False Prophets Denounced

1 Then the word of the Lord came to me: 2 Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel who are now prophesying. Say to the prophets who prophesy from their imagination:1 ‘Hear the word of the Lord! 3 This is what the sovereign Lord says: Woe to the foolish prophets who follow their own spirit but have seen nothing! 4 Your prophets have become like jackals among the ruins, O Israel. 5 You have not gone up in the breaks in the wall, nor repaired a wall for the house of Israel that it would stand strong in the battle on the day of the Lord. 6 They see delusion and their omens are a lie.2 They say, “the Lord declares,” though the Lord has not sent them;3 yet they expect their word to be confirmed.4 7 Have you not seen a false vision and announced a lying omen when you say, “the Lord declares,” although I myself never spoke?

8‘Therefore, this is what the sovereign Lord says: Because you have spoken false words and forecast delusion, look,5 I am against you,6 declares the sovereign Lord. 9 My hand will be against the prophets who see delusion and announce lying omens. They will not be included in the council7 of my people, nor be written in the registry8 of the house of Israel, nor enter the land of Israel. Then you will know that I am the sovereign Lord.

10‘This is because they have led my people astray saying, “All is well,”9 when things are not well. When anyone builds a wall without mortar,10 they coat it with whitewash. 11 Tell the ones who coat it with whitewash that it will fall. When there is a deluge of rain, hailstones11 will fall and a violent wind will break out.12 12 When the wall has collapsed, people will ask you, “Where is the whitewash you coated it with?

13‘Therefore this is what the sovereign Lord says: In my rage I will make a violent wind break out. In my anger there will be a deluge of rain and hailstones in destructive fury. 14 I will break down the wall you coated with whitewash and knock it to the ground so that its foundation is exposed. When it falls you will be destroyed beneath it,13 and you will know that I am the Lord. 15 I will vent my rage against the wall, and against those who coated it with whitewash. Then I will say to you, “The wall is no more and those who whitewashed it are no more – 16 those prophets of Israel who would prophesy about Jerusalem14 and would see visions of peace for it, when there was no peace,” declares the sovereign Lord.’

17As for you, son of man, turn toward15 the daughters of your people who are prophesying from their imagination.16 Prophesy against them 18 and say ‘This is what the sovereign Lord says: Woe to those who sew bands17 on all their wrists18 and make headbands19 for heads of every size to entrap people’s lives!20 Will you entrap my people’s lives, yet preserve your own lives? 19 You have profaned me among my people for handfuls of barley and scraps of bread. You have put to death people21 who should not die and kept alive those who should not live by your lies to my people, who listen to lies!

20‘Therefore, this is what the sovereign Lord says: Take note22 that I am against your wristbands with which you entrap people’s lives23 like birds. I will tear them from your arms and will release the people’s lives, which you hunt like birds. 21 I will tear off your headbands and rescue my people from your power;24 they will no longer be prey in your hands. Then you will know that I am the Lord. 22 This is because you have disheartened the righteous person with lies (although I have not grieved him), and because you have encouraged the wicked person not to turn from his evil conduct and preserve his life. 23 Therefore you will no longer see false visions and practice divination. I will rescue my people from your power, and you25 will know that I am the Lord.’

113:2tn Heb “from their mind.”sn Who prophesy from their imagination. Note the testimony of Moses in Num 16:28, which contains a similar expression. 213:6sn The same description of a false prophet is found in Micah 2:11. 313:6sn The Lord has not sent them. A similar concept is found in Jer 14:14; 23:21. 413:6tn Or “confirmed”; NIV “to be fulfilled”; TEV “to come true.” 513:8tn The word h!nn@h indicates becoming aware of something and has been translated here as a verb. 613:8tn Or “I challenge you.” The phrase “I am against you” may be a formula for challenging someone to combat or a duel. See D. I. Block, Ezekiel (NICOT), 1:201-2, and P. Humbert, “Die Herausforderungsformel ‘h!nn#n' ?l?K>,’” ZAW 45 (1933): 101-8. 713:9tn The Hebrew term may refer to the secret council of the Lord (Jer 23:18; Job 15:8), but here it more likely refers to a human council comprised of civic leaders (Gen 49:6; Jer 6:11; 15:17 Ps 64:3; 111:1). 813:9tn The reference here is probably to a civil list (as in Ezra 2:16; Neh 7:64) rather than to a “book of life” (Exod 32:32; Isa 4:3; Ps 69:29; Dan 12:1). This registry may have been established at the making of David’s census (2 Sam 24:2, 9). 913:10tn Or “peace.” 1013:10tn The Hebrew word only occurs here in the Bible. According to L. C. Allen (Ezekiel [WBC], 1:202-3) it is also used in the Mishnah of a wall of rough stones without mortar. This fits the context here comparing the false prophetic messages to a nice coat of whitewash on a structurally unstable wall. 1113:11tn Heb “and you, O hailstones.” 1213:11sn A violent wind will break out. God’s judgments are frequently described in storm imagery (Pss 18:7-15; 77:17-18; 83:15; Isa 28:17; 30:30; Jer 23:19; 30:23). 1313:14tn Or “within it,” referring to the city of Jerusalem. 1413:16map For location see Map5-B1; Map6-F3; Map7-E2; Map8-F2; Map10-B3; JP1-F4; JP2-F4; JP3-F4; JP4-F4. 1513:17tn Heb “set your face against.” 1613:17tn Heb “from their heart.” 1713:18sn The wristbands mentioned here probably represented magic bands or charms. See D. I. Block, Ezekiel (NICOT), 1:413. 1813:18tn Heb “joints of the hands.” This may include the elbow and shoulder joints. 1913:18tn The Hebrew term occurs in the Bible only here and in v. 21. It has also been understood as a veil or type of head covering. D. I. Block (Ezekiel [NICOT], 1:414) suggests that given the context of magical devices, the expected parallel to the magical arm bands, and the meaning of this Hebrew root (סָפַח [safakh, “to attach” or “join”]), it may refer to headbands or necklaces on which magical amulets were worn. 2013:18tn Heb “human lives” or “souls” (three times in v. 18 and twice in v. 19). 2113:19tn Heb “human lives” or “souls.” 2213:20tn The word הִנֵּה (hinneh, traditionally “behold”) indicates becoming aware of something and has been translated here as a verb. 2313:20tn Heb “human lives” or “souls.” 2413:21tn Heb “from your hand(s).” This refers to their power over the people. 2513:23tn The Hebrew verb is feminine plural, indicating that it is the false prophetesses who are addressed here.