Survey of Anger
January 2016, Thomas Alberti, www.truthbase.net
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.
Eph 4:26 “Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath…
Eph 4:31 Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.
I The words studied (Strong’s definitions)
H639 ??? 'aph (af) n-m.
1. (properly) the nose or nostril
2. (hence) the face, and occasionally a person
3. (also, from the rapid breathing in passion) ire
[from H599], KJV: anger(-gry), + before, countenance, face, + forebearing, forehead, + (long-)suffering, nose, nostril, snout, X worthy, wrath. Root(s): H599
G3709 ???? orge (or-gay') n.
1. (properly) desire (as a reaching forth or excitement of the mind)
2. (by analogy) violent passion (ire or (justifiable) abhorrence)
3. (by implication) punishment
[from G3713], KJV: anger, indignation, vengeance, wrath, Root(s): G3713
G2372 ????? thumos (thoo-mos') n.
1. passion (as if breathing hard)
KJV: fierceness, indignation, wrath
II Verses about people who exhibited anger
Anger tends to be in response to something, a stimulus, that is contrary to one’s goals, desires, or expectations.
Exod 32:19 So it was, as soon as he came near the camp, that he saw the calf and the dancing. So Moses’ anger became hot, and he cast the tablets out of his hands and broke them at the foot of the mountain.
2Chr 25:10 So Amaziah discharged the troops that had come to him from Ephraim, to go back home. Therefore their anger was greatly aroused against Judah, and they returned home in great anger.
You can do cruel things in your anger, anger can move one to extreme action. Application: give God’s Spirit control, always.
Gen 49:5 “Simeon and Levi are brothers; Instruments of cruelty are in their dwelling place. 6 Let not my soul enter their council; Let not my honor be united to their assembly; For in their anger they slew a man, And in their self-will they hamstrung an ox.
1Sam 11:6-7 Then the Spirit of God came upon Saul when he heard this news, and his anger was greatly aroused. 7 So he took a yoke of oxen and cut them in pieces… And the fear of the LORD fell on the people, and they came out with one consent.
Anger can come from pride or jealously.
1Sam 17:28 Now Eliab his oldest brother heard when he spoke to the men; and Eliab’s anger was aroused 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 insolence of your heart, for you have come down to see the battle.”
Luke 15:28 “But he was angry and would not go in. Therefore his father came out and pleaded with him.
We can be inconsistent in expressing anger.
2Sam 12:5 So David’s anger was greatly aroused against the man, and he said to Nathan, “As the LORD lives, the man who has done this shall surely die!
Executing God’s wrath is mentioned in the context of nations/kings.
1Sam 28:18 “Because you did not obey the voice of the LORD nor execute His fierce wrath upon Amalek, therefore the LORD has done this thing to you this day.
Rom 13:4 For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil.
The perfect expression of human anger is:
Mark 3:5 And when He had looked around at them with anger, being grieved by the hardness of their hearts, He said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” And he stretched it out, and his hand was restored as whole as the other.
III Verses about anger
It’s possible to be angry without cause, which would put that angry person in danger of judgement.
Matt 5:22 “But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’ shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire.
Robertson’s comment on Eph 4:26 “Be ye angry and sin not” (orgizo): “Permissive imperative, not a command to be angry. Prohibition against sinning as the peril in anger. Quotation from Ps 4:4.”
Neither orge nor thumos are fruits of the spirit, but thumos is listed as a work of the flesh.
Gal 5:19-20 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies
Both thumos and orge are to be “put off” or “put away.”
Eph 4:31 Let all bitterness, wrath (thumos), anger (orge), clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.
Col 3:8 But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger (orge), wrath (thumos), malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth.
The proverbs predominately advise patience and discretion when dealing with anger.
Prov 14:17 A quick-tempered man acts foolishly, And a man of wicked intentions is hated.
Prov 14:29 He who is slow to wrath has great understanding, But he who is impulsive exalts folly.
Prov 15:18 A wrathful man stirs up strife, But he who is slow to anger allays contention.
Prov 16:32 He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, And he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.
Prov 19:11 The discretion of a man makes him slow to anger, And his glory is to overlook a transgression.
While several of the Old Testament saints are described at various times as exhibiting anger, Jesus was the only saint/minister in the New Testament who is mentioned as exhibiting thumos/orge. Paul, Peter, Barnabas, James, etc. are not mentioned as being angry. Not even when Paul rebuked Peter and Barnabas. The closest kind of situation where anger probably occurred on their part is the “sharp contention” (paroxusmos) between Paul and Barnabas. Apart from the wrath of God, thumos is never mentioned in a positive light, and never of Jesus.
- Why are there permissions given to anger? Why didn’t God say plainly, “anger is sin” or “anger is not sin”?
- How exactly does one be angry and not sin? In the course of a day, what situations could provoke you to be angry? How would that affect your likelihood to sin?
- What is the role of the Holy Spirit when it comes to the spectrum of irritation, frustration, anger, and wrath?