Thursday, July 22, 2010

Anger Defined

This is going to be my first post in a series on the subject of anger.  I have completed a word study based on the Hebrew and Greek words that are translated into the word anger or angry in English.  I came up with 15 different types of anger and 33 words (or word combinations) that translate to the English word anger.  That is quite a bit from the simple view I had of anger before I started this word study.  This post is a summary of the word study that I did in preparation for this series. 

Nose (Breathing Hard) Anger

There are times when angry we breath hard.  This picture is captured in the Hebrew by "nose anger."  Here are some examples of the anger of breathing hard.

Simeon and Levi avenging their sister's rape (by one man) by killing all the men in that community Gen 34 Gen 49:7
Moses toward Pharaoh when he would not listen Gen 11:8   
People of Nazareth toward Jesus when he said that a Prophet was without honor in his own hometown Luke 4:28
Idol makers (profiteers of false religion) when Paul and those accompanying him led people to Christ Acts 19:28  

Hot Anger

Very often people will explain to me that they feel hot when they are angry.  There is an expression that describes a person as a "hothead."  These are some examples of hot anger.

Esau toward Jacob when Jacob conned him out of his birthright and blessing Gen 27:44
Naham toward Elishia when he did not heal him in the manner that he expected. 2 Kings 5:12
Esther has several anger examples, The king toward his wife Esth 1:12,
Haman toward Mordecai Esth 3:5 and Esth 5:9,
The king toward Haman when he discovered his plot to kill Esther's kin Esth 7:7,
husband toward the man committing adultery with his wife Pr 6:34
Nebuchadnezzar toward Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego for not worshiping his image Dan 3:13

Burning Anger

If there is heat then there must also be a source of heat which is often burning.  Below are examples of burning anger. 

Jacob with Laban when he did not honor his covenant but tricked him Gen 31:36
Jacob's sons when they found out that their sister was raped Gen 34:7
Abner toward Ishbosheth' accusation that he slept with Saul's concubine 2 Sam 3:8
David toward God when he struck down a priest 2 Sam 6:8
Jonah when God saved in Ninevahites Jonah 4:1

Exceedingly Angry

More burning anger, but in this case exceedingly so.

Cain when God did not accept his offering leading him to murder his brother Gen 4:5-6
Saul when people praised David greater than they praised him 1 Sam 18:8
David when he found out his son Amnon slept with his half-sister Tamar 2 Sam 13:21
Sanballat (and others) when Nehemiah was rebuilding the temple walls Neh 4
Nehemiah when he found out about social injustice among the Jews Neh 5:6

Smoking Anger

After heat and burning we have smoking anger.

Double Anger

Here we have a combination of burning anger with breathing anger something I call "double anger."

Jacob with Rachel when arguing about her not having children Gen 30:2
Potipher while listening to the false accusations against Joseph that he attempted to rape his wife. Gen 39:19
Moses toward the people of Israel when they worship false gods while he was on the mountain Exodus 32:19
Balaam the Prophet with his donkey hitting the donkey with a stick when he refused to move in the face of God's avenging angel Num 22:27
Balak with Balaam when the prophet did not curse Israel Num 24:10
Zebuel the governor of Shechem against Gaal inciting rebellion against king Abimelech Judges 9:30
Sampson when his wife betrayed him by sharing his secret with his enemies and he went out and killed 30 Philistines to take their clothing Judges 14:19
King Saul when the Amorites threatened the Israelite town of Jabesh 1 Sam 11:6
Eliab with David (his younger brother) when David came out to see the battle with Goliath 1 Sam 17:28
Saul toward his son Jonathan for siding with his friend David over him.  Jonathan with his father as a result 1 Sam 20:30, 34
David with himself before he realized Nathan was talking about his treachery 2 Sam 12:5
Elihu toward Job and his three friends Job 32:2-5 (consider the Lord's Response)

Provoked Anger (irksome, react against or rebel)

Provocation is the anger that is in reaction to someone else.  Someone has done something or the perception is that they have done something wrong against us so we are moved to anger. 

