of GOD


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
1. (a.) Violent anger; vehement exasperation; indignation; rage; fury; ire.

2. (n.) The effects of anger or indignation; the just punishment of an offense or a crime.

3. (a.) See Wroth.

4. (v. t.) To anger; to enrage; -- also used impersonally.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

wrath, roth, rath ('aph, from 'anaph, "to snort," "to be angry"; orge, thumos, orgizomai): Designates various degrees of feeling, such as sadness (Psalm 85:4), a frown or turning away of the face in grief or anger (2 Chronicles 26:19 Jeremiah 3:12), indignation (Psalm 38:3), bitterness (Judges 18:25), fury (Esther 1:12), full of anger (Genesis 4:5 John 7:23), snorting mad (Genesis 27:45 Matthew 2:16).

1. Divine Wrath:

Wrath is used with reference to both God and man. When used of God it is to be understood that there is the complete absence of that caprice and unethical quality so prominent in the anger attributed to the gods of the heathen and to man. The divine wrath is to be regarded as the natural expression of the divine nature, which is absolute holiness, manifesting itself against the willful, high-handed, deliberate, inexcusable sin and iniquity of mankind. God's wrath is always regarded in the Scripture as the just, proper, and natural expression of His holiness and righteousness which must always, under all circumstances, and at all costs be maintained. It is therefore a righteous indignation and compatible with the holy and righteous nature of God (Numbers 11:1-10 Deuteronomy 29:27 2 Samuel 6:7 
Isaiah 5:25; Isaiah 42:25 Jeremiah 44:6  Psalm 79:6). The element of love and compassion is always closely connected with God's anger; if we rightly estimate the divine anger we must unhesitatingly pronounce it to be but the expression and measure of that love (compare Jeremiah 10:24  Ezekiel 23  Amos 3:2).

2. Human Wrath:

Wrath, when used of man, is the exhibition of an enraged sinful nature and is therefore always inexcusable (Genesis 4:5, 6; Genesis 49:7 Proverbs 19:19 Job 5:2 Luke 4:28 2 Corinthians 12:10 Galatians 5:20 Ephesians 4:31 Colossians 3:8). It is for this reason that man is forbidden to allow anger to display itself in his life. He is not to "give place unto wrath" (Romans 12:19 margin), nor must he allow "the sun to go down upon his wrath" (Ephesians 4:26). He must not be angry with his brother (Matthew 5:22), but seek agreement with him lest the judgment that will necessarily fall upon the wrathful be meted out to him (Matthew 5:25, 26). Particularly is the manifestation of an angry spirit prohibited in the training and bringing up of a family (Ephesians 6:4 Colossians 3:19). Anger, at all times, is prohibited (Numbers 18:5 Psalm 37:8 Romans 12:19 Galatians 5:19 Ephesians 4:26James 1:19, 20).

3. Divine Wrath Consistent with Love:

Wrath or anger, as pertaining to God, is very much more prominent in the Old Testament than in the New Testament. This is to be accounted for probably because the New Testament magnifies the grace and love of God as contrasted with His wrath; at least love is more prominent than wrath in the revelation and teaching of Christ and His apostles. Nevertheless, it must not be thought that the element of wrath, as a quality of the divine nature, is by any means overlooked in the New Testament because of the prominent place there given to love. On the contrary, the wrath of God is intensified because of the more wonderful manifestation of His grace, mercy and love in the gift of His Son Jesus Christ as the Saviour of the world. God is not love only: He is also righteous; yea, "Our God is a consuming fire" (Hebrews 12:29); "It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God" (Hebrews 10:31). No effeminate, sentimental view of the Fatherhood of God or of His mercy and loving-kindness can exclude the manifestation of His just, righteous and holy anger against sin and the sinner because of his transgression (1 Peter 1:17 Hebrews 10:29). One thing only can save the sinner from the outpouring of God's righteous anger against sin in the day of visitation, namely, faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as the divinely-appointed Redeemer of the world (John 3:36 Romans 1:16-18; Romans 5:9). Nor should the sinner think that the postponement or the omission (or seeming omission) of the visitation of God's wrath against sin in the present means the total abolition of it in the future. Postponement is not abolition; indeed, the sinner, who continually rejects Jesus Christ and the salvation which God has provided in Him, is simply `treasuring up' wrath for himself "in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; who (one day) will render to every man according to his works:.... to them that.... obey not the truth, but obey unrighteousness,.... wrath and indignation, tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that worketh evil" (Romans 2:5-9 2 Peter 3:10 Revelation 6:16, 17; Revelation 16:19; Revelation 19:15).


God's anger while slow, and not easily aroused (Psalm 103:8 Isaiah 48:9 Jonah 4:2 Nahum 1:3), is to be dreaded (Psalm 2:12; Psalm 76:7; Psalm 90:11 Matthew 10:28); is not to be provoked (Jeremiah 7:19 1 Corinthians 10:22); when visited, in the present life, should be borne with submission (2 Samuel 24:17 Lamentations 3:39, 43Micah 7:9); prayer should be earnestly made for deliverance from it (Psalm 39:10; Psalm 80:4 Daniel 9:16Habakkuk 3:2); it should be the means of leading man to repentance (Isaiah 42:24, 25 Jeremiah 4:8).

Certain specific things are said especially to arouse God's anger: continual provocation (Numbers 32:14), unbelief (Psalm 78:21, 22 Hebrews 3:18, 19), impenitence (Isaiah 9:13, 14 Romans 2:5), apostasy (Hebrews 10:26, 27), idolatry (Deuteronomy 32:19, 20, 22 2 Kings 22:17 Jeremiah 44:3), sin in God's people (Psalm 89:30-32 Isaiah 47:6), and it is manifested especially against opponents of the gospel of Jesus Christ (Psalm 2:2, 3, 5 1 Thessalonians 2:16).

4. Righteous and Unrighteous Anger:

There is a sense, however, in which anger is the duty of man; he is to "hate evil" (Psalm 97:10). It is not enough that God's people should love righteousness, they must also be angry with sin (not the sinner). A man who is incapable of being angry at sin is at the same time thereby adjudged to be incapable of having a real love for righteousness. So there is a sense in which a man may be said to "be.... angry, and sin not" (Ephesians 4:26). Anger at the sin and unrighteousness of men, and because their sin is grievous to God, may be called a "righteous indignation." Such an indignation is attributed to Jesus when it is said that He "looked round about on them with anger, being grieved at the hardening of their heart" (Mark 3:5). When anger arises because of this condition, it is sinless, but when anger arises because of wounded or aggrieved personality or feelings, it is sinful and punishable. Anger, while very likely to become sinful, is not really sinful in itself.

We have illustrations in the Scriptures of wrath or anger that is justifiable: Jesus (Mark 3:5), Jacob (Genesis 31:36), Moses (Exodus 11:8; Exodus 32:19 Leviticus 10:16 Numbers 16:15), Nehemiah (Nehemiah 5:6;Nehemiah 13:17, 25); of sinful anger: Cain (Genesis 4:5, 6), Esau (Genesis 27:45), Moses (Numbers 20:10, 11), Balaam (Numbers 22:27), Saul (1 Samuel 20:30), Ahab (1 Kings 21:4), Naaman (2 Kings 5:11), Herod (Matthew 2:16), the Jews (Luke 4:28), the high priest (Acts 5:17; Acts 7:54).

3709. orge -- impulse, wrath 
 impulse, wrath. Part of Speech: Noun, Feminine Transliteration: orge Phonetic Spelling:
(or-gay') Short Definition: anger, wrath, passion Definition: anger ... 
//strongsnumbers.com/greek2/3709.htm -

2372. thumos -- passion 
... passion. Part of Speech: Noun, Masculine Transliteration: thumos Phonetic Spelling:
(thoo-mos') Short Definition: an outburst of passion, wrath Definition: an ... 
//strongsnumbers.com/greek2/2372.htm -

3950. parorgismos -- irritation 
... Part of Speech: Noun, Masculine Transliteration: parorgismos Phonetic Spelling:
(par-org-is-mos') Short Definition: exasperation, wrath Definition: exasperation ... 

2435. hilasterion -- propitiatory 
... hilasterion Phonetic Spelling: (hil-as-tay'-ree-on) Short Definition: a sin offering,
covering Definition: (a) a sin offering, by which the wrath of the deity ... 
//strongsnumbers.com/greek2/2435.htm -

2433. hilaskomai -- to be propitious, make propitiation for 
 Cognate: 2433 (akin to 2434 , "propitiation, appeasement/satisfaction of divine
wrath on sin") -- properly, to extend , showing mercy by satisfying (literally ... 
//strongsnumbers.com/greek2/2433.htm -

3949. parorgizo -- to provoke to anger 
... anger, provoke to wrath. From para and orgizo; to anger alongside, ie Enrage --
anger, provoke to wrath. see GREEK para. see GREEK orgizo. ... 
//strongsnumbers.com/greek2/3949.htm -

3570. nuni -- now 
... Col 3:8: "But (3570 ) you also, put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice,
slander, and abusive speech from your mouth" (). 3570 ... 
//strongsnumbers.com/greek2/3570.htm -

4632. skeuos -- a vessel, implement, pl. goods 
... skyoo'-os) Short Definition: a vessel to contain liquid, utensil, tackle Definition:
a vessel to contain liquid; a vessel of mercy or wrath; any instrument by ... 
//strongsnumbers.com/greek2/4632.htm -

517. aoratos -- invisible 
... Heb 11:27: "By (4102 ) he left Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he
endured, as seeing Him who is (517 )" (). Word Origin from alpha (as a neg. ... 
//strongsnumbers.com/greek2/517.htm -

Strong's Hebrew
7109. qetsaph -- wrath
 7108, 7109. qetsaph. 7110 . wrath. Transliteration: qetsaph Phonetic Spelling:
(kets-af') Short Definition: wrath. Word Origin (Aramaic ... 
/hebrew/7109.htm -

7110a. qetseph -- wrath
 7110, 7110a. qetseph. 7110b . wrath. Transliteration: qetseph Short
Definition: wrath. Word Origin from qatsaph Definition wrath
/hebrew/7110a.htm -

7110. qetseph -- wrath
 7109, 7110. qetseph. 7110a . wrath. Transliteration: qetseph Phonetic Spelling:
(keh'-tsef) Short Definition: foam. foam, indignation, sore, wrath
/hebrew/7110.htm -

290. Achimaats -- "my brother is wrath," two Israelites
 289, 290. Achimaats. 291 . "my brother is wrath," two Israelites. Transliteration:
Achimaats Phonetic Spelling: (akh-ee-mah'-ats) Short Definition: Ahimaaz ... 
/hebrew/290.htm -

7107. qatsaph -- to be angry
... Word Usage angry (21), became angry (1), became...angry (1), become wrathful (1),
enraged (1), furious (3), provoked (1), provoked him to wrath (1), provoked ... 
/hebrew/7107.htm -

2534. chemah -- heat, rage
... 2533, 2534. chemah. 2535 . heat, rage. Transliteration: chemah Phonetic
Spelling: (khay-maw') Short Definition: wrath. Word Origin ... 
/hebrew/2534.htm -

5674b. abar -- to be arrogant, become angry
... 5674a, 5674b. abar. 5675 . to be arrogant, become angry. Transliteration:
abar Short Definition: wrath. Word Origin denominative ... 
/hebrew/5674b.htm -

5678. ebrah -- overflow, arrogance, fury
 ebrah. 5679 . overflow, arrogance, fury. Transliteration: ebrah Phonetic Spelling:
(eb-raw') Short Definition: wrath. Word Origin fem. ... anger, rage, wrath. ... 
/hebrew/5678.htm -

639. aph -- a nostril, nose, face, anger
... 1), face (15), faces (4), forbearance* (1), ground (1), nose (10), noses (1), nostril
(1), nostrils (13), quick-tempered* (1), snout (1), wrath (8), wrath with ... 
/hebrew/639.htm -

7267. rogez -- agitation, excitement, raging
... Word Origin from ragaz Definition agitation, excitement, raging NASB Word Usage
rage (1), raging (1), thunder (1), turmoil (3), wrath (1). ... 
/hebrew/7267.htm -


The Wrath of God 
 3. THE LAW AND SIN 3.3 The Wrath of God. What does every sin deserve? God's wrath
and curse, both in this life, and in that which is to come. ... 
//christianbookshelf.org/watson/the ten commandments/3 3 the wrath of god.htm

The Wrath-Denouncing Angel. 
 The Wrath-denouncing Angel. ... They thus acknowledged themselves the servants of him whom they obeyed, and subjected themselves to the wrath of God. ... 
/.../bliss/a brief commentary on the apocalypse/the wrath-denouncing angel.htm

Naaman's Wrath 
 THE FIRST BOOK OF KINGS NAAMAN'S WRATH. 'And Elisha sent a messenger unto
Naaman, saying, Go and wash in Jordan seven times, and ... 
/.../maclaren/expositions of holy scripture f/naamans wrath.htm

The Wrath of Love 
 THE WRATH OF LOVE. ... The storms come up, they know not when or how: but they are not
the sport of a blind chance; they are not the victims of the wrath
 of God. ... 
/.../kingsley/town and country sermons/sermon xxxix the wrath of.htm

The Wrath to Come 
 The Treasury of Sacred Song. Book First CCCLXVI THE WRATH TO COME. See
[169]Note. When first GOD stirr'd me, and the Church's word. ... 
/.../palgrave/the treasury of sacred song/ccclxvi the wrath to come.htm

We Speak, Indeed, of the "Wrath" of God. ... 
 Chapter LXXII. We speak, indeed, of the "wrath" of God.� We speak, indeed,
of the "wrath" of God. We do not, however, assert that ... 
/.../origen/origen against celsus/chapter lxxii we speak indeed.htm

The Wrath of God Abides Upon those who Believe not this Gospel. .. ... 
 First Head of Doctrine. Divine Election and Reprobation Article 4 The wrath
of God abides upon those who believe not this gospel.� ... 
//christianbookshelf.org/various/the canons of dordt/article 4 the wrath of.htm

Divine Wrath and Mercy, Nahum 1, 2 &C. 
 Book 1. Hymn 1:42. Divine wrath and mercy, Nahum 1, 2 &c. ... 3 Those heaps of wrath
by slow degrees Are forced into a flame, But kindled, O how fierce they blaze! ... 
/.../watts/hymns and spiritual songs/hymn 1 42 divine wrath and.htm

Psalm 9:1. First Part. Wrath and Mercy from the Judgment-Seat. 
 THE Psalms of David, In Metre. Psalm 9:1. First Part. Wrath and mercy from
the judgment-seat. 1 With my whole heart I'll raise my ... 
/.../christianbookshelf.org/watts/the psalms of david/psalm 9 1 first part wrath.htm

Psalm 9 Part 1 Wrath and Mercy from the Judgment-Seat. 
 THE PSALMS OF DAVID PSALM 9 PART 1 Wrath and mercy from the judgment-seat.
vv.1-4,9-11 CM. Wrath
 and mercy from the judgment-seat. ... 
/.../watts/the psalms and hymns of isaac watts/psalm 9 part 1 wrath.htm

Wrath (503 Occurrences)
 impersonally. Int. Standard Bible Encyclopedia. WRATH, (ANGER). rath ... 16). 1. Divine
: Wrath is used with reference to both God and man. When ...
/w/wrath.htm -

Aroused (29 Occurrences)
... Exodus 22:24 and my wrath will grow hot, and I will kill you with the sword; and
your wives shall be widows, and your children fatherless. (See NIV). ...
/a/aroused.htm -

Spite (28 Occurrences)
... For all this his wrath is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still. ... For
all this his wrath
 is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still. ...
/s/spite.htm -

Vent (8 Occurrences)
... (See NAS). Job 20:23 When he is about to fill his belly, God will cast the fierceness
of his wrath on him. It will rain on him while he is eating. (See NIV). ...
/v/vent.htm -

Burns (34 Occurrences)
 get directions from the Lord for me and for the people and for all Judah, about
the words of this book which has come to light; for great is the wrath of the ...
/b/burns.htm -

Appeased (11 Occurrences)
... Esther 2:1 After these things, when the wrath of king Ahasuerus was appeased, he
remembered Vashti, and what she had done, and what was decreed against her. ...
/a/appeased.htm -

Subside (5 Occurrences)
... Ezekiel 5:13 Thus shall my anger be accomplished, and I will cause my wrath toward
them to rest, and I shall be comforted; and they shall know that I, Yahweh ...
/s/subside.htm -

Storm-wind (19 Occurrences)
... Isaiah 66:15 For the Lord is coming with fire, and his war-carriages will be like
the storm-wind; to give punishment in the heat of his wrath, and his passion ...
/s/storm-wind.htm -

Vessels (210 Occurrences)
... Romans 9:22 What if God, willing to show his wrath, and to make his power known,
endured with much patience vessels of wrath
 made for destruction, (WEB KJV ASV ...
/v/vessels.htm -

Satisfy (32 Occurrences)
... Ezekiel 5:13 Thus shall mine anger be accomplished, and I will cause my wrath toward
them to rest, and I shall be comforted; and they shall know that I, Jehovah ...
/s/satisfy.htm -

Bible Concordance

Verses with the word wrath in the New Testament (45 verses):

Matthew 3:7
But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?

Luke 3:7
Then said he to the multitude that came forth to be baptized of him, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?

Luke 4:28
And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath,

Luke 21:23
But woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in those days! for there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people.

John 3:36
He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

Acts 19:28
And when they heard these sayings, they were full of wrath, and cried out, saying, Great is Diana of the Ephesians.

Romans 1:18
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;

Romans 2:5
But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God;

Romans 2:8
But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath,

Romans 4:15
Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression.

Romans 5:9
Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wraththrough him.

Romans 9:22
What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:

Romans 12:19
Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.

Romans 13:4
For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to executewrath upon him that doeth evil.

Romans 13:5
Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.

Galatians 5:20
Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,

Ephesians 2:3
Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children ofwrath, even as others.

Ephesians 4:26
Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your 

Ephesians 4:31
Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:

Ephesians 5:6
Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrathof God upon the children of disobedience.

Ephesians 6:4
And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

Colossians 3:6
For which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience:

Colossians 3:8
But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.

1 Thessalonians 1:10
And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.

1 Thessalonians 2:16
Forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they might be saved, to fill up their sins alway: for the wrath is come upon them to the uttermost.

1 Thessalonians 5:9
For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,

1 Timothy 2:8
I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.

Hebrews 3:11
So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest.)

Hebrews 4:3
For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.

Hebrews 11:27
By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.

James 1:19
Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow towrath:

James 1:20
For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.

Revelation 6:16
And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:

Revelation 6:17
For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?

Revelation 11:18
And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.

Revelation 12:12
Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.

Revelation 14:8
And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.

Revelation 14:10
The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:

Revelation 14:19
And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God.

