False Women Prophets In The Bible

Let’s dispense with the false women prophets first (get them out of the way, as it were), leaving us time and space to relax into the stories of the women prophets who served God, and served Him well.

Women prophets in the Book of Ezekiel

Ezekiel 13:17-23 Common English Bible (CEB)

17 You, human one, face the daughters of your people, those women who prophesy from their imaginations. Prophesy against them 18 and say, The Lord God proclaims: Doom to the women who sew bands on every wrist and make veils for heads of all sizes to entrap human lives. Will you ensnare my people’s lives but preserve your own?19 When you degrade me to my people for handfuls of barley and bread crumbs, you mislead my gullible people, and you bring about the death of those who shouldn’t die and keep alive those who shouldn’t live.

20 Therefore, the Lord God proclaims: I’m against the bands that you use to trap human lives.[a] I will tear them from your arms, and I will set free the lives that you’ve trapped like birds. 21 I will tear off your veils and snatch my people out of your clutches. They will be prey in your clutches no longer. Then you will know that I am the Lord. 22 You hurt the righteous with slander—I didn’t wound them!—and you strengthened the hands of the wicked so that they survived without changing their evil ways! 23 Therefore, you will no longer see empty visions or perform divinations. I will rescue my people from your clutches, and you will know that I am the Lord.

Ezekiel made mention of women who were prophesying in God’s name, yet were telling deliberate lies. This clearly broke the Third Commandment, “You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.” (Exodus 20:7)

These women prophets, in particular, also practiced magic, and soothsaying, pretending they were receiving visions and oracles from God on behalf of an individual, for a fee (picture our own cultural example of women in exotic clothing, in darkened rooms draped in brocade, peering into their crystal balls, reading palms, and turning their Tarot cards).

Evidently, these women not only developed a clientele of God's people, drawing them away from God, but also slandered the righteous, so those who were true to God lost credibility with those who were being ensnared by these false prophets.

All passages taken from the New International Version (NIV) Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.