Ezekiel Chapter 13
Ezekiel 13:1 “And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,”
This Word of the LORD is to a special group of people, and not to the entire nation. This is a totally different prophecy from the last lesson.
Ezekiel 13:2 “Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel that prophesy, and say thou unto them that prophesy out of their own hearts, Hear ye the word of the LORD;”
This prophesy is directed to the false prophets, themselves. These prophets should not be ministering to anyone, because they do not even know the truth themselves.
False prophets had long flourished in Judah and had been transported to Babylon as well. Here God directs Ezekiel to indict those false prophets for futile assurances of peace. Then His attention turns to lying prophetesses (in verses 17-23).
Those who would be teachers then, or now, must first learn themselves. Many feel called to the ministry, but they do not prepare. The greatest preparation a man can make is to thoroughly study the Word of God. The Truth is in the Word of God. A person should never go into the ministry as a vocation. The ministry must be a call.
In the case of the true prophets, their mouths are not their own. God speaks to the people through them. The words are not from the prophets’ hearts, but from the heart of God. The false prophets in Israel were not innocently in error. They had made up these prophecies themselves, pretending the message came from God.
Ezekiel 13:3 “Thus saith the Lord GOD; Woe unto the foolish prophets, that follow their own spirit, and have seen nothing!”
Woe introduces a curse on false prophets. They were like workmen who tried to cover a severely cracked wall with whitewash.
It is a very dangerous thing for a person to pretend he is hearing from God, when in fact, he is not. Only a very foolish person would do this. The punishment for this would come from God, and not from man. Sometimes a person would claim to be a prophet to be recognized. A true prophet does not have an easy life. We can look at Jeremiah, Isaiah, Daniel, and even Ezekiel and see they are not showered with good times. They generally, have a very hard time. Sometimes their own families do not even believe them.
Ezekiel 13:4 “O Israel, thy prophets are like the foxes in the deserts.”
Foxes are clever and tricky. These false prophets are tricky too. They were not telling the truth. They were telling things to make them look good and be respected in the community. They appeal to the flesh of man.
Generally speaking, a prophet of God brings warnings to the people. Seldom are they proclaiming wonderful times for the present. The ultimate way to tell who is a false or a true prophet, is did their prophecy come true?
Ezekiel 13:5 “Ye have not gone up into the gaps, neither made up the hedge for the house of Israel to stand in the battle in the day of the LORD.”
They should have been calling their people to repentance. Instead, they were betraying their people with these false prophecies. They were not standing in the gap. They were trying to benefit themselves, not the people.
Ezekiel 13:6 “They have seen vanity and lying divination, saying, The LORD saith: and the LORD hath not sent them: and they have made [others] to hope that they would confirm the word.”
True prophets used the statement “The LORD saith”, or “Thus saith the LORD”. They were using this statement without being sent of the LORD. It appears, they were not only deceiving others, but themselves as well.
The vanity speaks of them serving their own egos. Divination, in this particular instance, is speaking of witchcraft. Their messages were coming from Satan.
Ezekiel 13:7 “Have ye not seen a vain vision, and have ye not spoken a lying divination, whereas ye say, The LORD saith [it]; albeit I have not spoken?”
These false prophets have deliberately tried to injure the good name of the LORD. The people may not realize that this message is not from God, but God and the false prophets know. God tells them through Ezekiel here, that they are not deceiving Him.
Ezekiel 13:8 “Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Because ye have spoken vanity, and seen lies, therefore, behold, I [am] against you, saith the Lord GOD.”
This is a strong statement that fits the false prophets of old, and the false prophets of our day, as well. God never changes. He is against the false prophets today also. We must be very careful in our prophecy not to prophesy things for our own benefit. God loves Truth.
Ezekiel 13:9 “And mine hand shall be upon the prophets that see vanity, and that divine lies: they shall not be in the assembly of my people, neither shall they be written in the writing of the house of Israel, neither shall they enter into the land of Israel; and ye shall know that I [am] the Lord GOD.”
