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Ezekiel 4:12-13

12. And thou shalt eat it as barley cakes, and thou shalt bake it with dung that cometh out of man, in their sight.

12. Et placentam 9595     That is, “made of barley.” — Calvin. hordeorum comedes, et ipsam in stercoribus humanam excrementi coques coram oculis ipsorum.

13. And the LORD said, Even thus shall the children of Israel eat their defiled bread among the Gentiles, whither I will drive them.

13. Et dixit Iehovah: sic comedent filii Israel panem suum pollutum in gentibus ad quas expulero eos.


This vision properly belongs to the ten tribes, and, for this reason, I have said that God’s vengeance is not to be considered as to the siege of the city alone, but to be extended longer. After the Prophet had spoken of the siege of Jerusalem, he adds, that their reward was prepared for the children of Israel, because a just God was the avenger of each people. As, therefore, he punished the remnant who as yet remained at Jerusalem, so he avenged the wickedness of the ten tribes in exile at Babylon. For this reason the Prophet is ordered to cook a cake with dung: that is, he is commanded to take human dung instead of fuel: nor does he simply say dung, but the dung of men. By and bye the application follows. Thus the children of Israel shall eat their polluted bread among the Gentiles Now, therefore, we see that the Jews are at length drawn to judgment, because they had not been so touched with the slaughter of their brethren as to repent, but, in the meantime, the wrath of God was conspicuous against the ten tribes, because among the Gentiles those miserable exiles were compelled to eat their bread polluted. We know that cakes are made of the finest flour, for the purer the flour the more delicate is the bread, but the Prophet is ordered to make cakes of barley, and then to cook them in dung, for that uncleanness was forbidden by the law. (Leviticus 5:3; Leviticus 7:21.) Therefore God signifies, that the Israelites were so rejected that they differed in nothing from polluted nations; for the Lord had separated them as we know from the rest of the world: but from the time of their mingling themselves with the filth of the impious, at length, after long forbearance, they were altogether rejected as it is here said. For under this figure a universal pollution is signified, as if he had said, nothing is any longer holy or sacred in Israel, because they are mixed up with the pollutions of all nations: finally, the impure bread embraces within itself all kinds of impiety. Now when he says among the Gentiles, it means, that they would be such inhabitants of the lands among which they were driven, that they should be not only exiles but banished from the land of Canaan, which was their inheritance. In fine, a disinheriting is here marked, when the Jews are said to be driven about hither and thither, so as not to, dwell in the promised land. It follows —

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