Ezekiel 13:22
Because with lies you 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:
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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.To make them fly - If the marginal reading "into gardens" be adopted, it must mean, Ye entice men to the gardens or groves, where magical arts are practiced. That groves were used for this purpose and for idolatrous rites is notorious. 22. ye have made … the righteous sad—by lying predictions of calamities impending ever the godly.

strengthened … wicked—(Jer 23:14).

heart of … righteous … hands of … wicked—Heart is applied to the righteous because the terrors foretold penetrated to their inmost feelings; hands, to the wicked because they were so hardened as not only to despise God in their minds, but also to manifest it in their whole acts, as if avowedly waging war with Him.

With lies; diametrically opposing what my prophets told to my people in my name.

The heart; the soul, which in weak ones received some saddening impressions from your lies; in the strongest and wisest it was matter of grief, to see so many contradict the Lord to their own ruin.

The righteous; who keep my law, and have respect to all my precepts, though none can fulfil the law; the upright and just, against whom you do thunder out your woes; but I know better how to distribute my orders. I never commissioned, nor ever will commission, any prophet to sadden the heart of a just one, who needs and is fit for encouragement, or to threaten where they should promise.

By promising him life; your flatteries persuade the worst to think they are in a good way, need not repent and return, and so, their hearts hardened in wickedness, their hands do work it. God would convince and turn the wicked, but you confirm them that they return not from sin; you assure them, but it is with lying words, that they shall not die by pestilence, nor famine, nor sword, but live and prosper. Because with lies ye have made the heart of the righteous sad,.... By polluting the name of the Lord; by hunting and decoying souls into their destructive nets; and by threatening such who would not give heed to their superstitious rites, lying divinations, and false prophecies: so false teachers make the hearts of such sad, who, having seen the insufficiency of their own righteousness, trust in the righteousness of Christ, and are justified by it; by teaching such doctrines as depreciate the love and grace of God the Father; making his love dependent on the creature; his covenant conditional, and salvation to be by works, and not by grace; as detract from the person, offices, and grace of Christ; denying his deity and divine sonship; making light of his blood, and setting up man's righteousness against his: and such as are injurious to the Spirit's work; ascribing regeneration and conversion to man's free will; giving such marks and signs of grace as are not to be found in any, and representing it as what may be entirely lost:

whom I have not made sad; nor would he have them made sad by others; neither by false prophets and their lies, nor by any other means; neither by anything within them, nor anything without them; not by any or all of their spiritual enemies: he would have them comforted; the covenant of grace, and the promises of it, are made for such a purpose; the Scriptures are written for this use; ordinances are designed for this end; ministers are appointed for this work; and this is the office of the divine Spirit; and the Son of God himself was sent on this account:

and strengthened the hands of the wicked, that he should not return from his wicked way; by repentance and reformation; and so far were the wicked from returning from it in this way, that they were emboldened in sin, and hardened in it; and were more frequent and open in the commission of it; and that through the prophecies of these false prophetesses; as wicked men are by the doctrines of false teachers: and particularly

by promising him life; or that he should live long, and enjoy much peace and prosperity in the land of Israel, and not be carried captive into Babylon; and so false teachers harden men in sin, by giving them hopes of eternal life, though they continue in their evil ways; or upon the foot of universal redemption, and upon their repentance, as the fruit of their own free will; and therefore take their swing of sin, as believing that Christ died for all men, and so for them, and therefore shall be saved, live as they will; and that it is in their power to repent when they please, and therefore procrastinate it to the last.

Because with lies ye have made the heart of the {n} 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:

(n) By threatening them that were godly, and upholding the wicked.

