The Millennial River

The valley formed by the splitting of the Mount of Olives allows for the flow of an amazing river that will exist during the Millennium.  The river’s fountainhead will be in the house of the LORD (Joel 3:18).  Specifically, it will flow from below the temple’s threshold (Ez. 47:1).  The river begins as only a trickle of water (Ez. 47:2).  As it flows eastward the river will become progressively deeper.  The river’s depth builds from ankle-deep to knee-deep to waist-deep until it finally becomes so wide and deep that a man could swim in it but be unable to ford.  These four deviations are measured in sets of 1,000 cubits (or 1,750 feet) (Ez. 47:2-5).  In total, these represent the distance from Jerusalem to the eastern slopes of the Mount of Olives.

The river actually flows in two directions; to the eastern sea (the Dead Sea) and to the western sea (the Mediterranean) (Zech. 14:8).  The result is a sort of double-river.  Wherever the waters flow there will be life as a result (Ez. 47:9).  The Hebrew in Ezekiel 47:9 literally reads, “And wherever the two rivers go…”  Therefore, while most of the Biblical narrative covers the eastern side of the river, the nature of the western side can also be inferred.

Several species of fruit trees will grow alongside the banks of the millennial river.  These trees will never fail to produce viable food.  A fresh batch of fruit will be grown every month.  In addition, the leaves of the trees will never wither and will be used for medicine (Ez. 47:7; 12).  The abilities of these trees mark them as unlike anything that has grown since the fall of man.  They are the direct result of the river that flows from the sanctuary (Ez. 47:12).

The millennial river has such an inherent healing effect that that Dead Sea will require a name change.  Ezekiel 47:8-11:

And he said to me, “This water flows toward the eastern region and goes down into the Arabah, and enters the sea; when the water flows into the sea, the water will become fresh.  And wherever the river goes, every living creature that swarms will live, and there will be very many fish.  For this water goes there, that the waters of the sea may become fresh; so everything will live where the river goes.  Fisherman will stand beside the sea.  From Engedi to Eneglaim it will be a place for the spreading of nets.  Its fish will be of very many kinds, like fish of the Great Sea.  But its swamps and marshes will not become fresh. 

The river will pour into the Arabah[1] and will make fresh what was once among the saltiest bodies of water on Earth (v. 8).  At present, the Dead Sea is so inhospitable that only a few forms of microorganisms can survive in it.  The Hebrew, “Yam ha Maved” more strictly translated reads, “killer sea.”  The sea means death to any fish unfortunate enough find his way into it.  However, when the healing powers of the millennial river cascade into the Arabah the status quo is bound to change.  Wherever the river goes there will be life and an abundance of fish (v. 9), including what will then become the, “living sea.”  It is of no great mystery as to why the psalmist says that this river will make the city of God glad (Ps. 46:4).  The river will pass through Engedi and Eneglaim[2], for men will spread their nets to catch fish from these respective locations (v. 10).  There will be so many fish caught representing so many species that for the purposes of fishing the Dead Sea will become like the Mediterranean (v. 10).

In contrast to these changes, there will be left some swamps and marshes that will not become fresh (v. 11).  Theories as to why this may be vary widely throughout the commentaries.  It is enough to simply understand the remaining salted areas as being indicative of the transitional nature of the Millennium.  The saltiness of the Dead Sea can rightly be understood to symbolize death.  Even with Jesus reigning from David’s Throne there will still be death, though it be diminished (Is. 65:20).  Great improvements will have been made but perfection is yet to be found after the Millennium and in the Eternal State.

Indeed, the millennial river itself serves as a fine example of something that is in a transitional stage.  The river continues to exist in the Eternal State but is improved beyond its already impressive character.  In the New Jerusalem there is a river, clear as crystal, flowing from the Lamb’s throne (Rev. 22:1).  This is the perfected version of the water coming from under the threshold of the Temple (Ez. 47:1, Joel 3:18).  In the New Jerusalem there is no temple for the Lord God and the Lamb are to be the fulfillment of the various temples (Rev. 21:22).  On each side of the Lamb’s river there are trees of life bearing twelve kinds of fruit every month.  Just like the millennial river, the lamb’s river will too produce leaves for healing (Rev. 22:2).  However, the trees growing along the Lamb’s river are referred to as the, “tree of life” (Rev. 22:2).  This is no small difference as to eat from such a tree results in eternal life (Gen. 3:22).  Therefore, the millennial river becomes upgraded as do the trees growing along the shores.



[1] The Arabah is the hollow depression that extends from the Sea of Galilee to the Gulf of Aqabah.

[2] The location of Eneglaim is unknown, though it likely rests somewhere near Qumran on the northwestern shore of the Dead Sea.

Comments

  1. Not ONE Trinitarian in the Millennial Kingdom of Christ. EVERYONE will realize that Jesus Christ is the Everlasting Father. God with us.

    • Jesus certainly is rightly named, “Immanuel” or “God with us” (Is. 7:14) That is because Jesus is absolutely YHWH God. However, Jesus is not one in the same as the Father. It seems as though you hold to Patripassianism, correct? If so how do you deal with Jesus praying to the Father in such a way that indicates a separation between the persons of the Son and Father (e.g. Mark 15:34, John 17).

      Thank you for taking the time to read and comment sir.

  2. helenadiane says:

    Beautifully described!!!

Leave a Reply