At this time Ezekiel was still confined to his house (Ezekiel 3:24) but was receiving the elders of Israel who were prisoners of war along with him in Babylon. The elders were acting as spiritual leaders in Babylon since the official teachers (prophets) were in Jerusalem. Even though this message was delivered to these men it was intended for the larger audience of the exiles in Babylon and possibly those in Jerusalem if communication could have been made with them. They came to him for a Word from God since they recognized that he was a genuine prophet. They were certain that Ezekiel‚Äôs previous warnings did not apply to them. The false prophets had made merchandise of the people of Jerusalem as seen in the previous chapter, thirteen. Both men and women prophets were making false predictions to comfort the people of Jerusalem with lies. They were only able to do so because the people in general had already turned away from God and followed their own selfish path to destruction. God then gave them over to idolatrous false prophets to tell them what they wanted to hear. Bad leaders gained prominence in Israel because they reflected the attitude and sinfulness of the citizens. Ezekiel receives these men sitting before him prepared to ask him for a prophecy. He being a human being could have had no humanly way of knowing what their genuine intention was prior to them coming to him. But the Lord God knows.