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Commentary » Ezekiel 37:1-Ezekiel 37:14 »

Making the Dry Bones Live

America is said to have the highest per capita boredom of any spot on earth! We know that because we have the greatest number of artificial amusements of any country in the world. People have become so empty that they can’t even entertain themselves. They have to pay other … More

Dry Bones

In chapter thirty-seven Ezekiel describes his remarkably beautiful vision of the Valley of Dry Bones. He sees in his vision a valley full of dry bones, bones that are not joined together, and then when joined they have no breath in them (vv. 1-14). These dry bones represented the people’s spiritually dead condition (vv 1-5). Then God breathes upon them and they come to life again. This picture of God’s grace illustrates what God is going to do with the nation of Israel. From God’s perspective she has been lying there as a nation for 2,000 years in a state of death, but a day will come when God will breathe upon this nation. Like the valley of dry bones, it will receive new spiritual life, and God will use it to reestablish His kingdom on earth. As Eusocial was giving his prophecy he saw “the bones come together, bone to its bone” (v. 7), “flesh grew” and “skin covered them” (v. 8), “breath entered them,” and “they stood up” (v. 10).

The LORD was kind enough to give us the interpretation of the vision (vv. 11-14). The main purpose of the vision was the restoration of Israel. However, if God could bring a hopeless dead nation to life, it would be a small step to the realization that the same God could conquer man’s greatest enemy, death. This vision illustrates the promise of God to a nation restored both physically and spiritually.  The dry bones are a picture of the Jews in captivity, scattered and dead Spiritually. Israel had been divided into the northern and southern kingdoms after Solomon. These 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.


It is possible for me to find myself in a group of people that seem like a heap of dry bones, spiritually dead, with no hope of vitality, but God has promised to restore me and give me new life. As a Christian I have more to be happy about than most anyone I know.

Ezekiel 37:1-14 (English Standard Version)

The hand of the LORD was upon me, and he brought me out in the Spirit of the LORD and set me down in the middle of the valley; it was full of bones. And he led me around among them, and behold, there were very many on the surface of the valley, and behold, they were very dry. And he said to me, "Son of man, can these bones live?" And I answered, "O Lord GOD, you know." Then he said to me, "Prophesy over these bones, and say to them, O dry bones, hear the word of the LORD. Thus says the Lord GOD to these bones: Behold, I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. And I will lay sinews upon you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live, and you shall know that I am the LORD." So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I prophesied, there was a sound, and behold, a rattling, and the bones came together, bone to its bone. And I looked, and behold, there were sinews on them, and flesh had come upon them, and skin had covered them. But there was no breath in them. 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." So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived and stood on their feet, an exceedingly great army. Then he said to me, "Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. Behold, they say, 'Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are indeed cut off.' Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I will open your graves and raise you from your graves, O my people. And I will bring you into the land of Israel. And you shall know that I am the LORD, when I open your graves, and raise you from your graves, O my people. And I will put my Spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I am the LORD; I have spoken, and I will do it, declares the LORD."

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