The false female prophets (Ezek 13:17-13:17)

“‘You!

Son of man!

Set your face

Against the daughters

Of your people,

Who prophesy

Out of their own imagination!

Prophesy against them!”

Yahweh told Ezekiel, the son of man, to prophesize against the Israelite women prophetesses who were prophesying out of their own imagination. Thus this was not only against the false male prophets, but also against the false female prophets or prophetesses.

The cry of Ezekiel at the death of Pelatiah (Ezek 11:13-11:13)

“Now

While I was prophesying,

Pelatiah,

The son of Benaiah,

Died.

Then I fell down

On my face.

I cried

With a loud voice.

I said.

‘O Lord God!

Will you make

A full end

Of the remnant of Israel?’”

There is a strange cry of Ezekiel about the death of Pelatiah, the son of Benaiah, who was one of the wicked ones mentioned earlier in this chapter. He died while Ezekiel was prophesying. It is not clear why Ezekiel was so upset. Nevertheless, Ezekiel fell down with his face to the ground and cried out loudly. He wanted to know if this was the end of the remnant of Israel. Would no one be left in Israel?

King Zedekiah and the prophecy of Jeremiah (Jer 32:3-32:5)

“King Zedekiah said.

‘Why do you prophesy?

Why do you say this?

Thus says Yahweh.

I am going to

Give this city

Into the hand

Of the king

Of Babylon,

He shall take it. King Zedekiah

Of Judah

Shall not escape

Out of the hand

Of the Chaldeans.

But he shall surely

Be given

Into the hands

Of the king

Of Babylon.

He shall speak

With him

Face to face.

He shall see him

Eye to eye. He shall take King Zedekiah

To Babylon.

There he shall remain

Until I attend to him.

Though you fight

Against the Chaldeans,

You shall not succeed

Says Yahweh.’”

King Zedekiah was upset at Jeremiah. He wanted to know why he was prophesying that Yahweh had told him that the Babylonians and Chaldeans would be successful. Why did he say that the city of Jerusalem would fall. That was a morale killer. Jeremiah prophesized that King Zedekiah would be captured and sent off to exile in Babylon. The king would get to see King Nebuchadnezzar face to face and eye to eye, since he was not going to be successful, despite the help from the Egyptians.

The death of the false prophets (Jer 29:21-29:23)

“Thus says Yahweh of hosts,

The God of Israel,

Concerning Ahab,

The son of Kolaiah,

As well as Zedekiah,

The son of Maaseiah.

‘They were prophesying a lie

To you in my name.

I am going to deliver them

Into the hand

Of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon.

He shall kill them

Before your eyes.

On account of them,

This curse shall be used

By all the exiles from Judah

In Babylon.

‘Yahweh makes you

Like Zedekiah,

Like Ahab,

Whom the king of Babylon

Roasted in the fire.’

Because they have

Perpetuated outrage

In Israel.

They have committed adultery

With their neighbors’ wives.

They have spoken in my name

Lying words

That I did not command them.

I am the one who knows.

I bear witness.

Says Yahweh.’”

Yahweh talked about two prophets whom King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon roasted in a fire. These two prophets were Ahab, the son of Kolaiah, and Zedekiah, the son of Maaseiah. There was a king of northern Israel in the 9th century (874-853 BCE) named King Ahab with his wife Jezebel, who had confrontations with the prophet Elijah, as found in 1 Kings, chapters 16-22. However, this Ahab is only mentioned here. Zedekiah has the same name as the current king of Judah. His father Maaseiah was also the father of the priest Zephaniah, mentioned in chapter 21. This Zedekiah is not mentioned elsewhere either. These two prophets were prophesying lies that Yahweh had not commanded, so that they deserved to be killed by the king of Babylon. We do not know exactly what lies they were telling, but they also were adulterers. They may have tried to rebel against the king. Thus their names would be a curse.

Do not listen to false predictions (Jer 27:9-27:11)

“‘Therefore

You must not listen

To your prophets,

To your diviners,

To your dreamers,

To your soothsayers,

To your sorcerers.

If they are saying to you.

‘You shall not serve

The king of Babylon.’

They are prophesying

A lie to you.

The result will be

That you will be removed

Far from your land.

I will drive you out.

You will perish. But any nation

That will bring its neck

Under the yoke

Of the king of Babylon,

Thus serve him,

I will leave on its own land.

They will till it.

They will live there.’

Says Yahweh.”

Jeremiah has an oracle of Yahweh about the false prophets who are telling the people not to obey the king of Babylon. Whether it is a prophet, a diviner, a dreamer, a soothsayer, or a sorcerer, who tell them not to serve the king of Babylon, they are prophesying lies. If they listened to these liars, Yahweh was going to drive them out of their land, so that they would perish. However, if any country was to put on the yoke of Babylon and serve its king, Yahweh was going to let them stay on their own land, live there, and till the soil. There is no doubt that Yahweh was on the side of the King of Babylon, as presented here.

 

The death of the prophet Uriah (Jer 26:21-26:23)

“When King Jehoiakim,

With all his warriors,

With all his officials,

Heard his words,

The king sought

To put him to death.

When Uriah heard this,

He was afraid.

He fled.

He escaped to Egypt.

Then King Jehoiakim sent

Elnathan,

The son of Achbor,

With other men with him,

To Egypt.

They took Uriah

From Egypt.

They brought him

To King Jehoiakim.

He struck him down

With the sword.

They threw his dead body

Into the burial place

Of the common people.”

King Jehoiakim or King Eliakim (609-598 BCE), the same king as when Jeremiah was prophesying, heard about the prophecies of Uriah. He had an immediate reaction as he with his warriors and officials wanted to kill Uriah for his prophecy about the demise of Judah and Jerusalem. This prophet Uriah then fled to Egypt. However, the king of Egypt had put King Jehoiakim on the throne. Elnathan, the son of Achbor, may have been the father-in-law of the king of Judah. Achbor had helped King Josiah in his religious reforms. Thus when he showed up with some men in Egypt, they were able to bring him back to the king of Judah. There they killed Uriah with a sword. Then they threw his dead body in the common burial place. Uriah did not have a happy ending. He was one of the few prophets to be killed.

No one listens to Jeremiah (Jer 25:3-25:4)

“For twenty-three years,

From the thirteenth year

Of King Josiah,

The son of King Amon,

Of Judah,

To this day,

The word of Yahweh

Has come to me.

I have spoken persistently to you.

But you have not listened.

Although Yahweh

Persistently sent to you

All his servants

The prophets,

You have neither listened

Nor inclined your ears

To hear.”

Once again, Jeremiah is precise in his dating of this oracle. Jeremiah had been prophesying for 23 years before 605 BCE, which meant that he would have started in 628 BCE. He said that this was when King Josiah was 30 so that Josiah would have been born in 658 BCE. Thus King Josiah was 18 when he took over from his father King Amon who died in 640 BCE. For over 23 years, Jeremiah had persistently spoken to them about the word of Yahweh. However, they had not listened to him or the other servant prophets of Yahweh. They would not let their ears hear. Now we know why everyone was to hear Jeremiah because they had not been listening to him.