What Does Abhor Mean In The Bible

Etymology Of Abhor In The Bible

The Bible is an inspiring, sacred book that has been studied for millennia. In its pages, the word ‘abhor’ is found and remains a perplexing term in its context. This word comes from the Greek ἀβάρω, meaning ‘to despise’, and is related to the Hebrew term שתחקו, which has similar connotations. In the Bible, abhor is used primarily in a moral sense, usually to represent extreme disgust with something evil or ugly. This reflects the ancient understanding of abhorrence as something vital for the maintenance of morality and ethical order.

Contextual Meaning Of Abhor

The dictionary definition of abhor is ‘to dislike or detest intensely or strongly’. From a biblical perspective, this intense dislike is associated with ugliness and sin. It is accompanied by a deep-seated revulsion, often described using words like “loathsome” or “abominable”. This disgust is often associated with acts of impurity, wickedness, and apostasy. In the books of Proverbs and Isaiah, these types of acts – and ideas associated with them – are highlighted as deserving of abhorrent treatment.
The book of Proverbs is particularly concerned with this idea of abhorrence. Numerous passages throughout the book continue to warn against slipping into acts that are loathsome, as well as avoid worshiping false gods. It contains many vivid descriptions as to the displeasure that comes with these acts, often describing them as having no place in the sight of the Lord. It serves as a reminder that any moral or religious transgression – particularly wickedness or apostasy – is deserving of deep, revulsion.

Abhorrence In The Bible

The concept of abhorrence features prominently in many books of the Bible, often being used to emphasize the severity or sins and immoral actions. The Deuteronomist code of law, for example, uses the term ‘abhorrent’ repeatedly to alert readers to the sins that God deems unacceptable: in Leviticus 18:22-24, the law incentivizes the people to abstain from marrying within one’s close relatives, describing it as something ‘abhorrent’.
The idea of abhorrence also appears frequently in the books of the New Testament. In Romans 12:9, the Apostle Paul writes to Christians, urging them to avoid being “overcome by evil but [to] overcome evil with good” – an idea that demonstrates the significance of abhorrence for believers. He goes on to warn his readers about the future judgement of God, noting that the deeds of evil will be met with death and destruction in His eyes.

Examples Of Abhorrence In The Bible

The Bible provides various examples throughout its story of abhorrence being directed against certain acts or individuals. One of the most notorious cases is that of Pharaoh, who sought to enslave the Israelites in Egypt but was rebuked by God through the various plagues He sent. This resulted in Pharaoh recoiling in terror and begging Moses to relent in the name of the Lord. In another example, Ezekiel 5:11 includes a divine punishment against those people of Jerusalem who “abhor that which is good” and thus fall out of God’s grace.

How Should We Respond To Abhorrence In Our Own Lives?

The Bible provides no shortage of examples of abhorrence being directed at certain actions or beliefs; however, it is also clear that abhorrence should not be simply applied only to those we disagree with. Instead, it should be directed towards those sins and philosophies which lie in direct opposition to the teachings and commands of Jesus Christ. We must strive to remain faithful to the Lord and be vigilant in our pursuits to expunge those things which go against His will.
It is crucial that we cultivate an appreciation of all that is good and just and righteous, as this is what God requires of us. As seen in Ezekiel 5:11, He fights against those who “abhor that which is good”, and it is up to us to exemplify an appreciation of such goodness. We should do this by engaging with and learning from those scriptures which warn us against evildoing and instead internalising the commands to practice love, justice, and mercy.

Impact Of Abhorrence On Christianity

The presence of abhorrence within the Bible has impacted the ways in which Christianity is practiced, and serves as an importance reminder to all Christians of the devastating consequences that sin and immorality can have. This is seen in many forms, from the profoundly strict adherence to certain laws amongst some believers, to the desire to live a life that is blameless in all respects. Ultimately, the concept of abhorrence is a powerful weapon against disobedience, and a reminder of the Lord’s authority in all matters.

Moral Expectations Of Abhorrence

The concept of abhorrence outlined in the Bible is also firmly reflected in many aspects of modern society, indicating a widespread recognition of what is considered ‘morally right’. In numerous countries throughout the world, abhorrent treatments of animals and people are now illegal, a fact which demonstrates how the Christian view of abhorrence can easily generalise to both religious and secular audiences alike. This ubiquity shows the impact of abhorrence in both contemporary and ancient life.

Theological Reasons Behind Abhorrence

At its core, precepts such as abhorrence are based on a theological foundation that seeks to uphold and honour the presence of God in all aspects of life. As seen in the previous sections, the authors of the Bible often viewed abhorrence as a necessary tool for keeping believers on a righteous path and encouraging them to nip immoral behaviours in the bud. The logical foundation behind this notion is that by staying away from sinful acts, one will foster a closer relationship with the Lord and remain in His good graces.

Practical Application Of Abhorrence

In contemporary life, the concept of abhorrence found within the Bible can be applied in numerous ways. One such example is the way in which it can lend itself to the protection of vulnerable people. Many organisations and governments apply principles of abhorrence when doing their work in order to ensure that marginalised communities – such as racial minorities and refugees – are taken into account and given adequate recognition as human beings.
In addition to this, abhorrence is also seen as a key tool in everyday living, providing an incentive to followers of Jesus Christ to moral and righteous decisions. This can range from offering an incentive to practice generosity and compassion, to giving Individuals the courage to speak out against injustice: all of which serve to glorify the Lord and live in His light.

Conclusion Of Abhorrence In The Bible

In conclusion, the concept of abhorrence in the Bible is a complex one which has had an enduring impact on both religious and secular societies. It is a reminder that God is against all forms of immorality and wickedness, and that His followers should too strive to avoid such behaviours. Furthermore, it is also a key tool in protecting vulnerable people, providing an incentive to those in positions of power to stand up against injustice and offer recognition and support to those who are in need.

Marcos Reyna is a Christian author and speaker. He is dedicated to helping create disciples of Christ through spreading the power of the gospel to others. He has written several books and articles on a variety of theological topics, including matters of faith, worship, biblical studies, practical ethics, and social justice. A trained theologian and devotee of spiritual writing, Marcos has a mission to spread Christian love everywhere. He lives with his family in Nashville, TN where he spends his days encouraging others to seek Christ's grace in all things.

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