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ISRAEL, These Bones Shall Live

Ezekiel 37:1-14 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 of bones, [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. [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. [9] 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. [12] 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
. [KJV]

This is a remarkable Passage of Scripture, an absolutely remarkable prophecy! This vision illustrates the promise of Ezekiel 36 . . . new life and a nation restored, both physically and spiritually. The dry bones are a picture of the Jews in captivity . . . scattered and dead.

Ezekiel 37:1 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 of bones, [KJV]

Before Jerusalem was destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar, I believe God literally moves Ezekiel. When Ezekiel says that He “carried me out in the spirit of the Lord,” he is saying that the Spirit of the Lord carried him out to the valley which was full of bones.

Ezekiel 37:2 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. [KJV]

The valley which Ezekiel saw was filled with dead bones, and the thing which characterized them is that they were very dry and they were scattered.

Ezekiel 37:3 And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord God, thou knowest. [KJV]

These dry bones scattered all over the place are human bones, and the Lord asks Ezekiel a question: “Can these bones live?” Ezekiel answers, “O Lord God, thou knowest.” Ezekiel could have thought: "If they can, only You can make them live." But he answered: O Lord God, thou knowest.

Ezekiel 37:4 Again he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. [KJV]

When I read something like this, I feel very strongly that God has a sense of humor.

God says to him, “Prophesy on these bones. O ye dry bones, hear the word of the Lord.” Ezekiel may have thought, Lord, you really don’t mean for me to start talking to these dry bones, do You?

Ezekiel is looking out on this valley filled with dry bones, and he is supposed to speak to them. The so-called saved (professing Christ) in many congregations today "have ears to hear, but do not hear." And the ones who are not saved, are dead in trespasses and sins, have not been redeemed yet. Preachers feel just as helpless as Ezekiel, they understand the real state and condition of those who are lost recognizes his own helplessness in speaking to them. Ezekiel is told by God to say to these bones, “I want you to hear what God has to say.”

Ezekiel 37:5-6 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. [KJV]

God told Ezekiel to say, “I want you to speak to them and tell them I’ll be the One who will give them life.” That is our condition today . . . if God doesn’t move, no one has spiritual life. NO preacher, NO teacher can save you. Only God can save you! God's servants can only speak to dry bones, giving them the Word of God, but, that is all that is required of us. The Spirit of God is the only One who can bring life. That is the only way life can come.

Ezekiel 37:7 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. [KJV]

Ezekiel obeyed God, he prophesied as he was commanded. There was a noise and shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone. Do you think Ezekiel may have had wierd feeling when in his vision he saw all these bones come together?

Ezekiel 37:8 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. [KJV]

The first condition of the bones that Ezeliel saw was that they are scattered, dry, and dead. Then they gradually they come together, and the sinews and flesh come upon them. This does not happen all at once. Then, Ezekiel sees a bunch of bodies (corpses). They are no longer bones, but bodies with flesh upon them. They are human beings even, but they still have no life in them.

Ezekiel 37:9-10 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. [KJV]

Then God said to Ezekiel: Prophesy unto the wind, Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.

So, again Ezekiel obeyed God and prophesied as he was commanded; and life came into those bodies. What happened in Ezekiel's vision resembles the creation of man. God took man of the dust of the earth; Ezekiel started with bones, but God didn’t. God started with just the dirt of the earth, and then He breathed life into man.

What has happened to these bones has occurred in three stages:

  • (1) they were scattered bones, just as dead as they could be;
  • (2) then they came together, and flesh and skin came upon them . . . they were bodies, but dead bodies; and finally
  • (3) they were made alive. We will find in these three stages a real key to understanding Bible prophecy concerning the nation Israel.

This next verse explains the meaning of the vision:

Ezekiel 37:11 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. [KJV]

God told Ezekiel that the bones are the whole house of Israel. NOT the church; but Israel.

The people in captivity had gone from one extreme to another. When Jerusalem stood and the false prophets continued to say they would return, they maintained a false hope. But, when Jerusalem was destroyed, they went to the other extreme; they were extremely depressed. They were high up one day, but the next they drop very low. They had no hope. This vision was given to them to let them know they do have a hope, and it is for the whole house of Israel.

Ezekiel 37:12 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. [KJV]

This verse in not speaking of a physical resurrection. See verse 21B : . . . . 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.

