Eat the food as you would a barley cake; bake it in the sight of the people, using human excrement for fuel." 13
The LORD said, "In this way the people of Israel will eat defiled food among the nations where I will drive them."
Then I said, "Not so, Sovereign LORD! I have never defiled myself. From my youth until now I have never eaten anything found dead or torn by wild animals. No unclean meat has ever entered my mouth."
"Very well," he said, "I will let you bake your bread over cow manure instead of human excrement."
He then said to me: "Son of man, I will cut off the supply of food in Jerusalem. The people will eat rationed food in anxiety and drink rationed water in despair, 17
for food and water will be scarce. They will be appalled at the sight of each other and will waste away because of [a]
Dung as fuel; so the Arabs use beasts' dung, wood fuel being scarce. But to use human dung so implies the most cruel necessity. It was in violation of the law ( Deu 14:3 23:12-14
); it must therefore have been done only in vision.
Implying that Israel's peculiar distinction was to be abolished and that they were to be outwardly blended with the idolatrous heathen ( Deu 28:68 Hsa 9:3
Ezekiel, as a priest, had been accustomed to the strictest abstinence from everything legally impure. Peter felt the same scruple at a similar command ( Act 10:14
; compare Isa 65:4
). Positive precepts,
being dependent on a particular command can be set aside at the will of the divine ruler; but moral precepts
are everlasting in their obligation because God cannot be inconsistent with His unchanging moral naturecow's dung
--a mitigation of the former order ( Eze 4:12
); no longer "the dung of man"; still the bread so baked is "defiled," to imply that, whatever partial abatement there might be for the prophet's sake, the main decree of God, as to the pollution of Israel by exile among Gentiles, is unalterable