Ezekiel Plays Out the Blockade of Jerusalem

⌞The Lord said,⌟ “Son of man, take clay, put it in front of you, and draw a map of Jerusalem on it. Set up a blockade against it, build attack walls around it, put up dirt ramps around it, have troops ready to attack it, and place battering rams all around it. Then take an iron pan, and set it up as a wall between you and the city. Turn your face toward the city as if you were going to attack it, and then attack it. This is a sign for the people of Israel.

“Then lie on your left side and take the punishment of the nation of Israel yourself. You will bear its punishment as many days as you lie on that side. I have assigned to you one day for each year its punishment will last. So for 390 days, you will bear the punishment for the sins of the nation of Israel. When you finish this, you will lie down again, this time on your right side. You will bear the punishment for the sins of the nation of Judah for 40 days, one day for each year I have assigned to you. Turn your face toward the blockaded Jerusalem. Shake your fist and prophesy against it. I will tie you up with ropes so that you will not be able to turn from one side to the other until you have finished attacking ⌞Jerusalem⌟.

“Then take wheat, barley, beans, lentils, millet, and winter wheat. Put them in a container, and use them to make bread for yourself. Eat it during the 390 days that you are lying on your side. 10 The food that you eat should be weighed. Eat eight ounces of food every day at set times. 11 Measure out two-thirds of a quart of water, and drink it at set times. 12 Eat the bread as you would eat barley loaves. Bake the bread in front of people, using human excrement for fuel.”

13 Then the Lord said, “In the same way, the people of Israel will eat unclean [a] bread among the nations where I scatter them.”

14 I answered, “Almighty Lord, I have never dishonored myself. From the time I was young until now, I have never eaten an animal that died by itself or was killed by other wild animals. No unclean meat has ever entered my mouth.”

15 He said to me, “I will let you use cow manure in place of human excrement. Bake your bread over it.”

16 He also said to me, “Son of man, I am going to cut off the bread supply in Jerusalem. People will anxiously eat rationed bread and fearfully drink rationed water. 17 They will be shocked at the sight of each other because of the lack of food and water. They will waste away because of their sin.”


  1. 4:13 “Unclean   ” refers to anything that Moses’ Teachings say is not presentable to God.