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How the Bible Describes Anger

The role of anger – both God’s and humankind’s – begins in Genesis and permeates the entire Bible. The words anger, angry, wrath, and fury appear around six hundred times throughout Scripture. Reading over all these references, I was struck by the imagery used for anger and its synonyms.

Listen to how anger and its synonyms are described:

  • Anger burns (Genesis 39:19)
  • Anger can be fierce and cruel (Genesis 49:7)
  • Anger can be hot (Exodus 11:8)
  • Anger consumes things (Exodus 15:7)
  • Anger can be aroused (Exodus 22:24)
  • Anger can be hostile (Leviticus 26:28)
  • Anger can be provoked (Deuteronomy 4:25)
  • Anger destroys (Deuteronomy 7:4)
  • Anger can be furious (Deuteronomy 29:28)
  • Anger flares up (1 Samuel 20:30)
  • Anger can be jealous (1 Kings 14:22)
  • Anger can burn and not be quenched (2 Kings 22:17)
  • Anger can break out (1 Chronicles 15:13)
  • Anger can be poured out (2 Chronicles 34:25)
  • Anger can come as a blast (Job 4:9)
  • Anger overturns (Job 9:5)
  • Anger can be unrestrained (Job 9:13)
  • Anger increases (Job 10:17)
  • Anger assails and tears (Job 16:9)
  • Anger rebukes (Psalm 2:5)
  • Anger arises (Psalm 7:6)
  • Anger reviles (Psalm 55:3)
  • Anger overtakes (Psalm 69:24)
  • Anger smolders (Psalm 74:1)
  • Anger is powerful (Psalm 90:11)
  • Anger is like an upraised hand (Isaiah 9:12)
  • Anger rages (Isaiah 30:30)
  • Anger surges (Isaiah 54:8)
  • Anger can trample (Isaiah 63:3)
  • Anger can be kindled like fire (Jeremiah 15:14)
  • Anger pursues (Lamentations 3:43)

Anger, then, is described as a raging fire, with the ability to burn and consume everything in its path. It is portrayed as a destructive change agent.

I am, frankly, amazed that God would entrust you and me with so potent an emotion. Yet, he has, so anger has a God-given role to play in your life and mine. The dilemma is to determine what that role is. The challenge is to contain your anger within the boundaries of that God-given role.

SOURCE: Chapter1 of Every Woman’s Guide to Managing Your Anger by Gregory L. Jantz, PhD.

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