Monday, April 7, 2008

Job 1.3: Evil

Job 1:1 There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil.

Lastly, he eschewed evil. Now this phrase struck me because I have always thought this meant that he hated wickedness, but is this the primary meaning? Eschew is easy enough, it is sur (H5493) which essentially means to be revolted by or turn off from or to decline from doing. Job looks at evil and he is revolted by it. The word evil though is not so straightforward, and often misapplied from its biblical meaning.

Evil (ra’ ra’ah H7451), means primarily bad or evil, naturally or morally and is rendered as such more times than any other way. It comes from the root ra’ah meaning to spoil or literally break. The first appearance?

Gen 2:9 And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

This is very interesting. The word for good is tobe (H2896) which simply means good as a noun in the widest sense, and what root does it come from? H2895 tobe the verb meaning to do or to make good or well. So we have this contrasting knowledge (the noun form of the word ’to know’) in the tree. The knowledge of making and the knowledge of breaking. The knowledge of doing good (making) and the knowledge of doing evil (breaking).

Does this perhaps explain better the cause of God’s command? Think about what God first introduces himself as? Eloheim (literally creators), he makes things.

Granted its much different in that when Eloheim makes something he has the option of doing so out of nothing, or of reforming something that he has already called into being. But he makes things. What did he make? Good. Everything from Day one to the Sabbath, God calls good.

Gen 1:4 And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.

Gen 1:10 And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.

Gen 1:12 And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

Gen 1:18 And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.

Gen 1:21 And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

Gen 1:25 And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

Gen 1:31 And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

God makes six things on six days and each is good. The only thing that wasn’t good was a brief time on day six when man had no companion and God said that wasn’t good, but by the end of the day God is saying that everything he made was good. Light, darkness, sun, moon, stars, land, sea, fish, whales, birds, beasts, man and woman, all very good. God creates good.

So why does God who made Man (including Woman in Man) in his own image, not want Man to eat of something that would give us the knowledge to do good? Why does he deny us the knowledge to Make?

Deu 6:18 And thou shalt do that which is right and good in the sight of the LORD: that it may be well with thee, and that thou mayest go in and possess the good land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers,

Deu 12:28 Observe and hear all these words which I command thee, that it may go well with thee, and with thy children after thee for ever, when thou doest that which is good and right in the sight of the LORD thy God.

Deu 10:13 To keep the commandments of the LORD, and his statutes, which I command thee this day for thy good?

God commands us to do good, and he commands us for our good. So why then did he deny Man the knowledge to do good? I think it is perfectly illustrated in the presentation of the tree. There is not two trees of knowledge, one of good and one of evil. It is one tree that is the knowledge of both. You cannot learn the knowledge of Good/Making without the knowledge of Evil/Spoiling or breaking. So what do we know about man and evil?

Gen 6:5 And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

God did not regret making man for his propensity to do good which he had the knowledge to do…

Exo 23:2 Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil; neither shalt thou speak in a cause to decline after many to wrest judgment:

Deu 17:7 The hands of the witnesses shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterward the hands of all the people. So thou shalt put the evil away from among you.

Deu 31:29 For I know that after my death ye will utterly corrupt yourselves, and turn aside from the way which I have commanded you; and evil will befall you in the latter days; because ye will do evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger through the work of your hands.

We are commanded to do good, and to not do evil, to make and not to break. So God originally commanded us not to have that knowledge of how to do either by not eating of that tree. This thought will be important later in the chapter.

So what do we know about Job? He is a man who is complete and content. He acts according to God’s will. He is afraid of God, but that does not exclude worship and love. And he is revolted by doing evil/spoiling/breaking. Now we can move on.

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