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Bible Commentaries

Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary

Ezekiel 13

Verses 1-9

EZEKIEL - CHAPTER 13

PROPHECY AND MESSAGE AGAINST THE LYING PROPHETS

Verses 1-9:

PRETENDED PROPHETS

Verse 1 begins a further message from the Lord covering His indignation against false prophets and prophesies, both back in Israel and among the exiles in Babylon, much as prophesied by Jeremiah in Jerusalem, Jeremiah ch. 23; Jeremiah 29:8-10.

Verse 2 calls upon Ezekiel to prophecy against the prophets of Israel who prophesied "out of their own hearts," according to their own pleasure and imagination, what they thought to be popular with the masses, while they had no message from God. They were called upon to heed the word of the Lord, as also Jeremiah warned, Jeremiah 14:14; Jeremiah 23:16; Jeremiah 23:26.

Verse 3 pronounces a "woe" from the Lord upon those foolish and unholy prophets who followed their own carnal spirit and had seen nothing from God or His word upon which to base their prophecies; They went where they were not sent, speaking things they were not given of the Lord, evidently to salve itching ears of their hearers, as fools, ignoring God, Psalms 14:1; 2 Timothy 4:3-4.

Verse 4 is a direct address to Israel, charging her, as a nation, with being and acting like "foxes in the deserts," crafty, loving darkness, destroying themselves as God’s vineyard; Even Herod Antipas was referred to as a fox, by our Lord, Luke 13:32. Even the prophets by cunning deceit destroyed Israel, taking their livelihood without preaching the truth to them, Song of Solomon 2:15; Nehemiah 4:3; Lamentations 5:18; Isaiah 5:7; Matthew 7:15; Acts 20:29.

Verse 5 charges that the pretended prophets of Israel had not gone up into the gaps, neither made up the hedge for the house of Israel so that she could stand in the battle in the day of the Lord. The day of battle, when Israel needed her prophets most, found them betraying their people and their trust, instead of helping. Jerusalem had breaches in her walls, both literally and spiritually, and her prophets helped to close up neither, did not serve as "repairers," renovators, or rebuilders, Ezekiel 22:30. They "deserted the ship of Zion," to let her sink, without turning a hand, Isaiah 58:12; Psalms 106:23; Psalms 106:20. The hedge of Israel (her fence) had been broken through and her vineyard laid bare and no prophet seemed to care, or offered real help. They were traitors of their trust. Moral and spiritual evils in Israel were as gaps in the wall and holes in the hedges, yet they did not respond faithfully to help as: a) Abraham did; b) Moses did, Exodus 32:11-13; and c) as Paul did, Romans 9:1-3; Romans 10:1-4.

Verse 6 charges the pretending prophets with "lying divination," saying, "the Lord saith; and the Lord hath not sent them." They were self-called, independent prophets, out on their own, teaching things God had not authorized, deceiving others and themselves, offering false hope, as counterfeit prophets, Matthew 7:15; Acts 15:24; Galatians 1:6-9.

Verse 7 rhetorically asks if these pretending prophets have not seen a vain vision (one that was not there) and spoken "lying divinations," prophecies that they themselves invented. They had, is the inferred conclusion. For they had used the phrase "The Lord saith it" (to us); Yet the Lord asserted that He had done no such thing, Romans 3:3-4. Having seen a vision indicates that they had come to "believe their own lies," 2 Thessalonians 2:11.

Verse 8 then asserts that because they had seen visions and spoken lies, claimed God had shown to and told them things that He had neither shown nor told them; therefore the Lord sent the pretending prophets word by Ezekiel saying, "I am against you saith the Lord God," or I come against you all, to punish you for wickedly lying on me or profaning my name. See Revelation 2:5-6.

