Neviim Akharonim

Yechezk’el / יחזקאל

Ezekiel Chapter 4

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II Warning of Misphatim upon Yerushalayim 4-24

Signs of coming judgment of Yerushalayim, the clay tablet

4:1  "You also, Ben Adam, take a clay tablet and lay it before you, and portray on it a city, Yerushalayim.

4:2  Lay siege against it, build a siege wall against it, and heap up a mound against it; set camps against it also, and place battering rams against it all around.

4:3  Moreover take for yourself an iron pan, and set it as an iron wall between you and the city. Set your face against it, and it shall be besieged, and you shall lay siege against it.

This shall be a sign to Beit YYisrael.

4:4  "Lie also on your left side, and lay the iniquity of Beit YYisrael upon it. According to the number of the days that you lie on it, you shall bear their iniquity.

4:5  For I have laid on you the years of their iniquity, according to the number of the days, three hundred and ninety days; so you shall bear the iniquity of Beit YYisrael.

4:6  And when you have completed them, lie again on your right side; then you shall bear the iniquity of Beit Yehudah forty days. I have laid on you a day for each year.

4:7  "Therefore you shall set your face toward the siege of Yerushalayim; your arm shall be uncovered, and you shall prophesy against it.

4:8  And surely I will restrain you so that you cannot turn from one side to another till you have ended the days of your siege.

4:9  "Also take for yourself chittin (wheat), se'orim (barley), fol (beans), adosim (lentils), dochan (millet), and kussemim (spelt); put them into one vessel, and make lechem of them for yourself. During the number of days that you lie on your side, three hundred and ninety days, you shall eat it.

4:10  And your food which you eat shall be by weight, twenty shekels a day; from time to time you shall eat it.

4:11  You shall also drink water by measure, one-sixth of a hin; from time to time you shall drink.

4:12  And you shall eat it as barley cakes; and bake it using fuel of human waste in their sight."

4:13  And YHWH (יהוה) said:

 "So shall the children of Yisrael eat their defiled lechem among the Goyim, where I will drive them."

4:14  So I said, "Ah, Adonay (אדני) YHWH (יהוה)! Indeed I have never defiled myself from my youth till now; I have never eaten what died of itself or was torn by beasts, nor has abominable flesh ever come into my mouth."

4:15  Then He said to me, "See, I am giving you cow dung instead of human waste, and you shall prepare your lechem over it."

4:16  Moreover He said to me, "Ben adam, surely I will cut off the supply of lechem in Yerushalayim; they shall eat lechem by weight and with anxiety, and shall drink water by measure and with dread,

4:17  that they may lack lechem and water, and be dismayed with one another, and waste away because of their iniquity.


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כֻסֶּמֶת - kussemet spelt (from its bristliness as if just shorn) Spelt, buckwheat, wild oat; rye; emmer also known as dinkel wheat, or hulled wheat, is an ancient species of wheat from the fifth millennium BC. Spelt was an important staple in parts of Europe from the Bronze Age to medieval times; Spelt has a complex history. It is a wheat species known from genetic evidence to have originated as a hybrid of a domesticated tetraploid wheat such as emmer wheat and the wild goat-grass Aegilops tauschii. This type grain was mension in three verse Yeshayahu 28:25; Shemot 19:32; Yechekiel 4:9

The strange object lessons

4:1-3 - Writing on a clay tablet - Yechezkiel use a clay to sketch out or build a model showing how Bavel would lay seige to Yerushalayim

4:4-8 - Lying on his side -  He lay on his side to show that the length of Bavel's seige would correspond to the number of years YYisrael had sinned against Hashem

4:9-17 Baking Lechem over dung - Yechezkiel baked his lechem with fire fueled by dung, which was defile according Torah. He was illustrating that their impending golus would force them to eat non-kosher polluted food would mirror the uncleaness of their sin.

5:1-4 - Shaving his head - He shaved his head as a sign of mourning. The burning of a third of his har symbolised the fires that would destroy Yerushalayim; the chopped hair stood for the people who would die by the sword; and the hair scattered in the wind represented those Yehudim who would be taken away into golus.

12:1-16 Packing his bags - Yechezkiel leave Yerushalayim to prepare the watching crowds for the coming golus of the people of YYisrael.

12:17-28 Quivering - Trembling and shuddering while he ate, He acted out the awful fear the Yehudim would face when their enemies swept through the land.

20:45-49 - Facing south and proclaiming to the forestt - He proclaimed toward the south in order to show that Hashem would send shophatim on Yehudah, the southern Kingdom

21:1-32 - Preaching about a sword while sighing - Facing Yerushalayim, he used, instead of fire, the picture of a sword to prophesy destruction. He deep sighs were intended to show the heavy hearts the people would have.

24:15-27 - Refusing to mourn for his wife - Hashem took Yechezkiel's wife as a sign of the overwhelming sadness the nation would feel when Yerushalayim and the temple were destroyed.

37:15-28 Holding two sticks together - Pictured the restoration of YYisrael by writing on one stick the name of Yehudah and on the other the name of Yosef and then holding them together.