37 The hand of the Lord was on me, and he brought me out by his Spirit and set me down in the middle of the valley; it was full of bones. 2 He led me all around them. There were a great many of them on the surface of the valley, and they were very dry. 3 Then he said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?”
I replied, “Lord God, only you know.”
4 He said to me, “Prophesy concerning these bones and say to them: Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! 5 This is what the Lord God says to these bones: I will cause breath to enter you, and you will live. 6 I will put tendons on you, make flesh grow on you, and cover you with skin. I will put breath in you so that you come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord.”
7 So I prophesied as I had been commanded. While I was prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came together, bone to bone. 8 As I looked, tendons appeared on them, flesh grew, and skin covered them, but there was no breath in them. 9 He said to me, “Prophesy to the breath,[a] prophesy, son of man. Say to it: This is what the Lord God says: Breath, come from the four winds and breathe into these slain so that they may live!” 10 So I prophesied as he commanded me; the breath entered them, and they came to life and stood on their feet, a vast army.
11 Then he said to me, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. Look how they say, ‘Our bones are dried up, and our hope has perished; we are cut off.’ 12 Therefore, prophesy and say to them, ‘This is what the Lord God says: I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them, my people, and lead you into the land of Israel. 13 You will know that I am the Lord, my people, when I open your graves and bring you up from them. 14 I will put my Spirit in you, and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I am the Lord. I have spoken, and I will do it. This is the declaration of the Lord.’”
The Reunification of Israel
15 The word of the Lord came to me: 16 “Son of man, take a single stick and write on it: Belonging to Judah and the Israelites associated with him. Then take another stick and write on it: Belonging to Joseph—the stick of Ephraim—and all the house of Israel associated with him. 17 Then join them together into a single stick so that they become one in your hand. 18 When your people ask you, ‘Won’t you explain to us what you mean by these things?’— 19 tell them, ‘This is what the Lord God says: I am going to take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel associated with him, and put them together with the stick of Judah. I will make them into a single stick so that they become one in my hand.’
20 “When the sticks you have written on are in your hand and in full view of the people, 21 tell them, ‘This is what the Lord God says: I am going to take the Israelites out of the nations where they have gone. I will gather them from all around and bring them into their own land. 22 I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel, and one king will rule over all of them. They will no longer be two nations and will no longer be divided into two kingdoms. 23 They will not defile themselves anymore with their idols, their abhorrent things, and all their transgressions. I will save them from all their apostasies by which[b] they sinned, and I will cleanse them. Then they will be my people, and I will be their God. 24 My servant David will be king over them, and there will be one shepherd for all of them. They will follow my ordinances, and keep my statutes and obey them.
25 “‘They will live in the land that I gave to my servant Jacob, where your ancestors lived. They will live in it forever with their children and grandchildren, and my servant David will be their prince forever. 26 I will make a covenant of peace with them; it will be a permanent covenant with them. I will establish and multiply them and will set my sanctuary among them forever. 27 My dwelling place will be with them; I will be their God, and they will be my people. 28 When my sanctuary is among them forever, the nations will know that I, the Lord, sanctify Israel.’”
The Defeat of Gog
38 The word of the Lord came to me: 2 “Son of man, face Gog, of the land of Magog, the chief prince of[c] Meshech and Tubal. Prophesy against him 3 and say, ‘This is what the Lord God says: Look, I am against you, Gog, chief prince of Meshech and Tubal. 4 I will turn you around, put hooks in your jaws, and bring you out with all your army, including horses and riders, who are all splendidly dressed, a huge assembly armed with large and small shields, all of them brandishing swords. 5 Persia, Cush, and Put are with them, all of them with shields and helmets; 6 Gomer with all its troops; and Beth-togarmah from the remotest parts of the north along with all its troops—many peoples are with you.
7 “‘Be prepared and get yourself ready, you and your whole assembly that has been mobilized around you; you will be their guard. 8 After a long time you will be summoned. In the last years you will enter a land that has been restored from war[d] and regathered from many peoples to the mountains of Israel, which had long been a ruin. They were brought out from the peoples, and all of them now live securely. 9 You, all of your troops, and many peoples with you will advance, coming like a thunderstorm; you will be like a cloud covering the land.
10 “‘This is what the Lord God says: On that day, thoughts will arise in your mind, and you will devise an evil plan. 11 You will say, “I will advance against a land of open villages; I will come against a tranquil people who are living securely, all of them living without walls and without bars or gates”— 12 in order to seize spoil and carry off plunder, to turn your hand against ruins now inhabited and against a people gathered from the nations, who have been acquiring cattle and possessions and who live at the center of the world. 13 Sheba and Dedan and the merchants of Tarshish with all its rulers[e] will ask you, “Have you come to seize spoil? Have you mobilized your assembly to carry off plunder, to make off with silver and gold, to take cattle and possessions, to seize plenty of spoil?”’
14 “Therefore prophesy, son of man, and say to Gog, ‘This is what the Lord God says: On that day when my people Israel are dwelling securely, will you not know this 15 and come from your place in the remotest parts of the north—you and many peoples with you, who are all riding horses—a huge assembly, a powerful army? 16 You will advance against my people Israel like a cloud covering the land. It will happen in the last days, Gog, that I will bring you against my land so that the nations may know me, when I demonstrate my holiness through you in their sight.
