What is the habit of the Jews? Do they let their bones lay out on the open ground or do they bury their dead? I think you will find that the Jews bury their dead.
Originally Posted by John 8:32
Given that, notice Ezekiel's prophecy has the bones laid out on a valley floor. This is our first clue that the image is figurative, for illustration purposes. Ezekiel doesn't expect his readers to think that actual bones are going to come back to life. The bones represent something else. Later it is written,
11 Then He said to me, "Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel; behold, they say, `Our bones are dried up and our hope has perished. We are completely cut off.' 12 "Therefore prophesy and say to them, `Thus says the Lord God, "Behold, I will open your graves and cause you to come up out of your graves, My people; and I will bring you into the land of Israel. 13 "Then you will know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves and caused you to come up out of your graves, My people. 14 "I will put My Spirit within you and you will come to life, and I will place you on your own land. Then you will know that I, the Lord, have spoken and done it," declares the Lord.' "
I have heard two plausible interpretations to this passage. The first interpretation understands the Lord's message in terms of a physical resurrection of the dead. At some time in Ezekiel's future, the Lord will literally raise the whole house of Israel back from the dead, and place them all in the land of their fathers. This would be a fantastic and awesome sight, and this is certainly within God's power. Praise God.
The second interpretation understands the word of the Lord in terms of a restored nation in which living individuals return to the land of Palestine, gather themselves into a living, vibrant nation, experience the outpouring of the Spirit of God, and make a new covenant with the Lord, as Jeremiah predicted.
I think the second interpretation is more likely, but if the first interpretation happens instead, I won't be disappointed either way.