Ezekiel 13:18-20 "the souls that ye hunt to make them fly"

Does this verse refute the doctrine of the rapture?  No, because it's not about the rapture at all.

Those who attack the pre-tribulation rapture are so filled with blind hatred of the doctrine, that they often forget that the rapture is directly referenced in the Bible in multiple places, such as 1 Thess 4:17, and 1 Cor 15, and that the real debate is about the timing of the rapture.

But they sometimes read Ezekiel 13:18-20 in the King James, and wrongly conclude this is a condemnation of rapture teachers, who they see as being people who "hunt the souls to make them fly." And, they wrongly interpret the reference to "fly" as a reference to what they call the "fly away" doctrine of the rapture.  But if we look up this verse in multiple translations, it clearly shows that the subject of Ezekiel 13:18-20 is not the rapture at all.

In Ezekiel 13:18-20, the subject appears to be fortune tellers, (women who read taro cards, gaze into crystal balls, palm reading and the like) who are prophesying strictly out of their own imagination (or reading into people's own desires) for money.  These would be like those who work for the psychic hot lines today.  There were these kinds of people even in King Saul's day, he "had put away those that had familiar spirits, and the wizards, out of the land." (1 Samuel 28:3), but ended consulting one anyway, (1 Sam 28:7), "...Seek me a woman that hath a familiar spirit, that I may go to her, and enquire of her..."  The kinds of prophecy these people engaged in was a personal type of prophecy, such as "you will be rich," or "you will get married soon," that has nothing whatsoever to do with Bible Prophecy, because the subject of Bible Prophecy is not the individual, but of Jesus Christ.

Second, the magic charms or pillows on the armholes or shirt sleeves are the thing that is used to deceive and hunt people.  Weird, I know, but customs were different then.  I don't know of any pretrib prophecy teacher who uses extravagant magic charms or "fortune-teller type" clothing on his arm sleeves, as the means to convince people of the pretrib rapture doctrine!

Third, the phase "to make them fly" is not rendered that way in any translation listed below except for the KJV!  Thus, this proves quite easily that the subject is not a "fly away" doctrine.  The subject is ensnaring people.  In fact, the point of the use of the words "fly away" is that the Lord will help people to escape the clutches of these fortune tellers.  

KJV: Ezekiel 13:
18 And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Woe to the women that sew pillows to all armholes, and make kerchiefs upon the head of every stature to hunt souls! Will ye hunt the souls of my people, and will ye save the souls alive that come unto you?
19 And will ye pollute me among my people for handfuls of barley and for pieces of bread, to slay the souls that should not die, and to save the souls alive that should not live, by your lying to my people that hear your lies?
20 Wherefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against your pillows, wherewith ye there hunt the souls to make them fly, and I will tear them from your arms, and will let the souls go, even the souls that ye hunt to make them fly.

NIV Ezekiel 13:20 "`Therefore this is what the Sovereign LORD says: I am against your magic charms with which you ensnare people like birds and I will tear them from your arms; I will set free the people that you ensnare like birds.

NASB Ezekiel 13:20 Therefore, thus says the Lord GOD, ""Behold, I am against your magic bands by which you hunt [15] lives there as [16] birds and I will tear them from your arms; and I will let [17] them go, even those [18] lives whom you hunt as [19] birds.

RSV Ezekiel 13:20 "Wherefore thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I am against your magic bands with which you hunt the souls, and I will tear them from your arms; and I will let the souls that you hunt go free like birds.

DARBY Ezekiel 13:20 Wherefore thus saith the Lord Jehovah: Behold, I am against your pillows, that the souls which ye catch by their means may fly away; and I will tear them from your arms, and will let the souls go, the souls that ye catch, that they may fly away.

Young's Ezekiel 13:20 Therefore, thus said the Lord Jehovah: Lo, I [am] against your pillows, With which ye are hunting there the souls of the flourishing, And I have rent them from off your arms, And have sent away the souls that ye are hunting, The souls of the flourishing. 

The true irony here is that the verses actually show that the Lord wants us to fly away, to escape, to be free, like the birds!

Therefore, this is really one of the most groundless arguments floating around used to attack the rapture.  Relatively few people have been so deceived as to use this completely inapplicable scripture in their collection of "no rapture" arguments.  But for those who do, you can see that such authors have absolutely no respect for study, no respect for the meaning of words, and that they will use anything that sounds like it might be against the rapture to try and make their case.  This goes to show the susceptibility to deception, and/or willingness to tell lies on the part of those who attack the rapture.

If you ever see anyone using this particular "no pretrib proof", you know that their scholarship and understanding of scripture needs a lot more work.

Here's one more on topic, for good measure:

Isaiah 40:31
but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

Furthermore, their bad argument highlights the truth of why there are heresies in the Church!

1 Corinthians 11:19  For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.


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