Though Jehovah is called a God of Love, He is also completely capable of hate. The Bible testifies that there are things and persons God hates. [Psalm 5:5; 11:5; 45:7; Isaiah 1:14; Hosea 9:15; Amos 5:21; 6:8; Zechariah 8:17; Malachi 1:3; 2:16]
In Proverbs there are some fairly well known verses described seven things God hates. Here is a discussion of each of these.
Proverbs 6:16-19: “There are six things Yehowah hates. Yes, even seven are disgusting to His soul …” [NCMM] That is, God loathes, is disgusted, detests, abhors certain attitudes and conduct. Indeed the second phrase grows stronger. God considers these seven an abomination, something He loathes, things detestable to Him. What are these seven things Jehovah hates and abhors?
Other versions describe this first attitude as KJV: a proud look; YLT: haughty appearance; KNX: the haughty look; BAS: eyes of pride; TAY: haughtiness. No one likes the arrogant but the arrogant themselves. The Bible elsewhere warns against egotism and haughty pride. Psalm 101:5 describes God’s hatred to such: “Anyone of haughty eyes and of arrogant heart, Him I cannot endure.” [NWT] Proverbs 16:5 echoes the same: “Everyone that is proud in heart is something detestable to Jehovah.” [NWT] Paul warns against such egotism: “Let us not become egotistical. … For if there is any one who thinks himself to be somebody when he is nobody, he is deluding himself.” [Galatians 5:26 NWT; Galatians 6:3 Weymouth Translation] The Nazarene also warned that such attitudes could defile a Christian. [Compare the Nazarene at Mark 7:22.]
Most people recognize arrogance or pride when they see it. Unfortunately, such prideful persons seldom see this hateful attribute in their own character. However, if we can see it in others, we can learn to recognize the disdainful quality in ourselves. In the Bible Satan is an example, as are the Pharisees. One identifying mark of the arrogant is the opinionated person. Some of these persons follow every remark or suggestion of others with something in the form of “No.” No matter what one says, the arrogant will come back with a negative or contradictory statement. They seem not satisfied that another have something to contribute and so they often interrupt. They have no idea what a period is and seldom to they let others finish their sentence. Such prideful persons are virtually a “lost cause” and change little throughout life. One must either tolerate them, and stay out of their company even as God would. For no one who hates something remains in its presence long.
Or, KJV: a lying tongue; RHM: a tongue that is false. No one likes to be lied to, and everyone knows what it means to be lied about. “False lips are something detestable to Jehovah.” [Proverbs 12:22 NWT] A lie is defined by some as withholding the truth from those who have a right to know. Lying often manifests itself in gossip or slander. In this form the liar wants to tarnish the reputation of another. Such lying is really motivated by jealousy, because the liar cannot tolerate someone more gifted or blessed.
Unfortunately there are more liars among Christians than one would suppose. Why can we say such a terrible thing? Because that is what the beloved apostle John says: “If any individual claims, ‘I love God!’ and yet refuses to love another Christian --- such a person is a liar!” [1 John 4:20 NCMM Paraphrase] In other words, if a Christian says he or she loves God or Jesus and yet fails the test of 1 John 3:17 - they are liars. They are lying to themselves in self-deception, and they are lying to others as hypocrites.
That is, “hands shedding innocent blood” [NCMM]; KNX: take innocent life; BAS: take life without cause; TAY: murdering. Such persons were executed in Israel as Numbers 35:31 commands: “And you must take no ransom for the soul of a murderer who is deserving to die, for without fail he should be put to death.” [NWT] Deuteronomy 27:25 says the same: “Cursed is the one who accepts a bribe to strike a soul fatally, when it is innocent blood.” Jesus teaches that such can certainly “defile” a worshipper of God. [Compare the Nazarene at Mark 7:21.] John goes even further when he writes: “Anybody who hates a fellow is guilty of manslaughter. You realize that anyone guilty of manslaughter does not have everlasting life remaining within.” [1 John 3:15 NCMM Paraphrase]
History is filled with the example of Christians and others shedding innocent blood. Millions of men and women are guilty of such bloodshed of the innocent. This has occurred in wars with over 100,000,000 killed in wars in the 20th Century. Millions of women have shed innocent blood and life by means of abortion. They have, or someone else who did it for them, killed that “embryo” [or, substance] that God sees in the womb of a women. [ Psalm 139:16] They have stopped the life with “all its parts.” Others in more recent times have shed innocent blood through “ethnic cleansing.” Famous names scream God’s condemnation to Christians and heathens involved in shedding innocent blood -- Nanking. Hiroshima. Auschwitz. Mi Li.
Proverbs puts it: “… a heart plotting HURTFUL schemes.” [NCMM]
That is, KJV: deviseth wicked imaginations; YLT: devising thoughts of vanity; JPS: wicked thoughts; AAT: plots mischievous schemes; MOF: a mind with crafty plans; JB: weaves wicked plots; RHM: contriving iniquitous devices; NWT: fabricating hurtful schemes. The Nazarene warns that such a trait could “devile” a worshipper of God. [Compare the Nazarene at Mark 7:21.]
