“Them Bones, Them Bones, Them Dry Bones”
The Crucial Message the Christian Church
has Missed Completely!
Lorraine Day, M.D.
Ezekiel, Chapter 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 midst of the valley which was full of bones.
Chapter 37 consists of two parts: the vision of the dry bones, and (vs 15-28) the interpretation of the vision.
2. And caused me to pass by them round about: and behold, there were very many in the open valley; and lo, they were very dry.
The word translated valley in this verse is translated “plain” in chapter 3:22.
Very dry: Indicating that it had been a long time since life had been in them, emphasizing the hopelessness of revival.
3. And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live” And I answered, O Lord, God, thou knowest.
Can these bones live? The question seems to heighten the idea of improbability, if not impossibility, at least from a human point of view.
Thou knowest: Compare Rev 7:14.
“And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? And whence came they?
“And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation (BIG TROUBLE), and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
They came through BIG TROUBLE and reaped what they had sown which caused them to repent of their sins, and turned them back to the Lord and His righteousness “through the blood of the Lamb” through the saving power of Jesus Christ, the One who knows exactly how to turn His children back to Him.
4. Again he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the Lord.
Hear the word of the Lord: The “Word of the Lord” gives life both in the original creation and in the RE-creation (redemption) of each individual as he or she becomes a New Creation in Christ.
5. Thus said the Lord God unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live.
Breath: the Hebrew word ruach, translated “wind” in v.9 and “spirit” in v. 14. The word refers to “breath” whether physical breath or spiritual breath. Ruach symbolizes God’s divine energy that brings physical life through the physical “breath of life” God “breathed into Adam’s nostrils” (Genesis 2:7) and spiritual breath (God’s breath of holiness mistranslated “Holy Spirit”) that gives us spiritual life. Both types of “breath” must invade every part of our body in order for us to be alive - and stay alive - both physically and spiritually, respectively.
God did not merely supply the oxygen that filled Adam’s lungs, but imparted life, so that which had been inanimate tissue became living tissue. Jesus said,
“ I am the way, the truth, and the LIFE.” John 14:6
6. And I will lay sinews (muscles) upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know that I am the Lord.
Put breath in you. The process of revivification corresponds to the two steps by which man was originally created. First God created a physical body from the dust of the ground. Then God breathed breath into that physical body that made it come alive.
“And the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul (being).” Genesis 2:7
And ye shall know that I am the Lord. No one in the universe, except the Lord, can make a dead person come alive.
7 So I prophesied as I was commanded: and as I prophesied, there was a noise and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone.
8 And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them, and the skin covered them above; but there was no breath in them.
9 Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind (breath), prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind (breath), Thus saith the Lord God; Come from the four winds (breath that inhabits every person on earth the “four corners” of the earth), O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.
Upon these slain. The bones were strewn over the valley (all over the world) as of the slain after a battle; a battle, indeed the “war” between Christ and Satan for the hearts of all mankind.
10 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army.
An exceeding great army. Representing the entire world of those who do not know God.
11 Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off for our parts.
The whole house of Israel. Now God interprets the vision. God eventually will take all the “dry bones” of all humanity, those who have never known Him and those who have known Him at one time but fallen into apostasy, and revitalize them with His “breath of holiness” - after they have reaped what they have sown and finally recognize their need for Christ to run their life and they will become righteous followers of Jesus Christ.
Everyone is a “child of God” whether or not he or she believes in God right now because God created everyone who has ever been born on this earth. The word “Israel” means “Triumphant with God” or “One with God” which will be the final condition of ALL of humanity.
“Cut off for our parts.” A better translation is: “as for us, we are cut off (from God).”
12 Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel.
Open your graves. In v. 2 the bones were represented as “in the open valley (or plain).” Here they are spoken of as being in their graves. The new figure may point to the larger promise of those who have gone to their graves already.
Those who do not know God will have died, but their bodies will have been handled in two different ways: 1) those who died and were buried, and 2) those who die in the great conflagration when Jesus comes whose bodies will be strewn from one end of the earth to the other, and there will be no one to bury them. (Jer 25:33)
13 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.
The entire Old Testament is filled with God’s lament about the Israelites, those whom He had brought out of Egypt, “out of the house of bondage,” who had turned their backs on Him over and over again, to follow after pagan gods made of stone and wood. God is the only One who can raise people from the dead from their graves, therefore “they will KNOW that I am the Lord.”
