Then he brought me back to the door of the temple; and there was water, flowing from under the threshold of the temple toward the east, for the front of the temple faced east; the water was flowing from under the right side of the temple, south of the altar. He brought me out by way of the north gate, and led me around on the outside to the outer gateway that faces east; and there was water, running out on the right side.
And when the man went out to the east with the line in his hand, he measured one thousand cubits, and he brought me through the waters; the water came up to my ankles. Again he measured one thousand and brought me through the waters; the water came up to my knees. Again he measured one thousand and brought me through; the water came up to my waist. Again he measured one thousand, and it was a river that I could not cross; for the water was too deep, water in which one must swim, a river that could not be crossed. He said to me, “Son of man, have you seen this?” Then he brought me and returned me to the bank of the river.
— Ezekiel 47:1-6.
Men, Ezekiel is filled with spiritual vision from a guided perspective far beyond our time. Much is a literal picture of the future yet revealed. Some is metaphor. It’s hard to find consensus on many passages.
Here, Ezekiel’s guide returns to the temple door. Ezekiel has been to this door before, but now sees water flowing from under the threshold of the temple towards the east. (Perhaps from tears of repentance) At 4 different increments, Ezekiel acknowledges its depths. First at ankle depth, then knee deep, waist deep and then it is so deep it can’t be crossed without swimming.
Right away we know this doesn’t fit with a natural experience. Water sources are generally reduced as they flow. A spring only produces what it produces and it soaks into the soil as it flows. Unless it is fed by other waters. Ezekiel calls it a river once it can’t be crossed but never mentions any other water source feeding into it.
Commentators suggest that this river is the Holy Spirit empowered gospel message. This makes sense. The gospel has One source, in Messiah our Christ, but is shared throughout all the lands. The more it is shared the deeper the message becomes, the deeper our experience with God the Father becomes. The depth of God’s love, mercy, and grace are a raging current the longer it is explored. So deep that Ezekiel’s guide had to return him to the banks of the river. This gospel starts simple but the more we inquire, the more we are inundated by who the Lord is and what He has done.
Move forward men, stick your toes into His stream. Share what you encounter, watch and experience, observe its depths increase as more of His message is revealed to our own hearts and others as we share. Once you’re over your head, ENJOY, the Lord will return you to the banks when it’s time.