Jewzekiel 37 is Jewish; Make No Bones About It!

By Bill Salus

In the 1950’s Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion stated “Ezekiel 37 has been fulfilled, and the nation Israel is hearing the footsteps of the Messiah.” A similar acknowledgement was recently echoed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu this past January, 2010 during his Auschwitz speech. Both Prime Ministers insinuated that Ezekiel’s prophetic “Dry Bones Vision” had found fulfillment in the holocaust and subsequent restoration of the Jewish State.

Coincidence or providence, what prompted these last day’s Israeli leaders to stake exclusive claim of the Ezekiel 37 prophecies? Do they have the G-d given right to make such bold declarations?

Unfortunately, many Christian leaders teach G-d is done with the Jew and prophetic utterances like these above are entirely unfounded. They fail to see the prophetic significance of Israel today. To them, the Jewish State exists as the brainchild of the international community, rather than the miraculous working of G-d.

This heretical teaching in its truest form is called “Replacement Theology”. The derivative of this thinking permits the Church to hold end time’s Israel centered prophecies hostage. Ezekiel 37 is a case in point. Everything contained in this prophetic chapter is clearly Jewish. Both David Ben Gurion and Benjamin Netanyahu were fully justified in correlating the Ezekiel 37 prophecies with the Jewish people and their present Jewish State. Yet somehow, Replacement theologians find a way to substitute the Christian in place of the Jew.

For instance, Ezekiel 37:11-12 predicts the restoration of the nation Israel at a point in time whereby the Jewish people are dwelling outside of their homeland in a hopeless condition. Conversely, many Christians believe Ezekiel alludes to Christian resurrection rather than Jewish restoration. This is just one example of the Christian Church usurping itself in Israel’s stead.

Make no bones about it, the “Dry Bones Vision” described in Ezekiel 37 pertains to the end time’s Jew. In a nutshell this 2600 year old prophecy foretold the following:

1. The holocaust. (Ez. 37:1-2, 11)
2. Providential protection of the Jewish Race through the holocaust. (Ez. 37:4-9, 12-13)
3. The reestablishment of the Jewish State of Israel. (Ez. 37:12-13, 15-20,22)
4. The worldwide regathering of the Jews into Israel. (Ez. 37:4-8, 12-13,21))
5. The emergence of the Israeli Defense Forces (I.D.F.). (Ez. 37:9-10)
6. The national salvation of Israel. (Ez. 37:14, 23)
7. Israel's existence in the Messianic Kingdom. (Ez. 24-28)

Curiously, many eschatologist seldom mention Ezekiel’s apparent allusion to the I.D.F. in Ezekiel 37: 9-10. In light of serious present existential threats posed to Israel by Iran and its proxies, Syria, Hezbollah, and Hamas, perhaps these passages deserve a closer look. Historically, Israeli posterity was often preserved through divine military empowerment. Current volatile Mideast events suggest the need for similar precedent.

The Dry Bones Vision opens with an extremely important discourse between the Lord and His prophet. It begins with the question; And He said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” (Ez. 37:3a) Paraphrased, the question is perhaps better asked; “Ezekiel will the Jewish people survive the genocidal attempt of the holocaust?”

Promptly, the prophet diverts the question back to the Lord who, centuries prior, promised in Genesis 13:15, 22:17 and elsewhere that the Jews would exist eternally. So I answered, “O Lord GOD, You know.” (Ez. 37:3b) In so doing, Ezekiel put God’s covenant making character in the limelight, which was obviously the Lord’s intention.

Ezekiel gets his answer several passages later; Also He said to me, “Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live.”’” So I prophesied as He commanded me, and breath came into them, and they lived, and stood upon their feet, an exceedingly great army. (Ez. 37:9-10, NKJV)

It appears these dry bones were destined to live and emerge into a powerful army. Reading between the prophetic lines this suggested that some event or sequence of events would occur during the regathering of the Jews into Israel transforming them from refugees into the I.D.F. These two Ezekiel passages in addition to numerous others found in Ezekiel 25:14, Obadiah 1:18, Jeremiah 49:2, Isaiah 11:14, Isaiah 19:16-17, Zephaniah 2:9 and Zechariah 12:6 appear to indentify the I.D.F. in fulfillment of bible prophecy. One Arab assault after another has necessitated their emergence.