14 And shall put my spirit (breath) in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land (the new Jerusalem Rev 3:12; 21:2) then shall ye know that I the Lord have spoken it, and performed it, saith the Lord.
The ultimate dwelling place of all God’s people Everyone God has ever created will be the “new Jerusalem” the holy city of God meaning the new re-created earth, after everyone has reaped what he has sown and become a “new creation” in Christ. God will make His home on the new earth with man!
“And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
“And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
“And I heard a grat voice out of 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 shall be with them, and be their God.
“And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” Rev 21:1-4
The only way God can “wipe away all tears from our eyes” is if ALL our loved ones are saved. Otherwise, God would have to give all of us a lobotomy so we wouldn’t remember our loved ones.
Could you ever be happy in heaven FOREVER if even ONE of your children were not there? Of course not. And neither could God be happy because He loves our children even more than we do. Because “God IS LOVE” pure LOVE.” (1 John 4:8)
And notice that Rev 21:4 says “there will be no more death.” It does not say “there will be no more dying” but “no more DEATH.” If there is “no more death” then that means EVERYONE will be alive. Then “God will be ALL in ALL” according to 1 Cor 15:28.
“”The last enemy that shall be destroyed (literal translation: abolished) is death. (Not “dying” but “death.” “Death will be ABOLISHED. NO ONE will be DEAD.)
“ And when all things shall be subdued unto Him (God), then shall the Son also Himself be subject unto Him (God) that put all things under Him, that God may be ALL in ALL.” 1 Cor 15:26,28
When death has been abolished, everyone will be alive and THEN, “God will be ALL in ALL.” EVERYONE eventually will be saved!
15 The word of the Lord came again unto me, saying
16 Moreover, thou son of man, take thee one stick, and write upon it, For Judah, 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.
17 And join them one to another into one stick; and they shall become one in thine hand.
The Ten Northern Tribes, then called “Israel,” separated from the two Southern Tribes (Judah and Benjamin) called “Judah” at the time that Rehoboam, the son of King Solomon, began to reign. Solomon, who started out his reign as the wisest man who ever lived, married many heathen wives for political purposes, and became so degenerate that he began sacrificing his children through the fire to the pagan god Molech. He also began taxing his subjects unmercifully.
When Solomon’s son, Rehoboam, became king, the Israelites asked for some tax relief, but instead, Rehoboam taxed them even more. The ten northern tribes had had enough and seceded into their own kingdom.
After the Israelites entered the Promised Land, they were ruled by Judges and by Kings and chose to follow the pagan practices instead of obeying God’s laws. For this reason, God separated the tribes and took the ten northern tribes (read 1 Kings chapters 11 and 12) away and called them the Northern Kingdom, or Israel or Ephraim-Joseph. The two tribes of Benjamin and Judah were left in the southern part of the land and became known as Judah or the Southern Kingdom.
After the Northern and Southern Kingdoms were separated, they continued to rebel against the God of their forefathers as well as to fight and struggle with each other, their brothers. The Northern Kingdom, known as Israel or Ephraim, set up their own priesthood, their own altar to God and their own set of Feast Days! In I Kings 12:25-33 during Jeroboam's reign over the ten tribes of the north, he became fearful that his people would continue to go down to the Southern Kingdom under his rival, King Rehoboam, to celebrate the Feast Days as they were commanded to do so in Exodus 23:14-17.
So, to keep his empire in tact, and his people home where they belonged, he developed the "Golden Calf Worship System" He built two temples and strategically placed them in the Northern Kingdom. One temple was located in the City of Dan near the upper Northern border close to Mt. Hermon, and the other temple was in the City of Bethel on the Southern border that divided the two Kingdoms.
Amazingly, after all they had come through, the focus of worship in these temples was a "golden calf!" The worship of God was being mixed with the revived Egyptian "golden calf" Sun-god religion!
Now let's look at the book of Hosea. Hosea was a prophet to the Northern Kingdom only (remember, the Northern Kingdom was also called Israel, Ephraim, Joseph or Jacob). Hosea prophesied over Israel (Ephraim) their judgment and future restoration. When the prophet was told to marry a prostitute it was symbolic of Ephraim and his unfaithfulness and backsliding. When children came along, Hosea gave those children names that were a prophecy of God’s judgment.
