What does the Bible say about the river?
This article explores the themes of rivers and streams from Scripture, drawing in particular on Genesis, the Psalms, Ezekiel, the river of the Baptism of Jesus, the rivers of Living Water in John, and the Book of Revelation. The article concludes that a river flows somewhere but its outcome is in replenishment. The diversity of river imagery in Scripture suggests that the river is not so much a matter of observation as participation, being (becoming) within the stream itself, part of it, knowing it is within oneself.
Throughout the Bible, we find references to this river and its implications. The story of the stream of flowing water reveals the history of humankind and God’s continual presence to nourish His creation both physically and spiritually. It’s another book, here’s a snippet from Zechariah 14:8,9,11, “And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea: in summer and in winter shall it be. All the land shall be turned as a plain and men shall dwell in it…”
A river must have a source. Generally, it’s the melting snow, rainy season, or underground aquifers. The source of the river flowing out of Eden is beyond the physical environment.
For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.
O LORD, the hope of Israel, all that forsake you shall be ashamed, and they that depart from me shall be written in the earth, because they have forsaken the LORD, the fountain of living waters.
The trees, not the river, drew Adam and Eve. Spiritually, our world today may live beside rivers and the sea, but the magnetic force of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil still attracts us. Humankind has forgotten the Source, the fountain of living waters, of what not only nourishes us but participates in our peace and prosperity.
But others thought he was the Messiah — at least it was a good chance. Verse 31: “Yet many of the people believed in him. They said, ‘When the Christ appears, will he do more signs than this man has done?’” In other words, they were really impressed with his miracles. Maybe their faith was real; maybe it wasn’t (like his brothers’ in verse 5).
More Bible verses about the river evey Christian Should Know:
Ezekiel 47:1-12 ESV
Then he brought me back to the door of the temple, and behold, water was issuing from below the threshold of the temple toward the east (for the temple faced east). The water was flowing down from below the south end of the threshold of the temple, south of the altar. Then he brought me out by way of the north gate and led me around on the outside to the outer gate that faces toward the east; and behold, the water was trickling out on the south side. Going on eastward with a measuring line in his hand, the man measured a thousand cubits, and then led me through the water, and it was ankle-deep. Again he measured a thousand, and led me through the water, and it was knee-deep. Again he measured a thousand, and led me through the water, and it was waist-deep. Again he measured a thousand, and it was a river that I could not pass through, for the water had risen. It was deep enough to swim in, a river that could not be passed through.
Genesis 2:10-14 ESV
A river flowed out of Eden to water the garden, and there it divided and became four rivers. The name of the first is the Pishon. It is the one that flowed around the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold. And the gold of that land is good; bdellium and onyx stone are there. The name of the second river is the Gihon. It is the one that flowed around the whole land of Cush. And the name of the third river is the Tigris, which flows east of Assyria. And the fourth river is the Euphrates.
Genesis 1:1-31 ESV
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.
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