Ezekiel 37 Living Bible (TLB)
37 1-2 The power of the Lord was upon me and I was carried away by the Spirit of the Lord to a valley full of old, dry bones that were scattered everywhere across the ground. He led me around among them, 3 and then he said to me:
“Son of dust, can these bones become people again?”
I replied, “Lord, you alone know the answer to that.”
4 Then he told me to speak to the bones and say: “O dry bones, listen to the words of God, 5 for the Lord God says, ‘See! I am going to make you live and breathe again! 6 I will replace the flesh and muscles on you and cover you with skin. I will put breath into you, and you shall live and know I am the Lord.’”
7 So I spoke these words from God, just as he told me to; and suddenly there was a rattling noise from all across the valley, and the bones of each body came together and attached to each other as they used to be. 8 Then, as I watched, the muscles and flesh formed over the bones, and skin covered them, but the bodies had no breath. 9 Then he told me to call to the wind and say: “The Lord God says: Come from the four winds, O Spirit, and breathe upon these slain bodies, that they may live again.” 10 So I spoke to the winds as he commanded me, and the bodies began breathing; they lived and stood up—a very great army.
11 Then he told me what the vision meant: “These bones,” he said, “represent all the people of Israel. They say: ‘We have become a heap of dried-out bones—all hope is gone.’ 12 But tell them, ‘The Lord God says: My people, I will open your graves of exile and cause you to rise again and return to the land of Israel. 13 And, then at last, O my people, you will know I am the Lord. 14 I will put my Spirit into you, and you shall live and return home again to your own land. Then you will know that I, the Lord, have done just what I promised you.’”
15 Again a message from the Lord came to me, saying:
16 “Take a stick and carve on it these words: ‘This stick represents Judah and her allied tribes.’ Then take another stick and carve these words on it: ‘This stick represents all the other tribes of Israel.’ 17 Now hold them together in your hand as one stick. 18-20 Tell these people (holding the sticks so they can see what you are doing), the Lord God says: ‘I will take the tribes of Israel and join them to Judah and make them one stick in my hand.’”
21 For the Lord God says: “I am gathering the people of Israel from among the nations and bringing them home from around the world to their own land, 22 to unify them into one nation. One king shall be king of them all; no longer shall they be divided into two nations. 23 They shall stop polluting themselves with idols and their other sins, for I will save them from all this foulness. Then they shall truly be my people and I their God.
24 “And David, my Servant—the Messiah—shall be their King, their only Shepherd; and they shall obey my laws and all my wishes. 25 They shall live in the land of Israel where their fathers lived, the land I gave my servant Jacob. They and their children after them shall live there, and their grandchildren, for all generations. And my Servant David, their Messiah, shall be their Prince forever. 26 And I will make a covenant of peace with them, an everlasting pact. I will bless them and multiply them and put my Temple among them forever. 27 And I will make my home among them. Yes, I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 28 And when my Temple remains among them forever, then the nations will know that I, the Lord, have chosen Israel as my very own.”
Ezekiel 37 New International Version (NIV)
The Valley of Dry Bones
37 The hand of the Lord was on me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the Lord and set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. 2 He led me back and forth among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry. 3 He asked me, “Son of man, can these bones live?”
I said, “Sovereign Lord, you alone know.”
4 Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! 5 This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath[a] enter you, and you will come to life. 6 I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord.’”
7 So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I was prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came together, bone to bone. 8 I looked, and tendons and flesh appeared on them 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 it, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Come, breath, from the four winds and breathe into these slain, that they may live.’” 10 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet—a vast army.
11 Then he said to me: “Son of man, these bones are the people of Israel. They say, ‘Our bones are dried up and our hope is gone; we are cut off.’ 12 Therefore prophesy and say to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: My people, I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them; I will bring you back to the land of Israel. 13 Then you, my people, will know that I am the Lord, 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 the Lord have spoken, and I have done it, declares the Lord.’”
One Nation Under One King
15 The word of the Lord came to me: 16 “Son of man, take a stick of wood and write on it, ‘Belonging to Judah and the Israelites associated with him.’ Then take another stick of wood, and write on it, ‘Belonging to Joseph (that is, to Ephraim) and all the Israelites associated with him.’ 17 Join them together into one stick so that they will become one in your hand.
18 “When your people ask you, ‘Won’t you tell us what you mean by this?’ 19 say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am going to take the stick of Joseph—which is in Ephraim’s hand—and of the Israelite tribes associated with him, and join it to Judah’s stick. I will make them into a single stick of wood, and they will become one in my hand.’ 20 Hold before their eyes the sticks you have written on 21 and say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I will take the Israelites out of the nations where they have gone. I will gather them from all around and bring them back into their own land. 22 I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel. There will be one king over all of them and they will never again be two nations or be divided into two kingdoms. 23 They will no longer defile themselves with their idols and vile images or with any of their offenses, for I will save them from all their sinful backsliding,[b] and I will cleanse them. They will be my people, and I will be their God.
24 “‘My servant David will be king over them, and they will all have one shepherd. They will follow my laws and be careful to keep my decrees. 25 They will live in the land I gave to my servant Jacob, the land where your ancestors lived. They and their children and their children’s children will live there forever, and David my servant will be their prince forever. 26 I will make a covenant of peace with them; it will be an everlasting covenant. I will establish them and increase their numbers, and I will put 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 Then the nations will know that I the Lord make Israel holy, when my sanctuary is among them forever.’”