The Direction of God's Wrath

A Complete Listing of Scriptures, With Statistical Analysis

I will give thanks to you, O LORD, for though you were angry with me, your anger turned away, that you might comfort me." - Isaiah 12:1 ESV

God hates sin but loves the sinner. Does that common evangelical aphorism stand up to the test of Scripture? Taken separately, each of the two phrases of that sentence is true. No Bible believer claims that God does not hate sin, of course. And God does express love of some kind toward everyone.

But when the two phrases are brought together, the resulting sentence can be misleading. The hearer may infer that God's wrath is not directed at sinners themselves, but only at their sin. That's not a valid inference, since it's possible to be wrathful at someone and love them at the same time. More to the point, Scripture makes only one explicit reference to God's anger at sin itself, while its overwhelming testimony is of His anger at sinners.

The cure is to recognize and proclaim everything Scripture says about the wrath, grace, love, and hatred of God, and to be cautious about pat sayings. When in doubt, it's safest to state things the way they are stated in Scripture. The aim of this page is to aid us toward that goal by summarizing God's Word on the objects of His wrath.

 Scripture references with brief descriptions

Exodus 4:14 Burned against Moses
Exodus 32:11 Against His people, Israel
Exodus 34:6 Contrasted with mercy and longsuffering (which are directed to His elect)
Numbers 11:33 Burned against the people of Israel, striking them with a severe plague
Numbers 12:9 Burned against Aaron and Miriam when they spoke against the LORD's chosen mouthpiece, Moses, resulting in God temporarilly abandoning Israel.
Numbers 25:3-4 Fierce anger burned against all Israel when they worshiped the false god Baal Peor.
Numbers 32:13 Burned against Israel when they refused to enter the land of promise, resulting in 40 years wandering in the wilderness.
Deut 6:15 Kindled against His people Israel, results in destruction from the face of the land
Deut 7:4 Will burn against Israel when they turn from God to serve false gods; will result quickly in destruction.
Deut 9:7-19 God was angry enough at Horeb to have destroyed all Israel.
Deut 11:17 Against future Israel, resulting in famine and death.
Deut 13:7 Contrasted with mercy and compassion shown to Israel.
Deut 29:20-28 Wrath and zeal to burn against idolatrous individuals in future Israel for abandoning the covenant, resulting in the whole land suffering destruction comparable to that of Sodom and Gomorah.
Deut 31:17 Kindled against His people Israel due to their disobedience, results in His face hidden from them, and their becoming easy prey for their enemies (Provident protection removed).
Joshua 7:1 Burned against Israel.
Joshua 23:16 Kindled againts Israel due to their transgressing the covenant, results in quickly perishing from the land.
Judges 2:12-14 Against Israel for idolatry, results in removal of Divine protection. Fulfillment of Deut 31:17.
Judges 3:8 Against Israel.
*I Samuel 28:18 Fierce against the Amalekites.
II Samuel 6:7-8, I Chron. 13:10-11 Against the Israelite Uzzah for touching the Ark of the Covenant, resulting in instant death.
II Samuel 24:1 Against Israel.
II Kings 13:3 Against Israel, resulting in fulfillment of Deut 31:17.
II Kings 22:13-26 Burns against Israel because their fathers were disobedient to the Law, and because of idolatry. Wrath to burn unquenched against both the land and the people.
I Chronicles 15:13 Broke out against Israel because the Levites failed to refer to the Law before setting up worship practices.
II Chronicles 12:12 Turned from Rehoboam.
II Chronicles 19:2,10 Upon Jehoshephat and his brothers.
II Chronicles 24:18 Upon Jerusalem and Judah for idolatry.
II Chronicles 25:15 Amaziah for seeking the counsel of a foreign god.
II Chronicles 28:10-25 Fierce anger against both Israel and Judah.
II Chronicles 29:8-10 On Judah and Jerusalem, and fierce against Israel.
II Chronicles 30:8 Against Israel (Northern Kingdom)
II Chronicles 32:25-26 On Hezekiah, Judah, and Jerusalem but punishment was delayed due to their repentance from pride.
