Ezequiel 4

1 »Son of man, take a clay tablet and put it in front of you. Draw the city of Jerusalem on it.

2 »Then lay siege to it. Erect siege works against it. Build a ramp up to it. Set up camps against it and put battering rams around it.

3 »Take an iron pan and place it as an iron wall between you and the city. Then turn your face toward it. It will be under siege, and you shall besiege it. This will be a sign to the house of Israel.

4 »Then lie on your left side and put the sin of the house of Israel upon yourself. You are to bear their sin for the number of days you lie on your side.

5 »I have assigned you the same number of days as the years of their sin. So for three hundred and ninety days you will bear the sin of the house of Israel.

6 »After you have finished this lie down again. This time lie on your right side, and bear the sin of the house of Judah. I have assigned you forty days, a day for each year.

7 »Turn your face toward the siege of Jerusalem and with bared arm prophesy against her.

8 »I will tie you up with ropes so that you cannot turn from one side to the other until you have finished the days of your siege.

9 »Take wheat and barley, beans and lentils, millet and spelt; put them in a storage jar and use them to make bread for yourself. You are to eat it during the three hundred and ninety days you lie on your side.

10 »Weigh out eight ounces of food for each day and eat it at set times.

11 »You will also have a limited amount of water to drink, two cups a day.

12 »You are to build a fire out of dried human excrement, bake bread on the fire, and eat it where everyone can see you.«

13 Jehovah said: »This represents the way the Israelites will have to eat food which the Law forbids when I scatter them to foreign countries.«

14 But I replied: »No, O Lord Jehovah! I have never defiled myself. From childhood on I have never eaten meat from any animal that died a natural death or was killed by wild animals. I have never eaten any food considered unclean.«

15 So God said: »Very well. I will let you use cow dung instead. You can bake your bread on that.«

16 And he added: »Mortal man, I am going to cut off the supply of bread for Jerusalem. The people there will be distressed and anxious as they measure out the food they eat and the water they drink.

17 »They will run out of bread and water. They will be in despair. They will waste away because of their sins.