'Evil' in the Bible
And [in that garden] the Lord God caused to grow from the ground every tree that is desirable and pleasing to the sight and good (suitable, pleasant) for food; the tree of life was also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the [experiential] knowledge (recognition) of [the difference between] good and evil.
but [only] from the tree of the knowledge (recognition) of good and evil you shall not eat, otherwise on the day that you eat from it, you shall most certainly die [because of your disobedience].”
For God knows that on the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened [that is, you will have greater awareness], and you will be like God, knowing [the difference between] good and evil.”
And the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us (Father, Son, Holy Spirit), knowing [how to distinguish between] good and evil; and now, he might stretch out his hand, and take from the tree of life as well, and eat [its fruit], and live [in this fallen, sinful condition] forever”—
The Lord saw that the wickedness (depravity) of man was great on the earth, and that every imagination or intent of the thoughts of his heart were only evil continually.
These are the records of the generations (family history) of Noah. Noah was a righteous man [one who was just and had right standing with God], blameless in his [evil] generation; Noah walked (lived) [in habitual fellowship] with God.
The Lord smelled the pleasing aroma [a soothing, satisfying scent] and the Lord said to Himself, “I will never again curse the ground because of man, for the intent (strong inclination, desire) of man’s heart is wicked from his youth; and I will never again destroy every living thing, as I have done.
Please listen, your servant has found favor in your sight, and you have magnified your lovingkindness (mercy) to me by saving my life; but I cannot escape to the mountains, because the disaster will overtake me and I will be killed.
The situation distressed Abraham greatly because of his son [Ishmael].
God said to Abraham, “Do not let it distress you because of Ishmael and your maid; whatever Sarah tells you, listen to her and do what she asks, for your descendants will be named through Isaac.
So they gave Jacob all the [idols and images of the] foreign gods they had and the rings which were in their ears [worn as charms against evil], and Jacob buried them under the oak tree near Shechem.
He recognized it and said, “It is my son’s tunic. A wild animal has devoured him; Joseph is without doubt torn in pieces!”
He is not greater in this house than I am, nor has he kept anything from me except you, because you are his wife. How then could I do this great evil and sin against God [and your husband]?”
And Israel (Jacob) said, “Why did you treat me so badly by telling the man that you had another brother?”
When they had left the city, and were not yet far away, Joseph said to his steward, “Get up, follow after the men; and when you overtake them, say to them, ‘Why have you repaid evil [to us] for good [paid to you]?
If you take this one also from me, and harm or an accident happens to him, you will bring my gray hair down to Sheol in sorrow.’
How can I go up to my father if the young man is not with me—for fear that I would see the tragedy that would overtake my [elderly] father [if Benjamin does not return]?”
Jacob said to Pharaoh, “The years of my pilgrimage are a hundred and thirty. Few and unpleasant have been the years of my life, and they have not reached the years that my fathers lived during the days of their pilgrimage.”
The Angel [that is, the Lord Himself] who has redeemed me [continually] from all evil,Bless the boys;And may my name live on in them [may they be worthy of having their names linked with mine],And the names of my fathers Abraham and Isaac;And may they grow into a [great] multitude in the midst of the earth.”
When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, “What if Joseph carries a grudge against us and pays us back in full for all the wrong which we did to him?”
‘You are to say to Joseph, “I beg you, please forgive the transgression of your brothers and their sin, for they did you wrong.”’ Now, please forgive the transgression of the servants of the God of your father.” And Joseph wept when they spoke to him.
As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present outcome, that many people would be kept alive [as they are this day].
The Hebrew foremen saw that they were in a bad situation because they were told, “You must not reduce [in the least] your daily quota of bricks.”
Then Moses turned again to the Lord and said, “O Lord, why have You brought harm and oppression to this people? Why did You ever send me? [I cannot understand Your purpose!]
Ever since I came to Pharaoh to speak in Your name, he has harmed and oppressed this people, and You have done nothing at all to rescue Your people.”
Pharaoh said to them, “The Lord be with you [to help you], if I ever let you go with your children [because you will never return]! Look [be forewarned], you have an evil plan in mind.
You shall not follow a crowd to do [something] evil, nor shall you testify at a trial or in a dispute so as to side with a crowd in order to pervert justice;
Why should the Egyptians say, ‘With evil [intent] their God brought them out to kill them in the mountains and destroy them from the face of the earth’? Turn away from Your burning anger and change Your mind about harming Your people.
So the Lord changed His mind about the harm which He had said He would do to His people.
Aaron said, “Do not let the anger of my lord burn; you know the people yourself, that they are prone to evil.
When the people heard this sad word, they mourned, and none of them put on his ornaments.
Or if anyone swears [an oath] thoughtlessly or impulsively aloud that he will do either evil or good, in whatever manner a person may speak thoughtlessly or impulsively with an oath, but he is unaware of it, when he recognizes it, he will be guilty in one of these.
Now the people became like those who complain and whine about their hardships, and the Lord heard it; and when the Lord heard it, His anger was kindled, and the fire of the Lord burned among them and devoured those in the outlying parts of the camp.
