Ezekiel 37:12

Hebrew Bible

10 So I prophesied as I was commanded, and the breath came into them; they lived and stood on their feet, an extremely great army. 11 Then he said to me, “Son of man, these bones are all the house of Israel. Look, they are saying, ‘Our bones are dry, our hope has perished; we are cut off.’ 12 Therefore prophesy, and tell them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Look, I am about to open your graves and will raise you from your graves, my people. I will bring you to the land of Israel. 13 Then you will know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves and raise you from your graves, my people. 14 I will place my breath in you and you will live; I will give you rest in your own land. Then you will know that I am the Lord—I have spoken and I will act, declares the Lord.’”

Matthew 27:52

New Testament

50 Then Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and gave up his spirit. 51 Just then the temple curtain was torn in two, from top to bottom. The earth shook and the rocks were split apart. 52 And tombs were opened, and the bodies of many saints who had died were raised. 53 (They came out of the tombs after his resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared to many people.) 54 Now when the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and what took place, they were extremely terrified and said, “Truly this one was God’s Son!”

 Notes and References

"... The collective setting of the opening of graves and the appearance of a multitude of saints to many in Matthew 27:52–53 has been related to a traditio-historical background in Ezekiel 37:12 in previous scholarship. However, Ezekiel 37:12 speaks in metaphorical language about prophecy of return to the land of Israel. The Qumran text 4QPseudo-Ezekiel includes the idea of reward for the piety of “many (men) from Israel who have loved your Name and have walked in the ways of your heart” (4Q385 2 2–3 // 4Q386 1 I 1–2) and envisions Ezekielian prophecy of Israel’s restoration in an apocalyptic setting of resurrection ... Matthew 27:51b–53 describes a collective setting of bodily resurrection of many holy persons that appeared to many in Jerusalem after Jesus’ resurrection. This collective setting echoes an apocalyptic belief of collective resurrection for the pious as conceptualized in 4QPseudo-Ezekiel. In the Matthean narrative, the centrality of Jerusalem in this appearance tradition, rather than Galilee for instance (cf. Mark 14:28, 16:7), relates to the hour of Jesus’ death at the cross near Jerusalem. The Matthean tradition of the appearance of risen holy ones to many in Jerusalem could further have a theological background in contemporary Jewish traditions that presuppose the centrality of Jerusalem in consolation from mourning ..."

Hogeterp, Albert L. Expectations of the End: A Comparative Study of Eschatological, Apocalyptic, and Messianic Ideas in the Dead Sea Scrolls and New Testament (p. 324) Brill, 2009

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