The hand of the LORD was upon me, and he brought me out in the Spirit of the LORD and set me down in the middle of the valley; it was full of bones. And he led me around among them, and behold, there were very many on the surface of the valley, and behold, they were very dry.
And he said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” And I answered, “O LORD GOD, you know.”
Then he said to me, “Prophesy over these bones, and say to them, O dry bones, hear the word of the LORD. Thus says the LORD GOD to these bones: Behold, I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. And I will lay sinews upon you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live, and you shall know that I am the Lord.”
So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I prophesied, there was a sound, and behold, a rattling, and the bones came together, bone to its bone.And I looked, and behold, there were sinews on them, and flesh had come upon them, and skin had covered them. But there was no breath in them. (Ezekiel 37:1-8)
Because Israel rejected the Messiah God sent to them, he allowed the Romans to destroy their nation and caused them to be scattered throughout the world. They became like dried bones. In the 19th century the Zionist movement, a plan for the Jews to return to their ancient homeland, began. In 1948 the movement succeeded when the state of Israel was established. Today Israel is a strong and prosperous nation but because it has not yet acknowledged Jesus as its Messiah it is spiritually dead. It will not always remain in this condition.
Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, Thus says the LORD GOD: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live.”
So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived and stood on their feet, an exceedingly great army.
Then he said to me, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. Behold, they say, ‘Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are indeed cut off.’ Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the LORD GOD: Behold, I will open your graves and raise you from your graves, O my people. And I will bring you into the land of Israel. And you shall know that I am the LORD, when I open your graves, and raise you from your graves, O my people.And I will put my Spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I am the LORD; I have spoken, and I will do it, declares the LORD.” (Ezekiel 37:9-14)
Sometime in the future the Holy Spirit will move and enable Israel to recognize who her Messiah is. When that happens she will become truly alive.
This account is a literal prophecy of the future of Israel, but it can also be seen as an allegory of salvation. An unsaved person is like the dry bones at the beginning. He may be rich or powerful in the eyes of the world but as far as God is concerned he is worth no more that a bunch of dry bones. If he tries to clean up his life and live as he should he is like the lifeless bodies that were formed. He looks good but has no life. It is only when the Spirit of God enters him that he possesses real life.
The remainder of the book of Ezekiel can be seen the same way, as a literal account of what will happen and as an allegory of the Christian life. Ezekiel 38 and 39 describes an invasion from the north and God’s supernatural intervention to protect Israel. It can be applied allegorically as God’s protecting the believer from Satanic attacks. Ezekiel 40-48 is a literal description of life during the Millennium but can be interpreted as an allegory of eternal life in Heaven.
The Bible should be interpreted literally whenever possible but there is often an allegorical lesson to be learned beyond the literal meaning. I believe this is the correct way to interpret the Bible because it was the method Paul used.
Tell me, you who desire to be under the law, do you not listen to the law? For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by a slave woman and one by a free woman. But the son of the slave was born according to the flesh, while the son of the free woman was born through promise.Now this may be interpreted allegorically: these women are two covenants. One is from Mount Sinai, bearing children for slavery; she is Hagar. Now Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia; she corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children. (Galatians 4:21-25)
Posted on January 19, 2019, in prophecy, salvation and tagged allegory, Bible interpretation, dry bones, Holy Spirit, Israel, literal interpretation, Messiah, Millennium, salvation, spiritual life, Zionism. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.