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

Isaiah 45:7

Why did god create evil and then punish people for doing evil when he made all this things possible (such as creating evil in the first place, and making humans able to do evil things)?

Can anyone clear this up?

This question was not answered yet. I'm clearly asking here WHY did God create evil, and I'm not asking if he created evil.. because the verse I sighted already is claiming that God Created Evil.. I'm just asking for any biblical sources of reason why would he create evil?

  • 1
    Almost all your questions recently have been duplicates. Have you been doing any research before asking? Please use the search tool and tags to browse around for existing content as well as to better understand the scope of the topic your asking about so you can frame better questions. Thanks.
    – Caleb
    May 28 '13 at 8:12
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    I did post a link. It's in the header auto-added to your question when I closed it as a duplicate. Also how could you be arguing against it being a duplicate if you hadn't even seen link? Did you read the other question? It asks about exactly the same verse and makes exactly the same assumption you are making and asking for clarification on the same issue.
    – Caleb
    May 28 '13 at 8:19
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    My question is not answered by that.. The verse it self says "I make peace and create evil" and the answer says God did not create evil.. and you are saying my question is already answered? I've already given the verse that says HE DOES CREATE EVIL, why don't you just give explanation about this instead of saying the OPPOSITE of the VERSE, which would be unacceptable, because it would contradict the bible.
    – FFCoder
    May 28 '13 at 8:21
  • i've read the answer form that question, and it clearly did not answer it.. the main answer in that THREAD was.."GOD DID NOT CREATE EVIL" and that contradicts the VERSE in the first place... it would be better if you could provide any explanation about this verse.. on why would he say that HE himself create evil
    – FFCoder
    May 28 '13 at 8:23
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    Hopefully this gets re-opened because God does create evil, and such a question deserves an answer based on what scripture explicitly confirms.
    – user900
    May 28 '13 at 8:29

Does The Bible Say God Created Evil (Sin)?

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

This generates some confusion, because the "evil" God creates does not necessarily match our definition of "evil" (more on this in the next section). We can try reading other translations and commentaries on the verse to gain some insight. A good source for comparison and commentary of individual verses is biblehub.com. The Hebrew word ra` (Strong's H7451), there translated as "evil" in KJV is translated as "calamity" (in NKJV, KJV 2000, ESV, and NASB), "disaster" (in NIV, HCSB, and ISV), "woe" (in RSV) and "bad-times" (in NLT). It is commonly believed to be referring to punishment, and not unrighteousness (see Matthew Henry Commentary for Isaiah 45:5-10).
An example of a similar usage can be found in Genesis 19:19, where ra is again translated as "evil" in KJV but in more modern translations (including ESV, NASB, NIV, and others) the word is often translated as "disaster" (the context being Lot fleeing the impending judgement and destruction of Sodom & Gomorrah).

KJV: Behold now, thy servant hath found grace in thy sight, and thou hast magnified thy mercy, which thou hast shewed unto me in saving my life; and I cannot escape to the mountain, lest some evil[H7451] take me, and I die:
NIV: Your servant has found favor in your eyes, and you have shown great kindness to me in sparing my life. But I can't flee to the mountains; this disaster[H7451] will overtake me, and I'll die.

I hope this points out that "evil" does not equal sin in all cases, especially in older translations/versions of the Bible. And in particular, "evil" does not equal sin in Isaiah 45:7, and the Bible does not say that God created sin.

But If God Created All Things Doesn't That Include Evil?
For a non-doctrinal answer (at least as far as possible), first consider the definition of evil. What is evil? If we are talking about evil as sin, then we can define evil to be unrighteousness.

Evil (by Biblical definition of sin) is unrighteousness, the absence of righteousness, just as darkness is the absence of light. Darkness and evil are not anything, and cannot be created, they are by definition the absence of their "opposites". Therefore, God did not create evil (sin and unrighteousness), evil simply exists wherever God is absent (not followed).

For further reading check: What is the definition of evil?

Why Does God Allow Evil?
The answers to this differ fundamentally based on doctrinal beliefs, mainly dependent on the view of free will.

Assuming that we have free will, evil (unrighteousness) is a byproduct of our free will whenever we choose to do something contrary to the nature of God.
So the question then becomes "why do we have free will?" This is yet another source of doctrinal differences, but one common reason is because when we choose to do God's will, we give honor and glory to God. This honor is all the more meaningful because it was our choice, we were not compelled like a marionette puppet to do it. Furthermore, without the option of unrighteousness and sin, there would be no point to Christ's sacrifice, and no need for forgiveness and redemption.

  • Does that mean when you are sleeping you are doing evil? because obviously "doing nothing is absence of good" like what you said.. and that answer is just an idea.. but then why did the bible say God Created Evil... if it can't be created?
    – FFCoder
    May 28 '13 at 8:13
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    Where in the Bible does it say that God created evil (the specific definition of evil)? As for your example/question of sleep, it quickly degrades into a philosophical discussion rather than a question about Christianity. For example: Is sleep really doing nothing? Isn't sleep a necessary action to sustain life? And if it is, then because we are commanded to live on the earth, isn't sleeping the necessary amount a righteous act and therefore not evil at all?
    – Walter
    May 28 '13 at 8:29
  • Interesting thoughts. I like your thought process. This answer would be perfect if you showed verses that use that same hebrew word, if they exist, which would show that "evil" is not the best word for our culture.
    – fгedsbend
    May 28 '13 at 12:43
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    @fredsbend : I agree that it would be a good addition, however the word ra` occurs 690 times, making it difficult to index without the help of a more specialized computer program. Searching by Strong's reference number on BlueLetterBible yields 25 pages of results which I have not found a way to filter further. I will add the first occurrence I find for now, but I would like to be more complete.
    – Walter
    May 29 '13 at 8:12
  • You should spend the effort on the duplicate. This one is closed.
    – fгedsbend
    May 29 '13 at 12:06

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