“Like as a woman with child, that draweth near the time of her delivery, is in pain and crieth out in her pangs; so have we been at Thy presence, O Hashem.” Isaiah 26:17 (The Israel Bible™)
Just last week, Samantha Siegel, a Jerusalem-based artisan baker stumbled upon a miraculous discovery: the existence of freshwater ponds on the shores of the Dead Sea filled with fish swimming through its waters. For Siegel, the evidence of living creatures meant more than just a shocking phenomenon; it meant the fulfillment of Ezekiel’s prophecy.
Then said he unto me: ‘These waters issue forth toward the eastern region and shall go down into the Arabah; and when they shall enter into the sea into the sea of the putrid waters the waters shall be healed. And it shall come to pass that every living creature wherewith it swarmeth whithersoever the rivers shall come shall live; and there shall be a very great multitude of fish; for these waters are come thither that all things be healed and may live whithersoever the river cometh. Ezekiel 47:8-9 (The Israel Bible)
But the presence of fish, a symbol of a return to life in a barren place, struck an even deeper chord within Siegel: that of the direct connection between the Dead Sea’s rejuvenation and the prophesied return of woman’s glory.
Samantha started out by explaining the important position of Israel in relation to the planet as compared to the human body: “When you look at the globe, Israel lies at the ‘belly’ of the world,” she told Breaking Israel News. Within the Holy Land exists the lowest place on earth: the Dead Sea. Siegel drew a connection between the biblical body of water and a woman’s womb, saying, “just as the Dead Sea is the deepest spot within earth, so to the woman’s womb is the deepest point within her.”
Yet a point of irony is raised by such a comparison: the womb was created with the ability to create and nourish life, while the Dead Sea with its heavy salt content, a result of God’s curse after the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah in Genesis, completely inhibits and prevents life.
Refusing to be dismayed by such a paradox, the Chicago-born mother explained to Breaking Israel News that it is exactly this irony that makes the appearance of life amid the desolation even more miraculous.
“With the renewal of life in the Dead Sea, as evidenced by the teeming fish, there’s a strong message that the Jordan Valley will once again be as ‘God’s garden’; it will return to the status it once had prior to the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah that transformed the beautiful valley into a wasteland,” she said.
Siegel then turned to discuss the symbolism behind the reawakening of the once-empty waters as a direct metaphor for the transformation of the female status in messianic times.
God’s original intention when He created the world was for woman to be man’s equal in all aspects of life.
“And Hashem God said: ‘It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a help meet for him.” Genesis 2:18 (The Israel Bible)
But with Adam and Eve’s sin of disobeying their only commandment and eating from the tree of knowledge, womankind was doubly cursed by being the receiving end of man’s animosity and being reliant upon her husband to sustain her.
“And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; they shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise their heel.’ Unto the woman He said: ‘I will greatly multiply thy pain and thy travail; in pain thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.’” Genesis 3:15-16 (The Israel Bible)
But messianic times will reverse the curse, explained Samantha, and woman “will return to her rightful place as partner and will thrive once again in the way God intended.”
Taking the incredible comparison one step further, Siegel noted the healing properties for which the body of water is well-renowned are so closely related to the nurturing power God bestowed upon the female.
“It’s rather ironic the way in which the Dead Sea, known for its inability to sustain life, is in fact a source for the strongest healing properties,” she told Breaking Israel News, referring to the common practice of dipping in the waters to relieve the pain from various skin maladies.
“So too,” she continued, “woman was created with an innate ability to heal everything” from a bruised knee to a broken heart.
Just because the Dead Sea possesses the ability to soothe and mend, however, does not necessarily mean it can do so for itself, Samantha emphasized. Similarly, a woman who is skilled as a therapist in relieving others of their pain can’t always fix the difficulties in her own life. So it is, Siegel explained, a further irony: “Like a woman who selflessly cares for her children even when she may lack essential resources to do so (especially in the face of God’s curse that she will not be self-sustaining), the Dead Sea, ironically the most healing place on earth of countless maladies, lacks the ability to heal itself.”
But “the evidence of lively fish swimming through its waters proves that this is beginning of the shift toward ultimate repair,” said the artisan baker, who has found indisputable evidence of prophetic fulfilment proving that the barren wasteland will return to the flourishing, fruitful place Lot saw and which convinced him to journey eastward.
And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of the Jordan, that it was well watered every where, before Hashem destroyed Sdom and Gomorrah, like the garden of Hashem. Genesis 13:10 (The Israel Bible)
Living fish in the freshwater ponds so close in proximity to the sea is unquestionably only the start of Ezekiel’s prophecy coming to life.