Where and how to begin this narrative commentary series has been a struggle. It seems like one GOOD starting point is, the refilling of the Promised lands of Israel with Israelis. This comes from Ezekiel 37:1-14. Here is this passage from the NKJV: The dried bones of old and *all of Israel recreated…(NKJV). Then work backwards to scripture passages that describe end time events and how it will influence mankind and cultures.
*Some respected theologians suggest this is the second chance of all mankind. Hebrews 9:27 is used to reject such a thought. BUT…read this verse. It is appointed unto man once to die, then judgment. Is this a second eternal death or life with God. This concept blended with the renewed dry bones of Ezekiel 37 suggests “a second chance.” One MUST also consider (Jeremiah 30:4-10). Do not ignore that the passage in Ezekiel 37 states *all of Israel recreated…(NKJV).
37 The hand of the Lord came upon me [Ezekiel] and brought me out in the Spirit of the Lord, and set me down in the midst of the valley; and it was full of bones. 2 Then He caused me to pass by them all around, and behold, there were very many in the open valley; and indeed, they were very dry. 3 And He said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?”
The Valley of dry bones are the bones of God’s elect, past, present, and future of the chosen of Abraham through Jacob. Why this is the elect from Jacob, not his father Isaac and grandfather Abraham? Abraham and Isaac had sons that did not constitute the make-up of the elect i.e., Israelis. They were/are Esau and Ishmael. All Israelis are Hebrew but not all Hebrew are Israeli. The valley is given no name. This means it is analogous to a generic place but certainly within Israel and from the four corners of the earth.
The dry bones are the descendants of Jacob; the 12 Tribes through his 12 sons. Jacob was renamed Israel by God himself. This makes him stand out from his father Isaac. Isaac was not renamed. Jacob and Abraham were renamed. Abram to Abraham and Jacob to Israel. Abraham means “a father of many nations”. Ishmael (Abraham’s son) and Esau (Isaac’s son) had a multitude of nations come from them. They, however, were not the anointed. Jacob (Israel) was the anointed of God to be the father of the Israelite nation.
So, I answered, “O Lord God, You know.”
Ezekiel is stating the obvious. In man’s eye, to put life back into the DRY BONES of the ancients is inconceivable. Only God possesses the gift (spirit) of life. He is pointing out that life itself originates from God. God alone breathes life into any and all creation. We seldom hear that the life within all nature comes from God. This passage emphasizes “dry” bones of humans. This means and includes the bones of the ancients of Israel, and perhaps, the obvious; mankind will be judged at the Great White Throne Judgement.
4 Again He said to me, “Prophesy to these bones, and say to them, ‘O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! 5 Thus says the Lord God to these bones: “Surely, I will cause breath to enter into you, and you shall live. 6 I will put sinews on you and bring flesh upon you, cover you with skin and put breath in you; and you shall live. Then you shall know that I am the Lord.” ’ ”
Hear the word of the Lord? [shâma‛] is the Hebrew for the word “hear” in this verse. It means to “hear intelligently as in obedience.” No longer will it be a mystery to anyone. One must be cautioned…this does not mean absolute obedience by all will follow. It remains to be seen of this revelation and resurrection of “all Israel”.
Zechariah 12:10 states…“And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication…” This is the oft discussed second chance of all Israel past and present. The Spirit of grace and supplication still requires a response by those identified in this passage. The only thing promised by God is the opportunity of a second chance. This is not an automatic reprieve but an opportunity. (cf. Romans 11:27)
In a very real sense, this is God’s calling of Israelis from the four corners of the earth. It includes the Old Testament Israeli graves, the historically massacred, those who died prior to and during phase  of our chart posted in the introductory blog of this series.
The word “prophecy” in Hebrew is “naw-baw”. It means to “sing or speak by inspiration of a future event” (Strong’s #5012).
7 So I prophesied as I was commanded; and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and suddenly a rattling; and the bones came together, bone to bone. 8 Indeed, as I looked, the sinews and the flesh came upon them, and the skin covered them over; but there was no breath in them.
Genesis 2:7 says God breathed life into his creation. The rattling of the bones coming together did NOT happen at that time but were envisioned. Ezekiel was seeing a future re-creation of all who existed and were born into one of the 12 Tribes of Israel.
Go back to Ezekiel 37:6…: “…and now you will KNOW that I am the Lord”.
9 Also He said to me, “Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live.” 10 So I prophesied as He commanded me, and breath came into them, and they lived, and stood upon their feet, an exceedingly *great army.
Why Ezekiel describes this renewal of life to all who are of the DNA (like it or not) of Jacob/Israel, is not clear as to his use of the term army. He could have said the nation of, the people of, those who descended from Jacob, but he calls them a army.
“…from the four winds…” Where have we read this before? This is the calling together of all Israelites. One might identify this as a total family reunion to which all Israelis will be in attendance. We see similar verbiage in Revelation 7:1-4. Examine these four verses in Revelation while keeping in mind this commandment to Ezekiel.
In the New Testament, the word for “spirit” becomes the Greek word pneuma, with the same meaning as its Hebrew counterpart. In John 20:22, when the risen Jesus appears to his disciples, John records a remarkable event: “He breathed on them and said, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.’’” This is a reminder to us of who first breathed into man’s nostrils the breath of life. [David Demick on December 1, 2004]
NOTE: These bones resurrected become, as we read in verse 10, an “exceedingly great army”. The sheer size or population of Israelis then present on earth will be so great, it adds reasoning to why the great size of the New Jerusalem…’1,200 furlongs by 1,200 furlongs as stated in Revelations 21:16. This distance is about the same as Michigan to central Florida; New York to Omaha, Nebraska…1,500 miles. Not convinced? Cut-and-past or click on:
11 Then He said to me, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They indeed say, ‘Our bones are dry, our hope is lost, and we ourselves are cut off!’ 12 Therefore prophesy and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Behold, O My people, I will open your graves and cause you to come up from your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. 13 Then you shall know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves, O My people, and brought you up from your graves. 14 I will put My Spirit in you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I, the Lord, have spoken it and performed it,” says the Lord.’ ”
“The whole of Israel.” Can this be clearer? It is the entirety of any who are from the twelve Tribes of Israel.
“…and bring you into the land of Israel!”
This passage, verse 11 – 14 (above), is nothing short of actuality yet to happen. It does not mention the members of the Christian church. They have been raptured according to 1 Thessalonians 4:17. The difference between the rapture and the 2nd advent of Christ is first, the uniting of believers with Christ in the clouds; the latter is Christ’s return to earth for his millennial rule over earth. In between these events we have the Tribulation…”Jacob’s troubles” (Jeremiah 30:4-10)
Eternity: one of two places. Both destinations are permanent, but neither is a grave.
Rev. Dr. Jstark