December 12, 2013

Excrement Flakes and Dung Bread

I am posting this because...sometimes, biblical ignorance is just plain funny. I laughed in spite of myself when I saw this in Giant Supermarket yesterday. Yes, it is a real bread marketed from California. Thanks to Chris Rosebrough over at Christian Pirate Radio for bringing to my attention this dandy of a product line from the Food for Life Baking Company. I am in no way attempting to criticize the wholesomeness or quality of this bread or cereal below.. only the interpretation of the Scripture emblazoned on their packaging. I have no doubt that this cereal is good for you as it was the recommended diet from God to Ezekiel during what could be considered a rationed diet meant to sustain a person during a lean or famine season. What makes this amusing is the full scope or context of the entire passage that Ezekiel 4:9 is drawn from.

Ezekiel visually acted out some of his prophecies for effect. In Ezekiel 4:1 through 5:4 we see the siege of Jerusalem dramatized. Of course it wasn't exactly Shakespearean and he wasn't going to win an Oscar for best performance but the point is carried across to those who observed well enough. The Lord commands Ezekiel to take a brick, set it in front of himself and draw Jerusalem on it. He was then to enact a siege on it by constructing a siege wall, ramp, pitched military encampments and battering rams against all sides of it. I imagine it probably looked like Iron Age version of green plastic army soldiers although a bit cruder. He was then to take and iron plate as an iron wall between himself and the city. He was turn his face towards it (symbolic) in an act of besieging the city. That was to be a sign to the house of Israel.

Ezekiel was then to lay down either on his right or on his left and bear the iniquity of Israel. He was to lay on his left for 390 days and his right for 40. These days represented years of iniquity or sin. He then was to turn his face toward the siege of Jerusalem with arms bared and prophesy against it. God would personally put cords on him until he had finished the days of his siege.
Now...knowing this context, let us read the full passage from Ezekiel...

Ezekiel 4:9-16 “And you, take wheat and barley, beans and lentils, millet and emmer, and put them into a single vessel and make your bread from them. During the number of days that you lie on your side, 390 days, you shall eat it. And your food that you eat shall be by weight, twenty shekels a day; from day to day you shall eat it. And water you shall drink by measure, the sixth part of a hin; from day to day you shall drink. And you shall eat it as a barley cake, baking it in their sight on human dung.” And the Lord said, “Thus shall the people of Israel eat their bread unclean, among the nations where I will drive them.” Then I said, “Ah, Lord God! Behold, I have never defiled myself.  From my youth up till now I have never eaten what died of itself or was torn by beasts, nor has tainted meat come into my mouth.” Then he said to me, “See, I assign to you cow's dung instead of human dung, on which you may prepare your bread.”

So what we see during this enactment is that Ezekiel was to ration his food and water intake to represent scarcity of food and the severe nature of the siege. The food was to be prepared by cooking it over dried cow feces (in lieu of human feces v. 9-12). Lovely, I’m sure dinner smelled great. This was done to show the Israelites that they would be forced to eat their bread ceremonially unclean in other nations. It was also to show that bread/grain would be in short supply. So short that people will waste away because of their sin.

I don’t necessarily believe this is a great selling point for a box of cereal or loaf of bread. It is a starvation diet high in nutrition baked over a pile of poo.

Sorry folks, this is just plain amusing (and just a little sad).

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