Ezekiel 37

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Read Ezekiel 37

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. 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. He asked me, “Son of man, can these bones live?”

I said, “Sovereign Lord, you alone know.”

Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life. 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.’”

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. I looked, and tendons and flesh appeared on them and skin covered them, but there was no breath in them.

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 Lordsays: 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 defilethemselves with their idols and vile images or with any of their offenses, for I will save them from all their sinful backsliding, 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.’”

Go Deeper

Ezekiel 37 is one of the most significant and notable passages in this entire book. Ezekiel, in a vision, is brought out into a valley full of dry bones. The lifeless skeletal remains were a picture of the dead, dry, desolate state of Israel in that moment. In a time where all felt bleak and hopeless, God reminds Ezekiel who can bring death to life. As a wind blows in and all of a sudden this wasteland of dry bones comes to life once again. As Ezekiel speaks to them as God instructed him to do, the bodies stand up and come to life (v. 10). Reading this, we’re reminded of Genesis 2 when God breathes life into Adam. He alone has the power to do so. 

Whitney Woollard of The Bible Project says the following about the significance of this passage:

“The point is that in this New Covenant God’s Spirit is going to give humans new hearts so that they can be the kind of people (a new ‘creation’) who love and obey him. This Spirit imagery is one of Ezekiel’s unique contributions to the Hebrew Scriptures. We know from his older contemporary, Jeremiah, that in the New Covenant God was going to write the Torah on their hearts, but now we know from Ezekiel that he’s going to do it by his Spirit.”

This is a message of hope for people that needed to hear it. Later on in this passage, Ezekiel binds two sticks together into one: one symbolizing Judah, the other symbolizing the Israelites (v. 15-17). All of God’s people would be reunited under a future king and shepherd (v. 24), a reference to the future Messiah who would come from the line of David (Isaiah 9:6-7). Hope and restoration were coming and now they had something to look forward to! 

As followers of Jesus, we are reminded that breathing new life into dead bones isn’t an abstract concept, but a truth that we believe. Every single one of us was dead as a result of our sin, but made alive again because of the death and resurrection of Jesus as a payment for our sins (Ephesians 2:1-5). Today, let’s consistently meditate on the truth that bringing life out of death is what our God does.


  1. What stuck out to you the most during your first reading of this chapter? Why?  
  2. Why is the reference to the Spirit so unique in this passage? What other Old Testament passages can you think of where God’s Spirit is referenced?
  3. Where in your own life have you seen God breathe new life into you? How can you share that story with someone today?

Listen Here

Listen to the song “Come Alive (Dry Bones)” by Lauren Daigle, which is based on this passage. 

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6 thoughts on “Ezekiel 37”

  1. Dear Sir or Madam:
    When I open your daily Bible Reading Plan, is there a way for me to hear the Bible passage audibly?
    Thank You,
    Richard Kennard

    1. I recommend downloading a Bible app that has audio. The one by Life Church has great audio.
      For myself, I open up my Bible to the passage, open up Bible reading plan, and then open the passage on my Bible app and play the audio and follow along in my Bible. Hopefully this helps:)

  2. This specific passage has always been one of the most intriguing images God gave Ezekiel. Wow! It speaks to all our senses, especially the rattling of the bones coming together. What was discarded, lifeless and worthless, God chose to breathe life into. What a glorious picture of redemption pointing to the Messiah. As Halloween is just around the corner and skeletons are displayed in lots of places, may they serve to remind us of this passage and how our God raises us from death to life.

  3. Breath life. This is so part of me due to being without for many minutes. Even though I did not know what was happening , afterwards when I was told of events, my breath life became vital in my mind, thinking about how God designed our bodies and what all it entails to breath. God breathed the power of His Spirit, and that is what will revive our own dry, dead bones. For God assembled them. He breathed in them. He put His Spirit in them. So now what do I do with my breath life? How does it glorify God? Only the Holy Spirit can breathe upon our dry bones and make them alive with His breath.
    He will be our God and we will be His people 2 Corinthians 6:16.. We are to be holy as He is holy 1 Peter 1:16 16 since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” No matter where our paths have gone God desires to breath fresh breath, new life in us. He wants to be our God, even if we feel spiritually dead, He can revive these bones and give us fresh breath life.

    God with every breath I breath I am so thankful!! You gave me another chance in this world to help You give others the opportunity for them to know You. Thank You that I open my mouth about You. Thank You for eternal life here and now. Thank You that I keep my eyes on You as I go through this valley, knowing that the plans You have for me that I will glorify You through them. Thank You God for Your breath in me , the power of Your Spirit is what will revive my own dry, dead bones. Thank You God for assembling them, for breathing in them and for Your Spirit in them in Jesus name amen.

  4. Ezekiel 37:9,10 made me think of Acts 2:2. “And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind….
    God used the wind to put breath in dry bones and He used wind to fill the apostles with holy spirit.

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