The Death of the Evil Inclination

Rabbi Hiyya logically deduces that in the messianic era . . . only the Good Inclination (yetser tov) will remain in the human heart, and so he states “the Evil Impulse [personified as Satan] has no sway in the time to come.”¹

[The matter can be understood] as Rabbi Yehudah expounded [it]:

In the future, the Holy One Blessed be He will bring out the Evil Impulse and slaughter him in front of the righteous and in front of the wicked.

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Author: Elizabeth Shanks Alexander

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Bible reference(s): Genesis 2:7, Genesis 4:7, Genesis 8:21, Deuteronomy 10:16, Job 1:6-12, Job 2:1-7, Psalms 51:10, Proverbs 25:21, Isaiah 5:18, Isaiah 14:4-19, Isaiah 57:14, Ezekiel 28:11-17, Ezekiel 36:26, Joel 2:20, Matthew 4:1-11, Matthew 6:13, Mark 1:13, Luke 11:4, Luke 4:2-13, John 8:44, John 13:2, Acts 5:3, Romans 7:17-24, 1 Corinthians 7:5, 2 Corinthians 12:7, 2 Corinthians 11:14, Galatians 1:4, Ephesians 4:27, Ephesians 6:11, Ephesians 6:16, 1 Thessalonians 3:5, 1 Timothy 3:6-7, 2 Timothy 2:26, Hebrews 2:14, James 4:7, 1 John 2:13-14, 1 John 3:8, 1 John 3:10, 1 John 3:12, 1 John 5:18-19, Matthew 5:18, Revelation 20:10, Zechariah 8:6

Source: “Art, Argument, and Ambiguity in the Talmud: Conflicting Conceptions of the Evil Impulse in b. Sukkah 51b—52a,” Hebrew Union College Annual, Vol. 73 (2002), pp. 97-132.

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