THE RIVER CHEBAR
In leading the children of Jacob out of bondage, we read that the Spiritual Rock which followed them, and which they all drank of, was Christ (1 Cor 10) :
“Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; And did all eat the same spiritual meat; And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.”
The name “Christ” is synonymous with the anointing, not yet tabernacling among them in flesh, but following them nonetheless. From the book of Genesis we read of the river of God, which went out from the Eden to water the garden. This river became four heads, four flows. One river, as there is one Spirit, yet four distinct Characteristics:
And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads. The name of the first is Pison: that is it which compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold; And the gold of that land is good: there is bdellium and the onyx stone.And the name of the second river is Gihon: the same is it that compasseth the whole land of Ethiopia.And the name of the third river is Hiddekel: that is it which goeth toward the east of Assyria. And the fourth river is Euphrates.
PISON means “Increase”
GIHON means “bursting forth”
HIDDEKEL means “rapid”
EUPHRATES means “fruitfulness”
The River is: “INCREASE BURSTING FORTH RAPID FRUITFULNESS”
CHEBAR means “far off”, “lengthy , long time or space”.
There are natural rivers bearing these names, and they are important learning tools. But the true River of God, is the Holy Spirit, who’s flow may be mapped from Genesis to the last chapter of Revelation. In it’s final description, the River of God no longer has the portion described as Fruitfulness, as in “be fruitful and multiply”. The Euphrates will dry, the final tally added to Christ will be numbered, and the door to the garden closed, thereby preparing the way for the Kings of the East…the Kings of the Garden.
Jeremiah, the prophet, speaking by the River, the Holy Spirit, testifies:
“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.” (Jer. 2:13)
Two things did the people ask for, two evils, and two things they were given, in rapid succession. A king , and kings, like the nations around them. And a house built by them, according to their specifications, to be called the “house of God”.
1. In desiring a king, the Lord told Samuel that they had not rejected Samuel, but were rejecting the Lord from being king over them. So they got their kings, although not without being warned of what the end of it would be. And again, in time to come, would they again reject their King now tabernacling among them in flesh, proclaiming to have no king but Caesar, and as Stephen, filled with the Holy Ghost would testify, they would continue, as always, to resist the Holy Ghost, the spiritual rock that had followed them.
2. In desiring to build a “house” for the Lord, David was told that it was an impossibility. There is no house any man can build for the Lord. But Solomon persisted and built a temple, which before Solomon’s reign ended , was filled with every idolatrous and contemptible thing conceivable, mingled by man, with the terminology and items that were transferred from the tabernacle Moses built. To this sad estate, Jeremiah speaks (as does Christ, saying “remember your first love…):
“Go and cry in the ears of Jerusalem, saying, Thus saith the LORD; I remember thee, the kindness of thy youth, the love of thine espousals, when thou wentest after me in the wilderness, in a land that was not sown.Israel was holiness unto the LORD, and the firstfruits of his increase: all that devour him shall offend; evil shall come upon them, saith the LORD.Hear ye the word of the LORD, O house of Jacob, and all the families of the house of Israel:Thus saith the LORD, What iniquity have your fathers found in me, that they are gone far from me, and have walked after vanity, and are become vain?Neither said they, Where is the LORD that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, that led us through the wilderness, through a land of deserts and of pits, through a land of drought, and of the shadow of death, through a land that no man passed through, and where no man dwelt?And I brought you into a plentiful country, to eat the fruit thereof and the goodness thereof; but when ye entered, ye defiled my land, and made mine heritage an abomination.The priests said not, Where is the LORD? and they that handle the law knew me not: the pastors also transgressed against me, and the prophets prophesied by Baal, and walked after things that do not profit.Wherefore I will yet plead with you, saith the LORD, and with your children’s children will I plead.For pass over the isles of Chittim, and see; and send unto Kedar, and consider diligently, and see if there be such a thing.Hath a nation changed their gods, which are yet no gods? but my people have changed their glory for that which doth not profit.Be astonished, O ye heavens, at this, and be horribly afraid, be ye very desolate, saith the LORD.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.”
