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Ezek 37:18–23

37:18–23 The prophet interprets his symbolic actions (vv. 16, 17). Joseph’s two sons were Ephraim and Manasseh; these two tribes were the central part of the northern kingdom, so much so that the northern kingdom (Israel) was sometimes designated simply as “Ephraim” (2 Chr. 25:7, 10; Is. 7:2, 9, 17; 11:13; 17:3; Jer. 31:20; Hos. 4:17; 6:4; 8:9; 9:8; 10:6; Zech. 9:13). It fell to the Assyrians almost a century and a half before the exile of Judah, and was dispersed among other nations and assimilated to them. This passage looks back to the united monarchy under David and Solomon, and forward to a future ideal restoration (33:24; Jer. 3:18; 23:5, 6; Hos. 1:11; Amos 9:11).