Ezekiel 37:1-14

We are in the last of the three sections of the prophecy, that having to do with the restoration of the people of God. Chapter 37 is really another way of saying the same thing that has been said in chapter 36. The prophets are nothing if they are not repetitive and they find different ways to say the same thing and to drive their message home. Do not resent them for that, it is what we all do and what we all must do. Teachers do it, parents do it, and God in his Word does it as well. The most important things have to be said again and again and again.

We have all heard the spiritual Dem Bones, “Dem bones, dem bones, dem dry bones… The toe bone’s connected to the foot bone, the foot bone connected to the ankle bone, the ankle bone connected to the leg bone…” and so on.This passage of Ezekiel is one of the few in this large book that have left their mark on the consciousness of the church. It’s dramatic and vivid picture of salvation, the animation of the spiritually dead – the coming alive of a vast army of skeletons – what you might expect to see in a horror movie nowadays with all the special effects that Hollywood has at its disposal, that vision could hardly not have left its impression upon the mind of the church. This famous vision of the valley of dry bones is the first vision reported since chapter 11, where Ezekiel, if you remember, had been taken by God’s Spirit to Jerusalem to witness the sins that the leaders of the people were committing against God and against God’s covenant. Here he is not taken to Jerusalem but to some unnamed valley in which the skeletal remains of some long since fallen army, slain but never buried are found. These skeletons, these bones bleaching in the hot Middle Eastern sun represent the spiritual condition of Israel after the fall of Jerusalem. And to the Jews, as we are going to read, after the city’s fall and after the exile of the rest of the population to Babylon, understandably thought that dry bones were an appropriate image, a very accurate way of describing their present and future circumstances. Hopeless is the idea.

Text Comment

The presence of the article “the” suggests that the valley was a place known to Ezekiel: the valley. [Block, ii, 373] This valley was full of human bones. In other words, a great catastrophe had occurred there.

The fact that the bodies were not buried and the bones were allowed to bleach in the sun is one of the signs that this is the punishment of the curse promised in the covenant for those who are unfaithful to the Lord and to his covenant. Among the covenant curses we find in Deut. 28:25-26 this promise to those who break the Lord’s covenant: “Your carcasses will become food for all the birds of the sky and all the beasts of the earth, with none to frighten them off.” Jeremiah says a similar thing much nearer to the time of the fulfillment of this curse (34:17-20). In other words, Israel suffered precisely that fate the Lord long before promised she would suffer if she were unfaithful to his covenant.

Ezekiel was made to walk among the bones so that he would be impressed himself by how dry they were. Dry bones are bones from which all the skin, flesh, and sinews had been removed by decomposition or eaten away by scavengers. These bones, further, had been bleached by the hot Middle Eastern sun. People in those days were more familiar with dry human bones than you or I would have any reason to be. Burial customs in those days required internment twice. After death the loved one was placed in a family tomb, on one of the shelves cut out of the rock for that purpose. But later, when the shelf was needed for another body, the family would reenter the tomb and find the bones desiccated, dried up. Only the skeleton or little more remained. The skeleton was then taken from the shelf and placed in an ossuary, literally a bone box. You may have heard of some of these bone boxes whose inscriptions have become controversial in Biblical archeology of late. The skeleton would have to be broken up and the bones placed individually and separately in the ossuary so that no longer would there be an entire leg connected or entire torso, for example, because the bone boxes were not large enough to hold entire skeletons. It wasn’t simply a single skeleton but perhaps many skeletons, thus divided and broken up, that would eventually have to be stored in the same ossuary. Ezekiel knew dry bones when he saw them.

The Lord asks Ezekiel a question, obviously not because he doesn’t know the answer, but to involve his prophet in thinking through the question and in so doing telling us what is the real subject of this chapter – these dead bones living again. That is what the vision is all about: life after death.

Ezekiel is commanded to preach to these dry, dead, lifeless bones. The obvious question is what possible good could it do to preach to those who cannot hear and to explain to those who cannot understand. But that is everywhere in the Bible the nature of preaching. It is why Paul refers to “the foolishness of preaching.” It shouldn’t work. But, in fact, it is potent to create life because God has ordained it to be the instrument of his re-creative work in the life of the spiritually dead. Preachers are, in the nature of the case, always giving commands to those who cannot possibly obey them, and the result is not complete uselessness, not complete futility but, instead, frequently obedient response. Not, to be sure, in the strength of a man but in God’s strength. The word for preaching used here in v. 4, prophesy – which means “to speak for God” – occurs seven times in the passage. That preaching is the means to the people’s rebirth is a key thought.

