Ezekiel’s bread (Ezek 4:9-4:10)

“You take wheat.

You take barley.

You take beans.

You take lentils.

You take millet.

You take spelt.

Put them into

One vessel!

Make bread

For yourself!

During the number of days

That you lie

On your side,

Three hundred ninety days,

You shall eat it.

The food

That you eat

Shall be twenty shekels

A day,

By weight.

You shall eat it

At fixed times.”

The voice of Yahweh continued telling Ezekiel how to make his bread. It will be a combination of wheat, barley, beans, lentils, millet, and spelt. These last two were grains and flours. This sounds more like a stew or a soup, than rich bread. Ezekiel was to be put this combination of ingredients into one pot or vessel to make bread for himself. He was to eat this bread while he was laying on his side for the 390 days. He could eat 20 shekel weight of food daily at specific times, maybe once a day. It is not clear who was preparing his food.

 

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The pending crisis in the days to come (Isa 7:17-7:19)

“Yahweh will bring on you,

On your people,

On your ancestral house

Such days

As have not come

Since the day

That Ephraim

Departed from Judah.

Watch for the king of Assyria!

On that day,

Yahweh will whistle for the fly

That is at the sources

Of the streams of Egypt.

He will whistle for the bee

That is in the land of Assyria.

They will all come.

They will settle

In the steep ravines,

In the clefts of the rocks,

On all the thorn bushes,

On all the pastures.”

Isaiah predicts that things will not be good in the near future. Yahweh was going to bring bad things to the Israelites, their people, and their ancestral homes that they had not been seen since Ephraim split with Judah after the death of King Solomon. Yahweh would call out the king of Assyria with his bees to get together with Egypt and its flies to attack Judah. Yahweh, via Isaiah, had just reassured King Ahaz that Ephraim and Syria would fail in their attacks. However, this seems like another more serious attack from a combination of Assyria and Egypt. These attacking bees and flies would settle in the ravines, rocks, thorn bushes, and pastures.

The hands of the Lord and fear of the Lord (Sir 2:15-2:18)

“Those who fear the Lord

Will not disobey his words.

Those who love him

Will keep his ways.

Those who fear the Lord

Will seek to please him.

Those who love him

Will be filled with his law.

Those who fear the Lord

Will prepare their hearts.

Those who fear the Lord

Will humble themselves before him.

Let us fall into the hands of the Lord.

But let us not fall into the hands of men.

Equal to his majesty is his mercy.

Equal to his name are his works.”

If you fear the Lord, you will not disobey his words. If you love the Lord, you will keep his ways. If you fear the Lord, you will try to please him. Those who love God will be filled with his law. Here we see the combination of law and love, not separated. If you love, you will follow the law. If you fear the Lord, you will prepare your hearts and humble yourselves before the Lord. We should be in the hands of the Lord and not the hands of men. God’s majesty is equal to his mercy. His name and his works are the same.