Hank Jensen
by on September 10, 2021
By RAD Apologetics
Reposted from facebook

Let’s take a closer look at these passages. 

There are two different words for “evil” used in the pages of the Old Testament. First, there is “evil” in the sense of “calamity,” “disaster,” “misfortune,” or “hardship” – in other words, those aspects of existence in this world that we consider “bad” because they hurt us or inconvenience us in some way. 

The Hebrew word for this type of “evil” is ra’ah. It should be sharply distinguished from the second word for “evil,” rasha’ – “wickedness” or evil in the moral sense.
When the Lord says (in the King James Version), “I make peace, and create evil,” the Hebrew word employed is ra’ah. The New King James Version makes this explicit with the translation, “I make peace and create calamity.” 

The same word is used in Lamentations 3:38 (KJV), where the prophet Jeremiah declares that both “evil and good proceed out of the mouth of the host High.”

By way of contrast, the Bible never attributes the creation of rasha’ or “moral wickedness” to God. On the contrary, it tells us over and over again that He alone is good (Mark 10:18). It says that all the works of His hands “are verity and justice” (Psalm 111:7). He is light, says the apostle John, “and in Him is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5). If He creates ra’ah, or “calamity,” it is always for a good and righteous purpose within the all-embracing scheme of His eternal and sovereign plan. For example, He sometimes uses affliction to compel people to seek His face (Hosea 5:15). Similarly, He works all things, including trials and troubles, “together for good to those who love [Him]” (Romans 8:28, NKJV). God may have any number of reasons for weaving ra’ah, or hardships and difficulties, into the fabric of human experience. But He is not and cannot be the author of rasha’.

Posted in: MEANING
Topics: evil, ra’ah, rasha
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