“Dry bones, hear the word of Yah weh”
1 The hand of Yahweh was upon me. He brought me out and led me in spirit to the middle of the valley which was full of bones. 2 He made me walk to and fro among them and I could see there was a great number of them on the ground all along the valley and that they were very dry.
3 Yah weh said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live again?” I said, “Lord Yahweh, only you know that.” 4 He then said, “Speak on my behalf concerning these bones; say to them:
4 Dry bones, hear the word of Yah weh! 5 Yahweh says: I am going to put spirit in you and make you live. 6 I shall put sinews on you and make flesh grow on you; I shall cover you with skin and give you my spirit, that you may live. And you will know that I am Yahweh.”
7 I prophesied as I had been commanded and then there was a noise and commotion; the bones joined together. 8 I looked and saw that they had sinews, that flesh was growing on them and that he was covering them with skin. But there was no spirit in them.
9 So Yahweh said to me, “Speak on my behalf and call on the Spirit, son of man! Say to the Spirit: This is the word of Yahweh: Spirit, come from the four winds. Breathe into these dead bones and let them live!”
10 I prophesied as he had commanded me and breath entered them; they came alive, standing on their feet – a great, immense army!
11 He then said to me, “Son of man, these bones are all Israel. They keep saying: ‘Our bones are dry, hope has gone, it is the end of us.’ 12 So prophesy! Say to them: This is what Yahweh says: I am going to open your tombs, I shall bring you out of your tombs, my peo ple, and lead you back to the land of Israel. 13 You will know that I am Yahweh, O my people! when I open your graves and bring you out of your graves, 14 when I put my spirit in you and you live. I shall settle you in your land and you will know that I, Yahweh, have done what I said I would do.”
15 The word of Yahweh came to me in these terms, “Son of man, take a piece of wood and write on it: ‘Judah and the Is raelites loyal to him.’ 16 Take another piece of wood and write: ‘Joseph, the branch of Ephraim and the Israelites loyal to him.’ 17 Join one to the other to make a single piece of wood in your hand. 18 When your people say to you, ‘Won’t you tell us what this means?’ 19 say to them: Yahweh says this: I am going to take the branch of Joseph which is in the hand of Ephraim and the tribes of Israel loyal to him and put Judah’s branch with them, and they will be as one in my hand. 20 And you will hold in your hand in their sight the pieces of wood on which you wrote.
21 You will then say to them: Thus says Yahweh: I am about to withdraw the Israelites from where they were among the nations. I shall gather them from all around and bring them back to their land. 22 I shall make them into one people on the mountains of Israel and one king is to be king of them all. They will no longer form two nations or be two separate kingdoms, 23 nor will they defile themselves again with their idols, their detestable prac tices and their sins. I shall free them from the guilt of their treachery; I shall cleanse them and they will be for me a people and I shall be God for them. 24 My servant David will reign over them, one shepherd for all. They will live according to my laws and follow and practice my de crees. 25 They will settle in the land I gave to my ser vant Jacob where their ancestors lived. There they will live forever, their children and their chil dren’s children. David my servant will be their prince forever.
26 I shall establish a covenant of peace with them, an everlasting covenant. I shall settle them and they will increase and I shall put my sanctuary in their midst forever. 27 I shall make my home at their side; I shall be their God and they will be my people. 28 Then the nations will know that I am Yahweh who makes Israel holy, having my sanctuary among them forever.”