheritance,” declares the Lord God.

Ezekiel 47:22 “aliens” This is the one section of the book that seems to be inclusive instead of exclusive. This is similar to Isaiah 56:3-8 and follows the pattern of Leviticus 24:22 and Numbers 15:29.

Bibliographical Information
Utley. Dr. Robert. "Commentary on Ezekiel 47". "Utley's You Can Understand the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ubc/ezekiel-47.html. 2021.
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