Chapter 4

1"Now you, son of man, take a brick for yourself and place it before you, and engrave upon it a city-Jerusalem.   אוְאַתָּ֚ה בֶן־אָדָם֙ קַח־לְךָ֣ לְבֵנָ֔ה וְנָֽתַתָּ֥ה אוֹתָ֖הּ לְפָנֶ֑יךָ וְחַקּוֹתָ֥ עָלֶ֛יהָ עִ֖יר אֶת־יְרוּשָׁלִָֽם:
a brick: Heb. לְבֵנָה, tivle in Old French [tuile in modern French]. Some of them are large.  
2And you shall lay siege upon it and build around it a stone-throwing catapult, and you shall pour over it a siege mound, and you shall place camps upon it and place villages around it.   בוְנָֽתַתָּ֨ה עָלֶ֜יהָ מָצ֗וֹר וּבָנִ֚יתָ עָלֶ֙יהָ֙ דָּיֵ֔ק וְשָׁפַכְתָּ֥ עָלֶ֖יהָ סֹֽלְלָ֑ה וְנָֽתַתָּ֨ה עָלֶ֧יהָ מַֽחֲנ֛וֹת וְשִֹֽים־עָלֶ֥יהָ כָרִ֖ים סָבִֽיב:
a stone-throwing catapult: Heb. דיק, mangonel in Old French, [mangonneau in modern French], with which they cast stones upon the city.  
a siege mound: Heb. סֹלְלָה, he would pour earth and press upon it (סֹלְלָה) and beat it down with sticks, and make a high mound on which to stand and look into the city and shoot arrows. סֹלְלָה is bastion in Old French, rampart.  
and place villages around it: Heb. כָּרִים. Jonathan rendered: אֶפְרוֹרְוָן, which are villages that his armies make, and [the armies] dwell in tents on [all] sides of the city, so that no man could come or go. Another explanation is that כָּרִים are officers appointed over the army; this one guards on this side, and that one on that side.  
3And you shall take yourself an iron skillet and make it an iron wall between you and the city and direct your face toward it, and it will be in the siege and you shall besiege it; that is a sign to the house of Israel.   גוְאַתָּ֚ה קַח־לְךָ֙ מַֽחֲבַ֣ת בַּרְזֶ֔ל וְנָֽתַתָּ֚ה אוֹתָהּ֙ קִ֣יר בַּרְזֶ֔ל בֵּינְךָ֖ וּבֵ֣ין הָעִ֑יר וַֽהֲכִינֹתָה֩ אֶת־פָּנֶ֨יךָ אֵלֶ֜יהָ וְהָֽיְתָ֚ה בַמָּצוֹר֙ וְצַרְתָּ֣ עָלֶ֔יהָ א֥וֹת הִ֖יא לְבֵ֥ית יִשְׂרָאֵֽל:
an iron wall: A semblance of the city wall that serves as a partition between the army and the city.  
that is a sign: that so will Jerusalem come under siege.  
4And you shall lie on your left side, and you shall place the iniquity of the house of Israel through it; the number of the days that you shall lie on it, you will bear their iniquity.   דוְאַתָּ֚ה שְׁכַב֙ עַל־צִדְּךָ֣ הַשְּׂמָאלִ֔י וְשַׂמְתָּ֛ אֶת־עֲו‍ֹ֥ן בֵּֽית־יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל עָלָ֑יו מִסְפַּ֚ר הַיָּמִים֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר תִּשְׁכַּ֣ב עָלָ֔יו תִּשָּׂ֖א אֶת־עֲו‍ֹנָֽם:
on your left side: to bear the pain and torture [over] the number of days corresponding to the number of years that My spirit oppressed Me, so to speak, because they provoked Me, and you will atone for their iniquity since the retribution that I say I will bring upon them is painful to you.  
