Create Evil

The book we were reading in class, for English, said that the Bible says that God creates evil. I have never in my life, or at least in my memory, read this verse and decided it must be from the King James Version. The KJV was produced in 1611, using the texts and translations they had available at the time. It was problematic in several ways. (A long, interesting, but randomly off topic letter about the KJV’s problems can be found here.

According to the Bible Gateway the verse is:

Isaiah 45:7 (King James Version)

I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.

The NIV, New International Version, says: “I form the light and create darkness,
I bring prosperity and create disaster;
I, the LORD, do all these things.”

I can see why someone would say “evil” for “disaster.” A disaster was considered evil back in the day. Maybe not now, when nothing seems evil.

The context is:

I am the LORD, and there is no other;
apart from me there is no God.
I will strengthen you,
though you have not acknowledged me,

6 so that from the rising of the sun
to the place of its setting
men may know there is none besides me.
I am the LORD, and there is no other.

7 I form the light and create darkness,
I bring prosperity and create disaster;
I, the LORD, do all these things.

8 “You heavens above, rain down righteousness;
let the clouds shower it down.
Let the earth open wide,
let salvation spring up,
let righteousness grow with it;
I, the LORD, have created it.

9 “Woe to him who quarrels with his Maker,
to him who is but a potsherd among the potsherds on the ground.
Does the clay say to the potter,
‘What are you making?’
Does your work say,
‘He has no hands’?

What does it mean? Matthew Henry’s commentary says “…I create evil, not the evil of sin (God is not the author of that), but the evil of punishment.”

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown’s commentary says “create evil–not moral evil (Jas 1:13), but in contrast to “peace” in the parallel clause, war, disaster (compare Ps 65:7; Am 3:6).”

That makes sense to me.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

CommentLuv badge