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December 23, 2023: Haftorah - Ezekiel 37:15-28

This week's Haftorah reading is from Ezekiel 37:15-28. Join Dr. Jeffery Myers as he intently analyzes the lesser known passage about the "two sticks" that immediately follows the famous passage about the "Valley of Dry Bones", splitting the "Two Sticks" passage into 3 steps that ELOHIM outlines, causing the two sticks to become one

Follow along in the AUDIO PODCAST, by clicking on the play button below, and reading along with the notes, as you listen to today's Haftorah Portion:

Haftorah two sticks becoming one Prophecy in Ezekiel 37:19

Lion of Judah Speaks: Haftorah Portion – Ezekiel 37:15-28

We all know the first part of Ezekiel 37 as the narrative of the Valley of Dry Bones.  We also must understand that if we are to understand the second part of Ezekiel 37 dealing with the two sticks, we have to have the dry bones live first.    We usually focus more on the Valley of Dry bones because of its spectacular vision it gives us of resurrection. It shows action, imagination and a cinematic picture of a vast army rising and coming together that you can almost see it happening.  However, the second part of this prophetic narrative has more revelation and needs to be understood as well.


Ezekiel 37:15-17 says, “The Word of Adonai came again unto me, saying, Moreover, thou Son of man, take thee one stick, and write upon it, For Judah, and for the children of Israel his companions; thou take another stick and write upon it, for Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel his companions:  And join there one to another into one stick; and they shall become one in their hand.”  It is as simple as that- two sticks with names written on them and then joined together.


What we encounter here is a mandate for Ephraim.  We will understand how Elohim will reunite the two houses of Israel.  The plan for reunification is outlined in Ezekiel’s prophecy about the two sticks.  Since the unity of Israel was only achieved during the short period of David’s reign, we know that its fulfillment is yet to come.


In the verses we just read, Elohim tells Ezekiel to put the two sticks together.  Then, in verse 19, Elohim is declaring that He will put them together and make them one in His hand.  Ezekiel 37:19 says, “say to them, ‘Thus says Adonai Elohim, “Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel, his companions; and I will put them with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they will be one in My hand.”


The task that Elohim outlines for Ezekiel is divided into 3 steps.  Step one is to “Take” the sticks.  Ezekiel is instructed to “TAKE” two sticks and prepare them to be joined.  This preparation consists of identifying each stick.  Step 2 is to “PUT” the two sticks together in his hand in such a way as to make them one.  The 3rd step is the “Instruction Step.”  Ezekiel is told to “explain” to the people the meaning of preparing and joining the two sticks.


Ezekiel 37:19 brings us to the time for Elohim to make the two sticks one.  How does He say He will do that?  Using the formula, we see Elohim “TAKE” the stick of Joseph, which is in the hands of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel his companions.  See that Elohim is doing what Ezekiel did!  He is identifying in detail the stick of Ephraim, one of the two sticks.  However, Elohim does not “take” or “identify” Judah.  Elohim simply moves to step two, He “PUTS” the stick of Ephraim, which He has just taken and identified with the stick of Judah.


It was not an oversight of failure on Elohim’s part not to take or identify Judah.  It is because the joining or putting will take place at a time when Judah has already been taken and is readily identifiable.  As we see in our day, Elohim has already taken Judah and identified him as a part of Israel, be reestablishing him in the land.


Therefore, the stick that needs to be taken and identified before the “putting” can take place is the stick of Ephraim.  So, what do we see happening today?  We see a return back to our ancient paths, people returning to Torah, a calling from the Ruach HaKodesh to come home and return to His Word.  We see, in our day, a surge of people (Ephraimites?) turning and seeking truth.  It seems that the blindness of people are being removed…could it be the prophecy of the two sticks coming to pass?