The thing to note here is that the bones are to be brought to life by the instrumentality of Ezekiel’s preaching. The Lord might just as well have done it himself without Ezekiel being involved in any way; but, as Paul puts it, “he chose to save the world by the foolishness of what was preached.” [1 Cor. 1:21]

The concluding sentence of v. 6 – the form of words that has been repeated so many times in Ezekiel – reminds us that it is not simply the reconstitution of the body that Yahweh is after, but the spiritual revitalization of his people so that they might again have true faith in him and a right relationship with him.

The bones were so dry – so much time had passed since death and the animals, the sun, and the elements had so thoroughly done their work – that they were not even connected to one another. These were loose bones, not an intact skeleton.
To appreciate the movement of thought so carefully constructed here in the account of this vision you need to know that in Hebrew (as later in the Greek New Testament) there is one word for breath, wind, and spirit whether the spirit is a human spirit or the Spirit of God. “There was no breath in the bones.” “Come from the four winds.” And, at the beginning in v. 1 and at the end in v. 14, “he brought me out by the Spirit,” and “I will put my spirit in you.” It is חר in every case. The many uses of the same word to mean different things is no accident. The wordplay would have been obvious to any Hebrew ear or eye as Ezekiel moves cleverly from one meaning to another and, by that means, draws attention to the leitwort or keyword of the passage (it occurs 10 times in these 14 verses). We become living spirits again by the work of the Holy Spirit whose sovereignty over all is highlighted by the fact that he controls the four winds. This is a re-creation, like the first, when the Lord breathed into Adam the breath of life.
We have assumed this, of course, but this is the first explicit indication that the bleached bones in the valley did not represent just any of Nebuchadrezzar’s conquests but specifically the house of Israel the whole house, in fact even those Israelites, we will learn in the next section, who were exiled by the Assyrians 130 years before. [Block, ii, 379].

In any case, we learn here that the entire vision may have been called forth by a saying that was circulating among the dispirited Jews in Babylon: “Our bones are dried up and our hope is gone.” This vision given to Ezekiel is Yahweh’s response to the people’s despair, his answer to their hopelessness.

Ezekiel shifts the metaphor a bit. Now Israel is in the grave, not lying as bleached bones in a valley but in the grave and she is going to be brought up alive from the grave, resurrection. Another way of saying she was dead and is to be made alive again. She is also to be brought up again into the Promised Land. Resurrection and a new exodus are brought together as two other ways of describing what the Lord is going to do for Israel.

You will sometimes still hear it said that Israel in the ancient epoch did not have a doctrine of the resurrection or even of an afterlife. Fortunately you hear that said less and less nowadays even in unbelieving scholarship because if Israel did not have a doctrine of the afterlife she was the only people in the ANE that did not. There are many disproofs of that opinion, but this text certainly puts paid to it in no uncertain terms.

The two restorations go together: Israel will be made alive spiritually and she will be brought back as a people to the Promised Land. Her entire life as a people will be reborn: inside and out. That would happen as the result of a spiritual revival and, at the same time, the decree of Cyrus, the Persian king, in 539 B.C. less than 50 years after Jerusalem’s destruction and the final exile. But what you need to appreciate about this passage, this vision and this prophecy, is that nothing in all the world would have looked less likely when Ezekiel saw this vision and reported it to his fellow exiles in Babylon. Babylon had carried all before it and settled hundreds of thousands of exiles throughout its vast dominions. Who could have predicted that Persia – at this time, in the 580s B.C Persia was scarcely a small cloud on the political horizon – who could have predicted that Persia of all nations would eventually conquer Babylon and not only conquer Babylon but completely reverse the policy of exile followed by the superpowers that preceded it, viz. Assyria and Babylon? [Stuart, 345] We need to remember this to appreciate the power of this vision. Nothing, nothing, humanly speaking, was more unlikely than the return of Israel to the Promised Land, when this prophecy was delivered and yet that is exactly what happened! If you think that is wild, she is still there 2,500 years later! Figure that out!