Their prophetic role of the I.D.F. is detailed in my book Isralestine, The Ancient Blueprints of the Future Middle East and the supporting article; Ezekiel’s Dry Bones Can Fight. Thus, this article is not intended to discuss their end time’s role, rather to substantiate their potential existence in Ezekiel 37:9-10. Many eschatologists don’t believe Ezekiel refers to the I.D.F. in these passages. Some suggest he describes the return of a vast multitude of Jews into their homeland.

However, there are some important interpretive details to consider when deciphering Ezekiel 37:9-10. The Hebrew word Ezekiel uses in verse 10 for army is, "chayil," and it is used 12 times elsewhere by Ezekiel and over 225 times throughout the Old Testament. Most all of Ezekiel’s usages, and many Old Testament renderings, clearly depict it as either an army or riches acquired via the spoils obtained in the aftermath of a war. Ezekiel’s specific usages are as follows;

Ezek. 17:17 Pharaoh’s army
Ezek. 26:12 Babylonian army taking “riches” or spoil from victory over Tyre
Ezek. 27:10-11 armies of Tyre
Ezek. 28:4-5 riches acquired by the ruler of Tyre
Ezek. 29:18-19 Nebuchadnezzer’s army
Ezek. 32:31 Pharaoh’s army
Ezek. 37:10 Israel’s army
Ezek. 38:4, 15 armies of Gog of Magog

Further supporting the proper interpretation being an army, the following Bible translations interpret chayil to be an “army”: King James Version, New King James Version, American Standard Version, New American Standard Bible, New International Version, New Living Translation, New Century Version, and The Living Bible.

Conversely, the Revised Standard Version translates the word as “host”. The New Revised Standard Version calls it a “multitude”. Therefore two valid interpretations exist. Ezekiel was identifying either a great army, or great multitude emerging in the aftermath of the holocaust.

At the time of the holocaust approximately eleven million Jews lived in Europe and the surrounding areas. Hitler intended to eliminate them all. The Nazi’s successfully exterminated six million Jews before their genocidal efforts were thwarted by the allied forces. This poses the question; considering billions of Gentiles existed worldwide at that time compared to only several million surviving Jews, does this adequately constitute a vast host or great multitude of Jews?

The answer to this question is probably not, however, Dr. Mark Hitchcock draws an interesting conclusion suggesting this multitude could represent two groups of Jews returning in differing phases. He says;

While I agree with Netanyahu’s statement that Ezekiel 37 is being fulfilled in the regathering of the Jewish people to their ancient homeland, I don’t believe that prophecy has been completely fulfilled. Ezekiel 37 predicts a physical return of the people first to the land and then a spiritual return of the people to the Lord (37:9-10). The Jewish people have returned to their land, but their spiritual return to the Lord is still future (Zech 12:10). Their regathering to the land, however, is the first phase, and we are seeing it fulfilled before our eyes.”

Perhaps Dr. Hitchcock’s assessment encompassing a broader scope of returning Jews could be what Ezekiel foretold. Contextually, his interpretation of Ezekiel 37:9-10 flows well into Ezekiel 37:11-14, which speaks of the restoration of the Jews into the reestablished State of Israel in two phases, first in unbelief (v11-13) and then in belief (v14).

Correspondingly though, the Jews presently regather in unbelief and have been forced to form into an army as a result of their modern day Arab and Persian enemies. Thus the exceedingly great army interpretation also meets Ezekiel’s description.

As notated above, the I.D.F. is located in numerous passages enabling eschatologists, Israeli Prime Ministers, and other interested parties the ability to clearly identify their biblical whereabouts. Whether Ezekiel 37:9-10 should be included in the lengthy list or not is still debatable. However in my estimation, current Mideast events coupled with the reasons listed above tip the scale in favor of the great army over the vast multitude interpretation.


Anonymous said...