Revelation 15:1
And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvellous, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God.

Revelation 15:7
And one of the four beasts gave unto the seven angels seven golden vials full of thewrath of God, who liveth for ever and ever.

Revelation 16:1
And I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels, Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth.

Revelation 16:19
And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath.

Revelation 18:3
For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies.

Revelation 19:15
And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.


Divine retribution

Divine retribution is supernatural punishment of a person, a group of people, or everyone by a deity in response to some action. Many cultures have a story about how a deity exacted punishment on previous inhabitants of their land, causing their doom.

An example of divine retribution is the story found in many cultures about a great flood destroying all of humanity, as described in the Epic of Gilgamesh, the Hindu Vedas, or Book of Genesis (6:9-8:22), leaving one principal 'chosen' survivor. In the first example it is Utnapishtim, and in the last example Noah. References in the Qur'an to a man named Nuh (Noah) who was commanded by God to build an ark also suggest that one man and his followers were saved in a great flood.

Other examples in Hebrew religious literature include the dispersion of the builders of the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11:1-9), the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 18:20-21, 19:23-28) (Quran 7:80-84), and the Ten Plagues visited upon the ancient Egyptians for persecuting the children of Israel (Exodus, Chapters 7-12). Similarly, in Greek mythology, the goddess Heraoften became enraged when her husband, Zeus, would impregnate mortal women, and would exact divine retribution on the children born of such affairs. In some versions of the myth, Medusa was turned into her monstrous form as divine retribution for her vanity; in others it was as punishment for being raped by Poseidon.

In most cases, the Bible refers to be divine retribution as being delayed or "treasured up" to a future time. Sight of God's supernatural works and retribution would mitigate against faith in God's Word. William Lane Craig says that In Paul’s view God’s properties, His eternal power and deity, are clearly revealed in creation, so that people who fail to believe in an eternal, powerful Creator of the world are without excuse. Indeed, Paul says that they actually do know that God exists, but they suppress this truth because of their unrighteousness.

Some religions have no concept of divine retribution, or of a god being capable of expressing human sentiments such as jealousy, vengeance, or wrath. For example, in Deismand Pandeism, the Creator has no need to intervene in our Universe at all, and so exhibits no such behavior. In Pantheism (as reflected in Pandeism as well), God is the Universe and encompasses everything within it, and so has no need for retribution, as all things against which retribution might be taken are simply within God. This view is reflected in some pantheistic or pandeistic forms of Hinduism, as well.

The concept of divine retribution is resolutely denied in Buddhism. Gautama Buddha did not endorse belief in a creator deity, refused to express any views on creation and stated that questions on the origin of the world are worthless. The non-adherence to the notion of an omnipotent creator deity or a prime mover is seen by many as a key distinction between Buddhism and other religions.

But Buddhists do accept the existence of beings in higher realms (see Buddhist cosmology), known as devas, but they, like humans, are said to be suffering in samsara, and are not necessarily wiser than us. The Buddha is often portrayed as a teacher of the gods, and superior to them. Despite this there are believed to be enlightened devas. But since there may also be unenlightened devas, there also may be godlike beings who engage in retributive acts, but if they do so, then they do so out of their own ignorance of a greater truth.

Despite this nontheism, Buddhism nevertheless fully accepts the theory of karma, which posts punishment-like effects, such as rebirths in realms of torment, as a consequence of wrongful actions. Unlike in most Abrahamic monotheistic religions, these effects are not eternal, though they can last for a very long time. Even theistic religions do not necessarily see such effects as "punishment" imposed by a higher authority, rather than natural consequences of wrongful action.

"Wrath of God"

"The wrath of God", an anthropomorphic expression for the attitude which some believe God has towards sin, is mentioned many times in the Christian Bible. Leaving aside the references to it in the Old Testament, where it is used of God not only when punishing the wicked but also when sending trials to the just, as in Job 14:13, it is mentioned in at least twenty verses of the New Testament. Examples are:

  • John 3:36 - Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.
  • Romans 1:18 - For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.
  • Romans 5:9 - Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God.
  • Romans 12:19 - Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, "Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord."
  • Ephesians 5:6 - Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.
  • Revelation 6:17 - For the great day of his wrath has come, and who is able to withstand?
  • Revelation 14:19 - So the angel swung his sickle across the earth and gathered the grape harvest of the earth and threw it into the great winepress of the wrath of God.
  • Revelation 15:1 - Then I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous: seven angels having the seven last plagues, for in them the wrath of God was finished.
  • Revelation 19:15 - From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty.

The New Testament associates the wrath of God particularly with imagery of the Last Day, described allegorically in Romans 2:5 as the "day of wrath", and the Book of Revelation.

Divine Retribution in the Pentateuch

Divine retribution is easily seen in the Pentateuch or first five books of the Bible which set a hermeneutical foundation of the other Bible books. Major examples of divine retribution in the Pentateuch include:

Biblical passages incident reason
Genesis 3:14-24 Curse upon Adam and Eve and their expulsion from the Garden of Eden disobedience and excuses including blaming God
Genesis 4:9-15 Curse upon Cain after his slaying of his brother, Abel deceit, murder, lies
Genesis 6-7 The destruction of the Great Flood rampant evil and Nephilim
Genesis 11:1-9 The confusion of languages at the Tower of Babel impiety on a massive scale
Genesis 19:23-29 Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah people of no redeeming value
Genesis 38:6-10 Destruction of Er and Onan wickedness in the Lord's sight
Exodus 7-14 Plagues of Egypt to establish his power over that of the gods of Egypt
Exodus 19:10-25 Divine threatenings at Mount Sinai warn that the mountain is off limits and holy
Exodus 32 Plagues at the incident of the golden calf disowning the people for breaking his covenant with them
Leviticus 10:1-2 Nadab and Abihu are burned offering unauthorized fire in their censers
Leviticus 26:14-39 Curses upon the disobedient divine warning
Numbers 11 A plague accompanies the giving of quail meat in the wilderness rejecting his gracious gift of heavenly food and failing his test of obedience
Numbers 16

The rebellion of Korah, Dathan and Abiram - Their supernatural deaths and the plague that followed

insolence and attempting self-promotion to roles they were unworthy of holding
Numbers 20:9-13

Reprimand of Moses at the water of Meribah

disobeying the Lord's instruction, showing distrust and indífference in God's presence
Numbers 21 Murmuring of the people and the plague of fiery serpents spurning God's grace
Numbers 25

Whoredom with the Moabites and resulting plague

breaching God's covenant through sexual immorality and worshipping other gods
Deuteronomy 28

Curses pronounced upon the disobedient

another divine warning

Other notable biblical retributions

The Bible being full of cases of divine retribution, some instances are particularly notable for heralding in new eras, while others were meant to serve as abject lessons in dealing with God and keeping faithful to his commands.

Biblical passages Incident Reason
(1 Samuel 6:19)

some/many men of Beth Shemesh killed

looking into the ark of the covenant thus displaying irreverent curiosity
(2 Samuel 6:1-7) Uzzah struck dead after touching the Ark of the covenant despite good intentions he was in clear violation of the instructions given on how to deal with the object
(1 Kings 11)

God promises to tear Solomon's kingdom from his son except for a single tribe.

Idolatry and unrepentance.
(Acts 5:1)

Ananias and his wife Sapphira struck dead

committed the first recorded sin of the new church by pretending to be generous and lying to The Holy Spirit about an offering.

See also


  1. Jump up^ http://quran.com/7
  2. Jump up^ Luke 3:7; Romans 2:5
  3. Jump up^ For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope...(Romans 8:24)
  4. Jump up^ Craig, William Lane. "Is Unbelief Culpable?". Reasonable Faith. Retrieved 19 May 2014.
  5. Jump up^ Thera, Nyanaponika. "Buddhism and the God-idea". The Vision of the Dhamma. Kandy, Sri Lanka: Buddhist Publication Society. In Buddhist literature, the belief in a creator god (issara-nimmana-vada) is frequently mentioned and rejected, along with other causes wrongly adduced to explain the origin of the world; as, for instance, world-soul, time, nature, etc. God-belief, however, is placed in the same category as those morally destructive wrong views which deny the kammic results of action, assume a fortuitous origin of man and nature, or teach absolute determinism. These views are said to be altogether pernicious, having definite bad results due to their effect on ethical conduct.
  6. Jump up^ Approaching the Dhamma: Buddhist Texts and Practices in South and Southeast Asia by Anne M. Blackburn (editor), Jeffrey Samuels (editor). Pariyatti Publishing: 2003 ISBN 1-928706-19-3 pg 129
  7. Jump up^ Bhikku Bodhi (2007). "III.1, III.2, III.5". In Access To Insight. The All Embracing Net of Views: Brahmajala Sutta. Kandy, Sri Lanka: Buddhist Publication Society.
  8. Jump up^ Thanissaro Bhikku (1997). "Acintita Sutta: Unconjecturable". AN 4.77 (in translated from Pali into English). Access To Insight. Conjecture about [the origin, etc., of] the world is an unconjecturable that is not to be conjectured about, that would bring madness & vexation to anyone who conjectured about it.
  9. Jump up^ Thanissaro Bhikku (1998). "Cula-Malunkyovada Sutta: The Shorter Instructions to Malunkya" (in translated from Pali into English). Access To Insight. It's just as if a man were wounded with an arrow thickly smeared with poison. His friends & companions, kinsmen & relatives would provide him with a surgeon, and the man would say, 'I won't have this arrow removed until I know whether the man who wounded me was a noble warrior, a priest, a merchant, or a worker.' He would say, 'I won't have this arrow removed until I know the given name & clan name of the man who wounded me... until I know whether he was tall, medium, or short... The man would die and those things would still remain unknown to him. In the same way, if anyone were to say, 'I won't live the holy life under the Blessed One as long as he does not declare to me that 'The cosmos is eternal,'... or that 'After death a Tathagata neither exists nor does not exist,' the man would die and those things would still remain undeclared by the Tathagata.
  10. Jump up^ Bhikku, Thanissaro (1997). Tittha Sutta: Sectarians (in translated from Pali). Then in that case, a person is a killer of living beings because of a supreme being's act of creation... When one falls back on lack of cause and lack of condition as being essential, monks, there is no desire, no effort [at the thought], 'This should be done. This shouldn't be done.' When one can't pin down as a truth or reality what should & shouldn't be done, one dwells bewildered & unprotected. One cannot righteously refer to oneself as a contemplative.
  11. Jump up^ John T Bullitt (2005). "The Thirty-one planes of Existence". Access To Insight. Retrieved May 26, 2010. The suttas describe thirty-one distinct "planes" or "realms" of existence into which beings can be reborn during this long wandering through samsara. These range from the extraordinarily dark, grim, and painful hell realms to the most sublime, refined, and exquisitely blissful heaven realms. Existence in every realm is impermanent; in Buddhist cosmology there is no eternal heaven or hell. Beings are born into a particular realm according to both their past kamma and their kamma at the moment of death. When the kammic force that propelled them to that realm is finally exhausted, they pass away, taking rebirth once again elsewhere according to their kamma. And so the wearisome cycle continues.
  12. Jump up^ Susan Elbaum Jootla (1997). "II. The Buddha Teaches Deities". In Access To Insight. Teacher of the Devas. Kandy, Sri Lanka: Buddhist Publication Society. Many people worship Maha Brahma as the supreme and eternal creator God, but for the Buddha he is merely a powerful deity still caught within the cycle of repeated existence. In point of fact, "Maha Brahma" is a role or office filled by different individuals at different periods." "His proof included the fact that "many thousands of deities have gone for refuge for life to the recluse Gotama" (MN 95.9). Devas, like humans, develop faith in the Buddha by practicing his teachings." "A second deva concerned with liberation spoke a verse which is partly praise of the Buddha and partly a request for teaching. Using various similes from the animal world, this god showed his admiration and reverence for the Exalted One.", "A discourse called Sakka's Questions (DN 21) took place after he had been a serious disciple of the Buddha for some time. The sutta records a long audience he had with the Blessed One which culminated in his attainment of stream-entry. Their conversation is an excellent example of the Buddha as "teacher of devas," and shows all beings how to work for Nibbana.
  13. Jump up^ Bhikku, Thanissaro (1997). Kevaddha Sutta. Access To Insight. When this was said, the Great Brahma said to the monk, 'I, monk, am Brahma, the Great Brahma, the Conqueror, the Unconquered, the All-Seeing, All-Powerful, the Sovereign Lord, the Maker, Creator, Chief, Appointer and Ruler, Father of All That Have Been and Shall Be... That is why I did not say in their presence that I, too, don't know where the four great elements... cease without remainder. So you have acted wrongly, acted incorrectly, in bypassing the Blessed One in search of an answer to this question elsewhere. Go right back to the Blessed One and, on arrival, ask him this question. However he answers it, you should take it to heart.
  14. Jump up^ http://www.himalayanart.org/pages/Visual_Dharma/yidams.html
  15. Jump up^ Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church (Oxford University Press 2005 ISBN 978-0-19-280290-3), article wrath of God, the

External links


Professor of New Testament Exegesis in the University of London

PREFACE [p. vii]



[p. vii]


In this lecture I have endeavoured to draw attention to some of the Biblical evidence, present in both the Old and New Testaments, which reveals God as a God of wrath as well as a God of love. It is an axiom of the Bible that there is no incompatibility between these two attributes of the divine nature; and for the most part the great Christian theologians and preachers of the past have endeavoured to be loyal to both sides of the divine self-disclosure. In more recent years, however, there has been
widespread neglect and indeed denial of the doctrine of the divine wrath; and emphasis has been placed almost exclusively upon the love of God revealed in Jesus Christ.

In consequence the severity of Biblical Christianity has largely been lost sight of, with far-reaching and disastrous results in many spheres of life, as Dr. D. M. Lloyd Jones in his book The Plight of Men and the Power of God has clearly shown. It is surely time that the balance was redressed, and that a generation which has little or no fear of God should be faced with the reality of His wrath as well as with His loving-kindness.The so-called 'moral' objection to the doctrine of the divine  wrath has no substance when it is realized that the Bible, containing as it does a revelation of God to man, must use the language of the human emotions in speaking of God; but that, just because God is God and not man, divine love transcends human love, and divine wrath transcends human wrath. There is in the love of God none of the fickleness, the waywardness, and the weakness of human love; and these features are also absent from His wrath.

But just as human love is deficient if the element of anger is entirely
lacking (for as Lactantius wrote in the third century, 'qui non odit non diligit'), so too is anger an essential element of divine love. God's love is inseparably connected with His holiness and His justice. He must therefore manifest anger when confronted with sin and evil.

The doctrine of the wrath of God safeguards the essential distinction between Creator and creature, which sin is ever seeking to minimize or obliterate. Without a realization of this wrath we are unlikely to have that 'fear of God which is the beginning of wisdom'. It is with a consciousness of this truth, and with a desire to be faithful to the Biblical revelation as a whole, that I offer this study as a contribution to the series of Tyndale Lectures.



OUR investigation into the Biblical doctrine of the wrath of God should, I suggest, begin with a careful exegesis of Romans i. 18. In this verse the apostle writes, 'for the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold down the truth in unrighteousness'.

The main points at issue in the interpretation of these words are, first, whether the sentence is coordinate with the previous sentence; and, secondly, what is the exact significance of the present tense 'is revealed'.

 On the supposition that the two sentences are coordinate, verse 18 would supply another reason why Paul is 'not ashamed of the gospel'. He is unashamed, because in it a revelation is made not only of the righteousness but also of the wrath of God.

In favour of this view, it has been suggested that the form of the two sentences suggests parallelism; and that, on the assumption that it is in the gospel alone that God's wrath is adequately revealed, there is no contradiction between i. 18 and the further statement of the apostle in iii. 25 that 'God set forth [Jesus] to be a propitiation, … because of the passing over of the sins done aforetime, in the forbearance of God'.

The revisers were almost certainly right in translating  di¦ t¾n p£resin in this verse, 'because of the passing over of sins' and not, as the A.V. (following the Vulgate propter remissionem) translated, 'for the remission of sins', i.e. 'in order to bring about the remission of sins'; for, although the word p£resij is used once in secular literature for the remission of debts, there is no evidence that it is a synonym for ¥fesij. In the light of the R.V. translation of Romans iii. 25, it is accordingly urged
that in Romans i. 18 also the apostle is saying that before the redemptive activity of Christ there was no full expression of God's wrath. In other words the peculiar characteristic of the whole pre-Christian era was that God in His forbearance tended to overlook the transgressions of men, and not to inflict upon them the full punishment that they merited.

But because He is absolutely righteous such a "p£resij ¡marthm£twn" could not be permanent. Sooner or later it was inevitable that He should manifest to the full His divine wrath, particularly as many were misunderstanding the nature and purpose of His forbearance, and were
fondly supposing that He was 'such a one as themselves' (Ps. 1. 21), — an easy-going God, who would forget their offences and so remit them.

Hence it was necessary, 'because God had passed over the sins done aforetime', to show His righteousness by 'setting forth Jesus to be a propitiation': and it is this truth, so it is alleged, which is also presented in the apostle's words in i. 18.

Such an interpretation of i. 18 is also said to be consistent with two statements found in addresses delivered by Paul before pagan audiences; the first at Lystra, in Acts xiv. 16, that God 'in the generations gone by suffered all the nations to walk in their own ways'; and the second at Athens, in Acts xvii. 30, that 'the times of ignorance therefore
God overlooked'.

It is also said to be in accordance with the Septuagint version of Jeremiah xxxi. 32, quoted in Hebrews viii. 9, where God says, 'They continued not in my covenant, and I disregarded them (ºmšlhsa aÙtîn)'. But while this is certainly the right exegesis of Romans iii. 25, where the apostle is obviously drawing attention to the necessity for the full satisfaction of the divine justice in the propitiatory sacrifice of Jesus, just because that justice had in fact never been fully satisfied before (for God had, to use the language of the prophets, never 'made a full end' in the
infliction of punishment on His people), I would suggest that such an interpretation of Romans i. 18 does not really fit the context.

The R.V. is surely right in regarding this verse as beginning a new paragraph. Paul is in effect here laying down the essential foundation for the doctrine of grace by a general statement of God's permanent
attitude to sin; for it is only when men are fully conscious of this attitude that they are inclined to, or indeed are able to accept the good-news of the revelation of God's righteousness revealed in the saving death of Christ.

To realize that we are under God's wrath and in disgrace is the essential preliminary to the experience of His love and His grace. In this respect the Christian gospel is bad news before it is good news.

