Ezekiel cried, “Dem dry bones!”
Ezekiel cried, “Dem dry bones!”
Ezekiel cried, “Dem dry bones!”
“Oh, hear the word of the Lord.”

The foot bone connected to the leg bone,
The leg bone connected to the knee bone,
The knee bone connected to the thigh bone,
The thigh bone connected to the backbone,
The backbone connected to the neck bone,
The neck bone connected to the head bone,
Oh, hear the word of the Lord!

Dem bones, dem bones going to walk around’,
Dem bones, dem bones, going to walk around’
Dem bones, dem bones, gonna walk aroun’
Oh, hear the word of the Lord.

The head bone connected to the neck bone,
The neck bone connected to the back bone,
The back bone connected to the thigh bone,
The thigh bone connected to the knee bone,
The knee bone connected to the leg bone,
The leg bone connected to the foot bone,
Oh, hear the word of the Lord!

“Dem Bones” (also called “Dry Bones” and “Dem Dry Bones”) is a spiritual song. The melody was composed by author and songwriter James Weldon Johnson (1871–1938) and his brother, J. Rosamond Johnson.[1] First recorded by The Famous Myers Jubilee Singers in 1928. Both a long and a shortened version of the song are widely known. The lyrics are inspired by Ezekiel 37:1-14, where the prophet Ezekiel visits the “Valley of Dry Bones[2] and prophesies that they will one day be resurrected at God’s command, picturing the realization of the New Jerusalem.  From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

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Ezekiel is one of the major prophets of the Bible, along with Isaiah, Jeremiah (who also wrote Lamentations), and Daniel.  He was called to be a prophet while in Babylonian captivity and commissioned by God to rebuke Israel for their many sins and their rebellion against God’s Word.  His prophecies were related to 1) the captivity of Israel, the destruction of the Temple and the reasons for God’s judgment 2) God’s words against other nations for their part in Israel’s sins 3) Israel in the days just before the return of the Messiah and Armageddon, and 4) the millennial Temple and eternal reign of the Messiah over Israel.

The vision of the Valley of Dry bones is found in Ezekiel 37:1-14.  The prophecy speaks of the eternal reign of the Messiah over Israel.  Some people mistakenly believe that  Christians have replaced the Jews, God’s chosen people, but nothing could be further from the truth.  God loves His firstborn children and He will restore them to their rightful position.

When Jesus walked the earth as a man, He came to establish His Millennial Kingdom with the Jews. The Jews rejected Him, however, and He turned His attention to us, the Gentiles (non-Jews).  The Jews not only rejected Him as Messiah, they ultimately killed Him.  It was His rejection by the Jews, his death, burial, and resurrection that opened the way for us as Gentiles to be afforded a right to the tree of life.  The church was born and established upon the death, burial, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ. We are sorry that the Jews rejected Him; at the same time, we are shoutin’ glad that they did.  We were engrafted into the family of God and given an opportunity to be saved because the Jews rejected the best thing that ever happened to humanity, our Lord and Savior.

But, of course, God has not forgotten about His chosen people.  They were and will be sorely punished because of their rejection, but God still loves them.  In Ezekiel chapter 36, God had Ezekiel (as well as other prophets in other instances) to prophecy about the future restoration of Israel as God’s chosen nation.  Because Israel was so dead, dry, and devastated as a nation at that time, it seemed virtually impossible that the nation could be re-established.  Then God gave Ezekiel the vision of the Valley of Dry Bones (Ezekiel 37:1-14).   This vision let them know that God still loved them and that He would re-establish them by His power and might.  Just as he breathed life into Adam, his original man, He will do the same for His dead nation, Israel.

There are some ministers who preach that the Valley of Dry Bones prophecy concerns God’s putting life back into a dead church.  While we may make an application to the church, the Dry Bones vision explicitly relates to Israel and its restoration.  In the vision, God took Ezekiel to a Valley of Dry Bones and told him to speak to them.  Ezekiel obeyed God and spoke to the dry bones, saying God would breathe breath into them, and they would live again.  At the words of the prophecy, the bones came together, skin covered the bones, breath came into the bodies, and they stood up as a great army.  The Jews will be restored, not only naturally, but spiritually.  They will again experience God’s love and His mercy.  God is faithful to His Word and He certainly has not forgotten about them.  If he said it, he will do it, and if he spoke it, he will make it good.   Numbers 23:19 says:

19 God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? Or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?

In 1948 the country of Israel was re-born and became a nation again.  See An Ancient Bible Prophecy:  The Final Return of the Jews To Their Homeland.  This, however, is not the restoration of the “Dry Bones” prophecy.  The Dry Bones prophecy relates to the re-establishment of Israel at the return of Jesus Christ, following the Battle of Armageddon, in the Millennial era.  Jesus Christ, our Messiah, and Israel’s Messiah will rule and reign as Israel’s ruler.

Though it may appear to the natural eye that Israel has been replaced by the church, one must understand the full plan of God to know that He loves His chosen people.  Whom he loves, He chastens.

For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.  Heb. 12:6

God chastened Israel’s disobedience with what appeared to be total dissolution, but such is not the case.  He chastened them by the Assyrians and Babylonians and spread them throughout the world, only to return them to their Homeland in 1948.  Israel’s final chastening will occur during the Seven-Year Tribulation period.  The Millennium will quickly follow and God will re-establish them just as He said He would.

Practical application of the Dry Bones Lesson for the church today

The church should take a persuasive lesson from the way that God has dealt with His beloved Israel.  He hates sin and deals with it severely.  If He chastened and will chasten  His chosen nation, how much more will He deal with sin in the church? The Jews are the original children; we are the adoptees.

Being a Saint of God is a privilege.  We get to praise and worship God and attend church.  We get to accept and embrace Jesus Christ as our King of Kings and Lord of Lords. We get to become members of the Army of the Lord and the Bride of Christ.  We get to turn our backs on the ways of the world and spend eternity with Christ.  Therefore, those of us who have Jesus must never let Him go.  No matter what comes or goes, we must endure until the end.

And to those who don’t have Him, please get into the Christian boat NOW. He’s coming soon, and you don’t want to be left behind when He raptures the church out of here.  Repent of your sins and accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.  Be just like the dry bones of Ezekiel’s vision and allow God to breathe life into your never-dying soul.

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