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XII.

(Lecture III., page 96.)

HEBREW PROPHECY AND THE QUESTION OF EVIL.

The following is the passage from Kuenen’s ‘Religion of Israel’ alluded to in the text. It appears to me expressed in far too general terms, and to ignore altogether some of the deepest elements of the prophetic teaching:—

“The older Israelitish prophets and prophetic historians had not hesitated to derive even evil, moral evil not excepted, from Jahveh: the belief that Jahveh directed all things was so strong in them, that they did not recoil from the consequence. Even the second Isaiah—perhaps with an eye to, but yet at variance with, the Persian dualism with which he was acquainted-had put these words into Jahveh’s mouth:—

‘I form the light and create darkness,
I make peace and create evil;
I, Jahveh, do all these things.’

But it is not unnatural that objections to this conception should have arisen in the minds of some. Jahveh’s moral purity seemed to them to be not uninjured by being thus made the immediate cause of sin. The remedy was at hand. Anro-Mainyus was not unknown to the Jews, and Satan stood ready as it were to undertake his part.”—Kuenen’s ‘Religion of Israel’ (translation), iii. 40.

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