The Bible – Old Testament
1 The hand of the LORD came upon me, and he led me out in the spirit of the LORD and set me in the center of the plain, which was now filled with bones.
He made me walk among them in every direction so that I saw how many they were on the surface of the plain. How dry they were!
He asked me: Son of man, can these bones come to life? “Lord GOD,” I answered, “you alone know that.”
Then he said to me: Prophesy over these bones, and say to them: Dry bones, hear the word of the LORD!
Thus says the Lord GOD to these bones: See! I will bring spirit into you, that you may come to life.
I will put sinews upon you, make flesh grow over you, cover you with skin, and put spirit in you so that you may come to life and know that I am the LORD.
I prophesied as I had been told, and even as I was prophesying I heard a noise; it was a rattling as the bones came together, bone joining bone.
I saw the sinews and the flesh come upon them, and the skin cover them, but there was no spirit in them.
Then he said to me: Prophesy to the spirit, prophesy, son of man, and say to the spirit: Thus says the Lord GOD: From the four winds come, O spirit, and breathe into these slain that they may come to life.
I prophesied as he told me, and the spirit came into them; they came alive and stood upright, a vast army.
Then he said to me: Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They have been saying, “Our bones are dried up, our hope is lost, and we are cut off.”
Therefore, prophesy and say to them: Thus says the Lord GOD: O my people, I will open your graves and have you rise from them, and bring you back to the land of Israel.
Then you shall know that I am the LORD, when I open your graves and have you rise from them, O my people!
I will put my spirit in you that you may live, and I will settle you upon your land; thus you shall know that I am the LORD. I have promised, and I will do it, says the LORD.
2 Thus the word of the LORD came to me:
Now, son of man, take a single stick, and write on it: Judah and those Israelites who are associated with him. Then take another stick and write on it: Joseph (the stick of Ephraim) and all the house of Israel associated with him.
Then join the two sticks together, so that they form one stick in your hand.
When your countrymen ask you, “Will you not tell us what you mean by all this?”,
answer them: Thus says the Lord GOD: (I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and of the tribes of Israel associated with him, and I will join to it the stick of Judah, making them a single stick; they shall be one in my hand.
The sticks on which you write you shall hold up before them to see.
Tell them: Thus speaks the Lord GOD:) I will take the Israelites from among the nations to which they have come, and gather them from all sides to bring them back to their land.
I will make them one nation upon the land, in the mountains of Israel, and there shall be one prince for them all. Never again shall they be two nations, and never again shall they be divided into two kingdoms.
No longer shall they defile themselves with their idols, their abominations, and all their transgressions. I will deliver them from all their sins of apostasy, and cleanse them so that they may be my people and I may be their God.
My servant David shall be prince over them, and there shall be one shepherd for them all; they shall live by my statutes and carefully observe my decrees.
They shall live on the land which I gave to my servant Jacob, the land where their fathers lived; they shall live on it forever, they, and their children, and their children’s children, with my servant David their prince forever.
I will make with them a covenant of peace; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them, and I will multiply them, and put my sanctuary among them forever.
My dwelling shall be with them; I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
Thus the nations shall know that it is I, the LORD, who make Israel holy, when my sanctuary shall be set up among them forever.
1 [1-14] This vision is a prediction of the restoration of Israel under the figure of a resurrection from the dead; it is not concerned with the doctrine of resurrection itself.
2 [15-22] The symbolic action of joining two sticks into one signifies the future union of Israel and Judah under one messianic King.