Ezekiel 13:18
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New International Version
and say, 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Woe to the women who sew magic charms on all their wrists and make veils of various lengths for their heads in order to ensnare people. Will you ensnare the lives of my people but preserve your own?

New Living Translation
This is what the Sovereign LORD says: What sorrow awaits you women who are ensnaring the souls of my people, young and old alike. You tie magic charms on their wrists and furnish them with magic veils. Do you think you can trap others without bringing destruction on yourselves?

English Standard Version
and say, Thus says the Lord GOD: Woe to the women who sew magic bands upon all wrists, and make veils for the heads of persons of every stature, in the hunt for souls! Will you hunt down souls belonging to my people and keep your own souls alive?

New American Standard Bible
and say, 'Thus says the Lord GOD, "Woe to the women who sew magic bands on all wrists and make veils for the heads of persons of every stature to hunt down lives! Will you hunt down the lives of My people, but preserve the lives of others for yourselves?

King James Bible
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?

Holman Christian Standard Bible
and say: This is what the Lord GOD says: Woe to the women who sew magic bands on the wrist of every hand and who make veils for the heads of people of every height in order to ensnare lives. Will you ensnare the lives of My people but preserve your own?

International Standard Version
Tell them, 'This is what the Lord GOD says, "How terrible it will be for those women who sew magical bracelets on all their wrists and make one-size-fits all headbands, in order to entrap their souls. Will you hunt for the souls of my people and remain alive?

NET Bible
and say 'This is what the sovereign LORD says: Woe to those who sew bands on all their wrists and make headbands for heads of every size to entrap people's lives! Will you entrap my people's lives, yet preserve your own lives?

New Heart English Bible
and say, 'Thus says the Lord GOD: "Woe to the women who sew pillows on all elbows, and make kerchiefs for the head of persons of every stature to hunt souls. Will you hunt the souls of my people, and save souls alive for yourselves?

GOD'S WORD® Translation
"Tell them, 'This is what the Almighty LORD says: How horrible it will be for women who sew magic charms for people's wrists and make magic veils of every size for people's heads. You want to trap people. You want to control the lives of my people for your own profit.

JPS Tanakh 1917
and say: Thus saith the Lord GOD: Woe to the women that sew cushions upon all elbows, and make pads for the head of persons of every stature to hunt souls! Will ye hunt the souls of My people, and save souls alive for yourselves?

New American Standard 1977
and say, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD, “Woe to the women who sew magic bands on all wrists, and make veils for the heads of persons of every stature to hunt down lives! Will you hunt down the lives of My people, but preserve the lives of others for yourselves?

Jubilee Bible 2000
And say, Thus hath the Lord GOD said; Woe to the women that sew pillows to all armholes and make kerchiefs upon the head of every stature to hunt souls! Must ye hunt the souls of my people to maintain thus your own life?

King James 2000 Bible
And say, Thus says the Lord GOD; Woe to the women that sew charms upon all wrists, and make veils for the heads, of every length, to hunt souls! Will you hunt the souls of my people, and will you save the souls alive that belong to you?

American King James Version
And say, Thus said the Lord GOD; Woe to the women that sew pillows to all armholes, and make kerchiefs on the head of every stature to hunt souls! Will you hunt the souls of my people, and will you save the souls alive that come to you?

American Standard Version
and say, Thus saith the Lord Jehovah: Woe to the women that sew pillows upon all elbows, and make kerchiefs for the head of persons of every stature to hunt souls! Will ye hunt the souls of my people, and save souls alive for yourselves?

Douay-Rheims Bible
And say: Thus saith the Lord God: Woe to them that sew cushions under every elbow: and make pillows for the heads of persons of every age to catch souls: and when they caught the souls of my people, they gave life to their souls.

Darby Bible Translation
and say, Thus saith the Lord Jehovah: Woe unto the women that sew pillows for all wrists, and that make veils for the head [of persons] of every stature to catch souls! Will ye catch the souls of my people, and will ye save your own souls alive?

English Revised Version
and say, Thus saith the Lord GOD: Woe to the women that sew pillows upon all elbows, and make kerchiefs for the head of persons of every stature to hunt souls! will ye hunt the souls of my people, and save souls alive for yourselves?

Webster's Bible Translation
And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Woe to the women that sew pillows to all arm-holes, 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 to you?

World English Bible
and say, Thus says the Lord Yahweh: Woe to the women who sew pillows on all elbows, and make kerchiefs for the head of [persons of] every stature to hunt souls! Will you hunt the souls of my people, and save souls alive for yourselves?

