Did Water Come From the Temple?
This is easy to explain, but very few people have actually seen what the apostle Paul actually meant. To see what happened, note what Paul said in I Corinthians 10:1. He said that "the cloud" was a major part of his context. This cloud was the Shekinah (the Glory of God) that accompanied the Israelites in the wilderness. It hovered constantly over the holiest part of the Tabernacle (Exodus 13:21,22), and when God wanted them to move to another area the cloud (or pillar of fire by night) would lift itself up and move in the direction God wanted Israel to go. When the cloud (the Shekinah) stopped moving, that is when they again pitched the Tabernacle. The important point to realize is the fact that the cloud (the Shekinah) was always with Israel wherever they went or camped.
Now this same Shekinah was seen by the prophet Ezekiel in a vision. He saw a great cloud and a fire that was transported by cherubim in a conveyance that had wheels within wheels (Ezek 1:4—for the cloud and fire—then verse 5 to 25 for the description of the conveyance). But in the main part of the cloud and the fire was a throne. It was inside the cloud and carried by the cherubim. This throne was made out of a solid piece of sapphire stone and on it sat the Glory of the Lord who appeared just like a human being suspended above the cherubim who carried it (Ezekiel 1:26-28). Thus, Ezekiel describes the Shekinah (the Glory of God) as being in this cloud (or fire) and carried by the cherubim (Ezekiel 10:1). This is the same Shekinah (in cloud and fire) that accompanied Israel in the wilderness for forty years, and the apostle Paul called special reference to the "Rock" (that is, the "Stone") that was in this cloud that accompanied Israel. He said the Rock (or Stone) represented Christ because Christ was sitting on that very throne made out of sapphire stone (Ezekiel 1:26; 10:1).
But Paul tells us one other thing. He said water came forth from that Rock (that Stone which was a solid piece of sapphire stone in the shape of a throne on which the Glory of God sat) and that the water gave the Israelites what they needed to drink in the wilderness (I Corinthians 10:4). This water came forth from the "Rock" or "Stone" above the cherubim in the Holy of Holies and the stream went out eastward to give the Israelites water. Paul identified the one sitting on that Stone in the cloud (that is, the throne of sapphire on which sat the Glory of God) as Christ some fourteen centuries before his birth as a baby in Bethlehem.
What Paul meant was that water came forth from that Stone (throne) for the forty years of the Exodus to give Israel water to drink and to use. But when Israel got to Kadesh, at the border of the Land of Canaan, the water stopped coming from that Stone. This is when God told Moses to speak unto a rock outcropping to produce a new water source for the Israelites while they were in Kadesh (Numbers 20:1-13). Once they left Kadesh the Israelites then found water in streams and in wells (Numbers 21:12-18).
Now note this. In Ezekiels ideal Temple which God showed to him in vision, he also saw water ushering forth from the Holy Place and it went out the right side of the altar of burnt offering and into the Dead Sea which made those acrid waters to be clean and fresh (Ezekiel 47:1–12). On the sides of this river that came forth from the Holy Place there were trees that gave life-giving properties to all those who would eat of them (Ezekiel 47:12). This is a very similar to what the Book of Revelation says about the waters which will issue forth from the throne of God and the Lamb on the New Jerusalem. "And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding OUT OF THE THRONE of God and of the Lamb" (Revelation 22:1).
Note that the apostle John also said that water came directly FROM THE THRONE of God and the Lamb. That throne is described in Ezekiel 1:26 as a Stone (or a Rock) made of solid and pure sapphire and on it sat the Glory of God. So, the apostle Paul was simply stating a truth that many Jews knew in the first century. However, later Jews apparently lost this knowledge. They began to think it might be some kind of rolling stone which kept up with the Israelites wherever they went. The later Jews seemed to have forgot that the Shekinah (the cloud and the fire) had its sapphire stone in the shape of a throne that went with it. But the apostle Paul recognized that from the Throne (made of sapphire Stone or Rock) water came forth to satisfy the Israelites in the wilderness until they came to the border of the Land of Canaan. This is the miraculous water that Paul was talking about. He also said the one who sat on the throne which provided that water was none other than Christ Jesus before his incarnation.
As a further reflection on water springing from the Throne of God, we have Joel 3:18 "And it shall come to pass in the day, that the mountains shall drop down new wine, and the hills shall flow with milk, and all the rivers of Judah shall flow with waters, and a fountain shall come forth of the House [that is the Temple] of the Lord, and shall WATER the valley of Shittim."
And there is also Zechariah 14:8,9 "It shall be in that day, that living water shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea [the Dead Sea], and half of them toward the hinder sea [the Mediterranean]: in summer and in the winter shall it be. And the Lord shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one Lord, and his name one."
This same phenomenon of water issuing forth from the Holy of Holies in Ezekiels and Joels Temple (where the Shekinah hovered and where there was the sapphire Stone—that is, the Throne of God) was the same situation in the wilderness when water was given to the Israelites from that "Stone" or "Rock" until they reached Kedesh on the border of Canaan. This is something most Christians know little about. Indeed, Christians have even forgot all about that throne made of pure sapphire stone (on which Christ sat) which went with Israel in the cloud and fire wherever Israel went in the wilderness. But his is the Stone that Paul was speaking about when he spoke of the Rock (Stone) that gave Israel their water supply for forty long years (I Corinthians 10:4).
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