2 Kings 6:19—Didn’t Elisha lie to the Syrian troops who were coming to capture him?
Problem: When Elisha went out to meet his enemies, he told them “this is not the way, nor is this the city. Follow me, and I will bring you to the man whom you seek” (2 Kings 6:19). How could a man of God lie to these Syrian troops?
Solution: What Elisha told them was not actually a lie. The Syrian troops were sent to Dothan to capture Elisha. The Lord blinded them, and Elisha came out of the city to meet them. What Elisha told them was “this is not the way, nor is this the city.” Once Elisha came out of the city he was no longer in Dothan. Consequently, entering Dothan was no longer the way to capture Elisha, neither was it the city. Elisha also instructed them, “follow me and I will bring you to the man whom you seek.” This was also true. Elisha went before them into Samaria, and when they arrived, the Lord opened their eyes and they saw Elisha, and that they were in Samaria. (As to whether lying is ever justified, see comments on Ex. 1:15–21.)
See All Problems
This excerpt is from When Critics Ask: A Popular Handbook on Bible Difficulties (Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books, 1992). © 2014 Norman Geisler and Thomas Howe. All rights reserved. Used by permission. Click here to purchase this book.