There is no condemnation of chicanery but, rather, the attitude that to best a man in a business contract revealed cleverness.
It may also be interpreted as an historic link with the cultures of the upper Euphrates.
The close relationship between the Hebrews and the people of the desert and steppes is recognized in the story of Ishmael, the nomadic first son of Abraham; but it is through Isaac, the second son about whom so very little is recorded, that the Hebrews trace their own family line.
Both Isaac and his son Jacob maintain a separateness from the people among whom they dwell, taking wives from among their own kin in Haran (Gen. The story of Jacob, who becomes Israel, and his twin brother Esau, who becomes Edom, is colored with rivalry, trickery and bitter misundertanding but also contains echoes of Hurrian custom.
Hence, the deity was known as "the Shield of Abraham" (Gen. On the slopes of Mount Sinai in a dramatic encounter with Yahweh, he was commissioned to act as deliverer of the Hebrews. Pedersen, Israel: Its Life and Culture (Copenhagen: Povl Branner, 1926), Vols. (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1961) ; and Aubrey R. Johnson, The Vitality of the Individual in the Thought of Ancient Israel, 2nd ed.
In the clash with Pharaoh, the god-king's power was overshadowed by Yahweh through a series of horrendous events in which the Nile was turned to blood and plagues involving frogs, gnats, flies, cattle, boils, hail, locusts and darkness are ultimately climaxed by the death of all the first-born children of Egypt (Read Exod. This final act, associated in tradition with the Passover festival, persuaded Pharaoh to release the Hebrews.