Isaiah 45:7

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Oct 25, 2014
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#1
Isaiah 45:7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.

I find this verse very much under attack, interestingly by believers and non believers alike. Non believers think this is "proof" that God is evil, while believers seem to be uncomfortably squirming in attempts to explain it away.
Why is that? Thoughts?
 
Jul 18, 2017
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#2
Why is that? Thoughts?
The Hebrew word which as been translated as "evil" actually means adversities or calamities -- natural disasters.

Strong's Concordance
ra': adversity
Original Word: רַע
Part of Speech: Adjective; noun masculine; noun feminine
Transliteration: ra'
Phonetic Spelling: (rah)
Definition: bad, evil

Brown-Driver-Briggs
1
evil, distress, adversity: יָרֵא רַע fear evil Psalm 23:4;Zephaniah 3:15; בּוֺרֵא רָ֑ע Isaiah 45:7 (of God), הביא רעIsaiah 31:2;
 
Oct 25, 2014
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#3
The Hebrew word which as been translated as "evil" actually means adversities or calamities -- natural disasters.

Strong's Concordance
ra': adversity
Original Word: רַע
Part of Speech: Adjective; noun masculine; noun feminine
Transliteration: ra'
Phonetic Spelling: (rah)
Definition: bad, evil

Brown-Driver-Briggs
1
evil, distress, adversity: יָרֵא רַע fear evil Psalm 23:4;Zephaniah 3:15; בּוֺרֵא רָ֑ע Isaiah 45:7 (of God), הביא רעIsaiah 31:2;
Yep - I already knew this bro, but the reason I opened this thread is really the discomfort with which so many people react when faced with that verse (and some others). Been noticing that and want to strengthen and encourage.
Don't we know by faith what is God's character like? Should we not have more confidence in Him?
Why do people feel the need to apologize for God or excuse God (the whole apologetics is basically that)?
God is perfectly fit to stand...!
The God from the Old Testament is the same God on the Cross.
 

Deuteronomy

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Jun 11, 2018
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#4
Hello sister (@SoulWeaver), to arrive at the correct meaning of words in Hebrew, context is extremely important, which is why I believe (in cases like this) that a different translation, while not necessary, is preferable.

Here, for instance, is the NASB's translation of v7.

Isaiah 45
6 I am the LORD, and there is no other,
7 The One forming light and creating darkness,
Causing well-being and creating calamity;
I am the LORD who does all these things.

רַע has many meanings (as most words do), including "moral" evil, but that's not the meaning of the word here because,

1. while the Bible makes it clear that God creates "physical" evils in this world (calamities, disasters, illnesses, conflicts, and the like), He NEVER creates "moral" evil and,

2. the context of this passage is one of comparisons, for instance, light is certainly the opposite of dark, but "moral" evil is hardly the opposite of "peace", war is, yes?

God bless you!

~Deut
 
Nov 11, 2019
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#5
In context that He is the only God.

He makes peace refers to the liberation of the Israelites from the Babylonian captivity and "create evil/calamity" refers to His use of justice on the Babylonians for their cruel treatment of the Israelites during their years of captivity.
 
Oct 25, 2014
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#6
Thanks everyone so far (and whoever adds more knowledge) for your beautiful contributions.
I agree with you all.
I want to point out that sometimes we might run into something that we don't understand, whether in the Bible, or just life questions that we might face, out of the Bible, and that it is very important how to approach questions that we have no answer to.
One thing that I found always helped me is to apply devotion and faith to apprehend peace in God's direct presence, and do not be distressed if others don't understand, or if I have no answer to give them (or myself).
Intimate closeness to God is true knowledge, and Holy Spirit's indwelling is true understanding anyway, as the Bible defines it.
 

Deuteronomy

Well-known member
Jun 11, 2018
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#7
Hello again @SoulWeaver, I apologize for not looking to see that you and @Nehemiah6 had posted your replies before I did, as I believe that I would have replied somewhat differently than I did since my main point was already made (I started my reply to you but had to leave before I posted it).

~Deut
 
Mar 21, 2009
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#8
It is not the need to apologize for God, it is that we have to educate people who are not well read as Deuteronomy just did in his post explaining war and calamity. The English word evil is understood by English people today in a cultural usage that is not the only way it was used in the past even in the days of the KJV English speakers. If someone is thinking about that word only in the context of moral evil they have to be educated. Many people have not yet attempted to bridge the gap of cultural context and lexical analysis and so they misinterpret authorial intent and use verses to say things that the author never intended.

