The Lord Punishes Those Who Pretend to Be True Prophets
1A message from the Lord came to me. The Lord said, 2“Son of man, prophesy against those who are now prophesying in Israel. What they prophesy comes out of their own minds. Tell them, ‘Listen to the Lord’s message! 3The Lord and King says, “How terrible it will be for you foolish prophets! You say what your own minds tell you to. Your visions do not come from me. 4Israel, your prophets are like wild dogs that live among broken-down buildings. 5You have not repaired the cracks in the city wall for the people of Israel. So it will not stand firm in the battle on the day I judge you. 6The visions of those prophets are false. They use magic to try to find out what is going to happen. But their magic tricks are lies. They say, ‘The Lord announces.’ But I have not sent them. In spite of that, they expect him to make their words come true. 7You prophets have seen false visions. You have used magic to try to find out what is going to happen. But your magic tricks are lies. So you lied when you said, ‘The Lord announces.’ I did not even speak to you at all.”
8“ ‘The Lord and King says, “I am against you prophets. Your messages are false. Your visions do not come true,” announces the Lord and King. 9“Israel, my power will be against the prophets who see false visions. Their magic tricks are lies. They will not be among the leaders of my people. They will not be listed in the records of Israel. In fact, they will not even enter the land. Then you will know that I am the Lord and King.
10“ ‘ “They lead my people away from me. They say, ‘Peace.’ But there isn’t any peace. They are like people who build a weak wall. They try to cover up the weakness by painting the wall white. 11Tell those who do this that their wall is going to fall. Heavy rains will come. I will send hailstones crashing down. Powerful winds will blow. 12The wall will fall down. Then people will ask them, ‘Now where is the paint you covered it with?’ ”
13“ ‘So the Lord and King speaks. He says, “When I am very angry, I will send a powerful wind. Hailstones and heavy rains will come. They will fall with great force. 14I will tear down the wall you prophets painted over. I will knock it down. The only thing left will be its foundation. When it falls, you will be destroyed along with it. Then you will know that I am the Lord. 15So I will pour out all my great anger on the wall. I will also send it against you prophets who painted it. I will say to you, ‘The wall is gone. You who painted it will be gone too. 16You prophets of Israel prophesied to Jerusalem. You saw visions of peace for its people. But there wasn’t any peace,’ announces the Lord and King.” ’
17“Son of man, turn your attention to the daughters of your people. What they prophesy comes out of their own minds. So prophesy against them. 18Tell them, ‘Here is what the Lord and King says. “How terrible it will be for you women who sew magic charms to put around your wrists! You make veils of different lengths to put on your heads. You do these things to trap people. You trap my people. But you will also be trapped. 19You have treated me as if I were not holy. You did it among my very own people. You did it for a few handfuls of barley and scraps of bread. You told lies to my people. They like to listen to lies. You killed those who should have lived. And you spared those who should have died.”
20“ ‘So the Lord and King says, “I am against your magic charms. You use them to trap people as if they were birds. I will tear them off your arms. I will set free the people you trap like birds. 21I will tear your veils off your heads. I will save my people from your power. They will no longer be under your control. Then you will know that I am the Lord. 22I had not made godly people sad. But when you told them lies, you made them lose all hope. You advised sinful people not to turn from their evil ways. You did not want them to save their lives. 23So you will never see false visions again. You will not use your magic tricks anymore. I will save my people from your power. Then you will know that I am the Lord.” ’ ”