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The Bible’s prohibition on lying does not prohibit the use of camouflage and other forms of deception against an enemy in war:
1. Jael is pronounced “most blessed” (Jud. 5:24) and honored in song for her deceptions (Jud. 4:25-27): An enemy soldier was given false comfort that he was safe because Jael promised that he should not fear seeking refuge in her house (Jud. 4:18) and because Jael’s husband and the soldier’s commander had made a peace treaty (Jud. 4:17); but then Jael killed him in her house, thereby breaking the peace treaty.
2. Rahab is praised for lying to soldiers in order to protect Israeli spies (Heb. 11:31).
3. The Lord was with spies who lied to get into a city and attack it (Jud. 1:22-26).
4. The deception of Ehud to kill a king (Jud. 3:15-25).
The morality of deception in war is also supported by approved deception of the ungodly in non-war situations, such as God’s deceptions (Ezk. 14:4-11; 2 Thes. 2:8-12), and Jacob’s deception of Isaac (Gen. 27:1ff), who knew that God had chosen Jacob as heir of the covenantal blessings rather than Esau (Gen. 25:23; cf. Mal. 1:3, Rom. 9:10-13), but rebelled against God’s decree, and, like Esau (Heb. 12:6), was less concerned about the birthright than gaining a piece of meat to eat.
- Gary North, The Dominion Covenant: Genesis 184-92 (1987), at http://www.garnorth.com/freebooks.