And this revelation of the divine wrath has been made in varying degrees and in various ways and at various times ever since the fall of Adam. I would therefore interpret "¢pokalÚptetai" in Romans i. 18 not as a prophetic present, 'is going to be revealed', with reference to the final and perfect manifestation of the divine wrath on what is called in Romans ii. 5 'the day of wrath'; nor as a strict ppresent, 'is at this moment being revealed', with sole reference to the conditions prevalent in the Roman Empire of Paul's own day. Nor would I confine it to the revelation of the divine wrath in the passion of Christ when He drank to the dregs on behalf of sinners the cup of God's wrath. Rather would I construe it as a frequentative present, 'is continually being revealed', covering in its
sweep the whole field of human experience, especially that delineated in the Old Testament Scriptures.

We may note in passing that this permanent element in the divine wrath is a characteristic which differentiates it from sinful human wrath. The
latter is fitful, wayward, and spasmodic; while the former is stable, unswerving, and of set purpose. 'Man is a creature of time', wrote Lactantius, 'and his emotions are related to the passing moment. His anger, therefore, ought to be curbed because he is often angry and angry unjustly. But God is eternal and perfect. His anger is no passing emotion but is always of set purpose and design.'

A perfect example of this aspect of human anger is given by the elder brother in the parable of the Prodigal Son (Lk. xv. 28). He was angry with the wrong people, at the wrong time, and for the wrong reasons.

Paul adds in Romans i. 18 that this revelation of the divine wrath is made 'from heaven'. He does so perhaps not merely to emphasize still more strongly that this wrath is divine in origin and in character; but also, as Calvin suggested, because it is universal in its scope, for 'so far and wide as are the heavens, is the wrath of God poured out on the whole world'. C. Hodge, in his commentary on Romans, also pertinently suggested that Paul added these words,' because like the lightning from heaven God's wrath forces itself on the most reluctant vision'.

Men may be deaf to the divine voice speaking within them in conscience, but they find it difficult to escape that same voice when it calls to them through the providential 'chances and changes' of their experience.

Paul also adds that this revelation is 'against all impiety and unrighteousness of men who hold down the truth in unrighteousness'. The words translated 'impiety' and 'unrighteousness', "¢sšbeia" and
"¢dik…a", are not synonyms. Rather does the apostle show, by the choice of these particular words and by the order in which he places
them, that "¢dik…a", human injustice, man's inhumanity to man, and the unnatural and worse than bestial behaviour to which he often sinks has its deepest roots in ¢sšbeia, in his failure to give to God the honour and the reverence which the all-sovereign Creator has the right to demand
from His creatures.

The sin which permanently evokes God's wrath, because it is the root of all other sins, is the wilful suppression of such truth about Himself as He has been pleased to reveal to men, and of which they can never plead ignorance.

The truth about the divine nature, which is available to all men through the evidence of God's created works, is necessarily more limited and circumscribed than the special revelation which He has chosen to make through the particular people whom He called to receive it. It is a revelation of His sovereignty and His creative power rather than of His mercy and His saving grace. We may therefore find it helpful as an aid to
handling in a necessarily limited way the large amount of Biblical material relevant to our subject, to consider first the manifestation of the divine wrath to those who are outside the covenant relationship, which God established with His people Israel; then to notice the particular forms which such manifestation took, and the causes which gave rise to them, when God directed His anger to His chosen people; and finally to
consider how the divine wrath is revealed in Jesus Christ; under the new covenant which He inaugurated; and on the final Day of Wrath.


The locus classicus in Scripture for the manifestation of the divine wrath to the heathen world is Romans i. 19-32. Here Paul insists that the non-Jewish world cannot offer the excuse that it has no knowledge of God because it has not been favoured with the special revelation granted to Israel, and that therefore it is quite undeservedly the object of His wrath. For, though invisible to the eye of man, God has manifested through His created works 'his everlasting power and divinity'. It is evident, in other
words, that the power which made the sun, the moon and the stars is an eternal power possessing the qualities of perfection and deity. In a real sense, therefore, the pagan world had knowledge of God; but the sin, which is inherent in every child of Adam, led men to fail to deduce from this knowledge the obligation which was laid upon them to glorify, and render praise and thanksgiving to the Creator. Their knowledge of God became, as a result, so perverted that in Ephesians ii. 12 Paul can describe them as being without God altogether, "¥qeoi ™n kÒsmó", though in that "kÒsmoj" God's everlasting power and divinity were visible. For, when men exchange such truth about God as has been manifested to them for a false conception of His character, they lose the sense of the fundamental difference between creature and Creator; and thereby fall into the cardinal sin of idolatry and give the creature the worship that should be given only to the Creator. They 'turn his glory into the similitude of a calf that eateth hay' (see Ps. cvi. 20). And to be an idolater, whatever form the idolatry may take, is to be under the wrath of God.

Because the entry of sin into the world was due to the unwillingness of Adam to accept his creaturely estate, and to his desire to become as God, the wrath of God has been directed against mankind ever since. 'He doth not afflict willingly, nor grieve the children of men' (La. iii. 33); but so and only so can His sovereignty be vindicated.

One of the primary purposes therefore of the opening chapters of Genesis, even though the actual expression 'the wrath of God' does not occur in them, is to record the divine judgments and the punishments which God was impelled to inflict upon men in order that His absolute sovereignty and justice might be demonstrated. The pronouncement of the sentence of death upon Adam, the cursing of the earth for his sake, and the banishment of Adam and Eve from the earthly paradise are all manifestations in word and deed of the divine wrath; and, it is important to notice, they are recognized as such by other writers of Scripture. The Psalmist for example, when he meditates on the inescapable fact of death, says 'We are consumed in thine anger, and in thy wrath are we troubled' (Ps. xc. 7). It is 'in Adam', Paul says, 'that all die'. 'Death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the likeness of Adam's transgression', i.e. over those who had not disobeyed specific commandments as Adam did, but whose heart was nevertheless as a result of Adam's fall desperately wicked (Rom. v. 14).

The effects of the curse laid upon the earth for Adam's sake are destined, Paul points out, to remain till the final manifestation of the sons of God: for the groaning and travailing creation, with its marks of frustration, change, and decay, is what it is because it has been deliberately subjected to vanity by its Creator (Rom. viii. 20).

As R. Haldane commented, 'The same creation which declares that there is a God and publishes His glory, also proves that He is the enemy of sin and the avenger of the crimes of men, so that the revelation of wrath is universal throughout the world and none can plead ignorance of it'.

The expulsion of Adam and Eve from the earthly Paradise led directly, in the Genesis story, to that succession of evils which Paul enumerates as characteristic of human life in Romans i. 29 and 30. Special attention is drawn in this record of the earliest days of human existence to the destructive nature of sin in the murder of Abel by Cain, the first of many Biblical illustrations of the truth that 'the wrath of man worketh not the
righteousness of God' (Jas. i. 2); to the inherent restlessness of man as he becomes 'a fugitive and a wanderer over the face of the earth'; and to the incestuous marriage of 'the sons of God and the daughters of men', a violation of the order of creation which God had established which resulted in wickedness so great that 'God repented that he had made man upon the earth', and was moved to destroy by water the whole race of men with the exception of Noah and seven others.

In the Biblical perspective this is the most significant example of the divine wrath in the pre-Christian era: it is a manifestation of the judgment of God so outstanding that it has no parallel except the judgment which God will pass upon sinners on the final 'day of his wrath'. Not merely does the second Epistle of Peter draw attention to this parallel in the words 'the world that then was, being overflowed with water perished; but the heavens that now are, and the earth … have been stored up for fire, being reserved against the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men' (2 Pet. iii. 6, 7), but the Son of God Himself places these two judgments side by side when He says: 'As were the days of Noah, so shall be the coming of the Son of man' (Mt. xxiv. 37).

In the mercy of God a new beginning seemed possible for mankind after the salvation of Noah and his family; and it is probable that Scripture implies that Noah made known to his contemporaries a fresh revelation of the sovereign justice of God, for he is described in 2 Peter ii. 5 as 'a preacher of righteousness'. But the inherent pride of man led him once again to forget his creaturely estate and to seek to obliterate the distance between heaven and earth, i.e. between God and himself, by the erection of the tower of Babel. Trading upon the mercy of God revealed in the salvation from the flood, men succeeded only in evoking a fresh expression of the divine wrath, which resulted in the confusion of human speech and in the rise of the numerous languages which have caused so much misunderstanding and been such a divisive factor in human life.

It is clear from these opening chapters of Genesis not only that the wrath of God manifests itself especially in the confounding of human pride whenever it asserts itself, and in the inflicting of suffering and death as just punishments; but also that man by sinning is plunged into further sin and into all the misery and distress which sin brings in its train. This is the truth to which Paul gives explicit utterance in the last section of the first chapter of the Epistle to the Romans, to which we must now return.

The various acts of uncleanness mentioned by the apostle in Romans i. 24-27, some of them the very acts which led to the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah,' which the Lord overthrew in his anger and his wrath' (Dt. xxix. 23), are the effects both of the idolatry which brings down upon mankind the wrath of God, and of the essential corruption of the human heart. Paul speaks in these verses of God giving men up to 'uncleanness' and to 'vile passions'. God is therefore directly operative in this process
of moral decline, though He is not responsible for moral evil.

We should do well to bear in mind the comment of Haldane on this difficult passage. 'We must distinguish', he wrote, 'be- tween man's abandonment by God and the awful effects of that abandonment. The
abandonment proceeded from divine justice, but the effect from the corruption of man, in which God had no part. The abandonment is a negative act of God, or rather a negation of acting, of which God is absolutely master, since, being under noobligation to confer grace upon any man, He is free to withhold it as He sees good, so that in this withholding there is no injustice'. There comes a point at which 'God
ceases to strive with man any longer' (see Gn. vi. 3).

The reason why sins of moral uncleanness are given such prominence in this sectionof Romans is probably not merely because they were especially prevalent in the Roman world at the time when the Epistle was written, but because they are the sins which are so often directly associated with idolatry. The truth thus becomes apparent that when man degrades God he also degrades himself beneath the level of the beasts.

The apostle accordingly states in verse 28,' Even as they refused to have God in their knowledge, God gave them up unto a reprobate mind, to do the things which are not fitting'; which Hodge well paraphrased, bringing out the play on the Greek words: 'As they did not approve of God, He gave them over to a mind which no one could approve'.

In the light of the language used in this first chapter of the Epistle to the Romans it is unsatisfactory to limit the meaning of 'the wrath of God' in the New Testament solely to the effects which follow upon sinful actions. We feel, therefore, the inadequacy of such a statement as that of Professor C. H. Dodd that 'Paul retains the concept of "the wrath of God" not to describe the attitude of God to man but to describe the inevitable
process of cause and effect in a moral universe'.

'The wrath of God', as has been well said, 'is an affectus as well as an effectus, a quality of the nature of God, an attitude of the mind of God towards evil'.

Throughout this section of Romans emphasis is laid upon the essential justice of God's dealings with the heathen. The exhibitions of His wrath are not arbitrary, for God has no pleasure in the death of the wicked
(Ezk. xxxiii. 11), nor are they made for any other purpose except to vindicate His sovereign rights as Creator. Men have fully merited the misery which their sin has brought upon them. 'Knowing', Paul states in i. 32, 'the ordinance of God, that they which practise such things are worthy of death, [they] not only do the same, but also consent with them that practise them'. Their conscience, as is made clear in ii. 14, though dulled by the moral corruption into which they have sunk, has not obliterated the knowledge that they are moral beings with a moral sense; for they pass moral judgments upon one another, 'their thoughts one with another accusing or else excusing them'. This is evidence that, though they have no special revelation of a moral law such as has been revealed to Israel, they possess by nature a knowledge of the difference between right and wrong. They are in a real sense 'a law unto themselves; in that they show the work of the law [the moral law] written in their hearts', however much they may fail to act in accordance with its dictates.

The essential truth of the matter therefore is that though men possess by nature a moral sense they have in fact not only failed to glorify God and to act in a manner pleasing to Him, but have become incapable of doing so because of the sin resident in their members. They are therefore, to use the language of Romans ix. 22, 'vessels of wrath fitted unto destruction'. To this truth witness is again borne by the apostle in
Ephesians ii. 3 where he states that he himself and his fellow-Jewish Christians were, apart from the grace of God received at their conversion, "tškna fÚsei ÑrgÁj "by their very nature the objects of God's wrath, as were the rest of mankind. There has been a manifest reluctance on the part of modern commentators to give this expression its obvious positive meaning. Some indeed, because of the absence of the word "qeoà"
after "ÑrgÁj", have supposed that Paul is saying no more than that the Gentiles were liable to violent bursts of human anger.

Such an interpretation would not only strip the passage of its obvious solemnity, but the words would add little to the previous clause; and there are several places in the New Testament where the word "Ñrg"» seems clearly to refer to God's wrath even though the word 'God' is not mentioned.

Other commentators, who recognize that the reference is to the divine anger, seem anxiousto tone down as much as possible the meaning of fÚsei. Thus Armitage Robinson interprets the expression negatively and paraphrases it by the words 'in ourselves', i.e. because we lacked divine grace. But the word "fÚsij" should refer to what is innate or ingrained and not to something which is due to a defect caused by particular
conditions or circumstances. In this passage therefore it draws attention to the essential constitution of fallen man, which is both the cause of the evil practices into which he has sunk, and the means by which they are persistently maintained. Just as by virtue of their original creation in
the image of God men are endowed with a moral sense and the gift of conscience, as Paul has stated in ii. 14; so too because of their fallen nature they are inevitably involved in behaviour which renders them the objects of the divine wrath.

The conclusion therefore is that, apart from the gospel, all mankind that is engendered of the seed of Adam is "tškna fÚsei ÑrgÁj". 'God's displeasure', as Knox translates Ephesians ii. 3, 'is their birthright'.


In the last half of the second chapter of the Epistle to the Romans Paul is concerned to show that the children of Abraham, who in virtue of their privileges as the chosen people of God were apt to assume that they had a right to pass judgment on the rest of mankind, so far from being exempt from the wrath of God which is the birthright of every child of Adam, were especially the objects of it. Bearing the name of Jew, resting his confidence upon the Mosaic law and the superior knowledge which it gave him of divine things, conscious that his vocation was to be a guide of the morally unenlightened and the ethically immature, 'an instructor of the foolish and a teacher of babes', the Israelite was in fact the victim of that self-deception which blunts a man's sense of the reality and the gravity of his own sin.

The apostle, it would appear, is thinking in Romans ii. 16-19 not merely of the Israelites of his own day, but of the Israelites throughout the whole of their past history, which has shown them to be guilty of the very sins which they condemn in others. Paul here specifies some of these sins which can be illustrated in detail in the Old Testament.

For all his alleged horror of stealing the Israelite had often been guilty of such things as dishonest trading, which is a violation of the eighth commandment, 'making the ephah small, and the shekel great, and dealing falsely with balances of deceit' (Rom. ii. 21; Am. viii. 5). For all their professed abhorrence of adultery, the sin of David with Bathsheba stood as a standing record of the fact that the best of Israelites had
committed the sin which was recognized as a characteristic sin of heathendom; and because he had given great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme David had inevitably incurred His wrath (2 Sam. xii. 14). Moreover, God had protested through the mouth of Jeremiah that the response of His people to His goodness had been to turn the very prosperity which He had given them into an instrument for the committal of this particular sin. 'When I had fed them to the full, they committed
adultery, and assembled themselves in troops at the harlots' houses.

They were as fed horses in the morning: every one neighed after his neighbour's wife. Shall I not visit for these things? saith the Lord: and shall not my soul be avenged on such a nation as this?'
(Rom. ii. 21; Je. v. 7-9).

For all his detestation of idolatry the Israelite was guilty, Paul assents, of 'robbing temples',l even, it would seem, the temple of his own God! For had not God through Malachi denounced the laxity with which the Israelites performed the sacrifices demanded by the ritual laws of the old covenant in the words 'Will a man rob God? yet ye rob me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with the curse; for ye rob me, even this whole nation'
(Rom. ii. 22; Mal. iii. 8, 9)?

For all his glorying in the law the Israelite, by transgressing it, had dishonoured the God who gave it, particularly in the eyes of the surrounding nations, amongst whom his lot had been cast (Rom. ii. 23; Ezk. xxxvi. 20, 23). And for all his pride in being circumcised the Israelite had tended to forget that there was no inherent security in circumcision against God's wrath. Circumcision was a sign or seal of the covenant;
but, if the moral obligations imposed by the covenant were disregarded, circumcision was as unavailing as uncircumcision (Rom. ii. 25). Nor did membership of the visible congregation of Israel necessarily carry with it membership of the true Israel, in which something more was required from the worshipper than the punctilious observance of the letter of the law. God demanded an inner worship of the heart such as He alone
could recognize and appraise (Rom. ii. 28, 29).

Throughout the series of dramatic rhetorical questions in the closing verses of Romans ii Paul is, in effect, drawing attention to the truth that those who prided themselves on being the people of God, were even more subject to the divine wrath than those who were outside the privileges of the divine covenant. For 'to whomsoever much is given, of him shall much be required: and to whom they commit much, of him will they ask the more' (Lk. xii. 48).

The judgment which 'begins at the house of God' (1 Pet. iv. 17) is for that very reason more searching and severe. The tragedy was that the Israelite had never really recognized his sin and was too ready to class the rest of mankind as sinners. The pathetic trust which in Paul's day he had come to place in the outward and visible signs of his religion, was the climax of the continuous spiritual decline depicted in the Old Testament

Paul does not accuse the Jew of 'idolatry' because since the exile idolatry had become increasingly abhorrent to Israel. In the Old Testament, however, idolatry, particularly in the form of Baal-worship, had again and again provoked the Holy One of Israel 'to anger'. (See e.g. Dt. xxxii. 16, 21, xxix. 24-28.)

As he surveys the story of Israel Paul is led, it would seem, to ask why this moral decline was not, and indeed could not be, arrested in spite of the punishments which God in His wrath had again and again inflicted upon His people, and in spite of the fact that in the law of Moses (that unique gift of God to Israel) a great revelation of the wrath of God against sin had been made; for, as Paul says in Romans iv. 15, 'the law
worketh wrath'.

Just because it requires perfect obedience to its commands, it must at
the same time, by the very penalties it exacts for disobedience, render the offender more subject to the divine wrath. Paul concludes that the main reason for the failure of Israel to arrest this process of moral decline lay in its wrong reaction to the forbearance of God, when so often He refrained from punishing them to the extent they deserved. When God, in the words of Psalm 1. 21, had 'kept silence' after the covenant had been violated by wickedness in Israel (and the sins which the Psalmist mentions in the previous verses of this Psalm are precisely those enumerated by Paul in this passage of Romans), the Israelites fondly supposed, as we have already noticed, that God was 'even such a one as themselves', easy-going and tolerant of evil. Failing to understand that His goodness in delaying to inflict full punishment and to execute
His wrath to the uttermost was designed solely to give further opportunity for repentance (Rom. ii. 41 ), they despised 'the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering', and concluded that He was never going to 'make a full end'. How often,
as soon as He turned away His anger, remembering that they were but flesh, had they proceeded to 'turn again and tempt God and provoke the Holy One of Israel' (Ps. lxxviii. 38-40)! They had disregarded the prophets who assured them that just because God was 'gracious and full of compassion, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy, and repented him of the evil' (i.e. refused to display at present His wrath to the uttermost)
they should 'rend their hearts … and turn unto the Lord their God' (Joel ii. 13). And because 'they mocked God's messengers, and despised his words and scoffed at his prophets' the wrath of God arose against His people till 'there was no remedy' (2 Ch. xxxvi. 16).

