Ezekiel 37:7
So I prophesied as I was commanded: and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Ezekiel 37:7-10. So I prophesied as I was commanded — I declared these promises or gracious purposes of God concerning these bones. And as I prophesied there was a noise, &c. — Such a noise as we may suppose would arise from the motion of the bones. And behold a shaking — A trembling, or commotion among the bones, enough to manifest a divine presence working among them. And the bones came together, &c. — Glided nearer and nearer, till each bone met the bone to which it was to be joined. Of all the bones of those numerous slain not one was wanting, not one missed its way, not one missed its place, but each knew and found its fellow. Thus, in the resurrection of the dead, the scattered atoms shall be ranged in their proper place and order, and every bone come to its bone — By the same wisdom and power by which they were first formed in the womb of her that was with child. And lo, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them — Gradually spreading themselves. And the skin covered them above — Enveloped the bones, sinews, and flesh of each body; but there was no breath in them — Or spirit, rather; no souls animated the bodies. Then said he, Prophesy unto the wind — Or rather, unto the spirit, namely, the quickening spirit of God, or principle of life, issuing from him, and imparting life to every creature that possesses it. Come from the four winds, O breath, O spirit — This signified the gathering of the Jewish people from the different quarters of the world where they were scattered; and breathe on the slain — Animate these dead bodies; that they may live — May awake into living men. So I prophesied, and the breath — The spirit; came into them — A soul animated each body; and they lived, &c., an exceeding great army — Not only living men, but effective men, fit for service in war, and formidable to all that should give them any opposition. Applied to the Jews, released and returning from captivity, the words signify that they should amount to a great multitude, when they should be gathered from their several dispersions, and should be united in one body. Observe, reader, with God nothing is impossible: he can, out of stones, raise up children to Abraham, and out of dead and dry bones an exceeding great army, to fight his battles and plead his cause.37:1-14 No created power could restore human bones to life. God alone could cause them to live. Skin and flesh covered them, and the wind was then told to blow upon these bodies; and they were restored to life. The wind was an emblem of the Spirit of God, and represented his quickening powers. The vision was to encourage the desponding Jews; to predict both their restoration after the captivity, and also their recovery from their present and long-continued dispersion. It was also a clear intimation of the resurrection of the dead; and it represents the power and grace of God, in the conversion of the most hopeless sinners to himself. Let us look to Him who will at last open our graves, and bring us forth to judgment, that He may now deliver us from sin, and put his Spirit within us, and keep us by his power, through faith, unto salvation.Bone to his bone - i. e., to its proper place in the frame. 7. noise—of the bones when coming in mutual collision. Perhaps referring to the decree of Cyrus, or the noise of the Jews' exultation at their deliverance and return.

bones came together—literally, "ye bones came together"; as in Jer 49:11 (Hebrew), "ye widows of thine shall trust in Me." The second person puts the scene vividly before one's eyes, for the whole resurrection scene is a prophecy in action to render more palpably to the people the prophecy in word (Eze 37:21).

I prophesied; declared or pronounced these promises or gracious purposes of God concerning them.

As I was commanded: whether it was thus or some other way, the prophet was commanded it, and so he did it; he spake to them which could not but be deaf to him, and which could not but hear when God speaks.

As I prophesied; either according to the purport of my prophecy, or rather during the time, or while I was prophesying, or so soon as I prophesied.

A noise; thunder, say some; others, more likely, the noise was the rattling of the bones in their motion; such noise they could not but make, where multitudes of them heaped or laid together disperse, and roll themselves from one to other, till they meet their fellow bones.

A shaking; there was a trembling or commotion among these bones, enough to make this noise, and to manifest a Divine presence and word from God working among them.

