Ezekiel 37 (1/2): The Valley of Dry Bones

Ezekiel sees in a vision from Jehovah a “valley plain and it was full of bones” (Eze 37:1). Two things were outstanding for him: 1. that, there were very many bones 2. that bones were very dry.

Further Jehovah ask Ezekiel an intriguing question:

“Son of man, can these bones come to life?”
To that I said: “Sovereign Lord Jehovah, you are the one who knows.”

– Eze 37:3

From a human perspective something impossible!

In the following verses, Jehovah explains how he can resurrect humans even when only their bones are left.

I will put sinews and flesh on you, and I will cover you with skin and put breath in you, and you will come to life; and you will have to know that I am Jehovah.”’”

– Eze 37:6

Jehovah knows exactly which elements to put together to bring any human back to life. In this case, the resurrection happened in two steps.

1. Step of Resurrection: Bones, Sinews and Flesh

… bones began to come together, bone to bone.
8 Then I saw sinews and flesh come on them, and skin covered over them
– Eze 37:7, 8

2. Step of Resurrection: Spirit

Ezekiel recognizes something is yet missing: “But there was still no breath in them.” (Eze 37:12)

9 He then said to me: “Prophesy to the wind. Prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord Jehovah says: “From the four winds come in, O wind, and blow upon these people who were killed, so that they may come to life.”’”
10 So I prophesied just as he commanded me, and breath came into them, and they began to live and to stand on their feet, an extremely large army
– Eze 37:9, 10

This may remind us of the process how God created the first human Adam:

And Jehovah God went on to form the man out of dust from the ground and to blow into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living person.
– Ge 2:7

The “breath of life”, “spirit” or life force is essential for any creature to exist.
There is no life without Jehovah’s spirit powering it.

The vision of the Dry Bones is applied to the Israelites hopeless condition

Jehovah himself explains how to understand the vision of Dry Bones.

Then he said to me: “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. Here they are saying, ‘Our bones are dry, and our hope has perished. We are completely cut off.’
Eze 37:11

It symbolizes the exiled Israelites (mainly Jews) in Babylon who think they have no hope to ever return to their homeland.

It seemed as impossible as to resurrect a human from dry bones.

But Jehovah promised them:

‘I will put my spirit in you and you will come to life, and I will settle you on your land; and you will have to know that I myself, Jehovah, have spoken and I have done it,’ declares Jehovah.”
– Eze 37:14

Through his help the nation will be restored.

Additional: Prophesy not in a future form

So he said to me: “Prophesy over these bones, and say to them, ‘You dry bones, hear the word of Jehovah:
– Eze 37:4

One of the cases “prophesy” it not used in a future meaning, but simple state something inspired from god. In the present.

Leave a Comment