Young's Literal Translation
And thou hast said: Thus said the Lord Jehovah: Woe to those sowing pillows for all joints of the arm, And to those making the kerchiefs For the head of every stature -- to hunt souls, The souls do ye hunt of My people? And the souls ye have do ye keep alive?
Study Bible
False Women Prophets
17"Now you, son of man, set your face against the daughters of your people who are prophesying from their own inspiration. Prophesy against them 18and say, 'Thus says the Lord GOD, "Woe to the women who sew magic bands on all wrists and make veils for the heads of persons of every stature to hunt down lives! Will you hunt down the lives of My people, but preserve the lives of others for yourselves? 19"For handfuls of barley and fragments of bread, you have profaned Me to My people to put to death some who should not die and to keep others alive who should not live, by your lying to My people who listen to lies."'"…
Cross References
2 Peter 2:14
Their eyes are full of adultery; their desire for sin is never satisfied; they seduce the unstable. They are accursed children with hearts trained in greed.

Proverbs 6:26
For on account of a harlot one is reduced to a loaf of bread, And an adulteress hunts for the precious life.

Ezekiel 13:21
"I will also tear off your veils and deliver My people from your hands, and they will no longer be in your hands to be hunted; and you will know that I am the LORD.
Treasury of Scripture

And say, Thus said the Lord GOD; Woe to the women that sew pillows to all armholes, and make kerchiefs on the head of every stature to hunt souls! Will you hunt the souls of my people, and will you save the souls alive that come to you?

Woe

Ezekiel 13:3 Thus said the Lord GOD; Woe to the foolish prophets, that follow …

that sew. Rather,`that fasten cushions;' by which they intimated that they might indulge and repose themselves in security, for no enemy would disturb them. The apartments of the easterns are well supplied with cushions, on which they sit, lean, rest their heads, and prop up their arms.

Ezekiel 13:10,16 Because, even because they have seduced my people, saying, Peace; …

Jeremiah 4:10 Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! surely you have greatly deceived this …

Jeremiah 6:14 They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, …

2 Timothy 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; …

armholes. or, elbows
hunt souls

Ezekiel 22:25 There is a conspiracy of her prophets in the middle thereof, like …

Ephesians 4:14 That we from now on be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried …

2 Peter 2:14 Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling …

will ye save

Ezekiel 13:22 Because with lies you have made the heart of the righteous sad, whom …

(18) Souls.--This word is used in the Old Testament in a variety of significations. Here and in the following verses it is nearly equivalent to persons.

Verse 18. - Woe to the women who sew pillows, etc. Ezekiel's minute description, though it is from a different standpoint, reminds us of that in Isaiah 3:18-26. In both cases there are the difficulties inseparable from the fact that he had seen what he describes, and that we have not; and that he uses words which were familiar enough then, but are now found nowhere else. so that (as in the case of the ἐξουσία of 1 Corinthians 11:10) we have to guess their meaning. The picture which he draws of a false prophetess is obviously taken from the life, and the dress, we can scarcely doubt, was one that belonged to her calling. The word for "sew" meets us in Genesis 3:7; Job 16:15; Ecclesiastes 3:7; and the English is an adequate rendering. For the word rendered "pillows," the LXX. gives προσκεφάλαια, the Vulgate pulvilli (equivalent to "cushions"). The word here obviously denotes an article of dress, something fastened to the arms. For arm-holes read joints of the two hoods, which may mean either knuckles, wrists, or (as in the Revised Version) elbows. Possibly these may have been, like the phylacteries of Matthew 23:5, cases containing charms or incantations, and used as amulets. Something analogous to, if not identical with, these ornaments, is found in the "seeress wreaths," and "divining garments" of Cassandra (AEsch., 'Agamemnon,' 1237-1242), and in the "garlands" or "fillets" of the Pythian priestess in AEsch., 'Eumeu.,' 39. By some writers (Havernick) the word has been taken, as, perhaps, in the Authorized Version, for "pillows" in the larger sense, either literally as used in wanton luxury, like the "tapestry" of Proverbs 7:16, or figuratively, like the "wall" of the preceding section, for counsels that lulled the conscience into the slumber of a false security. Strangely enough, the Hebrew noun rendered "arm-holes" has the pronominal suffix "my arms," or "my hands." Keil accepts this rendering, and explains it as meaning that the prophetesses sought to "bind the arms," i.e. to restrain the power of Jehovah. On the whole, it is safer to follow Ewald and Hitzig, as I have done above. Make kerchiefs upon the head of every stature. The word for "kerchiefs" is again unique, but is, perhaps, a variant of the word in Isaiah 3:22, and rendered "wimples" in the Authorized Version. There is a fair consensus of interpretations that it means, as "kerchief" means, some covering for the head, a veil that hangs down over it, like the Spanish mantilla. Its use is, perhaps, explained by the words that follow, which suggest that the veils were not worn by the prophetesses themselves, but by those who came to consult them. The former had, as it were, a whole wardrobe of such veils adapted to persons of various heights, so that in all cases it shrouded their whole form. We may, perhaps, read between the lines the thought that their utterances, like their veils, were adapted to suit every age and every taste. Analogous usages present themselves in the tallith of later Judaism, and the veil worn by the Roman augurs. Ezekiel paints, we may believe, what he had seen. And in those veils he had seen a net cast over the victims of the false prophetesses, a snare from which they could not escape. Will ye hunt, etc.? The question (that form is preferable to the affirmative of the margin of the Revised Version) is one of burning indignation. Omitting the words, "that come" (which have nothing in the Hebrew corresponding to them), the second clause will run, "Will ye make your own souls live?" and the question is explained by what follows. The prophetesses were living upon the credulity of the victims over whom they cast their nets. And say, thus saith the Lord God, woe to the women that sew pillows to all armholes,.... Or, "put pillows to all elbows" (l); thereby signifying that they might be at ease, and rest secure, and look upon themselves as in the utmost safety, and not fear any enemy, the invasion of the Chaldeans; or that their city would be destroyed, and they carried captive, as the prophets of the Lord had foretold:

