|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
13:1-9 Where God gives a warrant to do any thing, he gives wisdom. What they delivered was not what they had seen or heard, as that is which the ministers of Christ deliver. They were not praying prophets, had no intercourse with Heaven; they contrived how to please people, not how to do them good; they stood not against sin. They flattered people into vain hopes. Such widen the breach, by causing men to think themselves deserving of eternal life, when the wrath of God abides upon them.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Thus saith the Lord God, woe unto the foolish prophets,.... The false prophets, as the Targum; who are foolish, as all are who are not sent of God, and furnished by him with wisdom and knowledge, and who prophesy out of their own hearts; for what else but folly can proceed from thence? this must be a great mortification to these prophets to be called foolish, when they reckoned themselves wise men, being vainly puffed up in their fleshly minds, and were accounted so by others; but what is wisdom with men is foolishness with God:
that follow their own spirit; or "walk after it" (c); and not the Spirit of God, who leads into all truth; they pretended to a spirit of prophecy, but it was their own spirit and the dictates of it they followed, and not the Spirit of the Lord; and therefore it is no wonder that they prophesied false things, and led the people wrong; as all such teachers do, who give way to their own fancies and imaginations, and forsake the word of God, and do not implore the assistance and teachings of the blessed Spirit:
and have seen nothing; no vision, as the Syriac version renders it; they pretended to have revelations of things future from the Lord, but they had none; what they saw were vain visions and lying divinations, and were as nothing, and worse than nothing; yea, they said what they never saw.
(c) "qui ambulant post spiritm suum": Pagninus, Calvin, Cocceius, Starckius.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
3. foolish—though vaunting as though exclusively possessing "wisdom" (1Co 1:19-21); the fear of God being the only beginning of wisdom (Ps 111:10).
their own spirit—instead of the Spirit of God. A threefold distinction lay between the false and the true prophets: (1) The source of their messages respectively; of the false, "their own hearts"; of the true, an object presented to the spiritual sense (named from the noblest of the senses, a seeing) by the Spirit of God as from without, not produced by their own natural powers of reflection. The word, the body of the thought, presented itself not audibly to the natural sense, but directly to the spirit of the prophet; and so the perception of it is properly called a seeing, he perceiving that which thereafter forms itself in his soul as the cover of the external word [Delitzsch]; hence the peculiar expression, "seeing the word of God" (Isa 2:1; 13:1; Am 1:1; Mic 1:1). (2) The point aimed at; the false "walking after their own spirit"; the true, after the Spirit of God. (3) The result; the false saw nothing, but spake as if they had seen; the true had a vision, not subjective, but objectively real [Fairbairn]. A refutation of those who set the inward word above the objective, and represent the Bible as flowing subjectively from the inner light of its writers, not from the revelation of the Holy Ghost from without. "They are impatient to get possession of the kernel without its fostering shell—they would have Christ without the Bible" [Bengel].
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