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Ezekiel 4:14-15

14. Then said I, Ah Lord GOD! behold, my soul hath not been polluted: for from my youth up even till now have I not eaten of that which dieth of itself, or is torn in pieces; neither came there abominable flesh into my mouth.

14. Et dixi, Ahah, 9696     “Or, alas.” — Calvin Dominator Iehovah, ecce, anima mea non fuit polluta, et cadaver et discerptum non comedi a pueritia mea huc usque, et non intravit in os meum caro putrefacta. 9797     Or abominable, פגול, pigol, is their word for corrupt or rancid, or putrefied, and hence by translation animal flesh is called detestable, that is, of an unclean animal.” — Calvin.

15. Then he said unto me, Lo, I have given thee cow’s dung for man’s dung, and thou shalt prepare thy bread therewith.

15. Et dixit mihi, Vide, dedi tibi stercori bovis pro stercoribus hominis, et facies panem tuum super illa. 9898     That is, “thou shalt cook.”


The Prophet here inserts the answer which he received to his request that God would relax his severe command: for it was abominable to eat flesh cooked with human dung, not only on account of the stench, but because religion forbade it: though the Prophet did not regard the taste of his palate, but objects that it was not lawful for him, and relates how anxiously he had abstained during his whole life from all polluted food. For if he had formerly dared to feed promiscuously on all sorts of food, he could not pray against it as he now does, that he should not be compelled to eat polluted bread: but he shows here that he had abstained throughout his whole life from all polluted food. My soul, says he, never was polluted: for soul is often put for the belly: then never have I tasted of a carcass, or of what has been torn in pieces By the figure a part put for the whole, he intends all unclean meats, which were unlawful food, according to the commandments of the law. (Leviticus 9.) For because a carcass is mixed with blood, God forbade them to touch the flesh of an animal which died by itself, because it had not been strangled, then if a wild beast should tear a sheep or an ox, that cruelty ought to be detestable to men. Since, therefore, both a carcass and torn and lacerated flesh are unclean food, the Prophet here says, that from his childhood even to that time he had kept the commands of God with his utmost endeavors: hence he obtains, as I have said, some mitigation. Yet he is compelled to eat his flesh cooked with the dung of oxen. This was done by vision, as I said yesterday: but meanwhile God did not change what he had determined concerning the people: viz. that they should eat their bread polluted among the Gentiles. For a cake cooked in the dung of oxen was unclean according to the Law. Hence God shows his own decree was fixed that the Israelites should be mingled among the Gentiles, so that they should contract pollution from their filth. It follows —

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