"But as for you, take wheat, barley, beans, lentils, millet and spelt, put them in one vessel and make them into bread for yourself; you shall eat it according to the number of the days that you lie on your side, three hundred and ninety days.”—Ezek. 4:9
To illustrate the rampant misuse of scripture by the prophets of Nutritianity, as well as the profound confusion among professing Christians today, I direct your attention to the somewhat humorous marketing of Ezekiel bread. Type “Ezekiel bread” on Google and you will find plenty of sites dedicated to the promotion and sale of this biblical recipe.
It is apparent that many have latched onto this recipe in Ezekiel 4:9 and have decided to market it for the nutritional benefit of a good number of consumers. But here is an important question: Did God give this recipe to Ezekiel so he could be nutritionally pure? Not quite. A closer look at the passage quickly reveals the context—a rather important consideration in interpreting any text of scripture. The context was the coming exile of the Israelites. God was angry with Israel and intended to punish them. Ezekiel was the messenger of bad news to the Israelites and he was required by God to act out various object lessons to foreshadow what was coming upon them.
In verses 1-3 of chapter four, Ezekiel was commanded to “play army” by getting a brick, writing the name Jerusalem on it, and then setting up miniature siege works against it. God did not command Ezekiel to do this because playing army would help him get in touch with his inner child. He commanded this to show the Israelites that they would soon be under siege by a foreign army. Then, in verse four and following, God commanded Ezekiel to lie on his side for 390 days with ropes on top of him. He told him to do this, not because this would be a good chiropractic remedy for his spinal health, but to portray the coming siege on Jerusalem.
Then in verse nine, God told Ezekiel to make bread out of wheat, barley, beans, lentils, millet and spelt. He was told to eat only 20 shekels a day, which was a little less than 10 ounces. That is not much food. The reason why he was to eat so little, of course, was because he was foreshadowing the famine that would come on the Israelites when the Babylonian army would surround Jerusalem and cut off the food supply. God did not require Ezekiel to eat 10 ounces because that was the recommended daily allowance for food, but to foreshadow famine.
Furthermore, Ezekiel was to cook this bread over human dung, a detail that seems to have been left out of the cookbook instructions for Ezekiel bread found on so many websites today. The point, obviously, is not that cooking over feces was the great culinary secret of the Bible, but that the Israelites would run out of wood in the coming siege and would have to burn dung instead.
Ezekiel was to drink a sixth part of a hin of water, which was approximately a quart and a half pint (40 ounces). This falls far short of the current recommended daily allowance, and you will be hard pressed to find Ezekiel bread enthusiasts advocating “Ezekiel water.”
The point of Ezekiel 4 was not good health, but bad health. Ezekiel was commanded to eat and drink very little and the bread he was to eat was not considered by the Israelites to be a nutritional delicacy. It was a sign of judgment. In other words, Ezekiel bread is judgment bread! When the Israelites would see him eating it, they would not covet his gourmet entree. On the contrary, they would understand that he was prophesying bad times ahead.
If these implications were not clear enough from the context, verses 16-17 should remove all doubt: “Moreover, He said to me, ‘Son of man, behold, I am going to break the staff of bread in Jerusalem, and they will eat bread by weight and with anxiety, and drink water by measure and in horror, because bread and water will be scarce; and they will be appalled with one another and waste away in their iniquity.’”
In light of this clear teaching from the text, one has to stand in wonder and amazement at the prophets of Nutritianity, who take a recipe signifying judgment and sell it as a nutritional fountain of youth!
(This blog is an excerpt from the book "To Eat or Not to Eat? Examining Modern Nutrition Wisdom in the Light of Scripture." It is available in the sermon audio web store.)