Does G-d Hate?
Most of you have been taught that G-d is love, and that we live in a dispensation of grace. This teaching along with other doctrines of “grace only,” directly or indirectly, paints a picture of a G-d that will not exact a price for an individual’s rebellion (sin). In other words, G-d’s attribute of Justice, contrary to Scripture, has been replaced by His attribute of love (chesed) and that justice no longer prevails in this age of grace. However, Mal 3:6, tells us that YHVH changes not. The prevalent thinking goes that Yahshua has already paid the price including the price of a professed believer’s future sins by His faithfulness unto death. In effect, He has established a heavenly escrow account that we can draw from for future sins. From this perspective, we are assured that we have an inexhaustible credit account available to us that we draw on as we go further and further into debt (sinning). Salvation is guaranteed no matter what sin or sins we commit. In conclusion, this doctrine emphasizes that an all-loving G-d will never hold us accountable for the failure to live by His standards of justice as long as we confess Yahshua.
Certainly, G-d is endowed with the attribute of love (chesed) as evidenced in Yahshua by whom we are reconciled to G-d, but does that cancel His attribute of justice? I submit, based on two scriptures only and I pray you all are familiar with them, Romans 3:25 and 2 Peter 1: 9 (KJV) that Yahshua paid for our past sins, but He did not deposit into a heavenly bank account funds to cover our future sins after reconciliation with G-d. Yes, we must confess Yahshua, that is scriptural, but that entails more than lip service; it requires a lifestyle in accord with YHVH’s standards, His Torah. How can anyone seriously believe that profession or confession only, without evidence of that profession is secure? A better understanding may be had when we comprehend the Greek word hom-ol-og-eh’-o; translated “confess,” means to affirm, i.e. to covenant, acknowledge, promise. That is to be partakers of the Covenant of Israel into which a believer is grafted. Therefore, we see it entails more than lip service, and to covenant is to become heirs of G-d’s covenant with Israel the Torah.
Does G-d hate? From most quarters, we are told G-d does not hate. Hate in our English dictionary is defined as: to dislike intensely or passionately; feel extreme aversion for or extreme hostility toward; detest. The synonyms are: HATE, ABHOR, DETEST that imply feeling intense dislike or aversion toward something. HATE, the simple and general word, suggests passionate dislike and a feeling of enmity: for instance to hate au-toc-racy. ABHOR expresses a deep-rooted horror and a sense of repugnance or complete rejection: to abhor cruelty. DETEST implies intense, even vehement, dislike and antipathy, besides a sense of disdain: to detest a combination of ignorance and arrogance. So when we encounter this word “hate” in the bible, those adhering to the proposition that G-d is all love tell us it means liking something less than something else. That can be true in certain instances, but not across the board. We have to discern the difference and that sometimes means study and research of the etymology of the word used in a particular verse.
Let us, you and I conduct a Bible study and start with the following verses:
Prov 6:16 These six things doth YHVH hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:
Prov 6:17 A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,
Prov 6:18 An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,
Prov 6:19 A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.
Here we encounter the Hebrew word saneh, ( saw-nay’) which has the same meaning in Ugaritic, The verb sane and its derivative have the root meaning “to hate.” It expresses an emotional attitude toward persons and things, which are opposed, detested, despised and with which one wishes to have no contact or relationship. It is therefore the opposite of love. Whereas love draws and unites, hate separates and keeps distant. The hated and hating persons are considered foes or enemies and are considered odious, utterly unappealing. For instance in Amos 5:17 YHVH hates Israel’s feast days for He has no delight in religious assemblies and will not accept sacrifices that are based upon hypocrisy, deception, and spiritual adultery (Zech 8:17; Isaiah 1:13-15). They are placed in the same category as idols (Deuteronomy 16:22) and other means to express sin (Prov 6:16) above.
YHVH’s hatred for idols and feasts is also directed against people, e.g. Esau (Mal 1:3, Gen 27; Ps 5:5; 11:5).