In Romans 11:25, Paul explains that a “partial blindness or hardening happened to Israel.”  For Ephraim, this hardness included blindness to his roots.  For Judah it was blindness to the truth that Yeshua is the Messiah.  But just as we are seeing the blinders come off Ephraim, we are also seeing a Jewish acceptance of Messiah unparalleled since the first century.  Halleluyah and amen!  However, in Elohim’s schedule the joining of the two houses into a single nation takes place before the Greater Son of David returns and is recognized by all Israel as their King (Ezekiel 37:20-22).


Where are we today?  We are in the very early stage of Elohim’s “taking” and identifying the stick of Ephraim.  It is time for him (us) to see the truth of his (our) identity as the other house of Israel (Jeremiah 31:18-19).  A more complete understanding of Ezekiel 37:19 confirms that is where we are today.  The Hebrew word “laqah”, which is translated “take”, could also be translated “select or summon.”  The Hebrew word “natan”, which is translated “put”, could very well be translated “make or constitute.”  These alternate translations more accurately portray what Elohim is saying in verse 19: “Thus says Adonai Elohim, ‘Behold, I will summon the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel, his companions; and with the stick of Judah, I will constitute one stick, and they will be one in My hand.”


This is far more revealing and descriptive.  It shows us that Elohim is summoning Ephraim.  He is bringing him forth to receive instructions- instructions concerning Elohim’s constitution of the united house of Israel.


Since Elohim is summoning and identifying Ephraimites for the purpose of serving as His instruments in constituting a united house of Israel, it surely behooves us to correctly understand what Elohim is expecting us to do individually and corporately.  An important first step in gaining this understanding is discerning where we are in Elohim’s program or timetable for restoring the Kingdom to Israel.  Elohim, while identifying Ephraim, must inform both sticks that, by themselves they are not the entire Israel of Elohim.


This is a huge task, even for Adonai.  The Jewish people have no doubts at all that they, and they alone, are the only inheritors of the promises of Abraham, Isaac, and Ya’akov.  On the other hand, the “church” with its over 1, 586 faiths, many claiming to be the authentic representation of the Israel of Elohim on earth believe they are the inheritors of the promises.  How is Elohim going to overcome these mind sets?


Like other prophecies, it will be far easier to look back at the fulfillment than to look ahead.  Since Ezekiel’s prophecy about the two sticks remains unfulfilled, we have no choice but to look ahead.  However, we can get some insight as to how Elohim may fulfill this prophecy by looking at how Elohim is fulfilling other like prophecies.  This prophecy, with Jeremiah’s, “I will restore the tents of Ya’akov – Mark’s, “Fig tree” and Joel’s, “The nations will divide Elohim’s land- and Isaiah’s, “A nation will be born in a day” – are prophecies we have, or we are seeing be fulfilled in our generation (Jeremiah 30:18; Mark 13:28; Joel 3:2; Isaiah 66:8).


Elohim is true to His Word…He is beginning to restore the “tabernacle of David,” by first bringing Judah back to the land (Zec. 12:7; Acts 15:16-17).  He is accomplishing this restoration using a combination of the efforts of men mixed with Divine intervention.


We see Elohim bringing about several great and wonderful changes in these last days.  When the two sticks come together a miraculous thing will unfold…He will rescue from exile and return them home to the Promised Land; He will bring continual unity under one King, and His name will be Yeshua; There will be purity from idolatry and sin and we will have a strong covenant relationship with Abba; we will be obedient to Elohim’s law because it will be written upon our hearts; we will be in covenant peace, prosperity and growth; lastly, we will have Elohim’s covenant presence, a witness to the nations.  We are living in exciting times.  We are living in the generation when our King shall return.  It is time, as Elohim awakens us, to become who He desires us to become.


Shabbat Shalom Mishpocha,


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As we finish up this secular year of 2023, we need to remember that how we exit a season is how we enter a new one.  So, let us finish these next weeks will praise, worship and thanksgiving so that 2024 can be filled with the same!  Have a great Sabbath and see you at the altar!

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