Thou also, son of man, take thee a tile, and lay it before thee, and pourtray upon it the city, even Jerusalem:
[l@benah (hnbl)] levainah, generally denotes a brick, and Palladius informs us that the bricks in common use among the ancients were "two feet long, one foot broad, and four inches thick;" and on such a surface the whole siege might be easily pourtrayed. Perhaps, however, it may here denote a flat tile, like a Roman brick, which were commonly used for tablets, as we learn from Pliny, Hist. Nat. 1. vii. c. 57.
And lay siege against it, and build a fort against it, and cast a mount against it; set the camp also against it, and set battering rams against it round about.
or, chief leaders.
Moreover take thou unto thee an iron pan, and set it for a wall of iron between thee and the city: and set thy face against it, and it shall be besieged, and thou shalt lay siege against it. This shall be a sign to the house of Israel.
an iron pan
or, a flat plate, or slice.
Lie thou also upon thy left side, and lay the iniquity of the house of Israel upon it: according to the number of the days that thou shalt lie upon it thou shalt bear their iniquity.
thou shalt bear
For I have laid upon thee the years of their iniquity, according to the number of the days, three hundred and ninety days: so shalt thou bear the iniquity of the house of Israel.
This number of years will take us back from the year in which Judea was finally desolated by Nebuzar-adan, B.C. 584, to the establishment of idolatry in Israel by Jeroboam, B.C. 975. "Beginning from 1 Ki 12:33. Ending Jer 52:30."
And when thou hast accomplished them, lie again on thy right side, and thou shalt bear the iniquity of the house of Judah forty days: I have appointed thee each day for a year.
This represented the forty years during which gross idolatry prevailed in Judah, from the reformation of Josiah, B.C. 624, to the same final desolation of the land. Some think that the period of 390 days also predicts the duration of the siege of the Babylonians, (ver. 9,) deducting from it five months and twenty-nine days, when the besiegers went to meet the Egyptians (2 Ki 25:1-4; Jer 37:5;) and that forty days may have been employed in desolating the temple and city. "Beginning from 2 Ki 23:3, 23. Ending Jer 52:30."
each day for a year
Heb. a day for a year, a day for a year.
Therefore thou shalt set thy face toward the siege of Jerusalem, and thine arm shall be uncovered, and thou shalt prophesy against it.
And, behold, I will lay bands upon thee, and thou shalt not turn thee from one side to another, till thou hast ended the days of thy siege.
from one side to another
Heb. from thy side to thy side.
Take thou also unto thee wheat, and barley, and beans, and lentiles, and millet, and fitches, and put them in one vessel, and make thee bread thereof, according to the number of the days that thou shalt lie upon thy side, three hundred and ninety days shalt thou eat thereof.
Dochan, in Arabic, dokhn, the holcus dochna of Forskal, is a kind of millet, of considerable use as a food; the cultivation of which is described by Browne.
or, spelt. Kussemim is doubtless [zea] or spelt, as Aquila and Symmachus render here; and so LXX. and Theodotion, [olyra.] In times of scarcity it is customary to mix several kinds of coarser grains with the finer, to make it last the longer.
And thy meat which thou shalt eat shall be by weight, twenty shekels a day: from time to time shalt thou eat it.
Thou shalt drink also water by measure, the sixth part of an hin: from time to time shalt thou drink.
And thou shalt eat it as barley cakes, and thou shalt bake it with dung that cometh out of man, in their sight.
a "round" thing.
And the LORD said, Even thus shall the children of Israel eat their defiled bread among the Gentiles, whither I will drive them.
Then said I, Ah Lord GOD! behold, my soul hath not been polluted: for from my youth up even till now have I not eaten of that which dieth of itself, or is torn in pieces; neither came there abominable flesh into my mouth.
Then he said unto me, Lo, I have given thee cow's dung for man's dung, and thou shalt prepare thy bread therewith.
Dried cow-dung is a common fuel in the East, as it is in many parts of England, to the present day; but the prophet was ordered to prepare his bread with human ordure, to shew the extreme degree of wretchedness to which the besieged should be exposed, as they would be obliged literally to use it, from not being able to leave the city to collect other fuel.
Moreover he said unto me, Son of man, behold, I will break the staff of bread in Jerusalem: and they shall eat bread by weight, and with care; and they shall drink water by measure, and with astonishment:
The prophet was allowed each day only twenty shekels weight, or about ten ounces, of the coarse food he had prepared, and the sixth part of a hin, scarcely a pint and a half, of water; all of which was intended to shew that they should be obliged to eat the meanest and coarsest food, and that by weight, and their water by measure.
That they may want bread and water, and be astonied one with another, and consume away for their iniquity.