The hand of the LORD was upon me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the LORD and set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones.
He led me back and forth among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry.
He asked me, "Son of man, can these bones live?" I said, "O Sovereign LORD, you alone know."
Then he said to me, "Prophesy to these bones and say to them, 'Dry bones, hear the word of the LORD!
This is what the Sovereign LORD says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.
I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the LORD.' "
So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I was prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came together, bone to bone.
I looked, and tendons and flesh appeared on them and skin covered them, but there was no breath in them.
Then he said to me, "Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to it, 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe into these slain, that they may live.' "
So I prophesied as he commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet--a vast army.
Then he said to me: "Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They say, 'Our bones are dried up and our hope is gone; we are cut off.'
Therefore prophesy and say to them: 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: O my people, I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them; I will bring you back to the land of Israel.
Then you, my people, will know that I am the LORD, when I open your graves and bring you up from them.
I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I the LORD have spoken, and I have done it, declares the LORD.' "
The word of the LORD came to me:
"Son of man, take a stick of wood and write on it, 'Belonging to Judah and the Israelites associated with him.' Then take another stick of wood, and write on it, 'Ephraim's stick, belonging to Joseph and all the house of Israel associated with him.'
Join them together into one stick so that they will become one in your hand.
"When your countrymen ask you, 'Won't you tell us what you mean by this?'
say to them, 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I am going to take the stick of Joseph--which is in Ephraim's hand--and of the Israelite tribes associated with him, and join it to Judah's stick, making them a single stick of wood, and they will become one in my hand.'
Hold before their eyes the sticks you have written on
and say to them, 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I will take the Israelites out of the nations where they have gone. I will gather them from all around and bring them back into their own land.
I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel. There will be one king over all of them and they will never again be two nations or be divided into two kingdoms.
They will no longer defile themselves with their idols and vile images or with any of their offenses, for I will save them from all their sinful backsliding, and I will cleanse them. They will be my people, and I will be their God.
" 'My servant David will be king over them, and they will all have one shepherd. They will follow my laws and be careful to keep my decrees.
They will live in the land I gave to my servant Jacob, the land where your fathers lived. They and their children and their children's children will live there forever, and David my servant will be their prince forever.
I will make a covenant of peace with them; it will be an everlasting covenant. I will establish them and increase their numbers, and I will put my sanctuary among them forever.
My dwelling place will be with them; I will be their God, and they will be my people.
Then the nations will know that I the LORD make Israel holy, when my sanctuary is among them forever.' "
When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place.
Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting.
They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them.
All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.
Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven.
When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard them speaking in his own language.
Utterly amazed, they asked: "Are not all these men who are speaking Galileans?
Then how is it that each of us hears them in his own native language?
Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia,
Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome
(both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs--we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!"
Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, "What does this mean?"
Some, however, made fun of them and said, "They have had too much wine. "
Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: "Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say.
These men are not drunk, as you suppose. It's only nine in the morning!
No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:
" 'In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.
Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy.
I will show wonders in the heaven above and signs on the earth below, blood and fire and billows of smoke.
The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord.
And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.'
"Men of Israel, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know.
This man was handed over to you by God's set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross.
But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.
David said about him: " 'I saw the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.
Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will live in hope,
because you will not abandon me to the grave, nor will you let your Holy One see decay.
You have made known to me the paths of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence.'
"Brothers, I can tell you confidently that the patriarch David died and was buried, and his tomb is here to this day.
But he was a prophet and knew that God had promised him on oath that he would place one of his descendants on his throne.
Seeing what was ahead, he spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to the grave, nor did his body see decay.
God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of the fact.
Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear.
For David did not ascend to heaven, and yet he said, " 'The Lord said to my Lord: "Sit at my right hand
until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet." '
"Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ."
When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, "Brothers, what shall we do?"
Peter replied, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off--for all whom the Lord our God will call."
With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, "Save yourselves from this corrupt generation."
Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.
They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.
Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles.
All the believers were together and had everything in common.
Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need.
Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts,
praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.