Vision of Dry Bones
This vision illustrates the promise of new life and a nation restored, both physically and spiritually. The dry bones are a picture of the Jews in captivity – scattered and dead. The two sticks represent the reunion of the entire nation of Israel that had divided into the north and south kingdoms. Ezekiel felt he was speaking to the dead as he preached to the exiles because they rarely responded to his message. But these dry bones responded!
Verse 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.
Verse 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.
Kind of like many of us; in the state of being dead and dried up for a while before being brought to life through Jesus Christ. Some are in this state longer than others.
Verse 3 – And He said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” So I answered, “O Lord God, You know.”
Verse 4 – Again He said to me, “Prophesy to these bones, and say to them, ‘O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord!
Verse 5 – ‘Thus says the Lord God to these bones; “Surely I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live.
These dry bones represent spiritually dead people. Just as God promised to restore His nation, He can restore us, no matter how dry or dead we may be. God is the giver of life and when He breathes there will be life!
Verse 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.” ‘ ”
Verse 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.
Ezekiel is watching this take place; the ligaments, called here sinews, are added in order to unite the bones; then the flesh, the whole muscular system, arteries, and veins; the skin, the dermis and the epidermis.
Verse 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.
Verse 9 – Then 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.” ‘ ”
Verse 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.
The bodies did not come to life until they received an infusion of the Spirit (the words for “wind,” breath,” and “spirit,” are identical in Hebrew and Greek).
Verse 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!’
Verse 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.
Israel’s re-birth depended on God’s power of resurrection. John 5:25, John 5:28, John 5:29: “The hour is coming when they that are in their graves shall hear His voice, and come forth.”
Verse 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.
Verse 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.’ ”
Verse 15 – Again the word of the Lord came to me, saying,
Verse 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.’
The first stick was for Judah, the southern kingdom. The other was for Joseph, because he was the father of Ephraim, the leading tribe in the northern kingdom.
Verse 17 – “Then join them one to another for yourself into one stick, and they will become one in your hand.
God’s intention is to join the two kingdoms again.
Verse 18 – “And when the children of your people speak to you, saying, ‘Will you not show us what you mean by these?’ –
Verse 19 – “say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Surely I will take the stick of Joseph, which is 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.” ‘
They are about to become one nation again, since the division when Solomon died.
Verse 20 – “And the sticks on which you write will be in your hand before their eyes.
Verse 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;
This took place in 1948 when Israel became a recognized nation.
Verse 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.
Politically speaking they never had a king again from that day to this. This verse speaks of a time when Jesus, King of Kings, will rule and reign over all the earth.
Verse 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.
Verse 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.
Verse 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.
The Messiah was often called David because He is David’s descendant. This kingdom will be forever. 1 Corinthians 15:24 – Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power.
Verse 26 – “Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them, and it shall be an everlasting covenant with them; I will establish them in their midst forevermore.
Verse 27 – “My tabernacle also shall be with them; indeed I will be their God, and they shall be My people.
Verse 28 – “The nations also will know that I, the Lord, sanctify Israel, when My sanctuary is in their midst forevermore.” ‘ ”
This tabernacle is Jesus Christ, in whom dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. Revelation 21:3 – And I heard a loud voice form heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God.