The vision, especially as an answer to the people’s despair, as that despair is expressed in v. 11, was intended to revive the flagging spirits of God’s people. Their situation seemed hopeless to them and would have seemed hopeless to anyone else who observed it. Humanly speaking they had no reason to believe they would ever live again as a nation or people. Yahweh had abandoned them. But he had not, in fact. In v. 12 the Lord addresses them with perhaps the most important words in this prophecy, “O my people.” They are still his people and that was to mean everything; he had plans for them, whatever they thought. He had judged them because of their sins, but he had not forgotten his covenant with them. And he has power before which the most hopeless circumstances, humanly speaking, are absolutely no obstacle at all to his peoples blessing. Dead and bleached bones are no problem for him. He can make them alive merely by speaking to them. No, he can make them alive by taking a mere man speaking to them in his name. He can make detached skeletons human beings again even through the merely human speech of someone he appoints to speak on his behalf.

Now, to get the full effect of this vision, several things need to be remembered.

  1. First, we have here, as we so often have in the Bible, a thorough mixture of the personal and the corporate. The prophecy is about the restoration of Israel to the Promised Land, as we read explicitly in v. 12-14 and about the reestablishment of the people of God. But it is also a prophecy of the spiritual rebirth of individuals, as is made clear not only in the vision itself, but in its interpretation. The Lord is going to put his Spirit in them and they will live and they will know the Lord. The Lord has plans for his whole people, but for the people as a group to be changed and blessed; individuals must be changed and blessed. To have a vast army on their feet in that valley, each individual set of bones had to be reconnected and then covered with flesh and then vivified. The Bible very often envisions salvation in terms of the people of God as a whole but it always understands that corporate nature of salvation as resting on the spiritual transformation of each and every individual heart and life that makes up the entire elect host.
  2. Second, the bleached bones in the valley are a picture both of spiritual death, death in sin we would say on the one hand and and its various human, life consequences on the other. Israel is in exile in Babylon. She has lost her home and her living, her freedom and her hope for the future as a nation, as a people. Her sins have had horrific consequences. Her capital city lies in ruins; many of her people have been killed; and those who survived have become the wards and servants of a foreign power with little expectation of ever recovering their freedom. The new life the Lord pictures here as the bones come alive, therefore, is a matter both of the spiritual transformation of the heart and the life, what we would refer to as salvation and the happy things that come to pass as its result. This, too, is absolutely typical of the teaching of the Bible, the mixing of these two things together, salvation, a relationship with God, the forgiveness of sins on the one hand and all the happy things that happen in one’s life because of those things on the other. In this case it is the salvation of God’s people and their restoration to the Promised Land.In other words, the salvation here described in such a vivid way is, again as so often in the Bible, both a spiritual renewal, a change of heart as Ezekiel put it in chapter 36, and a change of life and of their circumstances, as Ezekiel also said in chapter 36. What does it mean for the text to say here, for example, that the Lord “will put his Spirit in his people”? Well it means everything we ordinarily mean by salvation. It means the Spirit of God will convict them of their sin, their rebellion against the Lord that was the cause of their misery; he will cause them, in faith, to cry out to God for forgiveness and for new life; and he will grant that faith and that forgiveness of sin; the Lord will transform their hearts and with their hearts their beliefs, their convictions, their desires, their attitudes, and with the heart he will also transform their behavior. They will be saved, in other words. And that salvation would be entirely enough even if they were to live the remaining years of their lives in poverty, slavery, and ignominy in Babylon. Heaven forever is a far, far better thing than comfort and prosperity and happiness for a few years here! But there is more. Because of the spiritual transformation that God is going to effect in his people, Israel will walk with the Lord and no one ever walks with the Lord without enjoying all manner of happy and wonderful things. All of that will come to pass when the Lord puts his Spirit in spiritually senseless and rebellious people. Well this is Holy Scripture and these things, as Paul says, were written for us. So, just as for this generation of Israel this new life meant not only the forgiveness of their sins, peace with God and a new relationship with him, but as well deliverance from exile, restoration to their homeland, new hope and new life as a people and as a nation, we today can apply this same principle of inner transformation, a