Ezekiel 37

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1 The hand of Jehovah was upon me, and he brought me out in the Spirit of Jehovah, and set me down in the midst of the valley; and it was full of bones.
2 And he caused me to pass by them round about: and, behold, there were very many in the open valley; and, lo, they were very dry.

1 Valley stands for those who are in ignorance, or without knowledges of faith and charity, and yet are in charity. A. 1292.
1, 2. It is represented that the church was destitute of all life from good and truth. P. P.
1-14. They who examine themselves interiorly become like mines, all the walls of which are resplendent with ores of precious metal; but before like foul bogs in which are snakes and venomous serpents with glittering scales, and noxious insects with shining wings. They who do not examine themselves are like the dry bones in the valley, on which the Lord Jehovih laid sinews, caused flesh to come upon them, covered them with skin, and put breath in them, and they lived. T. 534.
Man’s regeneration is described by the dry bones which were clothed with sinews, then with flesh and skin, and at last breath was breathed into them. It is said these bones are the whole house of Israel. T. 594.
Regeneration, which also is resurrection from the dead, was represented by the vivification of the bones. See also Chapter XXXVII., 11-14. E.899.
1-15. That regeneration is described by the dry bones, which is done in the new church. D. P., Page 77.
1 et seq. The subject here in general is the establishment of the church arnong the Gentiles, and in particular the regeneration of man. Dry bones stand for the intellectual proprium, which is inanimate. before it receives the life of good from the Lord, but is thereby animated, or made alive. The flesh, which the Lord caused to come upon the bones, is the voluntary proprium, which is called the celestial proprium, and thus signifies good. Breath is the Lord’s life which, when it flows into man’s good which from proprium seems to will and to do, vivifies that good, and from good the truth, and out of the dry bones there is made a man. A. 3812.
1, 4-6. As seen from heaven man’s proprium appears but as a bony, inanimate and unsightly thing, and thus as in itself dead, but vivified by the Lord it appears as of flesh. Man’s proprium is nothing but a dead thing. Whatsoever is living with man is of the Lord’s life for man is only an organ of life. The Lord’s proprium alone is life, and from His proprium He saves man, and vivifies man’s proprium, which in itself is dead. A. 149.
1, 5, 9, 10. Spirit means the life of man, in particular the life of truth. A. 9818.

3 And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord Jehovah, thou knowest.
4 Again he said unto me, Prophesy over these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of Jehovah.

3-6. It is foretold that a new church will come into existence, in which will be life. P. P.
3, 9, 10. Wind (spirit) stands here for the life of heaven that is Divine life. A. 8286.
3, 9, 11, 16. The Son of Man signifies the Lord as to the Word. L.28.

5 Thus saith the Lord Jehovah unto these bones: Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live.

5, 6, 9, 10. By the spirit is meant the life of man. L. 47.
5, 9, 10. Spirit, in the spiritual sense, signifies truth, and the life of man thence derived, which is intelligence. E. 183.

6 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 Jehovah.

6, 8. The subject is the new creation of man, that is, his regeneration. A. 4303.
By flesh is meant the proprium of the will made new from the Lord, consequently good. E. 1082.

7 So I prophesied as I was commanded: and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and, behold, an earthquake; and the bones came together, bone to its bone.
8 And I beheld, and, lo, there were sinews upon them, and flesh came up, and skin covered them above; but there was no breath in them.

7, 8. This also came to pass when that new church was first instructed in truths, and was thus made fit for receiving. P. P.
8, 9. The dry bones stand for those in whom there is no spiritual life, or in whom there is not any life by Divine truths. That ordinary respiration (breath) is not understood appears from that those dry bones represented the house of Israel, meaning that it was without spiritual life. E. 419.

9 Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord Jehovah: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.

9 By the winds which come from those quarters are meant all things of good and of truth, thus all things of heaven and the church. A. 9642.
The Lord is called the breath of the nostrils, also the breath of life. By the soul and the spirit is understood in the Word the understanding. W. 383.
9, 10. Wind signifies influx, properly the influx of truth into the understanding. R. 343.
By the spirit of life from God spiritual life is signified, and by standing upon the feet natural life agreeing with the spiritual life, and thus vivified by the Lord. R. 510.
This is said of the dry bones seen by the prophet, by which is understood the house of Israel. By the spirit from which they revived is understood spiritual life, which is a life according to the truths of the Word. E. 418.
By the house of Israel is signified the church, which is there compared to dry bones, because there was in it no good of love, nor truth of doctrine. The establishment of a new church by the inspiration of new life, or by regeneration is described by nerves, flesh, and skin with which the bones were clothed and encompassed. E. 665.
And it then received life. P. P.