 ¨gei in the expression "e„j met£noi£n se" ¨gei should be interpreted as a conative present. 'The goodness of God is intended to lead thee to repentance.'

Paul also insists, in the same way as the chronicler of old, that this abuse of God's mercies, so far from staying the avenging hand of God, must result in an accumulation of offences which will finally receive in full the punishment they deserve. If men fail to use the opportunities for repentance; if they persist in hardening their hearts as Pharaoh hardened his heart; and if, in spite of the fact that God has 'stretched out his
hand all the day long' to them (Is. lxv. 2) they remain a rebellious people, then their hard and impenitent hearts are treasuring up for themselves wrath in the final day of wrath and of the righteous judgment of God (see Rom. ii. 5). This is the only abiding wealth that the wicked possess. It is not because God has laid aside His wrath, but because He has willed to show His wrath and to make His power known on the great 'day of wrath' that He has 'endured with much longsuffering vessels of wrath fitted
unto destruction' (Rom. ix. 221 ).

In that final display of wrath His righteousness will be vindicated and His name glorified. The goodness of God can never therefore secure impunity to sinners; and their abuse of it must of necessity aggravate their guilt and their punishment.

Both the evidence then of the Old Testament and the state of the Jews in Paul's own day bore witness to the truth that Jews as well as Gentiles were the object of the divine wrath, from which nothing but the salvation wrought by Jesus Christ could rescue them; for 'none was righteous, no not a single one' (Rom. iii. 10). Those who receivespecial knowledge of God and are the peculiar objects of His love must also, as the prophets insisted, be the special objects of His wrath if they disregard that knowledge and despise that love. 'You only', says God through Amos, 'have I known of all the families of the earth; therefore I will visit upon you all your iniquities' (Am. iii. 2).

And Amos proceeds to describe in chapter four some of the ways in which God would 'visit the transgressions of Israel upon him'. Moreover once God has decided to execute His wrath upon His people nothing that they can do can withstand it. So Ezekiel prophesies the futility of any defence by the inhabitants of Jerusalem against the Babylonians; for the downfall of the city has been decreed by God. The inhabitants of Jerusalem have indeed made preparations for defence, but they lack courage to face the enemy just because the wrath of God has predetermined their defeat.

The participle "qšlwn" in this verse I assume to be causative and not concessive.

'They have blown the trumpet, and have made all ready; but none goeth to the battle: for my wrath is upon all the multitude thereof' (Ezk. vii. 14). 'Who', asked the Psalmist, 'may stand in thy sight, when once thou art angry?' (Ps. lxxvi. 7).

It was not however to be inferred from this long story of a disobedient and backsliding people that God's election of Israel to be a chosen instrument of His purpose had failed. If there was no ground for any boastful sense of superiority on the part of the Jew, so too there was no ground for any boasting on the part of the Gentile. God's plan for the salvation of His elect could not be rendered void either by the disobedience of the chosen people; or by the arrogance of their oppressors; or by those whom God had called to be the instruments of His avenging wrath, but who had boasted of their own strength and assumed glory for themselves. If His anger is kindled against His own
people, it is also kindled against those who sought to prevent the execution of His will for Israel.

An outstanding instance of such an attempt to thwart the purposes of God is the stubbornness of Pharaoh. Yet the hardening of Pharaoh's heart and the subsequent punishment inflicted upon him were the means by which God's power was shown and His name published abroad in the earth (see Rom. ix. 17; Ex. iv. 16).

Similarly because 'Amalek set himself against Israel in the way when he came out of Egypt' Saul is bidden to be the minister of God's avenging wrath by smiting Amalek and utterly destroying 'all that they have' (1 Sa. xv. 2, 3). And when Saul disobeys this command by sparing Agag and the best of the spoils he learns that he himself has become hostile to the Lord because 'he did not execute the fierce wrath upon Amalek'
(1 Sa. xxviii. 18). '

The kings of the earth who take counsel together against the Lord', said the Psalmist, 'shall be had in derision by the Lord, who will speak unto them in his wrath and vex them in his sore displeasure' (see Ps. ii. 1-5).

As for those whom God had summoned to inflict punishment upon Israel, such as the Assyrians, God speaks to them through Isaiah in this fashion: 'Ho Assyrian, the rod of mine anger, the staff in whose hand is mine indignation! I will send him against a profane nation, and against the people of my wrath will I give him a charge to take the spoil, and to take the prey, and to tread them down like the mire of the streets'; but the
prophecy continues : 'I will punish … the stout heart of the king of Assyria, and the glory of his high looks. For he hath said, By the strength of my hand have I done it, and by my wisdom; for I am prudent'
(Is. xx. 5, 6, 12, 13).

The prophecy of Nahum, which predicts the destruction of Nineveh the Assyrian capital, whose crimes have merited its downfall, is prefaced by a remarkable introductory poem descriptive of the manifestation of God's wrath in the convulsions of nature. 'The Lord is a jealous God and avengeth; the Lord avengeth and is full of wrath; the Lord taketh vengeance on his adversaries … the Lord hath his way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet. He rebuketh the
sea, and maketh it dry, and drieth up all the rivers… .

The mountains quake at him, and the hills melt; and the earth is upheaved at his presence… . Who can stand before his indignation? and who can abide in the fierceness of his anger?' (Na. i. 2-6). This wrath is soon to be turned against Nineveh 'the bloody city … all full of lies and
rapine'. Because 'the prey departeth not' and Nineveh is always plundering, it will itself be the prey of the plunderer.

Because 'through the glamour of its power and the speciousness of its statecraft it has seduced to their ruin the peoples that entered into
relations with it … it will undergo degradation parallel to that inflicted upon an unchaste woman'.

Similarly, when Habakkuk complained to God that the Chaldeans whom God had raised up to punish His people were themselves a wicked people, he was told that, because the soul of the Chaldean was puffed up and not upright in him (see Hab. ii. 4); and because he had used his victories as occasions for evil gain and tyrannous oppression, he too would become the object of the divine wrath.

The third chapter of Habakkuk contains a poem descriptive of God marching forth to execute His wrath against all peoples who thwart His purposes. 'Thou didst march through the land in indignation, thou didst thresh the nations in anger. Thou wentest forth for the salvation of thy people, for the salvation of thine anointed' (Hab. iii. 12, 13).

Another very vivid description of God's vengeance upon the enemies of Israel is to be found in Isaiah lxiii. 1-6. The prophet sees God coming 'from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah' stained with the blood of His enemies; and God tells him that He alone 'in the greatness of his strength' could so succour His people in their distress.

'I have trodden the winepress alone; … yea, I trod them in mine anger, and trampled them in my fury; and their lifeblood is sprinkled upon my garments… . For the day of vengeance was in mine heart, and the year of my redeemed is come'.

These last two passages remind us that, though God's people deserve and receive in part punishment at the hands of God, who is angry when faced with sin, and who must give expression through His anger to His sovereignty and His justice, nevertheless in His dealings with Israel under the covenant relationship He is concerned to make ready the way (if need be by the extermination of His enemies) for the execution of His plan for the salvation of His elect. The love of God does not eliminate His wrath, but it prevents Him from giving full expression to it in His dealings with Israel.

In His loving mercy He has chosen Israel to be a peculiar people, the people of the covenant; and that covenant relationship can never be abandoned till a new covenant has been established. However much Israel may sin, it was called out of Egypt to be the son of God's love (Ho. xi. 1). Samaria, the city where Israel dwelt, could never therefore become as Sodom or as one of the cities of the Plain. Such is the burden of God's tender pleadings in Hosea xi. 8ff.: 'How shall I give thee up, Ephraim? How shall I deliver thee, Israel? How shall I make thee as Admah? How shall I set thee as Zeboim? Mine heart is turned within me, my compassions are kindled together. I will not execute the fierceness of mine anger, I will not return to destroy Ephraim: for I am God and not man'.

But the most tender, perhaps, of all such expressions of God's love for Israel, which leads Him to refuse to abandon the covenant relationship with His chosen people, and necessitates a limitation of His anger, is that contained in Isaiah liv. 8, 10: 'In overflowing wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the Lord thy redeemer… . For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall my covenant of peace be removed, saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee.'

Or, as the same truth is expressed in Micah vii. 18, 'He retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy We can sum up this part of our study by saying that under the old covenant the nature of sin was made clear; and men were forced by the destructive manifestations of God's power to recognize that His attitude towards sin can only be one of wrath.

The old covenant could not, however, save men from sin, nor put them right with God. But when through the revelation given in the law and the
prophets, and through the unmistakable signs of the divine wrath in the providential ordering of human affairs, God had revealed Himself in His absolute sovereignty, His perfect holiness, and His unfailing justice, — then the old covenant had done its work, and the way was open for the establishment of the new. In other words, when the truth had at least partially been learned, as Job eventually learned it, in the bitter school of
suffering, that man must not contend with God his Maker; that all human pride must be crushed before Him who reveals Himself in the whirlwind; and that the sinner must be humiliated and 'abhor himself and repent in dust and ashes' (Jb. xlii. 6), — then the infinite pity and mercy of God, of which the Old Testament so often speaks, could break through into human history in the person of His incarnate Son.

In Jesus the loving purposes of God set forth in the Old Testament, come finally to fulfilment; but not, let us notice, by any abandonment of the reality of His wrath or by any refusal to display it. The God revealed in Jesus Christ is the same God who challenged Job to pour forth, if he could, the overflowings of his anger, and look upon every one that is
proud and abase him and bring him low (see Jb. xl. 11, 12).

To manifest anger effectively against the pride which constitutes human sin is still, and must always be the sole prerogative of almighty God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Our next task therefore must be to see how in Jesus Christ we have a revelation from heaven not only of the goodness, but also of the severity of God.


Enough has already been said in this study to indicate that the view advocated so persistently and so thoroughly by Marcion in the second century, and consciously or unconsciously echoed in much so-called 'Christian' teaching in recent years, that the Old Testament reveals solely a God of wrath and the New Testament solely a God of love, is completely erroneous. It can easily be disproved by anyone who is prepared to give more than superficial attention to the text of the Bible, unless resort is made to the use of the critical knife in order to eradicate evidence which conflicts with the presuppositions of the critic. As a matter of observed fact, we do not find any gradual declension in the degree of emphasis which is placed on the wrath of God during the period of revelation with which the Old Testament is concerned; nor do we find that the revelation of God as a loving Father is confined to the New Testament, though it is
in the Person and work of Jesus the Christ that that revelation is uniquely and supremely made.

There are few more  beautiful expressions of the love of God than that contained in Psalm ciii, especially in verse 8, where we read: 'The Lord is full of compassion and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. He will not always be chiding; neither will he keep his anger for ever.' Yet within the same Psalter we also read 'God is a righteous Judge, yea, a God that hath indignation every day' (Ps. vii. 11). It is moreover a New Testament writer who, when he speaks of God as Father, emphasizes in the same breath His work as Judge before whom men must live in fear (1 Pet. i. 17); and it is another New Testament author who, echoing the words of Deuteronomy iv. 24, says 'Our God', i.e. the God whom we Christians worship, 'is a consuming fire' (Heb. xii. 29).

Nor is it only in the Old Testament that we read stories about sudden destruction overtaking as a divine punishment those who thwart the purposes of God or flout His mercy — stories such as that of the mauling by bears of the forty-two young hooligans at Bethel, who taunted Elisha with the words 'Go up, thou bald head' (2 Ki. xii. 22-24).

In the New Testament Herod Agrippa, the murderer of the apostle James and the persecutor of the apostle Peter, who so gloried in the outward apparel of his royalty and was so corrupted by human pride that he gladly received the idolatrous flattery of his subjects, when they declared that he spake not as a man but as a God, was struck suddenly by a devastating mortal disease (Acts xii. 22, 23). Similarly Ananias and Sapphira are punished by sudden death for 'tempting the spirit of the Lord', even as the Israelites tempted God in the wilderness and were destroyed by serpents (Acts v. 9; 1 Cor. x. 9). Each of the two Testaments contains revelations of both 'the goodness and the severity of God', for these two attributes of the divine nature cannot in fact be separated.

As A. G. Hebert has recently written, 'The love of God demands as its correlative the wrath of God, just because God does care and because He is man's true God, and He has called man to fellowship with Himself, and man's rejection of that fellowship is his ruin and perdition. Because the New Testament emphasizes the love of God it also emphasizes His wrath, and the evangelists repeatedly show our Lord as righteously angry.'

This last sentence would appear to be a truer evaluation of the evidence of the Gospels than that made by Professor C. H. Dodd when he writes: 'The concept of the wrath of God does not appear in the teaching of Jesus unless we press certain features of the parables in an illegitimate manner.'

When we consider carefully the evidence of the Gospels it is clear that the revelation of the wrath of God in Jesus Christ is in fact to be found as part both of His prophetic and His priestly ministry. As the proclaimer of 'the words of eternal life' He reveals the divine wrath first by calling upon men, as John the Baptist had done before Him, to repent in view of the inevitable 'wrath to come' which would fall upon the unrepentant. That Jesus taught no doctrine of universal salvation, but that He rather bade men fear the final day of God's wrath is clear from such sayings as:
'Be not afraid of them which kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will warn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him' (Lk. xii. 4, 5). And 'those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and killed them, think ye that they were offenders above all the men that dwell in Jerusalem? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish' (Lk. xiii. 4, 5).

 What Jesus saw to be awaiting the generation which He was addressing was for the most part not salvation but condemnation. It would be better, He said, for Tyre and Sidon, heathen cities, in the day of judgment than for the cities wherein His mighty works had been done (Lk. x. 14). It is noticeable that Luke the evangelist, whom Dante called 'scriba
mansuetudinis Christi', does not hesitate to record all these sayings; and he also alone notes that Jesus spoke of the disaster which would descend upon God's people in the destruction of Jerusalem specifically as a manifestation of His wrath (Lk. xxi. 23).

A similar revelation of the divine wrath is made in some of the parables of Jesus, especially those which are concerned with God's judgment. It is true that the details of these parables cannot always be pressed allegorically; but some scholars are perhaps guilty of unduly abandoning the allegorical element, which would seem clearly to be present in some of them. Thus, in speaking of the parable of the Wedding Feast in
Matthew xxii, Professor Dodd writes: 'To find the character of God exhibited in the King who destroys His enemies is as illegitimate as to find it in the character of the Unjust Judge.'

It should be pointed out, however, that at the conclusion of the parable
of the Unjust Judge our Lord makes it perfectly clear that the judge is not to be interpreted allegorically, but that the argument implied is a fortiori. We may paraphrase Luke xviii. 6, 7 as follows : 'The Lord said, Hear what the unrighteous judge [who in this isolated instance has shown some "regard for man"] said. And shall not God [whose character is so wholly different from that of the unrighteous judge] avenge his elect, which cry to him day and night?' In the parable of the Wedding Feast in Matthew xxii on the other hand no such explanation is given; and the hearers would naturally suppose that in verse 7 Jesus was making a prophecy of the destruction which awaited the holy city as a sign of God's anger. 'But the king was wroth; and he sent his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned their city.'

In the parallel parable of the Great Supper
The Epistle to the Romans, p. 23.

Many modern critical commentators regard this passage as a vaticinium post eventum; but, even if this subjective criticism is accepted, it remains noticeable that the evangelist, who makes this 'insertion', seems not to have felt that there was anything incongruous in the identification of the angry King of the parable with God Himself.

in Luke the host is similarly described as 'being angry' with the guests who refused the invitation to the banquet (Lk. xiv. 21). In the other parable, in which definite referenceis made to the anger of the chief character in the story, the parable of the Unforgiving Servant, our Lord definitely asserts that God will deal with those unwilling to forgive in the same way as the king in the story dealt with the unforgiving slave. He Himself allegorizes the story. 'And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due. So shall also my heavenly Father do unto you, if ye forgive not every one his brother from your hearts' (Mt. xviii. 34, 35).

Secondly, Jesus reveals the wrath of God in the undisguised expressions of His anger, to which the evangelists draw attention on specific occasions in His prophetic ministry. The only certain passage in the Gospels where Jesus is explicitly stated to have been angry is the Marcan account of the healing of the man with the withered hand in the synagogue on the Sabbath, where we read: 'And when he had looked
round about on them with anger, being grieved at the hardening of their heart, he saith to the man, Stretch forth thy hand' (iii. 5).

Matthew has no parallel to the first part of this sentence; while Luke, who seems to be following Mark closely, says, 'And he looked round about on them all, and said unto him, Stretch forth thy hand' (Mt. xii. 13; Lk. vi. 10).

It is Mark who, as so often in his Gospel, draws attention to the human emotions of Jesus, though they are never merely human emotions, for in them is revealed the divine reaction to men's words and deeds. Commentators have drawn attention to the fact that the participle expressing the angry look of Christ in this incident is in the aorist tense (peribley£menoj), while the participle expressing the sorrow of Christ is
in the present tense (sunlupoÚmenoj), the deduction being that the anger was expressed in one passing indignant glance, while the sorrow was persistent. Even so, the fact of the anger of Jesus on this occasion remains. It would seem to have been roused not merely by the desire of those present to find reasons for accusing Him, but also by their failure to face up to the fact that mere abstention from wrong-doing (in the legal sense) was no adequate interpretation of the divine command to do no work on the Sabbath. 'They remained silent' when Jesus asked them the pertinent question, 'Is it lawful on the Sabbath-day to do good or to do harm? to save a life or to kill?'

They failed to understand that there were occasions when not to act was in fact to do evil; and when to refrain from healing was in effect to commit murder. And how could an interpretation of the duty of Sabbath observance be justified which led to a violation of the sixth commandment? It is true that the Rabbis permitted acts of healing to take place on the Sabbath if it was believed that life was in immediate danger; and the Pharisees may well have thought that in this case the life of the man with the withered hand was not immediately in danger. Our Lord however seems to be angry that they should claim to be able to decide whether or not a human life was in danger.

This was part of the arrogance due to sin, which blinds men to the realization that they stand in jeopardy every hour, and have no life at all apart from Him who is the Lord and giver of life. And it was this blindness (the true meaning of pèrwsij in Mark iii. 5) which angered and grieved the Christ.