Came together; crept, or with this shaking motion glided, nearer and nearer, till each bone met the bone to which it was to be tied. So I prophesied as I was commanded,.... The prophet was not disobedient to the heavenly vision; he was right to observe the orders and instructions given, whatever were the issue and success of them; that he was to leave with the Lord, and did. So Gospel ministers prophesy or preach according to the commission given them, and leave their work with the Lord: this was the first prophesying; for there is another after mentioned: these two are carefully to be observed and distinguished, different effects following the one and the other: this was a prophesying to the dry bones, upon them, over them, and concerning them; and what is next related was the consequence of it;

and as I prophesied, there was a noise; or, "a voice" (w); this, in the literal sense, was the proclamation by Cyrus, giving the Jews leave to return to their own land, Ezra 1:1, at the revival of the interest of Christ, a great voice will be heard from heaven, saying to the witnesses, come up hither, Revelation 11:12, and at the descent of Christ to raise his dead first, there will be the voice of the archangel, and the trump of God, 1 Thessalonians 4:16, and, as while the prophet was prophesying, there was not only his voice heard, but the voice of God, perhaps a thunder clap: so in the ministry of the Gospel there is a voice heard, which, at first, is only externally heard; men hear a noise, a voice, but it is a confused one; they do not know what to make of it, and yet it has some effect upon them; it causes a noise in them, an outcry about sin, and hell, and damnation; and yet, at present, no spiritual life or breath is in them:

and behold a shaking; of the bones; a rattling among them, as may be conceived must be where there is, as here, a tumbling of dry bones one over another, to get to their proper bone: so in the first effect of the word upon the conscience of a sinner, which works wrath there, there is a shaking and trembling through fear of damnation; which in some issues in real conversion, as in Saul and the jailer, Acts 9:6, but in others it goes off again, and comes to nothing, as in Felix, Acts 24:25,

and the bones came together, bone to his bone: so the Jews scattered up and down in the provinces of Babylon gathered together upon the proclamation of Cyrus, and went up in a body to their own land; as they will do also at the time of their conversion, Hosea 1:11, thus, when persons are only under slight convictions, they may gather together, and have their religious meetings and societies, and yet be only a parcel of dry bones, without any spiritual life and breath in them.

(w) "et exstitit vox", Cocceius, Starckius; "et fuit vox", Montanus.

So I prophesied as I was commanded: and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
7. behold a shaking] The word is rendered “rushing” (Ezekiel 3:12). The noise is that occasioned by the rising and rushing of the bones together. The previous word “noise” is wanting in LXX., which reads simply: and it came to pass as I prophesied that behold a rushing.Verses 7, 8. - So I prophesied as I was commanded. The words uttered were without doubt those of vers. 4-6. The effect produced is depicted in its various steps. First, there resulted a noise - literally, a voice - which the Revisers take to have been "a thundering;" and Havernick, Keil, Smend, and others, "a sound" in general; but which Ewald, Hengstenberg, and Schroder, with more propriety, regard as having been an audible voice, if not, as Kliefoth supposes, the trumpet-blast or "voice of God," which, according to certain New Testament passages, shall precede the resurrection and awaken the dead (John 5:25, 28; 1 Corinthians 15:52; 1 Thessalonians 4:16); perhaps, as Plumptre suggests, the "counterpart" thereof. Next, a shaking, σεισμὸς (LXX.); which the Revisers, following Klie-foth, understand to have been an earthquake, as in 1 Kings 19:11; Amos 1:1; Zechariah 1:1; Zechariah 14:5 (comp. Matthew 27:51), and Ewald explains as "a peal of thunder running through the entire announcement," as in Ezekiel 3:12, 13 and Ezekiel 38:19, 20; but which is better interpreted by Keil, Smend, and others as a rustling proceeding from a movement among the bones. Thirdly, the bones came together in the body as a whole, and in particular bone to his bone; i.e. each bone to the bone with which it was designed to be united, as e.g. "the upper to the lower part of the arm" (Schroder). Lastly, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them, and the skin covered them above; or, as in the Revised Version, there were sinews upon them, and flesh came up and skin covered them above; precisely as Jehovah had announced to the prophet would take place (ver. 6). Yet, though the external framework of the bodies was finished, there was no breath in them - ruach having still the same import as in ver. 5. With this the preliminary stage in the reanimating process terminated.
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