Verse 9 declares that three forms of judgment-calamities shall come upon these lying, pretending-prophets in relation to the future regime of their people: 1) First, they should not be in the assembly or council of elders of His people, not among the influential, ruling circle any longer; when they return from Babylon, Ezra 2:1-2) Second, they will not be entered into the roll of citizens of Israel, to arise from the faithful remnant; Ezra 2:59; Ezra 2:62 Nehemiah 7:5; Psalms 69:28; Psalms 69:3) Third, the portion of them that was in exile "shall not come into (or return to) the land of Israel." And from His judgment to be sent upon them they would come to recognize and acknowledge that He is the Lord God, and none other, Ezekiel 11:10; Ezekiel 12:20; Exodus 20:1-5.

Verses 10-16

FALSE PEACE AND UNTEMPERED MORTAR

Verses 10-16:

Verse 10 explains why this judgment fell upon the lying prophets. They had cried, repeatedly prophecying that peace was at hand;

and there was no peace promised to them. They lied to the people; and they have their offspring doing similar things, as false prophets today, Isaiah 57:21; Jeremiah 4:10; Jeremiah 6:14; Jeremiah 8:11; Jeremiah 14:13; Jeremiah 23:17; Jeremiah 28:9; Malachi 3:15; Matthew 7:21-23; 2 Corinthians 11:13-15. It is added against them that "one built up a wall (one false prophet) and, lo, others daubed it, the thin wall, with untempered mortar;" another false prophet had tried to "prop up" the lie that the former lying prophet had told; In collusion they deceived the people. See? 2 Chronicles 18:12; Isaiah 30:10; Ezekiel 22:28. They were hypocritical, white-washed prophets, in sheepskins, Matthew 7:15; Matthew 23:27; Matthew 23:29; Acts 23:3.

Verse 11 directs Ezekiel to chide or reprimand the lying, perverting, hypocritical, false prophets. in Israel who daubed the wall with untempered mortar, which was no better than whitewash to strengthen the wall. He was to tell them that it would fall. An overflowing shower, a windstorm, and hailstones of God’s displeasure against what they had done, as foes of truth, Exodus 9:18; Joshua 10:11; Psalms 18:12-13; Isaiah 28:2; Isaiah 30:30; Ezekiel 38:22. The Chaldeans were to be these hailstones to fall upon them and their testimonies.

Verse 12 adds that when the wall was fallen, which they had daubed or propped up with untempered mortar, they as lying prophets, will be asked, "where is the daubing wherewith ye have daubed it?" The answer is that no "false-peace-hope" would be left. Their lying vanity would become a proverb, leaving them as objects of scorn, even as lying prophets will be in the day of judgment, of which our Lord warned, Matthew 7:15; Matthew 7:21-23.

Verse 13 further warns that God will rend the wall (tear it down) with a storm-wind in the fury of His wrath against the evils in Israel, condoned by the false prophets. He repeats that in "His name," what had been generally expressed regarding destruction and calamity, v. 11, by means of wind, water, and hail, would surely befall the prophets and their people whom they had duped with false promises of peace.

Verse 14 adds that like natures full fury, which He controls, having "His way in the wind and the storm," (Nahum 1:3) will He break down, lay bare, the wall the false prophets had daubed (propped up) or whitewashed with untempered mortar. Their labors were to be destroyed, all they had built up, laid bare to the foundations, to their open shame. They should then know that He who destroyed and exposed their sham work was the Lord, as stated v. 9, 21, 23; Ezekiel 14:8.

Verse 15 declares (with repetition) or tautology that thus or "just like this," after this manner, by use of storm, rain, and hail to destroy an untempered mortar building, even so would He bring judgment upon the work and testimony of these false prophets and their people in Israel until they should recognize that He was the Lord God whom men were to serve; and lying prophets would be gravely judged among His people, Hosea 8:7; Hosea 10:12-13. The judgment would last till the wall and they who daubed it were destroyed.