Hosea Chapters 1-2 summarizes these judgments. God told Hosea to take Gomer, the daughter of Dibliam and she bore him three children. The first was named Jezreel, the second Loruhamah, and the third named Loammi. These names reflected the judgments of God on the Northern Kingdom. Jezreel represented the 'ceasing of the kingdom of the house of Israel; Loruhama reflected in her name that God would have no mercy on the house of Israel and Loammi declared that 'Israel' would no longer be the people of God!
Both Israel and Judah had rejected the Lord, but Israel’s apostasy was worse. They worshiped in Samaria when God’s presence was in Jerusalem. They put kings on the throne that were NOT in the line of David, as God had ordered. And they intermarried with heathen non-Israelites.
So the sins of Israel were even greater than those of Judah even though the Judahites had brought pagan gods into the temple court, and had committed other terrible sins against God.
But, in this prophecy, God is telling us that eventually He will bring all the apostate Christians to Himself back into the fold through their experiencing terrible trouble as a result of their own bad decisions. They will reap what they have sown, and by so doing, will recognize their need for Jesus Christ to run their life completely.
They will then be ruled by the “One who (symbolically) will sit on the throne of David” meaning that David’s physical offspring would occupy that “throne” forever. And that is referring to Jesus Christ, who when born on earth, had parents who were both descendants of David.
18 And when the children of thy people shall speak unto thee, saying, Wilt thou not show us what thou meanest by these?
19 Say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel his fellows, and will put them with him, even with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they shall be one in mine hand.
20 And the sticks whereon thou writest shall be in thine hand before their eyes.
21 And say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side and bring them into their own land.
God will bring back those who are in apostasy, those who have joined with the unbelievers. All eventually will return to Jesus Christ.
22 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.
23 Neither shall they defile themselves any more with their idols, nor with their detestable things, nor with any of their transgression: 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.
They all will turn from their wicked ways and serve the one true God Jesus Christ.
24 And David my servant shall be king over them; and they shall have one shepherd: they shall also walk in my judgments, and observe my statutes, and do them
Luke, in the New Testament, tells us that Jesus Christ will symbolically “sit on the throne of David.” Christ will be King over all.
“And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou has found favour with God.
“And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call His name JESUS.
“He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of His father (ancestor) David;
“And He shall reign over the house of Jacob forever: and of His kingdom there shall be no end.” Luke 1:30-33
After Jesus Christ has accomplished all He came to earth to do to save the WHOLE World His kingdom will have no end.
25 And they shall dwell in the land that I have given unto Jacob my servant, wherein your fathers have dwelt; and they shall dwell therein, even they, and their children, and their children’s children forever: and my servant David shall be their prince forever.
26 Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them: and I will place them, and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore.
God’s sanctuary now is “in us.”
“Know ye not that your body is the temple (tabernacle) of God’s spirit, which is in you, which ye have of God. . .” 1 Cor 6:19
27 My tabernacle also shall be with them: yea, I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
28 And the heathen shall know that I the Lord do sanctify Israel, when my sanctuary shall be in the midst of them forevermore.
Do these prophecies apply to literal Israel?
Many people, and many denominations, believe that these prophecies in Ezekiel, Chapter 37 apply to literal Israel, the group of people who call themselves Jews now illegally occupying Palestine.
But Jesus makes it very clear that these prophecies are about HIM not physical Israel.
Jesus said, “You search the Scriptures because in them ye think ye have eternal life. But they are they that testify of ME.” John 5:39 (literal translation)
The only “Scriptures” Jesus could have been speaking about where the Old Testament Scriptures because the New Testament had not yet been written.
Jesus was informing us that the Old Testament is about Him Jesus NOT about Israel.
Israel failed in their mission, over and over again. Jesus had to come into this world and succeed where Israel had failed.
So, what is the Crucial Message of Ezekiel, Chapter 37, that the Entire Christian Church has Missed?
Answer: The Message of Universal Restoration the Message that God will Save Everyone!
God has told us in this chapter that no matter how “dry” the bones are, God can bring them to life, not just physical life but spiritual life, as well. Whether they are buried in graves, or their bones are strewn from one end of the earth to the other, God eventually will turn them all back to Him.