Bible Commentary

Ezekiel 37

John Wesley’s Explanatory Notes

<< Ezekiel 36 | Ezekiel 37 | Ezekiel 38 >>
(Read all of Ezekiel 37)

Verse 1

[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,

And set me down — So it seemed to me in the vision. Which is a lively representation of a threefold resurrection: 1. Of the resurrection of souls, from the death of sin, to the life of righteousness: 2. The resurrection of the church from an afflicted state, to liberty and peace: 3. The resurrection of the body at the great day, especially the bodies of believers to life eternal.

Verse 3

[3] And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord GOD, thou knowest.

And he — The Lord.

Verse 7

[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.

Prophesied — Declared these promises.

As I prophesied — While I was prophesying.

A noise — A rattling of the bones in their motion.

A shaking — A trembling or commotion among the bones, enough to manifest a divine presence, working among them.

Came together — Glided nearer and nearer, 'till each bone met the bone to which it was to be joined. Of all the bones of all those numerous slain, not one was missing, not one missed its way, not one missed its place, but each knew and found its fellow. Thus in the resurrection of the dead, the scattered atoms shall be arranged in their proper place and order, and every bone come to his bone, by the same wisdom and power by which they were first formed in the womb of her that is with child.

Verse 8

[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 them.

Came up — Gradually spreading itself.

Verse 9

[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.

Prophesy — Declare what my will is.

O breath — The soul, whose emblem here is wind; which, as it gently blew upon these lifeless creatures, each was inspired with its own soul or spirit.

Verse 10

[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 army.

And the breath — The spirit of life, or the soul, Genesis 2:7.

Verse 11

[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.

The whole house — The emblem of the house of Israel.

Are dried — Our state is as hopeless, as far from recovery, as dried bones are from life.

Verse 12

[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.

I will open — Though your captivity be as death, your persons close as the grave, yet I will open those graves.

Verse 16

[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:

One stick — A writing tablet or a tally, such as is fit to be written upon.

His companions — Benjamin and part of Levi, who kept with the tribe of Judah.

Ephraim — Ephraim was the most considerable tribe in the kingdom of Israel, when divided from the other two.

The house of Israel — The other nine tribes, who continued with Ephraim.

Verse 19

[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.

In mine hand — Under my government, care, and blessing. God will make the two kingdoms one in his hand, as I make these two sticks one in my hand.

Verse 22

[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:

One nation — They were one in David's time, who was a type of the Messiah, and continued so to the end of Solomon's time, whose name includes peace. So when the Beloved, the Peace-maker, the Messiah shall be king, they shall be one again.

And one king — The Messiah.

Verse 23

[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 dwellingplaces, wherein they have sinned, and will cleanse them: so shall they be my people, and I will be their God.

I will save — I will bring them safe out of them.

And will cleanse — Both justify and sanctify them.

Verse 24

[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.

David — The son of David.

One shepherd — This king shall be their one chief shepherd, others that feed and rule the flock, are so by commission from him.

Verse 25

[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.

For ever — 'Till Christ's coming to judgment, the Jews converted to Christ, shall inherit Canaan.

Verse 26

[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.

My sanctuary — I will set up a spiritual glorious temple, and worship among you.

For evermore — Never to be altered or abolished on earth, but to be consummated in heaven.

Verse 27

[27] My tabernacle also shall be with them: yea, I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

My tabernacle — The tabernacle wherein I will shew my presence among them. Their fathers had a tabernacle, but the Messiah shall bring with him a better, a spiritual, and an heavenly.

They shall be my people — By my grace I will make them holy, as the people of a holy God; and I will make them happy, as the people of the ever blessed God.

<< Ezekiel 36 | Ezekiel 37 | Ezekiel 38 >>