In this article, we will explore the Bible and learn what are the 7 things God hates. So, grab your Bible, and let’s dig in…
God is Love.
This fact is reiterated repeatedly in scripture. The well-known John 3:16 reads: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son….”
Even in the Old Testament, God is depicted as loving. In Nehemiah 9:17, God is described as “…slow to anger and abounding in love.”
If we serve such a loving God, one might wonder if there is anything God hates.
In Proverbs 6:16-19, Solomon identifies six things God hates and one he despises. These are haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that kill the innocent, a wicked scheming heart, feet rushing to do evil, a false and lying witness, and a person who causes discord in the community.
Solomon wrote this proverb using a literary method of adding something extra, indicating that this list is incomplete.
There is, however, a good reason why Solomon, the wisest man ever, specifically mentioned these seven things. Let’s dig a little deeper and see what we can learn!
What Are The 7 Things God Hates?
In Proverbs 6:16-19, Solomon used a Hebrew writing style called a chiasmus, where similar thoughts mirror each other.
If we read Proverbs 6:16-19 carefully, we can notice the mirroring effect of chiasmus. This is also why Solomon starts by saying there are six things God hates, then adds another to make it seven He despises.
Here is the passage in the Amplified translation, and then we will break it down:
These six things the Lord hates;
Indeed, seven are repulsive to Him:
A proud look [the attitude that makes one overestimate oneself and discount others], a lying tongue,
And hands that shed innocent blood,
A heart that creates wicked plans,
Feet that run swiftly to evil,
A false witness who breathes out lies [even half-truths],
And one who spreads discord (rumors) among brothers.
- The first thought, a proud look or haughty eyes, is mirrored in the seventh, a person who causes discord in the community because such a person considers himself more important than others and judges others.
- The second thought, a lying tongue, is mirrored in the sixth, a false witness. Both refer to someone who isn’t truthful.
- The third thought, hands that kill, is mirrored by the fifth, feet rushing to do evil. Both deal with physical actions involving the body’s extremities, the hands, and the feet.
The only thought not mirrored in this scripture is the wicked scheming heart. Regarding the chiasmus, the writer considers the idea in the middle, which is not mirrored, as the most important.
During His teachings, Jesus preached that a sin that has started in the heart, a person’s innermost thoughts and desires, is already a sin, even before it has gone over into action. (Mat 15:10-20)
A sinful heart is at the root of all sin, and as it is clear that God hates sin, He would despise an evil heart and mind.
This is why Solomon indicated a wicked and scheming heart as the one thing God hates more than others.
But what did Solomon mean with the seven things God hates, and what does it mean for us today? Let’s go even deeper…
God Hates Haughty Eyes
The original Hebrew word translated as haughty in this passage (rā·mō·wṯ, Strongs no. 7311) means to build a high wall but was also used in a figurative sense to indicate someone who exalted themselves above others.
רוּם rûwm, room; a primitive root; to be high actively, to rise or raise (in various applications, literally or figuratively):—bring up, exalt (self), extol, give, go up, haughty, heave (up), (be, lift up on, make on, set up on, too) high(-er, one), hold up, levy, lift(-er) up, (be) lofty, (× a-) loud, mount up, offer (up), presumptuously, (be) promote(-ion), proud, set up, tall(-er), take (away, off, up), breed worms.
In essence, “haughty eyes” refers to people who judge others and consider themselves elevated above others. It’s a form of pride. It’s what Satan dealt with himself.
Haughty eyes are still as much a stumbling block for Christians today as it was in the time of Solomon. Many people today, even Christians, believe they can do things with their own strength, thus denying their need for God.
People including Christian’s can also get a complex that they are better than other individuals for whatever reason they thing has value.
John writes in 1 John 2:16: “…the desires of the eyes and pride of life – is not from the Father but is from the world.”
A Lying Tongue
The original Hebrew word, translated as lying (šā·qer, Strongs no. 8267), means “untruth,” while the tongue in this context refers figuratively to speech. Solomon says that God hates any untruthful words spoken.
שֶׁקֶר sheqer, sheh’-ker; from H8266; an untruth; by implication, a sham (often adverbial):—without a cause, deceit(-ful), false(-hood, -ly), feignedly, liar, lie, lying, vain (thing), wrongfully.
In John 14:6, Jesus said: “I am the way and the truth and the life.”
If Jesus, the Son of God, is truth, then it becomes evident that a lying tongue would be opposed to God.
People still lie verbally, in written communication, or even on social media. Any time someone tells something untrue, whether harmful to others or not, they do something God hates.
It is, therefore, important for modern Christians to remember that God finds a lying tongue detestable.
Hands That Kill The Innocent
The Hebrew word translated as “hands” (wə·yā·ḏa·yim, Strongs no. 3027) in this text meant “open hands,” which was an indication of power. The phrase further referred to shedding blood, later translated to kill.
