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The vision of the flowing waters, and their virtue. 1 Afterward he brought me were very many trees on the again unto the door of the one side and on the other. house; and, behold, waters 8 Then said he unto me, issued out from under the thres- These waters issue out toward hold of the house eastward: for the east country, and go
down the forefront of the house stood into the desert, and go into the toward the east, and the waters sea: which being brought forth came down from under from the into the sea, the waters shall right side of the house, at the be healed. south side of the altar.
9 And it shall come to pass, 2 Then brought he me out of that every thing that liveth, the way of the gate northward, which moveth, whithersoever and led me about the way with- the rivers shall come, shall live: oui unto the utter gate by the and there shall be a very great way that looketh eastward; and, multitude of fish, because these behold, there ran out waters on waters shall come thither: for the right side.
they shall be healed; and every 3 And when the man that had thing shall live whither the river the line in his hand went forth cometh. eastward, he measured a thou- 10 And it shall come to pass, sand cubits, and he brought me that the fishers shall stand upon through the waters; the waters it from En-gedi even unto Enwere to the ancles.
eglaim; they shall be a place to 4 Again he measured a thou- spread forth nets; their fish sand, and brought me through shall be according to their kinds, the waters; the waters were to as the fish of the great sea, exthe knees. Again he measured ceeding many. a thousand, and brought me 11 But the miry places therethrough ; the waters were to the of and the marishes thereof loins.
shall not be healed; they shall 5 Afterward he measured a be given to salt. thousand; and it was a river 12 And by the river upon the that I could not pass over: for bank thereof, on this side and the waters were risen, waters to on that side, shall grow all trees swim in, a river that could not for meat, whose leaf shall not be passed over.
fade, neither shall the fruit 6 And he said unto me, Son thereof be consumed: it shall of man, hast thou seen this bring forth new fruit according Then he brought me, and to his months, because their caused me to return to the brink waters they issued out of the of the river.
sanctuary: and the fruit there7 Now when I had returned, of shall be for meat, and the leaf behold, at the bank of the river thereof for medicine.
LECTURE 1359. The grace of the Gospel compared to living waters. The last two chapters of this book, and especially the passage now before us, present considerable difficulties, when viewed as relating to the state of the Jews after their return to Judea. But we know so little of their history for a considerable period between their return and the coming of Christ, that no one can say certainly how far any of these things were, or were not, fulfilled. Still less can we say what might have been fulfilled, but for the unbelief of the Jews themselves. Only we are well assured of this, that nothing is too hard for the Lord. And had the children of Israel answered to the pains He took with them, it might have been his good pleasure to manifest his presence amongst them, not only by the indwelling of his glory in the temple, but by the outpouring of such life giving streams of water as are here described. He, who had more than once made a way, for his people to pass through waters, that stood up as a wall on either side of them, might have thought it not too much to work in their behalf this ever flowing miracle, as a proof of his power, and token of his love, in the sight of the nations amongst whom they dwelt.
But both that which God actually did for the Israelites, and that which He would have done, but for their perversity, may usually be alike regarded as symbolical of that which is to be realized under the covenant of the Gospel. We cannot but think that all the prophets testify of Christ. We cannot but hold that every prophecy, every type, nay and also the chief facts recorded in the history, all bear, directly or indirectly, on the redemption of fallen man, through the atonement of the Son of God. And the less any such prophetic passage seems to have been fulfilled literally of old, so much the more may we reasonably look for its fulfilment in a later period, and in a sense adapted to an altered state of things. Here then let us behold, in these running waters, types of Gospel grace. Let us compare the passage with others much resembling it, in the prophets Joel, 3. 18, and Zechariah, 14. 8, as well as in the Book of Revelation, 22. 1, 2. consider them all as applicable, though probably to different periods, yet all to the same Gospel dispensation. And what can more aptly signify the grace which we have now, and the glory which we hope for, or the growth of that grace and glory in the Church, than waters flowing out from the threshold of God's house, increasing in depth continually, refreshing the thirsty, cleansing the foul, sweetening the bitter, curing the diseased, and imparting to all things, as they flow, life, and health, and fruitfulness?
The borders of the land, and regulations for allotting it. 13 Thus saith the Lord God; and from the land of Israel hy This shall be the border, where- Jordan, from the border unto by ye shall inherit the land the east sea. And this is the according to the twelve tribes east side. of Israel: Joseph shall have two 19 And the south side southportions.
ward, from Tamar even to the 14 And ye shall inherit it, one waters of strife in Kadesh, the as well as another: concerning river to the great sea. And this the which I lifted up mine hand is the south side southward. to give it unto your fathers: 20 The west side also shall be and this land shall fall unto you the great sea from the border, for inheritance.
till a man come over against 15 And this shall be the bor- Hamath. This is the west side. der of the land toward the 21 So shall ye divide this land north side, from the great sea, unto you according to the tribes the way of Hethlon, as men go of Israel. to Zedad;
22 And it shall come to pass, 16 Hamath, Berothah, Sib- that ye shall divide it by lot raim, which is between the bor- for an inheritance unto you, der of Damascus and the bor- and to the strangers that so. der of Hamath; Hazar-batti- journ among you, which shall con, which is by the coast of beget children among you: and Hauran.
they shall be unto you as born 17 And the border from the in the country among the chilsea shall be Hazar-enan, the dren of Israel; they shall have border of Damascus, and the inheritance with you among the north northward, and the bor. tribes of Israel. der of Hamath. And this is 23 And it shall come to pass, the north side.
that in what tribe the stranger 18 And the east side ye shall sojourneth, there shall ye give measure from Hauran, and from him his inheritance, saith the Damascus, and from Gilead, Lord God.