10 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.

10 Standing upon the feet means new life, such as appertains to the regenerate man, for the dry bones, to which the house of Israel is likened, signifies the state of the church destitute of the goods of love, and truths of doctrine, E. 666.

11 Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold, they say, Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are clean cut off.

11 The reason of the house of Israel being likened to dry bones was, because they were in falsities and evils, which have not any life, because no correspondence with heaven as to nerves, flesh, and skin. Dry bones signify falses derived from evil, hence by opening the sepulchres, and causing the people to ascend, is signified to raise out of falses from evil, thus from the dead, and to endow with truths from good. E. 659.
See Chapter XXXVII., 9, 10. E. 665.
11-14. The land of Israel means the church. A representation was made of regeneration by bones and graves, because the unregenerate man is called dead, and the regenerate alive. T. 594.
Here it is said that the sepulchres shall be opened whereby is signified resurrection to life. E. 899.
Thus the Lord did when He came into the world, and a new church was established by Him, P. P.

12 Therefore prophesy, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord Jehovah: Behold, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, O my people; and I will bring you into the land of Israel.
13 And ye shall know that I am Jehovah, when I have opened your graves, and caused you to come up out of your graves, O my people.
14 And I will put my Spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I will place you in your own land: and ye shall know that I, Jehovah, have spoken it and performed it, saith Jehovah.

12-14. Treats of the bones which were to live and in the internal sense of regeneration. Sepulchres stand for the former man and his evils and falsities, to open and to come out of which is to be regenerated. A. 2916.
By these words the prophet describes the new creation or regeneration of man, and also the vivification by the Lord of those who are of the spiritual church. A. 8018.
By those dry bones is understood the whole house of Israel, which after the spirit of God came into them revived and stood on their feet. E. 659.
Behold I will open your graves, 0 my people, and cause you to ascend out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel, and put my spirit in you. D. P., Page 27..

14 By the spirit of Jehovah is meant Divine truth, and thence the life of faith and of love. A. 9818.
The spirit of God is Divine truth, and hence the spiritual life of the man who receives it. E. 183.

15 The word of Jehovah came again unto me, saying,

15-20. There were two churches, the celestial and the spiritual and the two together were one. P. P.
15-28. Also by two sticks which were made into one by the Lord, who is understood by David. D. P., Page 77.

16 And 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:
17 and join them for thee one to another into one stick, that they may become one in thy hand.
18 And when the children of thy people shall speak unto thee, saying, Wilt thou not show us what thou meanest by these?

16 Ephraim signifies the understanding of the Word, and in the opposite sense the same falsified, and that the destruction of the church is from this. S. 79.
16, 17. Sticks of wood. Wood signifies good. R.774.
16, 17, 19. By Judah is meant the celestial of the church, by Israel its spiritual, and by Ephraim its intellectual. That these are made one by the good of charity is signified by one stick being made out of two. A stick of wood is the good of charity. A. 5354.
By Judah was represented the celestial kingdom of the Lord, and by Joseph His spiritual kingdom; by writing for them upon sticks, or pieces of wood, was signified the state of their love, and thence of their life. Their conjunction into one heaven is signified by joining one to another into one piece, that they might be one in the Lord’s hand. E. 222.
16, 17, 19, 20. The conjunction of the celestial and spiritual kingdoms of the Lord by the good of love. E. 1145.
16-27. By Judah in the spiritual sense is signified the Lord’s celestial kingdom; by the children of Israel the Lord’s spiritual kingdom; by Joseph and Ephraim, and by the tribes of Israel that are dispersed and are to be gathered together, are understood those who are beneath those kingdoms, as they are neither celestial nor spiritual, but natural, and notwithstanding are in good of life according to their religious tenets. E. 433.
16, 17, 19, 22. The Lord’s celestial kingdom is Judah, His spiritual kingdom is Joseph, and it is said that these two kingdoms shall not be two, but one. They were also made into one by the coming of the Lord into the world. A. 3969.
By Judah is signified the celestial church, which is in the good of love. By Joseph and Ephraim the spiritual church, which is in the good of charity, and in the truths of faith. The two churches shall be one church with the Lord, as good and truth are one. E. 448.

