This water flows toward the eastern region and goes down into the Jordan Valley, where it enters the Dead Sea. When it empties into the sea, the salty water there becomes fresh. Swarms of living creatures will live wherever the river flows. There will be large numbers of fish, because this water flows there and makes the salt water fresh; so where the river flows everything will live. Ezekiel 47:8–9
Words: Philip Doddridge (1702–1751). Published posthumously in Hymns Founded on Various Texts in the Holy Scriptures, by Job Orton (Shropshire, England: Joshua Eddowes & John Cotton, 1755), number 147:
The Waters of the Sanctuary healing the dead Sea‡…‡The Sea or Lake, where Sodom and Gomorrah, &c. had stood, which was putrid and poisonous, and ancient writers say, that no fish could live in it.
Great source of being and of love,
Thou waterest all the worlds above,
And all the joys we mortals know
From Thine exhaustless fountain flow.
A sacred spring at Thy command
From Zion’s mount, in Canaan’s land,
Beside Thy temple, cleaves the ground,
And pours its limpid stream around.
The limpid stream with sudden force
Swells to a river in its course;
Through desert realms its windings play,
And scatter blessings all the way.
Close by its banks in order fair
The blooming trees of life appear;
Their blossoms fragrant odors give,
And on their fruit the nations live.
To the dead sea the waters flow,
And carry healing as they go;
Its poisonous dregs their power confess,
And all its shores the fountain bless.
Flow, wondrous stream with glory crowned,
Flow on to earth’s remotest bound;
And bear us on thy gentle wave
To Him, who all thy virtues gave.