Sirach 15:14Ben Sira, Ecclesiasticus
11 Do not say, "It was the Lord's doing that I fell away"; for he does not do what he hates. 12 Do not say, "It was he who led me astray"; for he has no need of the sinful. 13 The Lord hates all abominations; such things are not loved by those who fear him. 14 It was he who created humankind in the beginning, and he left them in the power of their own free choice. 15 If you choose, you can keep the commandments, and to act faithfully is a matter of your own choice. 16 He has placed before you fire and water; stretch out your hand for whichever you choose.
Genesis Rabbah 9:7Aggadah
7 Rabbi Nahman said in Rabbi Samuel's name: 'Behold, it was good' refers to the Good Desire; 'And behold, it was very good' refers to the Evil Desire. (It only says 'very good' after man was created with both the good and bad inclinations, in all other cases it only says 'and God saw that it was good') Can then the Evil Desire be very good? That would be extraordinary! But without the Evil Desire, however, no man would build a house, take a wife and beget children; and thus said Solomon: 'Again, I considered all labour and all excelling in work, that it is a man's rivalry with his neighbor.'.
Notes and References
Davies, W. D. Paul and Rabbinic Judaism: Some Rabbinic Elements in Pauline Theology (p. 17-35) Fortress Press, 1980
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