And will ye pollute me among my people
Defile the name of the Lord, by abusing it, to cover their wicked designs and practices, pretending they were seat by him, when they were not; that what they said came from him, though he spoke not by them; and that it was his will they declared, when it was their own, and what came out of their own hearts and heads: so the Targum, "will ye pollute my will among my people"; to profane his name among the Gentiles was a great sin, but to pollute it among his own people was greater; attempting to draw them aside from his fear and worship, and that for gain, for small gain too: for handfuls of barley and for pieces of bread;
which shows them to be abandoned creatures, that were ready to do or say anything for the meanest trifle; their consciences were seared; they gave up themselves to work wickedness with greediness, and for filthy lucre's sake, and for a small portion of that; which exaggerates their sin and folly; see ( Proverbs 28:21 ) ( Micah 3:5 ) ; to slay the souls that should not die;
by threatening the captives in Babylon, who had surrendered themselves in Jehoiachim's time, with destruction and death; who ought to have been comforted in their exile, and whom the Lord in his own time would deliver: and to save the souls alive that should not live;
by promising the inhabitants of Jerusalem long life, safety, and prosperity; when they should either die by the sword, famine, and pestilence; or be carried captive, which was as death; for so they did, or attempted to do, both the one and the other, by their false prophecies, as follows: by your lying to my people that hear [your] lies?
their false prophecies, which some hearkened to, and believed; and others were intimidated by, and feared that so it would be.