22. heart of the righteous sad] Or, discourage the heart of the righteous—opposed to “strengthen the hands” of the wicked. The word rendered “made sad” or pained in the end of the clause might have been expected.

by promising him life] Rather: and be saved alive; lit. so as to save him alive. The agent is not expressed.Verse 22. - Because with lies, etc. What specially stirred Ezekiel's indignation was taut the false prophetesses saddened the hearts of the righteous (of those who looked to him and Jeremiah for guidance) with prophecies of evil and deluded the evil door by false hopes, so that he should not turn from his evil way and live. For by promising him life, read, with the LXX., Vulgate, and Luther and the Revised Version, that he should live, as he would do, if he turned from his wickedness (Ezekiel 3:21; Ezekiel 18:9, 17).

Punishment of the False Prophets

Ezekiel 13:8. Therefore thus saith the Lord Jehovah, Because ye speak vanity and prophesy lying, therefore, behold, I will deal with you, is the saying of the Lord Jehovah. Ezekiel 13:9. And my hand shall be against the prophets who see vanity and divine lies: in the council of my people they shall not be, and in the register of the house of Israel they shall not be registered, and into the land of Israel shall they not come; and ye shall learn that I am the Lord Jehovah. Ezekiel 13:10. Because, yea because they lead my people astray, and say, "Peace," though there is no peace; and when it (my people) build a wall, behold, they plaster it with cement: Ezekiel 13:11. Say to the plasterers, that it will fall: there cometh a pouring rain; and ye hailstones fall, and thou stormy wind break loose! Ezekiel 13:12. And, behold, the wall falleth; will men not say to you, Where is the plaster with which ye have plastered it? Ezekiel 13:13. Therefore thus saith the Lord Jehovah, I cause a stormy wind to break forth in my wrath, and a pouring rain will come in my anger, and hailstones in wrath, for destruction. Ezekiel 13:14. And I demolish the wall which ye have plastered, and cast it to the ground, that its foundation may be exposed, and it shall fall, and ye shall perish in the midst of it; and shall learn that I am Jehovah. Ezekiel 13:15. And I will exhaust my wrath upon the wall, and upon those who plaster it; and will say to you, It is all over with the wall, and all over with those who plastered it; Ezekiel 13:16. With the prophets of Israel who prophesied to Jerusalem, and saw visions of peace for her, though there is no peace, is the saying of the Lord Jehovah. - In Ezekiel 13:8 the punishment which is to fall upon the false prophets is threatened in general terms; and in Ezekiel 13:9 it is more specifically described in the form of a climax, rising higher and higher in the severity of its announcements. (1) They are no longer to form part of the council of the people of God; that is to say, they will lose their influential position among the people. (סוד is the sphere of counsellors, not the social sphere.) (2) Their names shall not be registered in the book of the house of Israel. The book of the house of Israel is the register in which the citizens of the kingdom of God are entered. Any one whose name was not admitted into this book, or was struck out of it, was separated thereby from the citizenship of Israel, and lost all the privileges which citizenship conferred. The figure of the book of life is a similar one (cf. Exodus 32:32). For Israel is not referred to here with regard to its outward nationality, but as the people of God; so that exclusion from Israel was also exclusion from fellowship with God. The circumstance that it is not the erasure of their names from the book that is mentioned here, but their not being entered in the book at all, may be accounted for from the reference contained in the words to the founding of the new kingdom of God. The old theocracy was abolished, although Jerusalem was not yet destroyed. The covenant nation had fallen under the judgment; but out of that portion of Israel which was dispersed among the heathen, a remnant would be gathered together again, and having been brought back to its own land, would be made anew into a holy people of God (cf. Ezekiel 11:17.). But the false prophets are not to be received into the citizenship of the new kingdom. (3) They are not even to come into the land of Israel; i.e., they are not merely to remain in exile, but to lose all share in the privileges and blessings of the kingdom of God. This judgment will come upon them because they lead astray the people of God, by proclaiming peace where there is no peace; i.e., by raising and cherishing false hopes of prosperity and peace, by which they encourage the people in their sinful lives, and lead them to imagine that all is well, and there is no judgment to be feared (cf. Jeremiah 23:17 and Micah 3:5). The exposure of this offence is introduced by the solemn יען וּביען, because and because (cf. Leviticus 26:43); and the offence itself is exhibited by means of a figure.