19 say unto them, Thus saith the Lord Jehovah: Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel his companions; and I will put them with it, even with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they shall be one in my hand.
20 And the sticks whereon thou writest shall be in thy hand before their eyes.

19-28. By Joseph, Ephraim, Judah, Israel, Jacob, and David, are not meant those persons, but in the supreme sense Divine spiritual things which are in the Lord, and which are the Lord’s in His kingdom and church. A. 3305.

21 And say unto them, Thus saith the Lord Jehovah: Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the nations, whither they are gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land:

21, 22. Israel stands for the spiritual church, and nation for the good of that church or doctrine. A. 2547.
See Chapter LXII., 15, 16. A. 7051.
21-25. This will be under the Lord, and the two will become one church from the Lord, and will be protected from infernal evils and falsities. P. P.
21-28. See Chapter XXXIV., 11-16. E.433.

22 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;

22, 24. The Lord as King is the Divine truth, because this is signified by a king. R. 664.

23 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 dwelling-places, wherein they have sinned, and will cleanse them: so shall they be my people, and I will be their God.

23-25. That by David in the Word is understood the Lord appears from several passages where He is so called by the prophets. E. 205.
23-26. The Lord is called David. L. 43.
See Chapter XXXIV., 23-25. T. 844.
23, 27. See Chapter XI., 20. R. 883.

24 And my servant David shall be king over them; and they all shall have one shepherd: they shall also walk in mine ordinances, and observe my statutes, and do them.

24 See Chapter XI., 12, 20. A.8972 .
See Chapter XXXIV., 24. R. 3.
See Chapter XXXIV., 24. E. 409.
See Chapter V., 6, 7. E. 946.
24, 25. These things were written by the prophet after the time of David, and yet it is plainly said, that he shall be their king and prince, from which it is evident that in the internal sense the Lord is meant by David. A. 1888.
David my servant stands for the Divine Human of the Lord, and this from Divine truth, which is signified by king, and here by David. Truth is relatively a servant. A. 3441.
24-28. In this whole chapter man’s regeneration and the new church are treated. They are understood by dry bones, and by two sticks which were one.
D. P., Page 56.
24, 26, 27. The Lord is meant by David; love by His sanctuary in the midst of them, the presence and conjunction of the Lord in love by His being their God, and by their being His people, which is called a covenant of peace, and an everlasting covenant. A. 1038.
By David is understood the Lord. That David was not to come again to be their king and shepherd is evident. The Lord is king from Divine truth, for this is the royalty of the Lord, and Divine good is His priesthood. He is called shepherd because He will feed them with Divine truth, and thereby lead to the good of love. E. 701.

25 And they shall dwell in the land that I have given unto Jacob my servant, wherein your fathers dwelt; and they shall dwell therein, they, and their children, and their children’s children, for ever: and David my servant shall be their prince for ever.

25, 26. Regeneration is treated of. David and the sanctuary stand for the Lord. A. 666.
See Chapter XXXIV., 25, 27. R. 306.
The Lord will make a new and eternal covenant. R. 350.
This is said concerning the Lord, and the creation of a new heaven and a new church from Him. By David is understood the Lord. By a covenant of peace is meant the communication of heavenly joy, and eternal life to those conjoined to the Lord. E. 365.
25-27. David, who was to be a prince to them, stands for the Lord. The sanctuary is the Divine Human of the Lord, as from Him is all the holy, thus His habitation stands for heaven, and for the church where the Lord is. A. 9594.
25, 28. Said of Israel, by whom in the internal sense is meant the spiritual church. By the land on which they shall dwell is also meant the church, by the sanctuary the all of the church, and by David the Lord. A. 10248. 263

26 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.
27 My tabernacle also shall be with them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
28 And the nations shall know that I am Jehovah that sanctifieth Israel, when my sanctuary shall be in the midst of them for evermore.

26, 27. See Chapter XVI., 8. A. 6804.
Sanctuary is where Divine truth is, in which is Divine good. A. 8309.
The tabernacle was called the sanctuary, and the dwelling of Jehovah, because of this representation. A. 9481.
26-28. The church will be different, because the conjunction will be different. P. P.

Author: Emanuel Swedenborg (Compiled by Robert S. Fischer 1925)