So, in the course of time, after the nation is divided, the lines of earthly kings ends, the city of Jerusalem broken down, and the temple sacked, the people were carried off captive to Babylon, and certain of the captivity were by a river, a natural river. But the river of this writing is the spiritual river Chebar, a spiritual river of vanity, with nothing but endless ritualistic repetition, and no apparent way out. For such is the house of two evils, void of the Spirit Rock, void of the King. And as a point of consideration, you may see this spiritual Chebar, and the captives still by it, being spoken to by the one revealed to Ezekiel as the only way out of it. Read Luke 4:16-21.
In the fifth year of king Jehoiachin’s captivity, Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi (contempt) , was with the captives by the river Chebar, when the heavens were opened to him and he saw visions of God. Ezekiel heard the voice of one speaking, was caused to stand upon his feet, when the spirit entered into him, and he heard him that spoke with him.
Chebar means “far off”. In Gesenius’ Hebrew-Chaldean Lexicon of the old testament, we have the meaning conveyed as a “length of space…a continuance of time…”. The word is used in no place, other than eight verses in the book of Ezekiel, and the matching Hebrew word, kebar, is also used only in eight verses, all in the book of Ecclesiastes. Reading the verses side by side, one can see the vanity of all Solomon had come to and had built, and the way out of the vanity of it, in another King, and another House, revealed to Ezekiel. This spiritual Chebar, this lifeless river of bondage would become the bitter drink of the broken cistern and house that Solomon had built. And it truly is “Chabar”…an unbroken length of space and continuance of time, and of vain repetitious religious reenactments, the emptiness and pointlessness of which Solomon would lament in the book of Ecclesiastes. “Vanity of vanities, all is vanity”. The “Chebar” of Solomon puts the things of God so far off, as to seem inaccessible, and vain to reach for.
What Ezekiel saw and was shown, he was told to show to the house of Israel. Ezekiel was told that they were hard hearted and impudent. He was told that they were to be told what he had been given to tell, whether they would hear it or not. And he was further warned not to be like them, but to listen to what he heard and was shown. Because what Ezekiel was shown was the way out, the only way out, of that bitter and endless Chebar.
Ezekiel was show the resurrected, glorified Son of man, the true House and temple of God, the Cistern of Perfect Soundness, in whom dwells all the fountain of Living Waters, and indeed, in whom dwells all the fullness of God. But before this, he was shown the abominable minds and inner workings of the elders and leaders of the people, and the abominable things going on in their temple, not so much the temple of stone, as the temple of their minds, and the chambers of their imagination:
(Eze 8:12) “Then said he unto me, Son of man, hast thou seen what the ancients of the house of Israel do in the dark, every man in the chambers of his imagery? for they say, The LORD seeth us not; the LORD hath forsaken the earth.”
After Ezekiel’s revelation of the degree to which the leadership of his people had sunk, Ezekiel is shown a man, a man with a measuring reed and a line of flax in his hand. A measuring reed based upon the span, in which the span is the measure from the tip of the thumb, to the tip of the index finger, in a stretched out hand. This hand is the hand that “meted out” , or that measures heavens with a single span. Who can build a house for such a one, when the heaven , and the heaven of heavens are not sufficient to contain him? What man , or collective of men, can build a house for the one who measures them collectively as the smallest spec of dust, small dust of the scale that need not be wiped from it, because it is so insignificant, that it has no measurable effect on anything?
This man, a man who would have no outward form or comeliness, that when we see him, we would desire him.
This man whom you could walk around and look up and down in a matter of a few seconds. This man in whom dwelt all the fullness of the godhead bodily, so complete, that he thought it not robbery to be equal with God.
This man who stood next to Solomon’s broken cistern and cried, “Destroy THIS temple and I will raise it in three days”. And who again cried to the thirst wracked multitudes, gathered at that vain and empty cistern on the Chebar, “If any man thirst, let him come to me, and out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water”.
This man ( Eze 40) who is the temple, and who measures the temple by himself, this house of many houses, where each chamber measures the same as the house. A house which from the outside going inward, measures larger and larger, until the inner chamber winds about upward. This man of resurrection who is signified by the house Ezekiel was shown. He being raised, comes again to you, and receives you to himself again, by the gift and promise of the Father, the Spirit of Truth.THIS man and temple of resurrection, Ezekiel was instructed to show the house of Israel, that they may know to be ashamed of what they do (EZE 43:10).