17 “‘This is what the Lord God says: Are you the one I spoke about in former times through my servants, the prophets of Israel, who for years prophesied in those times that I would bring you against them? 18 Now on that day, the day when Gog comes against the land of Israel—this is the declaration of the Lord God—my wrath will flare up.[f] 19 I swear in my zeal and fiery wrath: On that day there will be a great earthquake in the land of Israel. 20 The fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, the animals of the field, every creature that crawls on the ground, and every human being on the face of the earth will tremble before me. The mountains will be demolished, the cliffs will collapse, and every wall will fall to the ground. 21 I will call for a sword against him on all my mountains—this is the declaration of the Lord God—and every man’s sword will be against his brother. 22 I will execute judgment on him with plague and bloodshed. I will pour out torrential rain, hailstones, fire, and burning sulfur on him, as well as his troops and the many peoples who are with him. 23 I will display my greatness and holiness, and will reveal myself in the sight of many nations. Then they will know that I am the Lord.’
The Disposal of Gog
39 “As for you, son of man, prophesy against Gog and say, ‘This is what the Lord God says: Look, I am against you, Gog, chief prince of[g] Meshech and Tubal. 2 I will turn you around, drive you on, and lead you up from the remotest parts of the north. I will bring you against the mountains of Israel. 3 Then I will knock your bow from your left hand and make your arrows drop from your right hand. 4 You, all your troops, and the peoples who are with you will fall on the mountains of Israel. I will give you as food to every kind of predatory bird and to the wild animals. 5 You will fall on the open field, for I have spoken. This is the declaration of the Lord God.
6 “‘I will send fire against Magog and those who live securely on the coasts and islands. Then they will know that I am the Lord. 7 So I will make my holy name known among my people Israel and will no longer allow it to be profaned. Then the nations will know that I am the Lord, the Holy One in Israel. 8 Yes, it is coming, and it will happen. This is the declaration of the Lord God. This is the day I have spoken about.
9 “‘Then the inhabitants of Israel’s cities will go out, kindle fires, and burn the weapons—the small and large shields, the bows and arrows, the clubs and spears. For seven years they will use them to make fires. 10 They will not gather wood from the countryside or cut it down from the forests, for they will use the weapons to make fires. They will take the loot from those who looted them and plunder those who plundered them. This is the declaration of the Lord God.
11 “‘Now on that day I will give Gog a burial place there in Israel—the Travelers’ Valley[h] east of the Sea. It will block those who travel through, for Gog and all his hordes will be buried there. So it will be called Hordes of Gog[i] Valley. 12 The house of Israel will spend seven months burying them in order to cleanse the land. 13 All the people of the land will bury them and their fame will spread on the day I display my glory. This is the declaration of the Lord God.
14 “‘They will appoint men on a full-time basis to pass through the land and bury the invaders[j] who remain on the surface of the ground, in order to cleanse it. They will make their search at the end of the seven months. 15 When they pass through the land and one of them sees a human bone, he will set up a marker next to it until the buriers have buried it in Hordes of Gog Valley. 16 There will even be a city named Hamonah[k] there. So they will cleanse the land.’
17 “Son of man, this is what the Lord God says: Tell every kind of bird and all the wild animals, ‘Assemble and come! Gather from all around to my sacrificial feast that I am slaughtering for you, a great feast on the mountains of Israel; you will eat flesh and drink blood. 18 You will eat the flesh of mighty men and drink the blood of the earth’s princes: rams, lambs, male goats, and all the fattened bulls of Bashan. 19 You will eat fat until you are satisfied and drink blood until you are drunk, at my sacrificial feast that I have prepared for you. 20 At my table you will eat your fill of horses and riders, of mighty men and all the warriors. This is the declaration of the Lord God.’
Israel’s Restoration to God
21 “I will display my glory among the nations, and all the nations will see the judgment I have executed and the hand I have laid on them. 22 From that day forward the house of Israel will know that I am the Lord their God. 23 And the nations will know that the house of Israel went into exile on account of their iniquity, because they dealt unfaithfully with me. Therefore, I hid my face from them and handed them over to their enemies, so that they all fell by the sword. 24 I dealt with them according to their uncleanness and transgressions, and I hid my face from them.
25 “So this is what the Lord God says: Now I will restore the fortunes of Jacob and have compassion on the whole house of Israel, and I will be jealous for my holy name. 26 They will feel remorse for[l][m] their disgrace and all the unfaithfulness they committed against me, when they live securely in their land with no one to frighten them. 27 When I bring them back from the peoples and gather them from the countries of their enemies, I will demonstrate my holiness through them in the sight of many nations. 28 They will know that I am the Lord their God when I regather them to their own land after having exiled them among the nations. I will leave none of them behind.[n] 29 I will no longer hide my face from them, for I will pour out my Spirit on the house of Israel.” This is the declaration of the Lord God.
A valley of dry bones is where Ezekiel is placed by God. A place of death. Ezekiel was then told to prophesy to those dead, dry bones. How hard that must have been to proclaim to something that had been dead for so long. How discouraging that must have been to look out and think that it was a waste of time. The dead bones had no way of understanding or even hearing. At that moment Ezekiel chose to live out his faith. He chose to follow God’s instructions. Because of his faith in God, God used Ezekiel to bring life back into something dead and rotten.
What areas in our life do we view as dead and rotten? No matter the hopeless, continue to follow God. Live out your faith in God, knowing that He can raise dry bones back to life!