“Further, take wheat, barley, beans, lentils, millet, and emmer. Put them into one vessel and bake them into bread. Eat it as many days as you lie on your side: three hundred and ninety” EZEKIEL 4:9 (The Israel Bible™)

Yechezkel (Ezekiel) demonstrates to his listeners the dire straits the people from Yerushalayim (Jerusalem) are in during the final Babylonian siege against the city. According to tradition, Yechezkel rations to himself inedible flour and inferior grains and limits his water in order to portray the austere conditions under which the people of Yerushalayim are suffering. As a final blow, these foods are prepared in an impure manner, something repulsive to the prophet-priest. Indeed, bread and water were very scarce during the Babylonian siege of Yerushalayim, as the Bible indicated elsewhere: “The tongue of the suckling cleaves to its palate for thirst. Little children beg for bread; none gives them a morsel.” (Lamentations 4:4)

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