If in Mark i. 41 the reading "Ñrgisqe…j" 'being angry' (found in the Codex Bezae, three old Latin MSS, and in Ephraem's commentary on Tatian's Diatessaron) is original, we should have in this evangelist's account of the cleansing of the leper a second specific reference in the Gospels to an actual display of anger by Jesus.

This reading, on the grounds of internal evidence, has some claim to be considered original; for, as C. H. Turner remarked, 'It is inconceivable that any scribe should have substituted anger for compassion [the alternative reading being splagcnisqe…j], while the converse is

The anger of Jesus might indeed have been aroused by the uncertainty
expressed in the leper's words, as to Christ's willingness to heal. For, as Turner added, 'to acknowledge His power but to doubt His good-will was to display the same temper as that of the scribes from Jerusalem who admitted His power but denied that it came from God'.

(See Mk. iii. 22ff.) Ephraem's comment is worth recalling, 'Quia dixit "Si
vis" iratus est; quia eddit "potes" eum sanavit'.

 But in the absence of stronger external attestation the reading "Ñrgisqe…j" cannot be considered certain.

In Mark x. 14 we read that Jesus was 'moved with indignation' (ºgan£kthsen) with His disciples for rebuking those who brought little children for Him to 'touch'; or, as Matthew says, 'that he should lay his hands upon them and pray' (Mt. xix. 13). The indignation of Jesus on this occasion was called forth, it would seem, not merely by humanitarian motives. Jesus was indignant, I would suggest, because the thought that lay behind the disciples' words probably was 'What have these children done to merit a blessing at the Master's hands?

Later on, when they have some good deeds to their credit, they may come and justly claim a blessing but not now.' It was just this way of regarding the relationship between God and man which evoked the indignation of Jesus with His disciples. They were showing themselves to be Pharisees at heart. How could He refrain from bestowing His blessing upon little children, when, as He at once proceeds in effect to point out, they were living parables of the essential truth that He had come to
proclaim, — the truth that, just because sin renders man so proud and self-sufficient, a new birth, brought about by the creative activity of God Himself, is necessary before the human heart can receive the reign of God within it? Man has to receive salvation, which he can never merit however long he may live, and receive it as willingly as a little child receives the gifts that are offered him.

Quoted by Swete in The Gospel according to St. Mark, p. 29.

Just as the evangelists, in the incident of the children brought to Jesus, draw attention to this indignation with His disciples for their failure to understand the truth stated in Romans iii. 20 that 'by works of the law shall no flesh be justified in God's sight'; so too do they show Him displaying righteous wrath in cleansing the Temple. The cause of His wrath on this occasion was the blind trust that the Pharisees had come to put in the Temple sacrifices as the means by which the covenant-relationship with God could be maintained and they themselves delivered from the wrath to come. They failed to see the temporary nature of the Levitical system, and knew not the truth stated in the Epistle to the Hebrews that 'it is impossible that the blood of bulls and
goats should take away sins' (Heb. x. 4).

 The Temple moreover had failed to be 'a house of prayer for all nations'; but had become increasingly since the Exile the outward symbol of the exclusiveness of Israel. It had also been turned into 'a den of robbers' (see Je. vii. 8-11), where men thought they could salve their consciences after fraudulent transactions within the very house of God itself. When Jesus in St. John's Gospel, on the first visit to Jerusalem recorded by that evangelist, 'made a scourge of cords, and cast all out of the temple, both the sheep and the oxen; and he poured out the changers' money, and overthrew their tables', He was not only, as the disciples came to see, 'eaten up with a zeal for the Lord's house' (see Jn. ii. 17); but was also,
though the evangelist does not record this prophecy, fulfilling the words of Malachi iii.

'The Lord … shall  suddenly come to his temple … But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner's fire'. In the Synoptic Gospels the cleansing of the Temple is one of the last prophetic acts of Jesus and leads directly to His death and resurrection; or, to state the matter theologically, the destruction and
rebuilding of the temple of His Body, of which the Johannine account of the incident speaks (Jn. ii. 19-22), were the means by which a purer and universal worship would be rendered possible within the shrine of the hearts of the redeemed.

In Mark and Matthew the incident is also closely connected with the mysterious cursing of the fig-tree. Israel had been meant to be like a tree planted by the water-side which would bring forth fruit in due season. It had however become like the fig-tree which Jesus cursed. For its appearance gave the impression that it was bearing fruit while in reality
it was bearing no fruit at all. Instead of bringing forth fruit worthy of repentance,which would enable it to 'flee from the wrath to come', by its showy legalism and the false security of its temple worship Israel had rendered itself liable to God's curse.

The third way in which Jesus manifested the divine wrath in His prophetic ministry was by the severity with which He denounced those whose behaviour and beliefs were contrary to what they knew to be the expressed will of God, or who deliberately rejected the divine grace which was being offered to them in His own Person and work.

One of His sternest sayings was directed against those who deliberately placed stumbling-blocks in the way of an immature believer. 'Whoso shall cause one of these little ones which believe on me to stumble, it is profitable for him that a great millstone should be hanged about his neck, and that he should be sunk in the depth of the sea' (Mt. xviii. 6).

The sin of sins', it has been well said, 'is that of leading others into sin, especially the weak, the untaught, the easily perplexed, the easily misled'. The Pharisees (and later the Judaizers, who tried to rob Paul's converts of the liberty which they had in Christ Jesus) were especially guilty of this sin.

It is not therefore surprising that some of the most angry denunciations of Jesus are levelled against the Pharisees; and the series of woes which occupies Matthew xxiii is a most thorough and searching description of the kind of sinful behaviour, of which respectable and 'religious' people
are capable, when they are still fundamentally unrepentant and therefore blind to the power of sin within them which is vitiating their intentions and their actions. The contents of Matthew xxiii apply therefore not only to the Pharisees who first heard them, and who despised all whom they classified as 'sinners' because they either could not or would not keep their traditions, but to all whom Jesus satirized as 'the ninety and nine just persons who need no repentance'.

The contents of this chapter have been well summarized by James Denney as follows:

'To keep people ignorant of religious truth neither living by it ourselves, nor letting them do so (verse 13); to make piety or the pretence of it a cloak for avarice (14); to raise recruits for our own faction on the pretext of enlisting men for the Kingdom of God (15); to debauch the simple conscience by casuistical sophistries (16-22); to destroy the sense of proportion in morals by making morality a matter of law in which all things stand on the same level (23ff.); to put appearance above reality; and reduce life to a play, at once tragedy and farce (25-28); to revive the spirit and renew the sins of the past while we affect a pious horror of them; to crucify the living prophets while we build monuments to the martyred (29ff.) — these are the things which make a storm of anger sweep over the soul of Jesus and burst in this tremendous denunciation
of His enemies.'

But the 'woes' of Jesus, so eloquent of the wrath of God, are pronounced not only upon the Pharisees and all who manifest a Pharisaical spirit, but also upon those who pride themselves upon their material possessions or their personal achievements; those who are self-satisfied; those who are gay because they are blind to any need for repentance; and those who imagine that their life must be good because it wins the approval of their fellows. The wrath of God, it is implied in Luke vi. 24-26, is upon all who are in this sense 'rich' or 'full' or who 'laugh' or who are 'well-spoken of by men'.

It was just because this was the condition in which all men lay, though most of them were unaware of it, that Jesus, because He had come to reveal the love as well as the wrath of God, had to do something more than give utterance as a divinely commissioned messenger to the doom which awaited the unrepentant and the unbelieving at the hands of a righteous and angry God. In addition to a prophetic ministry He had a priestly work to perform; a work which involved nothing less than
drinking to the dregs the cup of divine wrath, 'the cup of his fury', as it is called in Isaiah li. 17. He drank that cup in Gethsemane and on Calvary, when God 'laid upon him the iniquity of us all'. It was the knowledge of the bitterness of the contents of this cup that led Him to pray that 'if possible the cup might pass from him' and to utter, or at least to contemplate the utterance of the prayer, 'Father, save me from this hour'
(Mt. xxvi. 39; Jn. xii. 27).

When Paul says that 'Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us' (Gal. iii. 13) and that 'Him who knew no sin God made to be sin on our behalf' (2 Cor. v. 21), he is in effect saying that Christ, sinless though He was, experienced the wrath of God towards sinners which rendered them liable to the death which was pronounced by the law to be accursed. We are not of course to suppose that in drinking this cup of wrath Jesus felt that God was angry with Himself. How could the Father be angry with 'the beloved Son in whom he was well pleased', who arose from His knees in Gethsemane with the words 'Thy will not mine be done' on His lips; and who knew that God could only be supremely glorified by the passion of His Son?
(Jn. xii. 31).

But He did experience the misery, the affliction, the punishment and the
death which are the lot of all sinners subject, as sinners must be, to the wrath of God who, just because He is all holy and all righteous, must punish sinners. It is therefore very natural that Christians should feel, when they contemplate the passion of Jesus, the relevance to His sufferings of the words put by Jeremiah into the mouth of the stricken city of Jerusalem, when God visited His wrath upon her in the Babylonian
invasion: 'Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by? Behold, and see if there be any sorrow like unto my sorrow, which is done unto me, wherewith the Lord hath afflicted me in the day of his fierce anger' (La. i. 12). It was, moreover, out of the horror of experiencing that complete separation from God which is the inevitable and permanent state of the wicked that the cry of the Psalmist was heard once again in the darkness of the first Good Friday as the cup of wrath was being drained to the dregs by the Saviour, 'My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?' (Ps. xxii. 1; Mt. xxvii. 46).

This drinking of the cup of the divine wrath on behalf of those for whom it was prepared was an essential part of His 'Father's business' which Jesus had come into the world to perform: and, when Peter sought to dissuade Him from fulfilling this vocation, the Lord spoke to him with a vehemence difficult to dissociate from wrath: 'Get thee behind me, Satan'. All who would not accept Him as the Lamb of God, by whose
sacrifice the guilt of sinners was to be removed, were in effect choosing damnation rather than salvation, darkness rather than light, death rather than life.

This is made abundantly clear in many of the sayings of Jesus recorded in St. John's Gospel; and in none more explicitly than in John iii. 36, 'He that believeth on the Son hath eternal life; but he that obeyeth not the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him'. Equally severe is the saying recorded in Matthew xxi. 44, when Jesus refers to Himself as the Stone rejected by the builders which had nevertheless become the chief cornerstone in that new temple, where alone men can find security and obtain release from the divine wrath; and then adds: 'He that falleth on this stone shall be broken to pieces: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will scatter him as dust'.

Because the Jews had 'fallen on this stone', Jesus prophesied that the kingdom of God would be taken from them and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof (see Mt. xxi. 43).

To fail to recognize that the mighty deeds of Jesus were in fact a divine assault upon the citadel of evil; and to attribute them to some malignant power, as the scribes who came down from Jerusalem to Galilee did, was to blaspheme against the Holy Spirit;and 'whosoever shall blaspheme against the Holy Spirit hath never forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin' (Mk. iii. 29). Similarly, to refuse to see Jesus for what He was, i.e. the Son of God sent to proclaim the words of God and to do the works of God, rendered the Jews no longer the children of God but the children of the devil, doomed to 'die in their sins' and so receive the punishment prepared for the devil and his angels (see Jn. viii. 42ff.). 

It is uncertain whether these last words should be regarded as a question or a statement, i.e. as a projected prayer or a spoken prayer.

These are sayings of terrible severity, but they are just as much part of the revelation of God made known in Christ Jesus as those sayings and deeds of the Master which so conspicuously display the divine love and mercy. To thrust these severe sayings on one side and to concentrate attention solely upon passages of the Gospels where the divine Fatherhood is proclaimed is to preach a debilitated Christianity, which does not and cannot do what Christ came into the world to do, viz. save men from the wrath to come.

In this connection we may welcome the words of a recent writer who remarks: 'Those who perceive only the love of God avert their eyes from the uncongenial doctrine of the wrath of God. But in eliminating the wrath or disgrace of God they have also eliminated the grace of God. Where there is no fear there can be no rescue. Where there is no condemnation there can be no acquittal.

 Love must be based on justice, else it degenerates into mere affection.
Or we may put this vital truth a little differently by saying that by seeking to eliminate Hell we must in effect also eliminate Heaven, which, in the words of the Te Deum, Jesus by His death and resurrection 'opened up to all believers'.

The resurrection is the abiding evidence that the priestly sacrifice of Jesus has been accepted by the just and holy God.

The New Testament makes it quite clear that the good news of the first Easter day was not just that a man had been raised from the grave, but that the sacrifice of Christ the true Passover Lamb had received divine
approval, and that therefore all who accepted it in faith as the means of salvation were placed in a new status with God, the status not of dis-grace but grace, and were no longer of necessity the objects of His wrath, but able to enter into the divine glory as redeemed sons of God. Jesus is consequently proclaimed in the apostolic gospel as He 'that delivers us from the wrath to come' (1 Thes. i. 10). 'Being now justified by his blood', Paul tells the Romans, 'we shall be saved from the wrath of God through him' (Rom. v. 9). The believer can therefore await with confidence and assurance the day on which that wrath will finally and fully be revealed, knowing that God has not appointed him 'unto wrath, but unto the obtaining of salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ'
(1 Thes. v. 9). For, though the wrath of God is always being revealed to a
greater or less extent in the judgments of God that find expression in the providential ordering of human history, the history both of nations and of individuals, it remains true that in His mercy He endures 'with much longsuffering vessels of wrath fitted unto destruction' (Rom. ix. 22).

In consequence there must be, and the Bible again and again affirms that there will be, a final day of judgment which will prove a day of full
salvation for the believer, but will be a day of the uttermost wrath for the wicked.


The New Testament makes it abundantly clear that those who responded in faith to the apostolic gospel, and came under the sanctifying influence of the Spirit of Christ, were conscious of a change so great that the only human language adequate to describe it was the language of birth and resurrection. They had been 'born again'; they had 'passed from death to life'.

God had delivered them 'out of the power of darkness and translated them into the kingdom of the Son of his love' (see Col. i. 13). An essential element in this conversion experience was the knowledge that they were no longer under wrath but 'under grace'. The New Testament is very far, however, from asserting that the Christian is automatically, as it were, removed from any manifestation of the divine anger.

The burden of its message is that the justified sinner must become the sanctified sinner. He is called to abide in the divine love. The essential difference between the believer and the unbeliever is that, while the latter, whether he realizes it or not, is inevitably subject to God's wrath, the believer, by continual submission to the Holy Spirit, remains under grace, and so escapes that wrath.

Paul was much concerned to warn the Christians of the danger of being deluded by a false sense of security. Because they lived by faith in Christ who had sacrificed Himself for them, they were under an obligation, he reminded them, to offer themselves as a sacrifice untainted by any uncleanness or covetousness; for any such moral stains would render them not, as they now had the right and the power to be, 'sons of God', but the 'children of disobedience' subject to the wrath of God
(see Eph. v. 1-6). Because after formerly being 'darkness' they were now 'light in the Lord' they must 'walk as children of light' and bring forth that fruit of light which consists of moral goodness (Eph. v. 8, 9).

Because they were 'risen with Christ' and were able by virtue of Christ's resurrection to enjoy the benefits of His passion, they must 'seek the
things that are above … and mortify their members upon the earth'; and these 'members' are stated to be in particular sensuality, and 'covetousness which is idolatry': Paul adds that it is because of these things.

A possible explanation of Paul's identification of 'covetousness' with 'idolatry' is given by E. F. Scott: 'Probably the true explanation is to be found in a Hebrew mode of speech which enforced the gravity of an offence by assimilating it to one which everyone would recognize as a very serious one' (Epistle to the Colossians, Moffatt Commentary, p. 67). Paul may however be implying that the wealth, the power, the influence which men covet tend to become their idols. There is a similar close
association of covetousness and idolatry which provoke the Lord to anger in Isaiah lvii where, after a graphic description of idolatry in the first half of the chapter, God says in verse 17, 'For the iniquity of his covetousness was I wroth and smote him; I hid my face and was wroth.' that 'the
wrath of God cometh upon the sons of disobedience' (Col. iii. 1-6).

Because they were 'not under law but under grace' they must not forget that there is a 'law of Christ' which has to be kept (Gal. vi. 2). Because they had 'put off the old man and put on the new man' they needed to remember that the new man must be 'renewed unto knowledge after the image of him who created him' (Col. iii. 9-11).

It was true, Paul tells the Thessalonians, that God 'appointed them not unto wrath but unto the obtaining of salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ'; for this very reason therefore they need to respond to the call to be 'sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for a helmet, the hope of salvation' (1 Thes. v. 8, 9).

Many of the Corinthian 'Christians' in particular failed to see that Christianity was very different from the Greek mystery religions. It was not an opus operatum rendering them permanently secure. Those who were 'in Christ', members of the new Israel, and children of the new covenant, were not free from the obligation of worrying about moral behaviour. If it was true that 'all things were lawful unto them', it was also true that 'all things were not expedient'.

Paul in his attempt to disillusion them on this vital matter recalls the fate which overtook the majority of the Israelites during their journey from Egypt to Canaan. In so doing he makes it clear that the God with whom
these ancient Israelites had to deal is the same God who has made the Corinthian Christians part of the new Israel, and established with them a new covenant inaugurated by the blood of Jesus.

The story of the old Israel has been written down not just as a matter of antiquarian interest, but because it is an inspired record containing a word of God relevant for God's people at all times. 'These things', Paul
asserts, 'happened unto them by way of example, and they were written for our admonition' (1 Cor. x. 11).

They were historical incidents of unique significance because in them the living God acted in order to reveal to mankind an essential element in His nature.

These Israelites of old, Paul reminds the Corinthians, were a privileged people no less than the Christians. They were 'under the cloud' of divine protection. They too had a saviour and experienced salvation, for they were redeemed from bondage in Egypt and enjoyed the leadership of Moses, a man endowed with supernatural power. They too had their sacraments, for they were fed with bread from heaven and drank of
life-giving water from the rock. Nevertheless they were on many occasions subject to remarkable and devastating visitations of the divine wrath. 'With most of them God was not well pleased; for they were overthrown in the wilderness.'

In the Old Testament accounts of almost all the examples referred to by Paul in 1 Corinthians x. 1-10 explicit mention is made of the wrath of God with Israel. When the Lord had sent quails amongst them when they lusted after flesh, we read that 'while the flesh [of the quails] was yet between their teeth, ere it was chewed, the anger of the Lord was kindled against the people, and the Lord smote the people with a very great plague' (Nu. xi. 33). When Aaron erected the golden calf and said, 'These be thy gods, O Israel'; and 'the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play'; the Lord said unto Moses, 'I have seen this people, and behold, it is a stiffnecked people: now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may wax hot against them, and that I may consume them' (Ex. xxxii. 4, 5, 9, 10). When the people committed 'whoredom with the daughters of Moab: for they called the people unto the sacrifices of their
gods; and the people did eat, and bowed down to their gods … the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel … and those that died by the plague were twenty and four thousand' (Nu. xxv. 1-3, 9).

