Ezekiel 4

1“Son of man, take a brick. Scratch a picture on it. Draw a picture of a city—the city Jerusalem. 2And then act like you are an army surrounding the city. Build a dirt wall around the city ˻to help you attack it˼. Build a dirt road leading up to the city wall. Bring battering rams and set up army camps around the city. 3And then take an iron pan and put it between you and the city. It will be like an iron wall separating you and the city. In this way, you will show that you are against that city. You will surround and attack that city. Why? Because this is an example for the family of Israel. ˻It will show that I ˻(God)˼ will destroy Jerusalem.˼ 4“Then you must lie down on your left side. You ˻must do the thing that shows that you˼ are taking the sins of the people of Israel on yourself. You will carry that guilt for as many days as you lie on your left side. 5You must bear the guilt of Israel for 390 days. In this way, I am telling you how long Israel will be punished, one day equals one year. 6“After that time, you will lie on your right side for 40 days. This time you will bear the guilt of Judah for 40 days. One day equals one year. I am telling you ˻how long Judah must be punished˼.” 7˻God again spoke. He said,˼ “Now, roll up your sleeve and raise your arm over the brick. Act like you are attacking the city Jerusalem. Do this to show that you are speaking as my messenger to the people. 8Now look, I am tying ropes on you. You won’t be able to roll over from one side to another until your attack against the city is finished.” 9˻God also said,˼ “You must get some grain to make bread. Get some wheat, barley, beans, lentils, millet, and spelt. Mix all those things together in one bowl and grind them to make flour. You will use this flour to make bread. You will eat only this bread during the 390 days that you lie on your side. 10You will be allowed to use only 1 cup of that flour each day to make bread. You will eat that bread from time to time throughout the day. 11And you can drink only 3 cups of water each day. You can drink it from time to time throughout the day. 12You must make your bread each day. You must get dry human dung and burn it. Then you must cook the bread over this burning dung. You must eat this bread in front of the people.” 13Then the Lord said, “This will show that the family of Israel will eat unclean bread in foreign countries. And I forced them to leave Israel and go to those countries! 14Then I ˻(Ezekiel)˼ said, “Oh, but Lord my Master, I have never eaten any unclean food. I have never eaten meat from an animal that died from a disease or from an animal that was killed by a wild animal. I have never eaten unclean meat—not from the time I was a little baby until today. None of that bad meat ever entered my mouth.” 15Then God said to me, “Ok! I will let you use dry cow dung to cook your bread. You don’t have to use dry human dung.” 16Then God said to me, “Son of man, I am destroying Jerusalem’s supply of bread. People will have only a little bread to eat. They will be very worried ˻about their food supply˼. And they will have only a little water to drink. They will be very scared when they drink that water. 17Why? Because there won’t be enough food and water for the people. People will be terrified of each other—they will see each other wasting away because of their sins.

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