Ezekiel 13 Bible Commentary

John Wesley’s Explanatory Notes

(Read all of Ezekiel 13)

Verse 2

[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;

That prophesy — Out of their own deceiving hearts, not from God.

Verse 3

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

Foolish prophets — Foolish prophets are not of God's sending: for whom he sends, he either finds fit, or makes fit. Where he gives warrant, he gives wisdom.

Their own spirit — Not the spirit of God.

Seen nothing — God hath shewed them no vision.

Verse 4

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

Thy prophets — Thy prophets, not mine.

Like the foxes — Hungry, and ravening, crafty, and guileful.

In the deserts — Where want makes them more eager after their prey.

Verse 5

[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.

Ye — Vain prophets.

Gone up — As in a besieged city, whose wall is broken down, a valiant soldier would run up into the breach to repel the enemy; so true prophets partly by prayer, and partly by doctrine, labour to preserve God's people.

Hedge — The house of Israel is the Lord's vineyard, through the hedge whereof many breaches are made.

To stand — Not with arms, but with fasting, prayer, and repentance.

Verse 6

[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.

Vanity — Things that have no foundation.

Verse 9

[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.

Mine hand — My power striking them.

In the assembly — Have no seat among the rulers, nor voice among the counsellors.

Written — Not registered among those that return, Ezra 2:1,2.

Enter — They shall never come into the land of Israel. They shall not be written in the book of eternal life, which is written for the just ones of the house of Israel, saith the Chaldea paraphrast.

Verse 10

[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:

Peace — They told sinners, no harm would happen to them. And those are the most dangerous seducers, who suggest to sinners that which tends to lessen their dread of sin, or their fear of God. These are compared to men who build a slight tottering wall, which others daub with untempered mortar; sorry stuff, that will not bind, nor hold the bricks together: doctrines not grounded on the word of God.

Verse 14

[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.

Ye shall know — Those that deceived others, will in the end be found to have deceived themselves. And no doom will be more fearful, than that of unfaithful ministers.

Verse 15

[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;

Accomplish — Fulfil what my prophets foretold.

Verse 18

[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?

Sew pillows — A figurative speech, expressing the security, which they promised to every one that came to them.

Kerchiefs — Triumphal caps, which were made by these prophetesses, and put upon the head of every who one consulted them, and by these they were to interpret, as a promise of victory over the Babylonians.

Stature — That is, of every age, whether younger or elder, which usually is seen by their stature.

To hunt — All this is really spreading a net, as hunters do, to catch the prey.

Will ye save — Can you preserve them alive, whom you deceive by your promises?

Verse 19

[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?

Pollute me — Pretending my name for what I never spake.

My people — My own people.

Handfuls of barley — For a mean reward.

To slay — You denounce evil to the best, whom God wilt keep alive.

To save — Declaring safety, to the worst, whom God will destroy.

Verse 20

[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.

There — At Jerusalem.

Grow — You promise a flourishing, growing, state to all enquirers; and this is the net with which you hunt souls.

Tear them — With violence, and suddenness.

Verse 23

[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.

See no more vanity|-They shall see all their predictions vanish, which shall so confound them, that they shall pretend no more to visions.