Ezekiel 4:9-13King James Version (KJV)

9 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. 10 And thy meat which thou shalt eat shall be by weight, twenty shekels a day: from time to time shalt thou eat it. 11 Thou shalt drink also water by measure, the sixth part of an hin: from time to time shalt thou drink. 12 And thou shalt eat it as barley cakes, and thou shalt bake it with dung that cometh out of man, in their sight. 13 And the Lord said, Even thus shall the children of Israel eat their defiled bread among the Gentiles, whither I will drive them.

For anyone who has studied Ezekiel 4: my interpretation of it, so far, is that God is going to punish the Jews with seiges and exile for 430 years (390 for Israel, 40 for Judah), although in chapter 4 Ezekiel is also referring to the 587 BC siege of Jerusalem.

To anyone who agrees: what would one's interpretation be for the 390 days (years) of eating defiled bread among the Gentiles? Is this punishment strictly for the house of Israel (since it is for 390 years) or is it for all the Jews (phrase "children of Israel" mentioned in verse 13)?

  • After the Death of Solomon , the Kingdom of Israel was split in two ,the ten northern tribes known as Israel and sometimes called Samaria ,the two southern tribes remained together, Judah and Benjamin,and were known as Judah.The wicked kings of these two nations brought ruin and distress to the people. The iniquity of the Northern Kingdom extended for 390 years,some scholars says that the period of Samaria's iniquity started with the split that took place under Rehoboam, and lasted until the fall of Jerusalem to the Babylonians. – Ozzie Ozzie Aug 7 '19 at 19:30

One interpretation of the Ezekiel 4 passage is that the 390 days represents the number of years from the kingdom being divided (at the death of Solomon) until Israel would be taken away captive. In this view, the 40 days is the 40 extra years that Judah would receive until they too would be taken away in captivity to Babylon. In this view each day that Ezekiel laid on his side represented a year. This view comes up in writers who are attempting to determine the number of years the kings ruled when dealing with Bible Chronology. The co-regencies make this a difficult task.

A famous writer who took this view of Ezek. 4 is the work of James Ussher, who used this interpretation span the age of the kings. An article on Bible chronology by Larry Pierce also takes this view of Ezek. 4: Ussher’s Time Line for the Divided Kingdom. Yet another similar work on Chronology that takes this view is The Chronology of the Old Testament by Dr. Floyd Nolen Jones. Thiele, in his book on the chronology of the kings used a study of the annals of the Assryian kings to determine the chronology of the reign of the kings.

In this view the 390 and the 40 do not refer to the length of judgment, instead they are the number of years until judgment. In Jeremiah 25:11-12 the length of Judah's captivity is listed as 70 years, a prophecy that came to pass.

  • Yes thank you. I was already aware of the interpretation you have explained (which I am not convinced by) which is why I addressed my question "to anyone who agrees". I want to get an opinion on verses 9-13 by someone who is convinced that the 430 days represent 430 years of punishment. – user329957 Mar 14 '18 at 16:26
  • I agree with the interpretation of 390 years, but not with the interpretation of the forty, seeing that the 390 years equated to the 7th year of the captivity of Jehoiachin. A related answer I wrote, hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/questions/28201/…, which one conveniently charted. – user21676 Mar 14 '18 at 18:41

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