Ezekiel 37


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I find it interesting that so many Saints will be able to say the phrase "The stick of Judah and the Stick of Ephraim" and not really understand where it came from or the context in which it is used.  Conversely, many sectarians know the prophecy of Ezekiel Ch 37 very well, they even have an interpretation of the sticks (which is partially true, but doesn't quite fit without Latter-day revelation)

Wouldn't it be great if we could put both of our understandings together to form a more cohesive understanding?  Well, I'll at least give it a try.


The sectarian view of the sticks is that they simply represent the Northern and Southern Kingdoms (Joseph/Ephraim and Judah respectively).  In the latter days, they would inherit Israel again and rule together as one people. 


21 And say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land:

22 And I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all: and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all:

And that seems to have been fulfilled with the founding of the Nation of Israel.

While incomplete, this is an accurate interpretation.  Yet, I've never heard anyone talk about this in our faith.  Whenever we talk about this chapter, it is always about the two books of scripture.  We rarely mention the prophecy of the uniting of Israel with this chapter.  If we did, we'd have a more complete understanding of what Joseph Smith said about the Book of Mormon.


Written to the Lamanites, who are a remnant of the house of Israel; and also to Jew and Gentile...

and that they may know the covenants of the Lord, that they are not cast off forever—And also to the convincing of the Jew and Gentile that Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God, manifesting himself unto all nations


The sticks are originally in the hand of the Judah and Ephraim respectively.  These are not simply "identities" of tribes.  They are the scriptures of the tribes.  These two are to be combined in one hand for the purpose of uniting the once separated kingdoms.  The word "write" keeps coming up regarding the sticks.  It is an important word that needs to be included in the interpretation.


16 Moreover, thou son of man, take thee one stick, and write upon it, For Judah, and for the children of Israel his companions: then take another stick, and write upon it, For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel his companions:


20 And the sticks whereon thou writest shall be in thine hand before their eyes.

I found a Jewish source that insists that the Nation of Israel has not completed the prophecy because the great majority of the Jews in Israel do not live according to the Torah.


23 Neither shall they defile themselves any more with their idols, nor with their detestable things, nor with any of their transgressions: but I will save them out of all their dwellingplaces, wherein they have sinned, and will cleanse them: so shall they be my people, and I will be their God.

24 And David my servant shall be king over them; and they all shall have one shepherd: they shall also walk in my judgments, and observe my statutes, and do them.


26 ... and will set my sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore.

They do not live the Torah sufficiently (in his estimation) and they have no temple.  Whatever was not written down about the temple before the scattering was lost.  They were able to retrieve some of it in the Book of Ezra.  But as a parallel, we did not record the temple ceremony until the mid 20th century.  It survived by oral repetition alone for 100 years among us.  The Jews most likely did not write down the most sacred (and most important) parts either.  So, those were completely lost and not restored among the Jews.

The Book of Mormon (The Stick of Joseph in the HAND of Ephraim) along with the other stick (the Bible in the HAND of Judah) are to be put together to unite the House of Israel.

It is a cutesy saying to say our scriptures are these sticks.  But do we understand the power behind these two books being united?  These two books have the power to unite our people.  Three remnants coming together.


Edited by Carborendum
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Nephi came to a similar understanding while reading Isaiah 29. Ignorant of Ezekiel, he comments that joining these two sticks directly leads to the two nations joining.


And it shall come to pass that the aJews shall have the words of the Nephites, and the Nephites shall have the words of the Jews; and the Nephites and the Jews shall have the words of the blost tribes of Israel; and the lost tribes of Israel shall have the words of the Nephites and the Jews.

14 And it shall come to pass that my people, which are of the ahouse of Israel, shall be gathered home unto the blands of their possessions; and my word also shall be gathered in cone. And I will show unto them that fight against my word and against my dpeople, who are of the ehouse of Israel, that I am God, and that I fcovenanted with gAbraham that I would remember his hseed iforever.


One additional note is that the theme of the restoration of Israel is revisited in the two-stick prophecy. Just prior to that there is a vision of the valley of dry bones. This is often taken to directly represent the restoration of Israel and indirectly represent (for Christians at least) the resurrection. The repitition with the two sticks also has the primary and secondary representation but without latter-day revelation remains incomplete.

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