Ezekiel Out of Exile (Text below)
In this new work for soloists, choir and symphony orchestra, we are taken on the journey of a unique encounter that Ezekiel the prophet (tenor) has with God.( bass baritone). In many ways the story of the valley of dry bones causes us to look at the unique relationship of a prophet with God. The role of being God’s mouthpiece, while at the same time experiencing the unfolding vision, as God reveals to Ezekiel an understanding of what he is seeing in this valley. The piece begins with Psalm 137, which most likely was written during the time of the Babylonian exile – and finishes with Psalm 126, which is a psalm of rejoicing in the fulfillment of God’s promise to His people, to bring them back into their own land. Central to the work, the unfolding of the vision causes us to enter into Ezekiel’s journey. The piece takes us from a place of lament and longing for Israel, right through to a joyful celebration of what God has done when He brings His people home. …. ” Look what the Lord has done!” The style of the music is both dramatic, sometimes tense, but often lyrical. I am so excited to share it with you!
1. By the rivers of Babylon,there we sat down, yea, we wept when we remembered Zion. 2 We hung our harps Upon the willows in the midst of it. 3 For there those who carried us away captive asked of us a song,
and those who plundered us requested mirth, saying, “Sing us one of the songs of Zion!” 4 How shall we sing the Lord’s song in a foreign land? 5 If I forget you, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget its skill! 6 If I do not remember you, let my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth— If I do not exalt Jerusalem above my chiefest joy.
Ezekiel 37 The hand of the Lord was upon me, and he brought me out in the Spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of the valley; it was full of bones. 2 And he led me around among them, and behold, there were very many on the surface of the valley, and behold, they were very dry. 3 And he said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” And I answered, “O Lord God, you know.” 4 Then he said to me, “Prophesy over these bones, and say to them, O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. 5 Thus says the Lord God to these bones: Behold, I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. 6 And I will lay sinews upon you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live, and you shall know that I am the Lord.” 7 So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I prophesied, there was a sound, and behold, a rattling,[c] and the bones came together, bone to its bone. 8 And I looked, and behold, there were sinews on them, and flesh had come upon them, and skin had covered them. But there was no breath in them. 9 Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, Thus says the Lord God: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live.” 10 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived and stood on their feet, an exceedingly great army.11 Then he said to me, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. Behold, they say, ‘Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are indeed cut off.’ 12 Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord God: Behold, I will open your graves and raise you from your graves, O my people. And I will bring you into the land of Israel. 13 And you shall know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves, and raise you from your graves, O my people. 14 And I will put my Spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I am the Lord; I have spoken, and I will do it, declares the Lord.”
1 When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dreamed. 2 Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them.”3 The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy. 4 Restore our fortunes, O Lord like streams in the Negev. 5 Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy. 6 Those who go out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with them.
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