False Prophets Condemned
13 1 And the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 2 Son of man, be a prophet against the prophets of Israel, and say to those prophets whose words are the invention of their hearts, Give ear to the word of the Lord; 3 This is what the Lord has said: A curse on the foolish prophets who go after the spirit which is in them and have seen nothing! 4 O Israel, your prophets have been like jackals in the waste places. 5 You have not gone up into the broken places or made up the wall for the children of Israel to take your place in the fight in the day of the Lord. 6 They have seen visions without substance and made use of secret arts, who say, The Lord has said; and the Lord has not sent them: hoping that the word would have effect. 7 Have you not seen a vision without substance and have you not falsely made use of secret arts, when you say, The Lord has said; though I have said nothing? 8 So this is what the Lord has said: Because your words are without substance and your visions are false, see, I am against you, says the Lord. 9 And my hand will be against the prophets who see visions without substance and who make false use of secret arts: they will not be in the secret of my people, and they will not be recorded in the list of the children of Israel, and they will not come into the land of Israel; and it will be clear to you that I am the Lord.
10 Because, even because they have been guiding my people into error, saying, Peace; when there is no peace; and in the building of a division wall they put whitewash on it: 11 Say to those who put whitewash on it, There will be an overflowing shower; and you, O ice-drops, will come raining down; and it will be broken in two by the storm-wind. 12 And when the wall has come down, will they not say to you, Where is the whitewash which you put on it? 13 For this reason, the Lord has said: I will have it broken in two by a storm-wind in my passion; and there will be an overflowing shower in my wrath, and you, O ice-drops, will come raining angrily down. 14 So I will let the wall, which you were covering with whitewash, be broken down; I will have it levelled to the earth so that its base is uncovered: it will come down, and destruction will come on you with it; and it will be clear to you that I am the Lord. 15 So I will let loose my passion on the wall in full measure, and on those who put whitewash on it; and I will say to you, Where is the wall, and where are those who put whitewash on it? 16 Even the prophets of Israel who say words to Jerusalem, who see visions of peace for her when there is no peace, says the Lord.
17 And you, son of man, let your face be turned against the daughters of your people, who are acting the part of prophets at their pleasure; be a prophet against them, and say, 18 This is what the Lord has said: A curse is on the women who are stitching bands on all arms and putting veils on the heads of those of every size, so that they may go after souls! Will you go after the souls of my people and keep yourselves safe from death? 19 And you have put me to shame among my people for a little barley and some bits of bread, sending death on souls for whom there is no cause of death, and keeping those souls living who have no right to life, by the false words you say to my people who give ear to what is false. 20 For this cause the Lord has said: See, I am against your bands with which you go after souls, and I will violently take them off their arms; and I will let loose the souls, even the souls whom you go after freely. 21 And I will have your veils violently parted in two, and will make my people free from your hands, and they will no longer be in your power for you to go after them; and you will be certain that I am the Lord. 22 Because with your false words you have given pain to the heart of the upright man when I had not made him sad; in order to make strong the hands of the evil-doer so that he may not be turned from his evil way and get life: 23 For this cause you will see no more foolish visions or make false use of secret arts: and I will make my people free from your power; and you will be certain that I am the Lord.
Judgment on Idolaters Who Consult a Prophet
14 1 Then certain of the responsible men of Israel came to me and took their seats before me. 2 And the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 3 Son of man, these men have taken their false gods into their hearts and put before their faces the sin which is the cause of their fall: am I to give ear when they come to me for directions? 4 For this cause say to them, These are the words of the Lord: Every man of Israel who has taken his false god into his heart, and put before his face the sin which is the cause of his fall, and comes to the prophet; I the Lord will give him an answer by myself in agreement with the number of his false gods; 5 So as to take the children of Israel in the thoughts of their hearts, because they have become strange to me through their false gods. 6 For this cause say to the children of Israel, These are the words of the Lord: Come back and give up your false gods and let your faces be turned from your disgusting things. 7 When any one of the men of Israel, or of those from other lands who are living in Israel, who has become strange to me, and takes his false gods into his heart, and puts before his face the sin which is the cause of his fall, comes to the prophet to get directions from me; I the Lord will give him an answer by myself: 8 And my face will be turned against that man, and I will make him a sign and a common saying, cutting him off from among my people; and you will be certain that I am the Lord. 9 And if the prophet, tricked by deceit, says anything, it is I the Lord by whom he has been tricked, and I will put out my hand against him, and he will be cut off from among my people Israel. 10 And the punishment of their sin will be on them: the sin of the prophet will be the same as the sin of him who goes to him for directions; 11 So that the children of Israel may no longer go wandering away from me, or make themselves unclean with all their wrongdoing; but they will be my people, and I will be their God, says the Lord.
The Justice of God's Punishment of Jerusalem
12 And the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 13 Son of man, when a land, sinning against me, does wrong, and my hand is stretched out against it, and the support of its bread is broken, and I make it short of food, cutting off man and beast from it: 14 Even if these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, only themselves would they keep safe by their righteousness, says the Lord. 15 Or if I send evil beasts through the land causing destruction and making it waste, so that no man may go through because of the beasts: 16 Even if these three men were in it, by my life, says the Lord, they would not keep safe their sons or daughters, but only themselves, and the land would be made waste. 17 Or if I send a sword against that land, and say, Sword, go through the land, cutting off from it man and beast: 18 Even if these three men were in it, by my life, says the Lord, they would not keep safe their sons or daughters, but only themselves. 19 Or if I send disease into that land, letting loose my wrath on it in blood, cutting off from it man and beast: 20 Even if Noah, Daniel, and Job were in it, by my life, says the Lord, they would not keep son or daughter safe; only themselves would they keep safe through their righteousness. 21 For this is what the Lord has said: How much more when I send my four bitter punishments on Jerusalem, the sword and need of food and evil beasts and disease, cutting off from it man and beast? 22 But truly, there will still be a small band who will be safe, even sons and daughters: and they will come out to you, and you will see their ways and their doings: and you will be comforted about the evil which I have sent on Jerusalem, even about everything I have sent on it. 23 They will give you comfort when you see their ways and their doings: and you will be certain that not for nothing have I done all the things I have done in it, says the Lord.
Jerusalem like a Useless Vine
15 1 And the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 2 Son of man, what is the vine-tree more than any branching tree which is among the trees of the woods? 3 Will its wood be used for any work? do men make of it a pin for hanging any vessel on? 4 See, it is put into the fire for burning: the fire has made a meal of its two ends and the middle part of it is burned; is it good for any work? 5 Truly, before it was cut down, it was not used for any purpose: how much less, when the fire has made a meal of it and it is burned, will it be made into anything? 6 For this cause the Lord has said: Like the vine-tree among the trees of the woods which I have given to the fire for burning, so will I give the people of Jerusalem. 7 And my face will be turned against them; and though they have come out of the fire they will be burned up by it; and it will be clear to you that I am the Lord when my face is turned against them. 8 And I will make the land a waste because they have done evil, says the Lord.