Ezekiel 4

Show the siege of Jerusalem with a model 1
Lie on your side to bear the iniquity of Israel (each day for a year) 4
Make bread; eat it – twenty shekels per day; water by measure 9
Cook with cow dung – I will cut off Jerusalem's supply of food 14
Text Comments
.1 ¶ Thou also, son of man, take thee a tile, and lay it before thee, and pourtray upon it the city, even Jerusalem:
 2  And lay siege against it, and build a fort against it, and cast a mount against it; set the camp also against it, and set battering rams against it round about.
.3  Moreover take thou unto thee an iron pan, and set it for a wall of iron between thee and the city: and set thy face against it, and it shall be besieged, and thou shalt lay siege against it. This shall be a sign to the house of Israel.
   1 - Take thee a tile Or "a brick." God speaks to us in more than words. The apostle John was to eat a book re1008a. Ezekiel himself had been told to eat a book. See 3:1.
  2 - Lay siege This exhibition would have attracted attention and discussion.
  2 - Fort Instead, "siegeworks." That is, a device for attacking the city.
  3 - Iron pan As in le0205
.4  Lie thou also upon thy left side, and lay the iniquity of the house of Israel upon it: according to the number of the days that thou shalt lie upon it thou shalt bear their iniquity.
 5  For I have laid upon thee the years of their iniquity, according to the number of the days, three hundred and ninety days: so shalt thou bear the iniquity of the house of Israel.
.6  And when thou hast accomplished them, lie again on thy right side, and thou shalt bear the iniquity of the house of Judah forty days: I have appointed thee each day for a year.
 7  Therefore thou shalt set thy face toward the siege of Jerusalem, and thine arm shall be uncovered, and thou shalt prophesy against it.
 8  And, behold, I will lay bands upon thee, and thou shalt not turn thee from one side to another, till thou hast ended the days of thy siege.
   4 - Left side 390 days For Israel (The kingdom was divided. 10 tribes as Israel and 2 as Judah). See map. To lie for over a year without even rolling over would seem impossible. The text does not say that this was the case. The prophet may have gone each day to a place like the market area or in front of the temple and opened his exhibit.
   6 - Right side 40 days The rebellion of the southern kingdom began later and was less serious. In both cases a day for the prophet represented a year of rebellion. They would remember the 40 extra years in the wilderness nu1434.
.9 ¶ Take thou also unto thee wheat, and barley, and beans, and lentiles, and millet, and fitches, and put them in one vessel, and make thee bread thereof, according  to the number of the days that thou shalt lie upon thy side, three hundred and ninety days shalt thou eat thereof.
 10  And thy meat which thou shalt eat shall be by weight, twenty shekels a day: from time to time shalt thou eat it.
 11  Thou shalt drink also water by measure, the sixth part of an hin: from time to time shalt thou drink.
 12  And thou shalt eat it as barley cakes, and thou shalt bake it with dung that cometh out of man, in their sight.
 13  And the LORD said, Even thus shall the children of Israel eat their defiled bread among the Gentiles, whither I will drive them.
  9 - Bread This recipe was not being recommended as a health diet but was bread of humiliation. The bread represented the unpleasant circumstances that faced those who would be driven out v13.
  9 - Fitches Should be translated "spelt."
  10 - Twenty shekels The average weight of shekel coins found by archaeologists is around 11.4 grams. 20 would be about 228 grams (0.5 lb.). The water: 0.3 liter (1¼ cups). Barley enough to sustain life.
  10 - From time to time Or "once a day" (RSV).
  12 - As barley cakes This was flat bread baked on a griddle over a fire probably without yeast.
.14  Then said I, Ah Lord GOD! behold, my soul hath not been polluted: for from my youth up even till now have I not eaten of that which dieth of itself, or is torn in pieces; neither came there abominable flesh into my mouth.
 15  Then he said unto me, Lo, I have given thee cow’s dung for man’s dung, and thou shalt prepare thy bread therewith.
.16  Moreover he said unto me, Son of man, behold, I will break the staff of bread in Jerusalem: and they shall eat bread by weight, and with care; and they shall drink water by measure, and with astonishment:
 17  That they may want bread and water, and be astonied one with another, and consume away for their iniquity.
  15 - Cow's dung Instead of human feces v12. Notice that the dung for fuel is not an ingredient. Times would be difficult during the siege of the city.
  16 - Staff of bread Food that supported life would not be available. ez0516, ez1413, le2626, ps10516.
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Study questions - Chapter 4
Sorry we don't have them for the whole commentary.
1.  Ezekiel was told to take a brick and pretend that it was the city of Jerusalem." What message was God giving to the people who saw the prophet and his brick?
2.  What would placing the iron pan between the prophet and the city have meant? Remember that Ezekiel was pretending to attack the city (v.2). 
3.  What evidence does the text give that would lead us to conclude that the prophet was literally acting out the role of attacking the city?
4.  See verse 6. He was to lie on one side for 40 days? What would that mean?
5.  Verse 9 gives a bread recipe. Have you tasted the results?