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Ezekiel 4:9 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— Take thou also unto thee wheat, and barley, and beans, and lentils, and millet, and spelt, 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, even three hundred and ninety days, shalt thou eat thereof.
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— 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.
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— “But as for you, take wheat, barley, beans, lentils, millet and spelt, put them in one vessel and make them into bread for yourself; you shall eat it according to the number of the days that you lie on your side, three hundred and ninety days.
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— Take thou also to thee wheat, and barley, and beans, and lentils, 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 of it.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— And thou, take unto thee wheat, and barley, and beans, and lentils, and millet, and spelt, and put them in one vessel, and make thee bread thereof, [according to] the number of the days that thou liest upon thy side: three hundred and ninety days shalt thou eat thereof.
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— Thou, therefore, take thee wheat and barley and peas and lentils and millet and spelt, and put them in one, vessel, and make them ready for thee as bread,—during the number of days which thou, art lying on thy side, a hundred and ninety days, shalt thou eat it;
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— 'And thou, take to thee wheat, and barley, and beans, and lentiles, and millet, and spelt, and thou hast put them in one vessel, and made them to thee for bread; the number of the days that thou art lying on thy side—three hundred and ninety days—thou dost eat it.
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— And take to thee wheat and barley, and beans, and lentils, 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.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— Take thou also vnto thee wheat, and barley, and beanes, and lentils, and millet, and fitches, and put them in one vessell, and make thee bread thereof [according] to the number of the dayes that thou shalt lie vpon thy side; three hundreth and ninetie dayes shalt thou eate thereof.
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— Take thou also to thee wheat, and barley, and beans, and lentils, and millet, and bread-corn; and thou shalt cast them into one earthen vessel, and shalt make them into loaves for thyself; and thou shalt eat them a hundred and ninety days, according to the number of the days [during] which thou sleepest on thy side.
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— 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.

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
Take 3947
{3947} Prime
לָקַח
laqach
{law-kakh'}
A primitive root; to take (in the widest variety of applications).
z8798
<8798> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperative (See H8810)
Count - 2847
thou x859
(0859) Complement
אַתָּה
'attah
{at-taw'}
A primitive pronoun of the second person; thou and thee, or (plural) ye and you.
also unto thee wheat, 2406
{2406} Prime
חִטָּה
chittah
{khit-taw'}
Of uncertain derivation; wheat, whether the grain or the plant.
and barley, 8184
{8184} Prime
שְׂעֹרָה
s@`orah
{seh-o-raw'}
(The feminine form meaning the plant and the masculine form meaning the grain (second form)); from H8175 in the sense of roughness; barley (as villose).
and beans, 6321
{6321} Prime
פּוֹל
powl
{pole}
From an unused root meaning to be thick; a bean (a plump).
and lentiles, 5742
{5742} Prime
עָדָשׁ
`adash
{aw-dawsh'}
From an unused root of uncertain meaning; a lentil.
and millet, 1764
{1764} Prime
דֹּחַן
dochan
{do'-khan}
Of uncertain derivation; millet.
and fitches, 3698
{3698} Prime
כֻּסֶּמֶת
kuccemeth
{koos-seh'-meth}
From H3697; spelt (from its bristliness as if just shorn).
and put 5414
{5414} Prime
נָתַן
nathan
{naw-than'}
A primitive root; to give, used with great latitude of application (put, make, etc.).
z8804
<8804> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Perfect (See H8816)
Count - 12562
them in one 259
{0259} Prime
אֶחָד
'echad
{ekh-awd'}
A numeral from H0258; properly united, that is, one; or (as an ordinal) first.
vessel, 3627
{3627} Prime
כְּלִי
k@liy
{kel-ee'}
From H3615; something prepared, that is, any apparatus (as an implement, utensil, dress, vessel or weapon).
and make 6213
{6213} Prime
עָשָׂה
`asah
{aw-saw'}
A primitive root; to do or make, in the broadest sense and widest application.
z8804
<8804> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Perfect (See H8816)
Count - 12562
thee bread 3899
{3899} Prime
לֶחֶם
lechem
{lekh'-em}
From H3898; food (for man or beast), especially bread, or grain (for making it).
thereof, [according] to the number 4557
{4557} Prime
מִסְפָּר
micpar
{mis-pawr'}
From H5608; a number, definitely (arithmetical) or indefinitely (large, innumerable; small, a few); also (abstractly) narration.
of the days 3117
{3117} Prime
יוֹם
yowm
{yome}
From an unused root meaning to be hot; a day (as the warm hours), whether literally (from sunrise to sunset, or from one sunset to the next), or figuratively (a space of time defined by an associated term), (often used adverbially).
that x834
(0834) Complement
אֲשֶׁר
'asher
{ash-er'}
A primitive relative pronoun (of every gender and number); who, which, what, that; also (as adverb and conjunction) when, where, how, because, in order that, etc.
thou x859
(0859) Complement
אַתָּה
'attah
{at-taw'}
A primitive pronoun of the second person; thou and thee, or (plural) ye and you.
shalt lie 7901
{7901} Prime
שָׁכַב
shakab
{shaw-kab'}
A primitive root; to lie down (for rest, sexual connection, decease or any other purpose).
z8802
<8802> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Participle Active (See H8814)
Count - 5386
upon x5921
(5921) Complement
עַל
`al
{al}
Properly the same as H5920 used as a preposition (in the singular or plural, often with prefix, or as conjugation with a particle following); above, over, upon, or against (yet always in this last relation with a downward aspect) in a great variety of applications.
thy side, 6654
{6654} Prime
צַד
tsad
{tsad}
Contracted from an unused root meaning to sidle off; a side; figuratively an adversary.
three 7969
{7969} Prime
שָׁלוֹשׁ
shalowsh
{shaw-loshe'}
The last two forms being masculine; a primitive number; three; occasionally (ordinal) third, or (multiplicative) thrice.
hundred 3967
{3967} Prime
מֵאָה
me'ah
{may-aw'}
Probably a primitive numeral; a hundred; also as a multiplicative and a fraction.
and ninety 8673
{8673} Prime
תִּשְׁעִים
tish`iym
{tish-eem'}
Multiple from H8672; ninety.
days 3117
{3117} Prime
יוֹם
yowm
{yome}
From an unused root meaning to be hot; a day (as the warm hours), whether literally (from sunrise to sunset, or from one sunset to the next), or figuratively (a space of time defined by an associated term), (often used adverbially).
shalt thou eat 398
{0398} Prime
אָכַל
'akal
{aw-kal'}
A primitive root; to eat (literally or figuratively).
z8799
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
thereof.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Ezekiel 4:9