Verse 16 concludes that such will be the certain end of all those lying prophets of Israel which prophecy visions of peace and preservation of Israel from the Chaldean judgment, when the Lord said there would be no peace for them until the people, the city, the temple, and the land had been overrun and destroyed, as repeatedly stated before, Jeremiah 6:14; Jeremiah 28:9.

Verses 17-23

EFFEMINATE RELIGION AND MISPLACED SORROW

Verses 17-23:

Verse 17 directs Ezekiel as "son of man," or representative of the Son of man, set his face, or harden his jaw and prophesy against the daughters of his people, who "prophesied out of their own heart," or of their own carnal will and inventions. They were the false prophetesses who shared in maintaining idolatry in the land, Exodus 15:10; Ezekiel 3:18; Ezekiel 3:9; Isaiah 1:7; Isaiah 3:16; Isaiah 4:4; Ezekiel 8:14. It was only in extraordinary circumstances that God bestowed prophecy upon women, as Miriam, Deborah, and Huldah, Exodus 15:20; Judges 4:4; 2 Kings 22:14; Acts 21:8-9.

Verse 18 directs Ezekiel to pronounce a woe upon the false prophetesses, (women) who sewed pillows or cushions to all armholes to lean on, suggesting perfect tranquillity or peace to those who came to consult them, rather than call them to repentance. They also made kerchiefs or veils to place upon the head of every statute, or person of every height. These religious women of Israel were hunters of "souls", to dupe and seduce for whatever pay they could get from them, Ezekiel 22:25; Ephesians 4:14. Having announced the woe that was to befall them for their part in idolatry and prostitution, Ezekiel then rhetorically asked whether or not they would save or deliver the souls or lives of the Lord’s people, keep them alive, free them who came to them from coming Divine judgment. The answer implied was you will not, will you? Proverbs 6:26; 2 Peter 2:14.

Verse 19 continues the Lord’s question of whether or not these lying prophetesses, women who resorted to prostitution for handfuls of barley and pieces of bread, to seduce and slay (by law) the souls of His people, to pollute their souls, while promising them peace of mind and soul, could cause them to live their lies. Again the question seems to suggest that they surely could not, Proverbs 28:21; Micah 3:5. Even those who did not seduce to illicit sex in their seductive cushion flare sleeves and veils received barley and bread for their lying prophecies of peace, though judgment from the Lord had been announced and determined, 1 Samuel 9:7-8; 1 Kings 14:3.

Verse 20 announces that because of their lying and polluting the Lord among His people of the land He was against their pillows, or cushions of false comfort and false ease. He declared that He would make their pillows with which they had hunted, trapped, or ensnared souls. They would be torn from their arms, to leave them bare, without deceiving strength, and cause both them as false prophetesses and the souls they victimized to fly, or go away into captivity, to save them, Psalms 91:3; Proverbs 6:5; Hosea 9:8.

Verse 21 declares that the Lord would also tear the kerchiefs or veils from their hand and deliver His people out of the hand or obsession of these seductive pretenders and lying prophetesses who had hunted them and used them as personal prey. It would continue until they were made to recognize that He was the Lord God, by the judgments of shame they should suffer, Romans 1:18; Galatians 6:7-8.

Verse 22 states that this Divine judgment should come because these base, seductive women had caused the hearts of even His righteous people to be sad. And they had encouraged or aided the hand of the wicked in doing wickedness, so that they would not repent, because they had with lying words and polluting deeds offered them false comfort and peace, in exchange for an handful of barley and bread, v. 19; Jeremiah 23:14.

Verse 23 concludes that the Lord would therefore deliver His people, a righteous remnant, but these seductive, lying, deceiving false prophetesses with their vanities and divine divinations should see His face, or His mercy no more. And they would then with doom, know that He was the one true Lord whom they had resisted, v. 6, Exodus 20:1-5; Ezekiel 12:24; Micah 3:6.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Blessed Hope Foundation and the Baptist Training Center.
Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Ezekiel 13". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/ezekiel-13.html. 1985.