LECTURE 1360. The excellency of our inheritance in the Gospel The territory here allotted to the Israelites, as described by the principal places on its borders, appears to be about the same in extent and situation as that which was first occupied in the time of Joshua. This description of its borders has every appearance of referring, at least in the first instance, to a real occupation of the land. And God's promise of giving it to their fathers is made mention of in a way which leads us to expect, that a literal fulfilment is intended. We may regard the passage
then as an assurance to the Jews, that the land which they had lost should yet again be theirs, that God was able and willing to restore it; and that if they would therein observe his statutes, it should be theirs, as He had promised to Abraham, for a perpetual inheritance. See Gen. 13. 15.
Besides specifying the borders of the land to be occupied, God further vouchsafes to give directions as to the manner of their occupation. Joseph was to have two portions as before. This is the first practical direction. This was a provision for maintaining the division of the tribes which had all along prevailed, and for preventing all dispute upon the subject. This honourable distinction conferred on Joseph, in his sons Ephraim and Manasses, was the fruit of the affliction he endured when sold into Egypt by his brethren. Interpreted of the Christian dispensation, it suggests the gain of tribulation, the advantage of suffering with Christ, as our way to being glorified together. Whensoever then God sees fit to chasten us, let us feel that it is good for us to be afflicted. The lowest state of misery to which we can be brought on earth, by any thing short of wilful sin, may prove our way to the highest measure of heavenly felicity. Pain, sickness, sorrow, even sorrow such as comes of experiencing cruel treatment by our brethren, if received with meekness, and acknowledged with thankfulness, may become the means of our obtaining a double portion of grace on earth, a double portion of glory in heaven.
The next practical direction, concerning the land, runs thus: “ye shall inherit it, one as well as another.” That is to say, every man was to have his portion, as at the first allotment under Joshua. In the kingdom of Christ, there is an inheritance allotted unto every one. Here, as in the distribution of the land of Israel, all have their respective possessions. The poorest have their portion. And they who are accounted rich towards God, however much they may receive, never encroach on the inheritance of the rest. Grace, like light kindled at a neighbour's light, may be added without limit to one, and yet nothing be taken from another. Heavenly happiness, like the glory of that God from whose goodness it proceeds, may be extended infinitely, and yet nowhere diminished either in amount, or in intensity.
There is here one more practical direction for the settlement of the land, very different from the enactments of the Law, even authorising the allotment of a portion to strangers sojourning in Israel. This rule seems designed to prepare the Israelites for the state of things which it prefigures. And aptly does it prefigure the gracious comprehension of Gentiles, together with Jews, in the universal church of Christ. How thankfully ought we, that are of Gentile extraction, to praise the Lord for bis goodness, in giving us a portion in the land! How gladly ought we to welcome strangers, how anxiously invite them to come in, how diligently labour to induce them, by shewing forth in the holiness of our lives the thankfulness of our hearts ! And how graciously is it here signified, both to them and us, for our encouragement in holding fast to our profession, that God's gifts in the Gospel are “ an inheritance,” ours now, and unless it be our own fault, ours for evermore !
The apportionment of the land in several parts. i Now these are the names of twenty thousand in length, and the tribes. From the north toward the west ten thousand end to the coast of the way of in breadth, and toward the east Hethlon, as one goeth to Ha- ten thousand in breadth, and math, Hazar-enan, the border toward the south five and of Damascus northward, to the twenty thousand in length: and coast of Hamath; for these are the sanctuary of the LORD sball his sides east and west; a por- be in the midst thereof. tion for Dan.
11 It shall be for the priests 2 And by the border of Dan, that are sanctified of the sons of from the east side unto the west Zadok; which have kept my side, a portion for Asher. charge, which went not astray
3 And by the border of Asher, when the children of Israel from the east side even unto the went astray, as the Levites west side, a portion for Naphtali. went astray.
4 And by the border of Naph- 12 And this oblation of the tali, from the east side unto the land that is offered shall be west side, a portion for Ma- unto them a thing most holy by nasseh.
the border of the Levites. 5 And by the border of Ma- 13 And over against the bornasseh, from the east side unto der of the priests the Levites the west side, a portion for shall have five and twenty thouEphraim.
sand in length, and ten thousand 6 And by the border of E- in breadth: all the length shall phraim, from the east side even be five and twenty thousand, unto the west side, a portion for and the breadth ten thousand. Reuben.
14 And they shall not sell of 7 And by the border of Reu- it, neither exchange, nor alienben, from the east side unto ate the firstfruits of the land: the west side, a portion for Judah. for it is holy unto the LORD. 8 And by the border of Judah, 15 And the five thousand, that from the east side unto the are left in the breadth over west side, shall be the offering against the five and twenty which ye shall offer of five and thousand, shall be a profane twenty thousandreeds in breadth, place for the city, for dwelling, and in length as one of the and for suburbs: and the city other parts, from the east side shall be in the midst thereof. unto the west side: and the 16 And these shall be the measanctuary shall be in the midst sures thereof; the north side of it.
four thousand and five hundred, 9 The oblation that ye shall and the south side four thousand offer unto the LORD shall be and five hundred, and on the of five and twenty thousand in east side four thousand and five length, and of ten thousand in hundred, and the west side four breadth.
thousand and five hundred. 10 And for them, even for the 17 And the suburbs of the priests, shall be this holy obla- city shall be toward the north tion ; toward the north five and two hundred and fifty, and to