Mal 1:3 And I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness.
Gen 27:41 And Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing wherewith his father blessed him: and Esau said in his heart, The days of mourning for my father are at hand; then will I slay my brother Jacob.
Psa 5:5 The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity.
Psa 11:5 YHVH trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth.
In each case the character or activities of the hated one are expressed; thus YHVH is opposed to, separates himself from, and brings the consequences of His hatred upon people not as mere people, but as sinful people.
It is a well confirmed Biblical fact that G-d cannot tolerate sin in His presence.
There is also a hating on the part of humanity, which is acceptable to YHVH. Man must have an aversion to and depart from evil, hence the Psalmists says, “I have hated the assembly of evildoers” (Ps 21:5). This hatred is also in diametric opposition to a believer’s trust in Adonai, for the man of G-d says, “I hate them who regard vain idols but I trust in Adonai” (Ps 31:6) I’m presenting to you this word “hate” as Defined in TWOT Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament
In Ecclesiastes 3:8 Solomon tells us using the same Hebrew word that we as a people will experience “A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.”
Now we need to consider what G-d says about Himself as regards “hate,” and I will tell you that in each verse the word translated “hate” is from the Hebrew word sane that was just defined for you.
Isa 61:8 For I YHVH love judgment, I hate robbery for burnt offering; and I will direct their work in truth, and I will make an everlasting covenant with them.
In retrospect I should also include Strong’s concordance definition though a less complete definition is given, but I include it because most of you have the tools to look it up. It is Strong’s number 8130. sane’, saw-nay’; a prim. root; to hate (personally):–enemy, foe, (be) hate (-ful, -r), odious, X utterly.
Now let’s continue with more verses where G-d says He hates:
Jer 44:4 Howbeit I sent unto you all my servants the prophets, rising early and sending them, saying, Oh, do not this abominable thing that I hate.
Amos 5:21 I hate, I despise your feast days, and I will not smell in your solemn assemblies.
Amos 6:8 Adonai YHVH hath sworn by himself, saith Adonai YHVH the Elohim of hosts, I abhor the excellency of Jacob, and hate his palaces: therefore will I deliver up the city with all that is therein.
Zec 8:17 And let none of you imagine evil in your hearts against his neighbour; and love no false oath: for all these are things that I hate, saith the LORD.
Lev. 20:23 Moreover, you shall not follow customs of the nation which I shall drive out before you, for they did all these things, and therefore I have abhorred them.
Hosea 9:15 All their evil is at Gilgal; indeed I came to hate them there! Because of the wickedness of their deeds, I will drive them out of My house! I will love them no more; all their princes are rebels.
And of course Malachi 1:3 already read.
Here we have a sampling of G-d attesting to His hate for persons and things. No matter how we cut it, by definition there are things and people that YHVH hates.
Now let us consider what Yahshua said:
Luke 14:26 If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.
Things get a little more difficult here. If we employ our understanding from the Hebrew to this English translation of the Greek word mis-eh-o, would that mean we are to
”hate” father, mother, wife, children etc., et al. as defined in the Hebrew.
Let us turn to Strong’s dictionary # 3404. miseo, mis-eh’-o; from a prim. misos (hatred); to detest (espec. to persecute); by extension. to love less:–hate (-ful).
Now how are we to interpret this translation? We must look at the context in which it is used. That is why I earlier said we could not always translate a word the same across the board. It would be just as wrong to employ the definition of the Hebrew word sane here as it would to employ the interpretation of the word mis-eh-o to the Hebrew manuscript. Why? Because we are instructed to love our wives, honor our parents etc., elsewhere in scripture, so obviously we should interpret it to mean, “to love less,” employing the extension.
Now let us go to:
Rev 2:6 But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitanes, which I also hate.