In response about Mark Hitchcock's message:

The spritual restoration or national conversion of the Jewish people will come at Christ's Second Advent.

Here are the verses that remind us about Christ's bold statements toward the Jewish people. First, the Jews were scattered without a homeland after the fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD and since then, their house was left to them desolate. Second, Israel will never have peace until the LORD returns for the second time. That's why Israel fought at least six regional wars since her rebirth. They can feel confidence or secure, but they won't have true lasting peace until the Prince of peace returns. So therefore, in the future events, Israel will face more wars. To this very day, Jesus was right about lack of peace among the Jewish people in the nation of Israel. Those words are very powerful:

38Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.

39For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.

In other verse:

If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes.

Today, peace has been hidden or removed from their eyes. How true are the words of Jesus Christ!

March 2, 2010 7:11 PM

Anonymous said...

Let's imagine this for a moment, Bill.

Supposedly, IDF moved so swiftly to destroy your version of Psalm 83 War and utterly defeated the enemies. Then Israel is basking themselves in glory and rest.

Then later, a greater force began to make their own war strategy called Gog/Magog coalition. In this war, many, many troops are involved and outnumbered Psalm 83 War. So you expect that Israel will not move her swift feet to attack them OR Israel will sit idly by and watch Gog's troops slowly moving toward their borders? Now think about this. Should they have already learned from their previous war lesson (Psalm 83)? My point is, surely, Israel won't be so blindly if they can see massive troop movement by Russia and not pull any trigger, right? If Israel can strike so suddenly and quickly from Psalm 83, then why would they be a little slower and let the invaders from Gog's coalition to storm the land? Shall we get your response?

Mark said...

This is offered in response to the 2 comments by "Anonymous"

With all due respect to Anonymous #1: It is the remnant of Y'israel that calls Yeshua Hammashiach back at the end of the Tribulation, and once Yeshua returns conversion is over for everyone. Thus all Jewish people left at time of Yeshua arrival, will be believers or they will meet the same fate that all as the unsaved gentiles - the Sheep and Goat Judgment. The regathering in belief Isaiah speaks of, includes the 144,000 Jewish evangelist and any other Messianic Jews scattered across the earth, which is what Brother Hitchcock is speaking of, but as I said, they will be believers BEFORE Yeshua's second coming, not converted as a result of His coming. Just as with the rapture of the Church, once Yeshua comes in the air to receive His bride with a shout to "Come Up Here", the Church will be complete, and no one else will be able to become apart of it. Yes, there will be Tribulation Saints... believers who come to the Father through Christ during the time after the rapture, but they will not be a part of the Church, just as the Old Testament Saints are not a part of the Church. We, the Church are the Bride of Christ, and will have a different role than the Old Testament Jewish believers and the Tribulation Jewish Believers who are the wife of YHWH, as will Tribulation Saints of gentile heritage and the gentile believers from the Millennial Kingdom receive a different reward and place in the eternal order; just as there are different classes of angels in Heaven, so too will there be different classes of believers... according to their heritage and when they came to know and believe in the Messiah.

Mark said...

In regards to Anonymous #2's comments:

After the Y'israel delivers a crippling blow to Iran's nuclear and military facilities, Iran will not be perceived as a threat any longer. The catastrophic defeat of the Sunni Muslim countries and terrorist organization, as well as Damascus' utter and complete destruction by a nuclear weapon, will stun the world, and cause the rest of the Middle East countries, to take pause and walk very gingerly around Y'israel. The occupation and/or annex of Jordan, Lebanon, part of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and possibly Syria will further boaster Y'israel's feelings of security. The wealth from the petroleum resources captured along with their recent natural gas and oil finds in Y'israel will be enormous, and it will give Y'israel the ability to control a large portion of petroleum production, which will further occupy Y'israel's attention. In the mean time, Russia and possibly North Korea and China will secretly re-arm Iran with nuclear weapons, I think hidden in humanitarian aid - food & fuel shipments or possibly via submarine delivery since Iran has access to the gulf. While the Bible tells us that North Korea and China don't actively participate in the Gog-Magog battle, they very well could supply arms and equipment in order to receive special petroleum deals after the Russian's and their coalition "liberate" the captured Arab lands that will then be part of Greater Y'israel, as well as the Y'israeli Natural gas fields and other resources such as technology (Y'israel has some of the Most High Tech in the world). Only a select and trusted few of Iran's military forces will be trusted with the knowledge of the new weapons, and secret negotiations with the other Ezekiel Coalition members will be conducted, so that when the go is given, Y'israel will not see it coming until the Gog-Magog force is in full motion - a combination of tactical air and missile strikes, coordinated with an all out ground & Navel assault by Gog/Magog coalition forces! Who is to say that these ground and navel forces may come in disguised as UN Peace Keeping forces to aid the refugees from the occupied areas.

