was good to his people in the land of Babylon. He sent to them
prophets, who showed to them the way of the Lord. One of these
prophets was Daniel. Another was a priest named Ezekiel who lived
among the captive people beside a river in Chaldea called the
river Chebar. God gave to Ezekiel wonderful visions. He saw the
throne of the Lord, and the strange
creatures with six
wings, that the prophet Isaiah had seen long before.
At one time, the
Lord lifted up Ezekiel and brought him into the middle of a great
valley. The prophet looked around, and saw that the valley was
covered with the bones of men, as though a great battle had been
fought upon it, and the bodies of the slain had been left there,
and they had become a vast army of dry bones.
man," spoke the voice of the Lord to Ezekiel, "Can these
dry bones live again?"
answered, "O Lord God, you know whether these dry bones can
Then the Lord
said to Ezekiel, "Preach to these dry bones, O son of man,
and say to them, 'O ye dry bones, hear the voice of the Lord. Thus
says the Lord, I will send breath into you, and you shall live,
and I will put flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and you
shall be alive again, and know that I am the Lord.' "
spoke to the army of dry bones spread over the valley, as the Lord
bade him speak. And while he was speaking there sounded a noise of
rolling thunder, and all through the field the different bones
began to come together, one part to another part, until there were
no more loose bones, but skeletons of bones fitted together. Then
another change came. Suddenly the flesh grew over all the bones,
and they lay on the ground like an army of dead men, a host of
bodies without life.
Then the Lord
said to Ezekiel, "Speak to the wind, O son of man; speak, and
say, 'Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these
slain, that they may live."
called upon the wind to come, and while he was speaking the dead
bodies began to breathe. Then they stood up on their feet, a great
army of living men, filling the whole valley. Then the Lord said
to Ezekiel, "Son of man, these dry bones are the people of
Israel. They seem to be lost, and dead, and without hope. But they
shall live again, for I, the Lord, will put life into them; and
they shall go back to their own land, and be a people once more.
I, the Lord, have spoken it, and I will do it."
When Ezekiel told
the captive people this vision their hearts were lifted up with a
new hope that they should see their own land again.