וְאַתָּה בֶן־אָדָם קַח־לְךָ לְבֵנָה וְנָתַתָּה אֹותָהּ לְפָנֶיךָ וְחַקֹּותָ עָלֶיהָ עִיר אֶת־יְרוּשָׁלִָם׃ 4:1
Ezek. 4:1 “Now you, human, take a tile for yourself and you shall set it before you, and engrave on it, the city, ‘Jerusalem.’”
וְנָתַתָּה עָלֶיהָ מָצֹור וּבָנִיתָ עָלֶיהָ דָּיֵק וְשָׁפַכְתָּ עָלֶיהָ סֹלְלָה וְנָתַתָּה עָלֶיהָ מַחֲנֹות וְשִׂים־עָלֶיהָ כָּרִים 4:2 סָבִיב׃
Ezek. 4:2 “Then you shall set a siege against it and build a bulwark against it, and pour a mound out by it, and set camps near it, and direct battering rams against it all around.”
May we gather from these verses that the siege of Jerusalem had not yet begun? Sure. As we know from Chapter 1, it was not to start for at least another two years.
וְאַתָּה קַח־לְךָ מַחֲבַת בַּרְזֶל וְנָתַתָּה אֹותָהּ קִיר בַּרְזֶל בֵּינְךָ וּבֵין הָעִיר וַהֲכִינֹתָה אֶת־פָּנֶיךָ אֵלֶיהָ 4:3 וְהָיְתָה בַמָּצֹור וְצַרְתָּ עָלֶיהָ אֹות הִיא לְבֵית יִשְׂרָאֵ
Ezek. 4:3 “Then you take an iron griddle for yourself, and make it an iron wall between you and the city; then you shall direct your face toward it, and it shall be in siege when you lay siege against it. It shall be a sign for the house of Israel.”
וְאַתָּה שְׁכַב עַל־צִדְּךָ הַשְּׂמָאלִי וְשַׂמְתָּ אֶת־עֲוֹן בֵּית־יִשְׂרָאֵל עָלָיו מִסְפַּר הַיָּמִים אֲשֶׁר תִּשְׁכַּב עָלָיו 4:4 תִּשָּׂא אֶת־עֲוֹנָם׃
Ezek. 4:4 “Now you lie down on your left side and you shall place the iniquity of the house of Israel on it; the number of days that you will lie on it, you must bear their iniquity,
I see an interesting potential message in the Hebrew of this verse. Ezekiel says he’s directed to lie on his left side and to place the iniquity of Israel on it and he’s to bear their iniquity as long as he’s on that side, which is 390 days (see next verse). Now how is it possible for Ezekiel to do all that? If he is lying on his left side, in order to bear the iniquity, he has to place it on his right side, the side that’s up, not the left side. As I see this, it might mean that Ezekiel is not as careful as he seems to have been. Alternatively, he may not remember too accurately what has transpired in his dreams or visions by the time he writes them down (presumably, as a priest, he did not need a scribe). By the way, apparently in all of the preceding and following, as far as I know Ezekiel is still standing before the expanse and the figure he assumes is the Lord. Nothing has been said that the original episode described in Chapter 1 has ended. So this is either part of the dream, or the dream has ended without his noting it, and/or this is a later dream with no details of the transition between the first and this one.
וַאֲנִי נָתַתִּי לְךָ אֶת־שְׁנֵי עֲוֹנָם לְמִסְפַּר יָמִים שְׁלֹשׁ־מֵאֹות וְתִשְׁעִים יֹום וְנָשָׂאתָ עֲוֹן בֵּית־יִשְׂרָאֵל׃ 4:5
Ezek. 4:5 and I have appointed the years of their iniquity to you for the number of days, three hundred and ninety days, that you shall bear the iniquity of the house of Israel.”
וְכִלִּיתָ אֶת־אֵלֶּה וְשָׁכַבְתָּ עַל־צִדְּךָ (הַיְמֹונִי) [הַיְמָנִי] שֵׁנִית וְנָשָׂאתָ אֶת־עֲוֹן בֵּית־יְהוּדָה אַרְבָּעִים יֹום 4:6
יֹום לַשָּׁנָה יֹום לַשָּׁנָה נְתַתִּיו לָךְ׃
Ezek. 4:6 “When you will have completed these, then you shall lie down on your right side again, and you shall bear the iniquity of the house of Judah forty days, a day for a year; a day for a year, I have appointed it for you.”
The word in error in parentheses has a vav and should not. The corrected spelling is in the brackets.
וְאֶל־מְצֹור יְרוּשָׁלִַם תָּכִין פָּנֶיךָ וּזְרֹעֲךָ חֲשׂוּפָה וְנִבֵּאתָ עָלֶיהָ׃ 4:7
Ezek. 4:7 “And you shall direct your face and your bare arm toward the siege of Jerusalem and you shall prophesy against it.”
