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Eze 37:1-28. THE VISION OF DRY BONES REVIVIFIED, SYMBOLIZING ISRAEL'S DEATH AND RESURRECTION.
Three stages in Israel's revival present themselves to the prophet's eye. (1) The new awakening of the people, the resurrection of the dead (Eze 37:1-14). (2) The reunion of the formerly hostile members of the community, whose contentions had affected the whole (Eze 37:15-28). (3) The community thus restored is strong enough to withstand the assault of Gog, &c. (Eze 38:1-39:29) [EWALD].
1. carried . . . in the spirit--The matters transacted, therefore,
were not literal, but in vision.
3. can these bones live? . . . thou knowest--implying that, humanly speaking, they could not; but faith leaves the question of possibility to rest with God, with whom nothing is impossible (De 32:39). An image of Christian faith which believes in the coming general resurrection of the dead, in spite of all appearances against it, because God has said it (Joh 5:21; Ro 4:17; 2Co 1:9).
4. Prophesy--Proclaim God's quickening word to them. On account of this innate power of the divine word to effect its end, prophets are said to do that which they prophesy as about to be done (Jer 1:10).
5. I . . . cause breath to enter into you--So
containing the same vision, refers primarily to Israel's
restoration. Compare as to God's renovation of the earth and all its
creatures hereafter by His breath,
6. ye shall know that I am the Lord--by the actual proof of My divinity which I will give in reviving Israel.
7. noise--of the bones when coming in mutual collision. Perhaps
referring to the decree of Cyrus, or the noise of the Jews' exultation
at their deliverance and return.
8. So far, they were only cohering in order as unsightly skeletons. The next step, that of covering them successively with sinews, skin, and flesh, gives them beauty; but still "no breath" of life in them. This may imply that Israel hereafter, as at the restoration from Babylon was the case in part, shall return to Judea unconverted at first (Zec 13:8, 9). Spiritually: a man may assume all the semblances of spiritual life, yet have none, and so be dead before God.
9. wind--rather, the spirit of life or life-breath (Margin). For it is distinct from "the four winds" from which
it is summoned.
10. Such honor God gives to the divine word, even in the mouth of a man. How much more when in the mouth of the Son of God! (Joh 5:25-29). Though this chapter does not directly prove the resurrection of the dead, it does so indirectly; for it takes for granted the future fact as one recognized by believing Jews, and so made the image of their national restoration (so Isa 25:8; 26:19; Da 12:2; Ho 6:2; 13:14; compare Note, see on Eze 37:12).
11. Our bones are dried--
explained by "our hope is lost"
our national state is as hopeless of resuscitation, as marrowless bones
are of reanimation.
12. my people--in antithesis to "for our parts"
The hope that is utterly gone, if looking at themselves, is sure
for them in God, because He regards them as His people.
Their covenant relation to God ensures His not letting death
permanently reign over them. Christ makes the same principle the ground
on which the literal resurrection rests. God had said, "I am the God of
Abraham," &c.; God, by taking the patriarchs as His, undertook
to do for them all that Omnipotence can perform: He, being the ever
living God, is necessarily the God of, not dead, but living persons,
that is, of those whose bodies His covenant love binds Him to raise
again. He can--and because He can--He will--He must [FAIRBAIRN]. He calls them "My people" when
receiving them into favor; but "thy people," in addressing His
servant, as if He would put them away from Him
(Eze 13:17; 33:2;
16. stick--alluding to
the tribal rod. The union of the two rods was a prophecy in action of
the brotherly union which is to reunite the ten tribes and Judah. As
their severance under Jeroboam was fraught with the greatest evil to
the covenant-people, so the first result of both being joined by the
spirit of life to God is that they become joined to one another under
the one covenant King, Messiah-David.
18. God does not explain the symbolical prophecy until the Jews have been stimulated by the type to consult the prophet.
19. The union effected at the restoration from Babylon embraced but
comparatively few of Israel; a future complete fulfilment must therefore
be looked for.
22. one nation--
24. David--Messiah (See on Eze 34:23, 24).
25. for ever-- (Isa 60:21; Joe 3:20; Am 9:15).
26. covenant of peace--better than the old legal covenant, because
an unchangeable covenant of grace