Jerusalem’s Siege Dramatized

“Now you, son of man, take a brick, set it in front of you, and draw the city of Jerusalem on it. Then lay siege against it:(A) Construct a siege wall, build a ramp, pitch military camps, and place battering rams against it on all sides. Take an iron plate and set it up as an iron wall between yourself and the city. Face it so that it is under siege, and besiege it. This will be a sign for the house of Israel.(B)

“Then lie down on your left side and place the iniquity[a] of the house of Israel on it. You will bear their iniquity for the number of days you lie on your side. For I have assigned you the years of their iniquity according to the number of days you lie down, 390 days; so you will bear the iniquity of the house of Israel.(C) When you have completed these days, lie down again, but on your right side, and bear the iniquity of the house of Judah. I have assigned you forty days, a day for each year. Face the siege of Jerusalem with your arm bared, and prophesy against it. Be aware that I will put cords on you so you cannot turn from side to side until you have finished the days of your siege.(D)

“Also take wheat, barley, beans, lentils, millet, and spelt. Put them in a single container and make them into bread for yourself. You are to eat it during the number of days you lie on your side, 390 days. 10 The food you eat each day will weigh eight ounces;[b] you will eat it at set times.[c] 11 You will also drink a ration of water, a sixth of a gallon,[d] which you will drink at set times. 12 You will eat it as you would a barley cake and bake it over dried human excrement in their sight.” 13 The Lord said, “This is how the Israelites will eat their bread—ceremonially unclean—among the nations where I will banish them.”(E)

14 But I said, “Oh, Lord God, I have never been defiled. From my youth until now I have not eaten anything that died naturally or was mauled by wild beasts.(F) And impure meat has never entered my mouth.”(G)

15 He replied to me, “Look, I will let you use cow dung instead of human excrement, and you can make your bread over that.” 16 He said to me, “Son of man, I am going to cut off the supply of bread in Jerusalem.(H) They will anxiously eat food they have weighed out and in dread drink rationed water(I) 17 for lack of bread and water. Everyone will be devastated and waste away because of their iniquity.(J)

Footnotes

  1. 4:4 Or punishment
  2. 4:10 Lit 20 shekels
  3. 4:10 Lit from time to time, also in v. 11
  4. 4:11 Lit hin

Siege of Jerusalem Symbolized

“Now, son of man, take a block of clay, put it in front of you and draw the city of Jerusalem on it. Then lay siege to it: Erect siege works against it, build a ramp(A) up to it, set up camps against it and put battering rams around it.(B) Then take an iron pan,(C) place it as an iron wall between you and the city and turn your face toward(D) it. It will be under siege, and you shall besiege it. This will be a sign(E) to the people of Israel.(F)

“Then lie on your left side and put the sin of the people of Israel upon yourself.[a] You are to bear their sin for the number of days you lie on your side. I have assigned you the same number of days as the years of their sin. So for 390 days you will bear the sin of the people of Israel.

“After you have finished this, lie down again, this time on your right side, and bear the sin(G) of the people of Judah. I have assigned you 40 days, a day for each year.(H) Turn your face(I) toward the siege of Jerusalem and with bared arm prophesy against her. I will tie you up with ropes so that you cannot turn from one side to the other until you have finished the days of your siege.(J)

“Take wheat and barley, beans and lentils, millet and spelt;(K) put them in a storage jar and use them to make bread for yourself. You are to eat it during the 390 days you lie on your side. 10 Weigh out twenty shekels[b](L) of food to eat each day and eat it at set times. 11 Also measure out a sixth of a hin[c] of water and drink it at set times.(M) 12 Eat the food as you would a loaf of barley bread; bake it in the sight of the people, using human excrement(N) for fuel.” 13 The Lord said, “In this way the people of Israel will eat defiled food among the nations where I will drive them.”(O)

14 Then I said, “Not so, Sovereign Lord!(P) I have never defiled myself. From my youth until now I have never eaten anything found dead(Q) or torn by wild animals. No impure meat has ever entered my mouth.(R)

15 “Very well,” he said, “I will let you bake your bread over cow dung instead of human excrement.”

16 He then said to me: “Son of man, I am about to cut off(S) the food supply in Jerusalem. The people will eat rationed food in anxiety and drink rationed water in despair,(T) 17 for food and water will be scarce.(U) They will be appalled at the sight of each other and will waste away because of[d] their sin.(V)

Footnotes

  1. Ezekiel 4:4 Or upon your side
  2. Ezekiel 4:10 That is, about 8 ounces or about 230 grams
  3. Ezekiel 4:11 That is, about 2/3 quart or about 0.6 liter
  4. Ezekiel 4:17 Or away in

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