5Now I have given you the years of their iniquity by the number of days, three hundred and ninety days, and you shall bear the iniquity of the house of Israel.   הוַֽאֲנִ֗י נָתַ֚תִּי לְךָ֙ אֶת־שְׁנֵ֣י עֲו‍ֹנָ֔ם לְמִסְפַּ֣ר יָמִ֔ים שְׁלֹֽשׁ־מֵא֥וֹת וְתִשְׁעִ֖ים י֑וֹם וְנָשָׂ֖אתָ עֲו‍ֹ֥ן בֵּֽית־יִשְׂרָאֵֽל:
I have given you the years of their iniquity, etc.: I have made it easier for you to tolerate the pain that I Myself suffered for the number of the years that they sinned before Me: for you I converted it to that number in days. [Another explanation: שְּׁנֵי is like שְׁנַיִם, two, and so did Jonathan render: Now I have given you twice as much as their iniquity. This does not appear in other editions].  
three hundred and ninety days: We learned in Seder Olam (ch. 26): This teaches us that Israel sinned for three hundred and ninety years from the time they entered the Land until the ten tribes were exiled therefrom. You find [the events of] two hundred and forty-three of them delineated: From the time Jeroboam assumed the throne until Hoshea son of Elah was exiled and in “the days that the judges judged” are one hundred and eleven years. The rest, however, are not delineated. (These are [the calculations of] the three hundred and ninety yearsthat I found in a responsum from Rabbi Joseph, the head of the yeshivahthat the ten tribes sinned from the days of Joshua until Sannecherib exiled them from Samaria. Calculate: in the days of the Judges there were 8 years under the rule of Cushan, 18 under the rule of Eglon, 20 under the rule of Sisera, 7 under the rule of Midian, 18 under the rule of the children of Ammon, and 40 under the rule of the Philistines. This totals 111. From Micah until the Ark was captured were 40 years, totaling 151. Calculate for Jeroboam son of Nebat 22, Nadab his son 2, Baasa 24, Elah his son 2, Omri 12, Ahab 22, Ahaziah his son 2, Jehoram his brother 12, Jehu 28, Jehoahaz 17, Jehoash his son 16, Jeroboam his son 41the total is 350 (sic.). And [with] Menachem son of Gadi 10, Pekahiah his son 2, Pekah son of Remaliah 20, and Hoshea son of Elah 9 years, the total is 391, but Hoshea’s last year is not counted because in Hoshea’s ninth year, Samaria was captured and Hoshea was counted as having reigned 8 years, leaving a total of 390. The forty years that the kings of Judah sinned after the exile of Sannecherib until [the prophecy of] this chapter was said to Ezekiel are delineated below, and I did not find it necessary to explain them. This is not found in other editions.)  
6And when you complete these, you shall lie on your right side a second time, and you shall bear the iniquity of the house of Judah; forty days, a day for a year, a day for a year, I have given it to you.   ווְכִלִּיתָ֣ אֶת־אֵ֗לֶּה וְשָׁ֨כַבְתָּ֜ עַל־צִדְּךָ֚ הַיְמָנִי֙ (כתיב הַיְמָינִי֙) שֵׁנִ֔ית וְנָשָׂ֖אתָ אֶת־עֲו‍ֹ֣ן בֵּֽית־יְהוּדָ֑ה אַרְבָּעִ֣ים י֔וֹם י֧וֹם לַשָּׁנָ֛ה י֥וֹם לַשָּׁנָ֖ה נְתַתִּ֥יו לָֽךְ:
the iniquity of the house of Judah forty days: This teaches us that the house of Judah sinned, from the time that the ten tribes were exiled until Jerusalem was destroyed, forty years: 22 of Manasseh, about whom it is written (II Kings 21:3): “as Ahab… had made,” and Ahab had reigned 22 years; two of Ammon and 11 of Jehoiakim, and this prophecy was transmitted to Ezekiel in the fifth year of Zedekiah. This totals 40 years. The grand total is four hundred and thirty [years]. After this prophecy, they remained yet six years, equaling 8 jubilees and 36 years. In 8 jubilees [there] are 8 cycles of Sabbatical years, equaling 56 Sabbatical years, totaling 64 [hallowed years]. In 36 years, there are 5 Sabbatical years, totaling 69 land-release years, and the final jubilee year is accounted to them as an iniquity because they were exiled from it [the land] because of their iniquity, totaling 70 hallowed years of land release, which Israel did not observe. Therefore, they were exiled 70 years to fulfill (Lev. 26:34): “Then the land will appease its Sabbaths.” That is what is written at the end of Chronicles (II 36:21): “To fulfill the word of the Lord [that was] in the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land has appeased its Sabbaths, for as long as it lay desolate, it rested, to complete seventy years.” “Your left side” symbolizes Samaria; “your right side” symbolizes Judah, because Judah is in the south of the land of Israel, as it is said (16:46): “And your big sister Samaria… who lives at your left.” Also in the Book of Joshua (15:1), he describes the border of the tribe of Judah as occupying the entire southern border.  