Peninnah toward Hanah (taunting her because she was childless Hanah toward Peninnah v 16) 1 Sam 1:4-16
King Asa toward Prophet Hanani when he told him the Lord was against Asa 2 Chron 16:10
Jeremiah toward the people of Israel over them going for idols Jer 8:19
The people of Israel toward God over showing Grace to foreign nations Deut 32:21 and Rom 10:19
Children toward fathers stirring them up Eph 6:4

Moses against the people of Israel ending up in his disobeying God (striking the rock rather than speaking to the rock) Numbers 20:10 and Ps 106:33
Israel against God Numerous examples of rebelling against God

Splintered, Cracked, or Chipped Anger

I picture a great tree being bent over in a storm to the point it begins to splinter and crack with this type of anger.  It seems that Moses experience this anger in leading the people of Israel.  Another phrase that comes to mind "he simply cracked." 

Nobles (men) at women for not obeying Esth 1:18
Pharaoh toward his servants when they offended him  Gen 40:2
Moses toward the people of Israel when they did not obey the Lord's instruction Ex 16:20
Moses toward Aaron's sons when they did not eat the sin offering (according to the Lord's instruction) on the day their bothers were stuck down by God Lev 10:16
Moses toward Israel when they did not follow his instruction to kill all the Moabites Num 31:14
Philistines against Achish for brining David with him to fight alongside them 1 Sam 29:4
Naaman when Elisha did not heal him in the manner he expected 2 Kings 5:11
Elisha toward Jehoash for only striking the arrows three times when more would have been greater victory (faith?) 2 Kings 13:19
King toward his wife Esth 1:12
Two Eunuchs toward the king when they planned to assassinate him Esth 2:21 
Jerusalem city officials when they mistakenly believed Jeremiah was deserting to the Chaldeans Jer 37:15

Outburst (quick/arrogant) Anger

At times the anger is quick and quite strong.  This outburst of anger leads to consequences down the road.

Jacob's sons when they found their sister was raped Gen 49:7
Country of Moab against Israel Isa 16:6 and Jer 48:30

Frothing at the Mouth Anger (indignation)

Rabid dogs come to mind with this type of anger.  But in reality this type of anger is more of indignation that rabid anger. 

Jeremiah toward revelers Jer 15:20

Desire/Passionate Anger

Our desires and passions are very strong.  At times these desires get the better of us.  However they don't have to even Jesus experienced this type of anger and yet did not sin. 

Jesus toward people in the synagogue because they desired to test Jesus over seeing a man healed Mark 3:5

Jealous Anger

Jealousy is a huge trigger for anger in some cases.

Philistines toward Isaac over his success as a shepherd Gen 26:14
Rachel toward her sister Leah because her sister was able to have children but she was not Gen 30:1
Joseph's brothers toward Joseph about his dreams Gen 37:11

Malicious Anger

When anger and ill will meet up it is a deadly mix.  You have the desire to harm combined with the motivation to do something about it.  This type of anger is to be avoided.  There were no examples of this word used, but I am sure we can think of some personal examples.

Grudge Anger

We can also hold on to anger and when we keep it (as is the case in this type of anger) then it will become bitterness in our souls.  We poison ourselves against others.  

Bitter (Poisonous) Anger

Bitterness and poisonous thoughts will keep anger going and growing

Simon Magnus when he sought the Lord's blessing with money Acts 8:23
Jews toward Jesus for healing on the Sabbath John 7:23


Well that is a summary and examples of the various types of anger as described in the Bible.  I think that we may over simply the feeling of anger.  It seems that anger is a rather complicated emotion.  I would even go so far as to say it is as complex as love.  Interestingly both are rooted passions.  Passions and desires bring out the very best and, unfortunately, the very worst in all of us.  There is hope when it comes to anger though.  Twice the Bible says "be angry, but do not sin (Psalm 4:4 and Eph 4:26)."  In my upcoming posts I will take a look at how one might accomplish this. 


God Bless You.