Old Testament Summary Lesson 44: “Every Thing Shall Live Whither the River Cometh”
- Doom to Consolation: “Although the Book of Ezekiel starts on a note of doom, it continues with consolation, and the news of Jerusalem’s fall is followed by consolatory prophecies of its restoration. Ezekiel is transported in a vision to the future Jerusalem and describes the future Temple in detail.” (Encyclopedia Judaica Jr.)
- Salt and Water: Ezekiel gives us the imagery of water and salt as he envisions living water coming from the Latter-day Temple to cover the waters of the Dead Sea. Both salt and water are necessary for life. All sacrifices had to be prepared with salt. In praying before a meal, bread is broken and salt is poured. “Cleansing and hygienic powers are also attributed to salt . . .” (Encyclopedia Judaica Jr.)
- “Official” Salt: “Bread with salt was regarded as the poor man’s food but sufficient for the humble student of the Torah, and it has remained a custom to sprinkle a little salt on bread partaken at the beginning of meals. In Jerusalem it is the custom to greet official guests of the City Council with bread and salt as they enter the city’s limits.” (Encyclopedia Judaica Jr.)
- Another Great Salt Lake: Salt is plentiful in Israel and indeed the Dead Sea is known in Hebrew as the Salt Sea. (Sea and lake are the same words in ancient Hebrew, yam–so, Mormons, take note, there is another “Salt Lake!”) It is in that region of the country that Lot’s wife was transformed into a pillar of salt when, in defiance of the angel’s instructions, she looked back on the destruction of Sodom.