Bible: Yahweh Best of Deceivers?
Mohamad Mostafa Nassar
Critics of Islam have gone so low that they have started malicious attacks on Allah, calling him a ‘deceiver’. When these Missionaries have no legs to stand on, to refute Islamic Doctrine, they resort to lies to degrade Islam. I for one would not even be bothered to write something like this, but due missionary lies I am writing this article to show/prove Yahweh is a deceiver.
YHWH admits, says: “he deceives people” and even Prophets in the Old Testament speak of Yahweh being a deceiver. There are 5 verses I will present that YHWH is a deceiver. I will also provide commentary by experts on each verse I present from the Old Testament on what the passages mean.
Yahweh Deceives Verse 1
Jeremiah 4:10 Then I said, “Ah, Sovereign LORD, how completely you have deceived this people and Jerusalem by saying, ‘You will have peace,’ when the sword is at our throats.“
As you have read according to Prophet Jeremiah Yahweh deceived his people. Missionaries might reply back and say the translation is wrong and we are taking things out of context. What I will do now is give different Christian Bible Translations, let’s see what they have written:
New International Version
Then I said, “Alas, Sovereign LORD! How completely you have deceived this people and Jerusalem by saying, ‘You will have peace,’ when the sword is at our throats!”
New Living Translation
Then I said, “O Sovereign LORD, the people have been deceived by what you said, for you promised peace for Jerusalem. But the sword is held at their throats!”
English Standard Version
Then I said, “Ah, Lord GOD, surely you have utterly deceived this people and Jerusalem, saying, ‘It shall be well with you,’ whereas the sword has reached their very life.”
New American Standard Bible
Then I said, “Ah, Lord GOD! Surely You have utterly deceived this people and Jerusalem, saying, ‘You will have peace’; whereas a sword touches the throat.”
King James Bible
Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! surely thou hast greatly deceived this people and Jerusalem, saying, Ye shall have peace; whereas the sword reacheth unto the soul.
Holman Christian Standard Bible
I said, “Oh no, Lord GOD, You have certainly deceived this people and Jerusalem, by announcing, ‘You will have peace,’ while a sword is at our throats.”
International Standard Version
Then I replied, “Ah, Lord GOD, you have completely deceived this people and Jerusalem when you said, ‘You will have peace,’ while the sword is at their throat!”
GOD’S WORD® Translation
I said, “Almighty LORD, you certainly have deceived these people and Jerusalem. You said that everything would go well for them, but a sword is held at their throats.”
King James 2000 Bible
Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! surely you have greatly deceived this people and Jerusalem, saying, You shall have peace; when the sword reaches unto the soul.
American King James Version
Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! surely you have greatly deceived this people and Jerusalem, saying, You shall have peace; whereas the sword reaches to the soul.
American Standard Version
Then said I, Ah, Lord Jehovah! surely thou hast greatly deceived this people and Jerusalem, saying, Ye shall have peace; whereas the sword reacheth unto the life.
And I said: Alas, alas, alas, O Lord God, hast thou then deceived this people and Jerusalem, saying: You shall have peace: and behold the sword reacheth even to the soul?
Darby Bible Translation
And I said, Alas, Lord Jehovah! surely thou hast greatly deceived this people and Jerusalem, saying, Ye shall have peace; whereas the sword reacheth unto the soul.
As you have read Jeremiah the Prophet makes it quite clear that the Lord (Yahweh) had “deceived his people.” According to Jeremiah Yahweh promised there will be Peace, when in reality Yahweh deceived them when the sword was at their throats. Let’s see now what the experts have to say on this verse:
1. Milton Crum says,
“God deceived: The Babylonians destroyed Jerusalem, but biblical faith pictured what the Babylonians did as God’s doing. As the Babylonians approached, God warned, “I am beginning to bring disaster [lit evil] on the city” (Jeremiah 25:29). After the disaster, God reflected, “I have watched over them pluck up and break down, to overthrow, destroy evil” (Jeremiah 31:28).
God inflicted physical suffering, but the concomitant disillusionment was more painful. God had betrayed their trust by deceiving his people. “Ah Lord God, how utterly you have deceived this people and Jerusalem, saying, ‘It shall be well with you,’ even while the sword is at the throat!”
God rebutted that the deception was done by false Prophets and claimed, “I have not sent them or appointed them or spoken to them” (Jeremiah 14:14 NIV). But God also confessed, “If a Prophet is deceived and speaks a word, I the Lord have deceived that Prophet” (Ezekiel 14:9).” 