When Israel tried the patience of God and spake against Aaron and Moses saying, 'Wherefore have you led us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness?' the anger of the Lord (though this actual phrase is not used at this point) found expression in the plague of fiery serpents, until through the intercession of Moses relief was obtained by the erection of a brazen serpent to act as the medium of God's saving grace (Nu. xxi. 5-8).
When, after the earth had swallowed up Korah,

Dathan, and Abiram because they had rebelled against their divinely appointed leaders, the congregation of Israel again 'murmured against Moses and Aaron', the outbreak of the plague which fell upon the people is heralded by Moses in the words 'there is wrath gone out from the Lord' (Nu. xvi. 46). Paul clearly implies in his references to these incidents in 1 Corinthians x that penalties of equal severity to those exacted by God from the ancient Israelites are liable to fall upon the Christians if they think that they are inevitably secure. 'Wherefore let him that thinketh
he standeth take heed lest he fall' (x. 12). The Corinthian Christians, moreover, doubtless prided themselves that they were no longer heathen and profane.

But Paul reminds them that the partisan loyalties which exist among them are signs that they are, in fact, sacrilegious. They are desecrating the temple in which God is now pleased to dwell. And he warns them in no uncertain manner that 'if any man destroy the temple of God, him shall God destroy. For the temple of God is holy, which temple ye
are' (1 Cor. iii. 17). It is noticeable that the Epistle to the Hebrews also draws attention to the visitation of the divine wrath upon Israel during the period of their wanderings.

As a result of persistent disobedience, the author reminds his readers, as he quotes Psalm xcv, God 'swore in his wrath' that the people should never enjoy His rest in the land to which they were journeying. And although that rest remains as a hope for the children of the new covenant, nevertheless the opportunity of enjoying it can be lost for ever, if the readers should apostatize as they were in danger of doing (see Heb. iii. 7-12 and Heb. iv). The danger of 'falling into the hands of the living God' who is 'a consuming fire' is just as real under the new covenant as under the old (see Heb. x. 31 and xii. 29).1

When Paul reminds his readers so emphatically of the danger in which they stood he is, it would appear, not merely proclaiming a truth which is self-evident in the Old Testament, but also speaking from his own experience as a Christian.

Because of these persistent warnings which he gives to his fellow-Christians, if for no other reason, those interpreters would seem to be right who assume that in the dramatic description of the inner struggle in Romans vii the apostle is in fact speaking of his own experience since and not before his conversion. In his pre-conversion days Paul, though separated by God from his mother's womb for the great work which awaited him (Gal. i. 15), had been all the time under the divine wrath. But so far from realizing this, he had been conscious of being a blameless Pharisee (Phil. iii.6), full of zeal for God. He had kept the strict letter of the law; but that law had never really influenced the inner springs of conduct but had only fed the flames of his pride.

Nevertheless he had been happy in his very self-righteousness, for he had fondly supposed that he was doing God's will. When therefore he looked back on this period of his life, which had culminated in the supreme sin of persecuting the church of God (1 Cor. xv. 9) under the delusion that he was doing God's work, he could say, 'I was alive apart from the law once' (Rom. vii. 9). The essential mark of the unregenerate
man lies in this disclosure. He thinks he is wholly alive, when he is in fact spiritually dead. He assumes that he is the object of God's love, when he is in fact the object of His wrath. He has in a word no conception of the extreme gravity of his situation.

After his conversion, however, Paul saw clearly that formerly he had been all the time a sinner, estranged from God, and in need of a salvation which he could never achieve for himself. But now that that salvation had come to him in the mercy of God, he was conscious of a moral struggle such as he had never known before. Hitherto he had been wholly 'carnal', uninfluenced by the divine spirit; and so there had been no struggle of a divided self. As a Christian he is acutely conscious of such a struggle. He
knows of two forces at work within him, a 'flesh' which is still very active; and a higher self, an 'I' so influenced by the divine Spirit that his mind is now sensitive to God, hating sin, and delighting in the divine law. Between this 'flesh' and this 'I' there is perpetual conflict; but potential victory now rests with the 'I', because the 'I' is no longer just 'I' but, as he puts it in Galatians ii. 19, 'not I but Christ who lives in me'. As a result of Paul's conversion, as R. Haldane well stated, 'sin had been displaced from its dominion but not from its indwelling'.

For a fuller discussion of the 'severe' passages in the Epistle to the Hebrews reference may be made to my monograph The Gospel in the Epistle to the Hebrews (Tyndale Press), pp. 47-50

When therefore Paul cries out, 'O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?' he can at once assert, 'I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord'. But that the moral struggle goes on even after delivery from the dominion of sin the apostle makes clear by adding after his grateful cry of release the words, 'So then I myself with the mind serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin'. The
attempt of some scholars, e.g. Moffatt, to simplify the whole passage by transferring this last sentence of verse 25 to the end of verse 23, so that it may harmonize better with the interpretation which assumes that Paul is describing his pre-conversion struggle, has no MSS evidence in its support: and as the particular interpretation which it is meant to
illuminate is, as we have seen, not the most probable in the light of Paul's teaching elsewhere, it should be rejected as arbitrary and improbable. As Karl Barth has well said with reference to Romans vii: 'What Paul is here asserting was well understood by the Reformers; but it is misunderstood by those modern theologians who read him through the spectacles of their own piety… . How vast a gulf separates the nineteenth-century conquering-hero attitude to religion from that disgust of men at
themselves which is the characteristic of true religion!'

We have seen that under the old covenant those who sought to thwart the purposes of God and to frustrate His plans for the salvation of His elect were subjected to His wrath in the disasters which befell them. Paul is equally certain that the divine wrath will descend upon those who, as he says in 1 Thessalonians ii. 15, 'both killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets, and drave out us, and please not God, and are contrary to all men; forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they may be saved'. Such wrath is due to fall upon them, because, as the apostle says, they are 'filling up the measure of their sins'. It is more than once stated in the Bible that God delays the display of His wrath till offenders have reached a kind of saturation point, beyond which they may not pass. Thus in Genesis xv. 16 Abraham is warned that 'the iniquity of the Amorite is not yet full'.

In the same way our Lord intimated that the Pharisees of His generation
must fill up the measure of the sins of their fathers before they would receive 'the judgment of hell' from which they could never escape (Mt. xxiii. 32, 33). That time, Paul implies in 1 Thessalonians ii. 16, is now imminent. 'The wrath', he states, 'is come upon them to the uttermost'. The word œfqasen here used would seem to denote that the wrath is so certainly and so soon to happen, that it can be almost said to have
already happened.

The words were fulfilled, though not completely, in the disaster of the destruction of the holy city in A.D. 70. That was indeed a day of wrath, as Jesus specifically calls it in Luke xxi. 23, where, after prophesying the siege of Jerusalem, He says, 'there shall be great distress upon the land [i.e. the land of Palestine] and wrath unto this people [i.e. the Jewish people]'. The setting of this prophecy of the destruction of Jerusalem in Luke xxi within a wider eschatological framework makes it clear that
Jesus regarded that event as a forerunner of the final day of wrath, when He will return again to execute final judgment. To a further consideration of the biblical revelation concerning that day we must now return.


The expression 'the day of the Lord' at the time of the rise of the great prophets of Israel denoted an event to which the Israelites were looking forward as the day of Jehovah's final vindication of the righteousness of His people against their enemies.

One of the tasks of the prophets was to insist that in fact 'the day of the Lord' would be a day on which God would vindicate 'His own righteousness' not only against the enemies of Israel, but also against Israel itself. This 'day of the Lord' throughout Old Testament prophecy remains a future reality, though there were events within the history covered by the Old Testament story which were indeed days of judgment both upon Israel and upon the surrounding nations which had oppressed her.

The certainty of this final 'day of the Lord', in which through the now unrestrained display of His wrath His absolute justice will be completely vindicated, passes over into the New Testament: and this is one of the many factors which gives unity to biblical theology. There is still a 'wrath to come', when John the Baptist begins his mission, which inaugurates the age of fulfilment to which the Old Testament is pointing. It is a fulfilment which is not finally achieved however till the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ; for there is still a 'wrath to come' when the New
Testament closes with the words, 'Even so come, Lord Jesus'.

The main purpose of John's mission was to enable his contemporaries to escape from that final wrath by pointing them to Jesus as the Lamb of God, through whose atoning sacrifice the sins of the world would be taken away (see Mt. iii. 7; Jn. i. 29). But this Lamb of God was also destined to be, as is stated in John v. 22, the divinely appointed agent of God's final judgment upon men. 'All judgment has been given by the Father to the Son.' For this reason that 'day of the Lord', which is still awaited at the close of the Old Testament, 'the day of wrath and righteous judgment of God', as Paul designates it in Romans

See Mal. iv. 1: 'For, behold, the day cometh, it burneth as a furnace; and all the proud, and all that work wickedness, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.' ii. 5, is in the New Testament synonymous with the return of Jesus the divine Son of Man in glory. And an essential element in the salvation experienced by those under the New Covenant is the eager and fearless expectation by the believer of this final appearing of the Saviour. The Thessalonians, Paul assures them, if they remain faithful, will find on that day complete deliverance from the wrath to come (see 1 Thes. i. 10). God who had called them had not appointed them unto wrath but unto the obtaining of final salvation through their Lord Jesus Christ (see 1 Thes. v. 9).

Those who at the moment were persecuted but were faithful under persecution would find 'rest at the revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ from heaven with the angels of his power' (2 Thes. i. 7). But, on the other hand, to those who knew not God and obeyed not the gospel of the Lord Jesus that day would be a day of wrath, in which they would suffer 'the punishment of eternal destruction and exclusion from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might' (2 Thes. i. 9, R.S.V.).

In the New Testament, therefore, the final day of judgment can be called not only 'the day of the Lord' but, as it is called in Revelation vi. 17, 'the day of their wrath', i.e. the wrath of God and of the Lamb; or, as some MSS read in this verse 'the day of His wrath'. In the Apocalypse of John the point is stressed that, because Christ Himself has drunk the cup of divine wrath against sinners in His atoning passion, He has been
entrusted with the task of being the agent through whom the divine wrath will be finally expressed. This would seem to be the main reason why believers are warned in the New Testament not to attempt to avenge themselves. By so doing they would be usurping the function which belongs to God and His Christ.

In so far, however, as those who legitimately exercise authority in secular affairs are restraining evil by the punishment of transgressors, they can be said to be performing a ministry of God which, in the case of those who do evil, is a ministry in which the divine wrath is at least partially manifested (see Rom. xiii. 4).

But when Paul bids the Romans in Romans xii. 19 to 'avenge not themselves but give place unto wrath' it is almost certain that the reference is to the manifestation of the divine wrath in the fullest sense on the final day of wrath. The presence of the definite article in this verse before the word 'wrath', and the fact that Paul follows his injunction with the quotation from Deuteronomy xxxii. 35, 'Vengeance is mine, I will repay, saith the Lord', would seem to place this interpretation beyond dispute

The final divine 'repayment' comes when, as the seer of Revelation is privileged to witness, the risen and ascended Lord opens the seals of the divine book of destiny, in which the last judgments of almighty God stand written. The risen Christ alone is worthy to open this book, because He is at one and the same time the Lamb that has been slain, and the all-powerful Lion of the tribe of Judah, who has purchased unto God with His blood men of every tribe and tongue and people and nation (see Rev. v.

The fact that the Lamb is also the Lion adds to the terribleness of His wrath, when He opens the seals of the book and releases the final woes and plagues which are to usher in the end. From this wrath of the Lamb all those who have had special responsibility for the conduct of human affairs, but have acted in a manner contrary to God's purposes, are pictured as hiding themselves in caves and in the rocks of the hills. For, as Swete well commented on Revelation vi. 16, 'What sinners dread is not
death but the revealed presence of God'. 'There is', he adds, 'deep psychology in the remark of Genesis iii. 8, "And Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden." … The Apocalyptist foresees the same shrinking from the sight of God in the last generation of mankind which Genesis attributes to the parents of the race. But there will then be a further source of terror:
the end brings with the revelation of God "the wrath of the Lamb"'.

He it is, the holy Lamb of God, who through His ministering angels is pictured as gathering the vintage of the earth (so-called because it is the fruit of a vine in direct contrast to the True Vine whose branches bear fruit unto God), and casting it into the winepress, the great winepress of the wrath of God (see Rev. xiv. 9). He it is, the Word of God, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who treads the winepress of the fierceness of the wrath of God (see Rev. xix. 13, 15, 16). And He it is who gives the
nations to drink of the wine that this winepress produces, the deadly wine of the fierceness of God's wrath. All who have worshipped the Beast, or some substitute for the true God, and all who have persecuted God's people, 'will drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is prepared unmixed [i.e. in full strength] in the cup of his anger'
(Rev. xiv. 10). At xv. 7 a somewhat different  metaphor is used. The seven angels are given seven incense bowls laden with the wrath of God, and are bidden to pour out their contents upon the earth. Thus in an
unmistakable manner is the final and complete effusion of God's anger symbolized.

The twenty-four elders, representing the true Church of God, are pictured as giving praise to God that this supreme vindication of divine justice has come; that the divine wrath has proved stronger than the futile raging of the nations; and that God's servants, and prophets and saints, both great and small, have received their due reward (see Rev. xi. 18).

For whatever disasters may fall upon the earth, as the death-bringing
contents of the vials of wrath are poured out, they cannot touch God's servants whose foreheads are sealed with the blessed name of their Redeemer, and whose names stand written in the Lamb's book of life (see Rev. vii. 3; iii. 5).

For them there awaits a return to that Paradise from which Adam was banished and an entrance into conditions of indescribable bliss, as having been brought to glory they worship God and enjoy Him for ever.

'They are before the throne of God; and they serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall spread his tabernacle over them. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun strike upon them nor any heat: for the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall be their Shepherd, and shall guide them unto fountains of waters of life: and God shall wipe away every tear from their eyes' (Rev. vii. 15-18).
This lecture was delivered in Cambridge on July 11th, 1951 at a meeting convened by The Tyndale Fellowship for Biblical Research. It was published by the Tyndale Press in 1951 and reprinted in 1957.
Prepared for the web by Michael Farmery & Robert I Bradshaw in March 2005 by kind permission of the Late Professor Tasker’s Daughter-in-Law.


Wrath (503 Occurrences)


PROV 15:18  A wrathful man stirs up strife: but he that is slow to anger appeases strife.


GEN 39:19  And it came to pass, when his master heard the words of his wife, which she spake unto him, saying, After this manner did thy servant to me; that his wrath was kindled.

GEN 49:7  Cursed be their anger, for it was fierce; and their wrath, for it was cruel: I will divide them in Jacob, and scatter them in Israel.

EX 15:7  And in the greatness of thine excellency thou hast overthrown them that rose up against thee: thou sentest forth thy wrath, which consumed them as stubble.

EX 22:24  And my wrath shall wax hot, and I will kill you with the sword; and your wives shall be widows, and your children fatherless.

EX 32:10 - 12  Now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may wax hot against them, and that I may consume them: and I will make of thee a great nation. 11.  And Moses besought the LORD his God, and said, LORD, why doth thy wrath wax hot against thy people, which thou hast brought forth out of the land of Egypt with great power, and with a mighty hand?  12.  Wherefore should the Egyptians speak, and say, For mischief did he bring them out, to slay them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth? Turn from thy fierce wrath, and repent of this evil against thy people.

LEV 10:6  And Moses said unto Aaron, and unto Eleazar and unto Ithamar, his sons, Uncover not your heads, neither rend your clothes; lest ye die, and lest wrath come upon all the people: but let your brethren, the whole house of Israel, bewail the burning which the LORD hath kindled.

NUM 1:53  But the Levites shall pitch round about the tabernacle of testimony, that there be no wrath upon the congregation of the children of Israel: and the Levites shall keep the charge of the tabernacle of testimony.

NUM 11:33   And while the flesh was yet between their teeth, ere it was chewed, the wrath of the Lord was kindled against the people, and the Lord smote the people with a very great plague.

11:31-35 God performed his promise to the people, in giving them flesh. How much more diligent men are in collecting the meat that perishes, than in labouring for meat which endures to everlasting life! We are quick-sighted in the affairs of time; but stupidity blinds us as to the concerns of eternity. To pursue worldly advantages, we need no arguments; but when we are to secure the true riches, then we are all forgetfulness. Those who are under the power of a carnal mind, will have their lusts fulfilled, though it be to the certain damage and ruin of their precious souls. They paid dearly for their feasts. God often grants the desires of sinners in wrath, while he denies the desires of his own people in love. What we unduly desire, if we obtain it, we have reason to fear, will be some way or other a grief and cross to us. And what multitudes there are in all places, who shorten their lives by excess of one kind or other! Let us seek for those pleasures which satisfy, but never surfeit; and which will endure for evermore.

NUM 16:15  And Moses was very wroth, and said unto the Lord, Respect not thou their offering: I have not taken one ass from them, neither have I hurt one of them.

Adj. 1. wroth - vehemently incensed and condemnatory; "they trembled before the wrathful queen"; "but wroth as he was, a shortstruggle ended in reconciliation"
angry - feeling or showing anger; "angry at the weather"; "angry customers"; "an angry silence"; "sending angry letters to thepapers"

NUM 18:5  And ye shall keep the charge of the sanctuary, and the charge of the altar: that there be no wrath any more upon the children of Israel.

NUM 25:11   Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, hath turned my wrath away from the children of Israel, while he was zealous for my sake among them, that I consumed not the children of Israel in my jealousy.

DEUT 9:7-8 

Remember, and forget not, how thou provokedst the Lord thy God to wrath in the wilderness: from the day that thou didst depart out of the land of Egypt, until ye came unto this place, ye have been rebellious against the Lord.

Also in Horeb ye provoked the Lord to wrath, so that the Lord was angry with you to have destroyed you.

DEUT 9:22  And at Taberah, and at Massah, and at Kibrothhattaavah, ye provoked the LORD to wrath.

DEUT 11:17  The wrath of God will burn against you so that he will restrain the heavens and it won't rain. The ground won't yield its produce and you'll be swiftly destroyed from the good land that the LORD is about to give you. 

DEUT 29:23  And that the whole land thereof is brimstone, and salt, and burning,that it is not sown, nor beareth, nor any grass groweth therein, like the overthrow of Sodom, and Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboim, which the LORD overthrew in his anger, and in his wrath:

DEUT 29:28  And the LORD rooted them out of their land in anger, and in wrath, and in great indignation, and cast them into another land, as it is this day.

DEUT 32:27  Were it not that I feared the wrath of the enemy, lest their adversaries should behave themselves strangely, and lest they should say, Our hand is high, and the LORD hath not done all this.

