Ezekiel 37 – The Valley of Dry Bones

The book of Ezekiel is one of the major prophets in the Old Testament. It was authored by Ezekiel who was set as a watchman to the house of Israel.

Ezek 3:17 “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore hear a word from My mouth, and give them warning from Me:

The thirty-seventh chapter of Ezekiel is about the vision of the Valley of Dry Bones and God explaining it’s meaning. God raised Israel from the grave, put His Spirit and made it alive, being witnesses of this prophecy being fulfilled today.

The Vision

Ezek 37:1-6 The hand of the LORD came upon me and brought me out in the Spirit of the LORD, and set me down in the midst of the valley; and it was full of bones. Then He caused me to pass by them all around, and behold, there were very many in the open valley; and indeed they were very dry. And He said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” So I answered, “O Lord GOD, You know.”Again He said to me, “Prophesy to these bones, and say to them, ‘O dry bones, hear the word of the LORD! ‘Thus says the Lord GOD to these bones: “Surely I will cause breath to enter into you, and you shall live. I will put sinews on you and bring flesh upon you, cover you with skin and put breath in you; and you shall live. Then you shall know that I am the LORD.”

God took Ezekiel to a valley full of bones and informing him how He will put sinews, bring flesh, cover with skin and put breath on dry bones from the valley and they will live.

Ezek 37:7-10 So I prophesied as I was commanded; and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and suddenly a rattling; and the bones came together, bone to bone. Indeed, as I looked, the sinews and the flesh came upon them, and the skin covered them over; but there was no breath in them. Also 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 breath came into them, and they lived, and stood upon their feet, an exceedingly great army.

God asked Ezekiel to prophesy and he can see in the vision that the dry bones transforming into an exceedingly great army which is alive.

Vision Explained

Ezek 37:11-14 Then He said to me, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They indeed say, ‘Our bones are dry, our hope is lost, and we ourselves are cut off!’ Therefore prophesy and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “Behold, O My people, I will open your graves and cause you to come up from your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. Then you shall know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves, O My people, and brought you up from your graves. I will put My Spirit in you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I, the LORD, have spoken it and performed it,” says the LORD.’ ”

God then explained the vision to Ezekiel. The dry bones are the whole house of Israel, dead in graves and God said, He will open their graves, put His Spirit in them and they shall live and He will bring them into their own land. We are living in the days when this vision just got fulfilled in 1948. The nation of Israel was in the grave for more than 2500 years and the Lord raised it up, and gathered all the Jews from four corners of the world.

Ezek 37:15-20 Again the word of the LORD came to me, saying, As for you, son of man, take a stick for yourself and write on it: ‘For Judah and for the children of Israel, his companions.’ Then take another stick and write on it, ‘For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel, his companions.’ Then join them one to another for yourself into one stick, and they will become one in your hand. And when the children of your people speak to you, saying, ‘Will you not show us what you mean by these?’– say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “Surely I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel, his companions; and I will join them with it, with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they will be one in My hand.” ’ And the sticks on which you write will be in your hand before their eyes.

God is asking Ezekiel to take two sticks. One for Judah and for the children of Israel, his companions and another for Joseph (of Ephraim) and for all the house of Israel, his companions. God is then joining both into one stick. Who do these two sticks represent? They represent the two divided kingdoms of Israel.

Hos 6:4 “O Ephraim, what shall I do to you? O Judah, what shall I do to you? For your faithfulness is like a morning cloud, And like the early dew it goes away.

Isa 7:17 “The LORD will bring the king of Assyria upon you and your people and your father’s house–days that have not come since the day that Ephraim departed from Judah.”

Ephraim refers to the kingdom of Israel and Judah  the kingdom of Judah. God is implying that these two nations will no longer be two.

Ezek 37:21-22 “Then say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “Surely I will take the children of Israel from among the nations, wherever they have gone, and will gather them from every side and bring them into their own landand I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king over them all; they shall no longer be two nations, nor shall they ever be divided into two kingdoms again.

Just as the two sticks in the vision are made one, the two divided nations, the kingdom of Israel and the kingdom of Judah will also be made as one nation in God’s hand. God will gather the scattered people, to bring them into their own land to be one unified nation which got fulfilled in 1948. However, the prophesy says about gathering of not only Jews but also the lost tribes of Israel, which we haven’t witnessed yet.

Ezek 37:23-25 “They shall not defile themselves anymore with their idols, nor with their detestable things, nor with any of their transgressions; but I will deliver them from all their dwelling places in which they have sinned, and will cleanse them. Then they shall be My people, and I will be their God. David My servant shall be king over them, and they shall all have one shepherd; they shall also walk in My judgments and observe My statutes, and do them. Then they shall dwell in the land that I have given to Jacob My servant, where your fathers dwelt; and they shall dwell there, they, their children, and their children’s children, forever; and My servant David shall be their prince forever.

