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1 Thou also, son of man [Ben Adam] , take thee a tile [levenah (tile, brick)], and lay it before thee, and pourtray upon it the city [engrave upon it the Ir], even Jerusalem [Yerushalayim]:
The enacted parable of the siege.
He is to draw the city of Jerusalem on a tile, and lay siege to it. Then he is to lay bound on his left side three hundred ninety days, and on his right side forty days. These, he is told, are the years of the iniquity of Israel and Judah.
The three hundred ninety clearly refers back to the years since the division of the Kingdom at the beginning of Rehoboam's reign. The forty appears to be the previous period, from the fourth of Solomon, when the Temple was begun, to the fourth of Rehoboam, when Judah turned aside from God, or perhaps it was the whole of Solomon's reign. The general application is clear: three hundred ninety plus forty years of wickedness to be atoned for by desolation.
Now Jeremiah says the captivity should be for seventy years; and Leviticus 26:43 says the land shall "enjoy her sabbaths" while she lieth desolate. It is a remarkable fact that the sabbath years in four hundred thirty years come to exactly seventy. It is all the more remarkable because it means adding two irregular fractions. One year in seven were to be sabbaths of rest for the land (Lev. 25:4), plus one year in every fifty, the jubilee (Lev. 25:11).
One-seventh of 430=61.4; 1/50 of 430=8.6; 61.4+8.6=70 years.
And carrying the four hundred thirty forward from the carrying-away period, 606-586 BC, comes just to the period of re-establishing of independence under the Maccabees, 176-156 BC. In fact, the year of the Maccabean revolt (168 BC) was just four hundred thirty years from the year of Ezekiel's captivity (597 BC): the year he dates everything in his book by.
Bro Growcott - Prophecies in the captivity
[Yechezkel 4 Orthodox Jewish Bible (OJB)]
2 And lay siege [matzor] against it, and build a fort against it [erect against it siege works], and cast a mount against it [build a ramp against it]; set the camp [machanot] also against it, and set battering rams against it round about.
3 Moreover take thou unto thee an iron pan [machavat barzel (iron griddle)], and set it for a wall of iron [kir barzel] between thee and the city [Ir]: and set thy face against it, and it shall be besieged, and thou shalt lay siege against it. This shall be a sign [an ot] to the house of Israel [Bais YisroeL].
4 Lie thou also upon thy left side, and lay the [past] iniquity of the house of Israel [avon Bais Yisroel] upon it: according to the number of the days [mispar of the yamim ] that thou shalt lie upon it thou shalt bear their iniquity [avon].
5 For I have laid upon thee the years [shanim] of their iniquity [avon], according to the number [mispar] of the days, 390 days: so shalt thou bear the iniquity of the house of Israel [avon Bais Yisroel].
6 And when thou hast accomplished them, lie again on thy right side, and thou shalt bear the iniquity of the house of Judah [avon Bais Yehudah] 40 days: I have appointed thee each day for a year. (sign days).
The next notable example of a day being appointed to represent a year, is in Ezek. 4:4. In this place he states that he was commanded to lie upon his left side 390 days, during which he would be considered as bearing the past iniquity of the house of Israel. After these were expired, he was to lie upon his right side 40 days, to bear the iniquity of the house of Judah, making in all 430 days for the iniquity of the whole twelve tribes. All these were sign-days, for the Spirit said, "I have appointed thee each day for a year." They were memorial of the past, and prophetic or significant of the future.
They memorialized the iniquity of the nation, from their revolt against the house of David, in the fourth year of the reign of Rehoboam, to the nineteenth of Nebuchadnezzar, B.C. 589, when the temple was burned, an interval of 390 years; and the iniquity of Judah from the fourth of Solomon, when the foundation of the temple was laid, to the fourth of Rehoboam, when his dominion was restricted to Judah and Benjamin.
The whole 430 years marks the existence of the temple built by Solomon, a period of national transgression coextensive with the interval between the typical Confirmation of the Land-Covenant with Abraham (Gen. 15:7-21), and the end of the sojourning in Canaan and in Egypt (Exod. 12:40). This text is obscure as it stands in the English Version and the Hebrew, unless we read "who dwelt in Egypt" as a parenthesis, thus, "Now the sojourning of the children of Israel (who dwelt in Egypt) was 430 years." That is, "their sojourning was 430 years," partly in Canaan and partly in Egypt, and is so expressed in the Septuagint, which, after Egypt, adds the words kai en ge chanaan, and in the land of Canaan.
But the 430 days of Ezekiel became typical of 430 years, during which the children of Israel "should eat their defiled bread among the Gentiles, whither I will drive them," saith the Spirit (verse 13). That is, as Ezekiel ate defiled bread for the 430 days he typically bore their iniquity, so the people scattered by Nebuchadnezzar should eat their defiled bread 430 years. History shows this to have been literally fulfilled in the condition of the nation from the burning of the temple to the recovery of independence under the Maccabees, B.C. 169. Thus, 430 years of transgression were visited with 430 years of national humiliation, the former memorialized by 430 sign-days, and the latter typified by the same.
