(9) Was Ezekiel 37 a vision that forshadows the end times or did it already happen? I always thought it was a vision that parrellels the resurrection in the new testament.

After the dry bones were made alive by the Spirit of God from verses 1-10, God himself explains what all that meant. He tells us what those bones were, and why there were so dried out:

Ezekiel 37:11
(11) Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off for our parts.

Then God explains what the resurrection of these bones represent:

Ezekiel 37:12
(12) Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel.

The resurrection of these bones meant they were to be brought back to their own land, the land of Israel.

Ezekiel 37:13-14
(13) And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves,
(14) And shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the LORD have spoken it, and performed it, saith the LORD.

Why would God say in verse 14 that he would place them in “their own” land? Because they were in a land which was not their own! Remember what happened when King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon came upon them? The bible tells us he led them captive into his own land. This is what Psalm 137 is all about. They cried unto the Lord for deliverance; to be brought back to their own land. Ezekiel 37 is God’s response to their cries.

The rest of this chapter sheds more light on this subject, however. God begins to instruct Ezekiel to gather two sticks and to put them together in the sight of the children of Israel. When they were to inquire as to what this meant, Ezekiel’s reply was to be:

Ezekiel 37:19-22
(19) Say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel his fellows, and will put them with him, even with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they shall be one in mine hand.
(20) And the sticks whereon thou writest shall be in thine hand before their eyes.
(21) And say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land:
(22) And I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all: and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all.

God was getting ready to unite once more his divided kingdom, and bring them out from among “the heathen” and bring them back “into their own land.” We know this took place once we study the books of Ezra and Nehemiah.

But there seems to be a double application here. Verse 24 through 28 speaks of God’s servant “David” being placed as their King once more. We know that by the time they were returning from the land of Babylon Kind David had long been deceased.

The Bible reveals that David was a representative of Jesus Christ, because Jesus came from his line, and David often prophesied of Jesus’ sufferings in his Psalms. Perhaps David suffered similar things as Jesus, like as David’s friend Saul betrayed him, so Jesus’ friend Judas betrayed him (see Psalm 41:9). It's likely, therefore, that this chapter has a secondary future application, referring to the final restoration of the world when Jesus will govern over the New Earth in the New Jerusalem, just as its first application referred to the restoration of Israel in the Old Jerusalem.

I hope this helps.

In Jesus, the Solution,
Edwin M. Cotto