And by the river on the bank thereof, on this side and on that side, shall grow all trees for meat, whose leaf shall not fade…
The river, which in his prophetic vision Ezekiel beholds, as it pursues its widening course from the temple rock eastwards towards the Arabah, is seen by him to be bordered with trees, clad with perennial foliage, and laden with luscious and nutritious fruits. And as the waters of life bring satisfaction and refreshment to the thirsting spirits of men, so do the trees supply them with leaves to heal their wounds and sicknesses, and with fruit to satisfy the hunger which the Dead Sea apples can only mock and leave unappeased.
I. THE SOURCE OF SALVATION. The fruitfulness of the trees which border the riverbanks is accounted for by the fresh and flowing waters which keep their roots for ever moist and nourished. The gospel is a Divine provision for human need; its suitableness and sufficiency are only to be explained by its heavenly origin in the infinite wisdom and the infinite love of God himself. Our Savior Christ, "for us men and for our salvation, came down from heaven." The Holy Spirit who enlightens, quickens, and blesses, is the Gift of God, "proceeding from the Father and the Son."
II. THE CHARACTER OF SALVATION. As represented in this exquisitely beautiful figure, salvation is twofold.
1. It includes healing for sin. As the leaves of certain trees were and are applied to the body for the healing of wounds and diseases, so the, gospel brings to sinful men the Divine remedy and cure.
2. It includes the supply of spiritual wants. It is an imperfect view of religion which confines it to a provision for pardon. Religion takes possession of the whole nature, and provides truth for the understanding, love for the heart, and power for the life. It is to the spiritual nature what food is to the body - sustenance, stimulus, and strength. As the strong man eats in order that he may be in health and vigorous life, in order that he may do his daily work, so does the good man partake of the fruit of God's Word in order that he may be empowered to render true and effective service to his God.
III. THE ABUNDANCE OF SALVATION. The trees which grew by the river of life are represented as characterized by unwithering leaf and by unfailing fruit.
1. Salvation is afforded as God's gift to innumerable applicants of every variety of character and from every land.
2. Salvation is provided for successive generations. There was a marvelous largeness of view in the Prophet Ezekiel; he contemplated not only the many nations of men, but the successive inhabitants of the earth, as benefited by the provision of Divine mercy. The perennial and inexhaustible trees of life afford to all mankind in every age the healing and the sustenance which they require. There is no limit to God's bounty, as there is no limit to man's need. - T.
Parallel VersesKJV: And by the river upon the bank thereof, on this side and on that side, shall grow all trees for meat, whose leaf shall not fade, neither shall the fruit thereof be consumed: it shall bring forth new fruit according to his months, because their waters they issued out of the sanctuary: and the fruit thereof shall be for meat, and the leaf thereof for medicine.
WEB: By the river on its bank, on this side and on that side, shall grow every tree for food, whose leaf shall not wither, neither shall its fruit fail: it shall bring forth new fruit every month, because its waters issue out of the sanctuary; and its fruit shall be for food, and its leaf for healing.