Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempts he any man:…
Of the two verbs used here to describe the temptational agency of lust, the former was originally a venatorial, the second a piscatorial term. Each has its own significance in the description. Before the wild beast can be captured it must be drawn out of its lair. It must be enticed away from its defences, out into the open, where it can be surrounded on all sides, where the assaults can be conducted with greater freedom, where all retreat will be cut off. So temptation will be most effectual when the soul can be enticed out of its retreat, when it exposes itself to the solicitations of evil, and puts itself at the mercy of its foes. When man has lost his adjustments, when his spiritual centre of gravity is disturbed, he is much more susceptible to the power of assaults made upon his integrity, and much more easily overthrown. This, then, is the first endeavour of the Epithumia to induce a change of locality and of environment, to urge man further away from the source of true security, to lead him to advance so far out into the place of exposure that he will fall an easy prey to his adversaries. The other figure carries us a step further. The angler baits his hook to catch the fish. He lures his unwary victim to its death. He offers in sight what he knows will surely attract, and hides within the barbed point which is to capture and to destroy. So in temptation there is this same combination of allurement and destruction. First comes the lure — pleasure, fame, wealth, honour, power, knowledge — the fatal barb which lurks within, so placed that to snatch at it is to swallow death. Man is allured, deceived; yet not unwittingly nor unwillingly. He is "baited from his own lust." His morbid appetite seeks out the forbidden fruit, and greedily plucks it.
(J. Caldwell, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: