False Prophetic Pronouncements of Prosperity: An Exegetical Study and Reflection of Ezekiel 13:1–16
Keywords:False Prosperity, Prophet Ezekiel, False, Prophets, Prophetic Pronouncements
False prosperity preaching is a fast-growing phenomenon within Christian ministry circles across the globe. This phenomenon traces back to biblical times, although manifested in different forms. Ezekiel 13:1–16 is an example of such false prophetic proclamations of prosperity. This paper employs a historical-grammatical approach to examine an instance of the proclamation of false prosperity in Ezekiel 13:1–16. It also reflects how this event sheds light on similar phenomena in the church today. The study text is a prophetic oracle of indictment and judgment concerning the prophets of Israel during the exile before the final destruction of Jerusalem. The prophets are indicted for prophesying peace to the people where there is no peace, falsely claiming to speak on behalf of Yahweh, and speaking prophecies out of their own imagination. In addition, they are judged for failing to mobilise the nation towards repentance and intercede before Yahweh for the pardon of the nation, engaging in the forbidden practice of divination, and taking advantage of the spiritually broken nation for their own profit. A reflection on these observations points out some key characteristics of the perpetrators of false prophetic pronouncements. These include misrepresentation of the truth of Yahweh, preaching of messages to please the crowds, carrying out ministry for selfish gain, lack of genuine concern for the devotion of the people to Yahweh, and even meddling with other forms of spirituality to have something to offer their hearers.