Many verses teach that it is wrong to lie: for instance, Exodus 20:16; 23:1, 7; Leviticus 6:2-4; Leviticus 19:11; Deuteronomy 5:20; Proverbs 12:22; 13:5; 24:28; Luke 3:14; Ephesians 4:25; Colossians 3:9; James 3:14; Revelation 21:8, 27.
However, the Bible also seems to allow lying in some instances: Exodus 1:18-20; Joshua 2:4-6; I Samuel 21:2; I Kings 22:21-22; II Kings 8:10; John 7:8-10; and James 2:25.
Lying is wrong, except in possibly a couple of circumstances.
Some verses do seem to indicate that God blessed people who did right and lied while doing it: the midwives (Exodus 1:18-20), Rahab the harlot (Joshua 2:4-6, James 2:25), and David fleeing from Saul (I Samuel 21:2). In each of these cases, the lie was to save someone’s life from death from an evil person or evil people, and so this may be an exception. However, it should be also noted that God does not explicitly condone the lying in the Bible; rather, He condones their faith, though the verses may imply that God permits lying in these cases. In I Kings 22:21-22, God allows a lying spirit to deceive Saul. This does not mean that God approves of this spirit, but that He is allowing Satan to deceive Saul—He is removing His protection from Saul.
Other verses that are given do not condone lying. In II Kings 8:10, Elisha does not lie. He is saying, “You could tell him that he would recover, but…”. We speak like this sometimes in our everyday language. In John 7:8-10, Jesus said, “I go not up yet unto this feast”, which was true: Jesus went up later, not right away.
In summary, lying is wrong; but in some cases (e.g., to save someone’s life from the enemy), it may be acceptable.
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