2. Duncan Heaster
“God deceived Prophets to speak things in his name which were actually false (1 Kings 22:20-22; Ez. 14:9). He chose Israel’s delusions by making their idols answer them (Is. 66: 3,4). Jeremiah feared God had deceived him (Jer. 20:7)- showing he knew such a thing was possible.
Dt. 13:1-3 warns Israel not to believe prophets whose prophecies came true although they taught false doctrines, because they may have been raised up to test their obedience.
God deceived Israel by telling them about the peace which would come on Jerusalem in the future kingdom; they didn’t consider the other prophecies which were given at the same time concerning their imminent judgement, and therefore they thought God was pleased with them and was about to establish the Messianic kingdom; when actually the very opposite was about to happen (Jer.4:10).” 
3. Reverend Thomas Scott
In the prospect of these calamities, the prophet was astonished and afflicted, to see the people secure, and seduced into a vain expectation of peace and prosperity, by means of the false prophets. This is the Lord permitted and
appointed in judgement, to punish their contempt of him; and the prophet lamented it, as the most awful of their calamities. For they expected Peace, whilst the indignation of the Lord, as a sharp sword,” reached even to the soul,” and inflicted a mortal wound.-
Thou has suffered them to be greatly deceived by their false prophets. These pretenders to prophecy studied only to speak pleasing things to the people, and soothe them in their impenitency and carnal security: and thou hast in thy just judgement given them up to follow these delusions. Comp. 2 Thes. Ii. 11, 12. Lawth-
Then said I, Ah Lord God, surely this people and Jerusalem will be ready to cast upon thee the imputation of deceiving them; in that those who pretended to prophecy unto them, have said, Ye shall have peace, whereas there is nothing but slaughter and devastation. Bp. Hall.-
Thou has punished their stubbornness by causing them to hearken unto lies, who would not believe thy truth. 
4. C. F. Keil D. D. Biblical Commentary On the Old Testament
The deception of the people by such discourse from the false Prophets is referred back to God: ‘Lord thou has deceived,’ inasmuch as God not only permits these lying spirits to appear and work, but has ordained them and brought them forth for the hardening of the people’s heart; as he once caused the spirit of Prophecy to inspire as a
lying spirit the Prophets of Ahab, so that by promises of victory they prevailed upon him to march to that war in which, as a punishment for his godliness, he was to perish; 1 Kings xxii. 20-23. Umbr. Takes the words less correctly as spoken
in the name of the people, to whom the unexpected turn affairs had now taken seemed a deception on part of God; and this, although it was by itself it had been deceived through its revolt from God. 
5. Tremper Longman
It will take them by utter surprise. False prophets fuelled their previous self-confidence with a message of peace (6:14; 14:13; 23:16-17). What is interesting and troubling is that Jeremiah attributes this message of Peace to the Lord
himself. He says that God deceived the people through this message of peace. Perhaps we are to seek some understanding of this through 1 kings 22, where that God does indeed put ‘a lying spirit in the mouth of the prophets’ (v.23) at the time of wicked king Ahab.
This did not make Ahab evil, but it certainly sealed his punishment. God did not leave Ahab without a witness to the truth in the person of Micaiah, but Ahab’s sinful heart led him to believe the lying prophets from the Lord rather than
the true prophet. Jeremiah, of course, plays the role of Micaiah in the present text. In any case, the leaders of the people believe that peace is in their future even when disaster is on the horizon (the sword at our throats). 
6. Louis Stulman Abingdon, Old Testament Commentary,
(4:10) Instead of warning the people of Judah, God beguiles them into believing that all is well. In doing so, Yahweh intentionally dupes the people. No explanation is given as to how Yahweh tricks the nation, although many commentators suggest that Jeremiah is referring to the Prophets’ false words of hope. And Jeremiah’s charge against is not entirely without merit. According to the writer 1 kings, both true and false prophecies originate from God. Micaiah asserts that Yahweh is responsible for the ‘lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets’ (1 Kgs 22:22). If this is understanding informs Jeremiah’s protest, then Yahweh may indeed be responsible for the Prophets deceptive words of peace (see esp. Jer. 6:14; 8:11; 23:17). 