יָד yâd, yawd; a primitive word; a hand (the open one [indicating power, means, direction, etc.], in distinction from 3709, the closed one); used (as noun, adverb, etc.) in a great variety of applications, both literally and figuratively
In the original Hebrew context, God hates those who use their power to shed the blood of innocent people, as opposed to killing while at war.
For modern Christians, this remains applicable. While there may be some circumstances under which killing could be justified, like self-defense or defending your country, God despises those who use their power to kill the innocent.
1 John 3:10 says: “…whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.”
A Heart That Devises Wicked Schemes
As in Biblical times, the word heart refers to the center of one’s thoughts and desires. The word translated as “wicked” (’ā·wen, Strongs no. 205) has a unique array of meanings, even “nothingness” is one of them, but within the context, the phrase refers to a person who thinks and makes up plans to do wicked things.
אָוֶן ʼâven, aw-ven’; from an unused root perhaps meaning properly, to pant (hence, to exert oneself, usually in vain; to come to naught); strictly nothingness; also trouble, vanity, wickedness; specifically an idol:—affliction, evil, false, idol, iniquity, mischief, mourners(-ing), naught, sorrow, unjust, unrighteous, vain, vanity, wicked(-ness). Compare H369.
In a modern context, the phrase “a heart that devises wicked schemes” might instead be translated as “a person who thinks sinful thoughts.”
Jeremiah 17:9 says: “The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately sick; who can understand it?”
The Christian’s response is to guard their heart, as Solomon said in Proverbs 4:23, “…for from it flow the springs of life.”
Feet That Are Quick To Rush Into Evil
In the original Hebrew, this text means a foot (raḡ·lā·yim, Strongs no. 7272) that hurriedly starts (mə·ma·hă·rō·wṯ, Strongs no. 4116) to run (lā·rūṣ, Strongs no. 7323) towards evil (lā·rā·‘āh, Strongs no. 7451) and refers to people who seemingly cannot wait to do wrong.
Today, many people still seem to jump at any opportunity to do wrong. Look at how weekly gangs developed. And prisons are filled with people who did the wrong thing without thinking it through first.
Christians should remember that God hates feet that rush into evil.
Paul writes in Titus 2:12: “…to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in this present age….”
A False Witness Who Pours Out Lies
The Hebrew word translated as “pours out” or “speak” (yā·p̄î·aḥ, Strongs no. 6315) in some translations means to fan or kindle a fire like with the breath of air.
פּוּחַ pûwach, poo’akh; a primitive root; to puff, i.e. blow with the breath or air; hence, to fan (as a breeze), to utter, to kindle (a fire), to scoff:—blow (upon), break, puff, bring into a snare, speak, utter.
This expresses the danger of a false witness who can light a figurative fire with his lies. Linked to “a lying tongue,” this passage still speaks about those who tell lies, but now as witnesses, in a way that can seriously harm others.
Proverbs 18:21 says, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue.”
Lies that are spread have ruined marriages, businesses, and churches and even cost people their lives. Solomon’s words in Proverbs 12:17 still hold today: “Whoever speaks the truth gives honest evidence, but a false witness utters deceit.”
A Person Who Stirs Up Conflict In The Community
The original Hebrew words used in this phrase refer to someone who instigates the spreading (ū·mə·šal·lê·aḥ, Strongs no. 7971) of quarrels or disagreements (mə·ḏā·nîm, Strongs no. 4090) between people with a relational bond (’a·ḥîm, Strongs no, 251).
Ironically, such a person would most likely do this by lying and witnessing falsely. This can also fall into malicious talk and even gossip.
Throughout the book of Acts, and even during Jesus’ trial, we read how crowds were stirred up against Jesus and the apostles through false testimony.
In modern society, this is still the case. People often stir up quarrels at work or school, even using social media. Governments and political parties are also guilty of this.
Here, again, the words of Solomon echo loudly and true millenniums later: “For lack of wood the fire goes out, and where there is no whisperer, quarreling ceases.” (Proverbs 26:20)
To recap what we have gone through…
The words of Solomon in Proverbs 6:16-19 are still very much valid today as when Proverbs were written.
His list of seven things God hates is far from exhaustive, but when on the sinful heart. Because God hates sin, he also hates sinful hearts. Jesus himself warned that sin starts in the heart.
Today’s good news for believers is that God poured his hatred for sin out on His Son when Jesus’ blood was shed for us on the cross.
Christ also promised to send the Holy Spirit as a helper to guide and strengthen us. We only need to believe and accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior.
Melissa is a passionate minister, speaker and an ongoing learner of the Bible. She has been involved in church and vocational ministry for over 18 years. And is the founder of Think About Such Things. She has the heart to equip the saints by helping them get into the Word of God and fall more in love with Jesus. She also enjoys family, cooking, and reading.
She has spoken in churches in California, Oregon, Texas, and Mexico and has been featured in Guidepost Magazine and All Recipes Magazine. Read More…