וְהִנֵּה נָתַתִּי עָלֶיךָ עֲבֹותִים וְלֹא־תֵהָפֵךְ מִצִּדְּךָ אֶל־צִדֶּךָ עַד־כַּלֹּותְךָ יְמֵי מְצוּרֶךָ׃ 4:8
Ezek. 4:8 “Now behold, I set cords above you so you will not need to turn from side to side until your completion of the days of your siege.”
What might be the function of the cords? Are they holding Ezekiel so he doesn’t quite touch the ground? What can they have to do with his not needing to turn from side to side? Are they holding his food and water? Your guess is as good as mine.
וְאַתָּה קַח־לְךָ חִטִּין וּשְׂעֹרִים וּפֹול וַעֲדָשִׁים וְדֹחַן וְכֻסְּמִים וְנָתַתָּה אֹותָם בִּכְלִי אֶחָד וְעָשִׂיתָ אֹותָם 4:9 לְךָ לְלָחֶם מִסְפַּר הַיָּמִים אֲשֶׁר־אַתָּה שֹׁוכֵב עַל־צִדְּךָ שְׁלֹשׁ־מֵאֹות וְתִשְׁעִים יֹום תֹּאכֲלֶנּוּ׃
Ezek. 4:9 “And you take for yourself wheat and barley grains and beans and lentils and millet and spelt and you shall put them in one vessel, and prepare them for bread for yourself the number of days that you will be lying on your side; you shall eat it three hundred and ninety days.”
וּמַאֲכָלְךָ אֲשֶׁר תֹּאכֲלֶנּוּ בְּמִשְׁקֹול עֶשְׂרִים שֶׁקֶל לַיֹּום מֵעֵת עַד־עֵת תֹּאכֲלֶנּוּ׃ 4:10
Ezek. 4:10 “And your food that you will eat shall be with a weight of twenty shekels a day; you shall eat it from time to time.”
וּמַיִם בִּמְשׂוּרָה תִשְׁתֶּה שִׁשִּׁית הַהִין מֵעֵת עַד־עֵת תִּשְׁתֶּה׃ 4:11
Ezek. 4:11 “And you shall drink water by the measure of a sixth of a hin; you shall drink from time to time.”
וְעֻגַת שְׂעֹרִים תֹּאכֲלֶנָּה וְהִיא בְּגֶלְלֵי צֵאַת הָאָדָם תְּעֻגֶנָה לְעֵינֵיהֶ 4:12
Ezek. 4:12 “You shall eat of it as cakes of barley, and in the dung of human excrement, you shall bake it for their eyes.”
וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוָה כָּכָה יֹאכְלוּ בְנֵי־יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶת־לַחְםָם טָמֵא בַּגֹּויִם אֲשֶׁר אַדִּיחֵם שָׁם׃ 4:13
Ezek. 4:13 And the Lord said, “The children of Israel shall eat their unclean bread like this in the nations where I will drive them.”
וָאֹמַר אֲהָהּ אֲדֹנָי יְהוִה הִנֵּה נַפְשִׁי לֹא מְטֻמָּאָה וּנְבֵלָה וּטְרֵפָה לֹא־אָכַלְתִּי מִנְּעוּרַי וְעַד־עַתָּה 4:14 וְלֹא־בָא בְּפִי בְּשַׂר פִּגּוּל׃
Ezek. 4:14 Then I said, “Oh, Master! O Lord! Behold, my soul is not defiled, as I have not eaten any carcass or any torn beast from my youth and until now, and no vile flesh has come into my mouth.”
וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלַי רְאֵה נָתַתִּי לְךָ אֶת־(צְפוּעֵי) [צְפִיעֵי] הַבָּקָר תַּחַת גֶּלְלֵי הָאָדָם וְעָשִׂיתָ אֶת־לַחְמְךָ 4:15
Ezek. 4:15 Then He said to me, “Look, I give to you the dung of cows instead of the dung of humans that you may prepare your bread with them.”
Can we assume from this that cooking with human dung made the cooked food unclean? Apparently! Incidentally, the word in parentheses should be spelled with a yad instead of a vav. The correction is in the brackets.
בִּמְשׂוּרָה וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלַי בֶּן־אָדָם הִנְנִי שֹׁבֵר מַטֵּה־לֶחֶם בִּירוּשָׁלִַם וְאָכְלוּ־לֶחֶם בְּמִשְׁקָל וּבִדְאָגָה וּמַיִם 4:16 וּבְשִׁמָּמֹון יִשְׁתּוּ׃
Ezek. 4:16 He also said to me, “Human, behold, I am breaking the staff of bread in Jerusalem that they will have to eat bread by weight and with anxiety, and drink water by measure and with dismay,
לְמַעַן יַחְסְרוּ לֶחֶם וָמָיִם וְנָשַׁמּוּ אִישׁ וְאָחִיו וְנָמַקּוּ בַּעֲוֹנָם׃ 4:17
Ezek. 4:17 for the reason that they will lack bread and water; and they will be appalled one with another, and pine away in their iniquity.”
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