37 The Lord’s power came on me. The Spirit[a] of the Lord carried me out of the city and put me down in the middle of the valley.[b] The valley was full of dead men’s bones. 2 There were many bones lying on the ground in the valley. The Lord made me walk all around among the bones. I saw the bones were very dry.
3 Then the Lord said to me, “Son of man,[c] can these bones come to life?”
I answered, “Lord God, only you know the answer to that question.”
4 Then he said to me, “Speak to these bones for me. Tell them, ‘Dry bones, listen to the word of the Lord! 5 This is what the Lord God says to you: I will cause breath[d] to come into you, and you will come to life! 6 I will put sinew and muscles on you, and I will cover you with skin. Then I will put breath in you, and you will come back to life! Then you will know that I am the Lord.’”
7 So I spoke to the bones for the Lord, as he said. I was still speaking, when I heard the loud noise. The bones began to rattle, and bone joined together with bone! 8 There before my eyes, I saw sinew and muscles begin to cover the bones. Skin began to cover them, but there was no breath in them.
9 Then the Lord said to me, “Speak to the wind[e] for me. Son of man, speak to the wind for me. Tell the wind that this is what the Lord God says: ‘Wind, come from every direction and breathe air into these dead bodies! Breathe into them and they will come to life again!’”
10 So I spoke to the wind for the Lord, as he said, and the breath came into the dead bodies. They came to life and stood up. There were many men—a very large army!
11 Then he said to me, “Son of man, these bones are like the whole family of Israel. The people of Israel say, ‘Our bones have dried up;[f] our hope is gone. We have been completely destroyed!’ 12 So speak to them for me. Tell them this is what the Lord God says: ‘My people, I will open your graves and bring you up out of them! Then I will bring you to the land of Israel. 13 My people, I will open your graves and bring you up out of your graves, and then you will know that I am the Lord. 14 I will put my Spirit[g] in you, and you will come to life again. Then I will lead you back to your own land. Then you will know that I am the Lord. You will know that I said this and that I made it happen.’” This is what the Lord said.
15 The word of the Lord came to me again. He said, 16 “Son of man, get one stick and write this message on it: ‘This stick belongs to Judah and his friends,[h] the people of Israel.’ Then take another stick and write on it, ‘This stick of Ephraim belongs to Joseph and his friends, the people of Israel.’ 17 Then join the two sticks together. In your hand, they will be one stick.
18 “Your people will ask you to explain what that means. 19 Tell them that this is what the Lord God says: ‘I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim and his friends, the people of Israel. Then I will put that stick with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick. In my hand, they will become one stick!’
20 “Take the sticks that you wrote on and hold them in front of you. 21 Tell the people that this is what the Lord God says: ‘I will gather the people of Israel from among the nations. I will gather them from all around and bring them back to their own land. 22 I will make them one nation in their land among the mountains of Israel. There will be one king over them all. They will no longer be two nations. They will not be split into two kingdoms anymore. 23 And they will no longer continue to make themselves filthy with their idols and horrible statues or with any of their other crimes. Instead, I will save them from all the places where they have sinned, and I will wash them and make them pure. They will be my people, and I will be their God.
24 “‘And my servant David will be the king over them. There will be only one shepherd over all of them. They will live by my rules and obey my laws. They will do the things I tell them. 25 They will live on the land that I gave to my servant Jacob. Your ancestors lived in that place, and my people will live there. They and their children and their grandchildren will live there forever. My servant David will be their leader forever. 26 And I will make a peace agreement with them. This agreement will continue forever. I agree to give them their land. I agree to make them numerous and to put my holy place among them forever. 27 My Holy Tent will be with them. Yes, I will be their God and they will be my people. 28 The other nations will know that I am the Lord, and they will know that I make Israel my special people by putting my holy place there among them forever.’”
38 The word of the Lord came to me. He said, 2 “Son of man,[i] look toward Gog in the land of Magog. He is the most important leader of the nations of Meshech and Tubal. Speak for me against Gog. 3 Tell him that this is what the Lord God says: ‘Gog, you are the most important leader of the nations of Meshech and Tubal, but I am against you. 4 I will capture you and bring you back. I will bring back all the men in your army, all the horses, and horse soldiers. I will put hooks in your mouths, and I will bring all of you back. All the soldiers will be wearing their uniforms with all their shields and swords. 5 Soldiers from Persia, Ethiopia, and Put will be with them. They will all be wearing their shields and helmets. 6 There will also be Gomer with all its groups of soldiers, and there will be the nation of Togarmah[j] from the far north with all its groups of soldiers. There will be many people in that parade of prisoners.
7 “‘Be prepared. Yes, prepare yourself and the armies that have joined with you. You must watch and be ready. 8 After a long time you will be called for duty. In the later years you will come into the land that has been healed from war. The people in that land were gathered from many nations and brought back to the mountains of Israel. In the past, the mountains of Israel had been destroyed again and again. But these people will have come back from those other nations. They all will have lived in safety. 9 But you will come to attack them. You will come like a storm. You will come like a thundercloud covering the land. You and all your groups of soldiers from many nations will come to attack them.’”
