Then he said to me, Mortal, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They say, Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are cut off completely. Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord God: I am going to open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people; and I will bring you back to the land of Israel. And you shall know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people. I will put my spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you on your own soil; then you shall know that I, the Lord, have spoken and will act, says the Lord. (NRSV 37:11-14)
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. 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. 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, 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. (KJV 37:11-14)
God's saying that he'll resurrect Israel as a kingdom and a nation. Since part of the plan all along has been to make the descendants of Abraham as numerous as the stars, grains of sand, etc. etc. , he can't very well count on just the returned exiles and exhausted survivors to replenish the nation. One new idea in Ezekiel is that both the Northern Kingdom and the Southern (Judah) will be restored. Since the northern Kingdom had already been gone for 150 years, this was a pretty amazing idea.