God spoke to Ezekiel again regarding the return of His children to their homeland, Israel. The conquering nations, especially the Edomites had mocked, slandered and plundered His people and their land. As Israel and Judah had fallen, God’s name had also been mocked and profaned by those surrounding nations. It had seemed that He was unable to deliver His people from their enemies.
The Lord is a jealous God. The punishment of those nations and the return of His people would be necessary to elevate His holy name once again, so that they would, “know that I am the Lord.” Israel’s captivity would soon end and they would return and rebuild their land and its cities. The land would be fruitful again—not because they deserved it, but because of His mercy.
God’s affirmation that He would renew His people to their land and bless them was also significant as He had previously foretold of the coming kingdom, the church and a new covenant with it.
To further emphasize the future renewal of Israel, God took Ezekiel in a vision to a valley that was full of dry bones, possibly from armies that had died in battle many years in the past. Those bones represented the dead condition of the captive exiles in Babylon. At God’s instruction, the prophet prophesied their coming together with tendons and flesh. After that occurred, further prophesying brought breath and life to those fleshly bodies. As those dry bones were restored to life by the hand of God, the nation, Israel would also be restored to their own land. They would know, “that I, the Lord, have spoken it and performed it.”
The Lord spoke again to Ezekiel using two sticks to represent the divided kingdoms of Israel and Judah. With the uniting of the two sticks into one, a double prophesy was illustrated. Descendants of the former kingdom of Israel along with the current exiles in Babylon would return to their homeland as a reunited kingdom of Israel. They would be governed under the physical leadership of a single king. Also prophesied many years into the future, was a King from David, who would provide spiritual leadership under an everlasting covenant of peace with God’s people, the church.