In Isaiah 45:7, it is written that God forms light, creates darkness, makes peace, and creates evil.

7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things. KJV, ©1769

ז יוֹצֵר אוֹר וּבוֹרֵא חֹשֶׁךְ עֹשֶׂה שָׁלוֹם וּבוֹרֵא רָע אֲנִי יְהוָה עֹשֶׂה כָל-אֵלֶּה

What is the full meaning of this scripture?

5 Answers 5


The translation of Isa. 45:7 from the Hebrew reads in the Interlinear as:

"I form the light, and create darkness, I make peace, and create calamity - I Yahweh do all [these] things."

The word that is translated in the KJV and YLT, and several English versions as "evil" is Strong's Heb 7451 "ra'". The English definition is adversity; bad, evil. The grammatical use as an adjective is "evil", but as a noun which is the part used in the Isa. 45:7 it includes "distress, misery, adversity, calamity". Source: BDB at Biblehub.

The AMP has "causing peace and creating disaster". The CEB has "make prosperity and create doom". The CJB has it as "I make well-being; I create woe". These are better translations of the context and meaning of Isa. 45:7.

The context of the Isa. ch. 45 (continuing from Isa. 44:28) is of the chosen king Cyrus, approx. 150 years before Cyrus came to throne of Persia. Isaiah prophesied during the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah during the latter part of the eighth century BC from about 740 to 701 BC. (1)

Throughout this chapter God was making Himself known to Cyrus before Cyrus was even born. As Daniel prospered in the captivity under Darius and Cyrus (Dan. 6:28), it is most likely that Daniel related Isaiah's prophesy to Cyrus. Josephus believed this was so in his "Antiquities of the Jews" XI.1.2. (2)

So, Isa. 45:7 means that YHWH is the only God, and that He alone is the author of light and darkness, of peace and of adversity. He raises up kings and nations, and he throws them down (Psa. 52:5) .

"But the Lord is the true God; he is the living God and the everlasting King. At his wrath the earth quakes, and the nations cannot endure his indignation." (Jer. 10:10, RSV)

"13 Son of man, when the land sinneth against me by trespassing grievously, then will I stretch out mine hand upon it, and will break the staff of the bread thereof, and will send famine upon it, and will cut off man and beast from it:

14 Though these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they should deliver but their own souls by their righteousness, saith the Lord God.

15 If I cause noisome beasts to pass through the land, and they spoil it, so that it be desolate, that no man may pass through because of the beasts:

16 Though these three men were in it, as I live, saith the Lord God, they shall deliver neither sons nor daughters; they only shall be delivered, but the land shall be desolate." (Ezek. 14:13-16, KJV)

The evil, or adversity that God creates are the judgments against the nations, and against people who sin; who turn to pagan idols, and turn away from Him.

"17 But if they will not obey, I will utterly pluck up and destroy that nation, saith the Lord." (Jer. 12:17, KJV)


1) "Cyrus the Great in Biblical Prophesy", by Wayne Jackson at ChristianCourier.com

2) Antiquities of the Jews, Josephus here


What is the meaning of Isaiah 45:7?

The prophesy of Isaiah was written about two hundred years before the fall of Babylon to the Persians, history has proven that God has the power to do as he pleases.By means of his prophet Isaiah , God make the following prophesy for the sake of his servant Jacob-Israel.

(Isaiah 45:4-7 NASB)

4 “For the sake of Jacob My servant, And Israel My chosen one, I have also called you by your name; I have given you a title of honor Though you have not known Me. 5 “I am the Lord, and there is no other; Besides Me there is no God. I will gird you, though you have not known Me; 6 That [b]men may know from the rising to the setting of the sun That there is no one besides Me.

7 "The One forming light and creating darkness, Causing well-being and creating calamity; I am the Lord who does all these."

God the creator that makes light and creates darkness, has everything under his control-he causes well-being for Israel and creating calamity for Babylon.

Isaiah 45:13-14 NRSV

13 "I have aroused Cyrus in righteousness, and I will make all his paths straight; he shall build my city and set my exiles free, not for price or reward, says the Lord of hosts. 14 Thus says the Lord: The wealth of Egypt and the merchandise of Ethiopia, and the Sabeans, tall of stature, shall come over to you and be yours, they shall follow you they shall come over in chains and bow down to you. They will make supplication to you, saying, “God is with you alone, and there is no other; there is no god besides him.”


The meaning of Bringing Evil "I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things..( KJV 47:7)

"I make peace" refers to the liberation of the Israelites from the Babylonian captivity and "create evil" refers to the just administration of justice on the Babylonians for their cruel treatment of the Israelites during their seventy years of captivity there.

Other examples of Evil or Calamities created by God,are the "flood of Noah's day" and the "ten plagues on Egypt" , such evils or calamities should not be considered as wrong doings, but rather the rightful application of justice on the wrong doers.

  • God also created the calamity that befell Israel in the captivity by the Assyrians in 722 BC, and against Judah / Jerusalem in the first siege and destruction by Babylon. The judgment of calamities is applied to every nation that sins against God.
    – Gina
    Sep 15, 2019 at 1:28
  • @ Gina: you are indeed right, there are others occasions as well ,I read you fine answer . Sep 15, 2019 at 13:22

I see the Hebrew of Isaiah 45:7 this way:

Forming light and creating darkness, making peace and creating evil: I the LORD do all of these things.

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Light and peace are gifts of God, darkness and evil are what prevail when He withholds them.


1Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee. 2For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. 3And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.
-- Isaiah 60:1-3 (KJV)


17Thus saith the LORD, thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; I am the Lord thy God which teacheth thee to profit, which leadeth thee by the way that thou shouldest go. 18O that thou hadst hearkened to my commandments! then had thy peace been as a river, and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea: 19Thy seed also had been as the sand, and the offspring of thy bowels like the gravel thereof; his name should not have been cut off nor destroyed from before me.
22There is no peace, saith the LORD, unto the wicked.
-- Isaiah 48:17-19,22 (KJV)

17For the iniquity of his covetousness was I wroth, and smote him: I hid me, and was wroth, and he went on frowardly in the way of his heart.
18I have seen his ways, and will heal him: I will lead him also, and restore comforts unto him and to his mourners.
19I create the fruit of the lips; Peace, peace to him that is far off, and to him that is near, saith the LORD; and I will heal him. 20But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt.
21There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked.
-- Isaiah 57:15-21 (KJV)

Whatever one might imagine "evil" to be, it is born in the absence of light and peace. The LORD creates darkness and evil by leaving the wicked to feast upon the fruit of their own doings:

9The show of their countenance doth witness against them; and they declare their sin as Sodom, they hide it not. Woe unto their soul ! for they have rewarded evil unto themselves.
10Say ye to the righteous, that it shall be well with him: for they shall eat the fruit of their doings.
11Woe unto the wicked ! it shall be ill with him: for the reward of his hands shall be given him.
-- Isaiah 3:9-11 (KJV)


There is another take on the whole question of God allowing or bringing evil.

God is totally good Psalm 100:5 "For the LORD is good; His loving kindness is everlasting And His faithfulness to all generations."

But the god of this world has already been judged John 16:11 amp about judgment [the certainty of it], because the ruler of this world (Satan) has been judged and condemned.

Now that Jesus Christ has all authority (Matthew 28:18) and the devil has none (he originally stole authority from Adam) In Christ there is no judgement, only forgiveness love and total good for He is God. John 3:18 NLT There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God's one and only Son. The key is the second part of verse 3:18 anyone who does not believe lives in the judgement not intended for them but for the devil.

So if we disbelieve God, we, by default exist in satans judgement. This is the whole reason Jesus came died on the cross and was resurrected, that in Him we might have eternal life in Him.

And the testimony is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son." – 1 John 5:11

"Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life." – John 5:24

"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life." – John 3:16

So the question is will we receive Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour and step out of judgement not meant for us and step into the way the truth and the life, no-one comes out of satan's judgement except through Him.

  • Welcome to BHSE! Please make sure you take our tour. Re: Questions and answers, we'd like to see Biblical text to analyze. Thanks. Mar 19, 2020 at 19:23

The full verse, following the JPS Tanakh translation, is:

I form light and create darkness,
I make weal and create woe —
I the LORD do all these things.

This verse is adapted (with "everything" replacing "woe") in Jewish morning prayers.1

The word translated alternately as "woe", "calamity" and "evil" here and in other answers is the Masoretic רַע (ra). The word appears as κακός (kakos) in the Septuagint, which pretty much unambiguously means "bad" or "evil".

Irenaeus (2d c.) and others interpreted the evil referred to in the verse as that which is reserved for the unrepentant. In Against Heresies he wrote:

It is therefore one and the same God the Father who has prepared good things with Himself for those who desire His fellowship, and who remain in subjection to Him; and who has prepared the eternal fire for the ringleader of the apostasy, the devil, and those who revolted with him, into which [fire] the Lord has declared those men shall be sent who have been set apart by themselves on His left hand. And this is what has been spoken by the prophet, I am a jealous God, making peace, and creating evil things; thus making peace and friendship with those who repent and turn to Him, and bringing [them to] unity, but preparing for the impenitent, those who shun the light, eternal fire and outer darkness, which are evils indeed to those persons who fall into them (IV.XL)

We might also recall the Psalm:2

In all our days, let us be glad for the days wherein Thou didst humble us,
For the years wherein we saw evils.

John Chrysostom (4th c.) comments here:

For since we are accustomed to use the word evil to speak of calamities, and not only of thefts and adulteries, so the prophet allows this usage. On this basis the prophet can say, There is no evil in the city that the Lord has not done (Amos 3:6). This too, by means of Isaiah, God has made clear, when he said, I am God who makes peace and creates evil, again naming calamities evils. This evil also Christ hints at, thus saying to the disciples, Sufficient for the day is the evil thereof (Matthew 6:34), that is to say, the affliction, the misery. It is manifest then on all sides that he here calls punishment an evil, even as we commonly do, affirming at the same time that God brings these on us. This affords us the greatest view of his providence. For the physician is not only to be commended when he leads forth the patient into gardens and meadows, nor even into baths and pools of water, nor yet when he sets before him a well-furnished table, but when he orders him to remain without food, when he oppresses him with hunger and lays him low with thirst, confines him to his bed, making his house a prison, depriving him of the very light and shadowing his room on all sides with curtains. When he cuts, and when he cauterizes and when he brings his bitter medicines, he is equally a physician (Concerning the Power of the Demons, I.5)

1. Oxford Jewish Study Bible
2. Psalm 89:17 LXX, Holy Transfiguration Monastery translation. Masoretic Text/KJV (Psalm 90:17) reads Make us glad according to the days wherein thou hast afflicted us, And the years wherein we have seen evil.

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