One may wonder what sort of God would do this, deceiving people? It is quite clear from what Jeremiah said and what the commentators have written is that Yahweh indeed is the best of deceivers. Another thing to note is even if they followed false Prophets, it still comes back on Yahweh as HE admits that he is the one who deceives (Ezekiel 14:9-11: 9).
Yahweh Deceives Verse 2
Jeremiah 20:7 is another verse we see Jeremiah opens his mouth again and says that Yahweh has deceived him.
New International Version Jeremiah 20:7 You deceived me, LORD, and I was deceived; you overpowered me and prevailed. I am ridiculed all day long; everyone mocks me.
We see again Jeremiah one of the greatest Prophets in the Old Testament saying that God deceived him and overpowered him.
1. Walter Brueggemann commenting on Jeremiah 20:7 writes,
It is asserted that Jeremiah was forcibly deceptively, abusively pressed into a relationship for loyalty toward Yahweh (cf. 1:4-10), a relationship in which Yahweh has not been fair, supportive, or constructive. To be sure, subsequent verses of the complaint reverse field to articulate trust (v. 10), petition (V. 12), and finally doxology (v. 13).
Jeremiah, in his imbalance and extremity, exposes a sense of Yahweh that is less than honourable. One gets the impression from this lean but powerful utterance that Yahweh is, on occasion, an unprincipled bully who will coerce, manipulate and exploit in order to have Yahweh’s own way.
Jeremiah has been faithful and courageous mouthpiece for Yahweh, but he recognizes that his call was a one –way deal, with little support or affirmation from Yahweh. Jeremiah has been “had,” and Yahweh is the one who “had” him. One may wonder if, with this verb, Yahweh has “had” others as well. 
2. Louis Stulman and Hyun Chul Paul Kim
Jeremiah 20:7-18… In this passage the prophet accuses God of being unreliable and deceptive. With raw emotion and astonishing boldness, Jeremiah holds YHWH responsible for his abuse. In anguish and anger, he accuses God of betraying, enticing, seducing, and overpowering him:
O LORD, you enticed me and I was enticed: you have overpowered me, and you have prevailed. I have become a laughingstock all day long; everyone mocks me(20:7)
Question the reliability of YHWH, none does so in such a frontal manner. The verb ‘overpower’ (hzq, the hip’il in verse 7 has a wide semantic range, (Deut 22:25).
The Hebrew word translated as ‘deceive,’ ‘entice’ or ‘seduce’ (pth), depending on the English translation, has a more narrow range. It occurs in about twenty-five texts in the Hebrew Bible and generally means to ‘trick,’ ‘deceive,’ or seduce.’ With this language Jeremiah 20:7 conveys the idea of being duped and besieged by the power and purposes of God…. 
3. Don M. Aycock
In 20:7 we see Jeremiah accusing God of deceit:
O LORD you deceived me and I was deceived: you overpowered me and prevailed. I am ridiculed all day long; everyone mocks me.
This accusation, which runs from verse 7 through verse 18, has been called one of the most powerful passages in the whole of the Prophetic literature, a passage which takes us, as no other, not only into depths of the prophet’s soul, but into the secrets of the prophetic consciousness. Although Jeremiah felt deceived, he at least felt there was a divine purpose.
Even so, this passage illustrates the suffering involved in living one;s life in faithfulness to God. The word ‘deceived’ in verse 7 is used in Exodus 22:16 for the rape of a virgin and in judges 16:5 of Delilah’s seduction of Samson. Jeremiah felt that God had seduced, enticed, and tricked him into surrendering his life…. 
Yahweh Deceives Verse 3
If one reads Jeremiah 23:39 nobody would see anything wrong with the verse. One would not even look over it again and just skip over the next verse. But if we read what is written in the Hebrew language and the word that is used, you would be shocked how the Bible translations all cover up the actual meaning for the passage. All Bible translations for Jeremiah 23:39 have this:
King James 2000 Bible Jeremiah 23:39 Therefore, behold, I, even I, will utterly forget (Nasha) you, and I will forsake you, and the city that I gave you and your fathers, and cast you out of my presence:
The Hebrew word ‘Nasha’ has the following meanings:
- 1) to beguile, deceive
- A)(Niphal) to be beguiled
- B)(Hiphil) to beguile, deceive
- C)(Qal) utterly (infinitive)
As you have read the word ‘Nasha’ means deceive, beguile and so forth. But when we read English Bible translations for Jer. 23:39 all of them use the word ‘forget?’ Why don’t they give the true meaning, why do they have distort the verse and lie to people? Let’s now bring forth evidence from Hebrew Lexicons for the word ‘Nasha’ and see what the true meaning is. Before we proceed further let’s first show The Hebrew word “Nasha” :
As you seen the picture I have put a red arrow what the Hebrew ‘Nasha’ looks like. Hebrew Lexicons on the word ‘Nasha’.
