The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Prophecy of Ezechiel
And now, son of man, go and get thee a tile; set it before thee and make marks on it, to represent the city of Jerusalem.
This thou art to beleaguer; siege-works built, mound raised, camp pitched, battering-rams all around.✻
And therewithal get thee an iron cooking-pan, that shall make a ring of iron between thee and this city of thine; look closely as thou wilt, here is siege complete. So thou shalt beleaguer it; a sign, this, for the race of Israel.
This, too, thou must do; ever on thy left side lie down to sleep, weighing it down, day after day as thou sleepest upon it, with the guilt of Israel; bear it thou must.
Three hundred and ninety days of guilt-bearing I have allotted thee, one day for every year of Israel’s guilt;
this done, Juda’s guilt thou must bear for forty days yet, sleeping on thy right side; a day for a year, for every year a day.
And ever towards beleaguered Jerusalem thou shalt turn thy face, and hold thy arm stretched out, prophesying its doom;
I hold thee enchained, and never shalt thou turn from one side to other, till the days of thy siege are over.✻
For thy food, wheat thou must have by thee, and barley, and beans, and lentils, and spelt, and vetch; all in one pan mix them, and make thee bread, while thou art sleeping ever on thy same side; for three hundred and ninety days thou shalt eat it.✻
Nine ounces shall be all thy daily food, at set times apportioned,
and water thou shalt drink at set times, two pints by measure.
Cooked in the ashes thy bread, like barley cakes, and dung of man shall be thy fuel, for all to see.
Polluted as this, the Lord says, shall be the bread Israel eats, in the land I have decreed for his exile.
Alas, alas, Lord God, said I, here is a soul that never knew defilement; from childhood’s days, beast I never ate that died by chance or lay mangled, nor ever did food unclean cross my lips.
Be it so, he answered; for dung of man droppings of cattle thou shalt have, and cook thy bread with these.
But be sure of this, son of man; I mean to cut off from Jerusalem every source of bread; weighed out to them their bread shall be, and anxiously, measured out to them their water, and in great lack.
And at last, for want of bread and water, every man’s face shall fall as he looks at other, and they shall pine away in their guilt.
The Holy Bible