7And to the siege of Jerusalem you shall direct your face, and your arm shall be bared, and you shall prophesy about it.   זוְאֶל־מְצ֚וֹר יְרֽוּשָׁלִַ֙ם֙ תָּכִ֣ין פָּנֶ֔יךָ וּזְרֹֽעֲךָ֖ חֲשׂוּפָ֑ה וְנִבֵּאתָ֖ עָלֶֽיהָ:
And to the siege of Jerusalem: which is engraved on the brick, you shall direct your face; when you lie on your left side, the brick should be opposite you, and so too when you lie on your right.  
and your arm: shall be bared toward them (Other editions read: opposite it), like a fighting man. This symbolizes Nebuchadnezzar, who will fight against it.  
bared: Heb. חֲשּׂוּפָה, like גְלוּיָה.  
8And behold, I have placed ropes upon you, and you shall not turn from side to side until you complete the days of your siege.   חוְהִנֵּ֛ה נָתַ֥תִּי עָלֶ֖יךָ עֲבוֹתִ֑ים וְלֹֽא־תֵהָפֵ֚ךְ מִצִּדְּךָ֙ אֶל־צִדֶּ֔ךָ עַד־כַּלּֽוֹתְךָ֖ יְמֵ֥י מְצוּרֶֽיךָ:
I have placed ropes upon you: The decree of My commandments shall be stringent upon you as you were bound with ropes so that you should not turn from side to side.  
until you complete the days of your siege: The number of these days that I decreed upon you.  
9And you, take yourself wheat and barley, and beans and lentils, and millet and spelt. You shall place them in one vessel, and prepare them for yourself for food; the number of days that you lie on your side, three hundred and ninety days you shall eat it.   טוְאַתָּ֣ה קַח־לְךָ֡ חִטִּ֡ין וּ֠שְׂעֹרִים וּפ֨וֹל וַֽעֲדָשִׁ֜ים וְדֹ֣חַן וְכֻסְּמִ֗ים וְנָֽתַתָּ֚ה אוֹתָם֙ בִּכְלִ֣י אֶחָ֔ד וְעָשִׂ֧יתָ אוֹתָ֛ם לְךָ֖ לְלָ֑חֶם מִסְפַּ֨ר הַיָּמִ֜ים אֲשֶׁר־אַתָּ֣ה | שׁוֹכֵ֣ב עַֽל־צִדְּךָ֗ שְׁלֹֽשׁ־מֵא֧וֹת וְתִשְׁעִ֛ים י֖וֹם תֹּֽאכֲלֶֽנּוּ:
wheat and barley, etc., and millet and spelt: paniz et epeltre in Old French, millet and spelt. A sign of the famine that will be upon them in the days of the siege, and they will eat a bread of mixed [grains] while nauseated.  
10And your food that you will eat shall be with a weight, twenty shekels for a day; from time to time you shall eat it.   יוּמַֽאֲכָֽלְךָ֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר תֹּֽאכֲלֶ֔נּוּ בְּמִשְׁק֕וֹל עֶשְׂרִ֥ים שֶׁ֖קֶל לַיּ֑וֹם מֵעֵ֥ת עַד־עֵ֖ת תֹּאכֲלֶֽנּוּ:
with a weight: [This is] symbolic of the besieged people, who are fearful of the famine and [so] eat with a measure and drink with a measure.  
11And water by measure you shall drink, a sixth of a hin; from time to time you shall drink [it].   יאוּמַ֛יִם בִּמְשׂוּרָ֥ה תִשְׁתֶּ֖ה שִׁשִּׁ֣ית הַהִ֑ין מֵעֵ֥ת עַד־עֵ֖ת תִּשְׁתֶּֽה:
from time to time: From day to day you shall drink with this measure, viz. a sixth of a hin.  