JOSH 9:20  This we will do to them; we will even let them live, lest wrath be upon us, because of the oath which we sware unto them.

JOSH 32:30  And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, there stood a man over against him with his sword drawn in his hand: and Joshua went unto him, and said unto him, Art thou for us, or for our adversaries?


How Wrestling God Awakened Jacob’s Pineal Gland


pineal gland pine cone vatican

I don’t think God has ever been in a WWF ring, but there is a recorded event in the Bible which could be the ancient equivalent, at least if it were interpreted literally. Did Jacob, Abraham’s grandson, really wrestle God like the scripture seems to say he did? If so, it would be one of the stranger stories of the Bible. But we can rest assured the story isn’t about a man wrestling the Almighty. So what’s the story really about, and how can it help us in our spiritual journey?

As it turns out, this story is quite profound! It was meant to teach us about God, and more importantly, it teaches us about a spiritual journey “within”. It is the same “within” that Jesus speaks of when he states that the Kingdom of God is within you.

Let’s dive into the wrestling match of Jacob and God in Genesis to understand what I mean. Jacob’s wrestling match with God takes place near the end of Genesis chapter 32. Jacob is in the process of returning to the land God promised Abraham. At one point in the journey, Jacob divides up his family and animals into different companies and sends them ahead while he stays back on one side of a creek. He is completely alone. According to the Biblical story, something strange happens that night; a mysterious man wrestles with him until daybreak. But who is this mystery man and where did he come from? The story gets even stranger. This mystery man could not beat Jacob at the wrestling match, but he is able to dislocate Jacob’s thigh. This same man then tries to leave once morning comes, but Jacob doesn’t let him, at least not until he gets a blessing from the man. When all is said and done, the man tells Jacob that “…Thy name shall no more be called Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and has prevailed.” (Gen 32:28).

Here we get our first hint that the mystery man is God himself. The fact that the Biblical author means the mystery man to be God is revealed two verses later:

“And Jacob called the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.” (Gen 32:30).

A couple of things to note here: first we see that the mystery man Jacob wrestled with is God himself. Second we see that Jacob prevailed in the struggle with God. If we think about all of this literally, it makes no sense. So, as always, I ask the question: what is the real spirit of the scripture in this story?

I want you to notice that Jacob said he saw God face to face.” This is where things get really interesting. While Jacob did not see a literal face, he did see God, or at least the Biblical writer’s concept of God. It just wasn’t with the physical eyes. There’s a special word in verse 30 that tips us off to what this whole experience was really about, and although it’s not common knowledge, ancient world stories were full of this kind of experience. It all has to do with the word “Peniel.” Verse thirty already told us that Peniel was the name Jacob gave the place where the wrestling match with God happened. But that’s not what’s important. What is important is that “Peniel” is meant to be a real place inside you! Now pay attention, because this is how the story of Jacob’s wrestling match affectsyou.

There is a special gland that sits at the center of the brain called the Pineal gland. In ancient cultures it was known as the “third eye.” It is known as an eye because the Pineal gland in your brain has a special relationship to light. Just like the retina of your physical eyes, the Pineal gland also contains light-sensitive cells. In fact, they are similar to some of the cells that make up the retina.

I now want you to dwell on a very important quote by Jesus given in Matthew so that you understand how serious this is:

“…The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.” (Matthew 6:22).

Jesus is not talking about the two eyes that you see the physical world with. Rather, he is talking about your Pineal gland, or what ancient cultures called the “third eye!” Jesus refers to this as a single eye because the pineal gland would not have a left and right hemisphere like your brain.

So what does Jesus’ statement and Jacob’s experience mean to you?

A pineal gland that is “full of light” is representative of an extraordinary spiritual experience, where we transcend consciousness on the physical plane and merge with God on the spiritual plane. The pineal gland has more to do with the seat of the soul and consciousness than the actual brain, and thus, this type of experience with the pineal gland could expand your consciousness. At least this is what the spiritual men of many ancient cultures believed, and since even modern medical science still sees the pineal gland as an enigma, I wouldn’t be so quick to pass this off as ancient hogwash. We do know that the pineal gland regulates and affects sleeping and waking patterns through its interpretation of light.

With that being said, it would now be a good time to remind you of the fact that the Bible states “God is light.” So could it be that the Biblical authors are trying to explain a profound mystery about God and our consciousness through spiritual language and symbols? Of course!

Returning to the story of Jacob’s wrestling match, it is important for us to understand what is meant when the Genesis author states that Jacob saw God “face to face.” Remember, this statement is made in conjunction with naming the wrestling match location “Peniel” (don’t let the different spelling fool you). We can now say that the light of the pineal gland is associated with God’s face! In other words, it is symbolic of experiencing the light of God beyond the physical plane of the five senses. And somehow the physical pineal gland is a doorway of sorts to a higher reality. Let me state that again for anyone who might be confused. Your pineal gland could be a doorway to a higher state of consciousness. This does not mean that the physical you goes anywhere, but rather, the higher you is realized by a spiritual experience where your pineal gland is awakened.

Now notice that the scripture story states that Jacob was “alone” when this encounter with God happened. This signifies the necessity of going to our prayer closet to get in touch with our inner selves through prayer and meditation. Meditation is one preferred method of having this type of Pineal, or Peniel, experience. Meditation is the key. Meditation has a profound effect on consciousness, and I believe it is one method that can energetically awaken the pineal gland, or your third eye.

For anyone who is still not sure how real this experience can be, I suggest you do some research into what the ancients believed about the “third eye.” I would also remind you of the fact that Jesus clearly stated that the kingdom does not come by observation (seeing of the physical eyes), but that the Kingdom of God has to be realized “within” us.

Please don’t think this experience is going to be quick. If you read Jacob’s life story, you’ll soon discover that life was tough on him, and he traveled a long hard road. But in the end Jacob finally had this Peniel experience that made him “Israel” (remember the name change) instead of Jacob. Jacob was a physical man. Israel was a spiritual man. This is also why Paul tells us that an Israelite has nothing to do with a blood line, but it is a spiritual definition. A spiritual Israelite is one who has had the Peniel experience. Think about Paul’s experience on the road to Dasmascus. Didn’t he have some kind of spiritual revelation of Christ through the presence of a “bright light!?”

I believe the Peniel experience is a type of born again experience. It is also a resurrection experience. If you wish to have this experience too, I recommend that you get to your prayer closet and start a meditation program!


Jacob met God face to face at Peniel because the text is alluding to the mystical experience of activating the pineal gland through kundalini. The pineal gland is sensitive to this subtle yet powerful energy that science cannot yet measure.

Over three hundred years ago Rene Descartes stated that the pineal gland was the seat of the soul. In other words, it’s the seat of our consciousness. Many esoteric teachers tell us that when the physical body dies, the soul and our consciousness leaves through the pineal gland as it is the doorway to higher dimensions. As we’ll see later in this post, Descartes and others weren’t entirely accurate, although they were on to something very special.

Rabbi Joel David Bakst, an expert in the study of Kabbalah, the Torah, and the Talmud, is known as the psychedelic Rabbi. He has a meditation center which helps people access higher dimensional consciousness through focusing on the pineal gland. We’ll discuss some of his research at the end of this post, but first I want to discuss some tremendous insight he provides in helping to explain why the study of the Old Testament lends us to the understanding of the soul. This will become relevant later in the post. He states:

“Written Torah is like the left brain: linear, direct, mathematical, binary. Your right brain, in this case the oral Torah, it’s circular, holistic, rhythmic, unifying. They are different modes, as analog is to digital. When you decode the Torah, you become the corpus callosum (neural fibers connecting the right and left brain hemispheres)—the very mechanism that is responsible for decoding the messages.”

Bakst is indirectly telling us that if you really want to get to the bottom of the Old Testament, it cannot be studied in isolation. It should be accompanied by mystical texts so that the right brain can be utilized. Keeping in line with Bakst’s reasoning, we’ll use a tiny portion of the Midrash in a moment.

With that being said, I want to further explore Jacob’s Peniel experience and transformation. In my first article a few years back, I focused on this Peniel, or Pineal gland experience. Today we’ll view this experience from a wider angle and bring in some other characters and plot to decode as well.

Jacob had two wives: Leah and Rachel. With the understanding that each character is a facet of the soul, let’s delve into what Leah represents. Keep in mind that she is a wife of Jacob, and we cannot understand her part in isolation. Jacob and Leah are one flesh, and each are facets of one soul. The Genesis author has Jacob marry her because she serves as an impetus for Jacob’s prevailing with God. Without Leah, not only would the Israelite nation be incomplete, but so would Jacob’s transformation from the natural man to the spiritual man. The journey of the natural man and the spiritual man, in an even greater context, is us, and this is Leah’s true purpose in the story.

In a broader sense, the esoteric meanings of wife or women is the emotional nature aligned with mind (man). But Leah, whom the Bible takes special mention with her characteristics, deserve more exegesis.

Genesis states that Leah was tender-eyed. As Rochel Holzkenner points out in an article Why Jacob Loved Rachel…but why he had to also marry Leah, when the Torah mentions such a specific characteristic, we need to pay attention. She then gives us the answer from Rashi, who states that Leah was tender-eyed from her constant weeping in prayer and meditation before God. In Holzkenner’s words, “Leah was introspective, a master of meditation and internal communication, plumbing the depths of her soul and always emerging with a newfound appreciation of God. She was a paradigm of humility and innocence, her eyes tender from an outpouring of fresh emotion.”

There is good reason why Holzkenner can make these statements, even though Genesis simply states, she was “tender-eyed.”

According to the Midrash, as the eldest daughter of Laban, she was originally promised to marry Esau. The Rabbi’s tell us that she incessantly wept before God in order to change her destiny because she understood the kind of man Esau was, but the deeper significance is that Leah, the introspective meditator, could not be married to the man who would remain natural, but rather she was destined to be joined with a spiritual man. Her nature was to go within. Leah, as a symbolic representative of the emotional nature aligned with the mind, adds another dimension to Jacob. He required this drive of the introspective nature to meet God face to face at Peniel and become the father of spiritual progeny. All of us need to develop, as Leah, this introspective nature if we are ever to meet God as well.

If you remember the story in Genesis, Jacob married Leah against his will. He was tricked by his father-in-law, Laban. This is important. We often resist developing the introspective nature, but we must learn to do so if we are to get serious about treading the spiritual path. It is my belief that Jacob had to work seven years after marrying Leah before Rachel, because seven is the number of consummation, and this completed Jacob’s willingness of incorporating the introspective nature of Leah within himself.

Before Jacob has his Peniel experience, Genesis states that Jacob sent Rachel and Leah and all that he had across the River of Jabbok. Further it states, “And there Jacob was left alone,” and there he wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day” (Gen 32:24).

Jacob’s wrestling match was of an internal, introspective nature, not an external one. Having incorporated Leah’s introspective nature, Jacob is now ready to have a deeper communion with God. It is a deep meditative experience that last through the night. A few verses later we learn that Jacob is in fact wrestling not a mere man, but the angel of God himself, or the god-man within Jacob. He prevails, because Jacob sees God face to face, and lives. His name is changed to Israel because of this deeply enlightening spiritual transformative process. Jacob is no longer just the natural man. He is now the spiritual man, one that has gone deep within himself and discovered the god-nature that is there, unlocking the nature of God, the universe, and man.

“And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel; for I have seen God face to face and my life is preserved” (Gen. 32:30).

It is interesting to note that this experience takes place near the river of Jabbok. Rivers are symbols for the course of the soul’s evolution, from physical to spiritual existence, indicative of Jacob’s personal experience at Peniel. R.J. Campbell once stated: “The analogy between human life and a river is indeed very complete. Our course starts far from our divine goal, and sometime seems to be leading us right away from it; it is long before we can even catch a glimpse of what it is; but the current of our being gradually deepens and broadens as we near the full ocean of the life of God…”

Campbell’s words describe Jakob’s life. The River Jabbok in Hebrew means “pouring out.” Jacob has been through some hard experiences, and now he is about to meet his brother Esau, who he believes may kill him. Jacob stole the birthright from this brother (naturally so because he was destined to become the spiritual man as opposed to remain a natural man like Esau), and therefore he is now going to pour out his soul to God through meditation and introspection. This is what he wrestled with a man until daybreak signifies.

Gen. 32:31 further states, “And as he passed over Peneul [another variation of Peniel] the sun rose upon him, and he halted upon his thigh.”

The sun is another symbol for the higher self, and that fact that it “rose upon” Jacob indicates that the higher self was beginning to manifest as higher consciousness within Jacob. Jacob passed over Peniel and the sun rose upon him because kundalini rose to the pineal gland and opened the gateway for a higher dimensional experience. He halted upon his thigh because the thigh is also a symbol for spiritual advancement. According to Gaskel, the position of thigh symbolizes the astral plane.

The awakening of the pineal gland, through the vibration of kundalini is also said to give clairvoyance to the individual on the astral plane. How does this work?

Consciousness, the mental plane, the astral plane, the physical plane

In order to truly understand what the writer was trying to portray with Jacob at Peniel, we have to discuss higher reality. Descartes wasn’t totally right when he said the pineal gland is the seat of the soul. He would have been more accurate to say that the pineal gland is the gateway to higher consciousness as perceived by the physical brain. Your consciousness, as it relates to thoughts, emotions, and will, resides in the mental sheath/body on the mental plane.

Below the mental plane is another level of reality called the astral plane. The frequency here is lower than the mental plane, but still much higher than science can detect. To interface with this plane, you have an astral sheath/body. Your astral sheath is necessary because it is the conduit for desire, the lower emotions, and sensory-motor functions to be relayed from the physical body to the mental body on the mental plane. Keep in mind that when I say it is below the mental plane, I only do so for the sake of explaining, because the planes are not really separate but interpenetrate one another. The mental body, astral sheath, and physical body are all necessary for the personality of a human to incarnate.

Below the astral plane is the physical plane of the four states (including plasma) of matter which can be perceived by the physical senses. The frequency is again much lower than either astral or mental matter. Before we can speak about the significance of the pineal gland, we need to understand that science believes consciousness and emotions originate only in a physical body through electrical and chemical responses. But they are only distributed here. They originate on the mental plane, and are perceived in the astral and physical planes because of those body interfaces that you have. When one’s awareness leaves the physical body, either through death or certain states of deep sleep, emotions and thoughts are still perceived in the astral sheath, albeit through a higher vibration/frequency than physical.

The pineal gland, Jacob’s experience, and the Christ

The pineal gland, resembling a pine cone, geometrically sits in the center of your physical brain, above the third ventricle. It is the only gland which does not have a blood-brain barrier, and therefore receives blood flow directly through two arteries. During breathing meditation, it receives a lot of oxygen, and can release certain biological chemicals contributing to altered states of consciousness.

Science is still behind on all the functions of the pineal gland, but we now know that it truly resembles an eye structurally (hence the third eye). It sits behind the retina and is sensitive to light. When the lights go out, it releases melatonin, which controls our sleep cycles. Esoteric study reveals that in certain stages of sleep, consciousness leaves the physical body, possibly because of certain chemicals being released.

Jesus said, if your eye be single, then you whole body will be full of light. He is speaking of the third eye or pineal gland. The Bible also says that the people who sat in darkness (meditation), saw a great light. That light is Christ consciousness. This is the same experience that Jacob had at peniel. But How?

It is also now being scientifically established the pineal gland also releases DMT. Dimethyltryptamine, or DMT, is sometimes called the “spirit molecule” because it has the ability to profoundly alter man’s state of consciousness. Let’s see the effects!

Rick Strassman

Note: I gathered this information about Strassman and his participant experiences on DMT HERE if you wish to learn more.

In the only government sponsored research experiment on the effects of DMT, a man named Dr. Strassman administered the chemical to sixty participants over five years. He then questioned what the experience was like. They all took journeys, but this is how they were described by some of the participants.

“…You leave your body, at warp speed, backward through your DNA, into the universe.

—Susan Bluementhal

“Layers of your humanity melt away. [The trip] “…takes you to the edge of the universe…the core of meaning…a divine realm…to say the least, it was profound.”

—Patricio Dominguez

These are just two witness examples, but all participants had similar experiences. But what’s really happening in these instances? Is this just some wild drug that sends people mentally insane for a while, or it there something very real to these altered states of consciousness?

I firmly believe that either one of two things is going on here.

  1. DMT, and maybe even melatonin, have the ability to temporarily raise our consciousness frequency enough to perceive in the astral and possibly mental planes, or,
  2. DMT and melatonin temporarily suppresses physical consciousness, automatically leaving higher conscious frequency as the only option, much like what happens at death.

In either of these two scenarios, the higher dimensions are opened up to be perceived by our thoughts, emotions, and will. It is not something magical, but simply a higher reality. The people in the study with Mr. Strassman, then, really did temporarily leave the physical world of consciousness even though their bodies remain behind.

More on Jacob’s Peniel experience and Christ consciousness

Is such a DMT experience like the same one portrayed in Genesis as Jacob wrestled God? I think it’s safe to say this is what the writer wishes to portray. If Jacob saw God face to face, and we understand that his wrestling match was an internal one, then we can assume an experience such as traveling to a divine realm where the core of meaning is realized would be synonymous with seeing God “face to face.” Seeing God face to face is another way of seeing a higher reality beyond the physical world. Of course Jacob didn’t take DMT, he naturally released it through deep meditation.

As evidenced through text like the Bible, even though the ancients couldn’t tell you what DMT was, they obviously knew that pineal gland was an important organ somehow responsible for experiencing higher worlds or dimensions through activities like astral projection. How they knew these particulars is something we may never discover, but the fact that they DID know is clearly demonstrated in mystical texts. My guess is that they experienced the higher dimensions directly through trial and error of deep meditation which has a profound effect on the pineal gland. Advanced knowledge of human physiology was lost through different Dark Ages to the general public, but certain mystics retained this knowledge and passed it on through occult sciences. And of course this knowledge has been retained in sculptures and artwork around the world across many different religions. Consider that even the Vatican has a giant statue of a pine cone, representing the pineal gland, as seen in the picture to the right. Upon further research, you’ll find the same symbolism on the pope’s staff, the staff of Osiris, the staff of Dionysus, and even the Gods of the Sumerians. Even Krishna’s and Buddha’s head and hair placement symbolize the pinecone in sculpture and art.


The fact that the Bible alludes to these mystical experiences, like Jesus’ mention of the single eyebeing full of light and Jacob naming the place he saw God Peniel, cannot be argued away. These are obviously real mystical experiences that the ancient writers of scripture were aware of. When we bring in other symbolic characters like Leah, we see a more complete picture being presented of what is portrayed to happen with Jacob. Mastering the introspective meditative nature, Jacob’s name was changed to Israel right after his face to face with God experience, signifying that the natural man had crossed over from being the physical or natural man to the spiritual man. In other words, Jacob has come to realize the reality of the higher worlds, and that direct experiential knowledge has given him the right to be the father of a spiritual progeny who would symbolize a higher consciousness to mankind. That legacy is still here with us today through the many ancient religious texts of the world which, when interpreted with a deeper esoteric understanding, are guide maps to the human soul and how to access its deeper mysteries.

