New Defender's Study Bible Notes
37:1 spirit of the LORD. This may have been more than a vision, though it certainly was at least that. Ezekiel was “carried out” by the Spirit, then “set down” in a valley filled with dry bones. Perhaps there actually was such a valley near Jerusalem (Hinnom, or gehenna) where the Babylonians had unceremoniously cast the multitude of dead Israelites after the siege and slaughter. In any case, the bones symbolized the spiritually dead nation of Israel, in their graves in all the nations.
37:9 breath. It is noteworthy that, in this chapter, the words “breath” and “wind” and “spirit” (Ezekiel 37:14) are all translations of the Hebrew ruach. In the New Testament (John 3:8), the same is true of the Greek pneuma.
37:14 my spirit in you. The first part of this “dry-bones” prophesy (Ezekiel 37:8) was evidently fulfilled with the worldwide return of Jews to Israel and the official recognition of the nation in 1948. The true regeneration of the nation (Romans 11:26), however, when the Holy Spirit will be in them, awaits their acceptance of Christ when He returns (Zechariah 12:10).
37:22 no more two nations. Ever since the days of Rehoboam, son of Solomon, the children of Israel had been divided into two nations. The northern kingdom was called Israel, or Joseph, or Ephraim, and included ten of the tribes. The southern kingdom, Judah, consisted of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin. The Levites were scattered around both, but mostly in Judah, because of the temple. Israel was carried away captive by the Assyrians in about 740 B.C., Judah by the Babylonians around 588 B.C. However, some of all the tribes were left in the land. The Samaritans were descendants of a mixture of the people of the northern kingdom with the Canaanites and other Gentiles in the land. A remnant of the Jews (Judah and Benjamin) later returned under the Persian emperors Cyrus and Artaxerxes to reestablish Jerusalem and the temple worship. Although the ten tribes have been considered “lost” ever since Assyria fell to Babylon, as far as national identity is concerned (the notion that the British, Americans, or others are their descendants has no basis either in Scripture or sound history), God knows where all His people are. Many individuals certainly have returned to their land during the long centuries of exile. In any case, when God finally regenerates and reestablishes the nation, all the tribes will be included, but as just “one nation, under Messiah.”
37:27 My tabernacle. The Jerusalem temple will indeed be rebuilt and David will reign as king in Jerusalem during the millennial age. The promise in this verse includes—but goes beyond—this truth, as made clear in Revelation 21:1-3. In the New Jerusalem, both Jews and Gentiles are included, and all the redeemed are the people of God.