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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.

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.

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.

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.

Commentary for Ezekiel 4

The siege of Jerusalem. (1-8) The famine the inhabitants would suffer. (9-17)1-8 The prophet was to represent the siege of Jerusalem by signs. He was to lie on his left side for a number of days, supposed to be equal to the years from the establishment of idolatry. All that the prophet sets before the children of his people, about the destruction of Jerusalem, is to show that sin is the provoking cause of the ruin of that once flourishing city.

9-17 The bread which was Ezekiel's support, was to be made of coarse grain and pulse mixed together, seldom used except in times of urgent scarcity, and of this he was only to take a small quantity. Thus was figured the extremity to which the Jews were to be reduced during the siege and captivity. Ezekiel does not plead, Lord, from my youth I have been brought up delicately, and never used to any thing like this; but that he had been brought up conscientiously, and never had eaten any thing forbidden by the law. It will be comfortable when we are brought to suffer hardships, if our hearts can witness that we have always been careful to keep even from the appearance of evil. See what woful work sin makes, and acknowledge the righteousness of God herein. Their plenty having been abused to luxury and excess, they were justly punished by famine. When men serve not God with cheerfulness in the abundance of all things, God will make them serve their enemies in the want of all things.

Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.

Discussion for Ezekiel 4

  • BSP on Ezekiel 4
    Verse 15: Jehovah God was reasonable with Ezekiel when he found that Ezekiel would have a hard time taking a certain course.
  • Irene123 on Ezekiel 4
    As far as the dung is concerned, God says right there that he would allow 'cow's' dung in place of human. But, Jeremiah - building a model city and using things to represent a siege; he was a true Man of God. Can you imagine the scoffing and ribbing he took, yet he ignored it all. This is our example for these days; that "having done ALL - to stand!!" We must persevere to win at least one soul
  • Marcelo on Ezekiel 4
    About the verses 1 to 5 we found a good prophesy for the future while them were still in captivity, ...the years of their iniquity, according to the number of the days, three hundred and ninety days... this meaning it seems that it is the same in Daniel Chapter 9 after he was fasting and praying because he was astonished after know the years of the captivity. but his supplication was heard from the beginning And a angel gave him understanding about it and the length of time in which his people should finished all their iniquities. More important meaning that we can applied in Daniel chapter 12 the last verses about the length of the of the desolation set up 1290 days and 2335 days a separate time of extreme desolation could be 45 years beginning 2023 to 2065 if we count from the last worst abominations of the Christian churches in 7033 ad. where there erected images and decorations.
  • Dave P. on Ezekiel 4
    This is describing Ezekiel 's prediction of Jerusalem 's desolation where an awful famine is described during the siege from Babylon. When it speaks of man 's dung, it speaks of a ceremonial pollution in the Jewish law of the worst nature. It is a reflection on the sins of mankind cp. Job 15:16
  • Fana on Ezekiel 4
    By the suffering of the prophet, the people of Israel were made to turn away from their sins to God. Jesus' suffering accomplished this even better. He is a prophet of all the prophets.
  • Stella on Ezekiel 4
    Praise God for the sacrifice of Christ on the cross now we don't have to suffer as Ezekiel did for anyone to be saved or forgiven. We now operate under grace in ministry and in the salvation of mankind.


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For how many days did God tell Ezekiel to lay on his left side?
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