12And as barley cakes you shall eat it, and they shall bake it with human excrement before their eyes."   יבוְעֻגַ֥ת שְׂעֹרִ֖ים תֹּֽאכֲלֶ֑נָּה וְהִ֗יא בְּגֶֽלְלֵי֙ צֵאַ֣ת הָֽאָדָ֔ם תְּעֻגֶּ֖נָּה לְעֵֽינֵיהֶֽם:
And as barley cakes you shall eat it: Rolled out in a repulsive manner like the rolling of barley, not nicely like the rolling out of a wheat cake.  
and they shall bake it with human excrement: They shall bake it with their coals that dry it out and burn it.  
13And the Lord said, "So will the children of Israel eat their bread unclean among the nations where I shall drive them."   יגוַיֹּ֣אמֶר יְהֹוָ֔ה כָּ֣כָה יֹֽאכְל֧וּ בְנֵֽי־יִשְׂרָאֵ֛ל אֶת־לַחְמָ֖ם טָמֵ֑א בַּגּוֹיִ֕ם אֲשֶׁ֥ר אַדִּיחֵ֖ם שָֽׁם:
unclean: An expression of repugnance.  
14And I said, "O Lord God, behold my soul has not been defiled, neither have I eaten from an animal that died by itself and was torn [by beasts], from my youth until this day, and no loathsome meat has ever entered my mouth."   ידוָֽאֹמַ֗ר אֲהָהּ֙ אֲדֹנָ֣י יֱהֹוִ֔ה הִנֵּ֥ה נַפְשִׁ֖י לֹ֣א מְטֻמָּאָ֑ה וּנְבֵלָ֨ה וּטְרֵפָ֚ה לֹֽא־אָכַ֙לְתִּי֙ מִנְּעוּרַ֣י וְעַד־עַ֔תָּה וְלֹֽא־בָ֥א בְפִ֖י בְּשַׂ֥ר פִּגּֽוּל:
O: An expression of sighing.  
my soul has not been defiled: I did not entertain erotic thoughts by day, bringing myself to nocturnal pollution.  
neither have I eaten from an animal that died by itself and was torn: The flesh of a dying animal, which resembles an animal that died by itself and an animal that was torn by beasts.  
loathsome meat: An animal [of debatable status] upon which a rabbi ruled [permissively]. This cannot mean an animal that actually died by itself or that was torn [by beasts, injuring it so that it could not live for a year], because if so, what was the greatness of Ezekiel?  
15So He said to me, "See! I have given you cattle dung instead of human excrement, and you shall prepare your bread upon it."   טווַיֹּ֣אמֶר אֵלַ֔י רְאֵ֗ה נָתַ֚תִּי לְךָ֙ אֶת־צְפִיעֵ֣י (כתיב צְפִועֵ֣י) הַבָּקָ֔ר תַּ֖חַת גֶּֽלְלֵ֣י הָֽאָדָ֑ם וְעָשִׂ֥יתָ אֶת־לַחְמְךָ֖ עֲלֵיהֶֽם:
dung: Heb. צְפִיעֵי [synonymous with] גֶלְלֵי, excrement.  
16And He said to me, "Son of man, behold I am breaking the staff of bread in Jerusalem, and they will eat bread with a weight and with worry, and water with a measure and with bewilderment they will drink.   טזוַיֹּ֣אמֶר אֵלַ֗י בֶּן־אָדָם֙ הִנְנִ֨י שֹׁבֵ֚ר מַטֵּה־לֶ֙חֶם֙ בִּיר֣וּשָׁלִַ֔ם וְאָכְלוּ־לֶ֥חֶם בְּמִשְׁקָ֖ל וּבִדְאָגָ֑ה וּמַ֕יִם בִּמְשׂוּרָ֥ה וּבְשִׁמָּמ֖וֹן יִשְׁתּֽוּ:
the staff of bread: the support of bread, pozon de pan in Old French.  
and with worry: They will worry that their bread supply will be depleted. דְּאָגָה means aynse in Old French, anxiety, and in our language [dialect] doubt, terror, fright.  
17Because they will lack bread and water, and they will be appalled, one man and his brother, and they will pine away in their iniquity.   יזלְמַ֥עַן יַחְסְר֖וּ לֶ֣חֶם וָמָ֑יִם וְנָשַׁ֙מּוּ֙ אִ֣ישׁ וְאָחִ֔יו וְנָמַ֖קּוּ בַּֽעֲו‍ֹנָֽם:
Because they will lack: Their worry and their bewilderment will be because they will lack bread and water in the days of the siege, and they will worry that the supply will be entirely depleted.