Ezekiel 13

Ezekiel 13

False Prophets Condemned

13 The word of the LORD came to me: “Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel, who are prophesying, and say to those who prophesy from their own hearts: ‘Hear the word of the LORD!’ Thus says the Lord GOD, Woe to the foolish prophets who follow their own spirit, and have seen nothing! Your prophets have been like jackals among ruins, O Israel. You have not gone up into the breaches, or built up a wall for the house of Israel, that it might stand in battle in the day of the LORD. 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. Have you not seen a false vision and uttered a lying divination, whenever you have said, ‘Declares the LORD,’ although I have not spoken?”

Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: “Because you have uttered falsehood and seen lying visions, therefore behold, I am against you, declares the Lord GOD. My hand will be against the prophets who see false visions and who give lying divinations. They shall not be in the council of my people, nor be enrolled in the register of the house of Israel, nor shall they enter the land of Israel. And you shall know that I am the Lord GOD. Precisely because they have misled my people, saying, ‘Peace,’ when there is no peace, and because, when the people build a wall, these prophets smear it with whitewash, say to those who smear it with whitewash that it shall fall! There will be a deluge of rain, and you, O great hailstones, will fall, and a stormy wind break out. And when the wall falls, will it not be said to you, ‘Where is the coating with which you smeared it?’ Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: I will make a stormy wind break out in my wrath, and there shall be a deluge of rain in my anger, and great hailstones in wrath to make a full end. And I will break down the wall that you have smeared with whitewash, and bring it down to the ground, so that its foundation will be laid bare. When it falls, you shall perish in the midst of it, and you shall know that I am the LORD. Thus will I spend my wrath upon the wall and upon those who have smeared it with whitewash, and I will say to you, The wall is no more, nor those who smeared it, the prophets of Israel who prophesied concerning Jerusalem and saw visions of peace for her, when there was no peace, declares the Lord GOD.

“And you, son of man, set your face against the daughters of your people, who prophesy out of their own hearts. Prophesy against them and say, Thus says the Lord GOD: Woe to the women who sew magic bands upon all wrists, and make veils for the heads of persons of every stature, in the hunt for souls! Will you hunt down souls belonging to my people and keep your own souls alive? You have profaned me among my people for handfuls of barley and for pieces of bread, putting to death souls who should not die and keeping alive souls who should not live, by your lying to my people, who listen to lies.

“Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I am against your magic bands with which you hunt the souls like birds, and I will tear them from your arms, and I will let the souls whom you hunt go free, the souls like birds. Your veils also I will tear off and deliver my people out of your hand, and they shall be no more in your hand as prey, and you shall know that I am the LORD. Because you have disheartened the righteous falsely, although I have not grieved him, and you have encouraged the wicked, that he should not turn from his evil way to save his life, therefore you shall no more see false visions nor practice divination. I will deliver my people out of your hand. And you shall know that I am the LORD.”


Ezekiel 13 Commentary

by Brad Boyles

Wow! What a relevant topic! For years, false prophets have been stirring up dissension in order to dismantle what God is building among His people. To make a clear point, God compares a false prophet to a fox among ruins.

‘Thus says the Lord GOD, “Woe to the foolish prophets who are following their own spirit and have seen nothing. 4 “O Israel, your prophets have been like foxes among ruins.

Ezekiel 13:3-4 NASB

To the ancient Jew, this would have connected on many levels. Consider what a fox is like. They are scavengers who are passive aggressive and rarely show their faces during the day. A fox roaming in the desert would come in as a scavenger looking for anything they could find to benefit themselves among the destruction. They would ignore the ruins in order to sufficiently provide for their own needs. This is precisely the opposite of how Paul would instruct people to operate in the New Testament.

Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; 4 do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.

Philippians 2:3-4 NASB

How do we recognize false prophets today?

People who say they have had a “word from God” but their advice doesn’t come true or contradicts Scripture. This kind of pseudo-Christianity has infiltrated the church. It’s one thing to counsel someone with the actual Word of God and another thing to counsel them with thoughts from your head.

There are many today who believe everything they hear in their minds is directly from the Lord. Prophets of the Old Testament did not have the full canon of Scripture so this type of communication with God was much needed. Today, we have the Scripture in its entirety and so we can “test the spirits” by referenced God’s Word and evaluating a prophetic message with the Truth. In fact, Paul tells the church in Corinth that prophetic messages must be judged by the body of believers (1 Corinthians 14:29).

They do not exemplify the love of Christ. We all know people like this. They claim to have supernatural encounters or specific gifts of the Spirit. They talk a lot of Christianese. They quote promises from Scripture left and right and they are quick to judge others who don’t meet that standard.

If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.

1 Corinthians 13:1 NASB

A noisy gong or clanging cymbal is exactly what comes to mind when considering those who are false prophets. Your spiritual gift means nothing if it does not exude the love of God. I would go as far as to say that spiritual gifts do not necessarily guarantee Salvation as many claim. This is because the devil masquerades as an angel of light and disguises false works as true works. Evidently, this problem was rampant in the early church as well.

For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. 14 No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.

2 Corinthians 11:13-14 NASB

They don’t edify the body / it’s all about them. False prophets are easily recognizable by their emphasis on what they are doing. It’s a pride thing that places priority on “their gift” and “their Word.” In 1 Cor 14, Paul drew special attention to the fact that a lack of edification among prophets is a major red flag.

In conclusion, Scripture has given us many tools to use in our defense against false prophets. Here are several other great questions you can ask when evaluating false prophets.

  1. Does it glorify Christ?
  2. Is it in accordance with the Scriptures?
  3. Does the speaker submit to the church leaders?
  4. Is Jesus Lord of the speaker’s life?

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