JW Reading - Daily portion


This week's reading is EZEKIEL 1-5.

Today's portion goes from 3:24 to 4:15.


24 Then spirit entered into me and made me stand up on my feet, and he spoke to me and said: “Go, shut yourself inside your house. 25 As for you, son of man, they will put ropes on you and tie you with them so that you cannot go out among them. 26 And I will make your tongue stick to the roof of your mouth, and you will become mute, unable to reprove them, because they are a rebellious house. 27 But when I speak with you I will open your mouth, and you must say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord Jehovah says. ’ Let the one listening listen, and let the one refusing to listen refuse, because they are a rebellious house. Chapter 4 “And you, son of man, take a brick and put it in front of you. Engrave on it a city—Jerusalem. 2 Lay siege to it, build a siege wall against it, raise up a siege rampart against it, set up camps against it, and surround it with battering rams. 3 Take an iron griddle and place it as an iron wall between you and the city. Then set your face against it, and it will be under siege; you are to besiege it. This is a sign to the house of Israel. 4 “Then you should lie on your left side and lay the guilt of the house of Israel on yourself. You will carry their guilt for the number of days that you lie on your side. 5 And I will impose on you 390 days, corresponding to the years of their guilt, and you will carry the guilt of the house of Israel. 6 And you must complete them. “Then for a second time you will lie down, on your right side, and you will carry the guilt of the house of Judah for 40 days. A day for a year, a day for a year, is what I have given you. 7 And you will turn your face toward the siege of Jerusalem with your arm bared, and you must prophesy against it. 8 “Look! I will tie you with ropes so that you cannot turn from your one side to your other side until you have completed the days of your siege. 9 “And you should take wheat, barley, broad beans, lentils, millet, and spelt and put them in one container and make them into bread for yourself. For the number of the days that you are lying on your side, 390 days, you will eat it. 10 You will weigh out and eat 20 shekels of food per day. You will eat it at set times. 11 “And you will drink water by measure, a sixth of a hin. You will drink it at set times. 12 “You will eat it as you would a round barley loaf; you will bake it before their eyes, using dried human excrement as fuel. ” 13 Jehovah went on to say: “This is how the Israelites will eat their bread—unclean—among the nations where I will disperse them. ” 14 I then said: “Not that, Sovereign Lord Jehovah! From my youth until now, I have not been defiled by eating meat from an animal found dead or a torn animal, and no unclean meat has entered my mouth. ” 15 So he said to me: “All right, I will allow you to use cattle manure instead of human excrement, and you will bake your bread over it. ”

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3:26
w03 12/1 29 :

Earlier in Ezekiel’s career as a prophet and watchman, Jehovah had told him: “Your very tongue I will make stick to the roof of your mouth, and you will certainly become mute, and you will not become to them a man administering reproof, because they are a rebellious house. And when I speak with you I shall open your mouth. ” (Ezekiel 3:26,  27) When Jehovah had no message for Israel, Ezekiel was to remain speechless as regards that nation. Ezekiel was to speak what Jehovah wanted him to speak at the time Jehovah wanted him to do so. Ezekiel’s muteness implied that he was speechless as far as uttering words of prophetic significance to the Israelites was concerned.


4:1
it-1 462 :

From 997 B. C. E. to desolation of Jerusalem. A helpful guide to the overall length of this period of the kings is found at Ezekiel 4:1-7 in the mimic siege of Jerusalem that the prophet Ezekiel carried out at God’s direction. Ezekiel was to lie on his left side for 390 days to “carry the error of the house of Israel, ” and on his right side for 40 days to “carry the error of the house of Judah, ” and each day was shown to stand for a year. The two periods (of 390 years and of 40 years) thus symbolized evidently stood for the length of Jehovah’s forbearance with the two kingdoms in their idolatrous course. The Jewish understanding of this prophecy, as presented in the Soncino Books of the Bible (commentary on Ezekiel, pp.  20,  21) is: “The guilt of the Northern Kingdom extended over a period of 390 years ([according to the] Seder Olam [the earliest postexilic chronicle preserved in the Hebrew language], [and Rabbis] Rashi and Ibn Ezra). Abarbanel, quoted by Malbim, reckons the period of Samaria’s guilt from the time when the schism took place under Rehoboam .  .  . until the fall of Jerusalem. .  .  . The right [side, on which Ezekiel lay] indicates the south, i. e. the Kingdom of Judah which lay to the south or right. .  .  . Judah’s corruption lasted forty years beginning soon after Samaria’s fall. According to Malbim, the time is reckoned from the thirteenth year of the reign of Josiah .  .  . when Jeremiah began his ministry. (Jer. i.  2). ”—Edited by A.  Cohen, London, 1950.

