Ezekiel confronts Israel about the impending destruction. He draws a sketch of Jerusalem. He lays on his side. He cooks his food over a fire of human dung.
VERSE 1. “You also, son of man, take a tile, and lay it before yourself, and portray on it a city, even Jerusalem.
portray on it a city, even Jerusalem. On a clay tablet, Ezekiel draws an outline of the city of Jerusalem.
VERSE 2. Lay siege against it, build forts against it, and cast up a mound against it. Also set camps against it and plant battering rams against it all around.
VERSE 3. Take for yourself an iron pan, and set it for a wall of iron between you and the city. Then set your face toward it. It will be besieged, and you shall lay siege against it. This shall be a sign to the house of Israel.
VERSE 4. “Moreover lie on your left side, and lay the iniquity of the house of Israel on it. According to the number of the days that you shall lie on it, you shall bear their iniquity.
lie on your left side. The LORD God calls Ezekiel to a way of prophesying that might seem strange to us. He is to lie on his left side.
In our day, people equate being a prophet with standing in front of a crowd of people and telling them off. However, true prophecy often takes place in obscurity. It is often quite mystical.
VERSE 5. For I have appointed the years of their iniquity to be to you a number of days, even three hundred ninety days. So you shall bear the iniquity of the house of Israel.
three hundred ninety days. Ezekiel’s ministry of lying on his side was to last for 390 days. Can you imagine lying on your left side for 13 months? Could you sustain your vision for doing that?
VERSE 6. “Again, when you have accomplished these, you shall lie on your right side, and shall bear the iniquity of the house of Judah. I have appointed forty days, each day for a year, to you.
lie on your right side. As if lying on his right side for 390 days wasn’t enough, now Ezekiel is to lie on his right side.
forty days. This is a much shorter ministry: 40 days versus 390. We wonder if the “40” days is to evoke the memory of Moses on the mountain, fasting and praying for 40 days while he received the 613 commandments.
VERSE 7. You shall set your face toward the siege of Jerusalem, with your arm uncovered; and you shall prophesy against it.
VERSE 8. Behold, I put ropes on you, and you shall not turn yourself from one side to the other, until you have accomplished the days of your siege.
NKJV translation. And surely I will restrain you so that you cannot turn from one side to another till you have ended the days of your siege.
I will restrain you. Ezekiel is doing as God commanded. Ezekiel isn’t just making up this stuff to annoy people.
In our day, some Christians go around annoying people and calling it prophecy. However, a true prophet is restrained. God restrains the prophet. A true prophet is marked by restraint.
VERSE 9. “Take for yourself also wheat, barley, beans, lentils, millet, and spelt, and put them in one vessel. Make bread of it. According to the number of the days that you will lie on your side, even three hundred ninety days, you shall eat of it.
Make bread of it. There is a company that sells bread baked according to this verse. However, they probably don’t bake it using the fuel mandated in verse 12 below.
VERSE 10. Your food which you shall eat shall be by weight, twenty shekels a day. From time to time you shall eat it.
VERSE 11. You shall drink water by measure, the sixth part of a hin. From time to time you shall drink.
VERSE 12. You shall eat it as barley cakes, and you shall bake it in their sight with dung that comes out of man.”
NLT translation. Prepare and eat this food as you would barley cakes. While all the people are watching, bake it over a fire using dried human dung as fuel and then eat the bread.
using dried human dung as fuel. Would today’s self-proclaimed prophets be willing to do this?
As for the company that sells bread according to verse 9, above, they do NOT call it Ezekiel 4:12 Bread!
VERSE 13. The LORD said, “Even thus will the children of Israel eat their bread unclean, among the nations where I will drive them.”
VERSE 14. Then I said, “Ah Lord GOD! Behold, my soul has not been polluted; for from my youth up even until now I have not eaten of that which dies of itself, or is torn of animals. No abominable meat has come into my mouth!”
VERSE 15. Then he said to me, “Behold, I have given you cow’s dung for man’s dung, and you shall prepare your bread on it.”
cow’s dung for man’s dung. Now Ezekiel is allowed to bake his bread over burning cow dung instead of human dung.
VERSE 16. Moreover he said to me, “Son of man, behold, I will break the staff of bread in Jerusalem. They will eat bread by weight, and with fearfulness. They will drink water by measure, and in dismay;
VERSE 17. that they may lack bread and water, be dismayed one with another, and pine away in their iniquity.
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.