|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
47:1-23 These waters signify the gospel of Christ, which went forth from Jerusalem, and spread into the countries about; also the gifts and powers of the Holy Ghost which accompanied it, by virtue of which is spread far, and produced blessed effects. Christ is the Temple; and he is the Door; from him the living waters flow, out of his pierced side. They are increasing waters. Observe the progress of the gospel in the world, and the process of the work of grace in the heart; attend the motions of the blessed Spirit under Divine guidance. If we search into the things of God, we find some things plain and easy to be understood, as the waters that were but to the ankles; others more difficult, which require a deeper search, as the waters to the knees, or the loins; and some quite beyond our reach, which we cannot penetrate; but must, as St. Paul did, adore the depth, Ro 11. It is wisdom to begin with that which is most easy, before we proceed to that which is dark and hard to be understood. The promises of the sacred word, and the privileges of believers, as shed abroad in their souls by the quickening Spirit, abound where the gospel is preached; they nourish and delight the souls of men; they never fade nor wither, nor are exhausted. Even the leaves serve as medicines to the soul: the warnings and reproofs of the word, though less pleasant than Divine consolations, tend to heal the diseases of the soul. All who believe in Christ, and are united to him by his sanctifying Spirit, will share the privileges of Israelites. There is room in the church, and in heaven, for all who seek the blessings of that new covenant of which Christ is Mediator.
Verse 14. - Ye shall inherit it, one as well as another; literally, a man as his brother - the customary Hebrew phrase for "equally" (see, however, 2 Samuel 11:25). The equal participants were to be tribes, not the families, as in the Mosaic distribution (Numbers 33:54). Had the earlier principle of allotment been indicated as that to be followed in the future, it would not have been possible to give the tribes equal portions, as some tribes would certainly have a larger number of families than others. Nevertheless, the division was to be equal among the tribes, which shows it was rather of an ideal than of an actual distribution the prophet was speaking. Then what they should divide amongst themselves was to be the land concerning which Jehovah had lifted up his hand - a peculiarly Ezekelian phrase (see Ezekiel 20:5, 6, 15, 23, 28, 42), signifying "to swear" (comp. Genesis 14:22; Deuteronomy 33:40) - to give it unto their fathers (see Genesis 12:7; Genesis 18:8; Genesis 26:3; Genesis 28:13). That the land was not divided after this fashion among the tribes that returned from exile is one more attestation that the prophet's directions were not intended to be literally carried out.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And ye shall inherit it, one as well as another,.... That is, the twelve tribes shall equally inherit it; one tribe shall not have more, and another less, but each alike: this was not the case, at the division of the land, in the times of Moses and Joshua; for to such tribes as were very numerous a greater inheritance was given; and to those that were fewer in number a lesser inheritance, Numbers 26:54, and upon the return from the Babylonish captivity, as the tribes of Judah and Benjamin were the largest, and indeed the only tribes that returned as such, they had the share of the land; but as this respects the dispensation, it signifies, that those who are true Israelites indeed shall share in the same Gospel church state, the privileges and immunities of it alike, with all the blessings of grace and eternal glory; they being all one in Christ Jesus, Galatians 3:28,
concerning the which I lifted up my hand to give it unto your fathers; that is, swore that he would give unto them the land of Canaan; typical of the Gospel church state and the heavenly glory; which are as sure to all the seed, by the word and oath of God, as that was:
and this land shall fall unto you for inheritance; by lot, by the appointment of God, and a goodly one it is, Psalm 16:6.
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