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Vine's Expository Dictionary of OT Words [1]

A. Noun.

Chêmâh ( חֵמָה , Strong'S #2534), “wrath; heat; rage; anger.” This noun occurs in Semitic languages with the meanings “heat, wrath, poison, venom.” The noun, as well as the verb yacham , denotes a strong emotional state. The noun is used 120 times, predominantly in the poetic and prophetic literature, especially Ezekiel.

The first usage of chêmâh takes place in the story of Esau and Jacob. Jacob is advised to go to Haran with the hope that Esau’s “anger” will dissipate: “And tarry with him a few days, until thy brother’s fury turn away” (Gen. 27:44).

The word indicates a state of anger. Most of the usage involves God’s “anger.” His “wrath” is expressed against Israel’s sin in the wilderness: “For I was afraid of the anger and hot displeasure, wherewith the Lord was wroth against you to destroy you” (Deut. 9:19). The psalmist prayed for God’s mercy in the hour of God’s “anger”: “O Lord, rebuke me not in thine anger, neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure” (Ps. 6:1). God’s “anger” against Israel was ultimately expressed in the exile of the Judeans to Babylon: “The Lord hath accomplished his fury; he hath poured out his fierce anger, and hath kindled a fire in Zion, and it hath devoured the foundations thereof” (Lam. 4:11).

The metaphor “cup” denotes the judgment of God upon His people. His “wrath” is poured out: “Therefore he hath poured upon him the fury of his anger, and the strength of battle: and it hath set him on fire round about, yet he knew not; and it burned him, yet he laid it not to heart” (Isa. 42:25); and the “cup of wrath” is drunk: “Awake, awake, stand up, O Jerusalem, which hast drunk at the hand of the Lord the cup of his fury; thou hast drunken the dregs of the cup of trembling …” (Isa. 51:17).

Thus, God as the Almighty Potentate is angered by the sins and the pride of His people, as they are an insult to His holiness. In a derived sense, the rulers on earth are also described as those who are angered, but their “anger” is aroused from circumstances over which they have no control. Naaman was angry with Elisha’s advice (2 Kings 5:11- 12); Ahasuerus became enraged with Vashti’s refusal to display her beauty before the men (Esth. 1:12).

Chêmâh also denotes man’s reaction to everyday circumstances. Man’s “rage” is a dangerous expression of his emotional state, as it inflames everybody who comes close to the person in rage. “Wrath” may arise for many reasons. Proverbs speaks strongly against chêmâh , as jealousy (6:34); cf. “Wrath is cruel, and anger is outrageous; but who is able to stand before envy?” (Prov. 27:4; cf. Ezek. 16:38). The man in rage may be culpable of crime and be condemned: “Be ye afraid of the sword: for wrath bringeth the punishments of the sword, that ye may know there is a judgment” (Job 19:29). The wise response to “rage” is a soft answer: “A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger” (Prov. 15:1).

Chêmâh is associated with qin’ah , “jealousy,” and also with naqam , “vengeance,” as the angered person intends to save his name or avenge himself on the person who provoked him. In God’s dealing with Israel He was jealous of His Holy name, for which reason He had to deal justly with idolatrous Israel by avenging Himself: “That it might cause fury to come up to take vengeance; I have set her blood upon the top of a rock, that it should not be covered” (Ezek. 24:8); but He also avenges His people against their enemies: “God is jealous, and the Lord revengeth; the Lord revengeth, and is furious; the Lord will take vengeance on his adversaries, and he reserveth wrath for his enemies” (Nah. 1:2). Other synonyms of chêmâh are ’ap , “anger,” and qetsep , “wrath,” as in Deut. 29:27 and Jer. 21:5.

There are two special meanings of chêmâh  : One is “heat,” as in “the Spirit lifted me up, and took me away, and I went in bitterness, in the heat of my spirit; but the hand of the Lord was strong upon me” (Ezek. 3:14). The other is “poison,” or “venom,” as in Deut. 32:33: “Their wine is the poison of dragons, and the cruel venom of asps.”

The Septuagint gives the following translations: orge (“anger; indignation; wrath”) and thumos (“passion; anger; wrath; rage”). The KVJ gives these senses: “fury; wrath; poison.”

B. Verb.

Yâcham ( יָחַם , Strong'S #3179), “to be fiery, be hot.” This verb, which occurs only 10 times in biblical Hebrew, is the root of the noun chemah .

