The Prophet Ezekiel
Ezekiel was a contemporary of the Prophet Jeremiah. While in the Babylonian captivity, even before the final destruction of the Judean kingdom, he was called by God to be a prophet.
The Prophet Ezekiel was made famous by his prophecies about the resurrection of the dead, which simultaneously symbolically represented the restoration to freedom of the Jewish people.
The Prophet had a vision from the Lord. He saw a field strewn with men’s bones.
God asked him, “Son of man, will these bones live?”
Ezekiel replied, “O Lord God, Thou knowest this.”
The Lord said, “Prophesy upon these bones, and thou shalt say to them, ‘Ye dry bones, hear the word of the Lord.’”
The Word of the Lord was as follows: “Thus saith the Lord to these bones; Behold I will bring upon you the breath of life and I will lay sinews upon you, and bring up flesh upon you, and will spread skin upon you, and will put My Spirit into you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know that I am the Lord” (Ezek. 37:3-6).
When Ezekiel prophesied, at God’s command there was a noise and movement and the bones began to come together, each bone to its appointed bone. Ezekiel saw there were sinews on them, and flesh appeared, and skin covered them on top, but there was no spirit in them.
And the Lord said: “Prophesy to the wind; prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, ‘Thus saith the Lord: Come from the four winds, and breathe upon these dead men, and let them live” (Ezek. 37:9).
The words, “from the four winds,” mean that from four ends of the world (north, south, east and west) dead souls, wherever they might be, must gather in the field covered with spiritless bodies and come to life.
Ezekiel uttered the prophecy as the Lord commanded him, and the Spirit entered them and they came to life and stood on their feet.
The Lord said, “These bones are the whole house of Israel….Therefore prophesy and say, ‘Thus saith the Lord: Behold I will open your tombs, and will bring you into the land of Israel. And ye shall know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves, that I may bring up My people from their graves. And I will put My Spirit within you, and ye shall live, and I will place you upon your own land; and ye shall know that I am the Lord” (Ezek. 37:11-14).
This great prophecy, besides pointing to the restoration of the Israelite people, was given to us by God as a graphic portrayal of the general resurrection of the dead at the second coming of the Saviour, when, according to the all-powerful Word of God, all the bodies of dead people will unite with their spirits and come to life.
Note: See II Kings, chap. 25:27-30; II Chron., chap. 36:10-23; Ezekiel, chap. 37:1-14.
(from: The Law of God by Fr. Seraphim Slobodskoy)