The bread made of wheat, barley, beans, lentils, millet and spelt -- is there more to this than defiled bread? In Canada this mixture is normal.

Is it the same in ancient Israel? I noticed Leviticus chapter 2 reveals the rules of no honey, no leaven, no coal-fired contact, and must include salt, finely-ground flours, etc.

Why these six ingredients? Why not cornmeal?

1 Answer 1


The ingredients listed do seem an odd choice, but let us remember that Ezekiel was a prophet of the Most High God. At times, God would use common items to represent or play out a scene as a sign for the viewer.

In the Watchtower of Sept. 15, 1988, the article "Listen​—Jehovah’s Watchman Speaks!" gives us some insight:

Ezekiel next enacted the effects of the siege. To denote famine, he subsisted on just over eight ounces [0.2 kg] of food and about a pint [0.5 L] of water a day. His bread (an unlawful mixture of wheat, barley, broad beans, lentils, millet, and spelt baked over dung) was unclean. (Leviticus 19:19) This action showed that Jerusalem’s residents would suffer great privation. But how heartening it is to know that just as Jehovah sustained Ezekiel under difficult circumstances, God will help us to remain faithful and fulfill our preaching commission in the face of all hardships!—Ezekiel 4:9-17. (bold mine)

So we see that those ingredients were a violation of the Law as stated in Leviticus 19:19. While the 'two sorts of seed' weren't sown in the ground, it still shows Jehovah God's thinking on keeping them separate:

“‘You should keep my statutes: You must not interbreed two sorts of your domestic animals. You must not sow your field with two sorts of seed, and you must not wear a garment made with two sorts of thread mixed together."

Further explanation comes from the book Pure Worship of Jehovah—Restored At Last! chapter 6 “The End Is Now Upon You” paragraph 9:

The suffering of Jerusalem’s inhabitants. Jehovah ordered Ezekiel: “Take wheat, barley, broad beans, lentils, millet, and spelt [a type of wheat] . . . and make them into bread,” and “weigh out and eat 20 shekels of food per day.” Jehovah then explained: “I am cutting off the food supply.” (Ezek. 4:9-16) In this scene, Ezekiel no longer represented the Babylonian army; rather, he took on the role of the inhabitants of Jerusalem. The prophet’s actions foretold that the coming siege would cause the food supplies in the city to dwindle. At that time, bread would be made from an odd mixture of ingredients, which indicated that the people would have to eat whatever they found. How severe would the starvation become? As if directly addressing the inhabitants of Jerusalem, Ezekiel said: “Fathers among you will eat their sons, and sons will eat their fathers.” In the end, many would suffer because of “the deadly arrows of famine,” and the people would “waste away.”—Ezek. 4:17; 5:10, 16. (bold mine)

So we can see that these ingredients were prophetic in nature to show how severe the situation in Jerusalem would become.

[All scripture citations are from the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures (2013 Revision)]

  • I am unclear as to what you are asking, please elaborate.
    – agarza
    Commented Feb 27, 2021 at 22:35
  • Am I clear in this summary: 1.) the mixture is a representation of natural/carnal STRIFE for i.e. daily bread or godly provision, 2.) intra-divisions or segregation of the "contents" of those godly provision(s) would increase the need to acknowledge their entire dependence & to seek to walk obedience via faith... no other brought their salvation. Commented Feb 27, 2021 at 22:37
  • 1) Yes. In this situation, Jehovah God was being simple in his meaning at the suffering they were about to endure. 2) The Israelites were well acquainted with the reliance on Jehovah God, but they were wayward and need to be reminded time and time again.
    – agarza
    Commented Feb 27, 2021 at 22:43

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