relationship with the Lord leading to all manner of happy things in life to the myriad dimensions of our lives that have been affected by our sin and the sins of others. This text, as the one before it in chapter 36, is explicitly about both the spiritual and the worldly or the physical restoration of the generation of the Babylonian exiles, but in that it illustrates what the grace and power of God accomplishes on behalf of his people whenever that grace and power are exercised. The Lord is always interested both in our hearts, our faith, our relationship with him, and because he is our loving Father the blessing and enrichment and happiness of our lives. And so we can turn to this passage if we are in need of encouragement in any way and with respect to any problem we are facing: our children, our marriages, our sanctification, our ministry to others, or, on the larger scale, our church or the fortunes of the Lord’s church in our time. What are the dry bones that we are seeing in our lives at this moment? It will be the same almighty power and the same faithfulness to his covenant in any case that is demonstrated and illustrated in our lives as that which is demonstrated and illustrated here in this vision. And it will be grace that transforms not only our relationship with the Lord but so many other things in our lives because we are at peace with him and God loves his people and loves to bless those who are faithful to him. It was not enough for the Lord that Israel be forgiven and believe in him again; he wanted their lives to be rich and full of his blessing as they lived in the world.
  3. Third, the prophecy has two foci: the dry bones and the living host. The primary focus is on the promise of the Lord to make the dry bones live and his power to accomplish that miracle, but its presupposition is the absolute eradication of every vestige of life and animation in the bones themselves that lay strewn across the valley. They were very dry bones, Ezekiel was made to walk among them to see for himself, they were devoid of flesh; they were bleached in the sun; they weren’t even any longer connected to one another. We see this often at our summer home in the Colorado mountains. We take a walk and come upon an animal skeleton lying there on the ground. But the scavengers have done their work. The bones lie scattered here and there. The skull is separated from the backbone and so on. Well so here. There was no hope to be placed in the bones themselves. This is life that is very definitely over! The power to make these bones live had to come from some other place. The Bible uses illustrations like this often enough to make the point that sinners are helpless in themselves. The bones, of course, represented living people. Israel in exile in Babylon and the little rump of the population of Judah left behind around Jerusalem were the dry bones, as we are told in v. 11 and as the Israelites themselves acknowledged. They invented the image of dry bones as a way of expressing their own helplessness and total defeat. That is what these living, breathing people were spiritually speaking and as a political entity. They were utterly devoid of life or the hope of life. The Lord would have to animate them because they were dead in themselves. This vision is just one of a many grand demonstrations of the sovereignty of divine grace in the Bible and of the necessity of such sovereign grace. Dead people cannot vivify themselves. That is what it means to be dead. There are probably only a few of you who have seen as many dead bodies as I have. There are some of you who have. Kyle Proctor has seen a lot more than I have. I have been at several bedsides at the moment of death and, perhaps not at that very moment, but very soon thereafter the fact of death is unmistakable. The pallor of the skin, the stillness and silence of the body, the slackness of the jaw, and so on. There is no mistaking the absence of the breath of life and the departure of that vital force that once animated the body, even when it was sick and dying. I remember well watching my father die, the slow process to the end. But there is all the difference in the world even between a man who is almost dead and one who is dead. When I worked in a mortuary during my seminary days, I’ll admit it to you, I sometimes found it creepy to be in that large building alone during the night, but never because I had any fear of the dead coming back to life. The dead are too obviously dead; whether laid out on the gurney in the morgue or placed in a coffin. You would never, ever mistake them for living people. But here in this vision we are way past the lifeless corpse. Here the flesh has had time to rot away and to bleach in the sun. Enough time has past that the bones have come apart and no longer form a complete skeleton. The point is made in the most emphatic way. The people just said we are like dry bones. The Lord made the vision of the driest bones possible. On the human side all is lost. There is no hope. But on the divine side, nothing stands in the way of these bones living again but God’s willingness to make it so.

The Scots Confession, one of the early Reformation creeds, one of those creeds like the Heidelberg Catechism that comes from the springtime of the Reformation, expresses the theology of this paragraph in Ezekiel 37 perfectly.

