Cannibalism (Ezek 5:10-5:10)

“Surely,

Parents shall eat

Their children

In your midst.

The children shall eat

Their parents.

I will execute judgments

On you.

Any of you

Who survive,

I will scatter

To every wind.”

This ideal of cannibalism in Jerusalem was attested by Jeremiah, chapter 19, and Lamentations, chapters 2 and 4, and now here in Ezekiel. Parents would eat their children, while children would eat their parents in this situation of starvation in Jerusalem. Yahweh was going to execute his judgments on those who survived. These survivors would be scattered to the four winds in every direction.

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The shameful sinful behavior (Bar 2:3-2:5)

“Some of us

Ate the flesh

Of their sons.

Others

Ate the flesh

Of their daughters.

He made us subject

To all the kingdoms

Around us.

We were

An object of scorn.

We were a desolation among

All the surrounding people,

Where the Lord

Has scattered us.

We were brought down.

We were not raised up.

Because our nation

Sinned

Against the Lord,

Our God,

In not heeding

His voice.”

Once again, there is allusion to the cannibalism of people, eating their sons and daughters as food because of the famine in Jerusalem, as was mentioned in Lamentations, chapters 2 and 4, as well as Jeremiah, chapter 19. They were no longer a nation, because now they obeyed all the other countries around them. They had become an object of scorn and a desolation among all the people and the countries where they were scattered into. They were brought down, not raised up. They had sinned as a nation. Thus they were punished as a nation. They had not listened to the voice of God, their Lord.

Cannibalism (Lam 4:10-4:10)

Yod

“The hands

Of compassionate women

Have boiled

Their own children.

They became

Their food

In the destruction

Of my people.”

This author complains about the practice of cannibalism. Even the compassionate women of Jerusalem boiled their own children. They had their own children become their food as Yahweh’s people self-destructed. This cannibalism was also mentioned in Jeremiah, chapter 19, and in the 2nd Lamentation. This verse starts with the Hebrew consonant letter Yod in this acrostic poem.

A cry to Yahweh for help (Lam 2:20-2:20)

Resh

“Look!

Yahweh!

Consider!

To whom have

You done this?

Should women

Eat their offspring?

Should they eat

The children

That they have borne?

Should priests

With prophets

Be killed In the sanctuary

Of Yahweh?”

This author continued to remind people to turn to Yahweh. He wanted Yahweh to consider what was happening there. Yahweh should have pity on the left over people in Jerusalem. Women were so hungry that they were eating their new born children, practicing cannibalism. This was also mentioned in Jeremiah, chapter 19. Priests and prophets were being killed in the sanctuary of Yahweh. However, the sanctuary was already destroyed. This verse starts with the Hebrew consonant letter Resh. Each verse after this will use the next letter of the Hebrew alphabet in this acrostic poem.