A while back I wrote a couple posts about the water that flowed from the Tree of Life in Lehi and Nephi’s visions (Filthy Water). I described how in ancient thought it was understood that the pure water flowed from celestial realms into lower realms (kingdoms or glories). That these waters represent the blessings of God.
That these waters, or blessings include law and judgment, that at some point divide the righteous and the wicked. In-fact the water changes into three levels of purity (or impurity) as it flows into lower kingdoms.
This idea has not always been embraced by every reader. I found a similar idea that may be an earlier text, The Book of Enoch (2 Enoch).
The context is Enoch describing some disobedient “angels” that are punished in a valley where they reside. There is a river or waters running through the valley.
“And in those days shall these waters be to kings, to princes, to the exalted, and to the inhabitants of the earth, for the healing of the soul and body, and for the judgment of the spirit.” (The Book of Enoch, Wizards Bookshelf, 1983, pg. 81)
At one point the waters are flowing, then they turn to ice, then:
“For these waters of judgment shall be for their healing, and for the death of their bodies. But they shall not perceive and believe that the waters will be changed, and become a fire, which shall blaze for ever.” (The Book of Enoch, Wizards Bookshelf, 1983, pg. 82)
Another major homerun for Joseph Smith! How could he have known and used this flexible imagery from the ancient world without revelation?
The Book of Enoch, Translated by Richard Laurence, html: [Link]
The Book of Enoch, [Download PDF]
Related Posts: Ezekiel 1, Revelation 22