The Path of the Upright and the Arrows of the Madman

The reader is already acquainted with the meaning of the term Innocence, as used by our author. The same subject, under another name, is treated of in the “Duties of the Heart.” In the fourth chapter of that work the pious Rabbi Bechayi, with his usual eloquence, exhorts the reader to be sincere and pure in serving his God; to examine carefully his motives; to beware against the insinuations of an evil heart, which misrepresent to our- selves the true character of our actions. But what need we describe what R. Bechayi says, let him speak for himself (“Duties of the Heart,” book 5, chap. 5):—

“Son of man, it is proper for you to know that thy; greatest enemy is thy own inclination, which is interwoven with the faculties of thy soul, mixed with the elements that compose thy spirit. The enemy enters into thy consultations in all that concerns the control of your body or mind; he is acquainted with the most hidden secrets of thy soul, with all thy secret failings; he will give his advice at every step which you may take. He lies in wait for an opportunity to lead you astray; thou mayest be asleep, but he is awake; thou mayest forget him, but he remembers you; he puts on the garments of affection and arrays himself in the ornaments of love; he insinuates himself into thy regard as though he were one of thy most faithful friends. Apparently he is eager to carry out thy will and intention, but secretly he is shooting at thee deadly arrows, which, if they fail not in their aim, will uproot thee from the land of the living, as is written in Scripture:

‘As a madman who casteth firebrands, arrows, and death, so is he who deceiveth his friend, and says, Am I not smiling?’ (Proverbs 26:18)

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Author: P. M. G.

Keywords: Adversary, Angel of darkness, Body of death, Christ tempted, Christ's temptation, Christ's temptation in the wilderness, Deliver us from evil, Devil, Devil and Jesus, Devil tempts Jesus, diabolos, Evil angel, Evil Inclination, Evil nature, Evil one, Good angel, Good nature, Hara Yetser, Ha-ra Yetser, Hara Yetzer, Ha-ra Yetzer, Hara Yezer, Ha-ra Yezer, Intentional misspelling, Intentionally misspelled, Jesus' temptation, Jesus' temptation in the wilderness, Jesus tempted, Jesus tempted by Satan, Jesus tempted by the devil, Jesus tempted in the wilderness, Jesus's temptation, Man's sinful nature, Origin of sin, Personification of evil, Personification, Satan, Satan and Jesus, Satan tempts Christ, Satan tempts Jesus, Seducer, Sexual temptation, Sin, Sin in the flesh, Sin personified, Sin within, Sinful nature, Snatcher, Temptation, Temptation from within, Temptation in the wilderness, Tempted in the wilderness, Tempted of Satan, Tempted of the devil, Tempted sexually, Tempted to do evil, Tempts Christ, Tempts Jesus, The devil tempts Christ, The devil tempts Jesus, The Evil Inclination, The Evil One, Two yodhs, Two yods, Wicked one, Wilderness temptation, Wretched man, Yatsar, Yetsarim, Yetser ha ra, Yetser ha tov, Yetser ra, Yetser tov, Yetzer, Yetzer ha ra, Yetzer ha tov, Yetzer Hara, Yetzer ra, Yetzer tov, Yezer ha ra, Yezer ha tov, Yezer Hara, Yezer tov

Bible reference(s): Genesis 8:21, Deuteronomy 10:16, Psalms 51:10, Ecc 9:14-16, Matthew 4:1-11, Mat 5:18, Matthew 6:13, Mark 1:13, Luke 11:4, Luke 4:2-13, Acts 5:3, Romans 7:17-24, 1 Corinthians 7:5, 2 Corinthians 12:7, 2 Corinthians 11:14, Ephesians 4:27, Ephesians 6:11, Ephesians 6:16, 1 Thessalonians 3:5, 1 Timothy 3:6-7, 2 Timothy 2:26, 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

Source: “Sabbath Lessons; or, True Piety as Taught by the Rabbis,” Jewish Messenger (New York, NY), Vol. 4, No. 4, August 13, 1858, p. 26.

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