So while I agree that Y'israel is very good in intelligence gathering, I know they are not omnipresent or omniscient, and even they can make mistakes and/or be fooled. I also think that the Father's "hooks" that bring in the Gog/Magog forces, is giving them ability to remain hidden from Y'israeli intelligence forces.

That's my thoughts on it. Blessings to all!

Maranatha! Mark

Anonymous said...

To Mark,

My opinion is that the current Russian leader doesn't have any guts to start this war. I don't think he fits perfectly as GOG.

As you know, Russia has plenty of nukes and they are not far from Israel. However, I don't think Iran will have nukes ready by then. I think Iranian nuclear program would still be in early stage. Perhaps they might be long way to go to develop nukes. My point? Russia doesn't need to send troops if they have plenty of nukes. They can nuke Israel very easily. At this point, I do not understand why Gog needs ground troops. That's why Israel will bury them as a largest mass grave because there are so many troops involved in this war. Many bodies to be buried. I know that Russia can nuke them no problem. But when we know that God promised that Israel will not be removed from the land. But why ground troops rather than nukes?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Mark,

My opinion is that the current Russian leader doesn't have any guts to start this war. I don't think he fits perfectly as GOG.

As you know, Russia has plenty of nukes and they are not far from Israel. However, I don't think Iran will have nukes ready by then. I think Iranian nuclear program would still be in early stage. Perhaps they might be long way to go to develop nukes. My point? Russia doesn't need to send troops if they have plenty of nukes. They can nuke Israel very easily. At this point, I do not understand why Gog needs ground troops.

Anonymous, with all due respect, Putin fits the "Gog" character of Ezekiel very nicely. Yes, Russia does have nukes and could vaporize the entire Middle East and have nukes left over, however, notice in Ezekiel 38 the reason for the war... to plunder Y'israel, not to just wipe them out. Thus, if Russia just nukes the whole of Y'israel, then any petroleum resources and high-tech technologies, save for the Natural Gas fields off the coast would be unusable for several centuries. In order to lay a claim on the plunder, Russia will need ground troops there to take and secure them. Another reason for a very limited nuclear attack is the resulting fallout that would fall on Russia's allies. One last reason for Russian troop being there, and that is that Putin loves crushing his enemies under the Russian boot heel, remember Georgia a couple of years ago? But Russia isn't the only source of troops... Turkey has a very substantial ground force, as does Iran, and the other countries in the coalition have significant numbers of ground troops they can commit to the campaign. If nukes are used, they will be tactical nukes targeting mostly Y'israeli military and command centers.

As for the Iranian nuclear program, all the Iranian mad man needs is a single atomic bomb to initiate the world chaos he believes will bring forth their 12th Imam. He isn't in the nuclear weapons program for defensive reasons, but rather offensive desires... to draw Y'israel in to an all out war with all of the Islamic world. With that said, back in the 3rd quarter of 09, Iran already had enough fissionable material to refine for the construction of at least 2 Hiroshima size bombs. The problem is, most of the time, such programs as the Iranian atomic weapons program are often several months ahead of where we (our intelligence agencies) think they are. I trust the Y'israeli intelligent agencies have a better spy network than we do, or they may find a mushroom cloud over what used to be Tel Aviv.

I personally think Y'israel will do a great job of destroying most if not all of Iran's nuclear program when it attacks, and that is one of the reasons Y'israel lowers its guard. Y'israel will not know about Russia, North Korea and China's re-armament of Iran, which could include tactical nukes.

