Ezekiel 37 See two sticks that became one at: http://britam.org/ezekiel/ezekiel-stick.html
Ezekiel 37 speaks of dead bodies being resurrected. He than goes on to say that God told him to take the stick (in Hebrew etzwhich can also mean wood, or tree) and to write upon it, For Judah and for the Children of Israel who are joined to him, i.e. For The Jews. He was told to take another stick and write upon it, For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim and for all the House of Israel who are joined unto him (37:16). He was then told to join them together and they were to one (37:17). Bystanders saw Ezekiel fulfill these symbolic actions and asked him what their meaning was? The reply was that Judahand Israel(the Lost Ten Tribes) are destined to be (37:19-21) gathered
together into the land of Israel and there re-united. They are to become one kingdom and one king shall rule over them (37:22). This King is referred to as David. He will be either a descendant of David or King David resurrected. The united Israelites shall keep the Law (37:24). God will dwell amongst them and the Tabernacle-Temple will be rebuilt (37:27-28).
We learn from this the two entities Judah and Joseph will remain separate from each other until the end times. Commentators saw the niceties of the Hebrew original in the above passage as indicating that: (a) The re-unification must take place initially through our own initiative. Ezekiel is told to take the sticks and write upon them and join them together in his own hands but then God makes them one in HIS hand (37:19). In the Last Days most of the nations of the world represented by Gog and Magog will rage war on the United Kingdom of Israel and be defeated (Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39).
[Ezekiel 37:1] THE HAND OF THE LORD WAS UPON ME, AND
CARRIED ME OUT IN THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD, AND SET ME DOWN IN THE MIDST OF
THE VALLEY WHICH WAS FULL OF BONES,
[Ezekiel 37:2] AND CAUSED ME TO PASS BY THEM ROUND ABOUT: AND, BEHOLD,
THERE WERE VERY MANY IN THE OPEN VALLEY; AND, LO, THEY WERE VERY DRY.
[Ezekiel 37:3] AND HE SAID UNTO ME, SON OF MAN, CAN THESE BONES LIVE? AND I ANSWERED, O LORD GOD, THOU KNOWEST.
God can do anything. At the end of time there will be a resurrection of the dead. Nevertheless the main point of our chapter on one level is not to teach us about resurrection about rather about the possibility of reviving both Judah and Joseph and their companions from the other tribes so that they re-unite. On another level the chapter can even be seen as talking about two separate events not necessarily connected in time or place. On one hand we have the principle that in the End of days at some point there will be a resurrection of the dead. In addition we have another (not necessarily connected) principle that Judah and Joseph will re-unite. Scripture is deliberately built in such a way as to be pertinent at several levels at one and the same time.
[Ezekiel 37:4] AGAIN HE SAID UNTO ME, PROPHESY UPON THESE BONES, AND SAY UNTO THEM, O YE DRY BONES, HEAR THE WORD OF THE LORD.
[Ezekiel 37:5] THUS SAITH THE LORD GOD UNTO THESE BONES; BEHOLD, I WILL CAUSE BREATH TO ENTER INTO YOU, AND YE SHALL LIVE:
[Ezekiel 37:6] AND I WILL LAY SINEWS UPON YOU, AND WILL BRING UP FLESH
UPON YOU, AND COVER YOU WITH SKIN, AND PUT BREATH IN YOU, AND YE SHALL LIVE;
AND YE SHALL KNOW THAT I AM THE LORD.
<<AND PUT BREATH IN YOU>>: Things develop in stages.
[Ezekiel 37:7] SO I PROPHESIED AS I WAS COMMANDED: AND AS I PROPHESIED,
THERE WAS A NOISE, AND BEHOLD A SHAKING, AND THE BONES CAME TOGETHER, BONE
TO HIS BONE.
[Ezekiel 37:8] AND WHEN I BEHELD, LO, THE SINEWS AND THE FLESH CAME
UP UPON THEM, AND THE SKIN COVERED THEM ABOVE: BUT THERE WAS NO BREATH IN
[Ezekiel 37:9] THEN SAID HE UNTO ME, PROPHESY UNTO THE WIND, PROPHESY,
SON OF MAN, AND SAY TO THE WIND, THUS SAITH THE LORD GOD; COME FROM
THE FOUR WINDS, O BREATH, AND BREATHE UPON THESE SLAIN, THAT THEY MAY LIVE.