Now Moses heard the people weeping [in self-pity] throughout their families, every man at the doorway of his tent; and the anger of the Lord blazed hotly, and Moses regarded their behavior as evil.
So they gave the Israelites a bad report about the land which they had spied out, saying, “The land through which we went, in spying it out, is a land that devours its inhabitants. And all the people that we saw in it are men of great stature.
“How long shall I put up with this evil congregation who murmur [in discontent] against Me? I have heard the complaints of the Israelites, which they are making against Me.
I, the Lord, have spoken. I will most certainly do this to all this evil congregation who are gathered together against Me. In this wilderness they shall be consumed [by war, disease, and plagues], and here they shall die.’”
even those [ten] men who brought back the very bad report of the land died by a plague before the Lord.
Why have you made us come up from Egypt, to bring us to this wretched place? It is not a place of grain or of figs or of vines or of pomegranates, and there is no water to drink.”
So the Lord’s anger was kindled against the sons of Israel (Jacob) and He made them wander in the wilderness forty years, until the entire generation of those who had done evil in the sight of the Lord was destroyed.
‘Not one of these men, this evil generation, shall see the good land which I swore (solemnly promised) to give to your fathers,
Moreover, your little ones whom you said would become prey, and your sons, who today have no knowledge of good or evil, shall enter Canaan, and I will give it to them and they shall possess it.
“When you become the father of children and grandchildren and have grown old in the land, then if you corrupt yourselves by making a carved or sculpted image in the form of anything [for the purpose of worship], and do evil [things] in the sight of the Lord your God, provoking Him to anger,
Moreover, the Lord showed great and terrible signs and wonders before our eyes against Egypt, Pharaoh and all his household;
The Lord will take away from you all sickness; and He will not subject you to any of the harmful diseases of Egypt which you have known, but He will impose them on all [those] who hate you.
But that prophet or that dreamer of dreams shall be put to death, because he has counseled rebellion against the Lord your God who brought you from the land of Egypt and redeemed you from the house of slavery, to draw you away from the way in which the Lord your God has commanded you to walk. So you shall remove the evil from among you.
Beware that there is no wicked thought in your heart, saying, ‘The seventh year, the year of release (remission, pardon), is approaching,’ and your eye is hostile (unsympathetic) toward your poor brother, and you give him nothing [since he would not have to repay you]; for he may cry out to the Lord against you, and it will become a sin for you.
The hand of the witnesses shall be the first against him to put him to death, and afterward the hand of all the people. So you shall remove the evil from among you.
The man who acts presumptuously and insolently by not listening to the priest who stands there to serve the Lord your God, nor to the judge, that man shall die; so you shall remove the evil from Israel.
then you shall do to him just as he had intended to do to his brother. So you shall remove the evil from among you.
Those who remain will hear and be afraid, and will never again do such an evil thing among you.
Then all the men of his city shall stone him to death; so you shall remove the evil from among you, and all Israel will hear of it and be afraid.
and charges her [without cause] with shameful behavior and publicly defames her, and says, ‘I took this woman, but when I approached her, I did not find in her evidence of virginity,’
and they shall fine him a hundred shekels of silver and give it to the father of the young woman, because he publicly defamed a virgin of Israel. And she shall remain his wife; he is not allowed to divorce her as long as he lives.
then they shall bring her out to the doorway of her father’s house, and the men of her city shall stone her to death because she has committed a deliberate sin in Israel by playing the prostitute in her father’s house. So you shall remove the evil from among you.
“If a man is intimate with a woman who is another man’s wife, they shall both be put to death, the man who lay with the woman, and the woman. So you shall remove the evil from Israel.
then you shall bring them both out to the gate of that city and stone them to death—the young woman because she did not cry out for help [though she was] in the city, and the man because he has violated his neighbor’s [promised] wife. So you shall remove the evil from among you.
“When you go out as an army [to fight] against your enemies, you shall keep yourselves from every evil [thing].
“If a man is caught kidnapping any of his countrymen from the sons of Israel, and he treats him violently or sells him [as a slave], then that thief shall die. So you shall remove the evil from among you.
“The Lord will send upon you curses, confusion, and rebuke in everything that you undertake to do, until you are destroyed, perishing quickly because of the evil of your deeds, because you have turned away from Me.
“Listen closely, I have set before you today life and prosperity (good), and death and adversity (evil);
But I will certainly hide My face [from them] in that day because of all the evil which they will do, for they will turn to other gods [to worship lifeless idols, to honor handmade relics].
For I know that after my death you will behave corruptly and turn from the way which I have commanded you; and evil will come upon you in the latter days, because you will do evil in the sight of the Lord, provoking Him to anger with the work of your hands.”
It shall come about that just as every good word which the Lord your God spoke and promised to you has been fulfilled for you, so the Lord will bring upon you every bad thing [about which He warned you], until He has destroyed and eliminated you from this good land which the Lord your God has given you.
