The                                              
Christian Pilgrim

 

116. No Knowledge of Good and Evil



This does NOT mean that the people with "no knowledge of good and evil" are without sin, and therefore not culpable. We all still have original sin in our hearts from birth:

Psalm 51:5 - "Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me."

Psalm 58:3 - "The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies."

Romans 5:12 - "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned..."


The phrase in the Bible, is used of all under 20:

Deuteronomy 1:39 - "Moreover your little ones, which ye said should be a prey, and your children, which in that day had no knowledge between good and evil, they shall go in thither, and unto them will I give it, and they shall possess it."


It is used of all people too young to understand the Law ("butter and honey" is the Law):

Isaiah 7:15-17 - "Butter and honey shall he eat, that he may know to refuse the evil, and choose the good. For before the child shall know to refuse the evil, and choose the good, the land that thou abhorrest shall be forsaken of both her kings. The LORD shall bring upon thee, and upon thy people, and upon thy father's house, days that have not come, from the day that Ephraim departed from Judah; even the king of Assyria."

Too young to understand the Law is explained by not being able to cry "my mother" or "my father", i.e. very young infants:

Isaiah 8:4 - "For before the child shall have knowledge to cry, My father, and my mother, the riches of Damascus and the spoil of Samaria shall be taken away before the king of Assyria."


It is also used of old men:

2 Samuel 19:35 - "I am this day fourscore years old: and can I discern between good and evil? can thy servant taste what I eat or what I drink? can I hear any more the voice of singing men and singing women? wherefore then should thy servant be yet a burden unto my lord the king?"


It is also used of stupid people who are like children:

Jeremiah 4:22 - "For my people is foolish, they have not known me; they are sottish children, and they have none understanding: they are wise to do evil, but to do good they have no knowledge."