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Siege of Jerusalem Illustrated on a Brick

“Now,[a] son of man,[b] take for yourself a brick, and you must put it before you,[c] and you must portray on it a city, Jerusalem. And you must build against it siege works, and you must build against it a bulwark, and you must heap against it a siege ramp, and you must set up against it camps and put against it a battering ram all around. And take for yourself a plate of iron, and you must place it as a wall of iron between you and the city, and you must set your face against it, and it must be under siege,[d] and you must lay the siege against it; it is a sign for the house of Israel. And you, lie down on your left side, and you must put[e] the guilt of the house of Israel on it. You will carry their guilt the number of days that you will lie on it. And I will give to you the years of their guilt according to the number of the days, three hundred and ninety days, and you must bear the guilt[f] of the house of Israel. When you have completed these, then you must lie a second time on your right side; and you must bear the guilt[g] of the house of Judah forty days, a day for each year, a day for each year I give it to you. And toward the siege of Jerusalem you must set your face and your bared arm; then you must prophesy against it. Now[h] look! I will put on you cords, and you may not turn yourself from one side to your other side until you complete the days of your siege.

Ezekiel’s Strange Defiled Meal

“And you, take for yourself[i] wheat and barley and beans and lentils and millet[j] and spelt, and you must put them in one vessel, and you must make them for yourself[k] into a food during the number of days that you are lying on your side; three hundred and ninety days you shall eat it. 10 And your food that you will eat[l] will be according to weight; twenty shekels for each day at fixed times[m] you shall eat it. 11 And an amount of water[n] you shall drink, a sixth of a hin; at fixed times[o] you shall drink it. 12 And as a bread-cake of barley you shall eat it, and with human excrement[p] you shall bake it before their eyes.” 13 And Yahweh said, “Thus shall the Israelites[q] eat their unclean food among the nations where I will scatter them.”[r] 14 And I said, “Ah, Lord Yahweh! Look! I have not been defiling myself, and a dead body and mangled carcass I have not eaten from my childhood until now, and unclean meat[s] has not come into my mouth!” 15 And he said to me, “See I will give you cattle manure[t] in the place of the feces of a human, and you may prepare your food on it.” 16 And he said to me, “Son of man,[u] look, I am going to break the supply[v] of bread in Jerusalem, and they will eat bread by weight, anxiously,[w] and rationed water,[x] and they will drink with horror, 17 so that they will lack food and water, and they will be appalled with one another,[y] and they will waste away because of their guilt.[z]


  1. Ezekiel 4:1 Or “And”
  2. Ezekiel 4:1 Or “mortal,” or “son of humankind”
  3. Ezekiel 4:1 Literally “to the face of you”
  4. Ezekiel 4:3 Literally “in the siege”
  5. Ezekiel 4:4 Or “you will put”
  6. Ezekiel 4:5 Or “punishment”
  7. Ezekiel 4:6 Or “punishment”
  8. Ezekiel 4:8 Or “and”
  9. Ezekiel 4:9 Hebrew “you”
  10. Ezekiel 4:9 Or “sorghum”
  11. Ezekiel 4:9 Hebrew “you”
  12. Ezekiel 4:10 Hebrew “will eat it”
  13. Ezekiel 4:10 Literally “from time to time”
  14. Ezekiel 4:11 Literally “water by amount”
  15. Ezekiel 4:11 Literally “from time to time”
  16. Ezekiel 4:12 Literally “with human dung of the excrement of the human”
  17. Ezekiel 4:13 Literally “sons/children of Israel”
  18. Ezekiel 4:13 Literally “which I will scatter them there”
  19. Ezekiel 4:14 Literally “flesh of unclean meat”
  20. Ezekiel 4:15 Literally “the manure of cattle”
  21. Ezekiel 4:16 Or “mortal,” or “son of humankind”
  22. Ezekiel 4:16 Literally “staff”
  23. Ezekiel 4:16 Literally “and with worry”
  24. Ezekiel 4:16 Literally “and water by amount”
  25. Ezekiel 4:17 Literally “a man and his brother”
  26. Ezekiel 4:17 Or “punishment”