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Ezekiel: Life-Giving in Phases

I expect to post a bit on John Levison, Filled with the Spirit, an exciting and invigorating new read I was able to start today. Here’s a quote from his discussion on Ezekiel 37, where Ezekiel has a vision of the restoration of Israel in terms of resurrection en masse:

This sequence, with its prediction of the spirit within followed by reconnection of bones and restoration of bodies followed by the perception that there is still no life, no spirit, followed by the inbreathing of spirit, amply expresses the realization of how difficult the transition to a new national existence can be. Life-giving takes place in phases, from prediction to partial reality to complete fulfillment.

And so it is with promised restoration and New Creation: prediction; partial reality; then, someday, gloriously complete fulfillment.

This close reading of the text opens the door to canonical interpretation (a practice which of course sheds light on other parts of Ezekiel, especially the Temple sequence in the conclusion) in a manner consistent with the grain of the Ezekiel’s vision.