A Sign of the Coming Siege
1“And now, son of man, take a large clay brick and set it down in front of you. Then draw a map of the city of Jerusalem on it. 2Show the city under siege. Build a wall around it so no one can escape. Set up the enemy camp, and surround the city with siege ramps and battering rams. 3Then take an iron griddle and place it between you and the city. Turn toward the city and demonstrate how harsh the siege will be against Jerusalem. This will be a warning to the people of Israel.
4“Now lie on your left side and place the sins of Israel on yourself. You are to bear their sins for the number of days you lie there on your side. 5I am requiring you to bear Israel’s sins for 390 days—one day for each year of their sin. 6After that, turn over and lie on your right side for 40 days—one day for each year of Judah’s sin.
7“Meanwhile, keep staring at the siege of Jerusalem. Lie there with your arm bared and prophesy her destruction. 8I will tie you up with ropes so you won’t be able to turn from side to side until the days of your siege have been completed.
9“Now go and get some wheat, barley, beans, lentils, millet, and emmer wheat, and mix them together in a storage jar. Use them to make bread for yourself during the 390 days you will be lying on your side. 10Ration this out to yourself, eight ounces#4:10 Hebrew 20 shekels [228 grams]. of food for each day, and eat it at set times. 11Then measure out a jar#4:11 Hebrew 16 of a hin [about 1 pint or 0.6 liters]. of water for each day, and drink it at set times. 12Prepare and eat this food as you would barley cakes. While all the people are watching, bake it over a fire using dried human dung as fuel and then eat the bread.” 13Then the Lord said, “This is how Israel will eat defiled bread in the Gentile lands to which I will banish them!”
14Then I said, “O Sovereign Lord, must I be defiled by using human dung? For I have never been defiled before. From the time I was a child until now I have never eaten any animal that died of sickness or was killed by other animals. I have never eaten any meat forbidden by the law.”
15“All right,” the Lord said. “You may bake your bread with cow dung instead of human dung.” 16Then he told me, “Son of man, I will make food very scarce in Jerusalem. It will be weighed out with great care and eaten fearfully. The water will be rationed out drop by drop, and the people will drink it with dismay. 17Lacking food and water, people will look at one another in terror, and they will waste away under their punishment.