King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

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Ezekiel 13

Heavy judgments against lying prophets. (1-9) The insufficiency of their work. (10-16) Woes against false prophetesses. (17-23)

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Heavy judgments against lying prophets

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 thou unto them that prophesy out of their own hearts, Hear ye the word of the LORD;

3 Thus saith the Lord GOD; Woe unto the foolish prophets, that follow their own spirit, and have seen nothing!

4 O Israel, thy prophets are like the foxes in the deserts.

5 Ye 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 saith: and the LORD hath not sent them: and they have made others to hope that they would confirm the word.

7 Have ye not seen a vain vision, and have ye not spoken a lying divination, whereas ye say, The LORD saith it; albeit I have not spoken?

8 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Because ye have spoken vanity, and seen lies, therefore, behold, I am against you, saith 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 ye shall know that I am the Lord GOD.

The insufficiency of their work

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 morter:

11 Say unto them which daub it with untempered morter, that it shall fall: there shall be an overflowing shower; and ye, 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 ye have daubed it?

13 Therefore thus saith 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 ye have daubed with untempered morter, and bring it down to the ground, so that the foundation thereof shall be discovered, and it shall fall, and ye shall be consumed in the midst thereof: and ye 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 morter, 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, saith the Lord GOD.

Woes against false prophetesses

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?

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.

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 2. Heart; what pleases them, (H.) without being inspired. There were always such impostors. These deluded the people at Jerusalem, (C.) or at Babylon. v. 9. Sanct. — They might be distinguished by the sincere: yet caused irreparable injury to the ignorant people. H.

Ver. 3. Nothing. Yet would lead the blind, though they are not directed by God.

Ver. 4. Deserts, or ruins. They sought only to gratify themselves.

Ver. 5. Enemy. You do not admonish sinners of their evil ways, nor strive to avert God’s indignation, in imitation of true prophets, (Ex. xxxii. 10.) but rather undermine the wall like foxes.

Ver. 9. Upon, to punish. — Counsel. They shall not be consulted, or have any credit. — Writing. They shall perish in the city, or in banishment. C. — Their works shall not be accounted canonical. Sixt. Bib. ii. 2.

Ver. 10. Straw. Iniquity ruins my people, (C.) and these do not endeavour to reform their manners. H. — They ought to demolish such a work, and not dab it over. Theod. — One false prophet builds, and another strives to support his authority; (Jun.) or God has given the people his law, but these people corrupt it. S. Jer. — A wall built without proper mortar, will easily be washed down: so vain hopes of security, without amendment, deceive the people. W.

Ver. 11. Hailstones. Lit. “stones,” like those which fell on the enemies of Josue, (x. 11. H.) or thunderbolts. Grot. C. — Such will be the fate of all the buildings of the wicked. Mat. vii. 27. H. — None can resist the judgments of God, who will employ the Chaldeans. M.

Ver. 14. You. Lit. “it.” But Heb. and Sept. have, “ye.” H. — The wall and the inhabitants shall perish. C.

Ver. 17. Daughters: so false prophets are styled in scorn, (Vat.) or witches; (Rabbins) though it seems rather that there were false prophetesses as well as true ones. Such were Prisca and Maximilla among the Montanists. Women have commonly fostered heresies. C. — These pretended to be illuminated, like Debora and Holda; but flattered the people in their sins, instead of reclaiming them. W.

Ver. 18. Cushions, by making people easy in their sins, and promising them impunity, (Ch.) by disguising the truth, or not admonishing people of their danger. C. iii. 17. He alludes to the cushions used on sofas. — Pillows. Sym. “veils;” (Sept. and Kimchi) or “nets” designed “to take” the unwary; as mispachot maybe properly rendered. v. 20, 21. Is. v. 7. C. — Souls. That is, they flattered them with promises of life, peace, and security. Ch. W. — People are often said to do what they only announce. Lev. xiii. 11. These impostors pretended to save, while they really destroyed. They shewed a cruel mercy, detaining the people in captivity, or rather Heb. “shall you catch?” &c. Do you expect to pass unpunished? C. — We might read the Vulg. “Did they give?” &c. Prot. “Will ye save the souls alive that come unto you?” H.

Ver. 19. Violated me. That is, dishonoured and discredited me. Ch. — Prot. “and will ye pollute?” &c. H. — They employed the name of God to give credit to their lies, for the smallest advantage. — Souls, &c. That is, to sentence souls to death, which are not to die: and to promise life to them who are not to live. Ch. — They contradicted Jeremias, who exhorted the people to surrender. C.

Ver. 20. Catch. Hebrew also, “hunt the souls to make them into gardens, (H.) or flourishing.” Sept. “you gather souls there.” The original seems to be incorrect. v. 18.

Ver. 22. Just. Jeremias, or any other, particularly the more simple, who were easily seduced and filled with apprehensions. You shall therefore die, (v. 23.) and your imposture shall be made known. C.