Just as John the baptist who prepared the way for Christ is called Elijah (Matt 17:10-12), the Messiah who is Jesus Christ is referred here as David. Ezekiel prophesied a lot of good things when Israel returns.

  • No more idols
  • No more detestable things
  • None of their transgressions

God will also deliver them from their dwelling places in which they have sinned and cleanse them. But there is one problem. Today’s Israel is nothing like what we see in the prophecy. Israel, instead of being a Jewish nation, it had become a secular nation for Jews.

  • Jews who follow their own messiah referred here as David (Messianic Judaism), were not allowed to enter Israel through law of return. 1
  • The law of return allows filthy abominable people who practice same sex marriage to enter Israel,. completely contradicting the prophecy.2
  • The Messiah is not ruling them as per the prophecy.

There is an overlooked word ‘cleanse’ in Ezek 37:23 after the formation of nation of Israel and before the Messiah rules Israel.

Mal 3:2-4 “But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner’s fire And like launderers’ soap. He will sit as a refiner and a purifier of silver; He will purify the sons of Levi, And purge them as gold and silver, That they may offer to the LORD An offering in righteousness. Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem Will be pleasant to the LORD, As in the days of old, As in former years.

Is the world ‘cleanse’ gives point to a future ‘holocaust’ type event to purify the present nation of unified Israel so that the offerings of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the LORD? It is possible for God to purify but there will be no more exile, nor will they be taken out of their land. Just before the sounding of the seventh angel and before the kingdoms of the world come into the hands of the Messiah, seven thousand people were killed and the rest were afraid and gave glory to God (Rev 11:13). Seven represents complete and thousand represent ‘countless’ (or a huge number). Hence, seven thousand could represent a very large number of People being killed in Jerusalem leaving behind a small remnant.

Also note that the prophecy in Malachi points to only the nation of Judah but Ephraim or Israel is not mentioned. In other words, there shall no longer be two sticks anymore but Judah represents the whole nation of Israel as one stick.

Ezek 37:26-28 “Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them, and it shall be an everlasting covenant with them; I will establish them and multiply them, and I will set My sanctuary in their midst forevermore. My tabernacle also shall be with them; indeed I will be their God, and they shall be My people. The nations also will know that I, the LORD, sanctify Israel, when My sanctuary is in their midst forevermore.”

The last passage gives us some clues what God will do:

  • God makes a covenant of peace.
  • He will establish and multiply them
  • He will set His sanctuary in their midst and His tabernacle with them
  • He shall be their God and they shall be His people.
  • He shall sanctify Israel.

Most of the above events are mentioned in the last 2 chapters of revelation.

Matt 26:28 “For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.

John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

Christ made a new covenant with Israel around ~30 AD which does not exclude gentiles, became a light to the whole word and gave the peace which the world cannot give. We saw the birth of Israel as a unified nation in 1948, being multiplied and established today by God.

John 2:19-21 Jesus answered and said to them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” Then the Jews said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?” But He was speaking of the temple of His body.

Matt 12:6 “Yet I say to you that in this place there is One greater than the temple.

Christ is the tabernacle of God (John 1:14). He is not only the Temple, but greater than the Temple who was not made by man nor created by God, but the Word who is God Himself in Flesh dwelt among men. But He has not yet set His sanctuary in their midst and they still reject their own Messiah.

Ezek 37:27 My tabernacle also shall be with them; indeed I will be their God, and they shall be My people. The nations also will know that I, the LORD, sanctify Israel, when My sanctuary is in their midst forevermore.”

Rev 21:3 And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God.

We can clearly see in the book of Revelation, the prophecy of His tabernacle with men is in New Heavens and Earth where New Jerusalem comes down from Heaven.

John 18:36 Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here.”

Rev 10:7 but in the days of the sounding of the seventh angel, when he is about to sound, the mystery of God would be finished, as He declared to His servants the prophets. …. Rev 11:15 Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!”

Christ also said, His kingdom is not of this world. But, at the sound of the seventh angel, all the kingdoms of this world will become His kingdom.


1 Ap. “Israeli Court Rules Jews for Jesus Cannot Automatically Be Citizens.” Nytimes.com, 27 Dec. 1989, http://www.nytimes.com/1989/12/27/world/israeli-court-rules-jews-for-jesus-cannot-automatically-be-citizens.html. Accessed 9 Nov. 2017.

2 Israel National News. “Right of Return Extended to Gay Couples.” Israel National News, http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/183971. Accessed 9 Nov. 2017.