Atlanta Bible Students

The Book of Ezekiel

Chapter 13

[1] And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, [2] Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel that prophesy, and say you unto them that prophesy out of their own hearts, Hear you the word of the LORD; [3] Thus says the Lord GOD; Woe unto the foolish prophets, that follow their own spirit, and have seen nothing! [4] O Israel, your prophets are like the foxes in the deserts. [5] You 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. [6] They have seen vanity and lying divination, saying, The LORD says: and the LORD has not sent them: and they have made others to hope that they would confirm the word. [7] Have you not seen a vain vision, and have you not spoken a lying divination, whereas you say, The LORD says it; albeit I have not spoken?

Verses 1-2  Expanded Bible Comments

And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, [2] Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel that prophesy, and say you unto them that prophesy out of their own hearts, Hear you the word of the LORD;
QuestionAnswer
Who did the word of the LORD come to? Son of man, Pastor Russell.
What was he instructed to do? Relay a message to "the prophets of Israel."
To which prophets was he to speak? Those "that prophesy," i.e., to those in his day who were still prophesying good things for Christendom. To those "that prophesy out of their own hearts."
What was he to tell them? Stop twisting the Word of the LORD to make it seem to say what you want it to say. Instead, "Hear ye the word of the LORD."

Verses 3-4  Expanded Bible Comments

Thus says the Lord GOD; Woe unto the foolish prophets, that follow their own spirit, and have seen nothing! [4] O Israel, your prophets are like the foxes in the deserts.
QuestionAnswer
What normally follows when we see this phrase: "Thus saith the Lord GOD?" Something extremely important is being said and whoever is being addressed had better pay close attention!
What does the LORD say about these prophets? "Woe unto the foolish prophets."
Why, what did they do? "That follow their own spirit, and have seen nothing!" – In other words, they made it up. They lied to their followers for their own advantage. They interpreted God's Word by the invention of their own imagination.
In this verse, who is Israel? Israel pictures Christendom (especially the religious element.)
What are their prophets likened to, and what does that mean? Foxes in the desert [waste] places – (Read the Expanded Bible Comments for Song of Solomon 2:15.) Listening to the prophets (teachers) in Babylon may seem relatively harmless but it leads to the destruction of the tender grapes (fruits of the spirit) and the destruction of the true vine.

Verse 5  Expanded Bible Comments

You 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.
QuestionAnswer
"You have not gone up into the gaps." What does that mean? It means there are gaps in the walls. The walls are supposed to be maintained in good order.
Begin Here March 28, 2017
Carry-over question: Does Matt. 12:25 apply here?
What do hedges have to do with battle? Suggestion: Go to the internet and look up "Battle of the Hedgerows."
Who were these defenses for? "The House of Israel" – i.e., the Nominal Spiritual house, Christendom (especially the religious element.)
For what purpose were they supposed to be prepared? "For the house of [nominal spiritual] Israel to stand in the battle in the day of the LORD."
Summarize verse 5. Nominal Spiritual Israel failed to prepare to fight the battle of the Day of the Lord. They did not build up their defenses with the Truth. Instead they thought the old battle tactics of fear, error and especially the three unclean spirits (doctrines) like frogs would keep them in power.

Verse 6  Expanded Bible Comments

They have seen vanity and lying divination, saying, The LORD says: and the LORD has not sent them: and they have made others to hope that they would confirm the word.
QuestionAnswer
The language of verse 6 may be a little confusing.
This verse may be easier to understand if we look at some other translations (the first two are paraphrases) of this verse.

(CEV) Those prophets lie by claiming they speak for me, but I have not even chosen them to be my prophets. And they still think their words will come true.

(ERV)  "Your prophets say they have seen visions. They did their magic to see what will happen next. But everything they said would happen is a lie. They claim to speak for the LORD, but the LORD did not send them. And they still think that what they said is what will happen."

(English Standard Version) "They have seen false visions and lying divinations. They say, 'Declares the LORD,' when the LORD has not sent them, and yet they expect him to fulfill their word."
"They have seen.." – Who is "they?" "They" are the religious leaders of Christendom.
What did "they" see and what does that mean? They have seen: "Vanity and lying divination."
Vanity because they told their followers "This is what God really meant by what he said. Never mind what you may think the Bible says, we will tell you what it really means."
Lying divination because they continued to push the "three unclean spirits" (i.e., these doctrines are from fallen angels – especially from their leader Satan.) – Remember the description of the three unclean spirits like frogs says "for they are the spirits of devils.." Rev. 16:13-14.
What do "they," under the influence of the "lying divination," say? "This [what we say] is what the LORD says. You need to remember that we are the Lord's, i.e., He has sent us to explain His words to you."
Is what "they" say true? Absolutely not. "The LORD has not sent them."
What is meant by "They have made others to hope that they would confirm the word?" They seem to think (hopefully but without any real basis other than this is what they want) that what they say will come true, and that by continually repeating it to others, they too will believe it.

We might add that the word "others" is supplied, though the majority of translators seem to include "others." Several translations make no reference to "others."

Also the word "hope" carries more the thought of "wait" or "tarry." For example the Jubilee Bible translates this phrase as: "they have made others to wait for the word to be confirmed."

Verse 7  Expanded Bible Comments

Have you not seen a vain vision, and have you not spoken a lying divination, whereas you say, The LORD says it; albeit I have not spoken?
QuestionAnswer
What is their "vain vision" and their "lying divination?" Vain vision: "All things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation." 2 Pet. 3:4
Lying divination: The three unclean spirits. Rev. 16:13-14.
What does the Lord say about their vision? "I have not spoken it."

