In the book of Ezekiel the Spirit of the Lord is an active force, through the Him, Ezekiel reveals an unseen world.  In Chapters 8 and 9, Ezekiel is taken from the captivity of Babylon back to Jerusalem, to witness the events taking place in secret.  He reported  how the leaders in Israel were secretly worshipping idols, claiming the Lord cannot see.  In chapter 9, he shows how the angels in the spiritual realm mark those in Jerusalem, who will be saved from death, when Babylon attacks.  Ezekiel, like John in the book of Revelation, is reporting what he sees. Ezekiel becomes our eyes as the Spirit of God reveals to Ezekiel future events.

            Ezekiel was in the midst of a fallen people, the city of Jerusalem and the Temple had just been destroyed by Babylon.  Most of Israel and Judah had perished, those left were survivors.  There seemed little hope as these survivors were captives and “Labor” along the Chebar River in Babylon. In this helpless and hopeless condition, the Spirit of the Lord takes Ezekiel into a vision of the future. At the end of this fallen age, Israel will be restored and be a great nation.  Through a vision God shows Ezekiel how his nation will one day be restored.

            Then God give Ezekiel an illustration of the future using two sticks.  Ezekiel take two stick one representing Judah, and one representing the northern kingdom of Israel. God tells Ezekiel, ”join the sticks” together in his hand; these sticks represent the future union of the divided tribes under the name Israel.  There will no longer two tribes but one nation, called “Israel”.  The Israelites were taken captive by Assyria in 722 B.C., while Judah was taken captive in 605, 597 and 586 B.C. by Babylon.  Now both tribes were in the same land, since Babylon defeated Assyria.  In the future, the nation would be known as Israel.

            When they resettle the land of Israel, they would resettle it as one people.  Only twice since the Babylonian captivity, did a Jewish nation exist, once during the Maccabean period (164-63 B.C.) and once in our day (1948- Current).  Only in our day, did the Jewish kingdom have the name Israel, thus beginning to fulfill the words of Ezekiel written 2600-years ago. 

            The words of this prophecy will only completely be fulfilled in the Millennium, when Israel receives the blessing of the Covenant (Deuteronomy 28:1).  Then the concluding words of this chapter will be fulfilled as the nations will know the Lord is the one who “Separated” or “Sanctified” Israel.


Vision of the valley of Dry Bones


Ezekiel 37

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." Ezekiel 37:1-3



The hand of the Lord: In chapter 33, we see the fulfillment of God’s Word against Jerusalem, as a survivor of its destruction arrives at Babylon, where Ezekiel words are confirmed.  Jerusalem and the Temple have been completely destroyed.   For the survivors and the captives in Babylon, it might have seemed Israel has ceased to by a nation.  However, God is true to His words, Israel would not cease to be a nation despite its destruction. 

    The Lord is the maker of Israel, the same Lord who with his hands constructed the universe, the same Lord would one day establish the descendents of Jacob again.  Here the “Hand” (dy Yad; power, strength, hand) comes upon Ezekiel.  This term is used 7-times in Ezekiel.

Brought me out in the Spirit: The hand of the Lord and the Spirit of God work in unison, taking Ezekiel into the “spiritual realms”. Ezekiel is removed from his physical body and taken forward in time into Israel’s future.

   In Ezekiel chapters 8 to 11, Ezekiel is before the captives and is taken by the spirit of God to Jerusalem, while his body remains before the captivity. He returns and testifies against Israel’s sins in chapters 12-24. In chapters 25 to 32, he testifies against the nations.  Here he testifies how God will bless Israel in the future, for the benefit of the nations. Through, Israel restorations, the nations may one day “know” the Lord.

Set me down in the midst of the valley;  Ezekiel is brought to a valley, for  a valley to exist you need two hills, since the valley is in its midst. Hills are also known as mountains in the Bible, for example Mount Zion, and Mount Moriah are really hills.  These two hills that the bones are in the midst in could represent the expanse of time between the first and second coming.  During this time, Israel is scattered and broken as a people, for all intensive purposes they are dead as a nation. 

Full of bones:  The fullness of dead represents the extent of time past, and the totality of the death between these two hills. Seeing a skeleton of bones represents death, we can not help to think, once these bones were alive, but now they are dead. 

He caused me:  Ezekiel was caused to tour the bones, to walk around the them, look at them and examine them.

They were very dry: Ezekiel then tells us there were many and they were very dry. For bones to dry takes time and exposure.  The picture here is of the bones exposed over a long period of time, out in the open. God wants Ezekiel to report the details of what he sees.  To imagine a graveyard of open exposed bones to the sun. 

