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The Siege of Jerusalem Portrayed

“And you, O mortal, take a brick and set it before you. On it portray a city, Jerusalem,(A) and put siegeworks against it, and build a siege wall against it, and cast up a ramp against it; set camps also against it, and plant battering rams against it all around.(B) Then take an iron plate and place it as an iron wall between you and the city; set your face toward it, and let it be in a state of siege, and press the siege against it. This is a sign for the house of Israel.(C)

“Then lie on your left side and place the guilt of the house of Israel upon it; you shall bear their guilt for the number of the days that you lie there.(D) For I assign to you a number of days, three hundred ninety days, equal to the number of the years of their guilt, and so you shall bear the guilt of the house of Israel.(E) When you have completed these, you shall lie down a second time, but on your right side, and bear the guilt of the house of Judah; forty days I assign you, one day for each year. You shall set your face toward the siege of Jerusalem, and with your arm bared you shall prophesy against it.(F) See, I am putting cords on you so that you cannot turn from one side to the other until you have completed the days of your siege.(G)

“And you, take wheat and barley, beans and lentils, millet and spelt; put them into one vessel and make bread for yourself. During the number of days that you lie on your side, three hundred ninety days, you shall eat it. 10 The food that you eat shall be twenty shekels a day by weight; at fixed times you shall eat it. 11 And you shall drink water by measure, one-sixth of a hin; at fixed times you shall drink. 12 You shall eat it as a barley cake, baking it in their sight on human dung.”(H) 13 The Lord said, “Thus shall the people of Israel eat their bread, unclean, among the nations to which I will drive them.”(I) 14 Then I said, “Ah Lord God! I have never defiled myself; from my youth up until now I have never eaten what died of itself or was torn by animals, nor has carrion flesh come into my mouth.”(J) 15 Then he said to me, “See, I will let you have cow’s dung instead of human dung, on which you may prepare your bread.”

16 Then he said to me, “Mortal, I am going to cut off the supply of bread[a] in Jerusalem; they shall eat bread by weight and with fearfulness, and they shall drink water by measure and in dismay.(K) 17 Lacking bread and water, they will look at one another in dismay and waste away under their punishment.(L)

A Sword against Jerusalem

“And you, O mortal, take a sharp sword; use it as a barber’s razor and run it over your head and your beard; then take balances for weighing, and divide the hair.(M) One third of the hair you shall burn in the fire inside the city when the days of the siege are completed; one third you shall take and strike with the sword all around the city;[b] and one third you shall scatter to the wind, and I will unsheathe the sword after them.(N) Then you shall take from these a small number and bind them in the hem of your robe.(O) From these, again, you shall take some, throw them into the fire and burn them up; from there a fire will come out against all the house of Israel.(P)

“Thus says the Lord God: This is Jerusalem; I have set her in the center of the nations, with countries all around her.(Q) But she has rebelled against my ordinances and my statutes, becoming more wicked than the nations and the countries all around her, rejecting my ordinances and not following my statutes.(R) Therefore thus says the Lord God: Because you are more turbulent than the nations that are all around you and have not followed my statutes or kept my ordinances and have not even acted according to the ordinances of the nations that are all around you,(S) therefore thus says the Lord God: I, I myself, am coming against you; I will execute judgments among you in the sight of the nations.(T) And because of all your abominations, I will do to you what I have never yet done and the like of which I will never do again.(U) 10 Surely, parents shall eat their children in your midst, and children shall eat their parents; I will execute judgments on you, and any of you who survive I will scatter to every wind.(V) 11 Therefore, as I live, says the Lord God, surely, because you have defiled my sanctuary with all your detestable things and with all your abominations, therefore I will withdraw; my eye will not spare, and I will have no pity.(W) 12 One third of you shall die of pestilence or be consumed by famine among you; one third shall fall by the sword around you; and one third I will scatter to every wind and will unsheathe the sword after them.(X)

13 “My anger shall spend itself, and I will vent my fury on them and satisfy myself, and they shall know that I, the Lord, have spoken in my jealousy when I spend my fury on them.(Y) 14 Moreover, I will make you a desolation and an object of mocking among the nations around you, in the sight of all who pass by.(Z) 15 You shall be[c] a mockery and a taunt, a warning and a horror, to the nations around you when I execute judgments on you in anger and fury and with furious punishments—I, the Lord, have spoken(AA) 16 when I loose against you[d] my deadly arrows of famine, arrows for destruction, which I will let loose to destroy you, and when I bring more and more famine upon you and cut off your supply of bread.[e](AB) 17 I will send famine and wild animals against you, and they will rob you of your children; pestilence and bloodshed shall pass through you, and I will bring the sword upon you. I, the Lord, have spoken.”(AC)

Judgment on Idolatrous Israel

The word of the Lord came to me: O mortal, set your face toward the mountains of Israel and prophesy against them and say: You mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord God! Thus says the Lord God to the mountains and the hills, to the ravines and the valleys: I, I myself, will bring a sword upon you, and I will destroy your high places.(AD) Your altars shall become desolate, and your incense stands shall be broken, and I will throw down your slain in front of your idols.(AE) I will lay the corpses of the people of Israel in front of their idols, and I will scatter your bones around your altars. Wherever you live, your towns shall be waste and your high places ruined, so that your altars will be waste and ruined,[f] your idols broken and destroyed, your incense stands cut down, and your works wiped out.(AF) The slain shall fall in your midst; then you shall know that I am the Lord.(AG)

But I will spare some. Some of you shall escape the sword among the nations and be scattered through the countries.(AH) Your survivors shall remember me among the nations where they are carried captive, how I was crushed by their wanton heart that turned away from me and their wanton eyes that turned after their idols. Then they will be loathsome in their own sight for the evils that they have committed, for all their abominations.(AI) 10 And they shall know that I am the Lord; I did not threaten in vain to bring this disaster upon them.

11 Thus says the Lord God: Strike your hands together and stamp your foot and say Alas! for all the vile abominations of the house of Israel. For they shall fall by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence.(AJ) 12 Those far off shall die of pestilence, those nearby shall fall by the sword, and any who are left and are spared shall die of famine. Thus I will spend my fury upon them.(AK) 13 And you shall know that I am the Lord when their slain lie among their idols around their altars, on every high hill, on all the mountaintops, under every green tree, and under every leafy oak, wherever they offered pleasing odor to all their idols.(AL) 14 I will stretch out my hand against them and make the land desolate and waste, throughout all their settlements, from the wilderness to Riblah.[g] Then they shall know that I am the Lord.(AM)


  1. 4.16 Heb staff of bread
  2. 5.2 Heb it
  3. 5.15 Q ms Gk Syr Vg Tg: MT It shall be
  4. 5.16 Heb them
  5. 5.16 Heb staff of bread
  6. 6.6 Syr Vg Tg: Heb and will bear their punishment
  7. 6.14 Cn: Heb Diblah