[Ezekiel 37:10] SO I PROPHESIED AS HE COMMANDED ME, AND THE BREATH CAME
INTO THEM, AND THEY LIVED, AND STOOD UP UPON THEIR FEET, AN EXCEEDING GREAT
[Ezekiel 37:11] THEN HE SAID UNTO ME, SON OF MAN, THESE BONES ARE THE
WHOLE HOUSE OF ISRAEL: BEHOLD, THEY SAY, OUR BONES ARE DRIED, AND OUR HOPE
IS LOST: WE ARE CUT OFF FOR OUR PARTS.
[Ezekiel 37:12] THEREFORE PROPHESY AND SAY UNTO THEM, THUS SAITH THE
LORD GOD; BEHOLD, O MY PEOPLE, I WILL OPEN YOUR GRAVES, AND CAUSE YOU TO
COME UP OUT OF YOUR GRAVES, AND BRING YOU INTO THE LAND OF ISRAEL.
[Ezekiel 37:13] AND YE SHALL KNOW THAT I AM THE LORD, WHEN I HAVE OPENED
YOUR GRAVES, O MY PEOPLE, AND BROUGHT YOU UP OUT OF YOUR GRAVES,
[Ezekiel 37:14] AND SHALL PUT MY SPIRIT IN YOU, AND YE SHALL LIVE, AND
I SHALL PLACE YOU IN YOUR OWN LAND: THEN SHALL YE KNOW THAT I THE LORD HAVE
SPOKEN IT, AND PERFORMED IT, SAITH THE LORD.
I personally consider this vision of the dead bones being revived and returning to Israel as representing the Lost Ten Tribes and this is how the vision is interpreted by Scripture itself in the following verses. Nevertheless there was a tradition that saw this vision as ALSO representing a real event that will take place. The legend (Rashi, Sanhedrin 92b) that when the Children of Israel were oppressed by the Egyptians a group of 200,000 from the Tribe of Ephraim attempted to go out of Egypt and conquer the land of Canaan. The Times had not yet come and they were all killed by the Philistines. Thirty years later Moses did succeed in bringing the whole of the Israelite nation out of Egypt. Those from Ephraim who had tried to go out too early and been slain are they whom Ezekiel foresaw being resurrected. I would suggest an insight in light of this legend: Ephraim (Joseph and companions in general) has to be made aware of his identity before re-unification can take place. The pertinence of a revival to life in this regard may apply more to the Lost Ten Tribes.
At all events the vision of the dead bones being brought back to life is taken to show how the Children of Israel who were thought to be lost altogether will be revived and will re-unite with Judah. What will be and how it will be is not a field that we over duly occupy ourselves with. What interests us is anything that affirms the knowledge of where the Lost Ten tribes are today. This chapter of Ezekiel affirms the fact that the Lost Ten Tribes will be divided from Judah until the end times and then they will re-unite.
[Ezekiel 37:15] THE WORD OF THE LORD CAME AGAIN UNTO ME, SAYING,
[Ezekiel 37:16] MOREOVER, THOU SON OF MAN, TAKE THEE ONE STICK, AND
WRITE UPON IT, FOR JUDAH, AND FOR THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL HIS COMPANIONS:
THEN TAKE ANOTHER STICK, AND WRITE UPON IT, FOR JOSEPH, THE STICK OF EPHRAIM
AND FOR ALL THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL HIS COMPANIONS:
MESSIAH SON OF JOSEPH was to be a descendant of Joseph from the Tribe of Ephraim. According to the Biblical Commentary known as the Malbim (1809-1879). MESSIAH SON OF JOSEPH was to head the Lost Ten Tribes in the latter days in the period leading up to the return of the Lost Ten Tribes and their eventual re-unification with Judah. The MALBIM (Meir Leib ben Yechiel Michael [Weiser] 1809 1879) explained the 37th chapter of Ezekiel in a manner worth noting:
[Ezekiel 37;15] "He was commanded to take one stick
and to write upon it, these words, ~FOR JUDAH AND FOR THE HOUSE OF
ISRAEL, HIS COMPANIONS~, which represented Judah and those [others] joined
unto him from the Children of Israel, such as the Tribe of Benjamin, and
the Sons of Levi, and the rest of the people who attached themselves to Judah.
"~And he took another stick, and he wrote upon it, these words: ~FOR JOSEPH, THE STICK OF EPHRAIM, AND FOR ALL THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL, HIS COMPANIONS~, representing Joseph who was the source of the tribe. From Joseph developed the Kingdom of Ephraim which began with Jeroboam, and therefore is termed , ~THE STICK OF EPHRAIM.
~AND ALL THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL~, for unto him were joined all of Israel which belong to the Ten Tribes... Our Sacred Sages had a tradition that in the beginning (of the End Times) would arise a Messiah [i.e. Anointed Saviour] from the house of Joseph who will reign over the Ten Tribes. He will wage wars and all of Israel will be gathered together under his banner. [This will continue] until later on, a descendant of David will appear and he will reign over them....