“Our faith and its assurance do not proceed from flesh and blood, that is to say, from natural powers within us, but are the inspiration of the Holy [Spirit], who sanctifies us, and brings us into all truth by his own working, without whom we should remain forever enemies to God and ignorant of his Son, Christ Jesus. For by nature we are so dead, blind, and perverse, that neither can we feel when we are pricked, see the light when it shines, nor assent to the will of God when it is revealed, unless the Spirit of the Lord Jesus quickens that which is dead, removes the darkness from our minds, and bows our stubborn hearts to the obedience of his blessed will.” [Art. XII]

Now there is so much to say about this and so many implications of this vision for our thinking and living as Christians. These dry bones are the furthest thing from dry doctrine. Everyone wants life, life with a capital “L.” Everybody wants it, every person you rub shoulders with every single day, wants nothing more than life with a capital “L.” And that is what we have described here, a coming alive, life with a capital “L.” And in this vision we learn where such life comes from and the only place it comes from. Everybody around you is looking for life and they are looking for it in all the wrong places. If God does not save them, they will look until their life’s end in every place but the one place where life can be found. That is why your witness to the lost is so important. Ezekiel couldn’t bring dry bones back to life and you can’t save a soul. But you can give them the message that becomes the instrument of God’s saving the soul. Again and again in the NT we are reminded that this same power that animated and vivified usis at work in us and around us and through us, the life-giving power of God. Paul calls the gospel “the power of God unto salvation.” He speaks of the “power of the cross of Christ” in the proclamation of the gospel. [1 Cor. 1:17] He speaks of this same mighty power exercised in the world through very weak and incapable believers like you and me. We hold this treasure in jars of clay. [2 Cor. 4:7] He says that the weapons a Christian wields in this world – the weapons of faith in Jesus Christ – have “divine power to demolish strongholds.” [2 Cor. 10:4] He prays for his churches and their people that they might “have power…” [Eph. 3:17] He aspires himself to know “the power of Christ’s resurrection.” And so on. There is a great deal in the New Testament about God’s power at work in and manifest in and through the Christian life. The vision of the dry bones coming to life paints the same picture of God’s power in the life of his people as is described repeatedly in the rest of the Bible. We are, in other words, talking about something of immediate relevance to ourselves, an impossibly great power we are supposed to know, experience and wield ourselves. You see, the power being described in the vision of Ezekiel 37 is not for skeletons, it is for real people and their real lives and real needs. The world wants more power than it has. This explains its fixation with superheroes – Batman, Spiderman and Superman. But what the world needs is not the power to leap over buildings or to nab crooks. What is needs is the power to find God, to surmount self and sin, and to love others, really love them. Superman is no help here. But this divine power is all about such things and is precisely to make possible such things.

When God’s power to create life is demonstrated in dramatic ways in the world – such as in times of revival, as was the case in Israel’s coming alive en masse in the later 6th century B.C. – people feel, they always say they feel, and are elated to feel that they are in the hands and at the disposal of almighty God. They have that sense, that conviction. His gracious and loving power overwhelms them. They are conscious of it, they know that power exists, and they have felt its force. The entire world becomes alive to them with the power and the presence of God.

We will, to be sure, not always feel that wonderful power, the glory of the life-giving power of God and of his Word, but the truth of the vision of Ezekiel 37, the truth of this teaching is unchanging for every Christian as all the references to God’s power at work in and on behalf of God’s people in the NT attest. The power is always there! We are to take that power to heart, to believe it, to meditate upon it, to roll it over again and again in our minds. Its present reality, known by faith, is supposed to be a mighty antidote to some of the most important defects in our lives.

