Ezekiel 37

1The hand of Hashem came upon me. He took me out by the spirit of Hashem and set me down in the valley. It was full of bones.

אהָיְתָה עָלַי יַד־יְהֹוָה וַיּוֹצִאֵנִי בְרוּחַ יְהֹוָה וַיְנִיחֵנִי בְּתוֹךְ הַבִּקְעָה וְהִיא מְלֵאָה עֲצָמוֹת׃

2He led me all around them; there were very many of them spread over the valley, and they were very dry.

בוְהֶעֱבִירַנִי עֲלֵיהֶם סָבִיב סָבִיב וְהִנֵּה רַבּוֹת מְאֹד עַל־פְּנֵי הַבִּקְעָה וְהִנֵּה יְבֵשׁוֹת מְאֹד׃

3He said to me, “O mortal, can these bones live again?” I replied, “O Hashem, only You know.”

va-YO-mer ay-LAI ben a-DAM ha-tikh-YE-nah ha-a-tza-MOT ha-AY-leh va-o-MAR a-do-NAI e-lo-HEEM a-TAH ya-DA-ta

גוַיֹּאמֶר אֵלַי בֶּן־אָדָם הֲתִחְיֶינָה הָעֲצָמוֹת הָאֵלֶּה וָאֹמַר אֲדֹנָי יְהוִה אַתָּה יָדָעְתָּ׃

 37:3 ‘O mortal, can these bones live again?’

The Masada Valley.

This chapter contains Yechezkel’s well-known vision of the valley in which dry bones come to life. There could be no greater metaphor for the restoration of the Jewish people to their land. Yisrael and Yehuda have been destroyed, the people scattered to the four corners of the earth. Just as no one could imagine that dead bones could live again, the exiles cannot imagine that they will survive as a nation, let alone ever return to their homeland. Yet, when God asks Yechezkel “can these bones live?” he doesn’t express doubt or hopelessness. He answers that anything can happen if it is God’s will. And so the dry bones arise from the dead. In a similarly miraculous fashion, in the years immediately following the Holocaust, the People of Israel cameback to life in the Land of Israel. In fact, these verses are read on Israeli radio every year on Holocaust Remembrance Day.

4And He said to me, “Prophesy over these bones and say to them: O dry bones, hear the word of Hashem!

דוַיֹּאמֶר אֵלַי הִנָּבֵא עַל־הָעֲצָמוֹת הָאֵלֶּה וְאָמַרְתָּ אֲלֵיהֶם הָעֲצָמוֹת הַיְבֵשׁוֹת שִׁמְעוּ דְּבַר־יְהֹוָה׃

5Thus said Hashem to these bones: I will cause breath to enter you and you shall live again.

הכֹּה אָמַר אֲדֹנָי יְהוִה לָעֲצָמוֹת הָאֵלֶּה הִנֵּה אֲנִי מֵבִיא בָכֶם רוּחַ וִחְיִיתֶם׃

6I will lay sinews upon you, and cover you with flesh, and form skin over you. And I will put breath into you, and you shall live again. And you shall know that I am Hashem!”

ווְנָתַתִּי עֲלֵיכֶם גִּדִים וְהַעֲלֵתִי עֲלֵיכֶם בָּשָׂר וְקָרַמְתִּי עֲלֵיכֶם עוֹר וְנָתַתִּי בָכֶם רוּחַ וִחְיִיתֶם וִידַעְתֶּם כִּי־אֲנִי יְהֹוָה׃

7I prophesied as I had been commanded. And while I was prophesying, suddenly there was a sound of rattling, and the bones came together, bone to matching bone.

זוְנִבֵּאתִי כַּאֲשֶׁר צֻוֵּיתִי וַיְהִי־קוֹל כְּהִנָּבְאִי וְהִנֵּה־רַעַשׁ וַתִּקְרְבוּ עֲצָמוֹת עֶצֶם אֶל־עַצְמוֹ׃

8I looked, and there were sinews on them, and flesh had grown, and skin had formed over them; but there was no breath in them.

חוְרָאִיתִי וְהִנֵּה־עֲלֵיהֶם גִּדִים וּבָשָׂר עָלָה וַיִּקְרַם עֲלֵיהֶם עוֹר מִלְמָעְלָה וְרוּחַ אֵין בָּהֶם׃

9Then He said to me, “Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, O mortal! Say to the breath: Thus said Hashem: Come, O breath, from the four winds, and breathe into these slain, that they may live again.”

טוַיֹּאמֶר אֵלַי הִנָּבֵא אֶל־הָרוּחַ הִנָּבֵא בֶן־אָדָם וְאָמַרְתָּ אֶל־הָרוּחַ כֹּה־אָמַר אֲדֹנָי יְהוִה מֵאַרְבַּע רוּחוֹת בֹּאִי הָרוּחַ וּפְחִי בַּהֲרוּגִים הָאֵלֶּה וְיִחְיוּ׃

10I prophesied as He commanded me. The breath entered them, and they came to life and stood up on their feet, a vast multitude.

