Can these bones live?
It was ‘only’ a vision, but still Ezekiel felt uncomfortable. He was standing in a valley of dry old bones. And God was asking him a very silly question.
Mortal, can these bones live?
What to say? Standing in a pile of bones bleached white by the sun was not inspiring Ezekiel’s confidence. If he said No they’re dead and dusted, he could be accused of doubting God’s power. But if he said Yes Lord of course, he might have to say how on earth that could possibly happen.
So he takes the cautious path:
O Lord God, you know.
Ezekiel tosses the ball right back into God’s court. But God has been around the block a few times more than Ezekiel and the ball is tossed right back at him:
Prophesy to these bones, and say to them: O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. Thus says the Lord God to these bones: I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. I will lay sinews on you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live; and you shall know that I am the Lord.
Ezekiel prophesies, and the bones become a mighty people. No one is more surprised than Ezekiel.