The LORD took hold of me, and I was carried away by the Spirit of the LORD to a valley filled with bones.
He led me around among the old, dry bones that covered the valley floor. They were scattered everywhere across the ground.
Then he asked me, "Son of man, can these bones become living people again?" "O Sovereign LORD," I replied, "you alone know the answer to that."
Then he said to me, "Speak to these bones and say, 'Dry bones, listen to the word of the LORD!
This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Look! I am going to breathe into you and make you live again!
I will put flesh and muscles on you and cover you with skin. I will put breath into you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the LORD.'"
So I spoke these words, just as he told me. Suddenly as I spoke, there was a rattling noise all across the valley. The bones of each body came together and attached themselves as they had been before.
Then as I watched, muscles and flesh formed over the bones. Then skin formed to cover their bodies, but they still had no breath in them.
Then he said to me, "Speak to the winds and say: 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Come, O breath, from the four winds! Breathe into these dead bodies so that they may live again.'"
So I spoke as he commanded me, and the wind entered the bodies, and they began to breathe. They all came to life and stood up on their feet -- a great army of them.
Then he said to me, "Son of man, these bones represent the people of Israel. They are saying, 'We have become old, dry bones -- all hope is gone.'
Now give them this message from the Sovereign LORD: O my people, I will open your graves of exile and cause you to rise again. Then I will bring you back to the land of Israel.
When this happens, O my people, you will know that I am the LORD.
I will put my Spirit in you, and you will live and return home to your own land. Then you will know that I am the LORD. You will see that I have done everything just as I promised. I, the LORD, have spoken!"
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)