Christendom has been feeling some of the same call in a broad sense as exampled by this terrific Lauren Daigle song, ‘Come Alive.’ ….but, who are the Dry Bones?
37 The hand of the Lord was upon me, and He brought me out by the Spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of the valley; and it was full of bones. 2 He caused me to pass among them round about, and behold, there were very many on the surface of the valley; and lo, they were very dry. 3 He said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” And I answered, “O Lord God, You know.” 4 Again He said to me, “Prophesy over these bones and say to them, ‘O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord.’ 5 Thus says the Lord God to these bones, ‘Behold, I will cause breath to enter you that you may come to life. 6 I will put sinews on you, make flesh grow back on you, cover you with skin and put breath in you that you may come alive; and you will know that I am the Lord.’”
7 So I prophesied as I was commanded; and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold, a rattling; and the bones came together, bone to its bone. 8 And I looked, and behold, sinews were on them, and flesh grew and skin covered them; but there was no breath in them. 9 Then 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 come to life.”’” 10 So I prophesied as He commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they came to life and stood on their feet, an exceedingly great army.
11 Then He said to me, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel; behold, they say, ‘Our bones are dried up and our hope has perished. We are completely cut off.’ 12 Therefore prophesy and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God, “Behold, I will open your graves and cause you to come up out of your graves, My people; and I will bring you into the land of Israel. 13 Then you will know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves and caused you to come up out of your graves, My people. 14 I will put My Spirit within you and you will come to life, and I will place you on your own land. Then you will know that I, the Lord, have spoken and done it,” declares the Lord.’”
Christian commentaries are predictably all over the map concerning this passage, largely I suspect, because they fail to recognize and embrace a very specific concept here expressed. Many commentators spiritualize the passage, while others rightly refer to the resurrection focus of the passage but ignore or redefine the subject and the end result.
A simple literal reading of this passage, which must be the basis for any proper exegesis and understanding, reveals the subject to be ‘the whole house of Israel.’ The end result according to the passage is that ‘I will put My Spirit within you and you will come to life and I will place you on your own land.’ Lest we discount this understanding and its implications, let’s dig a little further.
Ezekiel 34 through 39 are absolutely amazing chapters with a unified declaration and definition of who the House of Israel is, why they were scattered and what it looks like when they are regathered and restored. These chapters are essential to understanding the Dry Bones prophecy. Here is a rough outline with a few highlights and short explanations:
- 34:1-10 The indictment is primarily against the shepherds of Israel, however the reader is expected to know who Israel is. Here and farther along we see the subject Israel has been ‘scattered.’ The the shepherds are held responsible for not searching for and presumably, not gathering the flock.
- 34:11-31 YHVH makes the declaration that He Himself will search for ‘My sheep‘ and will set ‘My servant David‘ over them. Numerous promises, previously made to Israel, are reiterated in conjunction with the gathering of the sheep and their being placed on the mountains of Israel. Verse 31 clearly declares that the ‘sheep are men.’ See also Matthew 15:24.
- 35:1-15 This chapter is an indictment with severe penalties against Edom and Mount Seir, both alternate names for Esau and his descendants… i.e., Islam. Notice verse 5 that specifically delineates this time period as the ‘time of their calamity at the time of punishment at the end.’ Verse 10 articulates that Edom has spoken against and ravished ‘two nations’ and ‘two lands’ and then in verse 15 it is clarified that Edom ‘rejoiced over over the inheritance of the house of Israel,‘ the more particular subject of all of Ezekiel 34-39.
- 36:1-15 Ezekiel is commanded to prophesy blessings to the mountains. Specifically, those blessings involve the return of ‘My people‘ (v.8) and most especially, ‘the house of Israel‘ in v.10. Christendom really has little understanding of who the house of Israel is. Like much of Judaism, they believe that it is speaking to Israel, however, as we move farther into this passage we begin to see that there is a distinction/division between the house of Israel and the house of Judah. I have written concerning this multiple times. Further, I visited the scene of the crime that cause the division in the houses when I was in Israel last May.
- 36:16-21 In the first part of this section, the house of Israel is clearly identified as the Northern Kingdom that defiled the Land with ‘their ways and deeds …. like the uncleanness of a woman in her impurity,‘ all previously addressed. Verse 19 reminds us that the house of Israel, the Northern Kingdom, was scattered because of their stiff-necked, unrepentant idolatry, just as YHVH promised in Deuteronomy 28:64. YET, YHVH promised to take ‘not My people’ (Hosea 1:9) and make them again ‘My people.’ (Hosea 2:23) [In fact, the whole book of Hosea is about the restoration of the house of Israel to YHVH and the house of Judah.]
