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The Siege of Jerusalem Portrayed

You also, son of man, take a brick and lay it before you and inscribe a city on it, even Jerusalem. Then lay siege against it, and build a fort against it, and build a mound against it; set camps and place battering rams against it all around. Moreover take for yourself an iron plate and set it up for a wall of iron between you and the city. And set your face against it so that it is besieged, and lay siege against it. This shall be a sign to the house of Israel.

As for you, lie down on your left side and lay the iniquity of the house of Israel upon it. According to the number of the days that you lie on it, you shall bear their iniquity. For I have laid upon you the years of their iniquity according to the number of the days, three hundred and ninety days. So you shall bear the iniquity of the house of Israel.

When you have accomplished them, lie again on your right side, and you shall bear the iniquity of the house of Judah forty days. I have appointed you each day for a year. Therefore you shall set your face toward the siege of Jerusalem, and your arm shall be uncovered, and you shall prophesy against it. I will lay bands upon you, and you shall not turn yourself from one side to another until you have ended the days of your siege.

Also take for yourself wheat, and barley, and beans, and lentils, and millet, and spelt, and put them in one vessel and make bread. According to the number of the days that you lie on your side, three hundred and ninety days, you shall eat it. 10 Your food which you shall eat shall be by weight, twenty shekels[a] a day. From time to time you shall eat it. 11 You also shall drink water by measure, the sixth part of a hin.[b] From time to time you shall drink it. 12 You shall eat it as barley cake, having baked it in their sight with dung that comes out of man. 13 Then the Lord said, “Even so the sons of Israel shall eat their defiled bread among the nations where I drive them.”

14 Then I said, “Ah, Lord God! My soul has not been defiled. For from my youth up even until now I have not eaten of that which dies of itself, or is torn in pieces, nor has abominable meat come into my mouth.”

15 Then He said to me, “I have given you cow dung instead of man’s dung over which you shall prepare your bread.”

16 Moreover He said to me, Son of man, I will cut off the supply of bread in Jerusalem. They shall eat bread by weight and with anxiety and drink water by measure and with horror, 17 because bread and water will be scarce, and they will be appalled with one another, and waste away for their iniquity.


  1. Ezekiel 4:10 About 8 ounces, or 230 grams.
  2. Ezekiel 4:11 About ⅔ quart, or 0.6 liter.