[b-hebrew] Is.45:7 God created evil?

Heard, Christopher Christopher.Heard at pepperdine.edu
Fri Aug 5 11:32:31 EDT 2005

On Aug 5, 2005, at 6:30 AM, Read, James C wrote:
> This is not the only case in scripture where the agent is ambiguous  
> and it is
> clear that the chronicler, whose hebrew was better than ours, did  
> not understand
> the agent to be Yah's anger but 'an adversary' or Satan himself.
> Your interpretation of the verse does not make sense.
> Yah got angry because David obeyed him?????
> The chronicler, evidently, was not led to understand such a thing  
> and so his
> version of events clears the ambiguity by making the agent of the  
> second clause
> explicit.

James, your reasoning quoted above begs the question by _assuming_  
(a) that the Chronicler understood 1 Chron 21:1 to be recapitulating  
the meaning of 2 Sam 24:1 rather than altering it, (b) that both the  
"Deuteronomistic Historian" and the Chronicler though it  
inappropriate for YHWH to incite someone into an action and then  
punish them for that action, (c) that 2 Sam 24:1 is ambiguous, and  
(d) that the Chronicler is using the word _satan_ in 2  Sam 24:1 to  
refer to some entity other than YHWH. All of these things need to be  
_demonstrated_, not _assumed_, in order for an answer like the above  
to have persuasive force.

Perhaps just to focus on (c) for a moment: Are there any (other)  
sentences in Hebrew biblical narrative, structured as /verb/ / 
subject/ ... /verb/ ..., with both verbs in WAYIQQTOL, both verbs  
3ms, where the second verb _demonstrably_ has an implicit subject  
different from the explicit subject of the first verb? I don't know  
if there aren't or are any such, because I haven't looked for them.  
But if you want to _persuasively_ argue against the syntactical  
principle that Peter mentioned earlier, some answer to this question  
needs to be forthcoming.

Best wishes,

R. Christopher Heard
Assistant Professor of Religion
Seaver Fellow in Religion
Pepperdine University
Malibu, California 90263-4352

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