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WVW: Poopie Bread - Ezekiel 4:12

Updated: Apr 3, 2019

One of my favorite memories of living in Brooklyn is getting hot Italian bread for only 99 cents; the bread was right out of the oven and incredibly delicious. My dad would bring it home and slice it open and spread butter on it and it literally was one of my favorite things to eat. In Jersey, it seems like people don't really know the good life of Brooklyn-baked fresh bread. Apparently, Ezekiel did not know the beauty of having Brooklyn bread either- in fact, his bread had human dung in it. Wait, what? Happy Weird Verse Wednesday Dingers! Let’s get into it! 

12 And you shall eat it as a barley cake, baking it in their sight on human dung.”

Ezekiel 4:12

What's going on in this text? 

In this text, God is giving Ezekiel a very specific set of instructions. Because of the debate of the meaning and symbolism of the instructions and the book as a whole, I'm going to stay clear of giving an overall purpose of the book in order to simply answer the #wvw question that was requested by one of our fellow dingers. In one of our future episodes, we will definitely hit on the different perspectives of the book of Ezekiel; until then, there is a very odd question to be answered: why is there human dung in this guy’s bread? 

Why dung? 

To begin, let’s be clear as to the role the dung played in making the food; some have misunderstood this text and assumed that the dung was used in the food itself but it was not. Using dung as fuel to prepare food is not just unique to this text; in fact, even today, because of how easy it burns, there are some countries that still use dried animal feces for fuel. In Ezekiel 4, God told Ezekiel to use human dung since all the animals they would normally use for fuel would be killed for food because of the siege and there wouldn't be wood available either. The human dung emphasizes the state that the people in Jerusalem were in this text; they had nothing left and human dung was simply the only option. 

That’s gross, how could God allow it?

Even today, animal dung (manure) has a wild range of uses, in Ezekiel’s case, since it was the only option, it is not as shocking as we might think. In response, Ezekiel pleaded with God because he did not want to go against Jewish dietary laws and be considered unclean. God allowed him to lessen the offense and use cow dung instead. Is anyone else hungry? 

What does this mean for us?

If you Dingers have been following my blogs, you should know that my favorite part of any WVW is connecting the text with the gospel. In all honestly, there is not much I can draw from this specific text without getting too deep into the book of Ezekiel as a whole BUT I want you to know 2 very important things- you should never eat dung bread and Jesus loves you so much that he died on the cross for your sins! I hope this helps.

Dung- i mean Ding on,


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