With the exception of the "little help" derived from the victories of the Maccabees, the history of Israel has been a series of calamities to this day; and will so continue to be till the "time appointed" for their deliverance arrives.
But the Maccabean epoch is particularly interesting as the termination of Ezekiel's 430 years. [Ezekiel 4] The house of Israel, and the house of Judah, had been great transgressors of the holy covenant from the foundation of the temple in the fourth year of Solomon to the sack of the city in the 19th of Nebuchadnezzar. This was a period of 430 years, which was divided into two periods, namely, one of forty years from the foundation of the temple to the apostasy of Rehoboam and Judah; the other, of three hundred and ninety from this apostasy to the destruction of the temple.
God determined that this long national transgression should be punished by as long a retribution. He therefore gave Israel "a sign" of what was coming upon them (Ezek. 4:1-8). This consisted in Ezekiel lying on his left side 390 days, and then upon his right for 40 days more. By this sign was represented the prostrate condition of Israel for 430 years. The 430 years of transgression had not quite ended when the sign was appointed in the fifth of Jehoiachin's captivity. The thing signified began to take effect in the sacking of Jerusalem. Israel then began to "eat their defiled bread among the Gentiles;" so that the 430 years would end B.C.161, according to my chronology.
These four centuries of punishment were a very calamitous period of Jewish history. They endured a captivity in Babylon for 70 years; for several years more their times were "troublous;" they were vassals to the Persians till their dominion was overthrown by Alexander; afterwards, as we have seen, they were alternately subject to the king of the south and the king of the north, and their land became a field of battle for the hosts of these powers, who defiled the temple, and at length converted it into a house for the worship of Jupiter.
But, a very few years before the 430 years were about to expire, Judas Maccabeus commenced a war against Antiochus Epiphanes, which ended in the recovery of Jerusalem, the purification of the temple from the heathen worship, its re-dedication to God, and the erection of Judea into an independent kingdom under the Asmoneans, which continued until it was placed under Herod the Idumean by the Romans, about 39 years before Christ.
Elpis Israel Ch 15.
11 Thou shalt drink also water [mayim] by measure, the sixth part of an hin: from time to time shalt thou drink.
12 And thou shalt eat it as barley [se'orim] cakes, and thou shalt bake it with dung that cometh out of man [ha'adam], in their sight.
13 And Yahweh said, Even thus shall the children of Israel [Bnei Yisroel] eat their defiled bread among the Gentiles [lechem tameh among the Goyim], whither I will drive them.
Daniel was informed, in reference to the condition of his compatriots in this long period, in which they groaned under Chaldean, Persian, and Greek oppression, that "they should fall by the sword, and by flame, by captivity, and by spoil, days." It was not necessary to tell him how many "days" for that had been significantly revealed through Ezekiel.
He was told respecting the end of those "days" that "the people who knew their God should be strong and do;" and that "those among the people who understood should instruct many" (Dan. 11:32-34). This was encouraging; and also remarkably verified in the time of the Maccabees. This Levitical family, known also as the Asmoneans, began to acquire celebrity in the reign of Antiochus Epiphanes, who undertook to abolish Judaism, and to make all his subjects Greeks.
This mad enterprise was initiated in the 145th year of the Era of the Greeks, when he caused an abomination of desolation to be placed upon the altar (l Macc. 1:54). This answers to A.M. 3918. The year after, Mattathias, the patriarch of the family, died, and on his deathbed, appointed his son, Judas Maccabteus, to lead the revolt of Israel against the Greeks. This was in the year before Christ 170. Six years did Judas, by his mighty deeds, show that Israel was in the epoch foreshown to Daniel.
Judas and his adherents, "who knew their God, were strong and did exploits." "In his acts he was like a lion, and like a lion's whelp roaring for his prey; for he pursued the wicked and sought them out, and burned up those that vexed his people. Wherefore the wicked shrunk for fear of him, and all the workers of iniquity were troubled. He grieved also many kings, and made Jacob glad with his acts, and his memorial is blest for ever" (1 Macc, 3:4). Judas died in battle, in the year 152 of the Era of the Greeks, or B.C. 164, which was 428 years after the burning of the Temple in the 19th of Nebuchadnezzar.
There still remain two years of the 430 to be accounted for. In regard to these, the history of the epoch informs us that Judas' brother Jonathan was elected "Prince and Captain in his stead:" and that, on the death of Alcimus, in the 153rd year, the Greeks evacuated the land of Judea, in consequence of which "it was in rest two years;" at the end whereof, there was a delivery of Hebrew captives, "and the sword ceased from Israel" - A.M. 3927, and B.C. 162 (l Macc. 9:54, 57,73).
Thus, having "eaten their defiled bread among the Gentiles" 430 years, as a punishment for 430 years' iniquity under their kings, coeval with the existence of Solomon's temple, "they were holpen with a little help," according to the Deity's word in Dan. 11:34. The wars of this Maccabean epoch had reconquered for them their independence. Under their Asmonean kings, Israel again became a power in the earth; and in alliance with their new friends of the Roman Senate, assumed not only a respectable, but a formidable position in the esteem of their still powerful neighbours of Syria.
Chronikon Hebraikon - Fourth period.