Some time in the past four thousand years, God was done with a king called Saul. He had settled on a man after His own heart and wanted to anoint him before getting rid of Saul. As a result, He called His servant Samuel and instructed him to take a cow to Bethlehem and head to the home of somebody called Jesse where he would find the next king of Israel who he would anoint. The instructions were clear: when heading to Bethlehem, Samuel was supposed to tell people that he was going to sacrifice to God with Jesse's family. So, Samuel goes to Bethlehem, and the elders there were understandably scared. God's prophets rarely volunteered to go anywhere, so a prophet coming your place was not (usually) a good sign. Except this time it was.

Samuel went to Jesse's home and proceeded to sacrifice the cow with his family. We also know that this sacrifice was intertwined with David's anointing. Obviously after that, the entire country and a few of their neighbours knew that David had been anointed to be king over Israel after Saul. Obviously number two, somebody must have been irritated to some extent with Samuel's lack of information sharing; I suspect Saul, as king, might have thought he had a right to know his successor. What do you think?

Anyway, I personally know that the sacrifice was a smokescreen to cover the anointing that also performed a necessary religious function.

So why would God keep David's anointing secret? I will not speculate, but what I would have done personally were I in Saul's shoes would probably be to try and kill Samuel, try and wipe out Jesse's family, his clan and their friends or go to that witch and ask her for some favours. Another thing that might have happened is Satan might have interfered in some other way, like maybe putting on snake skin and visiting David in the bush where he was serenading his father's sheep to join him in a poisonous duet. So, therefore, something must have needed to be prevented. I do not know what, and it is not my work to speculate. Neither is it yours, for that matter.

As a result, God's plan succeeded and He got a king after His own heart while also getting Himself an ancestor in the process. Talk of killing two birds with one stone.

If God did not share this information, does that make Him a liar?

The obvious answer would be no, because we know what needed to be achieved and can therefore find a justification that fits in with our twisted mental models of morality.Why, then, do people hate half-truths?

The first answer I can think of is the concept of information sharing. Sometimes people need or want certain information which might change the trajectories of their lives for the better or give them a desirable advantage over certain situations. While this may seem a good argument, I would like to state here that human beings are rarely precise in their conceptions of the world and things happening in it. A half-truth could be a result of ommission or commission. People are either forgetful, careless or malicious. If that happens, this stops being a half-truth and becomes a different matter altogether. To tell a half-truth, you must deliberately tell literally less than the entire truth. Make it half or less for effect and/or precision.

As I said, it is half of the truth, and sometimes people deliberately withhold information that might save a life or lives. That would not in most cases be sharing half-truths, it would be wilfully (or not) trying or cooperating in killing someone. Therefore, this argument does not apply to half-truths because the information needed, though vital, is usually not shared at all. Let me give you an example: Not telling a friend that the mutura they are eating at that moment is made of dog meat you saw being prepared earlier in that butchery (shut up if you are Chinese).

This leads me to the second point. People tell half-truths because they want to lock others out of certain information which is definitely very annoying because people naturally want to feel included and maybe part of the in-group or something. Telling them a half-truth would then be saying to them, when they find out later, that maybe they are not valuable or trustworthy to you. I do not know what that might have communicated to Saul.

Next and just as important, a person will tell a half-truth if they do not want to lie, but also do not want to jeopardise something. This obviously brings us back to the beginning, but also tells us that this person is thoughtful and also pragmatic. We all know of the phenomenon of projects failing when somebody tells of their intentions and/or plans to other people.

So, if you are told a half-truth at some point, you know you fall into one of several categories including but not limited to: enemy, malicious person, not belonging or unfit to receive the information. Whatever it is, if your reaction to being told a half-truth is sad, that is understandable as being human. If you are angry, stop being emotional.

Naturally, this leads to a pertinent question. What, then, is a half-truth?

In my eyes, a half-truth is sharing some correct information about your activities while removing information you do not want to share with others, regardless of their interest in it. You are not lying, but you are not telling everything either. You shouldn't, just to be clear. A person who wants all information all the time is probably malicious.

On the other hand, it is our duty as human beings to promote the welfare of other human beings - in this case, saving lives - so hiding information that may harm other human beings to protect yourself as modern companies do is morally not engaging in sharing half-truths. That is concealment. That falls into another category which I do not know what to call.

I know some scenarios which may be brought up as objections, but I am not going to think about them because I can already feel my brain heating up. Plus, things are generally complicated and there is a thin line between being thorough and silly.


Lies are lies, "white" or otherwise. If you know telling the truth is hard, refuse to tell it or shut up or tell it as it is or do not get yourself in that hole in the first place. I know you have enough brains to do that.