If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder,
If there arise among you a prophet,.... A false prophet, a lying prophet, as the Targum of Jonathan; one that pretends to be a true prophet, and to be sent of God, and to come from him with a message from him, a new revelation or doctrine, or in his name, to foretell things to come; the former is chiefly meant. Such prophets did arise in Israel before the time of Christ, and have since arose under the Christian name; see 2 Peter 2:1,
or a dreamer of dreams; the same with the prophet, only to be distinguished by the different manner of their having the mind and will of God revealed to them, pretended to; either by vision or by dream, which were the two usual ways in which the Lord spake to the true prophets, Numbers 12:6 so that the prophet is one who pretended he had a vision from the Lord, and the dreamer one that had a dream from him, or something revealed to him in a dream; and dreams are sometimes used for false doctrines, vain, deceitful, and illusory; see Jeremiah 23:25. The Targum of Jonathan calls him
"a dreamer of a dream of pride:''
such persons are generally prompted by the pride of their own hearts to take such a method to make themselves famous and respected among men; and usually bring such doctrines with them which are agreeable to the pride and vanity of human nature:
and giving thee a sign or a wonder; for the confirmation of his mission and doctrine; such as Moses wrought before the children of Israel and before Pharaoh. Signs are expressions or representations of things to come to pass; wonders, such as either do, or seem to exceed the common course of nature, or be contrary to it.