Page:Auerbach-Spinozanovel.djvu/163

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141
THE TREATY OF PEACE.

of Job, according to the Talmud, is merely a poem. To God everything is good; it is only to us men that many things appear bad, as it stands in our glorious Isaiah (xlv. 6, 7), 'I am the Lord and there is none else; I form the light and create darkness; I make peace and create evil!'"

"But can there not be bad angels?"

"No; the distinctive mark of an angel is that he is a mere tool of God without free will. Satan is said to be a fallen angel who rebelled against God; but that could never happen if God did not rebel against himself."

"In the Midrasch the origin of bad angels is very well explained," said Ephraim, who had till then listened in silence. "Whenever an angel wished to become visible on earth he must imbibe a material essence, and none could be permitted to stay longer on earth than seven days. Once several exceeded this limit, and through their lengthened sojourn they had imbibed so much material essence that, thus overweighted, they could not rise to heaven. Such is the origin of the devil by which Genesis vi. 2 is explained."

"That may be very fine," said Baruch, "but is it true? How could an angel overstep the laws of his being?"

"So you do not believe in the existence of bad angels?" put in Chisdai.

"There you are again with your 'Do you be-