Ezekiel 37 deals with the awakening of the Nation of Israel. They had been buried among the Gentiles. This chapter prophesies that one day they will come alive, come back to the land and become a viable nation.
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 midlst of the valley which was full of bones…"
In the Valley of Kedron, you would see a multitude of graves as you look from the Mount of Olives down across the Kedron Valley up to the old wall. But what Ezekiel is talking about is about the Nation of Israel being out of the land, among the Gentiles, scattered around the world without a land, altar, or priesthood. This has been their plight since 70 AD. And Israel out her land, is a nation that is in it's grave.
Ezekiel 37:2 "And caused me to pass by them round about: and, behold, there were many in the open valley; and, lo, they were very dry."
The emphasis here is that Israel has been out of the land, the place of blessing, for a long time—over 1900 years. It was in 70 AD, when Titus destroyed the city of Jerusalem and the Temple, from which time the Jews became scattered throughout the world. It was 1948 before they, again, became a nation.
Ezekiel 37: 3 "And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live?…"
One wonders how a nation as tiny as Israel, completely subjugated by Gentile enemies, was ever able to come back. The Bible as the Word of God, is one of the most viable proofs that this Book is supernatural and is the Word of God, and is the Jew. They should have been totally obliterated, assimilated into the various nations and lost their total identity—but they didn't. And they have returned to their land. The language, which was dead, has also been revived. Israel is living proof that the Bible KNOWS WHAT IT'S TALKING ABOUT —don't ever forget that!
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.'"
Remember the old spiritual, "The hip bone's connected to the…", etc? Now you know where the song came from.
Ezekiel 37:5 "Thus saith the LORD GOD unto these bones (the Israelites scattered around the world); 'Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live.'" In other words, nationally, they would be revived, and be a nation of people once again.
Ezekiel 37:6 "And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you…"
Symbolic! It speaks of that which was dead and seemingly without hope: suddenly, they are coming back.
Ezekiel 37:6 "…and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live, and ye shall know that I am the LORD."
With all their accomplishments (agricultural, high-rises, freeways, etc.) amazingly, they do not give God any of the credit, but say they are just doing it on their own—utterly amazing! But the Lord says that one day they will realize that it was the work of their Almighty God.
Ezekiel 37: 7 "So I prophesied as I was commanded: and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking…"
Picture the floor of the valley just covered with dry bones. These bones begin to rattle and shake, to move and come together into a skeleton. Then flesh begins to form over the bones, then skin—and then life. Of course, this is all symbolic and regards Israel being away from her homeland, scattered among the nations. But in 1948, with just small arms, no tanks or artillery, no air power—they won the war and established themselves as a nation, once again.
Ezekiel 37:8 "And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them, and the skin covered them above (this has all happened, but yet, there still is no life): but there was no breath in them." (No spiritual breath)
Ezekiel 37:9 "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 brath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.'"
Now this is the spiritual aspect, so we see them in the land. They have their own government; their knesset (congress); and a sort of sovereignty. But still, they are dependent on the U.S. and some of the Western European nations for their financial stability. "We just consider ourselves the fifty-first state", one Jew said.
Ezekiel 37: 10 "So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, and exceeding great army."
Now this was a vision, but in reality, the Nation of Israel comes back to their homeland, from out of all the nations of the earth (vs 11).
Ezekiel 37: 11a "Then he said unto me, 'Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel…'"
Not just a few tribes, but the WHOLE HOUSE (13 or 14 tribes, if including the two sons of Joseph) OF ISRAEL.
Ezekiel 37: 11b "…behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost…'"
Especially prior and after WWII, the Jew had no hope of having a homeland. They were just isolated, usually in ghettos in various capital cities in Europe. And then all of a sudden a Sovereign God came into the picture, and they said:
Ezekiel 37: 11c "…Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off for our parts."
Ezekiel 37: 13, 14a "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 (out of their place of dispersion), And shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I (God) shall place you in your own land…"
Scripture is plain about Palestine being the land of the Jews. It was promised to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and all of Scripture declares it as "Their land". Neither the U.S. Government, nor any other government can change that, try as they might, and they will go to Hell trying. God has given this land between the Jordan and Mediterranean to His covenant people.
Ezekiel 37: 14b "…then shall ye now that I the LORD have spoken it, and performed it, saith the LORD."
Now another illustration:
Ezekiel 37:16 "Moreover, thou son of man, take thee one stick, and write upon it, 'For Judah (the Southern Kingdom; Judah and Benjamin, the Southern Kingdom after the nation was divided) 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:'"
That was the Northern Kingdom: one stick represents the Southern Kingdom, Judah and Benjamin, and the other stick represents the ten tribes to the north, usually called the Northern Kingdom, or Israel, or Ephraim.
Ezekiel 37: 17 "And join them one to another into one stick; and they shall become one in thine hand."
Just about like the miracle when Moses cast down his rod back there in Exodus. Ezekiel takes the two sticks, Judah and the Northern Kingdom, and the two become one.
Ezekiel 37: 18, 19 "And when the children of thy people shall speak unto thee, saying, 'Wilt thou not shew us what thou meanest by these?' Say unto them, 'This saith the Lord GOD…'"
The most important thing in the life of a believer is faith—taking God at His Word. God says it, and He expects us to believe it.
Ezekiel 37: 20, 21a "And the sticks wheron thou writest shall be in thine hand before their eyes. And say unto them, 'Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen…"
"Heathen"—another word for Gentiles, but not necessarily decrepit paganists, etc. Just Gentiles from the nations of the world.
Ezekiel 37: 21b "…whither they be gone and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land:"
The Jew has been returning ever since the turn of the century, but especially since WWII. It is interesting to note that Israel is40 miles wide and about 200 miles long at the very most. Can you imagine all the Jews fitting into that little space? It's like the whole Nation of France immigrating to America in 12 months time. The number of Jews returned(ing) is staggering to say the least.
Ezekiel 37:22a "And I will make them one nation on the land upon the mountains of Israel (they are building high-rises on the sides of the mountains, and there are many mountains) and one king shall be king to them all:"
This is speaking of Jesus and is still in the future. The Jew is looking for their King. There are big billboards, in Hebrew, telling the people to prepare for the coming of the Messiah. Of course, they think He's coming for the first time, but we know it is the Second Coming.
Ezekiel 37:22,23 "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: Neither shall they defile themselves any more with their idols, nor with their detestable things, nor with any of their transgressions: but I will save them out of all their dwelling places, wherein they have sinned, and will cleanse them: so shall they be my people, and I will be their God."
But that is still in the future. Today, one would still have to say 'Lo-Ammi'—They're not my people. Moses used to say that to God, and God would answer, "They are not mine either." But God, though He still doesn't yet call them His people, does have His hand over them, protecting them. The day will soon be here when God will once again, lovingly, call them, "My People". They will have a new heart and God will cleanse them.
Jeremiah 31:31 "'Behold the days come,' saith the LORD, 'that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:'"