10 This is what the Lord God says: “At that time an idea will come into your mind. You will begin to make an evil plan. 11 You will say, ‘I will go attack the country that has towns without walls. The people there live in peace and think they are safe. There are no walls around the cities to protect them. They don’t have any locks on their gates—they don’t even have gates! 12 I will defeat them and take all their valuable things away from them. I will fight against the places that were destroyed but now have people living in them. I will fight against the people who were gathered from the nations. Now they have cattle and property. They live at the crossroads of the world.[k]’
13 “Sheba, Dedan, and merchants of Tarshish and all the cities they trade with will ask you, ‘Did you come to capture valuable things? Did you bring your groups of soldiers together to grab the good things and to carry away silver, gold, cattle, and property? Did you come to take all those valuable things?’
14 “Son of man, speak to Gog for me. Tell him that this is what the Lord God says: ‘You will come to attack my people while they are living in peace and safety. 15 You will come from your place out of the far north, and you will bring many people with you. All of them will ride on horses. You will be a large and a powerful army. 16 You will come to fight against my people Israel. You will be like a thundercloud covering the land. When that time comes, I will bring you to fight against my land. Then, Gog, the nations will learn how powerful I am! They will learn to respect me and know that I am holy. They will see what I will do to you!’”
17 This is what the Lord God says: “At that time people will remember that I spoke about you in the past. They will remember that I used my servants, the prophets of Israel. They will remember that the prophets of Israel spoke for me in the past and said that I would bring you to fight against them.”
18 The Lord God said, “At that time Gog will come to fight against the land of Israel. I will show my anger. 19 In my anger and strong emotions, I make this promise: I promise that there will be a strong earthquake in the land of Israel. 20 At that time all living things will shake with fear. The fish in the sea, the birds in the air, the wild animals in the fields, and all the little creatures crawling on the ground will shake with fear. The mountains will fall down and the cliffs will break apart. Every wall will fall to the ground!”
21 The Lord God says, “On the mountains of Israel, I will call for every kind of terror against[l] Gog. His soldiers will be so afraid that they will attack each other and kill each other with their swords. 22 I will punish Gog with diseases and death. I will cause hailstones, fire, and sulfur to rain down on Gog and his groups of soldiers from many nations. 23 Then I will show how great I am. I will prove that I am holy. Many nations will see me do these things, and they will learn who I am. Then they will know that I am the Lord.
39 “Son of man,[m] speak against Gog for me. Tell him that this is what the Lord God says: ‘Gog, you are the most important leader of the countries Meshech and Tubal, but I am against you. 2 I will capture you and bring you back. I will bring you from the far north. I will bring you to fight against the mountains of Israel. 3 But I will knock your bow from your left hand and your arrows from your right hand. 4 You will be killed on the mountains of Israel. You, your groups of soldiers, and all the other nations with you will be killed in the battle. I will give you as food to every kind of bird that eats meat and to all the wild animals. 5 You will not enter the city. You will be killed out in the open fields. I have spoken!’” This is what the Lord God said.
6 “I will send fire against Magog and those people living along the coast. They think they are safe, but they will know that I am the Lord. 7 And I will make my holy name known among my people Israel. I will not let people ruin my holy name anymore. The nations will know that I am the Lord. They will know that I am the Holy One in Israel. 8 That time is coming! It will happen!” This is what the Lord God said. “That is the day I am talking about.
9 “At that time people living in the cities of Israel will go out to the fields. They will collect the enemy’s weapons and burn them. They will burn all the shields, bows and arrows, clubs and spears. They will use the weapons as firewood for seven years. 10 They will not have to gather wood from the fields or chop firewood from the forests because they will use the weapons as firewood. They will take the valuable things from the soldiers who wanted to steal from them. They will take the good things from the soldiers who took good things from them.” This is what the Lord God said.
11 “At that time I will choose a place in Israel to bury Gog. He will be buried in the Valley of the Travelers,[n] east of the Dead Sea. It will block the road for travelers, because Gog and all his army will be buried in that place. People will call it ‘The Valley of Gog’s Army.’ 12 It will take seven months for the family of Israel to bury them. They must do this to make the land pure. 13 The common people will bury the enemy soldiers, and the people will become famous on the day that I bring honor to myself.” The Lord God said those things.
14 “Workers will be given a full-time job burying the dead soldiers to make the land pure. The workers will work for seven months. They will go around looking for dead bodies. 15 They will go around looking, and if anyone sees a bone, a marker will be put up by it. The sign will stay there until the gravediggers come and bury the bone in the Valley of Gog’s Army. 16 The city of the dead will be named Hamonah.[o] In this way they will make the country pure.”