Can these bones live?: For bones to come back to life is an impossibility, there are to many factors involved. For the secular world, its impossible.  For God, who made humanity and the universe, bringing the dead to life is in His nature.

    In the Old Testament, the promise and the power of resurrection on a large and general scale is found only 4-times.  In Job 19:25, Isaiah 26:19-21, Daniel 12:2-3, and Ezekiel 37

    God asks Ezekiel, the question that only He has the power to answer, from a human perspective its impossible.  God alone can bring the dead to life.



Prophesy to the bones


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." ' " Ezekiel 37:4-9


"Prophesy to these bones: Ezekiel is God’s prophet and watchman to the house whole house of Israel (Ezekiel 33:7).  Standing in the midst of the dry bones, God tells Ezekiel to speak out to bones. Ezekiel is empowered by the Spirit of God, as God’s representative.  He is speaking to the “dead bones” of the house of Israel.  Through the centuries Ezekiel speaks today to skeptical, secular, hard hearted Israel.  He told to command the bones to “hear the word of the Lord”.  The reason they are dead bones is because they refuse to listen.

Hear the word of the Lord:  The Hebrew word for “hear” is [mX Shama`. The “Shama” is Deuteronomy 6;4-9, where the nation is told to listen to God.  Here the dead bones are told to listen to Ezekiel, the watchman. 

I will cause breath to enter into you: God promises the dead bones in the open field, they shall have breath and live.  The bones are the house of Israel, the promise is the nation shall come to life again.

I will put sinews: Sinews are the muscles that allow the bones to move

You shall know that I am the Lord: The promise is not only the life to these dead bones, but a relationship with the Lord.  They will know “The Lord”, this was not the case before.  They did not know the Lord, which is why Ezekiel prophesied their destruction.  Their knowledge of the Lord is future tense, after they are brought back to life.  First the bones are assembled, and then the muscles then the flesh, then the breath or spirit, then they shall know.

As I looked: Ezekiel then beholds the miracle of God’s creation, as the bones, muscles and skin come together to form bodies, but absent from the bodies is breath or spirit.  Therefore God instructs Ezekiel to command the “breath” to breath on the slain of Israel.

Prophesy to the breath:  At this point Ezekiel sees the bodies, where he once saw bones; there is no life yet in the bodies.   Ezekiel as the watchman is given power over the winds to commanding them to come upon these slain.  The word used for breath (xwr Ruwach) has several meanings; it can mean breath, wind, mind or spirit.  These bodies have no breath and no spirit, they are now only bodies.  As God breathed into the lifeless body of Adam, he became a living spirit, the same here. God will breathe into the lifeless nation and they become a living nation. A nation who will, “know that I am the Lord”.


7 And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being. Genesis 2;7 



The whole house of Israel


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.' " Ezekiel 37:10-14


An exceedingly great army: The bodies now become an army, an army for who or what?   Israel, the descendents of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, were chosen by God to be a peculiar people to accomplish his plan of redemption in the fallen and lost world.  God called them a kingdom of priests.  They were to be distinct in the earth, they were to be God’s earthly army against this fallen world. This would only happen when they “obey My voice and keep My covenant”.


5 'Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine.

6 'And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.' These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel." Exodus 19:5-6


The nation failed to do this in the days of Ezekiel, however a future nation, will one day be obedient and blessed when they turn to Messiah.  They will be the Lord’s army against a fallen world.  They will represent the Lord.   David, when he confronted the Philistines, understood the battle was not between  Israel and the Philistines but between God’s army and the armies of the Philistines.


45 Then David said to the Philistine, "You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.

46 "This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you and take your head from you. And this day I will give the carcasses of the camp of the Philistines to the birds of the air and the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel.

47 "Then all this assembly shall know that the Lord does not save with sword and spear; for the battle is the Lord's, and He will give you into our hands." I Samuel 17:45-47


The whole house of Israel:  In the last days, Israel will be revived and oppose the nations.  The bones in the open valley represent the “whole” house of Israel.  Notice, this would include the so called “lost tribes” they have been gathered along with the captives of Judah and are included in this group.  Isaiah 34 describes this conflict of the world and Israel (Zion) in the last days.


1 Come near, you nations, to hear; And heed, you people! Let the earth hear, and all that is in it, The world and all things that come forth from it.

2 For the indignation of the Lord is against all nations, And His fury against all their armies; He has utterly destroyed them, He has given them over to the slaughter.

8 For it is the day of the Lord's vengeance, The year of recompense for the cause of ZionIsaiah 34:1-2,8


They indeed say: The descendents of Israel in the nations, have lost hope.  Think of the conditions Israel has faced over the last 2000-years.  Persecution, holocaust, pogroms, exile are just some of the many events Israel faced during this valley.  The dead bones represent this desperate people who dead and have no hope.

