ANGER: An Historical Survey

Cain was angry when God did not respect his faithless offering (Gen. 4:5; Heb. 11:4). His anger manifested itself visibly in his sullen deportment (Gen. 4:6) and he took his anger out on his brother, Abel, by taking his life (Gen. 4:8). He was condemned by God to be a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth (Gen. 4:9-12).

Esau was angry at Jacob for obtaining his birthright and blessing (Gen. 27:41-46). His anger was such that he hated Jacob and sought to kill him (Gen. 27:41). Jacob had to flee for his life (Gen. 27:43). Ultimately, these brothers were reconciled (Gen. 33).

Jacob was angry at his wife Rachael because she blamed him for not being able to have children (Gen. 30:1,2).

Pharaoh was angry at the chief butler and baker because they had somehow offended him. He put them in prison, later releasing one and putting the other to death (Gen. 40).

The sons of Jacob were angry at Shechem for the rape of Dinah, their sister. They took their anger out on the Shechemites by killing Hamor, Shechem and all the males of the city, took captive their wives and made spoil of the land. Their anger is described as fierce and cruel (Gen. 49:7). Jacob rebuked his sons and expressed his fear that the other inhabitants of the land would destroy him and his house in retaliation (Gen. 34).

Potiphar became angry when his wife falsely accused Joseph of trying to force her to lie with him (Gen. 39:13-18). His anger resulted in Joseph being imprisoned for something he didn’t do (Gen. 39:19-21).

Moses was angry at Phaaroah because he would not let the children of Israel go and it would result in the death of the firstborn of Egypt (Ex. 11:4-80.

Moses was angry at some of the children of Israel when they disobeyed his command not to keep the manna until the morning. When some of them did so, it bred worms and stank (Ex. 16:19,20).

Moses anger waxed hot when he came down from the mount with the tables of stone containing the ten commandments written with the finger of God and saw the children of Israel worshiping the golden calf and dancing (Ex. 32:15-19). In his anger he broke the tables of the law and ground down the calf and made the children of Israel to drink of it (Ex. 32:19-21).

Moses was angry with Eleazar and Ithamar because they did not dispose of the sin offering as he had commanded them (Lev. 10:12-18).

Moses was angry when the sons of Eliab, who, along with Korah, rebelled against Moses’ leadership, did not respond to his call. Moses prayed the Lord that He would not respect their offerings (Num. 16:12-15).

The tribe of Ephraim was offended and angry that Gideon did not call them to aid in the battle against the Midianites but Gideon assuaged their anger when he complimented them on their later successes (Judges 8:1-33).

Zebul, governor of Shechem, was angered when he discovered that Gaal the son of Ebed conspired against Abimelech. He informed Abimelech and they were able to quash the rebellion (Jud. 9).

When Saul was informed that the Ammonites were going to take Jabesh-gilead, he was angered and sent word to all Israel that they were to come and help him defeat the Ammonites (I Sam. 11:1-11).

David’s oldest brother Eliab was angry with David when he spoke defiantly of the Philistine Goliath (I Sam. 17:26-28).

Saul was angry through jealousy when he learned that the people praised David more than they praised Saul (I Sam. 18:8).

Saul was angry with his son Jonathan when he believed that Jonathan favored David even over his own ambition. Jonathan likewise was angry when he learned that his father intended to kill David even though he had done no wrong (I Sam. 20:24-34).

The princes of the Philistines were angry because David was with Achish in the battle and they feared he might turn on them. David was sent back to placate their anger (I Sam. 29:1-7).

Ishbosheth angered Abner when he said he had desecrated his father’s concubine (II Sam. 3:7,8).

David was angry at the man Nathan described in his parable, which turned out to be a description of David, himself (II Sam. 12:1-7).

David was angered when he heard of Amnon’s abuse of Tamar, but he, himself, did nothing in the matter II Sam. 13:1-21).

The tribes of the northern kingdom were angry with David and the southern kingdom of Judah because David went back with Judah and did not give preference to Israel, even though they had more people and more tribes (II Sam. 19:40-42).

Naaman, the Syrian commander, was angry with Elisha and went away in a rage because he did not come out and make a great fanfare of healing him of leprosy (II Kings 5:9-14).

Elisha was angry with Joash because he did not signify that he was going to defeat Syria by striking the ground with his arrows five or six times (II Kings 13:18,19).

Asa was angry with Hanani the seer because he did not like his preaching and he put him in prison for it (II Chron. 16:7-10).

Israel was angered by Amaziah because, when he had negotiated with them to send a hundred thousand men of valor to fight against the children of Seir, the prophet of God warned him not to take them with him because God was not with Israel. When Amaziah sent them home in accordance with the commands of God they became very angry (II Chron. 25:1-11).

In his pride, King Uzziah went into the temple and usurped the work of the priests, violating God’s order of service. When the priests confronted him over this he became angry. While he was in the temple and while he was attempting to burn incense, God struck him with leprosy at that moment he became a leper until the day of his death (II Chron. 26:16-21).

Sanballat and his cohorts were angered when they knew that Israel was building the wall and repairing the breaches (Neh. 4:1,7).

Nehemiah was angry at his brethren for taking advantage of the poor of his own country (Neh. 5:6).

Ahasuerus the king was very angry with an anger that burned within him when Vashti, his queen, did not come when he called for her (Esther 1:10-12). He commanded that Vashti come no more before him and a contest was arranged to see who would take her place. When certain laws were put in place that kept women from doing the same again, the king’s wrath was appeased (Esther 2:1).

Two of ahasuerus’s chamberlains were angry at the king and sought to kill him, but MordecaI revealed the plot to the king and he was saved (Esther 2:21-23).

Haman was angry because he felt that Mordecai did not show him the proper reverence ans sought to have him all Jews killed ((Esther 3:5).

King Ahasuerus was again angered when he learned of Haman’s plot and had Haman hung on the gallows he meant for Mordecai (Esther 7:7-10).

Young Elihu was angered at Job because he thought he justified himself rather than God and he was angry at Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar because they could not answer Job (Job 32:1-5).

Jonah was angry when the citizens of Nineveh repented at his preaching (Jon. 3,4). God taught him a lesson through a gourd that He caused to grow up and protect him from the sun that he had pity on the gourd but not on the great city of Nineveh.

Herod was angry when he felt the magi had mocked him. In his anger he had all children two years old and under killed in Bethelehem and surrounding areas (Matt. 2:16,17).

The Jews in the synagogue in Nazareth were filled with anger at the Lord because He claimed to be the fulfillment of the scriptures prophesying the Messiah. In their anger they sought to stone Him (Luke 4:15-30).

The Jews were angry at the Lord because He healed a man on the sabbath (John 7:14-24).

When the worshipers of Diana felt their silver shrine businesses and religion were threatened by the preaching of Paul they became very angry and caused an uproar in the city (Acts 19:23-34).

The Lord was angered because of the hardness of the people’s heart (Mark 3:1-5).

His emotions ran high when He saw the Jews making His house of prayer a den of thieves. In His zeal He overthrew the money changers tables and drove them out of the temple (John 2:12-17).

More than anyone else, God is angry with the wicked every day (Psalm 7:11). Though He is slow to anger (Psalm 103:8), His wrath, once it is kindled, is fierce (Psalm 78:49). His wrath will be revealed against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who hold the truth in unrighteousness (Rom. 1:18).

Eric L. Padgett

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