  1. Many, if not most of us, are afflicted with a lack of optimism. Concerning pressing matters in our own lives, disappointments and challenges, we are too easily discouraged. We don’t live in hope as we should. We don’t actively and firmly believe that there is a great power in the universe that is at work for those who believe in Jesus Christ, a power capable of raising the stone-cold dead; whatever death may be in our life at this particular moment. It is, to be sure, possible that God will not exercise that power at this moment and in the way we would like for him to, but what is perfectly clear is that he has that power and can exercise it whenever and however perfect wisdom, love, and goodness require.
  2. When we doubt the present reality of God’s life-giving power, this absolute divine sovereignty over the life and death of every single human being, we inevitably come to trust other methods than those of faith, hope, and love. When we are not conscious of God’s great power as the principle of life and happiness we tend to trust human power, however pale an imitation of the real thing. I don’t very often talk about these things because I feel it best to attend to our own ways and leave other brethren and their ways to the judgment of the Lord. To each one’s master he stands or falls. And I also don’t want us to have a critical spirit in the church which is a sure way to quench the Spirit of God among us. But this failure to trust the power of God is, in my view, the very dangerous development that is coming to full expression in American evangelical Christianity in our time. Confidence in human technique has replaced confidence in the power of the Lord. The church is investing its hope not in God but in man. No one will admit this, of course. They will speak of the importance of contextualizing the gospel, of making it comprehensible and relevant to the culture in which we live; they will speak of the importance of attracting people to the message by giving them a service that is interesting to them and that is entertaining and uplifting. But the fact is, the approach actually embraced is unscriptural and is virtually the denial of the power of the preaching of the gospel, the very power that is emphasized here and everywhere in the Bible. The very message the Bible orders ministers to preach is precisely the message that is more and more not being preached because ministers fear that men will not stand for it, will not find it interesting, will be offended by it, and will not come back a second time to hear it. The church is not telling men that they are in themselves the driest bones, utterly dead, devoid of life or the hope of life. And the result is that in our time the church is not coming to life, a vast army on its feet. These man-made methods that are supposed to work better than the proclamation of sin and God’s grace and power to the spiritually dead are not producing a great host of believers standing on their feet. In fact, they are not producing much even in those who are already believers. Pastorally speaking, the church today is becoming more and more the same world in which people live, not the different world they desperately need to experience. They need a witness borne to a transcendent God of majesty and authority whose law is the rule of human life by which human life shall be judged and whose grace and power are the only hope of eternal life. They do not need little ditties and casual talk and a concentration on their own personal peace and happiness. They get thatall week long. They get that 24/7. They don’t need more entertainment or more sales conventions. They have more than enough of that already. They don’t need more blue jeans and open shirts and Birkenstocks. They need something very different from the church but are getting simply more of the same. For nearly 2000 years the church understood this. She laid claim to culture instead of capitulating to it. She built her own buildings in her own way to embody her convictions; now churches are being built like shopping malls. She created a calendar that related the world of human time to the progress of salvation history; we have more and more even in the church substituted Mother’s Day or the Fourth of July for Pentecost or Good Friday. In most evangelical American churches today you always get a Mother’s Day sermon. Most American Protestant Christian’s today almost never get a Pentecost sermon. The church had her own sacred language that she required her people to learn and understand; the church today is so obsessed with the vernacular that if a subject can’t be cheerfully and entertainingly explained in the most popular vernacular, it will not be addressed at all. And the result of all of this is that the force truth in the Christian church is growing increasingly faint and the church now seems powerless to change or disciple people. And people are not being changed. Why? Because God himself is an increasingly faint and distant presence in the church herself and his power is neither proclaimed nor trusted in the public life of the congregation.
  3. And then back to ourselves. Finally, when we forget the reality, the presence in the world of this animating, vivifying power of God, when we do not remain conscious of the divine majesty and what is possible when the Lord is at work in the lives of his people, we fail to aim, you and I, as high as we ought to, to strive for as much as is possible in a Christian life. We forget that all things are possible through him who strengthens me. We neglect to rejoice in our weakness because in our weakness the power of God is made manifest; and so we neglect to avail ourselves of that present power by a constant turning to the Lord, constantly asking him to make his strength perfect in our weakness. How few are really straining, leaning forward every day, day after day in the confidence that the power that raises the dead is at work in us! How few real conquests are being seen in believers’ lives! Not for us brothers and sisters. This same power that brought the skeletons back to life, a vast army, that power is in the world today and it is in us by the Spirit of God.

This is precisely the lesson that the Lord was teaching his people through Ezekiel. They had lost sight of the Lord and their lives had undergone catastrophe as a result. Disaster had overtaken them. But the Lord could make all things new; and in fact, he was about to do just that. What would be the result of that? “Then you will know that I the Lord have spoken, and I have done it.” Well, Israel should have known that already; and we have no excuse for not knowing it and living accordingly: confidently, faithfully, eager for more godliness, for more fruitfulness in serving the Lord, for a greater influence for life in the lives of others. Audaciously eager. With all of that power; why ever not?

Some of you don’t have so many years left. Every one of us has fewer years left than he or she thinks. You know how much more you would like to accomplish, you ought to accomplish. Do you really believe you cannot accomplish it, or will you admit, with me, you simply haven’t believed in order to accomplish it. The power is there, God is here, he is in you, with you, for you. Remember the bones, those dry bones, gathering together, the flesh forming over them, and the breath of life then animating the bodies. That is how you came to life yourself and that power is still in you because the Holy Spirit of God is in you. “O my people,” says the Lord.