HH, Sir Godfrey Gregg D.Div
Ezekiel’s Vision of the Valley of Dry Bones: What Does It Mean?
The prophet Ezekiel saw a vision of vast numbers of people resurrected to live again as physical human beings. What is the meaning of this mystifying vision, and what does it teach us about JEHOVAH’s plan?
From early youth, Ezekiel had been educated and trained to be a priest in the kingdom of Judah. But his hopes and dreams had been dashed by King Nebuchadnezzar’s invasion, taking him and other young Jews captive to Babylon. Now far separated from the temple in Jerusalem, how could his education and training be of any real value? There was no need to worry. JEHOVAH God was looking after His own. The Creator had called Ezekiel to be a great prophet, ranked alongside Isaiah and Jeremiah.
Christian writer Christopher Wright put it this way: “So while we can value all the positive contributions that Ezekiel’s education and training as a priest brought to his prophetic ministry, we must also appreciate the immense personal, professional and theological shock it must have been to him…[Yet] God would use all that He had…built into Ezekiel’s life during his years of preparation” (Read the book “The Message of Ezekiel, 2001, p. 27).
When he was 30 years old, Ezekiel began to experience astonishing visions from JEHOVAH God Almighty. Perhaps in a personal diary, he recorded the exact date on which the first vision occurred: “Now it came to pass in the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, on the fifth day of the month, as I was among the captives by the River Chebar, that the heavens were opened and I saw visions of God” (Ezekiel 1:1).
The invisible barriers between heaven and earth were supernaturally parted for Ezekiel. But what did this prophet actually see in vision? Moving beyond the introductory revelation of the awesome angelic realm, we will look at verses 26 and 28. “And above the firmament that was over their heads was the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone: and upon the likeness of the throne was the likeness as the appearance of a man above upon it. and verse 28 As the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness round about. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. And when I saw it, I fell upon my face, and I heard a voice of one that spake.”
Ezekiel initially reacted just like the prophet Daniel and the apostles Paul and John did later. “So when I saw it, I fell on my face, and I heard a voice of One [JEHOVAH God] speaking. And He said to me, ‘Son of man, stand on your feet, and I will speak to you’…And He said to me; ‘Son of man, I am sending you to the children of Israel’” (Ezekiel 1:28; 2:1-3). JEHOVAH gave Ezekiel a great mission to accomplish. He had important announcements to make.
These were intended to reach people far beyond his own time to people down through the ages. And one important vision would serve to encourage all who have ever lived in facing the same remorseless enemy — the seemingly hopeless ending of life in death.
TO BE CONTINUED TOMORROW …