Ezekiel 4
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1  “And you, O mortal, take a brick and put it in front of you, and incise on it a city, Yerushalayim.

א  וְאַתָּה בֶן־אָדָם קַח־לְךָ לְבֵנָה וְנָתַתָּה אוֹתָהּ לְפָנֶיךָ וְחַקּוֹתָ עָלֶיהָ עִיר אֶת־יְרוּשָׁלָ ִם׃

2  Set up a siege against it, and build towers against it, and cast a mound against it; pitch camps against it, and bring up battering rams roundabout it.

ב  וְנָתַתָּה עָלֶיהָ מָצוֹר וּבָנִיתָ עָלֶיהָ דָּיֵק וְשָׁפַכְתָּ עָלֶיהָ סֹלְלָה וְנָתַתָּה עָלֶיהָ מַחֲנוֹת וְשִׂים־עָלֶיהָ כָּרִים סָבִיב׃

3  Then take an iron plate and place it as an iron wall between yourself and the city, and set your face against it. Thus it shall be under siege, you shall besiege it. This shall be an omen for the House of Yisrael.

ג  וְאַתָּה קַח־לְךָ מַחֲבַת בַּרְזֶל וְנָתַתָּה אוֹתָהּ קִיר בַּרְזֶל בֵּינְךָ וּבֵין הָעִיר וַהֲכִינֹתָה אֶת־פָּנֶיךָ אֵלֶיהָ וְהָיְתָה בַמָּצוֹר וְצַרְתָּ עָלֶיהָ אוֹת הִיא לְבֵית יִשְׂרָאֵל׃

4  “Then lie on your left side, and let it bear the punishment of the House of Yisrael; for as many days as you lie on it you shall bear their punishment.

ד  וְאַתָּה שְׁכַב עַל־צִדְּךָ הַשְּׂמָאלִי וְשַׂמְתָּ אֶת־עֲוׂן בֵּית־יִשְׂרָאֵל עָלָיו מִסְפַּר הַיָּמִים אֲשֶׁר תִּשְׁכַּב עָלָיו תִּשָּׂא אֶת־עֲוׂנָם׃

5  For I impose upon you three hundred and ninety days, corresponding to the number of the years of their punishment; and so you shall bear the punishment for the House of Yisrael.

ה  וַאֲנִי נָתַתִּי לְךָ אֶת־שְׁנֵי עֲוׂנָם לְמִסְפַּר יָמִים שְׁלֹשׁ־מֵאוֹת וְתִשְׁעִים יוֹם וְנָשָׂאתָ עֲוׂן בֵּית־יִשְׂרָאֵל׃

6  When you have completed these, you shall lie another forty days on your right side, and bear the punishment of the House of Yehuda. I impose on you one day for each year.

ו  וְכִלִּיתָ אֶת־אֵלֶּה וְשָׁכַבְתָּ עַל־צִדְּךָ הימוני [הַיְמָנִי] שֵׁנִית וְנָשָׂאתָ אֶת־עֲוׂן בֵּית־יְהוּדָה אַרְבָּעִים יוֹם יוֹם לַשָּׁנָה יוֹם לַשָּׁנָה נְתַתִּיו לָךְ׃

7  “Then, with bared arm, set your face toward besieged Yerushalayim and prophesy against it.

ז  וְאֶל־מְצוֹר יְרוּשָׁלַ ִם תָּכִין פָּנֶיךָ וּזְרֹעֲךָ חֲשׂוּפָה וְנִבֵּאתָ עָלֶיהָ׃

8  Now I put cords upon you, so that you cannot turn from side to side until you complete your days of siege.

ח  וְהִנֵּה נָתַתִּי עָלֶיךָ עֲבוֹתִים וְלֹא־תֵהָפֵךְ מִצִּדְּךָ אֶל־צִדֶּךָ עַד־כַּלּוֹתְךָ יְמֵי מְצוּרֶךָ׃

9  “Further, take wheat, barley, beans, lentils, millet, and emmer. Put them into one vessel and bake them into bread. Eat it as many days as you lie on your side: three hundred and ninety.

v’-a-TAH kakh l’-KHA khi-TEEN us-o-REEM u-FOL va-a-da-SHEEM v’-DO-khan v’-khu-s’-MEEM v’-na-ta-TAH o-TAM bikh-LEE e-KHAD v’-a-SEE-ta o-TAM l’-KHA l’-LA-khem mis-PAR ha-ya-MEEM a-sher a-TAH sho-KHAYV al tzi-d’-KHA sh’-losh may-OT v’-tish-EEM YOM to-kh’-LE-nu

