Ominous Object Lessons
1 “And you, son of man, take a brick1 and set it in front of you. Inscribe2 a city on it – Jerusalem. 2 Lay siege to it! Build siege works against it. Erect a siege ramp3 against it! Post soldiers outside it4 and station battering rams around it. 3 Then for your part take an iron frying pan5 and set it up as an iron wall between you and the city. Set your face toward it. It is to be under siege; you are to besiege it. This is a sign6 for the house of Israel.
4 “Also for your part lie on your left side and place the iniquity7 of the house of Israel on it. For the number of days you lie on your side you will bear their iniquity. 5 I have determined that the number of the years of their iniquity are to be the number of days8 for you – 390 days.9 So bear the iniquity of the house of Israel.10
6 “When you have completed these days, then lie down a second time, but on your right side, and bear the iniquity of the house of Judah 40 days11 – I have assigned one day for each year. 7 You must turn your face toward the siege of Jerusalem with your arm bared and prophesy against it. 8 Look here, I will tie you up with ropes, so you cannot turn from one side to the other until you complete the days of your siege.12
9 “As for you, take wheat, barley, beans, lentils, millet, and spelt,13 put them in a single container, and make food14 from them for yourself. For the same number of days that you lie on your side – 390 days15 – you will eat it. 10 The food you eat will be eight ounces16 a day by weight; you must eat it at fixed17 times. 11 And you must drink water by measure, a pint and a half;18 you must drink it at fixed times. 12 And you must eat the food like you would a barley cake. You must bake it in front of them over a fire made with dried human excrement.”19 13 And the Lord said, “This is how the people of Israel will eat their unclean food among the nations20 where I will banish them.”
14 And I said, “Ah, sovereign Lord, I have never been ceremonially defiled before. I have never eaten a carcass or an animal torn by wild beasts; from my youth up, unclean meat21 has never entered my mouth.”
15 So he said to me, “All right then, I will substitute cow’s manure instead of human excrement. You will cook your food over it.”
16 Then he said to me, “Son of man, I am about to remove the bread supply22 in Jerusalem.23 They will eat their bread ration anxiously, and they will drink their water ration in terror 17 because they will lack bread and water. Each one will be terrified, and they will rot for their iniquity.24