All "Evil Tidings" is obviously "Bad News" but Not all "Bad News" is "Evil Tidings"

Psalm 112:7 (NASB 1995) He will Not fear evil tidings; His heart is steadfast, trusting in the LORD.

Psalm 112:7 (KJV) He shall Not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed, trusting in the LORD.

Psalm 112:7 (ESV) He is Not afraid of bad news; his heart is firm, trusting in the LORD.

Psalm 112:7 (Amplified Bible) He will Not fear bad news; His heart is steadfast, trusting [confidently relying on and believing] in the LORD.

112:7 Hebrew OT: Westminster Leningrad Codex מִשְּׁמוּעָ֣ה רָ֭עָה לֹ֣א יִירָ֑א נָכֹ֥ון לִ֝בֹּ֗ו בָּטֻ֥חַ בַּיהוָֽה׃

תהילים 112:7 Hebrew OT: WLC (Consonants Only) משמועה רעה לא יירא נכון לבו בטח ביהוה׃

In many cases, "Bad news" can be very different meanings than "Evil tidings" For example, if you are rejected during a job interview for a position that pays a lot of money then that could be considered "Bad news" at first. However, said position could have made you work really long hours which would take away personal devotion time with God, and take away time with family so that is Not "Evil Tidings".

Now, we obvious can have both "Bad news" and "Evil tidings" if a person close to you in life dies(God forbid)

But there are obviously cases where they are different.

All "Evil Tidings" is obviously "Bad News" but Not all "Bad News" is "Evil Tidings"

Therefore, could someone please look at the Old Testament Hebrew that I posted above, and provide an explanation as to whether the translation is closer to just meaning "Bad news" Or is it more closer to "Evil Tidings"(which is obviously "Bad News") ?

1 Answer 1


The adjective in question is רַע (rah) which can mean "bad" or "evil". It occurs about 667 times in the OT and is thus variously translated:

  • "evil", Gen 2:9, 17, 3:5, 22, 6:5, 8:21, etc
  • "bad", or "unpleasant", Gen 47:9, Prov 15:15, Eccl 1:13, 5:13, etc
  • etc

BDB lists more than a dozen shades of meaning for this word (which see).

Thus, the OP question really hinges on whether these is an ethical component to Ps 112:7 ("evil") or not ("bad"). The various translations are approximately 2/3 in favor of "bad" and 1/3 in favor or "evil". Either suits the context.

My personal preference is "bad" in this case because it includes the concept of "evil" as well.

For completeness, the LXX has πονηρᾶς which, again, can be either "bad" or "evil".

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