Front Matter The Story of a Beautiful Garden The First Baby in the World and His Brother The Great Ship That Saved Eight People The Tower That Was Never Finished The Story of a Long Journey How Abram's Choice Brought Blessing The Angel by the Well The Rain of Fire That Fell on a City The Boy Who Became an Archer How an Angel's Voice Saved a Boy's Life The Story of a Journey after a Wife How Jacob Stole His Brother's Blessing Jacob's Wonderful Dream A Midnight Wrestling Match The Rich Man's Son Who Was Sold as a Slave From the Prison to the Palace How Joseph's Dream Came True A Lost Brother Found From the Land of Famine to the Land of Plenty The Beautiful Baby Who Was Found in a River The Voice from the Burning Bush The River That Ran Blood The Night When a Nation Was Born How the Sea Became Dry Land and the Sky Rained Bre The Mountain That Smoked and Words That Were Spoke How Aaron Made a Golden Calf and What Became of It The Tent Where God Lived Among His People How They Worshipped God in the Tabernacle What Strong Drink Brought to Aaron's Sons The Scapegoat in the Wilderness The Cluster of Grapes from the Land of Canaan How the Long Journey of the Israelites Came to an What a Wise Man Learned from an Ass How Moses Looked upon the Promised Land The Story of Job The Story of a Scarlet Cord How the River Jordan Became Dry The Story of a Wedge of Gold How Joshua Conquered the Land of Canaan The Old Man Who Fought Against the Giants The Avenger of Blook and the Cities of Refuge The Story of an Altar Beside the River The Presnt That Ehud Brought to King Eglon How a Woman Won a Great Victory Gideon and His Brave Three Hundred Jephthah's Rash Promise and What Came from It The Strong Man: How He Lived and How He Died The Idol Temple at Dan and Its Priest How Ruth Gleaned in the Field of Boaz The Little Boy with a Linen Coat How the Idol Fell Down Before the Ark The Last of the Judges The Tall Man Who Was Chosen King How Saul Saved the Eyes of the Men of Jabesh The Brave Young Prince Saul's Great Sin and His Great Loss The Shepherd Boy of Bethlehem The Shepherd Boy's Fight with the Giant The Little Boy Looking for the Arrows Where David Found the Giant's Sword How David Spared Saul's Life The Last Days of King Saul The Shepherd Boy Becomes a King The Sound in the Treetops The Cripple at the King's Table The Prophet's Story of the Little Lamb David's Handsome Son and How He Stole the Kingdom Absalom in the Wood; David on the Throne The Angel with the Drawn Sword on Mount Moriah Solomon on This Father's Throne The Wise Young King The House of God on Mount Moriah The Last Days of Solomon's Reign The Breaking Up of a Great Kingdom The King Who Led Israel to Sin The Prophet Who Raised a Boy to Life The Prayer That Was Answered in Fire The Voice That Spoke to Elijah in the Mount The Wounded Prophet and His Story What Ahab Paid for His Vineyard The Arrow That Killed a King Elijah's Chariot of Fire A Spring Sweetened by Salt The Pot of Oil and the Pot of Poison The Little Boy at Shunem How a Little Girl Helped to Cure a Leper The Chariots of Fire around Elisha What the Lepers Found in the Camp Jehu, the Furious Driver of His Chariot Elisha and the Bow; Jonah and Nineveh How the Ten Tribes Were Lost The First Four Kings of Judah The Little Boy Who Was Crowned King Three Kings and a Great Prophet The Good King Hezekiah The Lost Book Found in the Temple The Last Four Kings of Judah and the Weeping Proph What Ezekiel Saw in the Valley The Jewish Captives in the Court of the King The Golden Image and the Fiery Furnace The Tree That Was Cut Down and Grew Again The Writing upon the Wall Daniel in the Den of Lions The Story of a Joyous Journey The New Temple on Mount Moriah The Beautiful Queen of Persia The Scribe Who Wrote the Old Testament The Nobleman Who Built the Wall of Jerusalem Ezra's Great Bible Class in Jerusalem The Angel by the Altar The Manger of Bethlehem The Star and the Wise Men The Boy in his Father's House The Prophet in the Wilderness Jesus in the Desert, and beside the River The Water Jars at the Wedding Feast The Stranger at the Well The Story of a Boy in Capernaum and a Riot A Net Full of Fishes The Leper and the Man Let Down through the Roof The Cripple at the Pool and the Withered Hand The Twelve Disciples and the Sermon on the Mount The Captain's Servant, the Widow's Son, and a Sinn Some Stories Jesus Told by the Sea "Peace, Be Still" The Little Girl Who Was Raised to Life A Dancing Girl and What Was Given Her The Feast beside the Sea and What Followed It The Answer to a Mother's Prayer The Glory of Jesus on the Mountain The Little Child in the Arms of Jesus At the Feast of Tabernacles The Man with Clay on His Face The Good Shepherd and the Good Samaritan Lazarus Raised to Life Some Parables in Perea The Poor Rich Man and the Rich Poor Man Jesus at Jericho Palm Sunday The Last Vistis of Jesus to the Temple The Parables on the Mount of Olives The Last Supper The Olive Orchard and the High Priests Hall The Crown of Thorns The Darkest Day of All the World The Brightest Day of All the World The Stranger on the Shore The Church of the First Days The Man at the Beautiful Gate The Right Way to Give, and the Wrong Way Stephen with the Shining Face The Man Reading in the Chariot The Voice That Spoke to Saul What Peter Saw by the Sea How the Iron Gate Was Opened The Earliest Missionaries The Song in the Prison Paul's Speech on the Hill Paul at Corinth Paul at Ephesus Paul's Last Journey to Jerusalem The Speech on the Stairs Two Years in Prison The Story That Paul Told to the King Paul in the Storm How Paul Came to Rome and How He Lived There The Throne of God The City of God

