21 Dec. Ezekiel 37:1-14

21 Dec. Ezekiel sees dry bones brought to life

“I felt the power of the LORD on me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the LORD and put me down in the middle of a valley. It was full of bones. He led me around among the bones, and I saw there were many bones in the valley and that they were very dry.”

“Then he asked me, ‘Human, can these bones live?’ I answered, ‘Lord GOD, only you know.’ He said to me, ‘Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the LORD.’”

“’This is what the Lord GOD says to the bones: I will cause breath to enter you so you will come to life. I will put muscles on you and flesh on you and cover you with skin. Then I will put breath in you so you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the LORD.’”

“So I prophesied as I was commanded. While I prophesied, there was a noise and a rattling. The bones came together, bone to bone. I looked and I saw muscles come on the bones, and flesh grew and skin covered the bones. But there was no breath in them.”

“Then he said to me, ‘Prophesy to the wind [or ‘breath’ or ‘spirit’]. Prophesy, human, and say to the wind, “This is what the Lord GOD says: wind, come from the four winds, and breathe on these people who were killed so they can come back to life.”’”

“So I prophesied as the LORD commanded me. And the breath came into them, and they came to life and stood on their feet, a very large army.”

“Then he said to me, ‘Human, these bones are like the people of Israel. They say, “Our bones are dried up, and our hope has gone. We are destroyed.” So, prophesy and say to them, “This is what the Lord GOD says: my people, I will open your graves and cause you to come up out of your graves. Then I will bring you into the land of Israel.”’”

“’”My people, you will know that I am the LORD when I open your graves and cause you to come up from them. And I will put my Spirit inside you, and you will come to life. Then I will put you in your own land. And you will know that I, the LORD, have spoken and done it, says the LORD.”’”

          (Ezekiel 37:1-14)

 

 

In Chapter 36 of the Book of Ezekiel, Ezekiel prophesied that God’s people would return to Israel from exile. The cities would be rebuilt and the land would become more prosperous than ever before. And there would be a spiritual revival:

“I will put a new way of thinking inside you… I will put my Spirit inside you and help you live by my rules and carefully obey my laws.” (Ezekiel 36:26-27)

In today’s passage from Chapter 37, Ezekiel saw a vision likening this spiritual revival to a valley floor covered with the bones of the dead. The wind of God’s Spirit blew though the valley and the dry bones came back to life.

In the New Testament, the dispirited followers of Jesus were ‘brought back to life’ by the ‘wind’ (or ‘breath’) of God’s Spirit which transformed them on the Day of Pentecost: “Suddenly a noise like a strong, blowing wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting… They were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they began to speak different languages by the power the Holy Spirit was giving them.” (Acts 2:2-4)

Peter went on to tell the crowds in Jerusalem, “These people are not drunk, as you think… But Joel the prophet wrote about what is happening here today: ‘God says: In the last days I will pour out my Spirit on all kinds of people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy. Your old men will dream dreams, and your young men will see visions…’” (Acts 2:15-17)

With a clear allusion to Ezekiel’s prophesy (see Ezekiel 37:12-13), Matthew’s gospel states that, when Jesus rose from the dead, “the earth shook and rocks broke apart. The graves opened, and many of God’s people who had died were raised from the dead. They came out of the graves after Jesus was raised from the dead and went into the holy city [Jerusalem], where they appeared to many people.” (Matthew 27:51-53)

The photo (by Mark A. Wilson) shows a dry valley (a ‘wadi’) in the Negev desert of Israel.

You can read more about Ezekiel’s prophesy of the defeat of Gog and Magog (Ezekiel Chapters 38 & 39) @ The Bible Journey | The defeat of Gog and Magog


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