Ezekiel 13:1-14:23

The Lord is against false prophets

1 The Lord spoke to me.

2 ‘Son of man, prophesy against the prophets who are now speaking to Israel's people. Their prophecies are their own ideas. Say to them, “Listen to what the Lord says.” 3 This is what the Lord God says. You will not be happy, you fools. You have not seen anything. You are speaking your own words. 4 Israel's prophets are like wild dogs that live in broken houses. 5 They have not built up the broken walls for Israel's people. So they will not be strong when I send enemies to attack them. 6 These prophets describe false dreams and their words are not true. They say, “The Lord says.” But I have not sent them. The things that they tell the people will not happen. But they think that they will happen. 7 Their dreams are false. And they have said things that are not true. You know that they said, “The Lord says”. But I have not spoken to them.’

8 So this is what the Lord God says to them. ‘I am against you because of your words and dreams that are not true,’ says the Lord God.

9 ‘I will punish the prophets who see false dreams. I will punish those who say false things. They will not become leaders of my people. People will not remember them. They will not go into the country called Israel. Then you will know that I am the Lord God.’

10 They are leading my people away from me. They say that there will be peace. But there is no peace. They are like men who build a thin wall. And they paint it white. 11 You must speak to the men who painted the wall. Say that it will fall. I will send much rain and hail (rain like stones) and strong winds. 12 The wall will fall. And people will ask why the paint did not hold it up.

13 This, then, is what the Lord God says. ‘I am very angry. So I will send strong winds and hail (rain like stones). Hard rain will fall and it will destroy much. 14 I will break down the wall that you painted. The wall will fall flat. Then you will see the ground on which it was. When the wall falls it will kill you. And you will know that I am the Lord. 15 By this, I will show you that I am very angry. I will destroy the wall and those who painted it white. I will say to you, “The wall is gone. And so are those who painted it.”

16 I am speaking about the prophets of Israel. They promised that Jerusalem would have peace. But I will send no peace to Jerusalem,’ says the Lord God.

17 ‘Now, son of man, you must turn against the women prophets. They say to your people things that are not true. They tell them things that are their own ideas. You must prophesy against them. 18 Say, “This is what the Lord God says. I will punish those who tie special things on their arms. They think that these can make good things happen for them. They wear special cloths over their heads to give them power over people. They want to have power over other people so that they can save themselves. 19 You have taken away my honour so that you can get a little bread. You have said things that are not true. This is how you have caused people to die. But they should not have died. And you have caused people to stay alive who should not stay alive. You say what is not true to my people. And they believe you.” ’

20 Now this is what the Lord God says. ‘You catch people as you catch birds with your special cloths and things. But I will tear the special things from you. I will make everyone free from your power. 21 I will tear the cloths from your heads. And you will have no power over people. Then you will know that I am the Lord. 22 The false things that you said made the good people sad. But I did nothing to make them sad. And you did not try to make the bad people stop doing wrong things. You did not try to save their lives. 23 So you women will not see false dreams or have power over people. I will save my people from the things that you do. And then you will know that I am the Lord.’

Ezekiel 14

1 Some of the leaders of Israel came. They sat down in front of me. 2 Then the Lord spoke to me. 3 ‘Son of man,’ he said, ‘These men worship idols. They will not listen to me. I do not want them to ask me for anything. 4 You must speak to them. Say, “This is what the Lord God says. A man who worships idols may come to ask me something. And I will answer him. I will show him that his idols have no value. 5 I will do this so that Israel's people will turn back to me. Those who worship idols will again worship me.” ’

6 So you must speak to Israel's people. Say, ‘This is what the Lord God says. Be sorry about the bad things that you have done! You must not worship idols. Stop doing all the wrong things that you were doing.

7 An Israelite or a foreigner who lives in Israel may not want to be my servant. He may turn from me and worship idols. Then he may go to ask a prophet for help. I myself, the Lord, will answer him. 8 I will be against that man. I will make bad things happen to him. People will see what I have done. I will make him an example to them and they will push him away. He will no longer belong to my people. Then you will know that I am the Lord.

9 I can make a prophet give a false answer. He will give a false prophecy. But I have made him say it. 10 I will punish both the prophet and the person who asked him for a prophecy. 11 Then Israel's people will stay near to me. They will no longer be like a bad smell to me because they do so many bad things. They will be my people and I will be their God,’ says the Lord God.

12 The Lord spoke to me. 13 ‘Son of man, a country's people may not obey me. Then this is what I will do. I will not give its people any food if they turn away from me. The men and animals that live there will die because they do not have anything to eat. 14 I would only save men like Noah, Daniel and Job, if they lived there. They would save themselves because they did good things,’ says the Lord God.

15 ‘Or I might send wild animals to kill the people in that country. Nobody would be able to travel through it because of the animals. 16 I am surely alive,’ the Lord God says. ‘And I say what is true. Even if these three (3) men lived in that country, they could not save their own children. I would save only those three men.

17 Or I might bring men with swords to fight against that country. I would let them kill the men and their animals. 18 I am surely alive,’ says the Lord God. ‘And my promise is true. Even if these three (3) men lived there, they could not save their own children. I would save only those three men.

19 Or I might be angry and send illness into that country. It would kill the men and animals that lived there. 20 I am surely alive,’ says the Lord God. ‘And what I say is true. Even if Noah, Daniel and Job lived there, they could not save their sons or daughters. They would save only themselves because they had done good things.’

21 This is what the Lord God says. ‘Jerusalem's people will have a very bad time when they do not have any food to eat. And I will send soldiers and wild animals and illness to punish them. 22 But they will not all die. Some sons and daughters will remain alive. They will come to you. You will see that they stay alive. And then you will be happy. You will be happy that I sent all these things to punish Jerusalem's people. 23 Then you will know that I had a good reason to do these things,’ says the Lord God.