When they refuse to even consider the possibility that this might be the case and would rather cling to an erroneous interpretation that is based on a lack of paying attention in English classes or being familiar with English word usage, then you must walk away and leave them to their willful belligerent ignorance.
 
Oct 25, 2014
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#9
It is not the need to apologize for God, it is that we have to educate people who are not well read as Deuteronomy just did in his post explaining war and calamity. The English word evil is understood by English people today in a cultural usage that is not the only way it was used in the past even in the days of the KJV English speakers. If someone is thinking about that word only in the context of moral evil they have to be educated. Many people have not yet attempted to bridge the gap of cultural context and lexical analysis and so they misinterpret authorial intent and use verses to say things that the author never intended.

When they refuse to even consider the possibility that this might be the case and would rather cling to an erroneous interpretation that is based on a lack of paying attention in English classes or being familiar with English word usage, then you must walk away and leave them to their willful belligerent ignorance.
Agreed; yet, would you agree that the way a person approaches a (seemingly) controversial passage is pretty much determined by their faith & readiness to condemn? A diligent person that wants the truth will have patience to carefully examine and not rush to the conclusion, but the person without faith will not want to examine, but immediately shout, aha!
 
Mar 21, 2009
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#10
Agreed; yet, would you agree that the way a person approaches a (seemingly) controversial passage is pretty much determined by their faith & readiness to condemn? A diligent person that wants the truth will have patience to carefully examine and not rush to the conclusion, but the person without faith will not want to examine, but immediately shout, aha!
Yes. And I avoid them. God has not called us to strive with skeptics. There is a rule I use called "opposing themselves" that is the signal for me to shake off the dust and talk to someone else. It is when they are not intellectually honest, and we can tell when it is going on.


Paul reasoned daily in the synagogue using prophesy scriptures about Jesus and they listen for a while but then they "opposed themselves". I believe this is when they knew that Paul's interpretation of the scripture was correct but they made statements declaring their unwillingness to admit it. That is when Paul shook off the dust and left them to teach the gentiles in that town. I have learned over the years to recognize when someone was opposing themselves and it was time for me to move on.

I think opposing oneself is the same as being intellectually dishonest, not willing to concede when in your heart you know that your interpretation is wrong or more specifically when someone else is correct. Opposing oneself goes on in the inside but those who have the Spirit of God as Paul had can see when it is going on.

Acts 18
4And he reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks.

5And when Silas and Timotheus were come from Macedonia, Paul was pressed in the spirit, and testified to the Jews that Jesus was Christ. 6And when they opposed themselves, and blasphemed, he shook his raiment, and said unto them, Your blood be upon your own heads; I am clean: from henceforth I will go unto the Gentiles.


2 Tim 2:
25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;
 
Oct 25, 2014
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#11
The person who has doubts in the truth, has thought this long before believing they read a confirmation to it in the Bible.
People are looking for a confirmation, not knowledge.
I believe knowledge (not information, but knowledge) is genuinely a recognition of what's already within.
When a person is troubled, the whole world, not only the Bible or God, becomes like a giant Rorschach test.
Psalms 18:26 With the pure thou wilt shew thyself pure; and with the froward thou wilt shew thyself froward.
Only God is able to change what's inside.
These are things beyond the intellect and facts at play that we encounter.
People recognize externally what is already within them.
Psychology calls it projection, the Bible calls it bringing things forth out of the treasury of the heart.
The person who responds to Truth being questioned with insecurity, distress, and relentless debate, similarly reveals what is already in their treasury, that they lack confidence.
But we have the mind of Christ. The Truth is well equipped to defend itself.
God is able to bring anyone into order at anytime, and He can do it in just a moment.
"Keep the peace of God, and by your peace, thousands will be saved" --- an unknown Christian monk
 
Dec 17, 2017
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yeshuaofisrael.org
#12
Agreed; yet, would you agree that the way a person approaches a (seemingly) controversial passage is pretty much determined by their faith & readiness to condemn? A diligent person that wants the truth will have patience to carefully examine and not rush to the conclusion, but the person without faith will not want to examine, but immediately shout, aha!
Did God not create evil by defining it? Was evil evil before God said it was? Some things to think about. 4-scratch-chin.gif
 
Oct 25, 2014
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#13
Did God not create evil by defining it? Was evil evil before God said it was? Some things to think about. View attachment 221038
Great point.............................
Genesis 2:17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
1 Corinthians 15:56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.
Romans 7:5 For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death.
Galatians 3:24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
 
Aug 14, 2019
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#14
I think the urge to apologize for faith in Jesus is because being a Christian has become a sin. Conscience is being reformed.