From the division of the kingdom in 997 B. C. E. to the fall of Jerusalem in 607 B. C. E. was 390 years. While it is true that Samaria, the capital of the northern kingdom, had already fallen to Assyria in 740 B. C. E. , in Hezekiah’s sixth year (2Ki 18:9,  10), it is probable that some of the population fled into the southern kingdom before the Assyrians’ advance. (Note also the situation in Judah following the division of the kingdom as described at 2Ch 10:16,  17. ) But, more important, the fact that Jehovah God continued to keep the Israelites of the exiled northern kingdom in view, the messages of his prophets continuing to include them long beyond the fall of Samaria, shows that their interests were still represented in the capital city of Jerusalem and that its fall in 607 B. C. E. was an expression of Jehovah’s judgment against not Judah alone but the nation of Israel as a whole. (Jer 3:11-22; 11:10-12, 17; Eze 9:9,  10) When the city fell, the hopes of the nation as a whole (with the exception of the few who maintained true faith) suffered collapse. Eze 37:11-14, 21,  22.


4:3
it-1 504 :

The Israelites also possessed deep-fat kettles or deep pans and also griddles. Grain offerings were frequently prepared in these. (Le 2:5,  7; 7:9; 1Ch 23:29) Examples of earthenware griddles have been discovered at Gezer. These had small depressions, comparable to the waffle iron of today. Iron griddles were also in use. Eze 4:1-3.


4:5
it-1 462 :

From 997 B. C. E. to desolation of Jerusalem. A helpful guide to the overall length of this period of the kings is found at Ezekiel 4:1-7 in the mimic siege of Jerusalem that the prophet Ezekiel carried out at God’s direction. Ezekiel was to lie on his left side for 390 days to “carry the error of the house of Israel, ” and on his right side for 40 days to “carry the error of the house of Judah, ” and each day was shown to stand for a year. The two periods (of 390 years and of 40 years) thus symbolized evidently stood for the length of Jehovah’s forbearance with the two kingdoms in their idolatrous course. The Jewish understanding of this prophecy, as presented in the Soncino Books of the Bible (commentary on Ezekiel, pp.  20,  21) is: “The guilt of the Northern Kingdom extended over a period of 390 years ([according to the] Seder Olam [the earliest postexilic chronicle preserved in the Hebrew language], [and Rabbis] Rashi and Ibn Ezra). Abarbanel, quoted by Malbim, reckons the period of Samaria’s guilt from the time when the schism took place under Rehoboam .  .  . until the fall of Jerusalem. .  .  . The right [side, on which Ezekiel lay] indicates the south, i. e. the Kingdom of Judah which lay to the south or right. .  .  . Judah’s corruption lasted forty years beginning soon after Samaria’s fall. According to Malbim, the time is reckoned from the thirteenth year of the reign of Josiah .  .  . when Jeremiah began his ministry. (Jer. i.  2). ”—Edited by A.  Cohen, London, 1950.

From the division of the kingdom in 997 B. C. E. to the fall of Jerusalem in 607 B. C. E. was 390 years. While it is true that Samaria, the capital of the northern kingdom, had already fallen to Assyria in 740 B. C. E. , in Hezekiah’s sixth year (2Ki 18:9,  10), it is probable that some of the population fled into the southern kingdom before the Assyrians’ advance. (Note also the situation in Judah following the division of the kingdom as described at 2Ch 10:16,  17. ) But, more important, the fact that Jehovah God continued to keep the Israelites of the exiled northern kingdom in view, the messages of his prophets continuing to include them long beyond the fall of Samaria, shows that their interests were still represented in the capital city of Jerusalem and that its fall in 607 B. C. E. was an expression of Jehovah’s judgment against not Judah alone but the nation of Israel as a whole. (Jer 3:11-22; 11:10-12, 17; Eze 9:9,  10) When the city fell, the hopes of the nation as a whole (with the exception of the few who maintained true faith) suffered collapse. Eze 37:11-14, 21,  22.