[8] Therefore thus says the Lord GOD; Because you have spoken vanity, and seen lies, therefore, behold, I am against you, says the Lord GOD. [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 you shall know that I am the Lord GOD. [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: [11] Say unto them which daub it with untempered mortar, that it shall fall: there shall be an overflowing shower; and you, O great hailstones, shall fall; and a stormy wind shall rend it. [12] Lo, when the wall is fallen, shall it not be said unto you, Where is the daubing wherewith you have daubed it? [13] Therefore thus says 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. [14] So will I break down the wall that you 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 you shall be consumed in the midst thereof: and you shall know that I am the LORD. [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; [16] To wit, the prophets of Israel which prophesy concerning Jerusalem, and which see visions of peace for her, and there is no peace, says the Lord GOD.

2nd reading - with (hopefully) clarifying brackets

[8] Therefore thus says the Lord GOD; Because you [the prophets] have spoken vanity, and seen lies, therefore, behold, I am against you [the prophets], says the Lord GOD. [9] And mine hand shall be upon the prophets that see vanity, and that divine lies: they [the prophets] shall not be in the assembly of my people, neither shall they [the prophets] be written in the writing of the house of Israel, neither shall they [the prophets] enter into the land of Israel; and you [Israel] shall know that I am the Lord GOD. [10] Because, even because they [the prophets] have seduced my people [Israel], saying, Peace; and there was no peace; and one built up a wall, and, lo, others [the prophets] daubed it with untempered mortar: [11] Say unto them [the prophets] which daub it with untempered mortar, that it shall fall: there shall be an overflowing shower; and you, O great hailstones, shall fall; and a stormy wind shall rend it. [12] Lo, when the wall is fallen, shall it not be said unto you [the prophets], Where is the daubing wherewith you have [the prophets] daubed it? [13] Therefore thus says the Lord GOD; I will even rend it [the wall] 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 [the wall]. [14] So will I break down the wall that you have [the prophets] daubed with untempered mortar, and bring it down to the ground, so that the foundation thereof shall be discovered, and it shall fall, and you [the prophets] shall be consumed in the midst thereof: and you [the prophets] shall know that I am the LORD. [15] Thus will I accomplish my wrath upon the wall, and upon them [the prophets] that have daubed it with untempered mortar, and will say unto you [the prophets], The wall is no more, neither they [the prophets] that daubed it; [16] To wit, the prophets of Israel which prophesy concerning Jerusalem, and which see visions of peace for her, and there is no peace, says the Lord GOD.

Verses 8-16 are primarily aimed at the "prophets" of nominal spiritual Israel, i.e., at the religious leaders of Christendom.

Verse 8  Expanded Bible Comments

Therefore thus says the Lord GOD; Because you have spoken vanity, and seen lies, therefore, behold, I am against you, says the Lord GOD.
QuestionAnswer
Why does this verse begin with "therefore?" Because the law of "cause and effect" is in play.
What does the Lord say is the cause? "Because you have spoken vanity, and seen lies."
What does the Lord say is the effect? "I am against you."
Is this a good position for them to be in? This is the worst possible condition to be in!

Verse 9  Expanded Bible Comments

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 you shall know that I am the Lord GOD.
QuestionAnswer
Who are "the prophets that see vanity?" Primarily the religious leaders of Christendom.
What is meant by the phrase "that divine lies?" The falsehoods they present as being truth are said by them to be from God.
What is meant by "the assembly of my people?" The secret society of God's true people, the saints.
What is meant by "the writing of the house of Israel?" The false prophets will not find themselves written in the lamb's book of life.
What is meant by "Neither shall they enter into the land of Israel?" The land of Israel is the land of promise. The heavenly promises definitaly do NOT belong to these false prophets of nominal spiritual Israel.
"You shall know that I am the LORD GOD." Is this different from "they" used throughout most of this verse? Probably. It appears to refer to (nominal spiritual) Israel, whereas "they" was referring to the (false) prophets.

Verse 10  Expanded Bible Comments

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:
QuestionAnswer
"Because, even because.." Why the repetition?
Who is "they?"
How have "they" seduced God's people? By saying "Peace; and there was no peace."
What wall was built up? Walls symbolize protections. For the religious element of Christendom their walls included the civil power and also their system of false doctrines, especially the Three Unclean Spirits like Frogs.
What is "untempered mortar?" untempered - not brought to a proper consistency or hardness; "untempered mortar"; "untempered steel" unhardened. – The Free Dictionary

Verse 11  Expanded Bible Comments

Say unto them which daub it with untempered mortar, that it shall fall: there shall be an overflowing shower; and you, O great hailstones, shall fall; and a stormy wind shall rend it.
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Verse 12  Expanded Bible Comments

Lo, when the wall is fallen, shall it not be said unto you, Where is the daubing wherewith you have daubed it?
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Verse 13  Expanded Bible Comments

Therefore thus says 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.
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Verse 14  Expanded Bible Comments

So will I break down the wall that you 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 you shall be consumed in the midst thereof: and you shall know that I am the LORD.
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Verse 15  Expanded Bible Comments

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;
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Verse 16  Expanded Bible Comments

To wit, the prophets of Israel which prophesy concerning Jerusalem, and which see visions of peace for her, and there is no peace, says the Lord GOD.
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[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, [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? [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?

Verse 17  Expanded Bible Comments

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,
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Verse 18  Expanded Bible Comments

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?
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Verse 19  Expanded Bible Comments

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?
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[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. [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. [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: [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.

Verse 20  Expanded Bible Comments

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.
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Verse 21  Expanded Bible Comments

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.
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Verse 22  Expanded Bible Comments

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:
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Verse 23  Expanded Bible Comments

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.
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