What Does Ezekiel 37:15-21 Mean?

Q. Some Mormon missionaries came to my door and in our discussion they brought up the passage from Ezekiel 37:15-21 claiming it means the writers of the book of Mormon are from the tribe of Joseph and the Bible is from Judah and God will one day join the two together. This doesn’t sit right with me. What does Ezekiel 37:15-21 actually mean?

A. Some people of the Mormon faith have been taught that in Ezekiel 37:16 the person named Joseph is Joseph Smith, founder of the Mormon church, the name Ephraim refers to the Mormon people, and the two sticks refer to two scrolls, the Bible and the Book of Mormon.

But the truth is that Ezekiel 37 is about the rebirth of Israel in the Last Days. In Ezekiel 37:15-21 the Lord had Ezekiel show that the divided Kingdom would be reunited and all 12 tribes would be together again. He did this by having Ezekiel take two sticks of wood. On one he wrote Judah, the name of the southern Kingdom, and on the other he wrote Ephraim, a son of Jacob’s 11th son Joseph who Jacob adopted as his own (Genesis 48:5). God had Ezekiel use Ephraim to represent the Northern Kingdom as He did in Isaiah 9:9. The Hebrew word translated “stick” is simply a stick of wood and never refers to a scroll in the Bible, either literally or symbolically.

By having Ezekiel tie these two sticks together God was having him show that the Northern and Southern Kingdoms would be reunited in the last days. We can confirm this by reading on. Ezekiel 37:21-22 says, “I will take the Israelites out of the nations where they have gone. I will gather them from all around and bring them back into their own land. I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel. There will be one king over all of them and they will never again be two nations or be divided into two kingdoms.”

The missionaries you spoke with reinterpreted Ezekiel 37: 15-21 to mean something the Bible does not say.

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