Comparing Ezekiel 47 and Rev 21


Anyone have opinions? :smiley: Is it valid to compare the two passages? Are they different but similar visions of the same thing?

Some of the differences:

What John sees is called the New Jerusalem, but Eze apparently sees the Temple.

In Rev, the river of life flows from the throne through the middle of the street. In Eze, water begins as a trickle from under the gate of the Temple, and as it flows it increases until it is a great river which heals wherever it goes and flows into the sea, healing the waters.

In Rev, there is no sea. In Eze fishermen (fisher’s of men?) line the shores catching fish of all kinds.

Any thoughts on this verse:
Eze 47:11 But its swamps and marshes will not become fresh; they are to be left for salt.



I wrote quite a bit on the comparison; I think most or all of what I wrote can be found compiled in my thread on the end of RevJohn.

It has some interesting things to say about the enemies of Israel (led by “the kings of the earth”), too, as I recall…

(Certainly more discussion of it can’t hurt; I’m only conveniently linking to what I would contribute to begin with. :slight_smile: )


Oh good! Thanks, Jason, I thought it was discussed somewhere before. I’ll take a look. I’ve been reading Rev since we’re going to look at it in our study with Don tonight (if it doesn’t get postponed again, that is!) I probably won’t bring up Eze, but you never know.

Anyone else have comments?



Hi Sonia, Revelation is what my dad is currently studying. It’ll be interesting to read his ideas once he gets them down on paper. Hope it goes well tonight!


Looking forward to seeing what’s discussed there! (Um, each ‘there’. :slight_smile: )


Hi Sonia,

I think Ezekiel and John were describing the same reality using different figurative imagery. Both visions are, I think, elaborate and protracted metaphors for the new covenant age of the Messianic reign (which I believe commenced in 70 AD, and will end at some future time when the dead are raised). I believe the temple in Ezekiel’s vision, and the “new Jerusalem” in John’s, symbolize God’s reign in and among his new covenant people, and I see the waters which issue forth from the temple/city as probably being symbolic of the gospel. In Ezekiel’s vision, the “fishermen” may be the apostles and the “fish” their Jewish and Gentile converts. The “swamps and marshes” may symbolize those not reached by (or who, in unbelief, reject) the healing waters of the gospel. They are given over to “salt,” or destitution and barrenness.


(Tonight’s study had to be postponed again, btw. But God knows best about such things! :sunglasses: )

Thanks for sharing your perspective. I’ve considered the idea that the vision is of the Church both now and into the coming ages. I’ll have to ponder on that some more. What do you say are the trees of life and their fruit and leaves? It intrigues me that it’s not just one tree, but many.



That’s a good question. I’ve heard some suggest that the trees of life symbolize Christ, or perhaps our spiritual life in Christ. While in my previous post I suggested that the healing waters may represent the gospel, it’s possible that the water represents God’s Spirit or grace, and the trees are meant to symbolize the gospel instead. As for the fruit and leaves, perhaps they symbolize the spiritual blessings that faith in the gospel brings (e.g., the fruit of the Spirit). At any rate, I think we can be sure that both Ezekiel and John were using highly figurative imagery to describe the abundant blessings that would be available to God’s people during the age of the Messiah.


IInteresting tidbit… caught a few words from Dad at dinner tonight, while washing the dishes, saying, after all his study on Revelation, he thinks all of Revelation, except the last two chapters, is about 70 AD. He can correct me if I’m wrong. :sunglasses:

It was interesting to hear about how he got out his notes from Fuller Seminary when he had a class with George Ladd (sp.?) He said that Ladd always gave them notes and he wrote his questions on them. Ladd said most serious scholars agreed it was about 70 AD, but he thought it was clearly about the future because everyone knows it’s about the future. My dad wanted to know how that proved anything. :smiley: And he had a note asking how something wasn’t a clear reference to Rome. Since he didn’t have much time to prepare sermons he always went off his notes from LAdd to teach Revelation. He said it’s like coming full circle now because he sees again the Preterist (sp.?) view that made the most sense even back then. He thinks LAdd was focused on discrediting dispensationalism and was already pushing the limits for people. Thought you might find this interesting.


That’s exciting news, Amy! I can’t wait to read Bob’s thoughts on it. :smiley:

Now if I can only convince him that the last two chapters were fulfilled - or rather began to be fulfilled - in 70 AD as well, and that the new Jerusalem of chapters 21-22 descended (figuratively speaking) when the old Jerusalem was destroyed… :smiling_imp:

(For anyone interested in knowing how preterists understand Revelation, the following is a pretty good introductory article:


Actually I’m doubtful that the anticipated persecutions in Revelation fit AD 70, but I do think they are mostly referring to events in the late first century, especially under Nero and Domitian (so I do take an essentially preterist view) . My old George Ladd syllabus conceded that critical scholars were all preterist, but he was a futurist because they didn’t recognize that Revelation was “Heilsgeschicte” (salvation history), and I wrote in the margin that this unclear argument seemed circular, and to ignore the strong clues that John had Rome in mind (even though I followed him and Mounce in expositing a futurist view 25 years later in the pulipt; so I’ve come full circle). Last night my pastor showed me an interview with Gordon Fee on his recent commentary on Revelation wherein he insisted it is preterist at least through chapter 20. I’ll attach my completed views here in April!