יוְהִנַּבֵּאתִי כַּאֲשֶׁר צִוָּנִי וַתָּבוֹא בָהֶם הָרוּחַ וַיִּחְיוּ וַיַּעַמְדוּ עַל־רַגְלֵיהֶם חַיִל גָּדוֹל מְאֹד־מְאֹד׃

11And He said to me, “O mortal, these bones are the whole House of Yisrael. They say, ‘Our bones are dried up, our hope is gone; we are doomed.'

יאוַיֹּאמֶר אֵלַי בֶּן־אָדָם הָעֲצָמוֹת הָאֵלֶּה כָּל־בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל הֵמָּה הִנֵּה אֹמְרִים יָבְשׁוּ עַצְמוֹתֵינוּ וְאָבְדָה תִקְוָתֵנוּ נִגְזַרְנוּ לָנוּ׃

12Prophesy, therefore, and say to them: Thus said Hashem: I am going to open your graves and lift you out of the graves, O My people, and bring you to the land of Yisrael.

יבלָכֵן הִנָּבֵא וְאָמַרְתָּ אֲלֵיהֶם כֹּה־אָמַר אֲדֹנָי יְהוִה הִנֵּה אֲנִי פֹתֵחַ אֶת־קִבְרוֹתֵיכֶם וְהַעֲלֵיתִי אֶתְכֶם מִקִּבְרוֹתֵיכֶם עַמִּי וְהֵבֵאתִי אֶתְכֶם אֶל־אַדְמַת יִשְׂרָאֵל׃

13You shall know, O My people, that I am Hashem, when I have opened your graves and lifted you out of your graves.

יגוִידַעְתֶּם כִּי־אֲנִי יְהֹוָה בְּפִתְחִי אֶת־קִבְרוֹתֵיכֶם וּבְהַעֲלוֹתִי אֶתְכֶם מִקִּבְרוֹתֵיכֶם עַמִּי׃

14I will put My breath into you and you shall live again, and I will set you upon your own soil. Then you shall know that I Hashem have spoken and have acted”—declares Hashem.

ידוְנָתַתִּי רוּחִי בָכֶם וִחְיִיתֶם וְהִנַּחְתִּי אֶתְכֶם עַל־אַדְמַתְכֶם וִידַעְתֶּם כִּי־אֲנִי יְהֹוָה דִּבַּרְתִּי וְעָשִׂיתִי נְאֻם־יְהֹוָה׃

15The word of Hashem came to me:

טווַיְהִי דְבַר־יְהֹוָה אֵלַי לֵאמֹר׃

16And you, O mortal, take a stick and write on it, “Of Yehuda and the Israelites associated with him”; and take another stick and write on it, “Of Yosef—the stick of Efraim—and all the House of Yisrael associated with him.”

טזוְאַתָּה בֶן־אָדָם קַח־לְךָ עֵץ אֶחָד וּכְתֹב עָלָיו לִיהוּדָה וְלִבְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל חברו [חֲבֵרָיו] וּלְקַח עֵץ אֶחָד וּכְתוֹב עָלָיו לְיוֹסֵף עֵץ אֶפְרַיִם וְכָל־בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל חברו [חֲבֵרָיו׃]

17Bring them close to each other, so that they become one stick, joined together in your hand.

יזוְקָרַב אֹתָם אֶחָד אֶל־אֶחָד לְךָ לְעֵץ אֶחָד וְהָיוּ לַאֲחָדִים בְּיָדֶךָ׃

18And when any of your people ask you, “Won't you tell us what these actions of yours mean?”

יחוְכַאֲשֶׁר יֹאמְרוּ אֵלֶיךָ בְּנֵי עַמְּךָ לֵאמֹר הֲלוֹא־תַגִּיד לָנוּ מָה־אֵלֶּה לָּךְ׃

19answer them, “Thus said Hashem: I am going to take the stick of Yosef—which is in the hand of Efraim—and of the tribes of Yisrael associated with him, and I will place the stick of Yehuda upon it and make them into one stick; they shall be joined in My hand.”

da-BAYR a-lay-HEM koh a-MAR a-do-NAI e-lo-HEEM hi-NAY a-NEE lo-KAY-akh et AYTZ yo-SAYF a-SHER b'-YAD ef-RA-yim v'-shiv-TAY yis-ra-AYL kha-vay-RAV v'-na-ta-TEE o-TAM a-LAV et AYTZ y'-hu-DAH va-a-see-TEEM l'-AYTZ e-KHAD v'-ha-YU e-KHAD b'-ya-DEE

יטדַּבֵּר אֲלֵהֶם כֹּה־אָמַר אֲדֹנָי יְהוִה הִנֵּה אֲנִי לֹקֵחַ אֶת־עֵץ יוֹסֵף אֲשֶׁר בְּיַד־אֶפְרַיִם וְשִׁבְטֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל חברו [חֲבֵרָיו] וְנָתַתִּי אוֹתָם עָלָיו אֶת־עֵץ יְהוּדָה וַעֲשִׂיתִם לְעֵץ אֶחָד וְהָיוּ אֶחָד בְּיָדִי׃

37:19   They shall be joined in My hand

Members of the Bnei Menashe tribe arrive in Israel

Yechezkel again prophesies about the ingathering of the exiles. He stresses that this a promise for all of Israel; not only for the members of the kingdom of Yehuda, but also for the tribes from kingdom of Yisrael whose people have been considered lost since the Assyrian conquest of the northern kingdom. During the final redemption, all twelve tribes of Israel will return to the Promised Land, and they will re-unite to form one nation unified under one leader. Today, Jews are returning to Eretz Yisrael from all over the world, and are joining together to reestablish the Nation of Israel in the Land of Israel.

