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A Sign of Jerusalem’s Siege
1 “Now you, son of man, take a brick, place it before you, and draw on it the city of Jerusalem. 2 Then lay siege against it: Construct a siege wall, build a ramp to it, set up camps against it, and place battering rams around it on all sides. 3 Then take an iron plate and set it up as an iron wall between yourself and the city. Turn your face toward it so that it is under siege, and besiege it. This will be a sign to the house of Israel.
4 Then lie down on your left side and place the iniquity of the house of Israel upon yourself. You are to bear their iniquity for the number of days you lie on your side. 5 For I have assigned to you 390 days, according to the number of years of their iniquity. So you shall bear the iniquity of the house of Israel.
6 When you have completed these days, lie down again, but on your right side, and bear the iniquity of the house of Judah. I have assigned to you 40 days, a day for each year. 7 You must turn your face toward the siege of Jerusalem with your arm bared, and prophesy against it.
8 Now behold, I will tie you up with ropes so you cannot turn from side to side until you have finished the days of your siege.
The Defiled Bread
9 But take wheat, barley, beans, lentils, millet, and spelt; put them in a single container and make them into bread for yourself. This is what you are to eat during the 390 days you lie on your side. 10 You are to weigh out twenty shekels of food a to eat each day, and you are to eat it at set times.
11 You are also to measure out a sixth of a hin of water b to drink, and you are to drink it at set times. 12 And you shall eat the food as you would a barley cake, after you bake it over dried human excrement in the sight of the people.”
13 Then the LORD said, “This is how the Israelites will eat their defiled bread among the nations to which I will banish them.”
14 “Ah, Lord GOD,” I said, “I have never defiled myself. c From my youth until now I have not eaten anything found dead or mauled by wild beasts. No unclean meat has ever entered my mouth.”
15 “Look,” He replied, “I will let you use cow dung instead of human excrement, and you may bake your bread over that.”
16 Then He told me, “Son of man, I am going to cut off the supply d of food in Jerusalem. They will anxiously eat bread rationed by weight, and in despair they will drink water by measure. 17 So they will lack food and water; they will be appalled at the sight of one another wasting away in their iniquity.
10 a 20 shekels is approximately 8 ounces or 228 grams of food.
11 b A sixth of a hin is approximately 0.65 quarts or 0.61 liters of water.
14 c Hebrew “Ah, Lord GOD,” I said, “Behold, my soul has never been made unclean.
16 d Hebrew staff