“Son of man, prophesy to the mountains of Israel. Tell them, ‘Mountains of Israel, listen to the Lord’s message. The Lord and King says, “Your enemies made fun of you. They bragged, ‘The hills you lived in for a long time belong to us now.’ ” ’ Ezekiel, prophesy. Say, ‘The Lord and King says, “Your enemies destroyed you. They crushed you from every side. So the rest of the nations took over your land. People talked about you. They told lies about you.” ’ ” Mountains of Israel, listen to the message of the Lord and King. He speaks to you mountains, hills, canyons and valleys. He speaks to you destroyed cities and deserted towns. The rest of the nations around you took away from you everything of value. They made fun of you. So the Lord and King says, “I am very angry with those nations. I have spoken against them and the whole land of Edom. They were very happy when they took over my land. Deep down inside them, they hated Israel. They wanted to take its grasslands. Ezekiel, prophesy about the land of Israel. Speak to the mountains, hills, canyons and valleys. Tell them, ‘The Lord and King says, “I have a jealous anger against the nations. They have laughed at you.” So the Lord and King says, “I raise my hand and make a promise. I promise that the nations around you will also be laughed at.
“ ‘ “Mountains of Israel, you will produce branches and bear fruit for my people Israel. They will come home soon. I am concerned about you. I will do good things for you. Farmers will plow your ground. They will plant seeds in it. I will cause many people to live in Israel. The towns will no longer be empty. Their broken-down houses will be rebuilt. I will cause many people and animals to live in you, Israel. They will have many babies. I will cause people to make their homes in your towns, just as I did in the past. I will help you succeed more than ever before. Then you will know that I am the Lord. I will let my people Israel live there again. They will possess you. They will receive you as their own. You will never take their children away from them again.” ’ ”
The Lord and King says, “People say to you mountains, ‘You destroy people. You let your nation’s children be taken away.’ But I will not let you destroy people anymore. I will no longer let your nation’s children be taken away,” announces the Lord and King. “You will not have to listen to the nations laughing at you anymore. People will no longer make fun of you. You will not let your nation fall,” announces the Lord and King.
Another message from the Lord came to me. The Lord said, “Son of man, the people of Israel used to live in their own land. But they made it ‘unclean’ because of how they acted and the way they lived. To me they were ‘unclean’ like a woman having her monthly period. They spilled people’s blood in the land. They made the land ‘unclean’ by worshiping other gods. So I poured out my great anger on them. I scattered them among the nations. I sent them to other countries. I judged them based on how they acted and on how they lived. They treated my name as if it were not holy. They did it everywhere they went among the nations. People said about them, ‘They are the Lord’s people. But they were forced to leave his land.’ I was concerned about my holy name. The people of Israel treated it as if it were not holy. They did it everywhere they went among the nations.
“So tell the Israelites, ‘The Lord and King speaks. He says, “People of Israel, I will not take action for your benefit. Instead, I will act for the honor of my holy name. You have treated it as if it were not holy. You did it everywhere you went among the nations. But I will show everyone how holy my great name is. You have treated it as if it were not holy. So I will use you to prove to the nations how holy I am. Then they will know that I am the Lord,” announces the Lord and King.
“ ‘ “I will take you out of the nations. I will gather you together from all the countries. I will bring you back into your own land. I will sprinkle pure water on you. Then you will be ‘clean.’ I will make you completely pure and ‘clean.’ I will take all the statues of your gods away from you. I will give you new hearts. I will give you a new spirit that is faithful to me. I will remove your stubborn hearts from you. I will give you hearts that obey me. I will put my Spirit in you. I will make you want to obey my rules. I want you to be careful to keep my laws. Then you will live in the land I gave your people of long ago. You will be my people. And I will be your God. I will save you from all your ‘uncleanness.’ I will give you plenty of grain. You will have more than enough. So you will never be hungry again. I will multiply the fruit on your trees. I will increase the crops in your fields. Then the nations will no longer make fun of you because you are hungry. You will remember your evil ways and the sinful things you have done. You will hate yourselves because you have sinned so much. I also hate your evil practices. I want you to know that I am not doing those things for your benefit,” announces the Lord and King. “People of Israel, you should be ashamed of yourselves! Your conduct has brought dishonor to you.” ’ ”
The Lord and King says, “I will make you pure from all your sins. On that day I will give you homes in your towns again. Your broken-down houses will be rebuilt. The dry and empty land will be farmed again. Everyone who passes through it will see that it is no longer empty. They will say, ‘This land was completely destroyed. But now it’s like the Garden of Eden. The cities were full of broken-down buildings. They were destroyed and empty. But now they have high walls around them. And people live in them.’ Then the nations that remain around you will know that I have rebuilt what was once destroyed. I have planted again the fields that were once empty. I have spoken. And I will do this. I am the Lord.”