Would you employ the same interpretation to this verse as you did the preceding verse? Obviously not for the context is different. First, we should seek to learn if the word translated “hate” here is the same as in preceding verse instructing us to establish Yahshua as our first love even having priority over our loved ones.
Both hatest and hate are from the Greek word mis-eh-o. Therefore, we need to make a choice. Do we employ the Hebrew meaning that precedes it or do we read the verse that Yahshua loves less the deeds of the Nicolaitaines. Does that make sense? Not at all for the Nicolaitaines were guilty of gross sin, the sin of idolatry, immorality, and changing G-d’s time and seasons. Something YHVH/Yahshua must detest and hate due to His Holiness.
Let me read some other scriptures.
Rom 9:13 As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.
Now the Greek word mis-eh-o is used here, and we again have a choice according to Strong’s translation.
Miseo (hate) – Emiseso (hated) -Verb- 3404. miseo, mis-eh’-o; from a prim. misos (hatred); to detest (espec. to persecute); by extens. to love less:–hate (-ful).
How do we arrive at the correct translation? First, we have to compare this verse with Mal 1:3, where it states G-d says: And I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness. After all the statement in Romans 9:13 is a quote from this verse, therefore we cannot ascribe a new meaning to it.
Remember the word is sane and it fully conveys the meaning of “hate” as English speakers understand it. Then how do we translate Romans 9:13? Can we say that G-d loved Esau less or does He really hate Esau? The context along with prior Scripture gives us the answer, and here we are not to employ “to love less” for it would be in contradiction with the Scripture in Malachi as defined by the Hebrew word. The first rule of hermeneutics is that scripture cannot contradict itself and good scholarship requires when possible to let scripture interpret itself. Greek words unfortunately lend themselves to many interpretations and we need to be fully cognizance of the Hebrew meaning that the Greek word is expressing. Ergo, the confusion in the B’rit Chadasha (NT) between G-d’s Torah and Oral Torah because the Greek has no adequate word to express the difference.
Heb 1:9 Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore G-d, even thy G-d, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.
This verse not only condones Yahshua’s attitude toward sin but also commends it. If we are to emulate our Cohen Gadol we too must hate sin and separate ourselves form it and those that practice it as earlier defined.
Furthermore, we find in:
Psa 97:10 Let those who love YHVH hate evil, for he guards the lives of his faithful ones and delivers them from the hand of the wicked.(NIV)
I think you get the picture. It is not unrighteous to hate those that teach untruth or condone and practice sin. In fact, it is a mitzvah to do so. A startling statement but G-d demands an unwavering adherence to truth. Sure we should allow a space of time for repentance, but those that will go unrepentant have separated themselves from the attribute of Chesed (loving kindness) and as G-d is our standard we too must follow suit no matter how hard. Yes, forgive 70 times 70, but all iniquity comes to full measure when not repented of, and we need to allow the Ruach HaKodesh lead us when tolerance is no longer an option for we cannot compromise the Truth of G-d. Even if we practice “hate the sin but love the sinner” there still comes a time we must separate ourselves from those that continue to commit high handed sin.
I’d like to leave you with one last image. Yahshua hanging on the execution stake, close to death. It was bout the 9th hour and suddenly from His lips in a loud voice you hear an agonizing refrain that has resonated down through history. “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? …, My G-d, my G-d, why hast thou forsaken me? (Mat 27:46) Even the Son of G-d who now was carrying all the sins of history upon Himself, G-d the Father, turned His Face away and separated Himself from His only begotten Son, because of sin. G-d does hate ,and G-d is a G-d of Love and Holiness and Justice or else none of us would ever have been afforded a place with Him through the sacrificial work of Yahshua HaMashiach.
Hebrews 10:26 “For if we go on sinning willfully, after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins.” G-d does not punish sin He punishes the sinner. It is better to accept the love of G-d as expressed in the Living and Written Torah than to reject it and suffer His wrath (hate).
Written by Rabbi Davis (R. Milchamah b. David) of blessed memory