The Lord commanded the prophet in Ezekiel 37 to prophesy over the bones a second time: 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’” (v. 9).
The Regeneration of Israel
Ezekiel prophesied as he was commanded. Breath came into the bones, and they lived (v. 10). In that day, Israel will know that it was Jehovah who opened its graves and restored the nation (v. 13). God said, “I will put My Spirit in you, and you shall live” (v. 14).
This breath of life in Israel will take place at the Messiah’s Second Coming when the Lord pours His Spirit on Israel. The veil that has shrouded Jewish people for centuries will be lifted: But even to this day, when Moses is read, a veil lies on their heart. Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away (2 Cor. 3:15–16).
At the Second Advent, when the Messiah returns to rescue the Jewish people from the Antichrist, they will look on Him “whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn” (Zech. 12:10). And they will come to faith.
Reunification of Israel
The Lord will bestow a number of blessings on the new nation.
UNITY. First, God commanded Ezekiel to take two sticks, to write Ephraim on one and Judah on the other, and to join the sticks together. The stick of Judah represents the southern kingdom, and the stick of Ephraim represents the 10 tribes of the northern kingdom of Israel (Ezek. 37:15–17). Joining the two sticks visually illustrates all Israel being regathered and reunited as one people; when this takes place, Israel will never again be divided into two kingdoms (vv. 18–22, 25; cf. Mt. 24:31).
The complete fulfillment of Ezekiel’s prophecy and Israel’s dream will come to fruition at the Messiah’s return.
THEOCRACY. Second, Israel will have one king over it: “One king shall be king over them all; . . . David My servant shall be king over them, and they shall all have one shepherd” (vv. 22, 24). Some believe this passage refers to the resurrected King David who will reign with the Messiah over Israel. David is called “my servant” (v. 24), “king” (v. 22), and “shepherd” (v. 24). And under the Messiah, he will minister to the Jewish people.
Others teach that the passage refers to the Messiah, David’s greater Son, who will be King and Shepherd to the nation of Israel throughout the Kingdom Age (cf. Ps. 110:1; Mt. 22:41–46). This is none other than Jesus the Messiah, who will be given “the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end” (Lk. 1:32–33).
PURITY. Israel will be cleansed from all her defilement of sin, idolatry, and detestable things (abominations) at the Lord’s Second Coming. At that time, a redeemed remnant will reside as a holy people in the land. God will again call Israel “My people,” and the believing remnant will embrace the Lord as God (v. 23; cf. 36:24–28). Then Israel will walk in God’s judgments and observe all His statutes (37:24).
SECURITY. Israel will have all the land promised to Jacob, as spelled out in the Abrahamic Covenant (Gen. 28:12–15). Ezekiel said, “Then they shall dwell in the land that I have given to Jacob My servant, where your fathers dwelt; and they shall dwell there, they, their children, and their children’s children, forever” (Ezek. 37:25).
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SPIRITUALITY. God said, “I will make a covenant of peace with them, and it shall be an everlasting covenant with them” (v. 26). This is the New Covenant promised to Israel (Jer. 31:31–34). God will cleanse the redeemed, give them a new heart, and put a new spirit within them; they will be filled with the Holy Spirit and walk in His statutes and judgments (Ezek. 36:24–26). In that day, Israel will experience the peace of God.
INTIMACY. The Lord said, “I will be their God, and they shall be My people” (37:27). This point is the most important promise given to Israel, but few commentators mention it. In this provision, God will restore the nation of Israel to intimate communion with Him and call them “My people.”
SANCTUARY. “I will set My sanctuary [Temple] in their midst forevermore,” said the Lord. “My tabernacle [literally, “habitation” or “dwelling”] also shall be with [over] them; indeed I will be their God, and they shall be My people” (vv. 26–27). This sanctuary is the Millennial Temple that will be constructed on the Temple Mount once the Messiah returns. Ezekiel described the Temple and its priesthood and worship in great detail in chapters 40–46.
SANCTITY. “The nations also will know that I, the LORD, sanctify Israel, when My sanctuary is in their midst forevermore” (v. 28). In the Millennial Kingdom, the world will recognize that it was God who redeemed Israel, reunited the nation, and restored the Jewish people to their land. This fact, along with the erection of the Temple, will convince the nations that Israel’s God is the one true God of the universe.
Theodor Herzl said, “If you will it, it is no dream.” The complete fulfillment of Ezekiel’s prophecy and Israel’s dream will come to fruition at the Messiah’s return. God said it, and He will perform it.
Parts of this blog were taken from the January/February 2007 Israel My Glory magazine
⇒If you missed part one of this blog you can read it here.