The bones can live 1
Life can come to Israel as to the bones 9
The divided kingdom to be joined 15
David to be king 24
¶ The hand of the LORD was upon me, and carried me out in the spirit
of the LORD, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full
2 And caused me to pass by them round about: and, behold, there were very many in the open valley; and, lo, they were very dry.
3 And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord GOD, thou knowest.
4 Again he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the LORD.
1 - Valley of dry bones The people of Judah had been taken
into captivity following the captivity of the Northern kingdom earlier.
They appeared to have no hope. Compare ez0605.
2 - Open valley Perhaps in contrast to Mount Zion.
4 - Hear the word of the Lord Channel of power.
4 - Prophecy upon these bones "Prophecy" here is not prediction but communicating the instructions of the Lord God. The bones are to listen. At v9 the prophet prophecies to the wind, and at ez3801 to Gog.
| 5 Thus saith the Lord
GOD unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and
ye shall live:
6 And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know that I am the LORD.
7 So I prophesied as I was commanded: and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone.
8 And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them, and the skin covered them above: but there was no breath in them.
| 5 -
... and you will live The breath (also translated "spirit")
is the symbol of life from God ge0207.
7 - Shaking Perhaps a purification process as under the sixth seal re0613.
8 - Sinews ... flesh The rebuilding or re-creating the bodies is a reverse of the process of deterioration.
8 - But ... no breath As at the time of creation., the breath of life was given in a separate process. We are flesh and spirit or breath. We cannot expect peace and eternal life if we live to please our physical bodies, ignoring the spiritual relationship with God ro0814.
Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and
say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Come from the four winds, O breath,
and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.
10 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army.
11 Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off for our parts.
| 9 -
unto the wind To bring breath. The "four
winds" or, as we would say, the four points of the compass. Jeremiah tells
us that Elam would be scattered to the four winds je4936.
11 - Whole house of Israel So will all Israel will be saved? Yes, but the end-time Israel — the faithful Christians at the end of time. See on ro1126.
Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold,
O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your
graves, and bring you into the land of Israel.
13 And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves,
14 And shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the LORD have spoken it, and performed it, saith the LORD.
|12 - Open your graves The mention of resurrection indicates fulfillment of the prophecy to the faithful at the end of time jn0528, 1th0416. And see on v11.|
¶ The word of the LORD came again unto me, saying,
16 Moreover, thou son of man, take thee one stick, and write upon it, For Judah, and for the children of Israel his companions: then take another stick, and write upon it, For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel his companions:
17 And join them one to another into one stick; and they shall become one in thine hand.
|16,17 - One Stick ... become one God's final purpose. Some may see this fulfilled in modern Israel. They, however, are not living in holiness as expressed in v14. See note on Israel. The prophecy will be fulfilled to spiritual Israel at the coming of Christ.|
| 18 And when the children
of thy people shall speak unto thee, saying, Wilt thou not shew us what
thou meanest by these?
19 Say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel his fellows, and will put them with him, even with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they shall be one in mine hand.
20 And the sticks whereon thou writest shall be in thine hand before their eyes.
|18 - Shew us We may imagine that the sticks were perhaps duplicated and sent throughtout the camp with explanations. This kind of unity was needed for the people who would choose to go back to their homeland.|
| 21 And say unto them,
Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will take the children of Israel from
among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every
side, and bring them into their own land:
22 And I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all: and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all:
.23 Neither shall they defile themselves any more with their idols, nor with their detestable things, nor with any of their transgressions: but I will save them out of all their dwellingplaces, wherein they have sinned, and will cleanse them: so shall they be my people, and I will be their God.
|21 - Gather them Ultimately at the coming of Christ mt2431.|
And David my servant shall be king over them; and they all shall have one
shepherd: they shall also walk in my judgments, and observe my statutes,
and do them.
25 And they shall dwell in the land that I have given unto Jacob my servant, wherein your fathers have dwelt; and they shall dwell therein, even they, and their children, and their children's children for ever: and my servant David shall be their prince for ever.
.26 Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them: and I will place them, and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore.
27 My tabernacle also shall be with them: yea, I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
28 And the heathen shall know that I the LORD do sanctify Israel, when my sanctuary shall be in the midst of them for evermore.
- David, their king David had been long dead at this time.
In the symbolism, David is a type of Christ who inherits his throne re0503,
This means that we need to avoid the temptation to view selected parts
of Ezekiel as literal. At least we need to have a clear reason to do so,
although they no doubt had more literal meaning at the time they were written.
26 - Tabernacle ... with them Is He saying that the temple should be rebuilt in modern Jerusalem? The Jews rejected their opportunity. The promises are for us who are Israel according to the Spirit and not the flesh ro0906, re2103.