Perhaps you’ve browsed the health food section of your local grocer and noticed a loaf of Ezekiel 4:9 Bread with the verse right there on the label:
Take also unto thee wheat, and barley, and beans, and lentils, and millet, and spelt, and put them in one vessel and make bread out of it.
What the label doesn’t tell you is what the rest of that passage says:
…During the number of days that you lie on your side, 390 days, you shall eat it. And your food shall be by weight, twenty shekels a day; from day to day you shall eat it. And water you shall drink by measure one sixth part of a hin; from day to day you shall drink. And you shall eat it as a barley cake, baking it in everyone’s site on human dung.
Yeah, hopefully that’s not how Food for Life makes their Ezekiel bread.
Jerusalem was about to be invaded by the Babylonians and God was giving Ezekiel signs of the siege. The ingredients Ezekiel was supposed to make his bread with were rations. Because during a siege, there would not be enough ingredients to make a whole loaf of bread.
No one made bread with spelt unless they absolutely had to.
Furthermore, the bread represented Israel’s rebellion against the Lord. The law of Moses said not to grow two kinds of seed in the same field.
You shall keep my statutes. You shall not let your cattle breed with a different kind. You shall not sow in your field two kinds of seed, nor shall you wear a garment of cloth made of two kinds of material. (Leviticus 19:19)
You shall not sow in your vineyard with two kinds of seed, lest the whole yield be forfeited, the crop that you have sown and the yield of your vineyard. (Deuteronomy 22:9)
Yet Ezekiel’s bread contains several seeds – just as Israel had become like the pagans, worshipping several gods. It was also to be baked over human dung. But, God let Ezekiel use cow dung.
If that sounds gross, it’s supposed to!
The unclean Israelites would eat unclean food among unclean foreigners.
The Lord said, “Thus shall the people of Israel eat their bread unclean, among the nations where I will drive them.” (Ezekiel 4:13)
So, if you like Ezekiel bread, fine. Just don’t think of it as a blend of God-given ingredients for good health. Instead, remember that you are an unclean sinner before God, in need of a righteous Savior…
…when we understand the text