God destroys both the righteous and the wicked.
It is all one; therefore I say,
‘He destroys the guiltless and the wicked.’

Job 9:22  NASB

I have seen everything during my lifetime of futility; there is a righteous man who perishes in his righteousness and there is a wicked man who prolongs his life in his wickedness.
Ecclesiastes 7:15  NASB

… and say to the land of Israel, ‘Thus says the Lord, “Behold, I am against you; and I will draw My sword out of its sheath and cut off from you the righteous and the wicked…”
Ezekiel 21:3  NASB


God destroys the wicked, not the righteous.
… if he walks in My statutes and My ordinances so as to deal faithfully—he is righteous and will surely live,” declares the Lord God.
Ezekiel 18:9  NASB

When the son has practiced justice and righteousness and has observed all My statutes and done them, he shall surely live.
Ezekiel 18:19  NASB

When the righteous turns from his righteousness and commits iniquity, then he shall die in it. But when the wicked turns from his wickedness and practices justice and righteousness, he will live by them.
Ezekiel 33:18-19  NASB

SAB Contradiction 475


In the Bible there is a theology that says that God punishes the wicked and protects the righteous. However is it possible in all reality to draw the line as sharply as stated here? As the Bible reflects daily life it seems that equally in the Bible itself the line is not as sharply drawn as stated. What now?

The tricky texts in this matter are the three under the heading “God destroys both the righteous and the wicked.” So let’s give them special attention.

Job 9:22
In his pain and despair Job blamed God for being unrighteous with him. But later Job recognized that he had spoken mistakenly about God and his dealing with man. He said:

Therefore I have declared that which I did not understand,
Things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.
But now my eye sees You; Therefore I retract, and I repent in dust and ashes.
(Job 42:3)

So it is not appropriate to take all what Job said earlier as full truth, as also in this respect.
No Bible Contradiction


Ecclesiastes 7:15
The saying in Ecclesiastes seems rather confrontational, however the critic forgot to provide the explanation following immediately (16-17):

Do not be excessively righteous and do not be overly wise. Why should you ruin yourself? Do not be excessively wicked and do not be a fool. Why should you die before your time?

Here the advice is given to avoid extremes in either righteousness or wickedness. The righteous should not try to be so perfect (clumsy) that his behavior becomes inhuman, not workable. The righteous can learn from the wicked that even the wicked do not go to extremes to succeed.
No Bible Contradiction


Ezekiel 21:3
The arresting word here is “cut off”, “chop off”. The translation is correct, however one may read superficially that the sword will kill the righteous and the wicked. But that is not what it says. The word “cut off” implies two workings: (1) to destroy people by the sword, or (2) to expel people from their place (here from Jerusalem and Judea) by the threat of the sword. Nevertheless Ezekiel’s description of Jerusalem’s fate remains doom-laden. From the book of Jeremiah we know that many people fled over the walls and even Jeremiah himself who remained inside the city was not killed. However he was cut off from the site as he was expelled to go to Egypt with the other fellow citizens who feared the Babylonians (Jeremiah 42-43, 2 Kings 25:26).
No Bible Contradiction


The spiritual law is “But when the wicked turns from his wickedness and practices justice and righteousness, he will live by them.” (Ezekiel 33:19) The thesises (of the critic) up here are wrong. God does not destroy. Any individual lives in the Fall of Man and will remain in the Fall unless he/she turns to the light of God’s revelation. God does not destroy at all; God saves, that is his character. The Fall of Man is not God’s creation but of his opponent, satan. As soon as people discover that it is God’s desire to save and not to punish and that much pain is the result of the Fall of Man, often combined with personal missteps and of others, many people turn to God as their Helper and find relief.

One may reply: But isn't it said in many cases in the Old Testament that God brought punishment, the Flood, over Egypt etcetera? The best way is to understand what happened in these cases. There have been situations in history that people were so obstinate against God and especially dangerous against others, that moments came that God totally turned his back to oppressors and evildoers. And that became the moments for God's opponent, satan, to strike with all his power: that is death. It is not given to man to know what exactly the state of affairs is between God and satan in the unseen world, neither is it verifiable for us how much allowanse is given by God to his opponent. On the one hand there is a righteous God who has the desire to give room to his saving and powerful character and his sustaining will to fulfil his once given promises to man (and they are great), on the other hand there is his opponent with his own disastrous scenarios.

The texts under the heading “God destroys the wicked, not the righteous” are not related to the question of contradiction, but what is meant? Will the righteous always be better rewarded than bad people? In the parable of the rich man and poor Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31) Jesus shows that the righteous Lazarus had a difficult life, not what we would expect about a righteous one (Proverbs 10:3-32 etc.). However the outcome shows that despite of his difficulties Lazarus was 'rich in his God' (Luke 12:21). He had found God as his Helper and had found relief, not only in the afterlife, but also in his earthly life as God is a Rewarder of those who seek Him.