If it is unacceptable in your sight to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you live; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
Then the Israelites did evil in the sight of the Lord and worshiped and served the Baals,
Wherever they went, the hand of the Lord was against them for evil (misfortune), as the Lord had spoken, and as the Lord had sworn to them, so that they were severely distressed.
And the Israelites did evil in the sight of the Lord, and they forgot the Lord their God and served the Baals and the Asheroth.
Now the Israelites again did evil in the sight of the Lord, and the Lord strengthened Eglon king of Moab against Israel, since they had done what was evil in the sight of the Lord.
But the Israelites again did evil in the sight of the Lord, after Ehud died.
Then the Israelites did evil in the sight of the Lord; and the Lord gave them into the hand of Midian for seven years.
Then God sent an evil spirit between Abimelech and the leaders of Shechem; and the leaders of Shechem acted treacherously against Abimelech,
Then the Israelites again did what was evil in the sight of the Lord; they served the Baals, the Ashtaroth (female deities), the gods of Aram (Syria), the gods of Sidon, the gods of Moab, the gods of the Ammonites, and the gods of the Philistines. They abandoned the Lord and did not serve Him.
Now Israel again did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, and the Lord gave them into the hands of the Philistines for forty years.
Samson said to them, “This time I shall be blameless in regard to the Philistines when I do them harm.”
Now therefore, turn over the men [involved], the worthless and wicked men in Gibeah, so that we may put them to death and remove this wickedness from Israel.” But the Benjamites would not listen to the voice of their brothers, the sons of Israel.
Eli said to them, “Why do you do such things, the evil things that I hear from all these people?
But watch, if it goes up by the way of its own territory to Beth-shemesh, then [you will know that] He has done us this great evil. But if not, then we will know that it was not His hand that struck us; this disaster happened to us by chance.”
Then all the people said to Samuel, “Pray to the Lord your God for your servants, so that we will not die, for we have added to all our sins this evil—to ask for a king for ourselves.”
Samuel said to the people, “Do not be afraid. You have [indeed] done all this evil; yet do not turn away from following the Lord, but serve the Lord with all your heart.
Why did you not obey the voice of the Lord, but [instead] swooped down on the plunder [with shouts of victory] and did evil in the sight of the Lord?”
Now the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord tormented and terrified him.
Saul’s servants said to him, “Behold, an evil spirit from God is tormenting you.
Let our lord now command your servants who are here before you to find a man who plays skillfully on the harp; and when the evil spirit from God is on you, he shall play the harp with his hand, and you will be well.”
So it came about that whenever the [evil] spirit from God was on Saul, David took a harp and played it with his hand; so Saul would be refreshed and be well, and the evil spirit would leave him.
Now it came about on the next day that an evil spirit from God came forcefully on Saul, and he raved [madly] inside his house, while David was playing the harp with his hand, as usual; and there was a spear in Saul’s hand.
Then an evil spirit from the Lord came on Saul as he was sitting in his house with his spear in his hand, and David was playing the harp with his hand.
If he says, ‘All right,’ your servant will be safe; but if he is very angry, then be certain that he has decided on evil.
Jonathan said, “Far be it from [happening to] you! In fact, if I indeed learn that my father has decided to harm you, would I not tell you about it?”
But David knew that Saul was plotting evil against him; and he said to Abiathar the priest, “Bring the ephod here.”
Look, my father! Indeed, see the hem of your robe in my hand! Since I cut off the hem of your robe and did not kill you, know and understand [without question] that there is no evil or treason in my hands. I have not sinned against you, though you are lying in wait to take my life.
He said to David, “You are more righteous and upright [in God’s eyes] than I; for you have done good to me, but I have done evil to you.
(now the man’s name was Nabal and his wife’s name was Abigail. She was intelligent and beautiful in appearance, but the man was harsh and evil in his dealings; he was a Calebite).
Now then, know this and consider what you should do, for evil is [already] planned against our master and against all his household; but he is such a worthless and wicked man that one cannot speak [reasonably] to him.”
Now David had said, “Surely in vain I have protected and guarded all that this man has in the wilderness, so that nothing was missing of all that belonged to him; and he has repaid me evil for good.
So now, my lord, as the Lord lives, and as your soul lives, since the Lord has prevented you from shedding blood, and from avenging yourself by your own hand, now then let your enemies and those who seek to do evil to my lord, be as [self-destructive as] Nabal.
Please forgive the transgression of your maidservant; for the Lord will certainly make my lord a secure and enduring house, because my lord is fighting the battles of the Lord, and evil will not be found in you all your days.
When David heard that Nabal was dead, he said, “Blessed be the Lord, who has pleaded the cause of my reproach [suffered] at the hand of Nabal and has kept His servant from [retaliating with] evil. For the Lord has returned the wickedness of Nabal on his own head.” Then David sent word to Abigail, proposing to take her as his wife.
And David said, “Why is my lord pursuing his servant? For what have I done? Or what evil is in my hand?
Then Achish called David and said to him, “As the Lord lives, you have been upright (righteous), and your behavior in the army is pleasing in my sight. For from the day you came to me to this day I have found no evil in you. Nevertheless, the [Philistine] lords do not approve of you.
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