The Valley of Dry Bones

Ezekiel 37:1-14. Ezekiel’s vision from God about a valley of dry bones that came alive.

God told Ezekiel it was where His people, whom He loved, were at.

This is where these famous words you hear in some songs come from: “Dry bones, hear the word of the LORD.”

Read Background Reading to find out what happens to the dry bones.

Ezekiel in Hebrew means: My strengthener is God.

Background Reading:

The Vision of the Valley of Dry Bones

37:1 The LORD laid his hand on me and brought me out by the Spirit of the LORD to the middle of a valley that was filled with bones. 2 He led me here and there throughout the valley, and I was amazed to see that the surface of the entire valley was covered with myriads of very dry bones! 3 The LORD asked me, “Son of Man, will these bones ever live?”

“Lord GOD,” I replied, “you know the answer to that!”

4 Then the LORD told me, “Prophesy to these bones. Tell them: ‘You dry bones, listen to the message from the LORD: “ 5 This is what the Lord GOD says to you dry bones! ‘Pay attention! I’m bringing my Spirit into you right now, and you’re going to live! 6 I’m going to grow tendons on you, regenerate your flesh, cover you with skin, and make you breathe again so that you can come back to life and learn that I am the LORD.’”’”

The Bones are Raised to Life

7 So I prophesied, just as I had been ordered to do so. Immediately there was a noise and a rattling—and then all of a sudden the bones came together by themselves! Each bone came together, all of them attached together! 8 As I continued to watch, I saw tendons growing on the bones, and muscles growing and covering them, and then skin covered the flesh from above. But the bodies weren’t breathing. 9 Then he ordered me, “Prophesy to the Spirit, Son of Man. Tell the Spirit, ‘This is what the Lord GOD says: “Come from the four winds, you Spirit, and breathe into these people who have been killed, so they will live.”’” 10 So I prophesied as I had been ordered, breath entered them, and they began to live. They stood on their own feet as a vast, united army.

The Vision is Interpreted for Ezekiel

11 “These bones represent the entire house of Israel,” the LORD explained to me. “Look how they keep saying, ‘Our bones are dried up, and our future is lost. We’ve been completely eliminated!’ 12 “Therefore prophesy to them, and tell them, ‘Watch me! I’m going to open your graves, lift you out of those graves, and bring my people back into the land of Israel. 13 Then you’ll learn that I am the LORD, when I’ve opened your graves and caused you to come up out of them, my people. 14 I’m going to place my Spirit in you all, and you will live. I’ll place you all into your land, and you’ll learn that I, the LORD, have been speaking and doing this,’ declares the LORD.’”
Ezekiel 37:1-14

More Information:

Ezekiel had been taken 25 years ago and the City had been destroyed 14 years ago: see chapter 40.

Ezekiel was from the tribe of Levi. He and others were taken from Jerusalem to Babylon by King Nebuchadnezzar in 597BC which was the second wave of Jewish slaves or exiles from Jerusalem. The third wave of Jewish slaves or exiles was also the time King Nebuchadnezzar destroyed Jerusalem.

The book Ezekiel covers 22 years 593-571BC. Jerusalem and Temple destroyed 586BC.

The first wave of Jewish slaves or exiles taken by King Nebuchadnezzar was the start of a seventy year period that ended when some of the Jewish slaves returned and started to rebuild the temple.

The third wave of Jewish slaves or exiles taken by King Nebuchadnezzar was the start of a seventy year period that ended when, under Nehemiah, the walls of Jerusalem and the city began to be rebuilt. Nehemiah returned under the protection of King Artaxerxes in the year of 444BC.

Other modules in this unit: