Ezekiel 4 (New International Reader's Version)

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An Attack on Jerusalem Is Pictured

1 "Son of man, get a clay tablet. Put it in front of you. Draw the city of Jerusalem on it. 2 Then pretend to surround it and attack it. Make some little models of war machines. Build a ramp up to it. Set camps up around it. Surround it with models of logs to be used for knocking down its gates. 3 Then get an iron pan. Put it between you and the city. Pretend it is an iron wall. Turn your face toward the city. It will be under attack when you begin to attack it. That will show the people of Israel what is going to happen to Jerusalem. 4 "Next, lie down on your left side. Pretend that you are putting Israel's sin on yourself. Keep their sin on you for the number of days you lie on your side. 5 Let each day you lie there stand for one year of their sin. So you will keep Israel's sin on you for 390 days. 6 "After you have finished that, lie down again. This time lie on your right side. Pretend that you are putting Judah's sin on yourself. Lie there for 40 days. That is one day for each year of their sin. 7 "Next, turn your face toward the model of Jerusalem under attack. Uncover your arm as if you were a soldier ready to fight. Prophesy against the city. 8 "I will tie you up with ropes. Then you will not be able to turn from one side to the other. You will stay that way until you have finished attacking Jerusalem. 9 "Get some wheat and barley. Also get some beans and lentils. And get some millet and spelt. Put everything in a storage jar. Use it to make some bread for yourself. Eat it during the 390 days you are lying down on your side. 10 Weigh out eight ounces of food to eat each day. Eat it at your regular mealtimes. 11 Also measure out two thirds of a quart of water. Drink it at your regular mealtimes. 12 "Eat your food as you would eat a barley cake. Bake it over human waste in front of the people." 13 The LORD said, "That is how the people of Israel will eat 'unclean' food. They will eat it in the nations where I will drive them." 14 Then I said, "No, LORD and King! I won't do it! I've never eaten anything that was 'unclean.' From the time I was young until now, I've never eaten anything that was found dead. And I've never eaten anything that was torn apart by wild animals. 'Unclean' meat has never entered my mouth." 15 "All right," he said. "I will let you bake your bread over waste from cows. You can use that instead of human waste." 16 He continued, "Son of man, I will cut off the food supply in Jerusalem. The people will be worried as they eat their tiny share of food. They will not have any hope as they drink their tiny share of water. 17 There will be very little food and water. The people will be shocked as they look at one another. They will become weaker and weaker because of their sin.
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