Rivers bring the water from places where the rain falls, or from high snowy mountains, to places that normally receive very little rain. The prophetic rivers are metaphors. Rain represents God’s word, and the prophetic rivers are streams of God’s revelations, themes of knowledge that extend throughout the Bible. Isaiah said,
For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.
The rivers depict themes of the gospel, and they are parables, that illustrate how God’s promises work out through the ages.
The Temple-River of Ezekiel 47:1-12 implies that there is a land through which it flows, and which is healed because of it. What land is it? Not the literal territory of Canaan. It may be the better land mentioned in Hebrews 11:16.
The story of Moses striking the rock in the wilderness which brought forth water has a profound significance, and the theme of water and rivers as symbols of the Spirit flows like a river throughout both the Old and New Testaments. The Jerusalem temple was built above the site of a spring, called Gihon, which was also the name of one of the rivers in Eden. Solomon was crowned king there. [1 Kings 1:32-35]
Isaiah said in the last days, referring to Judah and Jerusalem, that the mountain of the Lord’s house would be raised up, to the top of the mountains, and exulted above the hills.
The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.
And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.
When we compare this with Ezekiel’s prophecy about the river flowing from the house of the Lord, a paradox appears. Any tectonic event that would elevate Jerusalem in a literal sense, would increase the slope in the surrounding area. But in Ezekiel’s description, the river in the vicinity of Jerusalem is shown to have a very gentle gradient, comparable to that of a football field, where a minimal slope is needed for drainage. In about half a mile, the depth of the river increases by only about three feet. [Ezek. 47:1-7]
An article on the website of The Middletown Bible Church, When and Where Does Christ Sit Upon the Throne of David? discusses 15 prophecies referring to the throne of David, and the author attempts to show that none of them apply to the present reign of Christ in his church. George Zeller is the assistant pastor at the church, and the author of most of the articles at the site.
The metaphor of a chain, made of a series of links connected together, is similar to the metaphor of a river, when applied to the revelations of God in scripture. There are links in the later scriptures, to earlier ones, and the themes found in Genesis are developed throughout the Bible. This concept of a chain as a metaphor that applies to prophecy was expressed in a 1842 book on the prophet Obadiah, by Carl Paul Caspari. The following is a translation:  Read more…
The scriptures say that God is around his people like the mountains around Jerusalem, and like broad rivers and streams.
As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so the Lord is round about his people from henceforth even for ever
But there the glorious Lord will be unto us a place of broad rivers and streams; wherein shall go no galley with oars, neither shall gallant ship pass thereby.
In many other scriptures, like the above example, mountains and rivers of a spiritual nature are related. Read more…
The New Testament describes God’s covenant with the church as an everlasting covenant. The covenant is like an agreement to enter into a marriage, where Christ is the groom, and the church is the bride. This everlasting covenant is mentioned in Hebrews.
Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant,
Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Read more…