The Lord and King says, “Once again I will answer Israel’s prayer. Here is what I will do for them. I will multiply them as if they were sheep. Large flocks of animals are sacrificed at Jerusalem during the appointed feasts there. In the same way, the destroyed cities will be filled with flocks of people. Then they will know that I am the Lord.”
37The power of the Lord came on me. His Spirit brought me away from my home. He put me down in the middle of a valley. It was full of bones. He led me back and forth among them. I saw a huge number of bones in the valley. The bones were very dry. The Lord asked me, “Son of man, can these bones live?”
I said, “Lord and King, you are the only one who knows.”
Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones. Tell them, ‘Dry bones, listen to the Lord’s message. The Lord and King speaks to you. He says, “I will put breath in you. Then you will come to life again. I will attach tendons to you. I will put flesh on you. I will cover you with skin. So I will put breath in you. And you will come to life again. Then you will know that I am the Lord.” ’ ”
So I prophesied just as the Lord commanded me to. As I was prophesying, I heard a noise. It was a rattling sound. The bones came together. One bone connected itself to another. I saw tendons and flesh appear on them. Skin covered them. But there was no breath in them.
Then the Lord said to me, “Prophesy to the breath. Prophesy, son of man. Tell it, ‘The Lord and King says, “Breath, come from all four directions. Go into these people who have been killed. Then they can live.” ’ ” So I prophesied just as he commanded me to. And breath entered them. Then they came to life again. They stood up on their feet. They were like a huge army.
Then the Lord said to me, “Son of man, these bones stand for all the people of Israel. The people say, ‘Our bones are dried up. We’ve lost all hope. We are destroyed.’ So prophesy. Tell them, ‘The Lord and King says, “My people, I am going to open up your graves. I am going to bring you out of them. I will take you back to the land of Israel. So I will open up your graves and bring you out of them. Then you will know that I am the Lord. You are my people. I will put my Spirit in you. And you will live again. I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I have spoken. I have done it,” announces the Lord.’ ”
A message from the Lord came to me. The Lord said, “Son of man, get a stick of wood. Write on it, ‘Belonging to the tribe of Judah and the Israelites who are connected with it.’ Then get another stick. Write on it, ‘Ephraim’s stick. Belonging to the tribes of Joseph and all the Israelites connected with them.’ Join them together into one stick in your hand.
“Your people will ask you, ‘What do you mean by this?’ Tell them, ‘The Lord and King says, “I am going to get the stick of Joseph and the Israelites connected with it. That stick is in Ephraim’s hand. I am going to join it to Judah’s stick. I will make them a single stick of wood in my hand.” ’ Show them the sticks you wrote on. Tell them, ‘The Lord and King says, “I will take the Israelites out of the nations where they have gone. I will gather them together from all around. I will bring them back to their own land. There I will make them one nation. They will live on the mountains of Israel. All of them will have one king. They will never be two nations again. They will never again be separated into two kingdoms. They will no longer make themselves ‘unclean’ by worshiping any of their evil gods. They will not do wrong things anymore. They always turn away from me. But I will save them from that sin. I will make them pure and ‘clean.’ They will be my people. And I will be their God.
“ ‘ “A man who belongs to the family line of my servant David will be their king. All of them will have one shepherd. They will obey my laws. And they will be careful to keep my rules. They will live in the land I gave to my servant Jacob. That is where your people of long ago lived. They, their children, their children’s children, and their children after them will live there forever. And my servant from David’s family line will be their prince forever. I will make a covenant with them. It promises to give them peace. The covenant will last forever. I will make them my people. And I will cause there to be many of them. I will put my temple among them forever. I will live with them. I will be their God. And they will be my people. My temple will be among them forever. Then the nations will know that I make Israel holy. I am the Lord.” ’ ”
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