I think what God meant in verse 12 when He said, “I will cause you to come up out of your grave” is that Israel is buried in the nations of the world, and they are to be brought back and become a nation again.

The nation Israel was buried and scattered in the nations of the world, and was dead to God, and she was dead to the things of God. This is the first stage of the bones that Ezekiel saw in his vision.

Since 1948, Israel has come back as a nation, but she is really a corpse, as far as Messiah is concerned. They have a flag, a constitution, a prime minister, and a parliament. They have a police force and an army. They have a nation, and they even have Jerusalem. They have everything except spiritual life, according to the Word of God.

In verses 15–28 Ezekiel mentions two sticks. These typify the northern (Israel) and southern (Judah) kingdoms which will again become one nation. This means that there will not be any “ten lost tribes of Israel” . . . or if they are lost, God knows where they are.

Ezekiel 37:22 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. [KJV]

God shall one day bring back Israel into one nation in the land He gave them. One King will rule them all; no longer will they be divided into two nations.

Ezekiel 37:24 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. [KJV]

WHO is the ONE KING, the ONE SHEPHERD???

That one Shepherd is none other than the Lord Jesus Christ, the Messiah! When Christ (Messiah) came, He was born in the line of David (Matthew 1; Luke 1–2); both writers very carefully record that He came in the line of David. The One that came in that line is the Shepherd, and He will rule over them. Is it possible that God will raise up David to reign over Israel, either in the Millennium or in the eternal kingdom? Some commentators believe that he will reign in the Millennium; others say it will be the eternal kingdom.

Ezekiel 37:28 And the heathen shall know that I the Lord do sanctify Israel, when my sanctuary shall be in the midst of them for evermore. [KJV]

This is NOT today! But, it is going to happen! There shall be a millennial temple and an eternal temple down here on the Earth. In Revelation where it speaks of there not being a temple, it is referring to the New Jerusalem, which is where the church will be and which will not be upon this Earth.

The eternal home of the children of Israel will be upon this Earth, and God’s temple will be in their midst. Even though there is no doubt that Israel is the subject of Ezekiel, and especially of chapters 37–39, we can always make an application of it for our personal lives. The world that you and I live in today is a valley, full of dead bones, dead (spiritually dead) people.

People talk about being alive and say they are where the action is, but they are really dead in trespasses and sins. They have NO spiritual life. That is the reason they have to have a drink or two, or take some sort of drugs, or do something to liven up the old corpse.

God has made it very clear. 1 John 5:12 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. [KJV]

IF you have the Son of God, you have life. If you do not have the Son, you are dead. There are two kinds of people: live people and dead people.

John 3:36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him. [KJV]

That means that ANY person, Jew or Gentile, without the Son (Christ, Messiah) is dead.

John 8:24 I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins. [KJV]

God is saying to you today that you are dead if you are not a Christian. Ye dry bones, hear the Word of the Lord. You can come to life. Accept Jesus Christ as your Savior. This is the application believers can draw from this portion of Scripture, but the subject of the prophecy is the nation Israel.

NO created power could ever restore human bones back to life. God alone could cause them to live.

God gave Ezekiel a great responsibility. To be a “watchman” to Israel. He was a prophet of God to the people; bringing the message of God to the people.

Ezekiel 37:15-17 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. [KJV]

The two sticks represent the reunion of the entire nation of Israel that had divided into northern and southern kingdoms after Solomon. The scattered exiles of both Israel and Judah would be released from the “graves” of captivity and one day regathered in their homeland, with the Messiah as their leader. This vision has yet to be fulfilled. Ezekiel felt he was speaking to the dead as he preached to the exiles because they rarely responded to his message. But these bones responded! And just as God brought life to the dead bones, he will one day bring life again to His spiritually dead people.

ISRAEL

Israel,12 spies

Israel, Abraham is Father

Israel, Adultress

Israel, Beginning of

Israel, Bones Shall Live

Israel, A Byword Among the Nations

Israel, Captivity

Israel, Defeated in Battle

?Israel, Did She Kill Jesus?

Israel, Dispersion of

Israel, Divine Cures

Israel, God's Chosen People

Israel, God Faithful to

Israel, God hides His face From

Israel, Humbled

Israel, Idolatry

Israel, Persecution

Israel, Their Promised Land

?Israel, Their Sabbath or Ours?

Israel, Their Ten Failures

Israel, Tribes

Israel, Unfruitful

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