20You shall hold up before their eyes the sticks which you have inscribed,

כוְהָיוּ הָעֵצִים אֲ‍שֶׁר־תִּכְתֹּב עֲלֵיהֶם בְּיָדְךָ לְעֵינֵיהֶם׃

21and you shall declare to them: Thus said Hashem: I am going to take B'nei Yisrael from among the nations they have gone to, and gather them from every quarter, and bring them to their own land.

כאוְדַבֵּר אֲלֵיהֶם כֹּה־אָמַר אֲדֹנָי יְהוִה הִנֵּה אֲנִי לֹקֵחַ אֶת־בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל מִבֵּין הַגּוֹיִם אֲשֶׁר הָלְכוּ־שָׁם וְקִבַּצְתִּי אֹתָם מִסָּבִיב וְהֵבֵאתִי אוֹתָם אֶל־אַדְמָתָם׃

22I will make them a single nation in the land, on the hills of Yisrael, and one king shall be king of them all. Never again shall they be two nations, and never again shall they be divided into two kingdoms.

כבוְעָשִׂיתִי אֹתָם לְגוֹי אֶחָד בָּאָרֶץ בְּהָרֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וּמֶלֶךְ אֶחָד יִהְיֶה לְכֻלָּם לְמֶלֶךְ וְלֹא יהיה־[יִהְיוּ־] עוֹד לִשְׁנֵי גוֹיִם וְלֹא יֵחָצוּ עוֹד לִשְׁתֵּי מַמְלָכוֹת עוֹד׃

23Nor shall they ever again defile themselves by their fetishes and their abhorrent things, and by their other transgressions. I will save them in all their settlements where they sinned, and I will cleanse them. Then they shall be My people, and I will be their God.

כגוְלֹא יִטַמְּאוּ עוֹד בְּגִלּוּלֵיהֶם וּבְשִׁקּוּצֵיהֶם וּבְכֹל פִּשְׁעֵיהֶם וְהוֹשַׁעְתִּי אֹתָם מִכֹּל מוֹשְׁבֹתֵיהֶם אֲשֶׁר חָטְאוּ בָהֶם וְטִהַרְתִּי אוֹתָם וְהָיוּ־לִי לְעָם וַאֲנִי אֶהְיֶה לָהֶם לֵאלֹהִים׃

24My servant David shall be king over them; there shall be one shepherd for all of them. They shall follow My rules and faithfully obey My laws.

כדוְעַבְדִּי דָוִד מֶלֶךְ עֲלֵיהֶם וְרוֹעֶה אֶחָד יִהְיֶה לְכֻלָּם וּבְמִשְׁפָּטַי יֵלֵכוּ וְחֻקֹּתַי יִשְׁמְרוּ וְעָשׂוּ אוֹתָם׃

25Thus they shall remain in the land which I gave to My servant Yaakov and in which your fathers dwelt; they and their children and their children's children shall dwell there forever, with My servant David as their prince for all time.

כהוְיָשְׁבוּ עַל־הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר נָתַתִּי לְעַבְדִּי לְיַעֲקֹב אֲשֶׁר יָשְׁבוּ־בָהּ אֲבוֹתֵיכֶם וְיָשְׁבוּ עָלֶיהָ הֵמָּה וּבְנֵיהֶם וּבְנֵי בְנֵיהֶם עַד־עוֹלָם וְדָוִד עַבְדִּי נָשִׂיא לָהֶם לְעוֹלָם׃

26I will make a covenant of friendship with them—it shall be an everlasting covenant with them—I will establish them and multiply them, and I will place My Sanctuary among them forever.

כווְכָרַתִּי לָהֶם בְּרִית שָׁלוֹם בְּרִית עוֹלָם יִהְיֶה אוֹתָם וּנְתַתִּים וְהִרְבֵּיתִי אוֹתָם וְנָתַתִּי אֶת־מִקְדָּשִׁי בְּתוֹכָם לְעוֹלָם׃

27My Presence shall rest over them; I will be their God and they shall be My people.

כזוְהָיָה מִשְׁכָּנִי עֲלֵיהֶם וְהָיִיתִי לָהֶם לֵאלֹהִים וְהֵמָּה יִהְיוּ־לִי לְעָם׃

28And when My Sanctuary abides among them forever, the nations shall know that I Hashem do sanctify Yisrael.

כחוְיָדְעוּ הַגּוֹיִם כִּי אֲנִי יְהֹוָה מְקַדֵּשׁ אֶת־יִשְׂרָאֵל בִּהְיוֹת מִקְדָּשִׁי בְּתוֹכָם לְעוֹלָם׃