and make kerchiefs upon the head of every stature; whether taller or lower; the word stature, according to Kimchi, is used, because the people stood when they inquired of these prophetesses whether they should have peace or not, or good or evil should befall them: or, "of every age", as the Septuagint version; young or old; they put these kerchiefs, or "veils" (m), as some render the word, upon all sorts of persons (for they refused none that came to them they could get any thing by), upon their heads, either as a token of victory and triumph, signifying that they should have the better of their enemies, and rejoice over them; or to make them proud, and suggest to them that they should never be stripped of their ornaments; or else, as the former sign shows that they lulled them asleep upon pillows, and led them on in a carnal security, so they kept them in blindness and ignorance: and this they did,

to hunt souls; to bring them into their nets and snares; to catch them with their false prophecies, and deceive them by their fallacious signs, and superstitious rites and ceremonies, and so ruin and destroy them (n);

will ye hunt the souls of my people; that cleave to me, and regard my prophets; will ye endeavour to ensnare those, and seek to destroy their peace and comfort, and even their souls? ye shall not be able to do it:

and will ye save the souls alive that come unto you? and inquire of you how things will be, and listen to your lying divinations; can you save them from the ruin and destruction that is coming upon them? no, you will not be able to do it; and what wickedness is it in you to attempt the one or the other? The Targum is,

"the souls of my people can ye destroy or quicken? your souls, which are yours, can you quicken?''

the sense is they could neither do the one nor the other; and yet such was their iniquity, that they sought to do both.

(l) "applicantibus, sive accommodantibus", Gataker; "conjungentibus, vel adunantibus", Gussetius, Ebr. Comment. p. 947. "pulvillos super omnes cubitos manus", Calvin; "pro omnibus cubitis manuum", Piscator. (m) "Velamina", Polanus. So Kimchi and Ben Melech. (n) Gussetius thinks that by the words rendered "pillows" and "kerchiefs" are meant "nets", with which they covered their heads and arms; for, otherwise, what connection is there between the above things and hunting? Ebr. Comment. p. 395, 565. 18. sew pillows to … armholes—rather, elbows and wrists, for which the false prophetesses made cushions to lean on, as a symbolical act, typifying the perfect tranquility which they foretold to those consulting them. Perhaps they made their dupes rest on these cushions in a fancied state of ecstasy after they had made them at first stand (whence the expression, "every stature," is used for "men of every age"). As the men are said to have built a wall (Eze 13:10), so the women are said to sew pillows, etc., both alike typifying the "peace" they promised the impenitent.

make kerchiefs—magical veils, which they put over the heads of those consulting them, as if to fit them for receiving a response, that they might be rapt in spiritual trance above the world.

head of every stature—"men of every age," old and young, great and small, if only these had pay to offer them.

hunt souls—eagerly trying to allure them to the love of yourselves (Pr 6:26; 2Pe 2:14), so as unwarily to become your prey.

will ye save … souls … that come unto you—Will ye haul after souls, and when they are yours ("come unto you"), will ye promise them life? "Save" is explained (Eze 13:22), "promising life" [Grotius]. Calvin explains, "Will ye hunt My people's souls and yet will ye save your own souls"; I, the Lord God, will not allow it. But "save" is used (Eze 13:19) of the false prophetesses promising life to the impenitent, so that English Version and Grotius explain it best.13:17-23 It is ill with those who had rather hear pleasing lies than unpleasing truths. The false prophetesses tried to make people secure, signified by laying them at ease, and to make them proud, signified by the finery laid on their heads. They shall be confounded in their attempts, and God's people shall be delivered out of their hands. It behoves Christians to keep close to the word of God, and in every thing to seek the teaching of the Holy Spirit. Let us so trust the promises of God as to keep his commandments.
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OT Prophets: Ezekiel 13:18 And say Thus says the Lord Yahweh: (Ezek. Eze Ezk) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools
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