The LORD's power overcame me, and while I was in the LORD's spirit, he led me out and set me down in the middle of a certain valley. It was full of bones.
He led me through them all around, and I saw that there were a great many of them on the valley floor, and they were very dry.
He asked me, "Human one, can these bones live again?" I said, "LORD God, only you know."
He said to me, "Prophesy over these bones, and say to them, Dry bones, hear the LORD's word!
The LORD God proclaims to these bones: I am about to put breath in you, and you will live again.
I will put sinews on you, place flesh on you, and cover you with skin. When I put breath in you, and you come to life, you will know that I am the LORD."
I prophesied just as I was commanded. There was a great noise as I was prophesying, then a great quaking, and the bones came together, bone by bone.
When I looked, suddenly there were sinews on them. The flesh appeared, and then they were covered over with skin. But there was still no breath in them.
He said to me, "Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, human one! Say to the breath, The LORD God proclaims: Come from the four winds, breath! Breathe into these dead bodies and let them live."
I prophesied just as he commanded me. When the breath entered them, they came to life and stood on their feet, an extraordinarily large company.
He said to me, "Human one, these bones are the entire house of Israel. They say, ‘Our bones are dried up, and our hope has perished. We are completely finished.'
So now, prophesy and say to them, The LORD God proclaims: I'm opening your graves! I will raise you up from your graves, my people, and I will bring you to Israel's fertile land.
You will know that I am the LORD, when I open your graves and raise you up from your graves, my people.
I will put my breath in you, and you will live. I will plant you on your fertile land, and you will know that I am the LORD. I've spoken, and I will do it. This is what the LORD says."
The LORD's word came to me:
You, human one, take a stick, and write on it, "Belonging to Judah and to the Israelites associated with him." Take another stick and write on it, "Stick of Ephraim belonging to Joseph and everyone of the house of Israel associated with him."
Join them to each other to make a single stick so that they become one stick in your hand.
When your people ask you, "Why won't you tell us what these sticks mean to you?"
say to them, The LORD God proclaims: I'm taking Joseph's stick, which has been in Ephraim's hand, and the tribes of Israel associated with him, and I'm putting it with Judah's stick, and I'm making them into a single stick so that they will be one stick in my hand.
When the two sticks that you've written on are in your hand in their sight,
speak to them, This is what the LORD God says: I will take the Israelites from among the nations where they've gone, I will gather them from all around, and I will bring them to their fertile land.
I will make them into a single nation in the land on Israel's highlands. There will be just one king for all of them. They will no longer be two nations, and they will no longer be divided into two kingdoms.
They will no longer defile themselves with their idols or their worthless things or with any of their rebellions. I will deliver them from all the places where they sinned, and I will cleanse them. They will be my people, and I will be their God.
My servant David will be king over them. There will be just one shepherd for all of them. They will follow my case laws and carefully observe my regulations.
They will live on the land that I gave to my servant Jacob, where their ancestors lived. They will live on it, they and their children and their grandchildren, forever. My servant David will be their prince forever.
I will make a covenant of peace for them. It will be their covenant forever. I will grant it to them and allow them to increase. I will set my sanctuary among them forever.
My dwelling will be with them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.
The nations will know that I, the LORD, make Israel holy, when my sanctuary is among them forever.