I form the light, and create darkness; I make peace, and create evil. I am Jehovah, that doeth all these things. (ASV)
Here, God admits to being the creator of evil.
Apologetic responses to this generally involve trying to redefine the Hebrew "rah" to mean something else, such as "calamity". Even the translators of many Bibles do this:
NKJV: ...I make peace and create calamity...
NLT: ...I am the one who sends good times and bad times...
NIV: ...I bring prosperity and create disaster...
NASB: ...Causing well-being and creating calamity...
RSV: ...I make weal and create woe...
And yet this is the same Hebrew word that describes evil in the Garden of Eden (the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil), and the "evil" of humanity that prompted the Flood, and the "wickedness" of the men of Sodom, and the "evil beast" that allegedly devoured Joseph (according to the story concocted by his brothers), and the "evil" his brothers did to Joseph... and so on. It is the evil that many Biblical characters need to be delivered from, or to seek repentance for: and the evil that God will punish people for. While the word can occasionally signify "harm" or "misfortune", the overall meaning is clear. Strong's Concordance provides the following statistics on usage:
- evil 442, wickedness 59, wicked 25, mischief 21, hurt 20, bad 13, trouble 10, sore 9, affliction 6, ill 5, adversity 4, favoured 3, harm 3, naught 3, noisome 2, grievous 2, sad 2, misc 34; total 663
--Robert Stevens 10:22, 2 Aug 2006 (CDT)
Compare with verses that say God doesn't create evil:
1Tim 4:4 For everything God created is good
Rom 8:28 we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him
Job 34:10 Far be it from God to do evil, from the Almighty to do wrong.
And this one is interesting in context of this discussion: Eccl 6:2 God gives a man wealth, possessions and honor, so that he lacks nothing his heart desires, but God does not enable him to enjoy them, and a stranger enjoys them instead. This is meaningless, a grievous evil.
|Equinox Aug 4, 2006
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