4:6
it-1 135 :

That a specific number of days may be used in the Bible record to represent prophetically an equivalent number of years can be seen by reading the accounts at Numbers 14:34 and Ezekiel 4:6. Only by applying the formula there expressed of “a day for a year” to the “seven times” of this prophecy can the vision of Daniel chapter 4 have significant fulfillment beyond the day of now extinct Nebuchadnezzar, as the evidence thus far presented gives reason to expect.


462 :

From 997 B. C. E. to desolation of Jerusalem. A helpful guide to the overall length of this period of the kings is found at Ezekiel 4:1-7 in the mimic siege of Jerusalem that the prophet Ezekiel carried out at God’s direction. Ezekiel was to lie on his left side for 390 days to “carry the error of the house of Israel, ” and on his right side for 40 days to “carry the error of the house of Judah, ” and each day was shown to stand for a year. The two periods (of 390 years and of 40 years) thus symbolized evidently stood for the length of Jehovah’s forbearance with the two kingdoms in their idolatrous course. The Jewish understanding of this prophecy, as presented in the Soncino Books of the Bible (commentary on Ezekiel, pp.  20,  21) is: “The guilt of the Northern Kingdom extended over a period of 390 years ([according to the] Seder Olam [the earliest postexilic chronicle preserved in the Hebrew language], [and Rabbis] Rashi and Ibn Ezra). Abarbanel, quoted by Malbim, reckons the period of Samaria’s guilt from the time when the schism took place under Rehoboam .  .  . until the fall of Jerusalem. .  .  . The right [side, on which Ezekiel lay] indicates the south, i. e. the Kingdom of Judah which lay to the south or right. .  .  . Judah’s corruption lasted forty years beginning soon after Samaria’s fall. According to Malbim, the time is reckoned from the thirteenth year of the reign of Josiah .  .  . when Jeremiah began his ministry. (Jer. i.  2). ”—Edited by A.  Cohen, London, 1950.

From the division of the kingdom in 997 B. C. E. to the fall of Jerusalem in 607 B. C. E. was 390 years. While it is true that Samaria, the capital of the northern kingdom, had already fallen to Assyria in 740 B. C. E. , in Hezekiah’s sixth year (2Ki 18:9,  10), it is probable that some of the population fled into the southern kingdom before the Assyrians’ advance. (Note also the situation in Judah following the division of the kingdom as described at 2Ch 10:16,  17. ) But, more important, the fact that Jehovah God continued to keep the Israelites of the exiled northern kingdom in view, the messages of his prophets continuing to include them long beyond the fall of Samaria, shows that their interests were still represented in the capital city of Jerusalem and that its fall in 607 B. C. E. was an expression of Jehovah’s judgment against not Judah alone but the nation of Israel as a whole. (Jer 3:11-22; 11:10-12, 17; Eze 9:9,  10) When the city fell, the hopes of the nation as a whole (with the exception of the few who maintained true faith) suffered collapse. Eze 37:11-14, 21,  22.


4:12
it-1 658 :

Some of the nomadic peoples may have used dung as fuel. Ezekiel, enacting a scene prophetic of Jerusalem’s siege, objected when God commanded him to use human excrement for fuel in baking bread. God kindly permitted him to use cattle manure instead. (Eze 4:12-17) This seems to indicate that it was not the normal practice in Israel.


4:14
it-1 658 :

Some of the nomadic peoples may have used dung as fuel. Ezekiel, enacting a scene prophetic of Jerusalem’s siege, objected when God commanded him to use human excrement for fuel in baking bread. God kindly permitted him to use cattle manure instead. (Eze 4:12-17) This seems to indicate that it was not the normal practice in Israel.


4:15
it-1 658 :

Some of the nomadic peoples may have used dung as fuel. Ezekiel, enacting a scene prophetic of Jerusalem’s siege, objected when God commanded him to use human excrement for fuel in baking bread. God kindly permitted him to use cattle manure instead. (Eze 4:12-17) This seems to indicate that it was not the normal practice in Israel.


875 :

To depict the severity of Jerusalem’s siege, Ezekiel was instructed to use human excrement for fuel, but when he objected, Jehovah permitted him to use cakes of cattle dung instead. (Eze 4:8, 12-15) Although dried cattle dung is today used by some persons in the Middle East because of the scarcity of wood, this does not necessarily mean that the Israelites ordinarily used it, especially since ancient Palestine was more heavily wooded than it is now.





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