This man, whose obedience unto death upon a cross, broke down every wall of partition in humanity, reduced every individual to the basic human element, void and purged of all old leaven of human faction and distinction, and so provided for Himself, one component , of the twain that are necessary to make a new man in himself. For the new man is not composed of a hybridized Jew and Gentile. The new man is composed of the Gift of the Father, the Spirit of Christ, and the individual who receives Him, having been purged of every old leaven, and having laid down willingly, all ties to them.
Paul, the apostle, warned of a thing. He warned of it everywhere he went for three years. He warned of it tearfully. He called it “another Jesus, another spirit, another gospel”. And though there is no other, the church world today has swallowed it, hook , line and sinker. For once again, His people have committed the same two evils of old. And again, His people sit captive by the river Chebar, waiting. always waiting. Learning, ever learning, but never coming to any knowledge of the Truth.
The book of Revelation shows two beasts, or two “creatures”. One is alive and vital, having the Spirit. One rises out of the sea of humanity, and is sensual, devilish, having not the spirit. One is the house and habitation of God by the Living Spirit , one is the broken cistern that can not contain Living Waters, perched with her captives by the vain Chebar.
Christ in you is the hope of glory. Do not change your glory for that which does not profit. If any have not the Spirit of Christ, he has none of Christ. The spiritual rock is Christ, now, as before. A “spirit filled pastor”, and a “spirit filled” church sound well and good, but only a Spirit filled YOU, will avail you anything.
The Chebar begins with Solomon, and ends ONLY in hearing the one who’s wisdom is greater. If any have an ear to hear, let him hear what the Spirit says in the assemblies. He is the one Ezekiel heard by the Chebar, and John heard on Patmos. There is no other way out of vanity:
The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with the men of this generation, and condemn them: for she came from the utmost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here.
One may choose the builders. Or one may receive the Stone they reject, the Spiritual Rock from whom we all drink.
Strong’s Number H3528*** matches the Hebrew כְּבָר (kĕbar),
which occurs 9 times in 8 verses in the Hebrew concordance of the KJV:
[Ecc 1:10 KJV] “Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already*** of old time, which was before us.”
[Ecc 2:12 KJV] “And I turned myself to behold wisdom, and madness, and folly: for what can the man do that cometh after the king? even that which hath been already*** done.”
[Ecc 2:16 KJV] “For there is no remembrance of the wise more than of the fool for ever; seeing that which now*** is in the days to come shall all be forgotten. And how dieth the wise man? as the fool.”
[Ecc 3:15 KJV] “That which hath been is now***; and that which is to be hath already*** been; and God requireth that which is past.”
[Ecc 4:2 KJV] “Wherefore I praised the dead which are already*** dead more than the living which are yet alive.”
[Ecc 6:10 KJV] “That which hath been is named already***, and it is known that it is man: neither may he contend with him that is mightier than he.”
[Ecc 9:6 KJV] “Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now*** perished; neither have they any more a portion for ever in any thing that is done under the sun.”
[Ecc 9:7 KJV] “Go thy way, eat thy bread with joy, and drink thy wine with a merry heart; for God now accepteth thy works.”
1.Chebar = “far-off”
A. a Babylonian river near which many Israelite exiles settled; maybe the ‘Habor’ or the ‘Royal Canal’ of Nebuchadnezzar
[Eze 1:1 KJV] “Now it came to pass in the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, in the fifth day of the month, as I was among the captives by the river of Chebar, that the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of God.”
[Eze 1:3 KJV] “The word of the LORD came expressly unto Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans by the river Chebar; and the hand of the LORD was there upon him.”
[Eze 3:15 KJV] “Then I came to them of the captivity at Telabib, that dwelt by the river of Chebar, and I sat where they sat, and remained there astonished among them seven days.”
[Eze 3:23 KJV] “Then I arose, and went forth into the plain: and, behold, the glory of the LORD stood there, as the glory which I saw by the river of Chebar: and I fell on my face.”
[Eze 10:15 KJV] “And the cherubims were lifted up. This is the living creature that I saw by the river of Chebar.”
[Eze 10:20 KJV] “This is the living creature that I saw under the God of Israel by the river of Chebar; and I knew that they were the cherubims.”
[Eze 10:22 KJV] “And the likeness of their faces was the same faces which I saw by the river of Chebar, their appearances and themselves: they went every one straight forward.”
[Eze 43:3 KJV] “And it was according to the appearance of the vision which I saw, even according to the vision that I saw when I came to destroy the city: and the visions were like the vision that I saw by the river Chebar; and I fell upon my face.”