Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible Online

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Evil Inclination יצר הרע
(871 words)

I. Name

The concept of an evil inclination is typically rabbinic. This notion does not occur in the Bible, but the rabbis did derive it from biblical texts (esp. Gen. 2.7; Gen. 6.5; Gen. 8.21). This inclination or drive is sometimes personified as a demonic figure or the Satan.

II. Identity

The widespread Goethean concept ‘zwei Seelen gibt’s in meiner Brust [two souls are in my breast]’ was given expression by the early rabbis in a theory of two yeṣarim (‘inclinations, desires, drives, bents of mind’), namely the yeṣer ha-tov (the desire…

Cite this page
P. W. van der Horst, “Evil Inclination יצר הרע”, in: Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible Online, Edited by: Karel van der Toorn, Bob Becking, Pieter W. van der Horst. Consulted online on 23 July 2024 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2589-7802_DDDO_DDDO_Evilinclination>

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