_ _ wheat ... barley, etc. — Instead of simple flour used for delicate cakes (Genesis 18:6), the Jews should have a coarse mixture of six different kinds of grain, such as the poorest alone would eat.

_ _ fitches — spelt or dhourra.

_ _ three hundred and ninety — The forty days are omitted, since these latter typify the wilderness period when Israel stood separate from the Gentiles and their pollution, though partially chastened by stint of bread and water (Ezekiel 4:16), whereas the eating of the polluted bread in the three hundred ninety days implies a forced residence “among the Gentiles” who were polluted with idolatry (Ezekiel 4:13). This last is said of “Israel” primarily, as being the most debased (Ezekiel 4:9-15); they had spiritually sunk to a level with the heathen, therefore God will make their condition outwardly to correspond. Judah and Jerusalem fare less severely, being less guilty: they are to “eat bread by weight and with care,” that is, have a stinted supply and be chastened with the milder discipline of the wilderness period. But Judah also is secondarily referred to in the three hundred ninety days, as having fallen, like Israel, into Gentile defilements; if, then, the Jews are to escape from the exile among Gentiles, which is their just punishment, they must submit again to the wilderness probation (Ezekiel 4:16).

Matthew Henry's Commentary

Ezekiel 4:9-17

_ _ The best exposition of this part of Ezekiel's prediction of Jerusalem's desolation is Jeremiah's lamentation of it, Lamentations 4:3, Lamentations 4:4, etc., and Lamentations 4:10, where he pathetically describes the terrible famine that was in Jerusalem during the siege and the sad effects of it.

_ _ I. The prophet here, to affect the people with the foresight of it, must confine himself for 390 days to coarse fare and short commons, and that ill-dressed, for they should want both food and fuel.

_ _ 1. His meat, for the quality of it, was to be of the worst bread, made of but little wheat and barley, and the rest of beans, and lentiles, and millet, and fitches, such as we feed horses or fatted hogs with, and this mixed, as mill corn, or as that in the beggar's bag, that has a dish full of one sort of corn at one house and of another at another house; of such corn as this must the prophet's bread be made while he underwent the fatigue of lying on his side, and needed something better to support him, Ezekiel 4:9. Note, It is our wisdom not to be too fond of dainties and pleasant bread, because we know not what hard meat we may be tied to, nay, and may be glad of, before we die. The meanest sort of food is better than we deserve, and therefore must not be despised nor wasted, nor must those that use it be looked upon with disdain, because we know not what may be our own lot.

