1. The hand of Yahweh was on me; he carried me away by the spirit of Yahweh and set me down in the middle of the valley, a valley full of bones.

2. He made me walk up and down and all around among them. There were vast quantities of these bones on the floor of the valley; and they were completely dry.

3. He said to me, 'Son of man, can these bones live?' I said, 'You know, Lord Yahweh.'

4. He said, 'Prophesy over these bones. Say, "Dry bones, hear the word of Yahweh.

5. The Lord Yahweh says this to these bones: I am now going to make breath enter you, and you will live.

6. I shall put sinews on you, I shall make flesh grow on you, I shall cover you with skin and give you breath, and you will live; and you will know that I am Yahweh." '

7. I prophesied as I had been ordered. While I was prophesying, there was a noise, a clattering sound; it was the bones coming together.

8. And as I looked, they were covered with sinews; flesh was growing on them and skin was covering them, yet there was no breath in them.

9. He said to me, 'Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man. Say to the breath, "The Lord Yahweh says this: Come from the four winds, breath; breathe on these dead, so that they come to life!" '

10. I prophesied as he had ordered me, and the breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet, a great, an immense army.

11. Then he said, 'Son of man, these bones are the whole House of Israel. They keep saying, "Our bones are dry, our hope has gone; we are done for."

12. So, prophesy. Say to them, "The Lord Yahweh says this: I am now going to open your graves; I shall raise you from your graves, my people, and lead you back to the soil of Israel.

13. And you will know that I am Yahweh, when I open your graves and raise you from your graves, my people,

14. and put my spirit in you, and you revive, and I resettle you on your own soil. Then you will know that I, Yahweh, have spoken and done this -- declares the Lord Yahweh." '

15. The word of Yahweh was addressed to me as follows,

16. 'Son of man, take a stick and write on it, "Judah and those Israelites loyal to him." Take another stick and write on it, "Joseph (Ephraim's wood) and all the House of Israel loyal to him."

17. 'Join one to the other to make a single piece of wood, a single stick in your hand.

18. And when the members of your nation say, "Will you not tell us what you mean?"

19. say, "The Lord Yahweh says this: I am taking the stick of Joseph (now in Ephraim's hand) and those tribes of Israel loyal to him and shall join them to the stick of Judah. I shall make one stick out of the two, a single stick in my hand."

20. 'When the pieces of wood you have written on are in your hand in full sight of them,

21. say, "The Lord Yahweh says this: I shall take the Israelites from the nations where they have gone. I shall gather them to- gether from everywhere and bring them home to their own soil.

22. I shall make them into one nation in the country, on the mountains of Israel, and one king is to be king of them all; they will no longer form two nations, nor be two separate kingdoms.

23. They will no longer defile themselves with their foul idols, their horrors and any of their crimes. I shall save them from the acts of infidelity which they have committed and shall cleanse them; they will be my people and I shall be their God.

24. My servant David will reign over them, one shepherd for all; they will follow my judgements, respect my laws and practise them.

25. They will live in the country which I gave to my servant Jacob, the country in which your ancestors lived. They will live in it, they, their children, their children's children, for ever. David my servant is to be their prince for ever.

26. I shall make a covenant of peace with them, an eternal covenant with them. I shall resettle them and make them grow; I shall set my sanctuary among them for ever.

27. I shall make my home above them; I shall be their God, and they will be my people.

28. And the nations will know that I am Yahweh the sanctifier of Israel, when my sanctuary is with them for ever." '



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