Crafty or deceitful cunning; teachery; duplicity; deceit. Jacob dressed in his brother's clothes with the goatskins on his arms and neck is Scripture's best-known illustration of guile (Genesis 27:35; KJV, subtilty; modern translations, deceitfully). Jesus perhaps had this image of Jacob (Israel) in mind when pronouncing Nathanael “an Israelite indeed in whom is no guile” (John 1:47; compare
John 1:51 with
1 Peter 2:22 describes Christ as one without guile in His mouth. Paul encouraged Christians to be “guileless as to what is evil” (Romans 16:19 NRSV; compare
1 Peter 2:1), that is, innocent or naive when it comes to evil.
These dictionary topics are from the Holman Bible Dictionary, published by Broadman & Holman, 1991. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman & Holman.
Butler, Trent C. Editor.. "Entry for 'GUILE'". "Holman Bible Dictionary".