Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Ezekiel 4:9

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Take thou also unto thee wheat - In times of scarcity, it is customary in all countries to mix several kinds of coarser grain with the finer, to make it last the longer. This mashlin, which the prophet is commanded to take, of wheat, barley, beans, lentiles, millet, and fitches, was intended to show how scarce the necessaries of life should be during the siege.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

Two things are prefigured in the remainder of this chapter,

(1) the hardships of exile,

(2) the straitness of a siege.

To the people of Israel, separated from the rest of the nations as holy, it was a leading feature in the calamities of their exile that they must be mixed up with other nations, and eat of their food, which to the Jews was a defilement (compare Ezekiel 4:13; Amos 7:17; Daniel 1:8.)

Fitches - A species of wheat with shorn ears.

In one vessel - To mix all these varied seeds was an indication that the people were no longer in their own land, where precautions against such mixing of seeds were prescribed.

Three hundred and ninety days - The days of Israel‘s punishment; because here is a figure of the exile which concerns all the tribes, not of the siege which concerns Judah alone.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
The bread which was Ezekiel's support, was to be made of coarse grain and pulse mixed together, seldom used except in times of urgent scarcity, and of this he was only to take a small quantity. Thus was figured the extremity to which the Jews were to be reduced during the siege and captivity. Ezekiel does not plead, Lord, from my youth I have been brought up delicately, and never used to any thing like this; but that he had been brought up conscientiously, and never had eaten any thing forbidden by the law. It will be comfortable when we are brought to suffer hardships, if our hearts can witness that we have always been careful to keep even from the appearance of evil. See what woful work sin makes, and acknowledge the righteousness of God herein. Their plenty having been abused to luxury and excess, they were justly punished by famine. When men serve not God with cheerfulness in the abundance of all things, God will make them serve their enemies in the want of all things.
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