Siege of Jerusalem Symbolized (4:1–17)
9–17 God gave Ezekiel a very meager diet during the 390–day period: 230 grams of grain and 0.6 liter of water each day! (verses 10–11). Ezekiel’s diet was meant to symbolize the scarcity of food in Jerusalem during the siege (verses 16–17).
God initially told Ezekiel to bake the grain using human excrement as fuel (verse 12); doing so would make the food ritually unclean, defiled12 (verse 13). God told Ezekiel to do this in order to symbolize the terrible conditions the Israelites would face during their exile, when they would be forced to eat the defiled food of foreign nations like Babylon.
Ezekiel pleaded with God not to make him use human excrement for fuel (verse 14), and God graciously allowed him to use cow manure instead (verse 15).