ט  וְאַתָּה קַח־לְךָ חִטִּין וּשְׂעֹרִים וּפוֹל וַעֲדָשִׁים וְדֹחַן וְכֻסְּמִים וְנָתַתָּה אוֹתָם בִּכְלִי אֶחָד וְעָשִׂיתָ אוֹתָם לְךָ לְלָחֶם מִסְפַּר הַיָּמִים אֲשֶׁר־אַתָּה שׁוֹכֵב עַל־צִדְּךָ שְׁלֹשׁ־מֵאוֹת וְתִשְׁעִים יוֹם תֹּאכֲלֶנּוּ׃

 4:9   And bake them into bread 

Yechezkel demonstrates to his listeners the dire straits the people from Yerushalayim are in during the final Babylonian siege against the city. According to the Talmud (Eruvin 81a), Yechezkel rations to himself inedible flour and inferior grains and limits his water in order to portray the austere conditions under which the people of Yerushalayim are suffering. As a final blow, these foods are prepared in an impure manner (verse 13), something repulsive to the sensitive prophet-priest. Indeed, bread and water were very scarce during the Babylonian siege of Yerushalayim, as the Bible indicates elsewhere: “The tongue of the suckling cleaves to its palate for thirst. Little children beg for bread; none gives them a morsel.” (Lamentations 4:4).1 comment

10  The food that you eat shall be by weight, twenty shekalim a day; this you shall eat in the space of a day.

י  וּמַאֲכָלְךָ אֲשֶׁר תֹּאכֲלֶנּוּ בְּמִשְׁקוֹל עֶשְׂרִים שֶׁקֶל לַיּוֹם מֵעֵת עַד־עֵת תֹּאכֲלֶנּוּ׃

11  And you shall drink water by measure; drink a sixth of a hin in the space of a day.

יא  וּמַיִם בִּמְשׂוּרָה תִשְׁתֶּה שִׁשִּׁית הַהִין מֵעֵת עַד־עֵת תִּשְׁתֶּה׃

12  “Eat it as a barley cake; you shall bake it on human excrement before their eyes.

יב  וְעֻגַת שְׂעֹרִים תֹּאכֲלֶנָּה וְהִיא בְּגֶלְלֵי צֵאַת הָאָדָם תְּעֻגֶנָה לְעֵינֵיהֶם׃

13  So,” said Hashem, “shall the people of Yisrael eat their bread, unclean, among the nations to which I will banish them.”

יג  וַיֹּאמֶר יְהֹוָה כָּכָה יֹאכְלוּ בְנֵי־יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶת־לַחְמָם טָמֵא בַּגּוֹיִם אֲשֶׁר אַדִּיחֵם שָׁם׃

14  Then I said, “Ah, Hashem, my person was never defiled; nor have I eaten anything that died of itself or was torn by beasts from my youth until now, nor has foul flesh entered my mouth.”

יד  וָאֹמַר אֲהָהּ אֲדֹנָי יְהוִה הִנֵּה נַפְשִׁי לֹא מְטֻמָּאָה וּנְבֵלָה וּטְרֵפָה לֹא־אָכַלְתִּי מִנְּעוּרַי וְעַד־עַתָּה וְלֹא־בָא בְּפִי בְּשַׂר פִּגּוּל׃

15  He answered me, “See, I allow you cow’s dung instead of human excrement; prepare your bread on that.”

טו  וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלַי רְאֵה נָתַתִּי לְךָ אֶת־צפועי [צְפִיעֵי] הַבָּקָר תַּחַת גֶּלְלֵי הָאָדָם וְעָשִׂיתָ אֶת־לַחְמְךָ עֲלֵיהֶם׃

16  And He said to me, “O mortal, I am going to break the staff of bread in Yerushalayim, and they shall eat bread by weight, in anxiety, and drink water by measure, in horror,

טז  וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלַי בֶּן־אָדָם הִנְנִי שֹׁבֵר מַטֵּה־לֶחֶם בִּירוּשָׁלַ ִם וְאָכְלוּ־לֶחֶם בְּמִשְׁקָל וּבִדְאָגָה וּמַיִם בִּמְשׂוּרָה וּבְשִׁמָּמוֹן יִשְׁתּוּ׃

17  so that, lacking bread and water, they shall stare at each other, heartsick over their iniquity.

יז  לְמַעַן יַחְסְרוּ לֶחֶם וָמָיִם וְנָשַׁמּוּ אִישׁ וְאָחִיו וְנָמַקּוּ בַּעֲוׂנָם׃

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Ezekiel 3
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Ezekiel 4

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