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Once in the past, I read an article online (Now I don't remember where exactly), that says that during the messianic age or the world to come, there will be a phenomenon of the appearance of new rivers, and huge abundance of sweet water.

where did the writer get this idea from?

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  • 2
    Not sure, but Ezekiel (47) describes something familiair.
    – Shmuel
    Jan 18, 2023 at 18:27
  • 1
    Yalkut Shimoni 1:47 might be related
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Jan 18, 2023 at 18:33
  • 2
    Zechariah 14:8.
    – Double AA
    Jan 18, 2023 at 19:17
  • 2
    Yeshayahu 11:15?
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Jan 18, 2023 at 19:27
  • 1
    Sometimes streams of water are a metaphor: Jeremiah 2:13, Psalm 87:7, 36:8-9
    – 1Sam1223
    Jan 18, 2023 at 22:47

1 Answer 1

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In Joel 4:18, we read something familiair:

and a fountain shall issue from the house of the Lord, and shall water the valley of Shittim.

This is the river, Yechezkel prophesied about in chapter 47:

And when the man that had the line in his hand went out eastward, he measured a thousand cubits, and he made me pass through the water; the water was up to the ankles.

In the Milstein Edition of Yechezkel (By Rabbi Menachem Davis and Rabbi Nosson Scherman; publisher ArtScroll, p. 410-411) there are several insights given:

  1. The (new) river is to flow eastward, to the Sea of Galilee. Then, it flows towards the Dead Sea and then to the Mediterranean Sea. Its healing touch would turn the salt of the water into sweet water
  2. Before the new river emerging, the quality of the waters mentioned above, would be bad, in that it would not be suitable for living creatures. For example, take the Dead Sea at this very moment. The amount of salt in it (9,6 times more than the ocean), prevents plants and animals (fish) for flourishing, hence the name. When the new rivers flows through these sites, the water transforms and becomes sweet, e.g. it is possible to sustain life again.This is why fisherman will stand by and waiting to harvest the stream's bounty.

There is, however, a Midrashic approach to this. In Pirkei DeRabbi Eliezer (35:3), it tells us that in the future, e.g. "on that day" which the prophets refers to, the well will show up in Yerushalayim:

This refers to the well which will arise in Jerusalem in the future, and will water all its surroundings. Because they found (the well) seven times, he called it Shib'ah (seven).

Rabbi Meir Leibush ben Yehiel Michel Wisser, also known as the Malbim, has a different approach:

On that day a spring shall be opened – According to the plain meaning , in that at this time there will be no springs found in Jerusalem and then a source of living water will be opened up, which will be reserved for the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem for purifying waters to purify with and for the waters of the ashes of the red heifer. Ezekiel already saw this in a prophetic vision when he saw a great stream issuing from the Holy of Holies, spreading out to the eastern and western seas. So too prophesied Zechariah “And on that day,living waters will go out from Jerusalem, half of them toward the eastern sea and half of them toward the western…” (Zechariah 14:8) This will be after the final war of Gog and Magog when the stream will overflow with so much abundance, but after first war of Gog and Magog, which is being discussed here, the water will not spread outwards and will be only for the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. I have already explained in my commentary on Ezekiel that this is a metaphoric representation of the spreading forth of the waters of knowledge and the stream of Torah and faith, which are compared to water. After the first war, the waters of knowledge will begin to spread out from the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem and remove the sin of external consciousness and to purify the impurity of foolishness, stupidity and false belief and every trace of idolatry as is explained shortly. “It will come to pass on that day that I will cut off all the names of the idols from the land…” (Zechariah 13:2) This is an explanation of the nature of this source and its faithful waters that flow from the upwelling of wisdom and holy consciousness. After the final war of Gog and Magog the waters will spread outwards and “the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.” (Isaiah 11:9) On this it says “And on that day living waters will go out from Jerusalem…and the Lord shall be king over all the earth…” (Zechariah 14:8-9) This is the meaning of the ‘water,’ that everyone will recognize the unity of the Creator and the truth of divinity. This itself is the water which Ezekiel saw, as I explained there.

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