Lectionary Calendar
Saturday, June 15th, 2024
the Week of Proper 5 / Ordinary 10
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Bible Commentaries
Ezekiel 13

Barnes' Notes on the Whole BibleBarnes' Notes

Verse 1

The identity of phrases and ideas of this chapter with Jeremiah 23:0 leads to the conclusion that Ezekiel took up a well-known prophecy to enforce and apply it to his companions in exile. They probably had read Jeremiah’s words as referring to others than themselves.

Verse 3

That follow ... nothing - Better in the margin. A true prophet (like Ezekiel) spoke “the word of the Lord,” and declared what he had seen “in the visions of God.” These pretenders are stigmatized in scorn “prophets out of their own hearts,” “seers of what they have not seen.”

Verse 4

In the deserts - Foxes find a home among ruins etc. Lamentations 5:18. So the prophets find their profit in the ruin of their country.

Verse 5

For - Or, before. In a time of siege when there are gaps or breaches in the walls, it is the part of the leaders to go up to defend them, and to throw up works to stop the in-road of the enemy. Yahweh is now assailing His people as an enemy (compare Isaiah 63:10; Job 16:11-13), and where are those who claim to be prophets, leaders of the people?

Verse 6

And they have made others ... - Rather, “and they hope for the confirmation of their word.” They come to believe their own lies.

Verse 9

Assembly - Here “the congregation of the people.” These false prophets were to be struck off from “the writing” or, the rolls, in which the names of all Israelites were registered (compare Psalms 87:6; Exodus 32:32); and therefore when the restoration Ezekiel 11:17 shall take place these men shall not have part in it.

Verse 10

Wall - A partition wall; in Ezekiel 13:12, the word used is the usual word for the outer wall of a house or city. The fall of the partition wall would perhaps involve the fall of the whole house.

Untempered morter - Or, whited plaster, employed to patch up a wall, so as to give it an appearance (without the reality) of strength and beauty. Compare Matthew 23:27. In the original there is a play upon a word rendered “folly” in Jeremiah 23:13.

Verses 17-23

A rebuke to the false prophetesses, and a declaration that God will confound them, and deliver their victims from their snares. Women were sometimes inspired by the true God, as were Miriam, Deborah, Hannah, and Huldah; but an order of prophetesses was unknown among the people of God, and the existence of such a class in the last days of the kings of Judah was a fresh instance of declension into pagan usages.

Ezekiel 13:18-21. Render thus: “Woe to the women that” put charms on every finger-joint, that set veils upon heads of every height to ensnare souls. “Will ye” ensnare “the souls of my people,” and keep your own souls alive, and will ye profane my name “among my people for handfuls of barley and pieces of bread, to slay the souls that should not die, and to” keep alive “the souls that should not live, by lying to my people” who listen to “a lie? Wherefore thus saith the Lord God, Behold” I will come upon your charms, where ye are ensnaring the souls like birds; “and I will tear them from your arms and will let the souls go” free, “even the souls” which ye are ensnaring like birds. “Your” veils “also will I tear, and deliver my people out of your hand, and they shall be no more in your hand to be” ensnared; “and ye shall know that I am the Lord.”

Most ancient interpreters and many modern interpreters have understood the “pillows” (or charms) and “kerchiefs” (or veils), as appliances to which the sorcerers had resort in order to attract notice. The veil was a conspicuous ornament in the east - women whatever their “stature” (or, height) putting them on - and it was worn by magicians in order to seem more mysterious and awful.

Ezekiel 13:19

Pollute me - Profane Me by your false words, which ye pretend to be from Me.

Handfuls of barley - Such were the gifts with which men used to approach a seer (compare 1 Samuel 9:7-8; 1 Kings 14:3).

Ezekiel 13:20

To make them fly - If the marginal reading “into gardens” be adopted, it must mean, Ye entice men to the gardens or groves, where magical arts are practiced. That groves were used for this purpose and for idolatrous rites is notorious.

Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Ezekiel 13". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/bnb/ezekiel-13.html. 1870.
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