Bible Commentaries
Ezekiel 37

Barnes' Notes on the Whole BibleBarnes' Notes


In Ezekiel 37:1-14, Ezekiel sees in a vision dead men raised to life; its meaning is given Ezekiel 37:11-14. In it, the doctrine of the Resurrection of the Body is at least implied. Such a figure would only have force with those who were familiar with this idea (compare 1 Samuel 2:6; Job 19:25-27; Psalms 16:10-11; Daniel 12:1-13). The vision was intended not only to comfort the despairing children of Israel - prefiguring the reinstatement of Israel now scattered and lifeless, as a community restored to their home, and rein-vigorated with spiritual life - but also to impress upon them the great truth of the Resurrection, which was greatly developed in the Scriptures of the Old Testament, but found its clear and unambiguous enunciation in the New. The prophecy concerns not only the Israel after the flesh but also the Israel of God; it points to a home in heaven and to a life of immortality.

Verse 1

The valley - The same word as “the plain” Ezekiel 3:22; Ezekiel 8:4. The “dry bones” represented the Israelites dispersed abroad, destitute of life national and spiritual.

Verse 4

Prophesy - Not in the sense of predicting what was to come to pass, but simply in that of speaking under the inspiration of God. In Ezekiel 37:5, not “I will cause,” but I cause or am causing.

Verse 7

Bone to his bone - i. e., to its proper place in the frame.

Verse 9

The wind - Rather, as in the margin and as in Ezekiel 37:5. The bones are the bones of the “slain,” because the scene was one which was likely to occur in the time of the Chaldaean invasion, and the fact of violent death reminded the prophet of the miserable condition of the people.

Verse 11

We are cut off for our parts - That is, “as for us, we are cut off.” The people had fallen into despair.

Verses 16-28

This gives a final blessing reserved for God’s accepted servants. The tabernacle and temple were outward symbols of His presence. The re-erection of the temple by Zerubbabel was the first step to a restoration of the presence of God. The second step was the presence of Christ, first in the flesh, then in His Church, and finally the eternal presence of God and of the Lamb in the New Jerusalem Revelation 21:0.

Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Ezekiel 37". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". 1870.