1 The hand of the LORD came upon me and brought me out in the Spirit of the LORD, and set me down in the midst of the valley; and it was full of bones. 2 Then He caused me to pass by them all around, and behold, there were very many in the open valley; and indeed they were very dry. 3 And He said to me, 'Son of man, can these bones live?'
So I answered, 'O Lord GOD, You know.'
4 Again He said to me, 'Prophesy to these bones, and say to them, 'O dry bones, hear the word of the LORD! 5 Thus says the Lord GOD to these bones: 'Surely I will cause breath to enter into you, and you shall live. 6 I will put sinews on you and bring flesh upon you, cover you with skin and put breath in you; and you shall live. Then you shall know that I am the LORD.'''
7 So I prophesied as I was commanded; and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and suddenly a rattling; and the bones came together, bone to bone. 8 Indeed, as I looked, the sinews and the flesh came upon them, and the skin covered them over; but there was no breath in them.
9 Also He said to me, 'Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, 'Thus says the Lord GOD: 'Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live.''' 10 So I prophesied as He commanded me, and breath came into them, and they lived, and stood upon their feet, an exceedingly great army.
11 Then He said to me, 'Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They indeed say, 'Our bones are dry, our hope is lost, and we ourselves are cut off!' 12 Therefore prophesy and say to them, 'Thus says the Lord GOD: 'Behold, O My people, I will open your graves and cause you to come up from your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. 13 Then you shall know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves, O My people, and brought you up from your graves. 14 I will put My Spirit in you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I, the LORD, have spoken it and performed it,' says the LORD.''
What do these dead bones that came to live represent?
There are they who say that Ezekiel is speaking of a resurrection of the dead.
The Bible does say there will be a resurrection of the Dead in the future.
Your dead shall live;
Together with my dead body they shall arise.
Awake and sing, you who dwell in dust;
For your dew is like the dew of herbs,
And the earth shall cast out the dead.
When you see this, your heart shall rejoice,
And your bones shall flourish like grass;
The hand of the LORD shall be known to His servants,
And His indignation to His enemies.
2 And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake,
Some to everlasting life,
Some to shame and everlasting contempt.
3 Those who are wise shall shine
Like the brightness of the firmament,
And those who turn many to righteousness
Like the stars forever and ever.
14 ' I will ransom them from the power of the grave;
I will redeem them from death.
O Death, I will be your plagues!
O Grave,I will be your destruction!
Pity is hidden from My eyes.'
Even though Ezekiel may be also referring here to a literal resurrection of the dead his MAIN POINT appears to be metaphorical.
Scripture is deliberately built in such a way as to be pertinent at several levels at one and the same time.
Ezekiel is saying that even though the Ten Tribes are lost and do not know of their ancestry they will revive and be inspired to return to their Israelite consciousness.
It will be as if the Dead are coming back to life.
Alexander Zephyr has written an article on this matter.
THE 'DRY BONE' AND 'TWO STICKS' PROPHECIES.
by Alexander Zephyr
Alexander Zephyr points out that the previous chapter (Ezekiel 36) leading up to this one Ezekiel speaks of ingathering the exiles of Israel and bringing them back.
'For I will take you from among the heathen and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land' (Ezekiel 36:24).
'Then I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and you shall be clean. A new heart also will I give you. And I will put My spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you shall keep My judgments, and do them' (Ezekiel 36:25-28).
The Tribes of Israel (both Judah and the Ten Tribes) will be purified and receive a new spirit. It will be as if they are being revived from the dead.
After that Ezekiel in chapter 37 continues and speaks of the future re-union of Judah and Joseph:
15 Again the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 16 'As for you, son of man, take a stick for yourself and write on it: 'For Judah and for the children of Israel, his companions.' Then take another stick and write on it, 'For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel, his companions.' 17 Then join them one to another for yourself into one stick, and they will become one in your hand.
18 'And when the children of your people speak to you, saying, 'Will you not show us what you mean by these''' 19 say to them, 'Thus says the Lord GOD: 'Surely I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel, his companions; and I will join them with it, with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they will be one in My hand.'' 20 And the sticks on which you write will be in your hand before their eyes.
21 'Then say to them, 'Thus says the Lord GOD: 'Surely I will take the children of Israel from among the nations, wherever they have gone, and will gather them from every side and bring them into their own land; 22 and I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king over them all; they shall no longer be two nations, nor shall they ever be divided into two kingdoms again. 23 They shall not defile themselves anymore with their idols, nor with their detestable things, nor with any of their transgressions; but I will deliver them from all their dwelling places in which they have sinned, and will cleanse them. Then they shall be My people, and I will be their God.
24 'David My servant shall be king over them, and they shall all have one shepherd; they shall also walk in My judgments and observe My statutes, and do them. 25 Then they shall dwell in the land that I have given to Jacob My servant, where your fathers dwelt; and they shall dwell there, they, their children, and their children's children, forever; and My servant David shall be their prince forever. 26 Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them, and it shall be an everlasting covenant with them; I will establish them and multiply them, and I will set My sanctuary in their midst forevermore. 27 My tabernacle also shall be with them; indeed I will be their God, and they shall be My people. 28 The nations also will know that I, the LORD, sanctify Israel, when My sanctuary is in their midst forevermore.'''
Two Sticks Reunion Criteria.avi
Duration: 14 minutes
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