Professor Karl Feyerabend says,
“Nasa inf… see.. – Ni… to be deceived. Hi… fut… to lead astray, to mislead to deceive, to seduce; to surprise, to oppress.” 
If one reads the above picture where I have highlighted in yellow George Wigram connects the Hebrew word ‘Nasha’ to Jeremiah 23:39. It’s clear from all the above references that Yahweh admits that he deceives people.
Professor Mark Roncace comments on Jeremiah 23:39, says the following,
“The word… itself has certain connotations and echoes in the book of Jeremiah where it appears four other times (4:10; 23:39; 29:8; 49:16). In 4:10 the prophet accuses Yahweh of deception by promising peace and then bringing destruction.
Thus, one would as John calvin suggested see the withdrawal of Babylonians as ‘God for a time permit[ting]’ the people ‘to be deceived by fortunate event’ (Commentaries on the Book of the Prophet Jeremiah and the Lamentations [ed. And trans. John Owen; 5 vols.; Grand rapids: Eerdmans, 1950], 4:367).
In fact, in 23:39 Yahweh declares ‘I will deceive (Nasha) you and cast you away from my presence.’ One wonders if deception originates within oneself, as 37:9 suggests, or with Yahweh?” 
It is clear crystal from all this evidence that Yahweh is a deceiver. When the verse (Jeremiah 23:39) is not distorted, it reads like this:
Jeremiah 23:39 Therefore, behold, I, even I, will utterly DECEIVE (Nasha) you, and I will forsake you, and the city that I gave you and your fathers, and cast you out of my presence.
Yahweh Deceives Verse 4
1 Kings 22:20-22: 20 And the LORD said, ‘Who will entice Ahab into attacking Ramoth Gilead and going to his death there?’ “One suggested this, and another that. 21 Finally, a spirit came forward, stood before the LORD and said, ‘I will entice him.’22 ” ‘By what means?’ the LORD asked.
“‘I will go out and be a lying spirit in the mouths of all his prophets,’ he said.” ‘You will succeed in enticing him,’ said the LORD. ‘Go and do it.’ Here we see that the man said that he would resort to lying in order to entice Ahab and God supported the idea and told him to go ahead and do it!
Here is another passage where Yahweh asks someone to be deceived by his own command. Someone people may not be familiar with the word ‘entice,’ it means ‘deceive.’ So in other words Yahweh is asking who will deceive Ahab into attacking Ramoth Gilead. This passage is clear, Yahweh is a deceiver.
Professor George Alexander Kennedy says the following on the passage,
…words for eloquence, speaking, and persuading in the Hebrew text of the Old Testament, there is no Hebrew transitive verb to express the thought ‘He persuades someone’ in a positive sense. The closest is the verb pata, which carries the connotation of enticement, seduction, and deception.
Even the Lord is said to engage occasionally in this kind of rhetoric (1 kings 22:20-22; 2 Chronicles 18:19-21; Ezekiel 14:9). Active persuasion in this sense is generally thought of as negative. 
John Calvin also comments on the verse as well,
“…mysteries according to your carnal, foolish understanding. What? When God calls Satan the agent of his vengeance and gives him a public command to deceive, does this differ from mere permission? The voice of God is clear. ‘Who will entice Ahab?’ And there is no obscurity when he commands Satan, ‘You are to entice him, and you shall succeed; go out and do so’ (1 Kings 22:20,22).” 
Yahweh Deceives Verse 5
Ezekiel 14:9-11: 9 ” ‘And if the prophet is enticed to utter a prophecy, I the LORD have enticed that prophet, and I will stretch out my hand against him and destroy him from among my people Israel. 10 They will bear their guilt-the prophet will be as guilty as the one who consults him.
11 Then the people of Israel will no longer stray from me, nor will they defile themselves any-more with all their sins. They will be my people, and I will be their God, declares the Sovereign LORD.’ “
God is punishing him for a crime that He enticed him to do in the first place? Interesting indeed!