O My people, I will open your graves:  God is the one who calls Israel forth from the grave.  God resurrects the nation.  Israel becoming a nation is also a demonstration of the resurrection, and the messianic nature of the nation restoration.   In the days of the Messiah (Daniel 12:2-3), will be the days of the resurrection.  God is the force behind the restoration of Israel from the nations.

Bring you into the land of Israel:  The importance of the land of Israel in God’s plan cannot be understated.  Through the physical land and his literal promises, God will accomplish His word and bring redemption into a fallen world.  


Isaiah 14:1-2, Isaiah 49:22-24,  Isaiah 56:8, Jeremiah 12:15, Jeremiah 16:14-15, Jeremiah  23:3-4,7-8, Jeremiah 30, Jeremiah 31:8-10, Hosea 1:10-11, Hosea 11:9-10, Amos 9:9, Micah 5:3-4, Zechariah 2:6-9, Zechariah 8:7-8,  Zechariah 10:6-12


I will put My Spirit in you:  The Holy Spirit will be put into the lifeless people who once were dead bones cast off and without hope.  The Spirit of God is the promise of the New Covenant, which corresponds to the restoration of the nation.  Jeremiah also links the future fellowship of Israel with the God of Israel as part of the “New Covenant”.  God’s law will be in the hearts and minds of the people, because they will have His Spirit.  The “Church” has received the covenant blessing of Israel, when the Jews rejected Jesus as their Messiah at the first coming.  Israel in the last days will finally know Jesus Christ, when they acknowledge Him in the last days.


31 "Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah

32 not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says the Lord.

33 "But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.

Jeremiah 31:31-33


Israel knowledge and relationship of the Lord, follows their being placed in the land first.  When they receive the Spirit, they will be “Born Again” as a nation and people. This is the same event for all people who are “Born Again”, the Spirit of God allows them to have a relationship with God, through the saving work of Jesus Christ.  The focus here is the Messianic Kingdom, when Israel will know and have a relationship with the Lord God, through Jesus Christ, the King of Israel.    God has Ezekiel, prophesy again (vs. 15), because God is reinforcing this future dynamic relationship between Israel, the land and Himself.


23 "But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him.

24 "God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth."  John 4:23-24



The two stick of Ephraim and Judah


 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. Ezekiel 37:15-20



Again:  Ezekiel emphases the “Born Again” nation of Spirit filled Hebrews, along with further details, which will be made clear in prophesies to come.

Take a stick: A stick is a dead piece of wood, like the dead bones laying on the ground.  One stick represents Judah and the children of Israel “his companions”.  Within Judah was Simon and later Benjamin came to be associated with Judah. 

Take another stick: The other stick represented the northern Kingdom the 10 tribes, which were taken into captivity by the Assyrians in 722 B.C. When Babylon defeated Assyria, the tribes of Israel became part of the Judean captivity.  So the term “Jew” which means “Judean” came to apply to the who house of Israel not just Judah.

Join them one to another: Ezekiel was modeling God to the captivity. He was joining the two sticks into one.  He was showing the bonding of the 12-tribes into one collective nation.  They were one in Ezekiel’s hand; Ezekiel hand represented one nation in God’s hand.


Children of Israel gathered from the nations


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. Ezekiel 37:21-25


I will take the children of Israel from among the nations: The gathering of Israel from the nations is an event fulfilled twice in the history of Israel. The first time after the Babylonian captivity, when Cyrus the Great allowed the Jews to return to Israel (Ezra Chapter 1), Ezra and Nehemiah cover the extent of this restoration.  The second time was in 1948 A.D., when the Jewish nation was formed from the Jews gathered from the nations.

Own land:  God has designated this land to belong to the Jewish people, since God made the world and the universe; He alone has the right to decide who own what.  In this case, God has given the land of Israel to the descendents of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, despite the world rejection of the biblical claim.

One nation: The will be one united kingdom, as opposed to a northern and southern kingdom, there will still be divisions of tribes according to Ezekiel, but the nation will be one.  One aspect of this is fulfilled today, but a greater fulfillment will take place in the time of the Messiah, who will be King of Israel

One king shall be king over them all; To one degree this is fulfilled today.  There is one leader over the nation of Israel. Ultimately this will be fulfilled by the “son of David” who will rule on the throne of David for eternity. 


16 And it shall come to pass that everyone who is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles. Zechariah 14:16


7 Of the increase of His government and peace There will be no end, Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, To order it and establish it with judgment and justice From that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this. Isaiah 9:7


15 'In those days and at that time I will cause to grow up to David A Branch of righteousness; He shall execute judgment and righteousness in the earth.

