Ezekiel 4:5-6

5 I have assigned you the same number of days as the years of their sin. So for 390 days you will bear the sin of the people of Israel.
6 “After you have finished this, lie down again, this time on your right side, and bear the sin of the people of Judah. I have assigned you 40 days, a day for each year.

Ezekiel 4:5-6 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO EZEKIEL 4

This chapter contains a prophecy of the siege of Jerusalem, and of the famine that attended it. The siege is described by a portrait of the city of Jerusalem on a tile, laid before the prophet, Eze 4:1; by each of the actions, representing a siege of it, as building a fort, casting a mount, and setting a camp and battering rams against it, and an iron pan for a wall, between the prophet, the besieger, and the city, Eze 4:2,3; by his gesture, lying first on his left side for the space of three hundred ninety days, and then on his right side for the space of forty days, pointing at the time when the city should be taken, Eze 4:4-6; and by setting his face to the siege, and uncovering his arm, and prophesying, Eze 4:7; and by bands being laid on him, so that he could not turn from one side to the other, till the siege was ended, Eze 4:8; the famine is signified by bread the prophet was to make of various sorts of grain and seeds, baked with men's dung, and eaten by weight, with water drank by measure, which is applied unto the people; it is suggested that this would be fulfilled by the children of Israel's eating defiled bread among the Gentiles, Eze 4:9-13; but upon the prophet's concern about eating anything forbidden by the law, which he had never done, cow's dung is allowed instead of men's, to prepare the bread with, Eze 4:14,15; and the chapter is concluded with a resolution to bring a severe famine on them, to their great astonishment, and with which they should be consumed for their iniquity, Eze 4:16,17.

Ezekiel 4:5-6 In-Context

3 Then take an iron pan, place it as an iron wall between you and the city and turn your face toward it. It will be under siege, and you shall besiege it. This will be a sign to the people of Israel.
4 “Then lie on your left side and put the sin of the people of Israel upon yourself. You are to bear their sin for the number of days you lie on your side.
5 I have assigned you the same number of days as the years of their sin. So for 390 days you will bear the sin of the people of Israel.
6 “After you have finished this, lie down again, this time on your right side, and bear the sin of the people of Judah. I have assigned you 40 days, a day for each year.
7 Turn your face toward the siege of Jerusalem and with bared arm prophesy against her.
8 I will tie you up with ropes so that you cannot turn from one side to the other until you have finished the days of your siege.

Cross References 2

  • 1. S Exodus 28:38
  • 2. Numbers 14:34; Daniel 9:24-26; Daniel 12:11-12
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