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Ezekiel was a prophet who lived about the same time as Lehi and Nephi and their families. But Ezekiel didn't leave Jerusalem to go to the Land of Promise. He was taken as a prisoner to Babylon. Not many years later Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, sent his armies to Jerusalem. They destroyed Jerusalem and pulled down the temple. Most of the people who were still alive were dragged away to Babylon as prisoners.
Ezekiel's job was to work with the Jewish people in Babylon. God wanted His people to remember Him and keep His laws. Even though the Jews no longer had a country they were still God's people. God's promise was that they would go back to their country and to Jerusalem someday. God's promise came true. Many years later the Jews went back and built the temple again.
Many years later, after Jesus died for all the sins of the world, the temple was destroyed again and the Jewish people were scattered all over the world. God's promise is that someday all the house of Israel will be gathered again and Jesus will be the ruler of all people who love God and Jesus.
Ezekiel had a beautiful vision. God showed this vision to Ezekiel.
Ezekiel saw a valley full of bones. The Babylonians had killed many, many of his people in war. The people had been dead a long time and their bones were all dry and scattered around.
"Then God said to Ezekiel, "Can these bones live again?"
Ezekiel didn't know so he said, "Oh Lord God, You know."
And God said to Ezekiel, "Prophesy to these bones, say to them, 'Oh you dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. God says to you, I will make you breathe and you will live. I will put you back together and put muscles and skin on you. You will breathe and live and you will know that I am God.'"
So Ezekiel said these words to the bones. Suddenly there was noise and shaking as the dry bones rattled together until they fit. Then muscles and skin covered them. But they didn't breathe yet.
Then God said to Ezekiel, "Prophesy to the wind. Say 'God says, Come wind and breathe on these dead people so that they can live.'"
Ezekiel said the words and the people began to breathe and stand up. There was a very large army.
Then God said to Ezekiel, "These bones are all the house of Israel. The people think their nation is dead and that they will never have a country again. You tell them, 'The Lord God says, I will open up your graves and bring you back to Israel. You will know that I am God when I do this. You will live again in your own land.'"
adapted by Lois M. Anderson
from Jeremiah Chapters 39 and 50
and Ezekiel 37:1-14 Inspired Version
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Copyright 2001 Lois M. Anderson: All Rights Reserved
Last revised: August 24, 2001