In Deut. 19:6 yâcham means “to be hot”: “Lest the avenger of the blood pursue the slayer while his heart is hot, and overtake him.…”

Bridgeway Bible Dictionary [2]

God’s attitude of opposition to all that is evil is usually called his wrath, or anger. The wrath of human beings is inconsistent and, because of the effects of sin in their nature, may express itself in outbursts of bad temper ( James 1:20; see Anger ). God’s wrath is consistent and pure. It is his holy, righteous and just reaction to sin – the only proper reaction for one who is himself holy, righteous and just ( Exodus 32:9-10;  Jeremiah 21:12;  Nahum 1:2;  Nahum 1:6;  Mark 3:5;  John 2:14-17;  Romans 1:18;  Hebrews 12:29). God, as the supreme judge, can neither take pleasure in sin nor ignore it. Therefore, all people, being sinners, are the objects of his wrath ( Psalms 7:11;  Ephesians 2:3;  Colossians 3:5-6).

However, God takes no pleasure in punishing sin. He is longsuffering towards sinners, and gives them the opportunity to repent of their sin and ask his forgiveness ( Ezekiel 33:11;  Ezekiel 33:14-16;  2 Peter 3:9; see Patience ). Many mistakenly think that because God does not immediately act against them in judgment, they have escaped his judgment. They may even think that God is as carefree about sin as they are, and so they sin all the more. But they only guarantee for themselves a more severe judgment when God’s wrath finally falls upon them ( 2 Chronicles 36:16;  Psalms 50:19-21;  Psalms 78:37-40;  Ecclesiastes 8:11;  Romans 2:4-6).

The final great outpouring of God’s wrath will take place at the close of the age, when Jesus Christ returns in power and glory to execute judgment on the ungodly ( Romans 2:5;  2 Thessalonians 1:7-10;  Revelation 6:17;  Revelation 14:10;  Revelation 14:19;  Revelation 19:11-16). God’s people will not experience this wrath, for they have been saved from it through Jesus Christ ( 1 Thessalonians 1:10;  1 Thessalonians 5:9). Jesus, in bearing their sin, has borne God’s wrath on their behalf ( Romans 5:9;  2 Corinthians 5:21;  1 Peter 2:24). But those who refuse to trust in Jesus as their substitute must bear God’s wrath themselves ( John 3:36). (For a fuller discussion on the relationship between God’s love and God’s wrath see Propitiation .)

Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words [3]

1: Ὀργή (Strong'S #3709 — Noun Feminine — orge — or-gay' )

see ANGER and Notes (1) and (2).

2: Θυμός (Strong'S #2372 — Noun Masculine — thumos — thoo-mos' )

"hot anger, passion," for which see Anger , Notes (1) and (2), is translated "wrath" in  Luke 4:28;  Acts 19:28;  Romans 2:8 , RV;  Galatians 5:20;  Ephesians 4:31;  Colossians 3:8;  Hebrews 11:27;  Revelation 12:12;  14:8,10,19;  15:1,7;  16:1;  18:3; "wraths" in  2—Corinthians 12:20; "fierceness" in  Revelation 16:19;  19:15 (followed by No. 1).

3: Παροργισμός (Strong'S #3950 — Noun Masculine — parorgismos — par-org-is-mos' )

occurs in  Ephesians 4:26 : see Anger , A, Note (2).

 Ephesians 6:4Anger

King James Dictionary [4]

Wrath n. L.

1. Violent anger vehement exasperation indignation as the wrath of Achilles.

When the wrath of king Ahasuerus was appeased-- Esther 2 .

O Lord--in wrath remember mercy.  Habakkuk 3 .

2. The effects of anger.  Proverbs 27 . 3. The just punishment of an offense or crime.  Romans 8 .

Gods wrath, in Scripture, is his holy and just indignation against sin.  Romans 1 .

Morrish Bible Dictionary [5]

The wrath of God against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men is plainly declared in scripture, and will surely fall upon the children of disobedience.  Romans 1:18;  Colossians 3:6 . The fierceness of that wrath is spoken of.  Revelation 16:19 . How vain then for the false teachers to speak only of the love of God, and to say that because 'God is love' there will be mercy for all eventually. There is grace for all now , but there is as surely a day of wrath coming, for God is righteous.

Webster's Dictionary [6]

(1): ( a.) See Wroth.

(2): ( a.) Violent anger; vehement exasperation; indignation; rage; fury; ire.

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

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

Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament [7]

See Anger.

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible [8]

WRATH . See Anger, p. 34 a .

Charles Buck Theological Dictionary [9]

Violent and permanent anger.


Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [10]

is great and permanent anger (q.v.). The wrath of God is his indignation at sin and punishment of it. "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who hold the truth in unrighteousness!' ( Romans 1:18) The objects of God's anger or wrath are the ungodly, whom he has declared he will punish. His wrath is sometimes manifested in this life, and that in an awful degree, as we see in the case of the old world, of Sodom and Gomorrah, the plagues of Egypt, the punishment and captivity of the Jews, and the many striking judgments on nations and individuals. But a still more awful punishment awaits the impenitent in the world to come, for the wicked, it is said, shall go away into everlasting punishment ( Matthew 25:46), where the worm dieth not and the fire is not quenched (see  Romans 2:8-9). (See Mediation); (See Punishment).