Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States
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I have some questions regarding the Holy Book of Ezekiel 47:

  1. Is there any particular meaning and significance to the directions given (south, north, east but not west then south repeated again) Do they represent the sign of the cross? The whole world? Why is west missing?

  2. What do the following refer to:
    • Trees?

    • Fish?

    • Sea and river?
Do you think, "Leaves for healing "is an establishing of herbal medicine? Is there any similar reference anywhere else in the Holy Bible? Do the measurements refer to different stages of growth and maturity in the Holy Spirit?

The Temple represents the Church of the New Testament facing the East towards the Lord Jesus Christ. The water flowing under the threshold of the temple is the water of Baptism without which no one can enter into the membership of the Church of Christ. The waters also spread in the different directions signify the gospel of Christ, which went forth from Jerusalem, and spread itself into the countries about, and to the whole world accompanied with the gifts and powers of the Holy Spirit. The west is not mentioned because, obviously that was the standing point from which the prophet saw the rest of the directions.

Fish: represents the great number of Christians in the church in the rising generations,  multiplying like fishes in the wide water of the oceans.

Trees: Christians especially ministers and pastors are to be like trees,. ), grafted into Christ the tree of life, and by virtue of their union with Him made trees of life too, rooted in Him trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, set by the rivers of water, the waters of the sanctuary (Ps 1:3).

Leaves and fruits represent the discourses and good charitable acts of Christians They strengthen the weak, and bind up the broken-hearted. Their cheerfulness does well like a medicine, not only to themselves, but to others also. St. John mentions in the holy Book of Revelation "In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations" (Rev 22:2).

On the other hand, those that are not watered by the grace of God, nor made fruitful, shall be abandoned to their own hearts' lusts, and left forever unfruitful. They shall be given to, to the divine justice which will cause them to vanish leaving nothing behind but salt, as Lot's wife that was turned into a pillar of salt.

The measurements are the progression of the gospel in the world.

It is good to be often searching deeply into the things of God, not just looking at the surface. The mysteries of the kingdom of heaven like deep waters require diving and delving into them in order to reach the treasures hidden therein.
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