Does Sirach 11:14 Imply That God Can Do Evil?


Or am i reading this wrong?


We need to be clear what we mean by evil?

Basically it’s sin rather than the tough things that happen like death, diseases or famine.

Sirach 11:14 Everything comes from the Lord: success and failure, poverty and wealth, life and death. … does not mention anything about evil except for the word ‘everything’.

The speaker qualifies that in v.15 Wisdom, understanding, knowledge of the Law, love, and the doing of good deeds—all these come from the Lord.

He again explains that we would be successful if God ‘approves’ us albeit with endurance.

So no, God would not do evil but He allows it to happen. Otherwise what choice do we have?


Hi, Alex!
Sacred Scriptures sometimes do tend to seem confusing…

14 Good things and evil, life and death, poverty and riches, are from God. (Sirach 11:14)

Clearly, the face value of this Sacred passage does seem to intimate that God does evil…

Yet, when we read it in context we will find that it is revealing that God is the One who has control over all things… that we are not to boast about our abilities, wealth or status–all is naught in the scheme of the Universe… for it is God Who both renders the Gift of Life (our very existence) or allows our destruction (that’s the evil that is from God).

Maran atha!



There’s a difference between physical evil and moral evil. God cannot will moral evil, either directly or indirectly. However, He does physical evil indirectly, that is, not as evil, but either as a corrective (as in punishment), or for the attainment of a greater good (which is lawful for us too, e.g. amputation). It is in this sense that Job could answer "Shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil?” (Job 2:10). So there’s no real difficulty here.

Benedicat Deus,


Well said ReubenJ. Bravo!


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