That's my thoughts on it anyway.

Blessings to you and yours!

Maranatha! Mark

Anonymous said...

To Mark:

If you learn from Second Lebanon War, IDF entered the villages of southern Lebanon.

I believe Gog's war strategy with the ground troops is go after the unwalled villages at the northern part of Israel. Some say that "SWORD" "RESTORED" from Ezekiel may apply to Golan Heights. Syria wants this land back. We don't know when Damascus will be destroyed. My point is, if Syria wants to start a war, they may not attack large cities beyond northern border. They would go to villages at nearby disputed border. I believe Gog's war strategy is to target at those unwalled villages and work their way to plunder/spoil. They will not drop their parachute troopers on Jerusalem or Tel Aviv. It's important to understand the location for the largest burial site for dead soldiers that Ezekiel wrote about it. I don't think Gog is describing Jerusalem nor Tel Aviv as a land of unwalled villages. I don't believe Gog was referring to the entire state of Israel because there are cities as well. I think the motive is to capture some lands. If they want the whole land or nation of Israel, then they might as well as nuke them. I think it is about disputed territory. Some of you believe in Psalm 83 War that they called to wipe away the nation of Israel while Ezekiel 38 War is not about wiping the whole nation of Israe, but to plunder/spoil. When you have many troops involved on ground, you will go and move slowly.

Saint Michael said...

It is said that Israel villagers and city folks will come to the war location that they will burn fuel or weapons for seven years.

Now think about it for a moment. In order to burn weapons or fuel for almost a decade, it would take lengthy time to move those massive killing machine in place and then in time of war, these killing machines will move into Israeli territory. Not only that, you would have many, many, many soldiers involved and scatter them on the mountains of Israel. It takes time to build up and deploy these soldiers. That, I believe, when Gog begins to pull his trigger, God's Judgment will come very swiftly. That's the game plan. God loves surprises.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said: I don't think Gog is describing Jerusalem nor Tel Aviv as a land of unwalled villages. I don't believe Gog was referring to the entire state of Israel because there are cities as well. I think the motive is to capture some lands. If they want the whole land or nation of Israel, then they might as well as nuke them. I think it is about disputed territory. Some of you believe in Psalm 83 War that they called to wipe away the nation of Israel while Ezekiel 38 War is not about wiping the whole nation of Israe, but to plunder/spoil. When you have many troops involved on ground, you will go and move slowly.

I appreciate you input, but when describing a "land of Un-walled villages", they are talking about the whole of Y'israel, not a part of it, as I mentioned in an earlier post concerning this, it says in verse 11, 'All' dwelling in un-walled villages and in safety. YHWH isn't talking about part of Y'israel, but ALL of it. Syria, Hezbollah, Hamas and the rest of the Arab States aren't interested in a part of Y'israel, but rather wiping it off the face of the earth, a point that was made abundantly in a meeting that happen at the end of February when the Iranian President, Hezbollah's head man and Syria's leader all met in Syria to discuss wiping Y'israel off the face of the earth. This goes along with the prophecies in the Bible, for according to the prophecy writers, both Psalms 83 and Ezekiel 38-39 goals share a common thread - to utterly destroy Y'israel. The only difference is that the Ezekiel 38-39 coalition will also be interested in looting and pillaging, whereas the Psalm 83:4
4 They have said, “Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation, That the name of Israel may be remembered no more.”

Again, the reason nuclear attacks from either coalition will be to a minimum in my humble opinion is due to the fact that fallout would fall on Islamic countries and the possibility of contamination to the Dome of the Rock.

