The Vision of the Dry Bones
The LORD’S power came on me. The Spirit* of the LORD carried me out of the city and put me down in the middle of the valley. The valley was full of dead men’s bones. There were many bones lying on the ground in the valley. The Lord made me walk all around among the bones. I saw the bones were very dry.
Then the Lord said to me, “Son of man, can these bones come to life?”
I answered, “Lord GOD, only you know the answer to that question.”
Then he said to me, “Speak to these bones for me. Tell them, ‘Dry bones, listen to the word of the LORD! This is what the Lord GOD says to you: I will cause breath§ to come into you, and you will come to life! I will put sinew and muscles on you, and I will cover you with skin. Then I will put breath in you, and you will come back to life! Then you will know that I am the LORD.’ ”
So I spoke to the bones for the LORD, as he said. I was still speaking, when I heard the loud noise. The bones began to rattle, and bone joined together with bone! There before my eyes, I saw sinew and muscles begin to cover the bones. Skin began to cover them, but there was no breath in them.
Then the Lord said to me, “Speak to the wind* for me. Son of man, speak to the wind for me. Tell the wind that this is what the Lord GOD says: ‘Wind, come from every direction and breathe air into these dead bodies! Breathe into them and they will come to life again!’ ”
10 So I spoke to the wind for the LORD, as he said, and the breath came into the dead bodies. They came to life and stood up. There were many mena very large army!
11 Then he said to me, “Son of man, these bones are like the whole family of Israel. The people of Israel say, ‘Our bones have dried up; our hope is gone. We have been completely destroyed!’ 12 So speak to them for me. Tell them this is what the Lord GOD says: ‘My people, I will open your graves and bring you up out of them! Then I will bring you to the land of Israel. 13 My people, I will open your graves and bring you up out of your graves, and then you will know that I am the LORD. 14 I will put my Spirit in you, and you will come to life again. Then I will lead you back to your own land. Then you will know that I am the LORD. You will know that I said this and that I made it happen.’ ” This is what the LORD said.
Judah and Israel to Become One Again
15 The word of the LORD came to me again. He said, 16 Son of man, get one stick and write this message on it: ‘This stick belongs to Judah and his friends,§ the people of Israel.’ Then take another stick and write on it, ‘This stick of Ephraim belongs to Joseph and his friends, the people of Israel.’ 17 Then join the two sticks together. In your hand, they will be one stick.
18 Your people will ask you to explain what that means. 19 Tell them that this is what the Lord GOD says: ‘I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim and his friends, the people of Israel. Then I will put that stick with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick. In my hand, they will become one stick!’
20 Take the sticks that you wrote on and hold them in front of you. 21 Tell the people that this is what the Lord GOD says: ‘I will gather the people of Israel from among the nations. I will gather them from all around and bring them back to their own land. 22 I will make them one nation in their land among the mountains of Israel. There will be one king over them all. They will no longer be two nations. They will not be split into two kingdoms anymore. 23 And they will no longer continue to make themselves filthy with their idols and horrible statues or with any of their other crimes. Instead, I will save them from all the places where they have sinned, and I will wash them and make them pure. They will be my people, and I will be their God.
24 “ ‘And my servant David will be the king over them. There will be only one shepherd over all of them. They will live by my rules and obey my laws. They will do the things I tell them. 25 They will live on the land that I gave to my servant Jacob. Your ancestors lived in that place, and my people will live there. They and their children and their grandchildren will live there forever. My servant David will be their leader forever. 26 And I will make a peace agreement with them. This agreement will continue forever. I agree to give them their land. I agree to make them numerous and to put my holy place among them forever. 27 My Holy Tent will be with them. Yes, I will be their God and they will be my people. 28 The other nations will know that I am the LORD, and they will know that I make Israel my special people by putting my holy place there among them forever.’ ”
* 37:1 Spirit Or “wind.” 37:1 the valley Possibly, Jezreel Valley, a fertile area where many battles were fought. It is often called simply “The Valley.” 37:3 Son of man This was usually just a way of saying “a person” or “a human being.” Here, it is a way of addressing Ezekiel. Also in verses 9, 11, 16. § 37:5 breath Or “wind” or “a spirit.” * 37:9 wind Or “breath” or “spirit.” Also in verse 10. 37:11 bones … dried up This is a way of saying, “We have lost our strength.” 37:14 Spirit Or “spirit” or “wind.” § 37:16 friends This is a wordplay. The Hebrew word is like the word meaning “joined together.”