The ancient and honourable, he is the head; and the prophet that teacheth lies, he is the tail.
The ancient and honourable, he is the head,.... The elder in office, not in age; and who, on account of his office, dignity, and riches, is honoured by men, is of a venerable countenance himself, and is reverenced when seen and looked upon by others, and received by persons with pleasure and cheerfulness; as the phrase used signifies. The Septuagint and Arabic versions render it, "who admire", or "have" men's "persons in admiration"; which is the character Jude gives of false teachers, Jude 1:16 who are next described:
and the prophet that teacheth lies, he is the tail; so called from their low extract, being often of a mean original and descent; or rather from the meanness of their spirits, their flattery of princes and great men, to whom they tell lies, and prophesy smooth and false things, for the sake of a little sordid gain, in allusion to dogs that wag their tails at their masters; or from the poison of their doctrines, some creatures having poison in their tails, and do much mischief with them. See Revelation 9:19.