_ _ 2. For the quantity of it, it was to be of the least that a man could be kept alive with, to signify that the besieged should be reduced to short allowance and should hold out till all the bread in the city was spent, Jeremiah 37:21. The prophet must eat but twenty shekels' weight of bread a day (Ezekiel 4:10), that was about ten ounces; and he must drink but the sixth part of a hin of water, that was half a pint, about eight ounces, Ezekiel 4:11. The stint of the Lessian diet is fourteen ounces of meat and sixteen of drink. The prophet in Babylon had bread enough and to spare, and was by the river side, where there was plenty of water; and yet, that he might confirm his own prediction and be a sign to the children of Israel, God obliges him to live thus sparingly, and he submits to it. Note, God's servants must learn to endure hardness, and to deny themselves the use of lawful delights, when they may thereby serve the glory of God, evidence the sincerity of their faith, and express their sympathy with their brethren in affliction. The body must be kept under and brought into subjection. Nature is content with a little, grace with less, but lust with nothing. It is good to stint ourselves of choice, that we may the better bear it if ever we should come to be stinted by necessity. And in times of public distress and calamity it ill becomes us to make much of ourselves, as those that drank wine in bowls and were not grieved for the affliction of Joseph, Amos 6:4-6.

_ _ 3. For the dressing of it, he must bake it with a man's dung (Ezekiel 4:12); that must be dried, and serve for fuel to heat his oven with. The thought of it would almost turn one's stomach; yet the coarse bread, thus baked, he must eat as barley-cakes, as freely as if it were the same bread he had been used to. This nauseous piece of cookery he must exercise publicly in their sight, that they might be the more affected with the calamity approaching, which was signified by it, that in the extremity of the famine they should not only have nothing that was dainty, but nothing that was cleanly, about them; they must take up with what they could get. To the hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet. This circumstance of the sign, the baking of his bread with man's dung, the prophet with submission humbly desired might be dispensed with (Ezekiel 4:14); it seemed to have in it something of a ceremonial pollution, for there was a law that man's dung should be covered with earth, that God might see no unclean thing in their camp, Deuteronomy 23:13, Deuteronomy 23:14. And must he go and gather a thing so offensive, and use it in the dressing of his meat in the sight of the people? “Ah! Lord God,” says he, “behold, my soul has not been polluted, and I am afraid lest by this it be polluted.” Note, The pollution of the soul by sin is what good people dread more than any thing; and yet sometimes tender consciences fear it without cause, and perplex themselves with scruples about lawful things, as the prophet here, who had not yet learned that it is not that which goes into the mouth that defiles the man, Matthew 15:11. But observe he does not plead, “Lord, from my youth I have been brought up delicately and have never been used to any thing but what was clean and nice” (and there were those who were so brought up, who in the siege of Jerusalem did embrace dunghills, Lamentations 4:5), but that he had been brought up conscientiously, and had never eaten any thing that was forbidden by the law, that died of itself or was torn in pieces; and therefore, “Lord, do not put this upon me now.” Thus Peter pleaded (Acts 10:14), Lord, I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean. Note, it will be comfortable to us, when we are reduced to hardships, if our hearts can witness for us that we have always been careful to abstain from sin, even from little sins, and the appearances of evil. Whatever God commands us, we may be sure, is good; but, if we be put upon any thing that we apprehend to be evil, we should argue against it, from this consideration, that hitherto we have preserved our purity — and shall we lose it now? Now, because Ezekiel with a manifest tenderness of conscience made this scruple, God dispensed with him in this matter. Note, Those who have power in their hands should not be rigorous in pressing their commands upon those that are dissatisfied concerning them, yea, though their dissatisfactions be groundless or arising from education and long usage, but should recede from them rather than grieve or offend the weak, or put a stumbling-block before them, in conformity to the example of God's condescension to Ezekiel, though we are sure his authority is incontestable and all his commands are wise and good. God allowed Ezekiel to use cow's dung instead of man's dung, Ezekiel 4:15. This is a tacit reflection upon man, as intimating that he being polluted with sin his filthiness is more nauseous and odious than that of any other creature. How much more abominable and filthy is man! Job 15:16.