16 In those days Judah will be saved, And Jerusalem will dwell safely. And this is the name by which she will be called: THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.' Jeremiah 33:15-16


19 Now Pilate wrote a title and put it on the cross. And the writing was: JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS.

20 Then many of the Jews read this title, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin.

21 Therefore the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, "Do not write, 'The King of the Jews,' but, 'He said, "I am the King of the Jews." ' " John 19:19-21


They shall not defile themselves anymore: In view here is the Millennium Kingdom, which is covered in Ezekiel 40-48.  They will not defile themselves because, 1. They have the Spirit of God. 2. Because Satan is bound for the thousand years.  Israel will be the righteous nations of Deuteronomy 28:1 and will be the capital nation and Jerusalem the capital city on the earth in this day.

They shall be My people, and I will be their God: The spirit of God will be in the people, therefore they will have a dynamic relationship with the Lord their God.

David My servant: The resurrected King David will play a central role in the millennial Kingdom of God. This either is referring to the Messiah the Son of David who will be King, or as David will have authority of ruler in the resurrected kingdom.  Ultimately Messiah is King and David would serve under his authority.

My servant David shall be their prince forever: David will have an eternal official capacity.  The word for prince is ayXn Nasiy' ,   one lifted up, chief, prince, captain, leaderFor example, we know in the age to come, the disciples will rule over the 12-tribes of Israel as judges during the 1000-years.


28 So Jesus said to them, "Assuredly I say to you, that in the regeneration, when the Son of Man sits on the throne of His glory, you who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.  Matthew 19:28



An Everlasting Covenant


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 Ezekiel 37:26-28


I will make a covenant of peace with them:  The covenant of peace is with the descendents of Israel, the two stick in the hand of God.  This was accomplished when Jesus came the first time, yet Israel rejected Jesus as Messiah.  At the Second Coming the Jewish nation will acknowledge and cry out to the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus promised, they would not see Him again until they said of Him, “Blessed is He who come in the name of the Lord”.  Only at the end, when the nation is broken of their pride will they cry out in confession. 

     At this point the Jewish nation will be established in the “Covenant” of peace, established at Calvary.    Peace was accomplished when Jesus paid the penalty of the worlds and Israel’s sin.  Like every “Born Again” believer, Israel must still acknowledge their sins and accept Christ as Savior.  Paul tells us this will happen at the “Fullness of the Gentiles”.


25 For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.

26 And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: "The Deliverer will come out of Zion, And He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob;  Romans 11:25-26


An everlasting covenant: This everlasting covenant is the “Gospel” the Good News of Jesus Christ the Messiah, which Israel will finally have at the Second Coming.  The Hebrew word for everlasting is ~lw[ `owlam meaning long duration, antiquity, futurity, for ever, ever, everlasting, evermore, perpetual, old, ancient, world.   This is the “New” covenant of Jeremiah 31, where the law of God is internalized, because the Spirit of God is dwelling with every believer. 

I will set My sanctuary in their midst forevermore: The sanctuary is the “Throne of God”, the Mercy Seat in the Temple represented the throne of God, in the age to come the physical throne of God will be in Jerusalem.   This is known as the Millennial Temple described in Ezekiel 40-41.


5 The Spirit lifted me up and brought me into the inner court; and behold, the glory of the Lord filled the temple.

6 Then I heard Him speaking to me from the temple, while a man stood beside me.

7 And He said to me, "Son of man, this is the place of My throne and the place of the soles of My feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel forever. No more shall the house of Israel defile My holy name, they nor their kings, by their harlotry or with the carcasses of their kings on their high places.  Ezekiel 43:5-7


They shall be My people: The relationship will be established and eternal with the children of Israel

The nations also will know: The nations will also understand the role Israel played.  They will know the Messiah, they will not question Israel’s blessing. 


Sanctify Israel:  Xdq Qadash, means Holy or separated.  The “saved”, “Born Again” believers are grafted into the New Covenant of Israel.  So Israel is Holy because she is the vehicle through Messiah of salvation for the world. 

My sanctuary: Xdqm Miqdash sacred place, sanctuary, holy place.  The Temple of God, the throne of the Messiah, will rest in Jerusalem in the midst of Israel.  This will be in the Millennium and throughout the ages.  In Revelation 21-22, the New Jerusalem is the dwelling of all saints who will dwell with The Lord for all eternity in His Holy City.



Ezekiel Chapter 37:The Valley of Dry Bones, Israel Restored to the Land