forty days

Ezekiel 4:6

4:6 forty days. Ezekiel was to lie on his left side 390 days and his right side 40 days, representing the 390-year iniquity of Israel (Ezekiel 4:5) and the 40-year iniquity of Judah. Biblical chronology is not yet an exact science, but the 390-year period is at least close to the time since Jeroboam had led Israel into idolatry (I Kings 12:25-33), and the 40-year period would be close to the time since God had said He would “remove Judah also out of my sight, as I have removed Israel” (II Kings 23:27). Thus Ezekiel was to lie on his side a total of 430 days, which was also a significant number, since Israel had previously spent 430 years in exile in Egypt prior to the exodus (Galatians 3:17). Note also that these 430 days were literal days, even though they represented 430 years. There is no warrant here for the so-called “year-day” theory, whose advocates often arbitrarily take “days” to mean “years” without any warrant in the context.

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