Wesley's Notes on the Bible
The hand of the LORD was upon me, and carried me out in the spirit of the LORD, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones,
37:1 And set me down - So it seemed to me in the vision. Which is a lively representation of a threefold resurrection: Of the resurrection of souls, from the death of sin, to the life of righteousness: The resurrection of the church from an afflicted state, to liberty and peace: The resurrection of the body at the great day, especially the bodies of believers to life eternal.
And caused me to pass by them round about: and, behold, there were very many in the open valley; and, lo, they were very dry.
And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord GOD, thou knowest.
37:3 And he - The Lord.
Again he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the LORD.
Thus saith the Lord GOD unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live:
And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know that I am the LORD.
So I prophesied as I was commanded: and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone.
37:7 Prophesied - Declared these promises. As I prophesied - While I was prophesying. A noise - A rattling of the bones in their motion. A shaking - A trembling or commotion among the bones, enough to manifest a divine presence, working among them. Came together - Glided nearer and nearer, 'till each bone met the bone to which it was to be joined. Of all the bones of all those numerous slain, not one was missing, not one missed its way, not one missed its place, but each knew and found its fellow. Thus in the resurrection of the dead, the scattered atoms shall be arranged in their proper place and order, and every bone come to his bone, by the same wisdom and power by which they were first formed in the womb of her that is with child.
And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them, and the skin covered them above: but there was no breath in them.
37:8 Came up - Gradually spreading itself.
Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.
37:9 Prophesy - Declare what my will is. O breath - The soul, whose emblem here is wind; which, as it gently blew upon these lifeless creatures, each was inspired with its own soul or spirit.
So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army.
37:10 And the breath - The spirit of life, or the soul, Gen 2:7.
Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off for our parts.
37:11 The whole house - The emblem of the house of Israel. Are dried - Our state is as hopeless, as far from recovery, as dried bones are from life.
Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel.
37:12 I will open - Though your captivity be as death, your persons close as the grave, yet I will open those graves.
And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves,
And shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the LORD have spoken it, and performed it, saith the LORD.
The word of the LORD came again unto me, saying,
Moreover, thou son of man, take thee one stick, and write upon it, For Judah, and for the children of Israel his companions: then take another stick, and write upon it, For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel his companions:
37:16 One stick - A writing tablet or a tally, such as is fit to be written upon. His companions - Benjamin and part of Levi, who kept with the tribe of Judah. Ephraim - Ephraim was the most considerable tribe in the kingdom of Israel, when divided from the other two. The house of Israel - The other nine tribes, who continued with Ephraim.
And join them one to another into one stick; and they shall become one in thine hand.
And when the children of thy people shall speak unto thee, saying, Wilt thou not shew us what thou meanest by these?
Say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel his fellows, and will put them with him, even with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they shall be one in mine hand.
37:19 In mine hand - Under my government, care, and blessing. God will make the two kingdoms one in his hand, as I make these two sticks one in my hand.
And the sticks whereon thou writest shall be in thine hand before their eyes.
And say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land:
And I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all: and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all:
37:22 One nation - They were one in David's time, who was a type of the Messiah, and continued so to the end of Solomon's time, whose name includes peace. So when the Beloved, the Peace - maker, the Messiah shall be king, they shall be one again. And one king - The Messiah.
Neither shall they defile themselves any more with their idols, nor with their detestable things, nor with any of their transgressions: but I will save them out of all their dwellingplaces, wherein they have sinned, and will cleanse them: so shall they be my people, and I will be their God.
37:23 I will save - I will bring them safe out of them. And will cleanse - Both justify and sanctify them.
And David my servant shall be king over them; and they all shall have one shepherd: they shall also walk in my judgments, and observe my statutes, and do them.
37:24 David - The son of David. One shepherd - This king shall be their one chief shepherd, others that feed and rule the flock, are so by commission from him.
And they shall dwell in the land that I have given unto Jacob my servant, wherein your fathers have dwelt; and they shall dwell therein, even they, and their children, and their children's children for ever: and my servant David shall be their prince for ever.
37:25 For ever - 'Till Christ's coming to judgment, the Jews converted to Christ, shall inherit Canaan.
Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them: and I will place them, and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore.
37:26 My sanctuary - I will set up a spiritual glorious temple, and worship among you. For evermore - Never to be altered or abolished on earth, but to be consummated in heaven.
My tabernacle also shall be with them: yea, I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
37:27 My tabernacle - The tabernacle wherein I will shew my presence among them. Their fathers had a tabernacle, but the Messiah shall bring with him a better, a spiritual, and an heavenly. They shall be my people - By my grace I will make them holy, as the people of a holy God; and I will make them happy, as the people of the ever blessed God.
And the heathen shall know that I the LORD do sanctify Israel, when my sanctuary shall be in the midst of them for evermore.