Bone, Bones


In contrast Jeremiah 8:1 shows how the dead may be discredited by exhumation and exposure of the skeleton. Along with flesh, bones were the part of the body referred to in declaring kinship (Gen 2:23; 29:14; Judg 9:2; 2 Sam 19:13).

In several instances the word appears as the figure of speech called the synecdoche in which a part stands for the whole. Job and David describe physical anguish in this way (Job 20:11; 30:17; Ps 6:2; 22:14; 32:3 [KJV]; 38:3). When viewed in this sense the Messianic reference in Psalm 22:14 need not mean that crucifixion led to dislocations.

Ezekiel’s vision (Ezek 37) centers around the valley of dry bones. The bones stand for a lifeless spiritual Israel who came to life only under the influence of God’s Spirit.