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False Prophets Denounced

13 Then the Lord’s message came to me: “Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel who are now prophesying. Say to the prophets who prophesy from their imagination:[a] ‘Listen to the Lord’s message! This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Woe to the foolish prophets who follow their own spirit but have seen nothing! Your prophets have become like jackals among the ruins, O Israel. 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. They see delusion and their omens are a lie.[b] They say, “The Lord declares,” though the Lord has not sent them;[c] yet they expect their word to be confirmed.[d] Have you not seen a false vision and announced a lying omen when you say, “The Lord declares,” although I myself never spoke?

“‘Therefore, this is what the Sovereign Lord says: Because you have spoken false words and forecast delusion, look,[e] I am against you,[f] declares the Sovereign Lord. My hand will be against the prophets who see delusion and announce lying omens. They will not be included in the council[g] of my people, nor be written in the registry[h] 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,”[i] when things are not well. When anyone builds a wall without mortar,[j] 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, hailstones[k] will fall and a violent wind will break out.[l] 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,[m] 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 Jerusalem and would see visions of peace for it, when there was no peace,” declares the Sovereign Lord.’

17 “As for you, son of man, turn toward[n] the daughters of your people who are prophesying from their imagination.[o] Prophesy against them 18 and say ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Woe to those who sew bands[p] on all their wrists[q] and make headbands[r] for heads of every size to entrap people’s lives![s] 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 people[t] 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 note[u] that I am against your wristbands with which you entrap people’s lives[v] 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;[w] 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 you[x] will know that I am the Lord.’”


  1. Ezekiel 13:2 tn Heb “from their mind.” sn Who prophesy from their imagination. Note the testimony of Moses in Num 16:28, which contains a similar expression.
  2. Ezekiel 13:6 sn The same description of a false prophet is found in Micah 2:11.
  3. Ezekiel 13:6 sn The Lord has not sent them. A similar concept is found in Jer 14:14 and 23:21.
  4. Ezekiel 13:6 tn Or “confirmed”; NIV has “to be fulfilled,” TEV “to come true.”
  5. Ezekiel 13:8 tn The word הִנֵּה (hinneh) indicates becoming aware of something and has been translated here as a verb.
  6. Ezekiel 13:8 tn 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 ‘hinnenîêlékâ’” ZAW 45 (1933): 101-8.
  7. Ezekiel 13:9 tn 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; Pss 64:3; 111:1).
  8. Ezekiel 13:9 tn 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).
  9. Ezekiel 13:10 tn Or “peace.”
  10. Ezekiel 13:10 tn 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, which compares the false prophetic messages to a nice coat of whitewash on a structurally unstable wall.
  11. Ezekiel 13:11 tn Heb “and you, O hailstones.”
  12. Ezekiel 13:11 sn 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).
  13. Ezekiel 13:14 tn Or “within it,” referring to the city of Jerusalem.
  14. Ezekiel 13:17 tn Heb “set your face against.”
  15. Ezekiel 13:17 tn Heb “from their heart.”
  16. Ezekiel 13:18 sn The wristbands mentioned here probably represented magic bands or charms. See D. I. Block, Ezekiel (NICOT), 1:413.
  17. Ezekiel 13:18 tn Heb “joints of the hands.” This may include the elbow and shoulder joints.
  18. Ezekiel 13:18 tn 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.
  19. Ezekiel 13:18 tn Heb “human lives” or “souls” (three times in v. 18 and twice in v. 19).
  20. Ezekiel 13:19 tn Heb “human lives” or “souls.”
  21. Ezekiel 13:20 tn The word הִנֵּה (hinneh, traditionally “behold”) indicates becoming aware of something and has been translated here as a verb.
  22. Ezekiel 13:20 tn Heb “human lives” or “souls.”
  23. Ezekiel 13:21 tn Heb “from your hand(s).” This refers to their power over the people.
  24. Ezekiel 13:23 tn The Hebrew verb is feminine plural, indicating that it is the false prophetesses who are addressed here.