Question: Did God create evil?

Answer: No, Yahweh did not create evil. Evil is simply the result of disobedience to His moral laws. Where there is no light, there is darkness. Likewise, where God's principles and precepts are not kept, there is evil.

Some people point to the King James Version translation of Isaiah 45:7 to say that God did create evil. The verse says, "I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things." However, this verse does not indicate that God creates moral evil.

First, the word "evil" is translated from the Hebrew word "rah," which speaks of anything unpleasant. It can mean anything from "bad," as a bad land, to "rotten," as a rotten fruit, and any adversities or hardships we may face, from natural disasters to divine punishments from God. Yes, "rah" can also mean moral evil or wickedness. Thus, depending on the verse and context, "rah" has been translated into various words, such as trouble, affliction, bad, wickedness, ill, evil, calamity, sad, harm, adversity, grievous, mischief, and hurt. Below are a few verses where "rah" is present:

"Esau saw that the daughters of Canaan didn't please ["rah"] Isaac, his father." (Genesis 28:8)

"Why do you look so sad ["rah"] today?" (Genesis 40:7)

"See what kind of land they live in. Is it good or bad ["rah"]?" (Numbers 13:19, NLT)

Second, Isaiah 45:7 is contrasting opposites: light and darkness, peace and disturbance. "Moral evil" is not the exact opposite of "peace," so a better translation is, "I form the light, and create darkness. I make peace, and create calamity. I am Yahweh, who does all these things." (Isaiah 45:7, WEB) The "calamity" Yahweh creates can be in the form of judgments.

Third, the entire Bible does not support the idea of God creating evil. We're told that Yahweh is the only Being who is purely good, and that everything He created is very good (Matthew 19:17; Genesis 1:31).

However, Yahweh does indirectly cause moral evil to exist. When He establishes moral laws and those laws are not followed by others, then evil is the outcome of that disobedience and rebellion.

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Shirley Cheng (b. 1983) is a blind and physically disabled award-winning author with twenty-seven book awards, proclaimer of Yahweh God's good news of salvation through Jesus Christ, Bible teacher, founder of Ministry, summa cum laude graduate with Doctor of Divinity, motivational speaker, poet; and author of nine books (including "Do You Love Jehovah?"), contributor to twenty-five, and an editor of one. Shirley has had severe juvenile rheumatoid arthritis since infancy. Owing to years of hospitalization, she received no education until age eleven. Back then, she knew only her ABCs and very simple English; other than that, her book knowledge was non-existent. However, after only about 180 days of special education in elementary school, she mastered grade level and entered a regular sixth grade class in middle school. Unfortunately, Shirley lost her eyesight at the age of seventeen. After a successful eye surgery, she hopes to earn multiple science doctorates from Harvard University.

Do you have questions about the Bible? Something you don't understand? Do you need a bit of guidance in developing a relationship with Yahweh? Then Shirley would like to help you! Please contact her via her site at and she would be more than glad to do her best to answer your questions! Never hesitate to ask questions, for no question about the Bible is ever too small or stupid.