Ezekiel 37.1-28 is a prophecy about the restoration of the Jewish people from captivity and looks further to the Second Redemption and the Messianic Kingdom.
v 1…The hand of the Lord (Yehovah) was upon me and he brought me out by the Spirit of the Lord (in a vision) and set me down in the middle of the valley (of Ezek.3 22 and Dan 3.1, possibly the valley of Dura); and it was full of bones (human).
v 2…And he caused me to pass by them round about (a close view), and behold (see), there were many on the surface of the valley (exposed), and lo, they were very dry (bleached by long exposure).
v 3…And he said to me, “Son of man (mortal human being), can these bones live (is it possible)?” And I answered, “O Lord God (Adonai Yehovah), thou knowest (by human judgment, no, but by the power of God, yes).”
v 4…Again, he said to me, “Prophesy over these bones, and say to them, ‘O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord (Yehovah, who possesses the power).’
v 5…”Thus says the Lord to these dry bones, ‘Behold (take note and see), I will cause (bring about) breath (ruach) to enter you that you may come to life.
v 6…And I will put sinews on you, and make flesh grow back on you, cover you with skin and put breath in you that you may come alive; and you will know that I am the Lord (we have analogy of this in the building of the Mishkan; the Ark is mentioned first in Exo 25.10, but the Mishkan with its boards, sockets and covers and curtains were made first to house the Ark, which is a picture of the breath/Spirit/Ruach. In like manner, the sinews, flesh and skin grow first, then the breath (of life) will come in and have life; only Yehovah could do this).”
v 7…So I prophesied as I was commanded (obedient to the word and did not consult anyone); and as I prophesied, there was a noise (a “kol” or “sound” and it also means “voice”), and a rattling sound (shaking) and all the bones came together, bone to its bone (approaching one another).
v 8…And I looked, and behold (take note and see), sinews were on them, and flesh grew and skin covered them; but there was no breath in them (no life yet).
v 9…Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath (of life-Gen 2.7), prophesy, son of man and say to the breath (of life), ‘Thus says the Lord God, “Come from the four winds (where the Jewish people were scattered among the non-Jews, especially after the birth-pains), O breath, and breath on these slain, that they may come to life.”
v 10…So I prophesied as he commanded me and the breath (of life) came into them, and they came to life, and stood on their feet, an exceedingly great multitude (the raising of the nation of Israel).
v 11…Then he said to me, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel (all twelve tribes); behold (see), they say, ‘Our bones are dried up (no life), and our hope has perished (of being delivered from captivity as promised and being a nation again). We are completely cut off (from the realm of the living).’
v 12…Therefore, prophesy, and say to them, “Thus says the Lord God, “Behold (take note and see), I will open your graves (in Babylon, the cities, prisons where they were “buried”) and cause you to come up out of your graves, my people; and I will bring you into the land of Israel (to live, be settled).
v 13…Then you will know that I am the Lord (with conviction), when I have opened your graves and cause you to come up out of your graves, my people (he is true to his word and it will be proof that he has spoken when it happens).
v 14…And I will put my Spirit within you (the breath of life is the Spirit of Yehovah), and you will come to life (this was to encourage them because of the terrible position they were in now) and I will place you in your own land. Then (when it happens) you will know that I, the Lord (Yehovah), have spoken and done it (he foretold it and it came to pass and that will be the proof),” declares the Lord.’ “
v 15…The word of the Lord came to me saying,
v 16…”And you, son of man, take for yourself one (echad) stick (Hebrew “etz” or wood) and write on it, ‘For Judah (L’Yehuda) and for the sons of Israel (and Benjamin who joined with Judah), his companions; then take another stick and write on it, “For Joseph (L’Yosef), the stick (wood) of Ephraim (Jeroboam was from that tribe and the capital was in their territory and this stood for the ten tribes) and all the house of Israel, his companions (who adhered to Jeroboam).’
v 17…Then join them for yourself one to another into one (echad) stick, that they may become one (echad) in your hand (look as if they were one stick).
v 18…And when the sons of your people speak to you saying, ‘Will you not declare to us what you mean by these?’
v 19…say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God, “Behold (see), I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel (ten tribes), his companions; and I will put them with it, with the stick of Judah (and Benjamin), and make them one stick (one nation), and they will be one in my hand (under Yehovah’s care).
v 20…And the sticks on which you write will be in your hand before their eyes (to illustrate that they will be one nation or “all Israel” especially when Messiah comes-Rom 11.25-26).
v 21…And say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God, “Behold, I will take the sons of Israel from among the nations (this is called the “m’loh ha goyim” of Gen 48.19 and Rom 11.26 and called the “fullness of the Gentiles”) where they have gone, and will gather them from every side and bring them into their own land;
v 22…and I will make them one nation (united under king Messiah ultimately) in the land, on the mountains of Israel; and one king will be king for all of them; and they will no longer be two nations, and they will no longer be divided into two kingdoms (what the two sticks made into one symbolized).
v 23…And they will no longer defile themselves with their idols, or with their detestable things, or with any of their transgressions (wicked acts); but I will deliver them from all their dwelling places in which (where) they have sinned, and will cleanse (purify) them. And they will be my people, and I will be their God.
v 24…And my servant David (meaning Yeshua as a son of David) will be king over them (this has yet to be fulfilled or given meaning), and they will have one shepherd (synonymous with “king”) and they will walk in my ordinances, and keep my statutes (all terms for the Torah), and observe them.
v 25…And they shall live on the land that I gave to Jacob my servant, in which your fathers lived; and they will live on it, they, and their sons and their sons’ sons forever; and David my servant (Messiah) shall be their prince (king, shepherd) forever (king, shepherd, prince are all terms for Messiah Acts 3.15; Ezek 44.3).
v 26…And I will make a covenant of peace with them (Ezek 34.25; (Isa 54.9-10; Num 25.12; Jer 31.31 and the same as the Brit Chadasha or “renewed/restored covenant”); it will be an everlasting covenant with them. And I will place them and multiply them, and I will set my sanctuary (Temple) among them.
v 27…My dwelling place will also be upon them; and I will be their God and they will be my people.
v 28…And the nations will know that I am the Lord (Yehovah), when my sanctuary (the Temple; his presence) is in their midst forever (meaning a long time, as long as certain conditions exist-See Ezek 40 through 48; Zech 14.16; Isa 66.20-23).”