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Condemnation of false prophets (13:1-23)
False prophets were a constant danger, both those in Jerusalem and those among the exiles in Babylon. They were bad guides, spiritually and morally, because they proclaimed only what they themselves wanted. They had no knowledge of the mind of God (13:1-3). Judah was falling into ruins, but the false prophets, instead of helping to repair and strengthen the nation, cunningly exploited the situation for their own benefit. They were like foxes digging holes around the city wall and so helping its ruin. They should have been like builders trying to strengthen the wall so that it would not crumble (4-7).
Ezekiel announced God’s certain punishment on the false prophets. They would lose, to begin with, their place of honour in society, then their citizenship, and finally their right to live in God’s land (8-9).
If these preachers had been true prophets, they would have destroyed the people’s mistaken hopes of peace and security. Instead they encouraged them. In Ezekiel’s illustration they white-washed an insecure wall to cover the cracks, whereas they should have demolished it. God announced that he would send a storm of rain, hail and wind, and the wall would collapse, burying the false prophets beneath it. They would perish along with the nation (10-16).
Among the false prophets were a number of women, who helped the decay of the nation by practising witchcraft. They used magic wristbands and veils in their weird rituals, casting deadly spells over their innocent victims, while protecting the evil people who consulted them (17-19). By their strange powers these witches disheartened the righteous and encouraged the wicked. God declared that he would now destroy their powers and release those whom they kept in bondage (20-23).
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Flemming, Donald C. "Commentary on Ezekiel 13". "Fleming's Bridgeway Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 15 / Ordinary 20