II Chronicles 34:21-25 Poured out unquenched on Judah for failure to observe the Law.
II Chronicles 36:16 Aroused against the LORD's people, with no remedy.
Ezra 8:22 Great anger against those who forsake God.
Ezra 10:24 Fierce against Israel for intermarrying with pagans.
Nehemiah 13:8 Some Israelites stirred up God's anger against them all by desecrating the Sabbath.
Psalm 74:1 Smolders against the sheep of His pasture.
Psalm 78:21 Fire broke out against Jacob, anger rose against Israel, resulted in death of the strong and young.
*Psalm 80:4 Against the prayers of the people of the LORD God Almighty.
*Proverbs 22:14 He who is under the LORD's wrath will fall into the deep pit of the mouth of the adulterous woman.
*Proverbs 24:17-18 Against your enemy, but may be turned away from him if you gloat when he stumbles.
Isaiah 5:25 Against the LORD's people, striking them down with His hand until their bodies lie like garbage in the street.
Isaiah 12:1 Against Israel, but not forever.
*Isaiah 34:2 Against all nations, upon all their armies.
Isaiah 51:17-22 Jerusalem has drunk the cup of the LORD's wrath.
*Isaiah 66:15 Furious anger against all men, bringing the judgement of death on them.
Jeremiah 4:8 Has not turned away from Israel.
Jeremiah 7:20 Poured out on Judah and Jerusalem, "on man and beast, on the trees of the field and on the fruit of the ground, and it will burn and not be quenched."
Jeremiah 7:29 Jeremiah's generation in Judah under it.
Jeremiah 23:19, 30:23 On the head of the wicked.
Jeremiah 25 Israel (both kingdoms) and all the surrounding nations made to drink of the cup of God's wrath until they destroy each other with the sword.
Jeremiah 36:17 The LORD's great wrath and anger pronounced against the people of Judah.
Jeremiah 42:17-18 To be poured out on the remnant of Judah if they flee to Egypt just as it had already been poured out on Jerusalem.
*Jeremiah 49:37 Fierce anger and utter disaster brought on Elam.
Lamentations 4:11 Against Zion, so fierce that its foundations were consumed by fire.
Ezekiel 5:8-13 Against Jerusalem, but it will not last forever; it will end when it is spent, and when they return to faith in the trustworthiness of the LORD's Word.
Ezekiel 9:8 Poured out on Jerusalem.
Ezekiel 22:22,31 Poured out on the house of Israel, consuming them with His fiery anger, bringing down on their heads all they have done.
Micah 7:9 Israel bears the LORD's wrath until He sets their case right.
*Nahum 1:2 Against the LORD's enemies.
*Zephaniah 3:8 Poured out on the assembled nations and kingdoms.
Zechariah 10:3 Burns against the shepherd of the flock of Judah.
*Malachi 1:4 Edom to be always a people under the wrath of the LORD.
*John 3:36 Remains on whoever rejects the Son.
*Roman 1:18 Against godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth.
*Romans 2:5 Stored up against legalists.
*Romans 3:5 On all mankind.
*I Thessalonians 2:16 On the Jews who tried to keep Paul from taking the Gospel to the Gentiles.
*Revelation 14:10-19 The worshipers of the beast and his image drink of the wine of God's fury poured undiluted into the cup of his wrath, made in the great winepress of God's wrath.
*Revelation 16:1 On the earth via the seven bowls of God's wrath.
*Revelation 16:19 Babylon the Great is singled out to receive a special dose of the wine of God's wrath.

* indicates that wrath in that reference is not directed to God's own people 

Visit Or Your Local Store!


71 direct references total.

  • 1 to God's wrath against sin itself (Rom. 1:18).
  • 1 against the prayers of the people of God (Ps 80:4).
  • 69 speak of God's wrath against people. Of those,
    • 53 are about God's wrath against His own people.
    • 16 are about God's wrath against His enemies, the unbeliever, or are general.

Old Testament contains 63 references to the direction of God's anger.

New Testament contains 8, none being against His own people.


By Testament


Number of References/Percent

  God's people Other people non-personal

Old Testament:







New Testament:







Entire Bible:







There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
~ Romans 8:1


Entire Bible

Old Testament

New Testament

Old and New Testaments by number of mentions

18 February 2002
David J. Finnamore
Orlando, FL