- 36:22-38 YHVH begins to articulate not only that He is going to restore the house of Israel, but why. He will do so to ‘vindicate the holiness of My great name…’ In other words, if He does not restore the house of Israel and bring them back into the Land and make them again prosper and walk according to His statutes and ordinances, then HE IS NOT GOD!! Seriously! Verse 25-28 says, ” Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. 26 Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances. 28 You will live in the land that I gave to your forefathers; so you will be My people, and I will be your God.“
- 37:1-14 The verses we are focused on!! Please not the explanation of the vision that starts in verse 11! The bones are the ‘whole house of Israel!’ That is the house of Israel and the house of Judah, the two groups or entities named in the New Covenant… Jeremiah 31:31-34. Further, the prophesy is that He will bring this group, aka, ‘My people,’ ‘into the land of Israel (v.12).’ Further, He will put ‘My Spirit’ within you, an exact pointer back to 36:27! I.e., if the Spirit of YHVH (God) dwells in you, then you will walk according to His statutes and ordinances in the written Torah of Moses. This is what the Dry bones who rise will do!! In fact, the previous sections we have looked at clearly articulate that whatever the house of Israel was doing before, it was as unclean as a woman’s menstrual cycle and it was not walking in His statutes and ordinances!! Dear Christian, are you listening?? To be clean before the Lord, you must be walking in His Torah, even the statutes and the ordinances. Just go read Malachi 4:4-6 to see what happens in the last days…
- 37:15-23 The famed Two Stick Prophecy that Christian theologians avoid like the plague because they do not understand it. Simply, as we have already seen, the house of Ephraim/Joseph and the house of Judah will be joined one to the other and become one in YHVH’s hand. Verse 22 says they will no longer be two kingdoms/two nations… Hmmmm. Who are the two kingdoms today? Judaism and …..? Now for the shocker…
- 37:24-28 “My servant David will be king over them and they will all have one shepherd; and they will walk in My ordinances and keep My statutes and observe them…. (read the rest for yourself). Notice the ‘forevers’ and the ‘everlastings.’ Wonderful promises unless your idea of wonderful isn’t walking Torah and living in the Land forever.
- 39:25-29 Setting Ezekiel 38 and much of 39 aside (Gog Magog War) we come to an amazing closing statement worth reading. In it the whole house of Israel is restored and specifically ‘My Spirit’ will have been poured out on the ‘house of Israel.’
So, within this larger context, I ask again, ‘Who are the Dry Bones?’
Scripture clearly teaches that the Dry Bones are the whole house of Israel, part of which is the Northern Kingdom, the house of Israel. Thus the question that we must answer is ‘who is the house of Israel?’
As we saw above, the house of Israel was scattered because they violated God’s Torah and they will be regathered when they learn to walk in His Torah. Deuteronomy 30 articulates this. The chapter begins,
“So it shall be when all of these things have come upon you, the blessing and the curse which I have set before you, and you [a]call them to mind in all nations where the Lord your God has banished you, 2 and you return to the Lord your God and [b]obey Him with all your heart and soul according to all that I command you today, you and your sons, 3 then the Lord your God will restore [c]you from captivity, and have compassion on you, and will gather you again from all the peoples where the Lord your God has scattered you. 4 If your outcasts are at the ends of the sky, from there the Lord your God will gather you, and from there He will [e]bring you back.
Matthew 24:31 uses the same language by the One who said, “I did NOT come to abolish the Law and the Prophets…not one jot or title will pass…until heaven and earth passes away.” That One said,
He will send forth His angels with a great trumpet and they will gather together His [t]elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other.
Dear Christian, who are the Dry Bones? Who are the ones who do not keep the commandments, even the statutes and the ordinances? Who are the ones scattered to the ends of the earth? Who are the ones in the house of Israel in the New Covenant?
Would you dare to read the Bible without your denominational filters and see what it actually says? Dear pastor, is your career and income really worth protecting false doctrines? Please..
Just read the ‘forever’ verses. God says ‘forever’ over and over…
- Passover? Forever! Exodus 12:14, 24, 42
- Sabbath? Forever!! Exodus 31:12, 16, 17
- Feasts of the Lord? FOREVER!!! Leviticus 23:14, 21, 31, 41
- Israel as defined in the Torah? Forever! Jeremiah 31:35-40; Ezekiel 37:24-28
There are many more, but those four alone overturn millennia of false doctrine.
Who are the Dry Bones and why do they need ‘My Spirit?’
Are you listening?