Thou also, son of man, take thee a tile
Or "brick" F26. The Targum renders it, a "stone"; but a tile or brick, especially one that is not dried and burned, but green, is more fit to cut in it the figure of a city. Some think that this was ordered because cities are built of brick; or to show the weakness of the city of Jerusalem, how easily it might be demolished; and Jerom thinks there was some design to lead the Jews to reflect upon their making bricks in Egypt, and their hard service there; though perhaps the truer reason may be, because the Babylonians had been used to write upon tiles. Epigenes F1 says they had celestial observations of a long course of years, written on tiles; hence the prophet is bid to describe Jerusalem on one, which was to be destroyed by the king of Babylon; and lay it before thee:
as persons do, who are about to draw a picture, make a portrait, or engrave the form of anything they intend: and portray upon it the city; [even] Jerusalem;
or engrave upon it, by making incisions on it, and so describing the form and figure of the city of Jerusalem.
F26 (hnbl) "laterem", V. L. Pagninus, Montanus, Junius & Tremellius, Polanus. Piscator.
F1 Apud Plin. Nat. Hist. l. 7. c. 56.