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FRAMEWORKS: Ezekiel 13: False prophets & prophetesses condemned


[Preliminary Comment: In Part 1, the denunciation of the false prophets takes a somewhat expected line denouncing ‘words' that were not from God but is given a visual impact by talk of flimsy walls [v.10] that we suggest are false assurances, and whitewashed coverings [v.11] that we suggest are one another bolstering up each other's lies. The Lord will devastatingly destroy these assurances [v.13-15].

In Part 2, the women prophesying are denounced for making themselves look spiritual [v.18] for gain [v.19] and again, declaring lies [v.17,19b], therefore the Lord will strip them of their spiritual appearances [v.20,21] and because they have twisted the truth [v.22] He will deal severely with them [v.23].

A chapter of strong rebuke of those who purported to represent the Lord, but didn't!]



Part 1: Against False Prophets


v.1-7 The Lord's Denunciation of the False Prophets


v.1  The word of the Lord came to me :

v.2  ‘Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel who are now prophesying. Say to those who prophesy out of their own imagination: “Hear the word of the Lord!

v.3  This is what the Sovereign Lord says: woe to the foolish prophets who follow their own spirit and have seen nothing!

v.4  Your prophets, Israel, are like jackals among ruins.

v.5  You have not gone up to the breaches in the wall to repair it for the people of Israel so that it will stand firm in the battle on the day of the Lord.

v.6  Their visions are false and their divinations a lie. Even though the Lord has not sent them, they say, ‘The Lord declares', and expect him to fulfil their words.

v.7  Have you not seen false visions and uttered lying divinations when you say, ‘The Lord declares', though I have not spoken?


[Notes: The condemnation is of those who purport to speak as from the Lord but who are, in reality speaking lies, speaking out perhaps their own wishful thinking.]



v.8-12 False Assurances & Mutual Enhancing Untruths


v.8  ‘“Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: because of your false words and lying visions, I am against you, declares the Sovereign Lord.

v.9  My hand will be against the prophets who see false visions and utter lying divinations. They will not belong to the council of my people or be listed in the records of Israel, nor will they enter the land of Israel. Then you will know that I am the Sovereign Lord.

v.10 ‘“Because they lead my people astray, saying, ‘Peace', when there is no peace, and because, when a flimsy wall is built, they cover it with whitewash,

v.11  therefore tell those who cover it with whitewash that it is going to fall. Rain will come in torrents, and I will send hailstones hurtling down, and violent winds will burst forth.

v.12  When the wall collapses, will people not ask you, ‘Where is the whitewash you covered it with?'


[Notes: The initial denunciation continues but is now linked to the picture of their false assurances to the people as ‘flimsy walls' that having erected they now ‘cover with whitewash'. i.e. they make their declarations sound plausible by repetition and confirming one another's delusions. All these assurances will soon be seen to be false.]



v.13-16 The Lord will hurl down destruction on these false assurances


v.13  ‘“Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: in my wrath I will unleash a violent wind, and in my anger hailstones and torrents of rain will fall with destructive fury.

v.14  I will tear down the wall you have covered with whitewash and will level it to the ground so that its foundation will be laid bare. When it falls, you will be destroyed in it; and you will know that I am the Lord.

v.15  So I will pour out my wrath against the wall and against those who covered it with whitewash. I will say to you, ‘The wall is gone and so are those who whitewashed it,

v.16  those prophets of Israel who prophesied to Jerusalem and saw visions of peace for her when there was no peace, declares the Sovereign Lord.'”


[Notes: When He brings destruction on the city it will at the same time destroy all their false declarations, their false assurances, and they will be revealed for what they are.]



Part 2: v.17-23 Against false prophetesses


v.17-19 The Focus turns to Women prophesying


v.17  ‘Now, son of man, set your face against the daughters of your people who prophesy out of their own imagination . Prophesy against them

v.18  and say, “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: woe to the women who sew magic charms on all their wrists and make veils of various lengths for their heads in order to ensnare people . Will you ensnare the lives of my people but preserve your own?

v.19  You have profaned me among my people for a few handfuls of barley and scraps of bread. By lying to my people , who listen to lies, you have killed those who should not have died and have spared those who should not live.


[Notes: The women have not only been doing the same wrong things as the men, they have also been dressing themselves up to convey a spiritual appearance to lead people astray and into believing them.]



v.20.21 The Consequence: God is against them, and will strip them


v.20  ‘“Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am against your magic charms with which you ensnare people like birds and I will tear them from your arms; I will set free the people that you ensnare like birds.

v.21 I will tear off your veils and save my people from your hands, and they will no longer fall prey to your power. Then you will know that I am the Lord.


[Notes: For that reason, the Lord says, He is against them and will strip them of all such false appearances so the people will realise the truth.]



v.22,23 They have twisted and reversed truth


v.22  Because you [i] disheartened the righteous with your lies, when I had brought them no grief, and because you [i] encouraged the wicked not to turn from their evil ways and so save their lives,

v.23  therefore you will no longer see false visions or practise divination. I will save my people from your hands. And then you will know that I am the Lord.”'


[Notes: The fact is their lies have discouraged the righteous but encouraged the wicked.]


[Concluding Note: A devastating chapter in its clarity of denunciation of both men and women among the people of God who have been leading others astray by a) claiming to speak for God and b) bringing lying false assurances, all of which will shortly be revealed for what it is when judgment comes.]



Continue to Chapter 14