Dave Burnette's Commentary

Ezekiel Chapter 4

Written By: God through Inspiration
Penned By: Ezekiel
Date Penned: (571 BC)
Overview: To Announce God's Judgement and Salvation (c 1-5)
Theme: Messages of Doom (c 1-24)
Message: Visions of Sin and Judgement (v 1-17)

Ezekiel 4 Commentary

(4:1) Specific Instructions - Ezekiel acted out the coming siege and fall of Jerusalem before they actually happened. God gave him specific instructions about what to do and say and how to do and say it. Each detail had a specific meaning. Often we can ignore or disregard the smaller details of God's Word, thinking God probably doesn't care about them. But like Ezekiel, we should want to obey God completely, even in the details. 

(4:4-17) The Fate of Jerusalem - Ezekiel's unusual actions symbolically portrayed the fate of Jerusalem. He lay on his left side for 390 days to show that Israel would be punished for 390 years; then he lay on his right side for 40 days to show that Judah would be punished for 40 years. Ezekiel was not allowed to move during the time he had to lay still, symbolizing the fact that the people of Jerusalem would be imprisoned within the walls of the city. We know that Ezekiel did not have to lie on his side all day because these verses tell of other tasks God asked him to do during this time. The small amount of food he was allowed to eat represented the normal ration provided to those living in a city under siege by enemy armies. The food that was to be cooked over dried human excrement was a symbol of Judah's spiritual uncleanness. Certainly many people saw these spectacles and, in the process, heard Ezekiel's occasional speeches (3:27). How many today would be willing to so dramatically portray the sins of our nation? We need to pray for greater boldness in our witness. 

(4:12-14) Nothing Left - Ezekiel asked God not to make him use human excrement for fuel because it violated the laws for purity (Leviticus 21-22; Deuteronomy 23:12-14). As a priest, Ezekiel would have been careful to keep all these laws. To use human excrement for fuel would paint a dramatic picture of ruin. If nothing was left in the city that could be burned, it would be impossible to continue to follow God's laws for sacrifices.


David Burnette's Life Application

Listening to the Lord


Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today we continue the Book of Ezekiel with Chapter 4. In our text today we see the Lord giving Ezekiel visions of sin and judgment. In making application we see the Lord still communicates with us through the pages of the Bible. The Lord lovingly communicates with us through the pages of the Bible. Our salvation, our relationships, our finances, and our lives have the Lords instruction through the pages of the Bible. How about you? Do you listen to the Lord? Let us learn from out text today and example of Ezekieal to see that the Lord loves us and communicates with us through His Word and His Spirit for salvation and every area of our life.


Ezekiel 4

Ezekiel 4

 1Thou also, son of man, take thee a tile, and lay it before thee, and pourtray upon it the city, even Jerusalem:

 2And 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.

 3Moreover 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.

 4Lie 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.

 5For 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.

 6And 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.

 7Therefore thou shalt set thy face toward the siege of Jerusalem, and thine arm shall be uncovered, and thou shalt prophesy against it.

 8And, 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.

 9Take 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.

 10And thy meat which thou shalt eat shall be by weight, twenty shekels a day: from time to time shalt thou eat it.

 11Thou shalt drink also water by measure, the sixth part of an hin: from time to time shalt thou drink.

 12And thou shalt eat it as barley cakes, and thou shalt bake it with dung that cometh out of man, in their sight.

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

 14Then 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.

 15Then he said unto me, Lo, I have given thee cow's dung for man's dung, and thou shalt prepare thy bread therewith.

 16Moreover 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:

 17That they may want bread and water, and be astonied one with another, and consume away for their iniquity.