New Defender's Study Bible Notes
47:1 waters issued out. This unique temple fountain (see also Joel 3:18) is a precursor of the great “river of water of life,…proceeding out of the throne of God and the Lamb” (Revelation 22:1) in the New Jerusalem.
47:5 river. A great river will emerge from the millennial temple, just as the river from Eden in the primeval world (Genesis 2:10-14). During the geophysical upheavals in the seven-year tribulation period, the antediluvian hydrologic cycle, based largely on subterranean reservoirs, will evidently be reestablished, at least in part.
47:8 go into the sea. This sea is what we now know as the Dead Sea. The great earthquake at the end of the tribulation period (Revelation 16:18-20; Zechariah 14:4,8) will release the waters from a great “fountain of the deep,” dividing into two rivers. The one flowing east will flow so abundantly that the saline waters of the Dead Sea will become fresh, and will support an abundance of fish in its waters and lush growths of trees along its banks (Ezekiel 47:9-12).
47:9 multitude of fish. All of the fish in the ocean will have died in the great tribulation period (Revelation 16:3). Perhaps God will create new fish life for the millennial period, or else (more likely) some of each kind of the freshwater fish will survive to repopulate the rivers, and possibly the seas (Ezekiel 47:10) with fish.
47:12 new fruit according to his months. This mighty river, growing in size as it flows (probably supplied by many springs or other tributaries along its route, also supplies the nourishment for an amazing stand of trees along its banks. These bear fruit all year long and even their leaves are valuable sources of medicinal substances. Both the river and the trees foreshadow the “pure river of water of life” and the “tree of life” that will flow and grow eternally on the new earth (Revelation 22:1,2). These great changes in topography, geology, hydrology, and agriculture for life in the millennium may well involve both creative and providential miracles (note Appendix 9).
47:18 unto the east sea. The border of Israel on the east will be the Jordan River and the Dead Sea. This evidently refers to the lands specifically allotted to living areas for the twelve tribes. According to the Abrahamic covenant, however (Genesis 15:18), Israel’s control extends to the Euphrates.