posted on Feb, 16 2018 @ 05:01 PM
Ezekiel is the prophet of the fall of Jerusalem to the Babylonians.
His prophecies, therefore, are warnings about future judgement.
In the twelfth chapter, the Lord answered the current scepticism about such prophecies by announcing that “the days are at hand and the fulfilment
of every vision” (the warnings about the siege of Jerusalem would be fulfilled within five years).
He also promised that there would be “no more any false vision or flattering divination within the house of Israel”.
In the next chapter, he explains in more detail what he means by this description.
He means “those who prophesy out of their own minds” (ch13 v1).
“The foolish prophets who follow their own spirit, and have seen nothing”.
“They have seen a delusive vision and uttered a lying divination”
“They have spoken falsehood and divined a lie; they say “’Thus says the Lord’ when the Lord has not sent them”.
The essence of their falsehood is that they deny the judgement of God.
They set themselves in opposition to the prophets of the Lord, who have been proclaiming that the judgement is coming.
(So when the prophets of the Lord are complaining about false prophets, only careless readers will think they are talking about each other).
The foolish prophets have made the people feel good, thus undermining the message that they need to repent.
Since the people’s failure to repent is the reason for the judgement, anyone who prevents them from repenting is contributing to the destruction of
So those prophets have not been genuinely helpful. In fact they have been “like foxes among the ruins”.
“You have not gone up into the breaches or built up a wall for the house of the Lord, that it might stand in battle in the day of the Lord”.
That is, they have not been contributing to the moral defence of the nation.
They have “said Peace when there is no peace”, because genuine peace depends on the relationship with God.
Therefore God is against them.
When Israel returns home, he will not allow these prophets to be leaders of the people, he will not allow them to be registered among his people, he
will not even allow them to enter the land.
He uses the elaborate metaphor of the building of a wall- which may mean a defensive wall, or may just stand for any kind of constructive work.
When the people are building a wall, the contribution of these prophets, figuratively speaking, is that they daub the wall with whitewash. They then
tell the people that this will be enough to keep the wall standing firm.
But what will happen when there is a great deluge of rain, and hailstones, and a stormy wind? The wall will fall, of course, and the foundations will
be laid bare (here we see the root of one of the parables of Jesus). God will make that happen, spending his wrath upon the wall, and then he will say
“The wall is no more, nor those who daubed it”.
He also has a word for the “daughters of the people, who prophesy out of their own minds”.
Evidently they have their own style of divination, but the description of their practices leaves many things obscure.
Their arts include sewing magic bands on the wrists of their customers, and giving them veils.
In this way they “hunt souls”, but it isn’t clear whether “hunting souls” is what they are claiming to achieve, or simply the effect of what
they are doing. That is, they would be misleading souls and thereby “kidnapping” them from the God who owns them.
They earn small fees (handfuls of barley, pieces of bread) by “putting to death people who should not die and keeping alive persons who should not
live”. This probably means that they are claiming to assess their state of righteousness, and promising God’s life to people who do not deserve
“You have disheartened the righteous falsely, although I have not disheartened him, and you have encouraged the wicked, that he should not turn from
his wicked way to save his life”.
Thus they are doing for individuals what the other prophets are doing for the community at large. They are “saying Peace when there is no
For this reason God will abolish their practices, tearing away their veils, and delivering his people out of their hand.
“Then you shall know that I am the Lord”.