Ezekiel 7 – Ezek. 37, pt.1

This week we are reading through Ezekiel 37, which in many respects provides the most graphic and vivid account of the Kingdom of Heaven under Jesus Christ. This chapter begins with the allegory of the Valley of the Dry Bones and ends with the promise that “My servant David shall be king over them . . . . and I will be their God and they shall be my people.” On the one level, this chapter is merely concerned with the reconstitution of the northern kingdom of Israel which had fallen 130 years prior, and the unification and restoration of the earthly kingdoms of Israel and Judah under David’s lineage. On a deeper level, however, this chapter speaks to the general resurrection of all of God’s people and the unification of the Kingdom of Heaven with both Jews and Gentiles under God’s Messiah. As you read through the Valley of the Dry Bones picture a great plain littered with the picked-over bodies of a failed military campaign and remember back to the Garden of Eden where the Lord God breathed into the man the breath of life so that he became a living creature. (And of course, this chapter is the inspiration for the great R&B anatomy song). As you finish reading the chapter, think back to where Ezekiel begins – with condemnation and the departing of the Glory of the Lord, and how our life mirrors that of Israel.

Also, if you have the opportunity, read the two following chapters of Ezekiel as well (Ezekiel 38-39). Chapter 37 ends with the restoration and unification of Israel under David.  In the following vision, Ezekiel speaks of King Gog of the land of Magog who will attack this resurrected and unified Kingdom of God. When that occurs, according to Ezekiel, God will destroy Magog by fire. On one level what may be a contemporary political prophecy against a menacing neighbor is given an eternal meaning by St. John the Divine in Revelation 20.  Revelation says that when Satan is let loose after his thousand-year imprisonment he enlists Gog and Magog to do battle with the saints. This battle likewise ends with fire from heaven raining down upon Magog, and God casting them into the lake of fire. As we read through these last chapters of Ezekiel, try to discern the allegorical and eschatological meanings present in the readings.

Attached is the commentary from Holman on this chapter as well as an excerpt from How to Read the Bible on Dry Bones and the Resurrection (p.613). Dinner is at 6. Hope to see you here.

Thus says the Lord God: “I am going to open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people; and I will bring you back to the land of Israel. And you shall know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people. I will put my spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you on your own soil; then you shall know that I, the Lord, have spoken and will act, says the Lord.”

Ezekiel 37:13-14

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