Anger is a subject that touches every life at some point. We all experience it sooner or later. We all are affected by the anger of others. The real question is, “How do we deal with anger in our lives?” YAHWEH’s Word has much to say about anger in its many forms. There we can find teachings about what to do when we are angry, or how to handle things when someone else is angry.
If this is an area you struggle with why not look at what YAHWEH's Word has to say on the subject. Perhaps you’ll discover a new and more effective way to deal with the anger you encounter – either in yourself or in others.
There are several different words used to express this concept. Not all of them carry the same meaning. Anger can range from a mild irritation, a sense of frustration, or all the way to full-blown rage, or wrath – where someone is angry enough to want to injure or kill someone. And there are several levels in between.
Typically, one of the first things we might think about that we’ve often heard quoted from Scripture is, “Be angry and sin not.” Ephesians 4.26. We know anger can be sinful, but it's not always so. There is a place for “righteous anger”. The struggle is to discern when it’s appropriate and when it’s really sinful.
The very first occurrence of the term "angry" occurs in Genesis 18. Within three verses it occurs twice. Abraham is pleading with YAHWEH to spare the city of Sodom from destruction because of its sin. Abraham is questioning YAHWEH about the basis for the destruction that’s been foretold. In the midst of that questioning we find him asking Him not to be angry (actually, furious) with him for being so bold as to wonder what it would take for Him to spare the city.
What this reveals to us is Abraham’s awareness that YAHWEH is also capable of being angry. We must consider that anger is not always sinful in light of this, for YAHWEH is not capable of sin. This could be very reassuring for us when we become angry. But we need to understand that it’s the reason behind the anger – the motivation of the heart – that really determines whether or not our own anger is an act of sin.
Below, in chronological order as they occur in Scripture, are some of the verses that deal with anger. Please study these verses carefully and prayerfully. Look up the rest of the passage where each verse is found. Try to understand the context of the usage. The context will help you understand what's really being said about the anger involved.
Gen. 18:30: And he said unto him, Oh let not YAHWEH be angry, and I will speak: Perhaps there shall thirty be found there. And He said, I will not do it, if I find thirty there. (Sodom & Gomorrah)
Gen. 45:5: Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that you sold me here: for YAHWEH sent me before you to preserve life. (Joseph with his brothers in Egypt.)
Ex. 4:14: And the anger of YAHWEH was kindled against Moses, and He said, Is not Aaron the Levite your brother? I know that he can speak well. And also, behold, he comes forth to meet you: and when he sees you, he will be glad in his heart. (Moses was grumbling before YAHWEH.)
Ex. 11:8: And all these your servants shall come down to me, and bow down themselves to me, saying, "You get out, and all the people that follow you" And after that I will go out. And he went out from Pharaoh in a great anger. (Moses before Pharoah.)
Deuteronomy 4:25: When you shall beget children, and children’s children, and you shall have remained long in the land, and shall corrupt yourselves, and make a graven image, or the likeness of any thing, and shall do evil in the sight of YAHWEH your Elohim (God), to provoke Him to anger: (Provoking YAHWEH to anger.)
Deut. 9:8: Also in Horeb you provoked YAHWEH to wrath, so that YAHWEH was angry with you to have destroyed you. (Israel about to enter the Promised Land.)
Deut. 9:27: And the anger of YAHWEH was kindled against this land, to bring upon it all the curses that are written in this book: 28 And YAHWEH 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. (YAHWEH’s response to worshipping other gods.)
Josh. 23:16: When you have violated the covenant of YAHWEH, your Elohim, which He commanded you, and have gone and served other gods, and bowed yourselves to them; then shall the anger of YAHWEH be kindled against you, and you shall perish quickly from off the good land which He has given unto you.
1 Sam. 17:28: And Eliab his eldest brother heard when he spoke to the men; and Eliab’s anger was kindled against David, and he said, Why did you come down here, and with whom have you left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know your pride, and the naughtiness of your heart; for you have come down that you mightest see the battle. (Man’s jealous anger.)
1 Kings 8:46: If they sin against you, (for there is no man that sins not,) and you are angry with them, and deliver them to the enemy, so that they carry them away captives unto the land of the enemy, far or near; (Solomon’s prayer for the people of Israel.)
1 Kings 11:9: And YAHWEH was angry with Solomon, because his heart was turned from YAHWEH, The Elohim of Israel, who had appeared unto him twice, (Solomon turned away from following YAHWEH.)
2 Kings 17:17: And they caused their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire, and used divination and enchantments, and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of YAHWEH, to provoke Him to anger. 18 Therefore YAHWEH was very angry with Israel, and removed them out of His sight: there was none left but the tribe of Judah only. (YAHWEH’s anger against the nation of Israel.)
Neh. 5:6: And I was very angry when I heard their cry and these words. (Nehemiah’s “righteous anger”.)
Psalm 6:1: Oh, YAHWEH, rebuke me not in your anger, neither chasten me in your hot displeasure.
Psalm 7:11 YAHWEH judges the righteous, and YAHWEH is angry with the wicked every day.
Psalm 30:5: For His anger endures but a moment; in His favor is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.
Psalm 37:8: Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not yourself in any manner to do harm.
Psalm 38:3: There is no soundness in my flesh because of your anger; neither is there any rest in my bones because of my sin.