"A transformation will take place. The Ten Tribes and the stick of Joseph will draw themselves closer unto the stick of Judah, and this too, will be through the agency of a Prophet and by miracles".
[Ezekiel 37:17] AND JOIN THEM ONE TO ANOTHER INTO ONE STICK; AND THEY SHALL BECOME ONE IN THINE HAND.
[Ezekiel 37:18] AND WHEN THE CHILDREN OF THY PEOPLE SHALL SPEAK UNTO
THEE, SAYING, WILT THOU NOT SHEW US WHAT THOU MEANEST BY THESE?
[Ezekiel 37:19] SAY UNTO THEM, THUS SAITH THE LORD GOD; BEHOLD, I WILL
TAKE THE STICK OF JOSEPH, WHICH IS IN THE HAND OF EPHRAIM, AND THE
TRIBES OF ISRAEL HIS FELLOWS, AND WILL PUT THEM WITH HIM, EVEN WITH THE STICK
OF JUDAH, AND MAKE THEM ONE STICK, AND THEY SHALL BE ONE IN MINE HAND.
[Ezekiel 37:20] AND THE STICKS WHEREON THOU WRITEST SHALL BE IN THINE HAND BEFORE THEIR EYES.
[Ezekiel 37:21] AND SAY UNTO THEM, THUS SAITH THE LORD
GOD; BEHOLD, I WILL TAKE THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL FROM AMONG THE HEATHEN, WHITHER
THEY BE GONE, AND WILL GATHER THEM ON EVERY SIDE, AND BRING THEM INTO THEIR
[Ezekiel 37:22] AND I WILL MAKE THEM ONE NATION IN THE LAND UPON THE
MOUNTAINS OF ISRAEL; AND ONE KING SHALL BE KING TO THEM ALL: AND THEY SHALL
BE NO MORE TWO NATIONS, NEITHER SHALL THEY BE DIVIDED INTO TWO KINGDOMS ANY
MORE AT ALL.
<<NEITHER SHALL THEY BE DIVIDED INTO TWO KINGDOMS ANY MORE AT ALL>>: but until the end times they will have been so divided.
[Ezekiel 37:23] NEITHER SHALL THEY DEFILE THEMSELVES
ANY MORE WITH THEIR IDOLS, NOR WITH THEIR DETESTABLE THINGS, NOR WITH ANY
OF THEIR TRANSGRESSIONS: BUT I WILL SAVE THEM OUT OF ALL THEIR DWELLING PLACES,
WHEREIN THEY HAVE SINNED, AND WILL CLEANSE THEM: SO SHALL THEY BE MY PEOPLE,
AND I WILL BE THEIR GOD.
[Ezekiel 37:24] AND DAVID MY SERVANT SHALL BE KING OVER THEM; AND THEY
ALL SHALL HAVE ONE SHEPHERD: THEY SHALL ALSO WALK IN MY JUDGMENTS, AND OBSERVE
MY STATUTES, AND DO THEM.
[Ezekiel 37:25] AND THEY SHALL DWELL IN THE LAND THAT
I HAVE GIVEN UNTO JACOB MY SERVANT, WHEREIN YOUR FATHERS HAVE DWELT; AND
THEY SHALL DWELL THEREIN, EVEN THEY, AND THEIR CHILDREN, AND THEIR CHILDREN'S
CHILDREN FOR EVER: AND MY SERVANT DAVID SHALL BE THEIR PRINCE FOR EVER.
[Ezekiel 37:26] MOREOVER I WILL MAKE A COVENANT OF PEACE WITH
THEM; IT SHALL BE AN EVERLASTING COVENANT WITH THEM: AND I WILL PLACE THEM,
AND MULTIPLY THEM, AND WILL SET MY SANCTUARY IN THE MIDST OF THEM FOR EVERMORE.
[Ezekiel 37:27] MY TABERNACLE ALSO SHALL BE WITH THEM: YEA, I WILL BE THEIR GOD, AND THEY SHALL BE MY PEOPLE.
[Ezekiel 37:28] AND THE HEATHEN SHALL KNOW THAT I THE LORD DO SANCTIFY
ISRAEL, WHEN MY SANCTUARY SHALL BE IN THE MIDST OF THEM FOR EVERMORE.
The rebuilding of the Temple and the re-unification of Judah and Joseph will cause many amongst the non-Israelite nations to believe in the God of Israel. This to my mind is an important point. The non-Israelite nations will be brought to worship the One God through the Bible and through Israel. This does not necessarily mean that Israelites are better than other people. It is how God wants it.