When the people build a wall, the false prophets plaster the wall with lime. והוּא (Ezekiel 13:10) refers to עמּי, and the clause is a circumstantial one. תּפל signifies the plaster coating or cement of a wall, probably from the primary meaning of תּפל, to stick or plaster over ( equals טפל, conglutinare, to glue, or fasten together), from which the secondary meaning of weak, insipid, has sprung. The proper word for plaster or cement is טיח (Ezekiel 13:12), and תּפל is probably chosen with an allusion to the tropical signification of that which is silly or absurd (Jeremiah 23:13; Lamentations 2:14). The meaning of the figure is intelligible enough. The people build up foolish hopes, and the prophets not only paint these hopes for them in splendid colours, but even predict their fulfilment, instead of denouncing their folly, pointing out to the people the perversity of their ways, and showing them that such sinful conduct must inevitably be followed by punishment and ruin. The plastering is therefore a figurative description of deceitful flattery or hypocrisy, i.e., the covering up of inward corruption by means of outward appearance (as in Matthew 23:27 and Acts 23:3). This figure leads the prophet to describe the judgment which they are bringing upon the nation and themselves, as a tempest accompanied with hail and pouring rain, which throws down the wall that has been erected and plastered over; and in connection with this figure he opens out this double thought: (1) the conduct of the people, which is encouraged by the false prophets, cannot last (Ezekiel 13:11 and Ezekiel 13:12); and (2) when this work of theirs is overthrown, the false prophets themselves will also meet with the fate they deserve (Ezekiel 13:13-16). The threat of judgment commences with the short, energetic ויפּל, let it (the wall) fall, or it shall fall, with Vav to indicate the train of thought (Ewald, 347a). The subject is תּפל, to which יפּל suggests a resemblance in sound. In Ezekiel 13:12 this is predicted as the fate awaiting the plastered wall. In the description of the bursting storm the account passes with ואתּנה (and ye) into a direct address; in other words, the description assumes the form of an appeal to the destructive forces of nature to burst forth with all their violence against the work plastered over by the prophets, and to destroy it. גּשׁם שׁוטף ., pouring rain; cf. Ezekiel 38:22. אבני אלגּבישׁ here and Ezekiel 38:22 are hailstones. The word אלגּבישׁ, which is peculiar to Ezekiel, is probably גּבישׁ (Job 28:18), with the Arabic article אל; ice, then crystal. רוּח , wind of storms, a hurricane or tempest. תּבקּע (Ezekiel 13:11) is used intransitively, to break loose; but in Ezekiel 13:13 it is transitive, to cause to break loose. The active rendering adopted by Kliefoth, "the storm will rend," sc. the plaster of the wall, is inappropriate in Ezekiel 13:11; for a tempest does not rend either the plaster or the wall, but throws the wall down. The translation which Kliefoth gives in Ezekiel 13:13, "I will rend by tempest," is at variance with both the language and the sense. Jehovah will cause this tempest to burst forth in His wrath and destroy the wall, and lay it level with the ground. The suffix in בּתוכהּ refers (ad sensum) to Jerusalem not to קיר (the wall), which is masculine, and has no תּוך (midst). The words pass from the figure to the reality here; for the plastered wall is a symbol of Jerusalem, as the centre of the theocracy, which is to be destroyed, and to bury the lying prophets in its ruins. וכלּיתי (Ezekiel 13:15) contains a play upon the word לכלה in Ezekiel 13:13. By a new turn given to klh כלה, Ezekiel repeats the thought that the wrath of God is to destroy the wall and its plasterers; and through this repetition he rounds off the threat with the express declaration, that the false prophets who are ever preaching peace are the plasterers to whom he refers.

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