Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Ezekiel 37:1-14 -- Dry Bones (My Translation)

Below is the translation I put together during a seminary class for the Ezekiel passage of the Dry Bones which is Sunday's Old Testament passage and will be read in some places during the Easter Vigil.  I based it on a  close reading of the Hebrew, using an occasionally vivid translation of individual words or phrases.  Enjoy.

(Wherever "LORD" or "GOD" appears, it represents God's proper name, "YHWH" which is traditionally read as "the Lord".)

Ezekiel 37
1 The hand of the LORD came upon me and it led me out by the Spirit of the LORD. It placed me in the middle of a valley that was filled with bones. 2 Then it brought me over to them and they were all around me.  Wow! There was a great multitude all over the valley and they were oh so very dry.

3 Then he said to me, "Son of Adam, will these bones live?"

I said, "Lord GOD, you yourself know."

4 Then he said to me, "Prophecy to these bones.  Say to them 'Dry bones, hear the word of the LORD.' 5 The Lord GOD has this to say to these bones 'Hang on! I am sending spirit into you and you will live! 6 I will give you sinews, grow flesh upon you, and spread skin over you.  I will give you spirit and you will live.  Then you will know that I am the LORD!'"

7 So I prophesied just as I was commanded.  As I was prophesying, there was a sound -- look out -- it was a quaking.  Bones coming together, each bone to its proper bone. 8 I looked.  Truly there were sinews upon them and flesh grew on them and skin spread up over them.  But there was no spirit in them.

9 Then he said to me, "Prophesy to the Spirit.  Prophesy, Son of Adam, and you will say to the Spirit, 'The Lord GOD has this to say "From the four spirits, come, Spirit, and breathe into these corpses."' Then they shall live."

10 So I prophesied just as he commanded me.  The Spirit came into them and they lived.  Then they stood on their feet and were a most bodaciously great army.

11 Then he said to me, "Son of Adam, these bones are all the house of Israel.  Listen to their sayings, 'Our bones are dried up,' 'Our hope has died,' 'We are cut off from ourselves.'

12 "Therefore prophecy and say to them, 'The Lord GOD has this to say, "Pay attention! I am opening your graves and will pull you up out of them, oh my people.  Then I will bring you to the land of Israel. 13 Then you will know that I am the LORD, when I open your graves and pull you up out of them, oh my people. 14 I will give you my Spirit and you will live.  I will establish you in your land and then you will know that I am the LORD.  I have spoken and I will act."'"  An utterance of the LORD!

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