The Devil

The Devil is billed (in the book 1001 Ideas that Changed the World) as something thought up by mankind about 3,516 years ago. I don’t know about you, but it makes me wonder why they wanted to think up something as fearsome as that.

I can just imagine some guy sat on a bench thinking (in Hebrew) about the plot for his next blockbuster novel. He’s got the name of the protagonist, but he needs to throw something in there to spice up the story – some obstacle to make his hero sweat for a while. So he dreams up a being of nightmare – a monster that is opposed to everything that is good in his champion. He thinks up a set of dastardly deeds, sketches out a fiery domain for his creature and even makes some notes about its scaly, terrifying appearance.

He can’t think of a good name right then, so he just calls this antagonist ‘adversary’ – just as a placeholder until he can think of something better.

Perhaps he writes his novel, perhaps not, but the idea stuck somehow and the Hebrew word for ‘adversary’ became a part of history – something that affects us still, in deep and profound ways.

You know what that word is? Can you guess? Yep – it’s Satan.

And the moral of this small tale of mine? Be careful what you write in your novels – you could change the entire course of human history.

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13 thoughts on “The Devil

  1. Well said Robert ,we are the one who can change the entire mindset of human with writing skills. So need to select the productive topic rather than writing without any logic or result . πŸ™

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  2. Ahhh…. the Devil. All too often given as an excuse for bad behavior as in “The devil made me do it!” Someone once asked me “If the Devil doesn’t exist, how do you explain evil?” I told her that our own human nature has lots of room for evil without dreaming up a Devil to blame for all the rotten things mankind has done. If I do something wrong, I don’t blame a Devil. I know I’m in charge of my behavior not some mythical begin with horns and such. I think you are influencing my spelling. I keep wanting to write behaviour and my word checker keeps telling me not to. Next thing you know I will be writing colour as well.

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    • You’re a gem. πŸ˜€
      Of, course – colour is the correct spelling you know – after all it is English. Someone should have copyrighted the language – we would have made a fortune by now! πŸ˜€
      Oh, sorry for teasing you – the Devil made me do it. Hahaha.

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      • LOL…. I don’t mind your teasing at all. As for English, ours and yours split off years ago and neither one ever stopped changing. A language that doesn’t grow and change is a dead language. And in those long ago days there was no radio, TV, computers, or email so without instant interaction with each other we each changed in our own directions. As for spelling, for a long time people spelled things any way they wished. Then the dictionary people started to set the spellings in stone. Too bad they didn’t get together on both sides and come to a mutual agreement. Perish the thought!

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      • Too bad and too good that the world didn’t get together and start speaking the same language. Now is the ideal opportunity – with such easy and close communication. I hear that there are still some parts of the world that don’t speak English, like here in Scotland for one! Ah, the horror! πŸ˜€

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