Ezekiel 13:7
Have ye not seen a vain vision, and have ye not spoken a lying divination, whereas ye say, The LORD saith it; albeit I have not spoken?
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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.And they have made others ... - Rather, "and they hope for the confirmation of their word." They come to believe their own lies. 6. made others to hope, &c.—rather, "they hoped" to confirm (that is, 'make good') their word, by the event corresponding to their prophecy. The Hebrew requires this [Havernick]. Also the parallel clause, "they have seen vanity," implies that they believed their own lie (2Th 2:11). Subjective revelation is false unless it rests on the objective. Consider with your own consciences; do they not tell you that all is vain pretence which you make? Can you think Jerusalem can escape, or the first captives be returned, and all this so soon? Is not this vain to be imagined, and they vainer that imagine and believe it? If it should come to pass, which it never shall, yet herein you are convicted liars; you say the Lord saith, whereas he hath said no such thing, nay, the contrary hath God spoken to what you speak, and the event shall be as contrary to your expectation, which is of good; but behold evil cometh out of the north, and great destruction.

Have ye not seen a vain vision,.... A vision only in pretence, and not in reality; the effect of their own fancy, and not anything shown them by the Lord:

and have ye not spoken a lying divination; delivered out a known lie, saying they had it from the Lord, when they had it not; or a prophecy that will deceive, and be without effect, and in the issue prove a falsehood:

whereas ye say, the Lord saith it; albeit I have not spoken? this is a proof that what they gave out for a vision and prophecy was a vain and false one; seeing they pretended they had it from the Lord, when he never spoke a word to them, or by them.

Have ye not seen a vain vision, and have ye not spoken a lying divination, though {d} ye say, The LORD saith it; although I have not spoken?

(d) You promised peace to this people and now you see their destruction, so that it is revealed that you are false prophets.

Ezekiel 13:7Against the False Prophets

Their conduct. - Ezekiel 13:1. And the word of Jehovah came to me, saying, Ezekiel 13:2. Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel who prophesy, and say to the prophets out of their heart, Hear ye the word of Jehovah. Ezekiel 13:3. Thus saith the Lord Jehovah, Woe upon the foolish prophets, who go after their spirit, and that which they have not seen! Ezekiel 13:4. Like foxes in ruins have thy prophets become, O Israel. Ezekiel 13:5. Ye do not stand before the breaches, nor wall up the wall around the house of Israel to stand firm in the battle on the day of Jehovah. Ezekiel 13:6. They see vanity and lying soothsaying, who say, "Oracle of Jehovah;" and Jehovah hath not sent them; so that they might hope for the fulfilment of the word. Ezekiel 13:7. Do ye not see vain visions, and speak lying soothsaying, and say, Oracle of Jehovah; and I have not spoken? - The addition הנּבּאים, "who prophesy," is not superfluous. Ezekiel is not to direct his words against the prophets as a body, but against those who follow the vocation of prophet in Israel without being called to it by God on receiving a divine revelation, but simply prophesying out of their own heart, or according to their own subjective imagination. In the name of the Lord he is to threaten them with woes, as fools who follow their own spirit; in connection with which we must bear in mind that folly, according to the Hebrew idea, was not merely a moral failing, but actual godlessness (cf. Psalm 14:1). The phrase "going after their spirit" is interpreted and rendered more emphatic by לבלתּי, which is to be taken as a relative clause, "that which they have not seen," i.e., whose prophesying does not rest upon intuition inspired by God. Consequently they cannot promote the welfare of the nation, but (Ezekiel 13:4) are like foxes in ruins or desolate places. The point of comparison is to be found in the undermining of the ground by foxes, qui per cuniculos subjectam terram excavant et suffodiunt (Bochart). For the thought it not exhausted by the circumstance that they withdraw to their holes instead of standing in front of the breach (Hitzig); and there is no force in the objection that, with this explanation, בּחרבות is passed over and becomes in fact tautological (Hvernick). The expression "in ruins" points to the fall of the theocracy, which the false prophets cannot prevent, but, on the contrary, accelerate by undermining the moral foundations of the state. For (Ezekiel 13:5) they do not stand in the breaches, and do not build up the wall around the house of Israel (לא belongs to both clauses). He who desires to keep off the enemy, and prevent his entering the fortress, will stand in the breach. For the same purpose are gaps and breaches in the fortifications carefully built up. The sins of the people had made gaps and breaches in the walls of Jerusalem; in other words, had caused the moral decay of the city. But they had not stood in the way of this decay and its causes, as the calling and duty of prophets demanded, by reproving the sins of the people, that they might rescue the people and kingdom from destruction by restoring its moral and religious life. לעמד בּמּלחמה, to stand, or keep ground, i.e., so that ye might have kept your ground in the war. The subject is the false prophets, not Israel, as Hvernick supposes. "In the day of Jehovah," i.e., in the judgment which Jehovah has decreed. Not to stand, does not mean merely to avert the threatening judgment, but not to survive the judgment itself, to be overthrown by it. This arises from the fact that their prophesying is a life; because Jehovah, whose name they have in their mouths, has not sent them (Ezekiel 13:6). ויחלוּ is dependent upon שׁלחם: God has not sent them, so that they could hope for the fulfilment of the word which they speak.The rendering adopted by others, "and they cause to hope," is untenable; for יחל with ל does not mean "to cause to hope," or give hope, but simply to hope for anything. This was really the case; and it is affirmed in the declaration, which is repeated in the form of a direct appeal in Ezekiel 13:7, to the effect that their visions were vain and lying soothsaying. For this they are threatened with the judgment described in the verses which follow.

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