Any of us knows what hurts us - deception, manipulation, slander, business cheats, belittling, and a long list of other matters. You know what hurts you, so do not do these to others. If it hurts you, it must also hurt others. In the previous verses the Proverbs described such a person: “There is a type of person who is completely worthless, going about with a perverse mouth. This person winks, makes hidden signals with the feet, and gives signs with the fingers. This person’s heart motive is perverse, constantly plotting mischief, sowing discord everywhere. But calamity will suddenly come upon this type of person - instantly broken without any healing.” [Proverbs 6:12-15 NCMM; compare Proverbs 17:4; 22:8] Often greed is behind what is hurtful. [Colossians 3:5]
That is, “feet that are quick to run to evil.” [NCMM] Others render this: KJV: feet that be swift in running to mischief; YLT: feet hastening to run to evil; MOF: feat eager to go mischief-making; JB: feet that hurry to do evil. Several places in the Bible all the things that could be involved in the conduct or attitude of such an “evil-doer.” Compare Paul’s list about three dozen things in Romans 1:24-32.
Isaiah 59:7, 8 describes such a person hated by God: “Their own feet keep running to sheer badness, and they are in a hurry to shed innocent blood. Their thoughts are hurtful thoughts; despoiling and breakdown are in their highways. The way of peace they have ignored, and there is no justice in their tracks. Their roadways they have made crooked for themselves. No one at all treading in them will actually know peace.” [NWT; compare Romans 3:15] Note the Nazarene’s teachings at Mark 7:22.
As one of things God hates Proverbs lists: “a false witness speaking lies.” The New Jerusalem Bible phrases this: “a false witness who lies with every breath.” Unlike the liar above, this is the type of person who would deliberately lie in a court of law or a judicial environment. It is condemned in the Law of Moses: “You must not take up an untrue report. Do not cooperate with a wicked one by becoming a witness who schemes violence. You must not follow after the crowd for evil ends; and you must not testify over a controversy so as to turn aside with the crowd in order to pervert justice. As for the lowly one, you must not show preference in a controversy of his.” [Exodus 23:1-3 NWT] Jesus was the object of such false witnesses. [Matthew 26:59]
In courts in the United States a witness must swear with the right hand on the Holy Bible. Perjury or false witness is a serious crime and some in the US Senate have accused the president of such conduct. When testifying before appropriate authority, whether secular or within the Christian Church, God hates the person who would lie in their testimony, particularly if their motive is to injure another.
The last of the seven things that God hates is listed as “the person sowing discord among associates.” [NCMM] This is rendered by others as: YLT: sending forth contentions; NJB: sows dissension; RHM: sending forth strifes; NWT: contentions. Elsewhere the Bible warns about such a person hated by God. Leviticus 19:16 warns: “You must not go around among your people for the sake of slandering.” [NWT] Paul lists such as a “work of the flesh” and the person who habitually creates disunity will not inherit God’s kingdom. [Galatians 5:20] The disciple James associates the discordant person with dangerous influences: “However, if you have in your heart bitter jealousy and selfishness, do not boast and continue to lie against the truth. This is not the wisdom which descends from above, but rather, is earthly, soul-like, demonic. For where there is jealousy and selfishness there is disorder and the practice of every kind of evil.” [James 3:14-16 NCMM]
The person who sows discord or disunity among Christian associates is being influenced by demons because Satan was the original rebel and discordant one. According to James jealousy is associated with disorder and contention. Often the discordant person is one who is jealous and thus speaks evilly of a fellow associate. Sometimes there is a Christian who is particularly gifted or blessed by God. This causes the evil-minded to become jealous and they strike out. Almost always this manifests it self in false testimony about the person. Or it may take some form of slanderous speech which calls into question the persons gifts and motives.
For example, two Christians may be discussing another in derogatory terms. Sometimes these can even be true, but most often they are half-truths. It may begin innocently enough: “Brother Elder, or Friend sister, are so capable. That is why I was surprised when …” In other words, almost in a satanic manner they begin with an apparently positive note, but end up speaking divisively. It may be: “So-and-so acts holier than thou,” or, “So-and-so is full of it,” or, “So-and-so is motivated by pride.” Whether these things are true or not, the end result is disunity among Christians.
When we consider the seven things Jehovah hates and abhors we shudder in our shoes. For in some way or another most have done these very things. If it has happened only once or twice we can humble repent and ask forgiveness from both God and the person who is the object of these hateful things. By the grace of God and His tender mercies through Jesus Christ, we can gain forgiveness as long as we do not become a habitual practicer of those seven things God hates.
Nazarene Commentary 2000© by Mark Heber Miller
Back to Index to Biblical Articles