The hand of the Lord was upon me
The Spirit of the Lord, a powerful impulse of his upon the prophet; the Targum interprets it a spirit of prophecy; (See Gill on Ezekiel 1:3): and carried me out in the Spirit of the Lord:
out of the place where he was to another; not really, but visionally, as things appeared to him, and as they were represented to his mind by the Spirit of God: and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones:
of men, as the Targum adds: this valley, Kimchi thinks, was the same by the river Chebar, where the prophet had his visions at first. R. Jochanan says it was the valley of Dura, and these the bones of them that were slain by Nebuchadnezzar there, ( Daniel 3:1 ) . Rab says these were the children of Ephraim, slain by the men of Gath, ( 1 Chronicles 7:20 1 Chronicles 7:21 1 Chronicles 7:22 ) . Some of the Jewish Rabbins think there was a real resurrection at this time. R. Eliezer says, the dead Ezekiel quickened stood upon their feet, sung a song, and died. R. Eliezer, the son of R. Jose the Galilean, says, they went up into the land of Israel, married wives, and begat sons and daughters. R. Judah ben Bethira stood upon his feet, and said, I am of their children's children, and these are the "tephillim" my father's father left me F18; but these are all fabulous and romantic: others of them understand the whole in a parabolical way: these bones, and the quickening of them, were an emblem of the restoration of the Jews from their captivity, who were in a helpless and hopeless condition, as appears from ( Ezekiel 37:11-14 ) , and of the conversion of that people in the latter day, which will be as life from the dead; and of the revival of the interest and church of Christ, when the slain witnesses shall rise, and ascend to heaven; and of the resurrection of the dead at the last day; and may be applied unto and be used to illustrate the quickening of dead sinners, by the efficacious grace of the Spirit of God.
F18 T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 92. 2. Vid. Kimchi & Abendana in loc.