And if the prophet be deceived when he hath spoken a
&c.] That is pleasing to men, and is not true, in hope of reward and applause, but it never comes to pass, and his expectations are not answered: I the Lord have deceived that prophet;
by sending a lying spirit to him, as to Ahab's prophets, ( 1 Kings 22:22 1 Kings 22:23 ) ; by giving him up to strong delusions, to believe a lie, and publish it, ( 2 Thessalonians 2:11 ) ; and to his own heart's lusts; being willing, for the sake of gain, to prophesy smooth things, though false to the people, promising them peace when there was none; and then by frustrating his predictions, and disappointing him of his ends and views. R. Saadiah interprets this, as Kimchi observes, of God revealing and making it manifest that he was deceived; but more is meant by it than this, or even a bare permission; for though God is not the author of sin, yet he wills it to be done for wise ends and purposes, and sometimes in a way of judgment, as a punishment for sin; and which was the case here; both with respect to the prophet that deceived, who as the fruit of his sin, his covetousness, was given up in just judgment to a reprobate mind; and the people that were deceived, who, rejecting the true prophets of the Lord, were willing to have smooth things prophesied to them: and I will stretch out my hand upon them;
his avenging hand; the stroke of his power, as the Targum; a heavy one, and that for giving heed to a lying spirit; for uttering falsehood, and that with a wicked design, to gain the applause of the people, or for filthy lucre's sake: and I will destroy him from the midst of my people Israel;
by some sore judgment or sudden death, and so be made a public example of.