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Verse 15. False prophets. The word prophet originally means, one who foretells future events. As prophets, however, were commonly regarded as public instructors on the subject of religion, the word came to denote all who were religious teachers. In this sense it is probably used here. A false prophet is a teacher of incorrect doctrine, or one falsely and unjustly laying claims to Divine inspiration. It probably had reference to the false teachers then among the Jews.

Which come to you in sheeps clothing. The sheep is an emblem of innocence, sincerity, and harmlessness. To come in sheep's clothing, is to assume the appearance of sanctity, and innocence, when the heart is evil.

Ravening wolves, Rapacious; or disposed to plunder. Applied to the false teachers, it means that they assumed the appearance of holiness, in order that they might the more readily get the property of the people. They were full of extortion and excess. See Mt 23:25.

{c} "false prophets" De 13:1-3; Jer 23:13-16; 1 Jo 4:1

{d} "ravening wolves" Ac 20:29-31

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