17 This is what the Lord God said: “Son of man, speak to all the birds and wild animals for me. Tell them, ‘Come here! Come here! Gather around. Come eat this sacrifice I am preparing for you. There will be a very big sacrifice on the mountains of Israel. Come, eat the meat and drink the blood. 18 You will eat the meat from the bodies of powerful soldiers and drink the blood from world leaders. They will be like rams, lambs, goats, and fat bulls from Bashan. 19 You can eat all the fat you want and drink blood until you are full. You will eat and drink from my sacrifice, which I will kill for you. 20 You will have plenty of meat to eat at my table. There will be horses and chariot drivers, powerful soldiers, and all the other fighting men.’” This is what the Lord God said.
21 “I will let the other nations see what I have done, and they will begin to respect me! They will see my power that I used against the enemy. 22 Then from that day on, the family of Israel will know that I am the Lord their God. 23 And the nations will know why the family of Israel was carried away as prisoners to other countries. They will learn that my people turned against me, so I turned away from them. I let their enemies defeat them, so my people were killed in battle. 24 They sinned and made themselves filthy, so I punished them for the things they did. I turned away from them and refused to help them.”
25 So this is what the Lord God says: “Now I will bring the family of Jacob back from captivity. I will have mercy on the whole family of Israel. I will show my strong feelings for my holy name. 26 The people will forget their shame and all the times they turned against me. They will live in safety on their own land. No one will make them afraid. 27 I will bring my people back from other countries. I will gather them from the lands of their enemies. Then many nations will see how holy I am. 28 They will know that I am the Lord their God. That is because I made them leave their homes and go as prisoners to other countries. But then I gathered them together again and brought them back to their own land. 29 I will pour out my Spirit on the family of Israel, and I will never turn away from my people again.” This is what the Lord God said.
2 In the past there were false prophets among God’s people. It is the same now. You will have some false teachers in your group. They will teach things that are wrong—ideas that will cause people to be lost. And they will teach in a way that will be hard for you to see that they are wrong. They will even refuse to follow the Master who bought their freedom. And so they will quickly destroy themselves. 2 Many people will follow them in the morally wrong things they do. And because of them, others will say bad things about the way of truth we follow. 3 These false teachers only want your money. So they will use you by telling you things that are not true. But the judgment against these false teachers has been ready for a long time. And they will not escape God who will destroy them.
4 When angels sinned, God did not let them go free without punishment. He sent them to hell. He put those angels in caves of darkness, where they are being held until the time when God will judge them.
5 And God punished the evil people who lived long ago. He brought a flood to the world that was full of people who were against God. But he saved Noah and seven other people with him. Noah was a man who told people about living right.
6 God also punished the evil cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. He burned them until there was nothing left but ashes. He used those cities as an example of what will happen to people who are against God. 7 But he saved Lot, a good man who lived there. Lot was greatly troubled by the morally bad lives of those evil people. 8 This good man lived with those evil people every day, and his good heart was hurt by the evil things he saw and heard.
9 So you see that the Lord God knows how to save those who are devoted to him. He will save them when troubles come. And the Lord will hold evil people to punish them on the day of judgment. 10 That punishment is for those who are always doing the evil that their sinful selves want to do. It is for those who hate the Lord’s authority.
These false teachers do whatever they want, and they are so proud of themselves. They are not afraid even to say bad things against the glorious ones.[a] 11 The angels are much stronger and more powerful than these beings. But even the angels don’t accuse them and say bad things about them to the Lord.
12 But these false teachers speak evil against what they don’t understand. They are like animals that do things without really thinking—like wild animals that are born to be caught and killed. And, like wild animals, they will be destroyed. 13 They have made many people suffer. So they themselves will suffer. That is their pay for what they have done.
They think it is fun to do evil where everyone can see them. They enjoy the evil things that please them. So they are like dirty spots and stains among you—they bring shame to you in the meals you eat together. 14 Every time they look at a woman, they want her. They are always sinning this way. And they lead weaker people into the trap of sin. They have taught themselves well to be greedy. They are under a curse.[b]
15 These false teachers left the right way and went the wrong way. They followed the same way that the prophet Balaam went. He was the son of Beor, who loved being paid for doing wrong. 16 But a donkey told him that he was doing wrong. A donkey cannot talk, of course, but that donkey spoke with a man’s voice and stopped the prophet from acting so crazy.
17 These false teachers are like springs that have no water. They are like clouds that are blown by a storm. A place in the deepest darkness has been kept for them. 18 They boast with words that mean nothing. They lead people into the trap of sin. They find people who have just escaped from a wrong way of life and lead them back into sin. They do this by using the evil things people want to do in their human weakness. 19 These false teachers promise those people freedom, but they themselves are not free. They are slaves to a mind that has been ruined by sin. Yes, people are slaves to anything that controls them.
20 People can be made free from the evil in the world. They can be made free by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. But if they go back into those evil things and are controlled by them, then it is worse for them than it was before. 21 Yes, it would be better for them to have never known the right way. That would be better than to know the right way and then to turn away from the holy teaching that was given to them. 22 What they did is like these true sayings: “A dog vomits and goes back to what it threw up.”[c] And, “After a pig is washed, it goes back and rolls in the mud again.”