A 3-fold judgment is given to the false prophets:
(1) They would not be in the council of God’s people;
(2) Their names would be wiped from the register of Israel; and
(3) They would never return to the land.
This is saying that God will stop them from prophesying, and their name will be taken off the role. Israel was well known for their record keeping, but they will not be included in those records. They will not be included when Israel is restored. This is speaking of a curse that comes upon them, and they will not be remembered in any way. They will not even be citizens anymore. They are made outcasts by God, Himself.
Ezekiel 13:10 “Because, even because they have seduced my people, saying, Peace; and [there was] no peace; and one built up a wall, and, lo, others daubed it with untempered [mortar]:”
Their work had been in vain. They had built with things that would not withstand in time of trouble. They had been speaking of peace, and there was no peace. They were leading others to destruction, while all the time, they were pretending they were building them up.
False prophets had lulled the people into false security. Phony “peace” promises, while sin continued on the brink of God’s judgment, was a way, so to speak, of erecting a defective “wall” and whitewashing it to make it look good. Such an unsafe “wall” was doomed to collapse when God would bring His storm, picturing the invader’s assault.
Ezekiel 13:11 “Say unto them which daub [it] with untempered [mortar], that it shall fall: there shall be an overflowing shower; and ye, O great hailstones, shall fall; and a stormy wind shall rend [it].”
This is like the house built upon the sand that could not stand when the rains of life came. This wall, the same as the house of sand, had no solid foundation. The wind, or the rain, or the hailstones could destroy this faulty building. Their prophecies could not withstand in time of trouble either.
Of course, all of these descriptions are images belonging to the illustration of the wall, not meant to convey real wind, flood, and hail. The Babylonians were the actual destroyers of Israel’s hypocritical false spirituality.
Ezekiel 13:12 “Lo, when the wall is fallen, shall it not be said unto you, Where [is] the daubing wherewith ye have daubed [it]?”
This is speaking of their prophecy which was supposed to happen right away. When the time comes, and it does not happen, then they will be declared false prophets. All of their prophecies were wasted. Their prophecies did not help anyone, not even themselves.
Ezekiel 13:13 “Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; I will even rend [it] with a stormy wind in my fury; and there shall be an overflowing shower in mine anger, and great hailstones in [my] fury to consume [it].”
God is speaking through Ezekiel to these false prophets. The effect of God’s fury will be destruction and the false prophets will be consumed.
Ezekiel 13:14 “So will I break down the wall that ye have daubed with untempered [mortar], and bring it down to the ground, so that the foundation thereof shall be discovered, and it shall fall, and ye shall be consumed in the midst thereof: and ye shall know that I [am] the LORD.”
This wall of false prophecy daubed to try to make it stand, will not stand. The fury of God will bring it down, and will also destroy these false prophets. There will be no question that this is God’s fury on the false prophets. The only wall that will stand in time of trouble, is the wall that is built on the solid foundation. The Lord must be the Cornerstone. We build with truth, any other wall will fall.
Ezekiel 13:15 “Thus will I accomplish my wrath upon the wall, and upon them that have daubed it with untempered [mortar], and will say unto you, The wall [is] no [more], neither they that daubed it;”
The physical wall around Jerusalem will come down. All the prophecies of better times, which are not from God, will not keep the wall from coming down. Those who gave these prophecies of peace, when there was no peace, gave people false hope. The false prophet will be destroyed along with the prophecy he gave.
Ezekiel 13:16 ” [To wit], the prophets of Israel which prophesy concerning Jerusalem, and which see visions of peace for her, and [there is] no peace, saith the Lord GOD.”
This is an exacting statement, telling exactly who these false prophets are and what they’re teaching the people.
Ezekiel 13:17 “Likewise, thou son of man, set thy face against the daughters of thy people, which prophesy out of their own heart; and prophesy thou against them,”
Women have had great influence in the religion of their country from the very beginning. Some of them have been to honor, and some to dishonor. This quickly brings to mind the women who were crying over the false god in:
Ezekiel 8:14 “Then he brought me to the door of the gate of the LORD’S house which [was] toward the north; and, behold, there sat women weeping for Tammuz.”
