4 “Now you, son of man, take a brick, place it before you and inscribe on it [a diagram of] the city of Jerusalem. 2 Then lay siege against it, build a siege wall, raise a ramp against it; set up [enemy] camps and place battering rams all around it. 3 Further, take an iron plate and place it as an iron wall between you and the city, and set your face toward it so that it is under siege, and besiege it. This is a sign to the house of Israel.
4 “Then lie down on your left side (toward the north) to bear [symbolically] the wickedness and punishment of the [a]house of Israel. You shall bear their wickedness and punishment for the number of days that you lie on your side. 5 For I have assigned you the years of their wickedness and punishment, according to the number of the days, three hundred and ninety days [representing three hundred and ninety years]; in this way you shall bear [symbolically] the wickedness and punishment of the house of Israel. 6 When you have completed these [days for Israel], lie down again, but on your right side (toward the south), and you shall bear the wickedness and punishment of the [b]house of Judah forty days. I have assigned you one day for each year. 7 Then you shall set your face toward the siege of Jerusalem with your arm bared and prophesy against it. 8 Now behold, I will put ropes on you so that you cannot turn from one side to the other until you have completed the days of your siege.
9 “But as for you, take wheat, barley, beans, lentils, millet, and spelt, and put them into one vessel and make them into bread for yourself. You shall eat it according to the number of the days that you lie on your side, three hundred and ninety days. 10 The food you eat each day shall be [measured] by weight, [c]twenty shekels, to be eaten daily at a set time. 11 You shall drink water by measure also, [d]the sixth part of a hin; you shall drink daily at a set time. 12 You shall eat your food as barley cakes, having baked it in their sight over human dung.” 13 Then the Lord said, “Thus the children of Israel will eat their bread unclean and defiled among the nations where I will banish them.”14 But I said, “Ah, Lord God! Behold (hear me), I have never been defiled; for from my youth until now I have never eaten what died on its own or was torn by beasts, nor has any unclean meat ever entered my mouth.”15 Then He said to me, “See, I will let you use cow’s dung instead of human dung over which you shall prepare your food.” 16 Moreover, He said to me, “Son of man, behold (listen carefully), I am going to break the staff of bread [that supports life] in Jerusalem; and they shall eat bread [rationed] by weight and [eat it] with anxiety and fear, and drink water by measure and [drink it] in horror [of the impending starvation],17 because bread and water will be scarce; and they will look at one another in dismay and waste away [in punishment] for their wickedness.
Ezekiel 4:4I.e. the ten tribes of the Northern Kingdom.
Ezekiel 4:6I.e. the two tribes of the Southern Kingdom.
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