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    Out of their graves – Mass’ei

    Ezekiel & the valley of dry bones, by Gustave Dore, 1866

    Listing the 42 journeys of the Children of Israel after they left Egypt, the Torah says (Num. 33:17), “They journeyed from Kiv’rot HaTa’avah and encamped at Chatzerot“.

    Geographically these are merely the names of stopping places in the wilderness. Translated, the first name means “Graves of Desire”, and the second means “Courtyards”. Preachers have often discovered a link between them.

    The idea is this: lust and sinfulness besmirch our character, take the meaning and purpose out of human life and symbolically bring us down to the grave. It is still possible, though, for us to repent, lift ourselves up out of a “virtual” grave (see the “Valley of Bones” story in Ezekiel 37) and live again in God’s courts (see Psalms 84 and 92).

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