The Tree of Life                                       SCROLL 2.pngSCROLL 2.png

 

And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. Revelation 22:1,2

This portion of scripture has a parallel portion in the Book of Ezekiel* :

Afterward he brought me again unto the door of the house; and, behold, waters issued out from under the threshold of the house eastward: for the forefront of the house stood toward the east, and the waters came down from under from the right side of the house, at the south side of the altar. Ezekiel 47:1

Afterward he measured a thousand; and it was a river that I could not pass over: for the waters were risen, waters to swim in, a river that could not be passed over. Ezekiel 47:5

Now when I had returned, behold, at the bank of the river were very many trees on the one side and on the other. Ezekiel 47:7

And by the river upon the bank thereof, on this side and on that side, shall grow all trees for meat, whose leaf shall not fade, neither shall the fruit thereof be consumed: it shall bring forth new fruit according to his months, because their waters they issued out of the sanctuary: and the fruit thereof shall be for meat, and the leaf thereof for medicine. Ezekiel 47:12

* The Book of Ezekiel spans several hundred years, from the apportioning of the Land of Canaan among the twelve tribes of Israel unto the millennial rule of Christ. The prophecy of Ezekiel 47:12 was not literally fulfilled in the days of Judah, but it will be literally fulfilled during the millennial rule of Christ on the Earth.

The Tree of Life     Adam and Eve were cast out of the Garden of Eden and prohibited from eating of the Tree of Life when they disobeyed God by eating of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. However, we see that the Tree of Life reappears in Eternity with the New Jerusalem. An obvious implication of Revelation 22:1-2 is that the saved will obtain their physical nourishment from the Tree of Life. Secondly, we see that the leaves of the Tree of Life are for the "healing of the nations". Nations are made up of people, so we can also say that the leaves are for the healing of the people. This interesting phrase has a dual meaning, because of the word healing. In order to get at a clearer meaning of this phrase, let us consider the following meanings found in Strong's Concordance and in Webster's dictionary:

Strong's Concordance  (All Greek words omitted, principal English word is healing:)

2322. From 2323; attendance ( spec. medical, i.e., cure ); fig. and collect. domestics:--healing, household.

2323. From the same as 2324; to wait upon menially, i.e., (fig.) to adore (God), or (spec.) to relieve (of disease):- -cure, heal, worship.

2324. Apparently a part. From an otherwise obsol. Der. Of the base of 2330; a menial attendant (as if cherishing);--servant.

Webster's Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary 

heal vt. 1 a: to make sound or whole < - a wound> b: to restore to health 2 a: CURE, REMEDY b: to patch up (a breach or division) 3: to restore to original purity or integrity - vi : to return to a sound state syn see CURE (, p. 383 )

In Strong's Concordance we see that the transliteration from the Greek to the English the word healing can have the connotation not only of physical healing, but also that of mental healing through the worshipping of God.  Moreover, we see also that adoration and servitude are also apt meanings for healing. And reinforcing these meanings we have Webster's definition(s) of restoration to original purity and a sound state (mind).  Therefore, we can conclude that the phrase the leaves are for the healing of the people means that the leaves of the Tree of Life are for the purpose of bringing the people to adore and worship God.

How the Nations are Healed   The Bible does not tell us by what means the leaves accomplish their purpose, but we can appeal to some scripture and sound reasoning which, as some old-timers used to say, "does no damage to the scriptures" to arrive at the transmission mechanism. Firstly, let us use some of the attributes of Ezekiel's prophecy: The fruit will not be consumed - that does not mean that it will not be eaten - it means that it will plenish itself continually, so that the tree never runs out of fruit. Secondly, we notice that, originally, the leaves of the trees were to be used as medicine, which has a physical healing connotation.   But although the nations (people) will not need any physical healing in eternity (Revelation 21:4), they will still need to purify their minds throughout all eternity - thus, the need for spiritual healing.  In this regard, we can see that a reciprocating effect takes place - our minds are healed spiritually when we worship God, as given in the definitions above.

Since the Bible does not tell us that the leaves of the Tree of Life will replace themselves if they are removed from it (supposedly to be used for medicinal purposes), we cannot assume that they will do soThe fruit, however, will be continually replaced, as in Ezekiel's prophecy. If the leaves were to be removed, they could be sold to people who did not want to bother making the trip to the Tree of Life, or traded, or whatever. I do not think that the Lord would permit this kind of behavior. Therefore, if the leaves are not removed, and do not replace themselves if removed, there must be another avenue whereby they may accomplish the healing of the nations.

There is a way in which the leaves could provide the healing, and that is by providing a shade, or shadow, which itself may have healing properties. Such an instance is recorded in Acts, where Peter's shadow has healing power (Acts 5:12-15).         Having the leaves to provide a "healing shade" would ensure that everyone would have to come to the Tree of Life for healing (and to worship thereby), without any disfiguring of the Tree of Life taking place.

One difference between Ezekiel's prophecy and that of Revelation is that Ezekiel mentions trees, while Revelation mentions the Tree of Life, singular. Because there will be multitudes of people going to the Tree of Life, I believe that this tree will be a multi-trunk tree which stretches out over a considerable distance so as to accommodate the partakers. There are scores of tree species that have this multi-trunk property, so if the Tree of Life is going to have this property, it has already been seen in Nature, although on a much smaller scale.

Summary         It should be strongly emphasized that the phrase the healing of the nations is a reciprocal action  - people will get purified spiritually whenever they have an attitude of worship before the Throne of God, which is the source of the river that supplies the Tree of Life.  

 

                                                                                                               Cited Scripture and Note

And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people; (and they were all with one accord in Solomon's porch. And of the rest durst no man join himself to them: but the people magnified them. And believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women. ) Insomuch that they brought forth the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and couches, that at the least the shadow of Peter passing by might overshadow some of them. Acts 5:12-15

Note     "Healing" is an act of worship, so "for the healing of the nations" means "for the worship of the nations" i.e., nations will acknowledge their dependence on the Lord by the leaves of the Tree of Life.  This could be accomplished by the peoples of all saved nations to come under God's Tree of Life's shadow. There will be no need for physical healing: 

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. (Revelation 21:4)

                                                                               Questions/Comments?   Email me at  comment@thechristianlight.org   


     

 

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