This article is made up of from contributions made by a number of members of an online forum. Section heads and illustrations added by Christian Comment.


“I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.” How does Isaiah 45:7 “sit” with the view that God did not create evil? Isaiah 45:7 in the King James Version reads, “I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.” How does Isaiah 45:7 agree with the view that God did not create evil?

There are two key facts that need to be considered. (1) The word translated “evil” is from a Hebrew word that means “adversity, affliction, calamity, distress, misery.” Notice how the other major English Bible translations render the word: “disaster” (NIV, HCSB), “calamity” (NKJV, NAS, ESV), and “woe” (NRSV). The Hebrew word can refer to moral evil, and often does have this meaning in the Hebrew Scriptures. However, due to the diversity of possible definitions, it is unwise to assume that “I create evil” in Isaiah 45:7 refers to God bringing moral evil into existence.


The context of Isaiah 45:7 makes it clear that something other than “bringing moral evil into existence” is in mind. The context of Isaiah 45:7 is God rewarding Israel for obedience whilst punishing Israel for disobedience. God pours out salvation and blessings on those whom He favours. God brings judgment on those who continue to rebel against Him. “Woe to him who quarrels with his Master” (Isaiah 45:9). That is the person to whom God brings “evil” and “disaster.” So, rather than saying that God created “moral evil,” Isaiah 45:7 presents a common theme of Scripture – that God eventually and reluctantly brings disaster on those who continue in hard-hearted rebellion against Him.

The “One New Man” (ONMB) Bible translation renders this “I form the light and create the darkness. I make peace and I create chaos. I AM the LORD who does these things.” It has a footnote thus: “V7 is difficult to translate into English because the Hebrew words are Shalom and ra. Shalom is much more than peace. And ra, which is usually translated as evil, is the opposite of Shalom”. It then directs readers to Shalom and to ra in the glossary at the back of the ONMB.

The word “evil” is no longer an adequate translation – and the meaning of “evil” has – in any case – changed in modern English.

Interestingly, The Orthodox Study Bible (i.e. Eastern Orthodox) presents this as “I am he who prepared the light and made darkness, who makes peace and creates troublesome things – I am the Lord God and there is no other”.

Plainly their translators are on the same lines as the ONMB, but the ONMB is probably closer.


We may blow a specific text out of proportion due to “over” analysing. What Isa 45:7 tells us is simply that there exists good and evil, side by side. Humankind, who are not robots but are given to free will/mind, can choose who to worship/follow. We come to God by free will/choice at His terms. Even the devil (Lucifer as he was known in heaven) was once an angel in the presence of God who chose/decided to do wrong and was cast out with 1/3 of the angels.

To do good means to follow Him and His laws which are placed in your heart by the help of the Holy Spirit. This comes along with blessings as seen in Deuteronomy for doing what is right. Doing otherwise denotes sin, evil, transgression before God, and this choice also comes along with curses that follow because of the choices made. Irrespective of whether the choice was taken knowingly or unknowingly, even when man sinned against Him, God still gives us a way out through the death of Messiah Jesus as the only adequate sacrifice for mankind.


We must understand firstly – God is perfect. If God is perfect by definition, he cannot create something that is imperfect i.e evil. When God created the universe and everything else, he said it was good. All things were created perfect. However, when God created Angels, and also Man- God gave them free will to make decisions. Lucifer decided that he would be exalted above all including God, and therefore the seed of evil took form in Lucifer and he was cast out. The seed of evil was Lucifer removing God from his own equation and through this the reality of evil came about.

What is the definition of evil? A simple illustration is this. What is darkness? Can darkness be estimated? Is there such a thing as less dark, more dark etc? It is plainly the absence of light by which we define darkness. Darkness in itself is nothing/ emptyness. Therefore by the same concept, evil is in practice the absence of God and His Influence. God didn’t create evil. Evil is just a definition used to describe the absence of God.

There’s an interesting article via CMI (Creation Ministries International), called “Why Would a Loving God Allow Death and Suffering”. It’s a long article, but thought-provoking. It has a useful Table of Contents where different sections of the article can be viewed (instead of reading the whole. It expands on some of the themes touched-upon above. Here’s the link:

Finally, this short article also helpfully looks at Isaiah 45:7: