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  • Print publication year: 2021
  • Online publication date: February 2021

3 - The “Inclination” (yeṣer) as Rendered in the Septuagint

Summary

One of the questions in the debate regarding the yeṣer is the point in time at which one can speak of a fully developed rabbinic notion of an Evil Inclination in opposition to a Good Inclination. The answer is in part dependent on identifying its forerunners. While there is a concept of a yeṣer in the Hebrew Bible, it is not an internal disposition or entity in the way it is in later rabbinic tradition. The noun yeṣer, as a derivative of the verb y-ṣ-r, denotes in the Hebrew Bible something that is created, and in some passages refers to what is created by the mind or heart, which might simply be interpreted as a thought.

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