25 May 2013

Ezekiel 37:1-14

“So I prophesied as I had been commanded; and as I prophesied, suddenly there was a noise, a rattling, and the bones came together, bone to its bone. I looked, and there were sinews on them, and flesh had come upon them, and skin had covered them; but there was no breath in them. Then he said to me, ‘Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, mortal, and say to the breath: Thus says the Lord GOD: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.’ I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood on their feet, a vast multitude.” (vv. 7-10)


Ezekiel was living and prophesying at a time when the community of Israel was in exile and decimated. Like dry and bleached bones they are spread out on the valley floor with an illustrious past but no future. Their hope of new life is totally dependent on the living word of God being spoken over them by the prophet. Their hope of resurrection depends entirely on the breath, the wind, the spirit of the living God.

To Ponder

  • The Spirit that breathes creation into existence is the Spirit that overshadows Mary at the incarnation (Luke 1:35), is the Spirit that raises Christ from the dead (Romans 8:11), is the Spirit that brings the Church into being at Pentecost (Acts 2) and is the Spirit that brings every Christian to birth (Romans 8:11).
  • Try praying this traditional prayer: "Come from the four winds, O Breath of God, and breathe upon the dry bones of those who say they are yours."

Bible notes author

The Revd Prebendary Norman Wallwork

Norman Wallwork is a supernumerary Methodist minister and a retail chaplain in central Exeter. He is also a prebendary or canon of Wells Cathedral.