Psalm 76:7: You, even You, are to be feared: and who may stand in Your sight when once You are angry?
Psalm 78:38: But He, being full of compassion, forgave their iniquity, and destroyed them not: yes, many a time He turned His anger away, and did not stir up all His wrath.
Psalm 78:49-50: He cast upon them the fierceness of His anger, wrath, and indignation, and trouble, by sending evil angels among them. 50 He made a way to His anger; He spared not their being from death, but gave their life over to the pestilence;
Prov. 14:17: He that is soon angry deals foolishly: and a man of wicked devices is hated.
Prov. 15:1: A soft answer turns away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.
Prov. 15:18: A wrathful man stirs up strife: but he that is slow to anger appeases strife.
Prov. 16:32: He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that rules his vital essence than he that takes a city.
Prov. 19:11: The discretion of a man defers his anger; and it is his honor to pass over a violation.
Prov. 21:19: It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman.
Prov. 22:24: Make no friendship with an angry man; and with a furious man you shall not go:
Prov. 29:22: An angry man stirs up strife, and a furious man abounds in violation.
Isaiah 12:1: And in that day you shall say, Oh YAHWEH, I will praise You: though You were angry with me, Your anger is turned away, and You comforted me.
Isaiah 13:9 Behold, the day of YAHWEH comes, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and He shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it.
Isaiah 13:13: Therefore I will shake the heavens, and the earth shall remove out of her place, in the wrath of YAHWEH Tsaba, and in the day of His fierce anger.
Jer. 10:24: Oh YAHWEH, correct me, but with judgment; not in Your anger, lest You bring me to nothing.
Jer. 21:5: And I myself will fight against you with an outstretched hand and with a strong arm, even in anger, and in fury, and in great wrath.
Ezekiel 16:42: So will I make My fury toward you to rest, and My jealousy shall depart from you, and I will be quiet, and will be no more angry. (There is a time for anger to cease.)
Hosea 14:4: I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely: for My anger is turned away from him.
Joel 2:13: And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto YAHWEH, your Elohim: for He is favorable and compassionate, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and He repents of the harm.
Jonah 4:9: And YAHWEH said to Jonah, Do you do well to be angry for the gourd? And he said, I do well to be angry, even unto death. (Jonah’s selfish anger.)
Micah 7:18: Who is an Elohim like You, that pardons iniquity, and passes by the violation of the remnant of His heritage? He does not retain His anger for ever, because He delights in kindness.
Nahum 1:3: YAHWEH is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked. YAHWEH has His way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of His feet.
John 7:23: If a human being receives circumcision on The Sabbath Day in order that The Law of Moses might not be broken, are you angry at Me because I have made a human being completely healthy on The Sabbath Day? (RTNC - Re-Thinking The New Covenant) (The anger of the scribes and Pharisees toward The Messiah.)
Matt. 5:22: But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a reason shall be liable to the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’ shall be in liable to The Sanhedrin. But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be liable to the hell of fire. (RTNC) (YAHUSHUA to the religious leaders.)
Mark 3:5: And having looked all around at them with wrath, being grieved because of the hardness of their hearts, He said to the man, “Extend your hand!” And he extended it. And his hand was restored healthy, like the other one. (RTNC)
Luke 15:28: “But he was enraged and would not enter. Therefore his father came out and encouraged him. (RTNC) (The brother to the "prodigal son".)
Romans 12.19: Beloved, do not vindicate yourselves, but rather, give place to wrath, because it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” (Deut 32.35) says YAHWEH. (RTNC)
Eph. 4:26: Be angry, yet do not sin. Do not let the sun go down on your wrath. (Ps, 4.4) (RTNC)
Eph. 4:31: Put away from you all bitterness, and rage, and anger, and outcries, and blaspheming, along with all depravity.
Col. 3:8: But now put away also all wrath, indignation, evil, blasphemy, vile conversation from your mouth! (RTNC)
Col. 3:21: Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger lest they become discouraged. (RTNC)
Titus 1:7: Indeed, a superintendent must be blameless as a steward of YAHWEH, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not given to wine, not violent, not greedy, (RTNC) (Characteristics of church leaders.)
Rev. 11:18: And the nations have become enraged. And Your wrath has come; also for the dead to be judged, and compensation to be given to Your servants, the prophets, and to the set apart ones, and to those who revere Your name, small and great, and to destroy those who destroy the earth.” (RTNC)
Anger can be used for a good purpose at times. However, more often than not we use it incorrectly. Such use brings with it serious consequences if we fail to correct our actions.
We also see that YAHWEH becomes angry with His people when they disobey or ignore Him. The potential consequences of that situation are horrendous.
We need to be careful how we handle our anger. There is a place for it, but we need to do our best to avoid creating anger in others, especially in YAHWEH Himself. We put ourselves at risk when we stir it up in others.
YAHWEH teaches us to be very patient and slow to anger. We would do well to follow that wisdom. When we do get angry we certainly need to try to keep it from turning into an opportunity for sin.
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NOTE: Scripture verses with the following reference (RTNC) are from the NEW BOOK, Re-Thinking The New Covenant. They are not always presented in the same format as they occur in the book due to space considerations, but the text is the same.