_ _ II. Now this sign is particularly explained here; it signified,

_ _ 1. That those who remained in Jerusalem should be brought to extreme misery for want of necessary food. All supplies being cut off by the besiegers, the city would soon find the want of the country, for the king himself is served of the field; and thus the staff of bread would be broken in Jerusalem, Ezekiel 4:16. God would not only take away from the bread its power to nourish, so that they should eat and not be satisfied (Leviticus 26:26), but would take away the bread itself (Isaiah 3:1), so that what little remained should be eaten by weight, so much a day, so much a head, that they might have an equal share and might make it last as long as possible. But to what purpose, when they could not make it last always, and the besieged must be tired out before the besiegers? They should eat and drink with care, to make it go as far as might be, and with astonishment, when they saw it almost spent and knew not which way to look for a recruit. They should be astonished one with another; whereas it is ordinarily some alleviation of a calamity to have others share with us in it (Solamen miseris socios habuisse doloris), and some ease to the spirit to complain of the burden, it should be an aggravation of the misery that it was universal, and their complaining to one another should but make them all the more uneasy and increase the astonishment. And the event shall be as bad as their fears; they cannot make it worse than it is, for they shall consume away for their iniquity; multitudes of them shall die of famine, a lingering death, worse than that by the sword (Lamentations 4:9); they shall dies so as to feel themselves die. And it is sin that brings all this misery upon them: They shall consume away in their iniquity (so it may be read); they shall continue hardened and impenitent, and shall die in their sins, which is more miserable than to die on a dunghill. Now, (1.) Let us see here what woeful work sin makes with a people, and acknowledge the righteousness of God herein. Time was when Jerusalem was filled with the finest of the wheat (Psalms 147:14); but now it would be glad of the coarsest, and cannot have it. Fulness of bread, as it was one of Jerusalem's mercies, so it had become one of her sins, Ezekiel 16:49. The plenty was abused to luxury and excess, which were therefore thus justly punished with famine. It is a righteous thing with God to deprive us of those enjoyments which we have made the food and fuel of our lusts. (2.) Let us see what reason we have to bless God for plenty, not only for the fruits of the earth, but for the freedom of commerce, that the husbandman can have money for his bread and the tradesman bread for his money, that there is abundance not only in the field, but in the market, that those who live in cities and great towns, though they sow not, neither do they reap, are yet fed from day to day with food convenient.

_ _ 2. It signified that those who were carried into captivity should be forced to eat their defiled bread among the Gentiles (Ezekiel 4:13), to eat meat made up by Gentile hands otherwise than according to the law of the Jewish church, which they were always taught to call defiled, and which they would have as great an aversion to as a man would have to bread prepared with dung, that is (as perhaps it may be understood) kneaded and moulded with dung. Daniel and his fellows confined themselves to pulse and water, rather than they would eat the portion of the king's meat assigned them, because they apprehended it would defile them, Daniel 1:8. Or they should be forced to eat putrid meat, such as their oppressors would allow them in their slavery, and such as formerly they would have scorned to touch. Because they served not God with cheerfulness in the abundance of all things, God will make them serve their enemies in the want of all things.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Ezekiel 4:9

Take — Provide thee corn enough: for a grievous famine will accompany the siege. Wheat — All sorts of grain are to be provided, and all will be little enough. One vessel — Mix the worst with the best to lengthen out the provision.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

Ezekiel 4:9

Take thou also to thee wheat, and barley, and beans, and lentiles, and millet, (f) and spelt, and put them in one vessel, and make thee bread of them, [according] to the number of the days that thou shalt lie upon thy side, (g) three hundred and ninety days shalt thou eat of it.

(f) Meaning that the famine would be so great that they would be glad to eat whatever they could get.

(g) Which were fourteen months that the city was besieged and this was as many days as Israel sinned years.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
wheat:

Ezekiel 4:13 And the LORD said, Even thus shall the children of Israel eat their defiled bread among the Gentiles, whither I will drive them.
Ezekiel 4:16 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:

millet:
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.

fitches:
or, spelt, Kussemim is doubtless ζεα, or spelt, as Aquila and Symmachus render here; and so LXX and Theodotion, ολυρα. In times of scarcity it is customary to mix several kinds of coarser grains with the finer, to make it last the longer.

three:

Ezekiel 4:5 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.
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