Now that the vision of the dry bones has been completed, Ezekiel brings another message of peace and restoration to the exiles. To make a visual aid for the Lord’s message, he takes two sticks and writes on them the names “Judah” and “Ephraim”. These were the names of the two main tribes of the southern and northern kingdoms of Israel, respectively. Though these were the main tribes, the sticks each represent all of the tribes of their kingdom.
Ezekiel then joins the sticks together into one stick in his hand. The people see this and they ask what he means by doing that. Now, they aren’t stupid; it’s obvious what that signifies, so I’m sure they have an idea. What they want him to do is to explain the details. He has their attention, and now they want him to speak clearly.
He tells them that the Lord has plans to bring together all of His chosen people from the nations back to the land that He had promised their forefathers. No longer will they be two nations and kingdoms, but one people as they were before. When He does, He will set up His servant David to be their king forever. Their children will multiply and inhabit the land forever. But not only that, God Himself will set up His sanctuary on earth and permanently dwell with His people forever.
Two sticks being brought together in a hand certainly mean something significant when the prophet of the Lord does it, but I doubt they expected all this. They had had the Messianic prophecies of Isaiah and Micah for about a hundred years by this point, but I don’t think there was much understanding about what His appearance would mean for them yet.
Your lovingkindness is bountiful and comforts Your people through all ages.