The particular women, in the verse above, are false prophetesses. They are like the false prophets, and will suffer the same condemnation.
Ezekiel 13:18 “And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Woe to the [women] that sew pillows to all armholes, and make kerchiefs upon the head of every stature to hunt souls! Will ye hunt the souls of my people, and will ye save the souls alive [that come] unto you?”
The pillows sewn to the armholes have been interpreted to refer to either amulets placed upon the wrists that supposedly conveyed magical powers to the enchanter, or bonds tied around the wrists of the inquirer that symbolized magically that the accompanying spell or incantation was a binding one.
Apparently, these sorceresses employed all these things in their divinations, hunting down souls for their advantage (verse 20).
Ezekiel 13:19 “And will ye pollute me among my people for handfuls of barley and for pieces of bread, to slay the souls that should not die, and to save the souls alive that should not live, by your lying to my people that hear [your] lies?”
Whatever they were doing, they charged for it. It was similar to fortune telling perhaps. We do know that there was very sensual worship going on at this time, so it could have been connected with that.
Ezekiel 13:20 “Wherefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I [am] against your pillows, wherewith ye there hunt the souls to make [them] fly, and I will tear them from your arms, and will let the souls go, [even] the souls that ye hunt to make [them] fly.”
These pillows, probably had some type of writing upon them. They were more likely used in fortune telling. They probably had amulets with writing upon them. This pillow has something to do with snaring the people as you would a bird in a net. Really, it is unimportant what the evil was. It is enough to know, they are stealing souls away from God to false gods. This is extremely evil.
Ezekiel 13:21 “Your kerchiefs also will I tear, and deliver my people out of your hand, and they shall be no more in your hand to be hunted; and ye shall know that I [am] the LORD.”
It seems they have some sort of spell over the people, as if they were bond. God will free the people from these evil women.
Ezekiel 13:22 “Because with lies ye have made the heart of the righteous sad, whom I have not made sad; and strengthened the hands of the wicked, that he should not return from his wicked way, by promising him life:”
They have not offered hope to the righteous. They have saddened them. They were definitely on the side of the wicked. Ezekiel and Jeremiah had preached repentance and hope for the righteous. These false prophetesses have taught the opposite.
Predators had saddened the righteous by a false message leading to calamity which involved great loss even for them. They had encouraged the wicked to expect a bright future, and saw no need to repent to avoid death.
Ezekiel 13:23 “Therefore ye shall see no more vanity, nor divine divinations: for I will deliver my people out of your hand: and ye shall know that I [am] the LORD.”
Divination had to do with witchcraft. God is the only One who can free a person from the grip of witchcraft. God would have to deliver them. There is no power on this earth that is not subject to God. When God speaks, every knee bows.
I will deliver my people: Certainly, this was true in the restoration after the 70 years in Babylon, but will be fully true in Messiah’s coming kingdom. God’s true promise will bring an end to sorcery and false prophecy.
Ezekiel Chapter 13 Questions
1. What is different about this Word from God?
2. Verse 2 is a prophecy against whom?
3. Why should they not be teachers?
4. The Truth is in the _______ of God.
5. A person should never go into the ministry as a __________.
6. Where did the false prophets’ messages come from?
7. Why would a person pretend to hear from God when he did not?
8. How are the foxes like the false prophets?
9. Generally speaking, what type of message does a true prophet bring?
10. What does verse 5 say they had not done?
11. What should they have been doing?
12. True prophets use what statement?
13. Who were they deceiving?
14. Why was God against them?
15. What things will God do to these false prophets?
16. They were saying _______, and there was no ________.
17. What is verse 11 like?
18. It rains on the _______, and the _____________.
19. What effect does the rain have on the false prophets?
20. What will bring the wall that is daubed with untempered mortar down?
21. Verse 17 is a prophecy against whom?
22. What does the author relate this type of false worship to?
23. Divination had to do with _________.
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