As for the "When you have many troops involved on ground, you will go and move slowly.", did you sleep through the Gulf Wars, or not hear about the Invasion of Poland, France or Belgium during World War II, or what about Georgia's invasion a couple of years ago by Russia? I expect both battles - Psalm 83 & Ezekiel 38-39 to have the same characteristic of most 20th/21st century major battles... Blitzkrieg style ground assault coupled with a "Shock & Awe" air campaign. I think the Gog/Magog forces will not make the mistake the U.S. did with Iraq by a open build up of force before the Ezekiel 38-39 battle. By the time the world and Y'israel knows there is a large force gathering, the attack will come, before they can respond or prepare. Remember part of the pre-conditions... Y'israel has an exceedingly Great Army... one that I think has just wiped out the Psalm 83 Confederacy and has taken much of their former enemies lands... Russia & friends won't want there to be a chance of this "Exceedingly Great Army" being prepared for them and inflicting significant damage to their forces. They will strive to deliver quick and massive blows to Y'israel's military forces via air, followed quickly by the invasion forces... before Y'israel can recover from the air campaign and set up a defense. When you see a slow deliberate build up of an enemy force on a countries borders, usually it is in order to apply intimidation get the country to agree to the enemies' demands, not in preparation for war. The U.S.'s slow build up of forces was as much to try and intimidate Iraq into complying with U.N. Sanctions, as it was to get ready for a war. As I said earlier, both Psalm 83 and Ezekiel 38-39 events are not interested in intimidation nor simple territorial disputes, but rather to utterly kill every Jew alive and wipe the nation of Y'israel off the face of the earth... sound familiar?

Blessings to all!

Maranatha! Mark

Saint Michael said...


Please understand that I don't believe that Israel will tear down their walls as long as Persia or Iran remains as their biggest enemy or threat. Settler will always carry their weapons and will not tear down their own gates within their settlement. That's their nature. There are many villages in Israel that you do not have WALLS. Do you really expect Israel to drop their guard and open up their borders even if they pushed upward or invaded more territories after your version of Psalm 83 WAR. Iran has supported Hamas and Hizbo. If both Hamas and Hizbos are destroyed by IDF, then Iran will find its way to support terrorism against Israel. Remember, Islam with their radical terrorists still stand by their Koran because Ezekiel 38-39 proves that the threat of another jihad war is still alive. You see, after your version of Pslam 83 War, you still have Islamic nations going in for another round of battle against Israel. They'll be chanting that Allah is the greatest. My point is, Iranian and Islamic threat are still there after Psalm 83 War. That's why I don't think Israel will tear down the walls as long as Persian threat and radical Islamic terrorists are alive.

Rodney said...

An "exceedingly great army" must be the same identification as is found in the Exodus from Egypt, when the armies of the House of Israel were brought out of bondage. The interesting fact is at that time they had no established military structure. This passage in Ezekiel 37does not refer to a military application but sheer numbers.

Time to put down that old horse known as the Psalm 83 theory and stop beating it to death. The Israeli military is in decline, even failing to be able to draft enough combat troops. The Hezbollah/Israeli conflict of 2006 clearly identified the deterioration of the IDF and command structure.

Bill Salus said...

Rodney you’re back blogging on my site again. Oddly, you don't subscibe to my Psalm 83 prophetic postulation, but you certainly seem to frequent my site on a regular basis. I'm honored.

By the way Psalm 83 isn't an old horse, rather it's a relatively new hypothesis.

The I.D.F. is not in decline, they are sharper than ever and the world will probably witness this fact shortly. What they lacked in the Hezbollah conflict they made up for in the Hamas conflict. News reports indicate that volunteers for combat units and are significantly up.

Also Asaph, the author of Psalm 83 didn't petition God to deal with the Arabs like in Exodus, he petitioned for something similar to the victories of Gideon and Barak in the book of Judges. (reread Psalm 83:9-11 to see what I mean).

The exceedingly great army has historical precendents in Exodus, judges, and elsewhere, but the I.D.F. of today may set the bar even higher in dealing with Ps. 83

Even if you don't see the I.D.F. in Ezekiel 37:10, you still have to grapple with: Ezekiel 25:14, Obadiah 1:18, Jeremiah 49:2, Isaiah 11:14, Isaiah 19:16-17, Zephaniah 2:9 and Zechariah 12:6

Anonymous said...

What if the comments relating to the great armies are literal? What if there is a need to resort back waves of men in order to accomplish a military goal? What if there were severe limitations on the use of technological weapons and the expedient methods of transportation?