|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
14:8-15 Some consider that the progress of the gospel, beginning from Jerusalem, is referred to by the living waters flowing from that city. Neither shall the gospel and means of grace, nor the graces of the Spirit wrought in the hearts of believers by those means, ever fail, by reason either of the heat of persecution, or storms of temptation, or the blasts of any other affliction. Tremendous judgments appear to be foretold, to be sent upon those who should oppose the settlement of the Jews in their own land. How far they are to be understood literally, events alone can determine. The furious rage and malice which stir up men against each other, are faint shadows of the enmity which reigns among those who have perished in their sins. Even the inferior creatures often suffer for the sin of man, and in his plagues. Thus God will show his displeasure against sin.
Verses 8-11. - § 7. Then shall occur a season of joy. The land shall be transformed and renewed, and the Lord shall be owned as the sole King of all the earth. Verse 8. - Living waters; i.e. water fresh, pure, and perennial (Genesis 26:19; Jeremiah 2:13), a figure of the spiritual blessings and graces bestowed by God upon his Church. From Jerusalem, as the centre and representative of the kingdom of God, as in Zechariah 12:2. The city itself was, as we know, abundantly supplied with water by many conduits and subterranean channels; but standing, as it does, surrounded by hills higher than itself, it is physically impossible that the waters could literally flow as stated. The description is symbolical, though the natural features of the country are supposed to be changed in order to preserve verisimilitude (comp. Ezekiel 47:1, etc.; Joel 3:18). The former (eastern) sea... the hinder (western) sea. The Dead Sea is the eastern sea to one looking to sunrise from Jerusalem: the Mediterranean is the western sea, behind the observer's back. Into every quarter the salutary stream shall flow. In summer and in winter. Neither drought nor frost shall stop their perennial flow. "Alike in times of peace and of persecution those waters shall continue their course" (St. Jerome); Septuagint, "In summer and in spring" - a rendering which seems to indicate the home of the Alexandrian Version.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem,.... When it shall be light; and this is one of the things which will make it so; for by "living waters" are meant the Gospel, and the doctrines of it; compared to running "waters" for the sound of them, which will then go into all the earth; for the swiftness in which they shall proceed; for their rapidity and force in bearing all before them; for the great spread of them; and for their virtue and efficacy in cooling those who are inflamed with the fiery law; refreshing thirsty souls; purifying the hearts and lives of sinners, and making those that are barren fruitful: and to "living" waters, because they are the means of quickening dead sinners, and of reviving drooping saints; and because they serve to support and maintain a spiritual life, and nourish up unto eternal life, and direct the way to it, as well as give the best account of it: and these will come out of Jerusalem; which may design Jerusalem literally, which will be rebuilt at the time of the Jews' conversion; or mystically the church, the spiritual and heavenly Jerusalem; see Hebrews 12:22 reference seems to be had to the first ministration of the Gospel, which, according to prophecy, came out of Jerusalem, Isaiah 2:3.
Half of them towards the former sea; or the eastern sea, as the Targum, the Persian sea; and may signify that the Gospel shall be carried into the eastern parts of the world, into Persia, Tartary, and China, and other nations; and those great kingdoms shall become the kingdoms of Christ:
and half of them toward the hinder sea; or the western sea, as the Targum, the Mediterranean Sea; and may denote the progress and success of the Gospel in the European parts of the world: and the meaning of the whole is, that the Gospel shall be carried from east to west, and preached all the world over, to the conversion of Jews and Gentiles, who, some think, are designed by the two seas; when the abundance of the sea shall be converted by it, and the forces and fulness of the Gentiles brought in, and all Israel saved:
in summer and in winter shall it be; there will be no summer of persecution, nor winter of coldness and indifference to hinder the ministry of the word: the phrase denotes the constant ministry of the word, and the duration of it; it shall be constantly preached all the year long, and as long as summer and winter last.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
8. living waters—(Eze 47:1; Joe 3:18).
former sea—that is, the front, or east, which Orientalists face in taking the points of the compass; the Dead Sea.
hinder sea—the west or Mediterranean.
summer … winter—neither dried up by heat, nor frozen by cold; ever flowing.
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