Professor James L. Crenshaw says,
“Jeremiah complained bitterly that God had overpowered him and seduced him in the same way a virgin is raped (Jeremiah 20:7), and Ezekiel employed the verb to describe God;s deception of his prophets (Ezekiel 14:9). Within wisdom literature the verb assumed special significance it describes a foolish person who is mislead. In Psalm 78:36 the word refers to flattery, the means of deceit, and stands in synonymous parallelism with kazab, to lie.” 
John M. Reed also comments on the passage,
In Ezekiel 14:9 Yahweh says: ‘ And if the prophet be deceived when he hath spoken a thing, I the LORD have deceived that prophet, and I will stretch out my hand upon him, and I will destroy him from the midst of my people Israel.’ Yahweh is more than just a liar; he’s also a deceiver in the Book of Ezekiel. Stating a falsehood is bad enough, but to
then purposefully deceive is escalation from passive act of lying, to an aggressive act of harmful deception. Yahweh is violating another of his Ten commandment is an injunction against lying, but Yahweh conveniently disregards the laws that he established, whenever he feels the whimsical need to do so. 
John H. Choi
“In Ezekiel 14:9, the deity claims that he is the source of the message of a false prophet; ‘If a prophet is deceived, and he speaks a false word, it was I Yahweh who deceived him.’ In Isa 6:9-10, Yahweh commissions the Prophet to speak deception to his people so that they will not be given an opportunity to repent.
The motif of deceiving prophet is central also in 1 Kgs 22:19-22- Yahweh sends out a deceiving spirit upon the prophets of Ahab in order to entice him to go war, where he will die. In all these passages, there is one common theme- Yahweh compels human beings to act in a manner that leads to and justifies their destruction.” 
Everything presented, I am sure everyone whether Christian or not, will agree with me that Yahweh is a deceiver. I did not intend to write something like this, but like I said at the start of the article, it was due to missionary lies trying to degrade Islam, cherry picking quotes and twisting words of the Quran.
 Milton Crum Evil, Anger, and God page 22
 Beyond Bible Basics: A Manual for Spiritual Growth By Duncan Heaster
 The holy Bible containing The Old and New Testament according to the authorized version: with explanatory notes, practical observations, and copious marginal references by Thomas Scott  (théologien) page 214
 C. F. Keil D. D. Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament volume 1 page 108-019
 Jeremiah, Lamentations (Understanding the Bible Commentary Series) By Tremper III Longman
 Abingdon Old Testament Commentary – Jeremiah By Louis Stulman page 68
 Theology of the Old Testament: Testimony, Dispute, Advocacy By Walter Brueggemann page 362
 You Are My People: An Introduction to Prophetic Literature By Louis Stulman, Hyun Chul Paul Kim
 Prayer 101: Learning to Talk with God By Don M. Aycock page 64
 An English-Hebrew lexicon : being a complete verbal index to Gesenius’ Hebrew lexicon as translated by Prof. Edward Robinson, D.D. [prepared by Joseph Lewis Potter] (1872 page 42
 Brown, Francis, 1849-1916; Robinson, Edward, 1794-1863; Driver, S. R. (Samuel Rolles), 1846-1914; Briggs, Charles A. (Charles Augustus), 1841-1913; Gesenius, Wilhelm, 1786-1842 A Hebrew and English lexicon of the Old Testament: with an appendix containing the biblical Aramaic (1906) Page 674
 William Robertson, Robertson’s Compendious Hebrew Dictionary: corrected and Improved By Nahum Joseph, Teacher of Hebrew (1814) page 201
 Professor Karl Feyerabend, A complete Hebrew-English pocket-dictionary to the Old Testament (1905])page 224
 A Handy Hebrew Concordance: Hitherto Called the Hebraist’s Vade Mecum: A first attempt at a complete verbal Index By George V. Wigram page 362
 Jeremiah, Zedekiah, and the Fall of Jerusalem By Mark Roncace page 42 Footnote 43
 Comparative Rhetoric: An Historical and Cross-cultural Introduction By George Alexander Kennedy page 136
 The Secret Providence of God By John Calvin, Jean Calvin [Edited by Paul Helm 2010] Page 80
 Samson: A Secret Betrayed, a Vow Ignored By James L. Crenshaw page 93
 John M. Reed Crusading Against Athens page 57
 John H. Choi Ezekiel 14:9 deceive deceptive Traditions at Odds: The Reception of the Pentateuch in Biblical and Second Temple Period Literature page 205