What does the Bible word “guile” mean?


By BibleAsk Team


In the Bible, guile is often described as deceit, cunning, or trickery. The word guile is used to denote dishonesty or manipulation in one’s actions or words. Satan is described as “a liar and the father of it” (John 8:44). His career of falsehood began in heaven, where he first misrepresented the character of God before the angels. As a liar, Satan was expelled from heaven and will never regain residence there.

Again after the creation of man, Satan through his guile and lies in the Garden of Eden, brought about the fall of our first parents (Genesis 3:4). Ultimately, Satan and his followers will be excluded from heaven (Revelation 22:15). And only the truthful and honest will live forever with God.

Bible Verses

Guile can be found in various contexts throughout the Bible, and its consequences are often highlighted as detrimental to both individuals and communities. The following verses (NKJV) shed light on the concept of guile and its implications.

  1. Psalm 32:2 – “Blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit.” Here, deceit is contrasted with blessing, suggesting that honesty and integrity are virtues in the eyes of the Lord.
  2. Psalm 34:13 – “Keep your tongue from evil, and your lips from speaking deceit.” This verse emphasizes the importance of guarding one’s speech against deceitful words, highlighting the potential harm that dishonesty can cause.
  3. Psalm 55:11 – “Destruction is in its midst; oppression and deceit do not depart from its streets.” This passage depicts a community plagued by deceit, where dishonesty and manipulation thrive, leading to destruction and oppression.
  4. Psalm 101:7 – “He who works deceit shall not dwell within my house; He who tells lies shall not continue in my presence.” Here, the Psalmist declares his commitment to righteousness by refusing to tolerate deceit and lies in his household or presence.
  5. Proverbs 12:20 – “Deceit is in the heart of those who devise evil, but counselors of peace have joy.” This proverb contrasts the motivations of those who engage in deceitful behavior with those who pursue peace and integrity, suggesting that true joy comes from righteous living.
  6. Proverbs 26:26 – “Though his hatred is covered by deceit, his wickedness will be revealed before the assembly.” This verse warns against using deceit to conceal hatred or wickedness, indicating that ultimately, dishonesty will be exposed.
  7. Jeremiah 9:6 – “Your dwelling place is in the midst of deceit; through deceit they refuse to know Me,” says the Lord. This passage highlights the prevalence of deceit among the people, leading them to reject knowledge of God and His ways.
  8. Romans 1:29 – “Being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers…” This verse lists deceit among various other sinful behaviors, indicating its seriousness in the eyes of God.
  9. 1 Peter 2:1 – “Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking…” Here, believers are urged to rid themselves of deceit along with other sinful attitudes and actions, emphasizing the importance of living with sincerity and truthfulness.
  10. Revelation 14:5 – “And in their mouth was found no deceit, for they are without fault before the throne of God.” This verse describes the righteous individuals who are characterized by their lack of deceit, indicating that honesty is a defining trait of those who stand blameless before God.

In summary, the Bible consistently condemns guile and deceit as harmful and sinful behaviors. Instead, it promotes honesty, integrity, and righteousness as virtues that are pleasing to God. Individuals are encouraged to guard their hearts and tongues against deceitful practices, recognizing that ultimately, the truth will prevail, and deceit will be exposed by the Almighty God at the Last Judgment.

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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