4 “Now, son of man, take a block of clay, put it in front of you and draw the city of Jerusalem on it.2 Then lay siege to it: Erect siege works against it, build a ramp up to it, set up camps against it and put battering rams around it.3 Then take an iron pan, place it as an iron wall between you and the city and turn your face toward it. It will be under siege, and you shall besiege it. This will be a sign to the people of Israel.
4 “Then lie on your left side and put the sin of the people of Israel upon yourself.[a] You are to bear their sin for the number of days you lie on your side.5 I have assigned you the same number of days as the years of their sin. So for 390 days you will bear the sin of the people of Israel.
6 “After you have finished this, lie down again, this time on your right side, and bear the sin of the people of Judah. I have assigned you 40 days, a day for each year.7 Turn your face toward the siege of Jerusalem and with bared arm prophesy against her.8 I will tie you up with ropes so that you cannot turn from one side to the other until you have finished the days of your siege.
9 “Take wheat and barley, beans and lentils, millet and spelt; put them in a storage jar and use them to make bread for yourself. You are to eat it during the 390 days you lie on your side.10 Weigh out twenty shekels[b] of food to eat each day and eat it at set times.11 Also measure out a sixth of a hin[c] of water and drink it at set times.12 Eat the food as you would a loaf of barley bread; bake it in the sight of the people, using human excrement for fuel.”13 The Lord said, “In this way the people of Israel will eat defiled food among the nations where I will drive them.”
14 Then I said, “Not so, Sovereign Lord! I have never defiled myself. From my youth until now I have never eaten anything found dead or torn by wild animals. No impure meat has ever entered my mouth.”
15 “Very well,” he said, “I will let you bake your bread over cow dung instead of human excrement.”
16 He then said to me: “Son of man, I am about to cut off the food supply in Jerusalem. The people will eat rationed food in anxiety and drink rationed water in despair,17 for food and water will be scarce. They will be appalled at the sight of each other and will waste away because of[d] their sin.
God’s Razor of Judgment
5 “Now, son of man, take a sharp sword and use it as a barber’s razor to shave your head and your beard. Then take a set of scales and divide up the hair.2 When the days of your siege come to an end, burn a third of the hair inside the city. Take a third and strike it with the sword all around the city. And scatter a third to the wind. For I will pursue them with drawn sword.3 But take a few hairs and tuck them away in the folds of your garment.4 Again, take a few of these and throw them into the fire and burn them up. A fire will spread from there to all Israel.
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