Ezekiel 4

Talks for Growing Christians

Ezekiel’s Signs

Ezekiel 4

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Lesson Number 4

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. The siege of Jerusalem was predicted by Ezekiel.
  2. The famine in Jerusalem was predicted by Ezekiel.

Practical Application

  1. Don’t expect only pleasant jobs in Christ’s service.


  1. What did the 3 signs or object lessons that God gave to Ezekiel symbolically portray?
  2. Name 2 other prophets who had used dramatic illustrations in their ministry.
  3. What were the points of the lesson illustrated by the clay tablet and the iron plate?
  4. What was the point of the lesson illustrated by Ezekiel lying on his side?
  5. What was the point of the lesson illustrated by Ezekiel’s cooking and eating the bread?


  1. The 3 signs or object lessons symbolically portrayed the coming siege and fall of Jerusalem. Ezekiel was prophesying from Babylon where he and other fellow Jews were already captives. However, Jerusalem had still not fallen and the Temple was still standing.
  2. The prophet Jeremiah (ch 24, 27) was using dramatic illustrations in Jerusalem at the same time Ezekiel was giving these object lessons to the people in Babylon. Isaiah used drama (ch 20) to illustrate the way captives would be taken away by the king of Assyria.
  3. The clay tablet made by Ezekiel illustrated in detail that the Babylonian army would soon surround Jerusalem with a siege. The iron plate set up between Ezekiel and the clay “model” of the city was to indicate that God had cut off Jerusalem from His help and He would not listen to their cries for help.
  4. Ezekiel lying on his side represented him symbolically bearing the sins of the house of Israel. Other than the fact that the days in verse 5 represented years, and alluded to the length of Israel’s sin and/or punishment, we cannot be certain what the specific number of days (390, 40) mean. We do know, however, that the main point of the object lesson was that Jerusalem was about to be put under siege because of the sins of the nation.
  5. Ezekiel’s cooking of the bread over a fire of dung, eating the small portions of bread, and drinking small amounts of water, portrayed the severe famine that would take place as a result of the siege of Jerusalem. The purpose of the siege was, of course, to starve the people of the city.


  1. Discuss how drama can be used effectively in various areas of ministry. Consider the importance of the direct sharing and preaching of God’s Word during the same presentations.


  1. Has God ever asked you to perform unpleasant tasks in His service? Did you accept them and accept them willingly? Did you learn lessons of obedience and faithfulness from the experience? Think of Ezekiel when you are asked to take on unpleasant tasks in the Lord’s service.

Key Verses

  • “He said to me, ‘Son of man, surely I will cut off the supply of bread in Jerusalem; they shall eat bread by weight and with anxiety, and shall drink water by measure and with dread, that they may lack bread and water, and be dismayed with one another, and waste away because of their iniquity.’” Ezekiel 4:16-17

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