Even today, mainstream science is trying to play catchup to the soul science of the ancient world. That is because mainstream science is still focused on external lower reality, and refuses to acknowledge the possibility that consciousness is a profound mystery not localized in the brain. It is my hope that that will someday change.

Additional Note: As I was about to publish this article, Robert sent me a web address, HERE, explaining Peniel meaning and etymology. The root contribution, Pana, can mean to “look within.” This lends further support that Peniel means discovering the face of God by looking within. Within what? The answer: ourselves.

1 SA 28:18

2 SA 11:20

2 KINGS 22:13

2 KINGS 22:17

2 KINGS 23:26

1 CHR 27:24

2 CHR 12:7

2 CHR 12:12

2 CHR 19:2

2 CHR 19:16

2 CHR 24:18

2 CHR 28:11-13

2 CHR 29:8-10

2 CHR 30:8

2 CHR 32:25-26

2 CHR 34:21

2 CHR 34:25

2 CHR 36:16

EZR 5:12

EZR 7:23

EZR 8:22

EZR 10:14

NEH 13:18

EST 1:18

EST 2:1

EST 3:5

EST 7:7-8

JOB 5:2

JOB 14:13

JOB 16:9

JOB 19:29

JOB 20:23

JOB 20:28

JOB 21:20

JOB 21:32

JOB 32:2-3-5

JOB 36:15

JOB 40:11

JOB 42:7

PS 2:5

PS: 2:12

PS 21:9

PS 37:8

PS 38:1

PS 55:3

PS 58:4

PS 59:13

PS 76:10

PS 78:31

PS 78:38

PS 78:49

PS 79:6

PS 85:3

PS 887

PS 88:16

PS 89:46

PS 90-7-11

PS 95:11

PS 102:10

PS 106:23

PS 106:40

PS 110:5

PS 124:3

PS 128:7

PROV 11:4

PROV 11:23

PROV 12:16

PROV 14:29

PROV 14:35

PROV 15:11

PROV 16:14

PROV 19:12

PROV 19:19

PROV 21:14

PROV 21:24

PROV 24:18

PROV 27:3-4

PROV 29:8

PROV 30:33

ECCL 5:19

IS 4:19

IS 10:16

IS 13:9

IS 13:13

IS 14:6

IS 16:6

IS 59:5

IS 60:10

JER 7:29

JER 10:10

JER 18:20

JER 21:5

JER 32:37

JER 44:8

JER 48:30

JER 50:13

LAM 2:2

LAM 3:1

EZE 7:12-14-19

EZE 13:15

EZE 21:31

EZE 22:21

EZE 22:31

EZE 39:19

HOS 5:10

AMOS 1:11

NAH 1:2

HAB 3:2

HAB 3:8

ZEPH 1:15

ZEPH 1:18

ZECH 7:12

ZECH 8:14



Matthew 3:7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming for his baptism, he said to them, "You offspring of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?

Luke 3:7 He said therefore to the multitudes who went out to be baptized by him, "You offspring of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?

Luke 4:28 They were all filled with wrath in the synagogue, as they heard these things.

Luke 6:11 But they were full of wrath, and were talking together about what they might do to Jesus.

Luke 21:23 Woe to those who are pregnant and to those who nurse infants in those days! For there will be great distress in the land, and wrath to this people.

John 3:36 One who believes in the Son has eternal life, but one who disobeys the Son won't see life, but thewrath of God remains on him."

Acts 5:17 And the high priest rising up, and all they that were with him, which is the sect of the Sadducees, were filled with wrath,

Acts 7:54 Hearing these things, they were cut to the heart and moved with wrath against him.

Acts 19:28 And when they heard these sayings, they were full of wrath, and cried out, saying, Great is Diana of the Ephesians.

Romans 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,

Romans 2:5 But according to your hardness and unrepentant heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath, revelation, and of the righteous judgment of God;

Romans 2:8 but to those who are self-seeking, and don't obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, will be wrathand indignation,

Romans 3:5 But if our unrighteousness commends the righteousness of God, what will we say? Is God unrighteous who inflicts wrath? I speak like men do.

Romans 4:15 For the law works wrath, for where there is no law, neither is there disobedience.

Romans 5:9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we will be saved from God's wrath through him.

Romans 9:22 What if God, willing to show his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath made for destruction,

Romans 12:19 Don't seek revenge yourselves, beloved, but give place to God's wrath. For it is written, "Vengeance belongs to me; I will repay, says the Lord."

Romans 13:4 for he is a servant of God to you for good. But if you do that which is evil, be afraid, for he doesn't bear the sword in vain; for he is a servant of God, an avenger for wrath to him who does evil.

Romans 13:5 Therefore you need to be in subjection, not only because of the wrath, but also for conscience' sake.

2 Corinthians 7:11 For you see what care was produced in you by this very sorrow of yours before God, what clearing of yourselves, what wrath against sin, what fear, what desire, what serious purpose, what punishment. In everything you have made it clear that you are free from sin in this business.

Galatians 5:20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,

Ephesians 2:3 among whom we also all once lived in the lust of our flesh, doing the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.

Ephesians 4:26 "Be angry, and don't sin." Don't let the sun go down on your wrath,

Ephesians 4:31 Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, outcry, and slander, be put away from you, with all malice.

Ephesians 5:6 Let no one deceive you with empty words. For because of these things, the wrath of God comes on the children of disobedience.

Ephesians 6:4 You fathers, don't provoke your children to wrath, but nurture them in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

Colossians 3:6 for which things' sake the wrath of God comes on the children of disobedience. 

Colossians 3:8 but now you also put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and shameful speaking out of your mouth.

1 Thessalonians 1:10 and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead-Jesus, who delivers us from the wrath to come.

1 Thessalonians 2:16 forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they may be saved; to fill up their sins always. But wrath has come on them to the uttermost. 

1 Thessalonians 5:9 For God didn't appoint us to wrath, but to the obtaining of salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ,

1 Timothy 2:8 I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.

1 Timothy 3:3 Not quickly moved to wrath or blows, but gentle; no fighter, no lover of money;

Titus 1:7 For it is necessary for a Bishop to be a man of virtue, as God's servant; not pushing himself forward, not quickly moved to wrath or blows, not desiring profit for himself;

Hebrews 3:11 as I swore in my wrath,'They will not enter into my rest.'"

Hebrews 4:3 For we who have believed do enter into that rest, even as he has said, "As I swore in my wrath, they will not enter into my rest;" although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.

Hebrews 10:27 But only a great fear of being judged, and of the fire of wrath which will be the destruction of the haters of God.

Hebrews 11:27 By faith, he left Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.

James 1:19 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:

James 1:20 For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God. 

Revelation 6:16 They told the mountains and the rocks, "Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb,

Revelation 6:17 for the great day of his wrath has come; and who is able to stand?" 

Revelation 11:18 The nations were angry, and your wrath came, as did the time for the dead to be judged, and to give your bondservants the prophets, their reward, as well as to the saints, and those who fear your name, to the small and the great; and to destroy those who destroy the earth."

Revelation 12:12 Therefore rejoice, heavens, and you who dwell in them. Woe to the earth and to the sea, because the devil has gone down to you, having great wrath, knowing that he has but a short time."

Revelation 14:8 Another, a second angel, followed, saying, "Babylon the great has fallen, which has made all the nations to drink of the wine of the wrath of her sexual immorality."

Revelation 14:10 he also will drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is prepared unmixed in the cup of his anger. He will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb.

Revelation 14:19 The angel thrust his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vintage of the earth, and threw it into the great winepress of the wrath of God.

Revelation 15:1 I saw another great and marvelous sign in the sky: seven angels having the seven last plagues, for in them God's wrath is finished.

Revelation 15:7 One of the four living creatures gave to the seven angels seven golden bowls full of the wrath of God, who lives forever and ever.

Revelation 16:1 I heard a loud voice out of the temple, saying to the seven angels, "Go and pour out the seven bowls of the wrath of God on the earth!"

Revelation 16:19 The great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell. Babylon the great was remembered in the sight of God, to give to her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath.

Revelation 18:3 For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her sexual immorality, the kings of the earth committed sexual immorality with her, and the merchants of the earth grew rich from the abundance of her luxury."

Revelation 19:15 Out of his mouth proceeds a sharp, double-edged sword, that with it he should strike the nations. He will rule them with an iron rod. He treads the winepress of the fierceness of the wrath of God, the Almighty.

Genesis 27:44 And be there with him for a little time, till your brother's wrath is turned away;

Genesis 32:20 And you are to say further, Jacob, your servant, is coming after us. For he said to himself, I will take away his wrath by the offering which I have sent on, and then I will come before him: it may be that I will have grace in his eyes.

Genesis 39:19 It happened, when his master heard the words of his wife, which she spoke to him, saying, "This is what your servant did to me," that his wrath was kindled.

Genesis 44:18 Then Judah came near him, and said, Let your servant say a word in my lord's ears, and let not your wrath be burning against your servant: for you are in the place of Pharaoh to us.

Genesis 49:6 Take no part in their secrets, O my soul; keep far away, O my heart, from their meetings; for in theirwrath they put men to death, and for their pleasure even oxen were wounded.

Genesis 49:7 Cursed be their anger, for it was fierce; and their wrath, for it was cruel. I will divide them in Jacob, and scatter them in Israel.

Exodus 11:8 And all these your servants will come to me, going down on their faces before me and saying, Go out, and all your people with you: and after that I will go out. And he went away from Pharaoh burning with wrath.

Exodus 15:7 In the greatness of your excellency, you overthrow those who rise up against you. You send forth your wrath. It consumes them as stubble.

Exodus 22:24 and my wrath will grow hot, and I will kill you with the sword; and your wives shall be widows, and your children fatherless.

Exodus 32:10 Now therefore leave me alone, that my wrath may burn hot against them, and that I may consume them; and I will make of you a great nation."

Exodus 32:11 Moses begged Yahweh his God, and said, "Yahweh, why does your wrath burn hot against your people, that you have brought forth out of the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand?

Exodus 32:12 Why should the Egyptians speak, saying,'He brought them forth for evil, to kill them in the mountains, and to consume them from the surface of the earth?' Turn from your fierce wrath, and repent of this evil against your people.

Exodus 32:19 And when he came near the tents he saw the image of the ox, and the people dancing; and in hiswrath Moses let the stones go from his hands, and they were broken at the foot of the mountain.

Exodus 34:6 And the Lord went past before his eyes, saying, The Lord, the Lord, a God full of pity and grace, slow to wrath and great in mercy and faith;

Leviticus 10:6 And Moses said unto Aaron, and unto Eleazar and unto Ithamar, his sons, Uncover not your heads, neither rend your clothes; lest ye die, and lest wrath come upon all the people: but let your brethren, the whole house of Israel, bewail the burning which the LORD hath kindled.

Leviticus 17:10 And if any man of Israel, or any other living among them, takes any sort of blood for food, mywrath will be turned against that man and he will be cut off from among his people.

Leviticus 26:28 then I will walk contrary to you in wrath; and I also will chastise you seven times for your sins. 

Numbers 1:53 But the Levites shall encamp around the Tabernacle of the Testimony, that there may be no wrathon the congregation of the children of Israel: and the Levites shall be responsible for the Tabernacle of the Testimony."

Numbers 11:10 And at the sound of the people weeping, every man at his tent-door, the wrath of the Lord was great, and Moses was very angry.

Numbers 11:33 And while the flesh was yet between their teeth, ere it was chewed, the wrath of the LORD was kindled against the people, and the LORD smote the people with a very great plague.

Numbers 12:9 And burning with wrath against them, the Lord went away.

Numbers 16:22 Then falling down on their faces they said, O God, the God of the spirits of all flesh, because of one man's sin will your wrath be moved against all the people?

Numbers 16:46 Moses said to Aaron, "Take your censer, and put fire from off the altar in it, and lay incense on it, and carry it quickly to the congregation, and make atonement for them; for wrath has gone out from Yahweh! The plague has begun."

Numbers 18:5 "You shall perform the duty of the sanctuary, and the duty of the altar; that there be wrath no more on the children of Israel.

Numbers 22:22 But God was moved to wrath because he went: and the angel of the Lord took up a position in the road to keep him from his purpose. Now he was seated on his ass, and his two servants were with him.

Numbers 22:27 And the ass saw the angel of the Lord and went down on the earth under Balaam; and full ofwrath, Balaam gave her hard blows with his stick.

Numbers 24:10 Then Balak was full of wrath against Balaam, and angrily waving his hands he said to Balaam, I sent for you so that those who are against me might be cursed, but now, see, three times you have given them a blessing.

Numbers 25:3 So Israel had relations with the women of Moab in honour of the Baal of Peor: and the Lord was moved to wrath against Israel. 

Numbers 25:4 Then the Lord said to Moses, Take all the chiefs of the people, hanging them up in the sun before the Lord, so that the wrath of the Lord may be turned from Israel.

Numbers 25:11 "Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, has turned my wrath away from the children of Israel, in that he was jealous with my jealousy among them, so that I didn't consume the children of Israel in my jealousy.

Numbers 32:10 And at that time the Lord was moved to wrath, and made an oath, saying,

Numbers 32:14 And now you have come to take the place of your fathers, another generation of sinners, increasing the wrath of the Lord against Israel.

Deuteronomy 4:25 If, when you have had children and children's children, and have been living a long time in the land, you are turned to evil ways, and make an image of any sort, and do evil in the eyes of the Lord your God, moving him to wrath:

Deuteronomy 6:15 For the Lord your God who is with you is a God who will not let his honour be given to another; or the wrath of the Lord will be burning against you, causing your destruction from the face of the earth.

Deuteronomy 7:4 For through them your sons will be turned from me to the worship of other gods: and the Lord will be moved to wrath against you and send destruction on you quickly. 

Deuteronomy 9:7 Remember, don't forget, how you provoked Yahweh your God to wrath in the wilderness: from the day that you went forth out of the land of Egypt, until you came to this place, you have been rebellious against Yahweh.

Deuteronomy 9:8 Also in Horeb you provoked Yahweh to wrath, and Yahweh was angry with you to destroy you.

Deuteronomy 9:18 And I went down on my face before the Lord, as at the first, for forty days and forty nights, without taking food or drinking water, because of all your sin, in doing evil in the eyes of the Lord and moving him to wrath.

Deuteronomy 9:19 For I was full of fear because of the wrath of the Lord which was burning against you, with your destruction in view. But again the Lord's ear was open to my prayer.

Deuteronomy 9:20 And the Lord, in his wrath, would have put Aaron to death: and I made prayer for Aaron at the same time.

Deuteronomy 9:22 At Taberah, and at Massah, and at Kibroth Hattaavah, you provoked Yahweh to wrath.

Deuteronomy 11:17 And then the LORD's wrath be kindled against you, and he shut up the heaven, that there be no rain, and that the land yield not her fruit; and lest ye perish quickly from off the good land which the LORD giveth you.

Deuteronomy 13:17 Keep not a thing of what is cursed for yourselves: so the Lord may be turned away from the heat of his wrath, and have mercy on you, and give you increase as he said in his oath to your fathers:

Deuteronomy 19:6 For if not, he who has the right of punishment may go running after the taker of life in the heat of his wrath, and overtake him because the way is long, and give him a death-blow; though it is not right for him to be put to death because he was not moved by hate.

Deuteronomy 29:20 The Lord will have no mercy on him, but the wrath of the Lord will be burning against that man, and all the curses recorded in this book will be waiting for him, and the Lord will take away his name completely from the earth.

Deuteronomy 29:24 Truly all the nations will say, Why has the Lord done so to this land? what is the reason for this great and burning wrath?

Deuteronomy 29:27 And so the wrath of the Lord was moved against this land, to send on it all the curse recorded in this book:



Select Readings: The Wrath of God


Related Terms

Aroused (29 Occurrences)

Spite (28 Occurrences)

Vent (8 Occurrences)

Burns (34 Occurrences)

Appeased (11 Occurrences)

Subside (5 Occurrences)

Storm-wind (19 Occurrences)

Vessels (210 Occurrences)

Satisfy (32 Occurrences)

Passion (82 Occurrences)

Spend (54 Occurrences)

Moving (117 Occurrences)

Pacified (4 Occurrences)

Blazing (27 Occurrences)

Kindled (83 Occurrences)

Subsided (9 Occurrences)

Quenched (22 Occurrences)

Chastening (11 Occurrences)

Zeal (45 Occurrences)

Provoked (70 Occurrences)

Astonishment (51 Occurrences)

Delivers (38 Occurrences)

Accomplish (44 Occurrences)

Shower (22 Occurrences)

Perfumes (69 Occurrences)

Chastisement (24 Occurrences)

Profaned (43 Occurrences)

Vengeance (63 Occurrences)

Discipline (63 Occurrences)

Anger (387 Occurrences)

Mor'decai (51 Occurrences)

Stir (57 Occurrences)

Burning (415 Occurrences)

Brings (155 Occurrences)

Accomplished (64 Occurrences)

Desiring (108 Occurrences)

Soft (36 Occurrences)

Provoke (64 Occurrences)

Consume (136 Occurrences)

Prepared (246 Occurrences)

Vials (5 Occurrences)

Vipers (10 Occurrences)

Veiling (2 Occurrences)

Zeboiim (7 Occurrences)

Kibroth-hattaavah (5 Occurrences)

Kibrothhattaavah (5 Occurrences)

Demonstrate (5 Occurrences)

Dealeth (22 Occurrences)

Destructive (14 Occurrences)

Malice (24 Occurrences)

Minute (19 Occurrences)

Michal (18 Occurrences)

Minded (36 Occurrences)

Maintains (5 Occurrences)

Pitied (19 Occurrences)

Pratings (2 Occurrences)

Quench (14 Occurrences)

Bar'achel (2 Occurrences)

Beds (22 Occurrences)

Bowls (47 Occurrences)

Boastings (5 Occurrences)

Brood (19 Occurrences)

Buzite (2 Occurrences)

Bursting (22 Occurrences)

Barachel (2 Occurrences)

Barakel (2 Occurrences)

Chastisements (5 Occurrences)

Chastise (21 Occurrences)

Calamity (108 Occurrences)

Arrogancy (16 Occurrences)

Avenges (4 Occurrences)

Appease (11 Occurrences)

Assuaged (4 Occurrences)

Aflame (8 Occurrences)

Avengeth (6 Occurrences)

Admah (6 Occurrences)

Argument (45 Occurrences)

Abated (10 Occurrences)

Angrily (8 Occurrences)

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