Story of the Bible Told for Young and Old - Jesse Hurlbut

What Ezekiel Saw in the Valley

All that was left now of the people of Judah was a company of captives, carried away from their won land to the land of Babylon. Theirs was a long, sorrowful journey, with their wives and children, dragged by cruel soldiers over mountains and valleys almost a thousand miles. They could not go straight across the vast desert which lies between the land of Judah and the plains of Babylonia. They were led around this desert far to the north, through Syria, up to the Euphrates river, and then following the great river in all its windings down to the land of their captivity. There in the land of Babylonia or Chaldea they found rest at last.

The captives in Babylon


When they were once in their new home the captives met with less trouble than they had feared; for the people of the land under Nebuchadnezzar, the great king, treated them kindly, and gave them fields to work in as their own. The soil was rich, and they could raise large crops of wheat, and barley, and other grains. They planted gardens and built for themselves houses. Some of them went to live in the cities, and became rich, and some were in the court of King Nebuchadnezzar, and rose to high places as nobles and princes, standing next to the king in rank and honor.

And the best of all was that these captives in a strange land did not worship idols. They saw the images of the Babylonian gods all around them, but they did not bow down to them. They worshipped the Lord God of their fathers, and the Lord only. The idol worshippers in Judah had been slain, and most of the captives were good men and women, who taught their children to love and serve the lord.

And these people did not forget the land from which they had come. They loved the land of Israel, and they taught their children to love it by singing songs about it. Some of these songs which the captive Jews sang in the land of Chaldea are in the Book of Psalms. Here is a part of one of these songs:

"By the rivers of Babylon,

There we sat down, yea, we wept,

When we remembered Zion.

Upon the willow-trees in the midst of that land

We hanged up our harps

For there they that led us captive asked us to sing;

And they that wanted us asked us to be glad, saying,

'Sing us one of the songs of Zion.'

How shall we sing the Lord's song

In a foreign land?

If I forget thee, O Jerusalem,

Let my right hand forget her skill,

Let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth,

If I do not remember thee

If I do not prefer Jerusalem

Above my chief joy."

From this time these people were called Jews, a name which means "people of Judah." And the Jews everywhere in the world belong to this people, for they have sprung or descended from the men who once lived in the land of Judah. And because they had once belonged to the twelve tribes of Israel, and ten of the tribes had been lost, and their kingdom had forever passed away, they were also spoken of as Israelites. So from this time "people of Judah," Jews, and Israelites, all mean the people who had come from the land of Judah, and their descendants after them.

God was good to his people in the land of Babylon, or Chaldea, another name by which this country was called. He sent to them prophets, who showed to them the way of the Lord. One of these prophets was Daniel, a young man who lived in the court of King Nebuchadnezzar. Another was a priest named Ezekiel, who lived among the captive people beside a river in Chaldea, called the river Cheban. God gave to Ezekiel wonderful visions. He saw the throne of the Lord, and the strange creatures with six wings, that the prophet Isaiah had seen long before. (See Story Three in this Part.) And he heard the voice of the Lord telling him of what should come to his people in the years to come.

At one time the Lord lifted up Ezekiel and brought him into the middle of a great valley. The prophet looked around, and saw that the valley was covered with the bones of men, as though a great battle had been fought upon it, and the bodies of the slain had been left there, and they had become a vast army of dry bones.

"Son of man," spoke the voice of the Lord to Ezekiel, "can these dry bones live again?"

And Ezekiel answered, "O Lord God, thou knowest whether these dry bones can live."

Then the Lord said to Ezekiel, "Preach to these dry bones, O son of man, and say to them, 'O ye dry bones, hear the voice of the Lord. Thus saith the Lord, I will send breath into you, and you shall live, and I will put flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and you shall be alive again, and know that I am the Lord.'"

Then Ezekiel spoke to the army of dry bones spread over the valley, as the Lord bade him speak. And while he was speaking there sounded a noise of rolling thunder, and all through the field the different bones began to come together, one part to another part, until they were no more loose bones, but skeletons of bones fitted together. Then another change came. Suddenly the flesh grew over all the bones, and they lay on the ground like an army of dead men, a host of bodies without life.

Then the Lord said to Ezekiel, "Speak to the wind, O son of man; speak, and say, 'Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.'"

Then Ezekiel called upon the wind to come, and while he was speaking the dead bodies began to breathe. Then they stood up on their feet, a great army of living men, filling the whole valley. Then the Lord said to Ezekiel, "Son of man, these dry bones are the people of Israel. They seem to be lost, and dead, and without hope. But they shall live again, for I, the Lord, will put life into them; and they shall go back to their own land, and be a people once more. I, the Lord, have spoken to it, and I will do it."

When Ezekiel told the captive people this vision their hearts were lifted up with a new hope that they should see their own land again.