Description of the false female prophetesses (Ezek 13:18-13:19)

“Thus says Yahweh God!

Say to them!

‘Woe to the women

Who sew bands

On all wrists!

Woe to the woman

Who make veils

For the heads of persons

Of every height,

In the hunt for human lives!

Will you hunt down lives

Among my people?

Will you maintain

Your own lives?

You have profaned me

Among my people

For handfuls of barley,

For pieces of bread.

You put to death

Persons

Who should not die.

You keep alive

Persons

Who should not live,

By your lies

To my people,

Who listen to lies.’”

Yahweh said to Ezekiel that these prophetesses should be cursed. Then he went into a description of their activities. One group of these female prophetesses sewed bands on the wrists of people. What exactly was that? Most commentators are not sure. It was some kind of band, pillow, or lucky charm on the arm by the wrist, elbow, or armpit. They also made veils or kerchiefs for the head. How they were hunting down human lives is not clear.   However, they were profaning Yahweh with their lies. Apparently, they received a few handfuls of barley or pieces of bread for their activities. More serious is the fact that these women were sometimes asked to be judges. They would judge the innocence or guilt of a person, leading to their free life or the death penalty of a person, perhaps wrongly as indicated in this passage. Whatever their lies, the people of Israel were listening to them.

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Against the false prophets (Jer 23:30-23:32)

“‘See!

Therefore,

I am against the prophets.’

Says Yahweh.

‘They steal my words

From one another.

See!

I am against the prophets.’

Says Yahweh.

They use their own tongues

To say.

‘Says Yahweh!’

See!

I am against those who prophesy

Lying dreams.’

Says Yahweh.

‘They tell them.

They lead my people astray

By their lies,

By their recklessness.

I did not send them.

I did not appoint them.

They do not profit

This people at all.’

Says Yahweh.”

Jeremiah has 3 more oracles of Yahweh against the false prophets. They have been stealing Yahweh’s words from one another. They use their tongues to pretend that their words are from Yahweh. They prophesize lying dreams. They have led his people astray with their lies and their recklessness. Yahweh never sent them or appointed them as prophets. They have not helped the people at all. Instead, they have been a detriment to the people of Judah and Jerusalem.