592. Jehovah said, I will destroy man. That this signifies that man would extinguish himself, is evident from what has been explained before, namely, that it is predicated of Jehovah or the Lord that He punishes, that He tempts, that He does evil, that He destroys or kills, and that He curses. As for example, that He slew Er, Judah's firstborn; and Onan, another son of Judah (Gen. 38:7, 10); that Jehovah smote all the firstborn of Egypt (Exod. 12:12, 29). And so in Jeremiah:
Whom I have slain in Mine anger and in My wrath (Jer. 33:5). In David:
He cast upon them the wrath of His anger; vehement anger, and fury and straitness, a sending of evil angels (Ps. 78:49).
Shall evil befall a city, and Jehovah hath not done it? (Amos 3:6).
Seven golden vials full of the wrath of God who liveth forever and ever (Rev. 15:1, 7; 16:1).All these things are predicated of Jehovah, although entirely contrary to His nature. They are predicated of Him for the reason explained before; and also in order that men may first form the very general idea that the Lord governs and disposes all things both in general and in particular; and may afterwards learn that nothing of evil is from the Lord, much less does He kill; but that it is man who brings evil upon himself, and ruins and destroys himself-although it is not man, but evil spirits who excite and lead him; and yet it is man, because he believes that he is himself the doer. So now here it is said of Jehovah that He would "destroy man" when in fact it was man who would destroy and extinguish himself.
 The state of the case may be very evident from those in the other life who are in torment and in hell, and who are continually lamenting and attributing all the evil of punishment to the Lord. So in the world of evil spirits there are those who make it their delight, even their greatest delight, to hurt and punish others; and those who are hurt and punished think it is from the Lord. But they are told, and it is shown them, that not the least of evil is from the Lord, but they bring it upon themselves; for such is the state and such the equilibrium of all things in the other life that evil returns upon him who does evil, and becomes the evil of punishment; and for the same reason it is inevitable. This is said to be permitted for the sake of the amendment of the evil. But still the Lord turns all the evil of punishment into good; so that there is never anything but good from the Lord. But hitherto no one has known what permission is; what is permitted is believed to be done by Him who permits, because He permits. But the fact is quite otherwise, concerning which, of the Lord's Divine mercy hereafter.