Jeremiah 20:7—Did God deceive Jeremiah?

Problem: The kjv of this verse reads, “O Lord, thou has deceived me, and I was deceived.” But, God is a God of truth who cannot lie (Heb. 6:18), nor can He tempt others to sin (Jas. 1:13). How then could He deceive Jeremiah?

Solution: The Hebrew word (patah) translated “deceived” by the kjv does not imply moral deception here. It can be translated “induced” or “persuaded” (nkjv and niv note). It simply means that God persuaded or constrained Jeremiah into a ministry of which he was not fully aware of all the consequences. But this is a good description of marriage. And who but the most cynical would insist that all romance and courtship are moral deception simply because the couple could not foresee all they were getting into.

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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.