December 09, 2002 Copyright © by United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
- 1 Then he brought me back to the entrance of the temple, and I saw water flowing out from beneath the threshold of the temple toward the east, for the facade of the temple was toward the east; the water flowed down from the southern side of the temple, south of the altar.
- He led me outside by the north gate, and around to the outer gate facing the east, where I saw water trickling from the southern side.
- Then when he had walked off to the east with a measuring cord in his hand, he measured off a thousand cubits and had me wade through the water, which was ankle-deep.
- He measured off another thousand and once more had me wade through the water, which was now knee-deep. Again he measured off a thousand and had me wade; the water was up to my waist.
- Once more he measured off a thousand, but there was now a river through which I could not wade; for the water had risen so high it had become a river that could not be crossed except by swimming.
- He asked me, "Have you seen this, son of man?" Then he brought me to the bank of the river, where he had me sit.
- Along the bank of the river I saw very many trees on both sides.
- He said to me, "This water flows into the eastern district down upon the Arabah, and empties into the sea, the salt waters, which it makes fresh.
- Wherever the river flows, every sort of living creature that can multiply shall live, and there shall be abundant fish, for wherever this water comes the sea shall be made fresh.
- 2 Fishermen shall be standing along it from En-gedi to En-eglaim, spreading their nets there. Its kinds of fish shall be like those of the Great Sea, very numerous.
- Only its marshes and swamps shall not be made fresh; they shall be left for salt.
- Along both banks of the river, fruit trees of every kind shall grow; their leaves shall not fade, nor their fruit fail. Every month they shall bear fresh fruit, for they shall be watered by the flow from the sanctuary. Their fruit shall serve for food, and their leaves for medicine."
- 3 Thus says the Lord GOD: These are the boundaries within which you shall apportion the land among the twelve tribes of Israel (Joseph having two portions).
- All of you shall have a like portion in this land which I swore to give to your fathers, that it might fall to you as your inheritance.
- This is the boundary of the land on the north side: from the Great Sea in the direction of Hethlon, past Labo of Hamath, to Zedad,
- Berothah, and Sibraim, along the frontiers of Hamath and Damascus, to Hazar-enon which is on the border of the Hauran.
- Thus the border shall extend from the sea to Hazar-enon, with the frontier of Hamath and Damascus to the north. This is the northern boundary.
- The eastern boundary: between the Hauran--toward Damascus--and Gilead on the one side, and the land of Israel on the other side, the Jordan shall form the boundary down to the eastern sea as far as Tamar. This is the eastern boundary.
- The southern boundary: from Tamar to the waters of Meribath-kadesh, thence to the Wadi of Egypt, and on to the Great Sea. This is the southern boundary.
- The western boundary: the Great Sea forms the boundary up to a point parallel to Labo of Hamath. This is the western boundary.
- You shall distribute this land among yourselves according to the tribes of Israel.
- You shall allot it as inheritances for yourselves and for the aliens resident in your midst who have bred children among you. The latter shall be to you like native Israelites; along with you they shall receive inheritances among the tribes of Israel.
- In whatever tribe the alien may be resident, there you shall assign him his inheritance, says the Lord GOD.
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1 [1-12] The wonderful and superabundant stream flowing from the temple, restoring to fertility traditionally arid ground, is symbolic of the return of the conditions of primeval paradise; cf Genesis 2:10-14. Water signifies great blessings, just as dryness signifies a curse; cf Ezekiel 26:5, 14.
2  From En-gedi to En-eglaim: the former was about halfway down the western shore of the Dead Sea, the latter may have been at its northern extremity.
3 [13-20] These boundaries of the restored Israel correspond to those of the Davidic kingdom at its fullest extent, the so-called "ideal boundaries" of the promised land; cf Numbers 34:3-12.
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