The explanation of the two sticks (Ezek 37:18-37:19)

“Your people will

Say to you.

‘Will you not show us

What you mean by these?’

Say to them!

Thus says Yahweh God!

‘I am about to take

The stick of Joseph,

That is

In the hand of Ephraim,

With the tribes of Israel

Associated with it.

I will put

The stick of Judah

Upon it.

I will make them

One stick.

Thus,

They may be

One

In my hand.’”

Of course, there was a simple explanation to this action of Ezekiel. When the people would ask Ezekiel what all this meant, he was to explain to them that the sick of Joseph that included Ephraim was the northern tribes associated with him. This stick was to be put on the stick of Judah. Thus, instead of two sticks, there would only be one stick in the hand of Ezekiel. The north was going to be once again connected to the south, Judah.

 

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The two sticks (Ezek 37:15-37:17)

The word of Yahweh

Came to me.

‘Son of man!

Take a stick!

Write on it!

‘For Judah,

With the Israelites

Associated with him.’

Then take another stick!

Write on it!

‘For Joseph,

The stick of Ephraim,

With all

The house of Israel

Associated with it.’

Join them together

Into one stick.

Thus,

They may become

One

In your hand.’”

As usual, the word of Yahweh came to Ezekiel, the son of man. Yahweh wanted Ezekiel to take two sticks and join them together. Ezekiel was to write on the first stick Judah and everyone associated with him. This was an obvious reference to Judah and the collapsed kingdom of the south. The second stick was a reference to the Israelite kingdom of the north that fell in 721 BCE, a couple of centuries earlier. However, the written title on the second stick was Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, one of Joseph’s sons. All those associated with the northern kingdom were included with the house of Israel. Ezekiel was then to take these two sticks and put them together in his hand, so that they would become one stick. This was an obvious reference that Yahweh wanted the people of both the old northern kingdom of Israel and the southern kingdom of Judah to come together, just like what had happened in Ezekiel’s hand.