Sahih International[But] Allah mocks them and prolongs them in their transgression [while] they wander blindly.
This ayah is a continuation of the previous which explains that the hypocrites used to reassure their people that they are only meeting with the Muslims so that they can make fun of them, they do not believe in what they believe. This ayah is a further explanation of their attitude. They are very pleased and satisfied with themselves that they have easily fooled the Muslims and they get away with it as well. However, they are not aware that they are the ones who are actually making a fool of themselves. It further explains that this long transgression or them not being caught is a provision given to them by the mercy o Allah, a long rope, but this is only because they are making a fool of themselves. They saw that no punishment is coming towards them for their actions that they are committing, so this encouraged them in thier rebelllious acts. One day though, they were caught. And it was pure humiliation for them.
Ibn Jarir commented,"Allah mentioned what He will do to them on the Day of Resurrection, when He said
يَوْمَ يَقُولُ الْمُنَـفِقُونَ وَالْمُنَـفِقَـتُ لِلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ انظُرُونَا نَقْتَبِسْ مِن نُّورِكُمْ قِيلَ ارْجِعُواْ وَرَآءَكُمْ فَالْتَمِسُواْ نُوراً فَضُرِبَ بَيْنَهُم بِسُورٍ لَّهُ بَابٌ بَاطِنُهُ فِيهِ الرَّحْمَةُ وَظَـهِرُهُ مِن قِبَلِهِ الْعَذَابُ
On the Day when the hypocrites ـ men and women ـ will say to the believers: "Wait for us! Let us get something from your light!'' It will be said: "Go back to your rear! Then seek a light!'' So a wall will be put up between them, with a gate therein. Inside it will be mercy, and outside it will be torment.) (57:13)
وَلاَ يَحْسَبَنَّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ أَنَّمَا نُمْلِى لَهُمْ خَيْرٌ لاًّنفُسِهِمْ إِنَّمَا نُمْلِى لَهُمْ لِيَزْدَادُواْ إِثْمَاً
And let not the disbelievers think that Our postponing of their punishment is good for them. We postpone the punishment only so that they may increase in sinfulness." (3:178)
He then said,
"This, and its like, is Allah's mockery of the hypocrites and the people of Shirk.''