During the reign of Zedekiah at the approaching of the captivity, Ezekiel prophesied calamity. The final destruction of Jerusalem was imminent and Judah would soon be Babylon bound. Ezekiel had already been taken captive and was now renouncing the false prophets of Israel.
Jehoiachin was in power at the time of the false prophets. His mother, wife and staff were carried to Babylon after he had been king only three months. The final siege of the Chaldeans sealed their fate due to their refusal to hear the prophets.
Adam Clarke mentions that the prophets were shouting peace and security in the midst of their sin and danger while surrounded by false hopes (notes on Ezek. 13:10-16). These prophets were prophesying “out of their own hearts” (Ezek. 13:2). They were following their own “spirit, and have seen nothing” (v. 3).
Like false teachers of today, lying prophets led the people to believe that “all was well” while in danger. They had built walls and superficially covered them with “un-tempered mortar” to be eroded and etched away when the rains pounded against and the enemy forces battered them. It was a common practice to use mortar that had been mixed with bitumen, a mineral pitch found in the region. Great deposits were found near the Dead Sea. It was mixed with “slime” to waterproof their construction. The walls looked good, though made in haste, but lacked substance and protection.
Preaching and teaching today that is attractive in surface only, but lacks strength and the integrity that can only be found in the inspired Word will crumble. There is no comparison between whitewash and a tempered wall. Likewise, there is no comparison to truth and the “winds of change.” False teachers shall be cursed of God (Gal. 1:8-9). All teaching shall be put to the fiery test where wood, hay and stubble shall be burned by God, silver and precious stones will endure (1 Cor. 1:7; 4:12).
Unacceptable religious organizations shall be “uprooted” (Matt. 15:13). The only standing body will be fitly framed and built upon the apostles, prophets and Jesus the chief corner stone (Eph. 2:20-22), built by Christ (Matt. 16:18).
Lifestyles that have only an appearance of happiness, prosperity and purpose will wither with wear. The world promises security and peace as well, but it will pass away (1 Jn. 2:15-17).