Original Research

The vision of ‘Dry Bones’ in Ezekiel 37:1–28: Resonating Ezekiel’s message as the African prophet of hope

Joel K.T. Biwul
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 73, No 3 | a4707 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v73i3.4707 | © 2017 Joel K.T. Biwul | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 14 June 2017 | Published: 31 August 2017

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Joel K.T. Biwul, ECWA Theological Seminary, Nigeria and Faculty of Theology, Old and New Testament, Stellenbosch University, South Africa

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Against the background of a disenfranchised and hopeless exilic Israel, Ezekiel received the vision of ‘Dry Bones’, predicting an eschatological resuscitation and resurrection to life and restoration to the land of Yahweh’s covenant people. This article previews the political, social, economic and moral conditions of many African societies as being in a disenfranchised, hopeless exilic state. It nonetheless argues that the theological essence of Ezekiel’s visionary imagery of ‘Dry Bones’ resonates well with such deteriorating and hopeless African societies. It envisages the semblances, relatedness and relevance of Ezekiel’s hope principle of a restorative eschatological theology as a possible reality for Africa’s hopeless present ‘Dry Bones’ state. Upon this hope principle, the article proposes a theological framework of faith against despondency and despair for the realisation of such eschatological reality for Africa. It holds that God is equally capable of displaying his restorative power and sovereignty to reverse the hopeless conditions of African nations in demonstration of his love, compassion and care as he did for the apparently irreparable condition of exilic Israel.


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