God's anger, wrath of God

The Hebrew and Greek What is translated into English as “the wrath of God” (Good News Translation: “God’s anger”) has to be referred to in Bengali as judgment, punishment or whatever fits the context. In Bengali culture, anger is by definition bad and can never be predicated of God. (Source: David Clark)

In Kikuyu the whole phrase that is translated in English as “storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath” or similar is translated as “you are increasing for yourself God’s wrath.” (Source: Jan Sterk)

In Quetzaltepec Mixe it is translated with a term “that not only expresses anger, but also punishment” (source: Robert Bascom), in Western Bukidnon Manobo as “the coming punishment of God on mankind” (source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation), in Kankanaey as “God’s fearful/terrible future punishing of people” (source: Kankanaey Back Translation), in Tagbanwa as “the coming anger/hatred of God” (source: Tagbanwa Back Translation), and in Tenango Otomi as “the punishment which will come” (source: Tenango Otomi Back Translation).

See also anger.


The Hebrew and Greek that is translated with “clothes” or similar in English is translated in Enlhet as “crawling-in-stuff” (source: Jacob Loewen in The Bible Translator 1971, p. 169ff. ) and in Nyongar as bwoka or “Kangaroo skin” (source: Warda-Kwabba Luke-Ang).

Translation commentary on Isaiah 63:3

In verses 3-6 the LORD answers the question concerning the state of his clothes. Good News Translation makes it explicit that he is responding here. His response makes extensive use of the figure of treading grapes in a wine press. This action represents punishment (compare Lam 1.15). Yahweh was angered by the Edomites’ actions against Judah during the Babylonian invasion, so he punished them. The Edomites were the descendants of Esau, so they were related to the people of Judah. They committed treachery by attacking Judah.

I have trodden the wine press alone, and from the peoples no one was with me: These two parallel lines state that Yahweh acted alone in punishing the Edomites (compare 59.16). This is in contrast to other actions in which God used an agent such as Cyrus (41.25). I have trodden the wine press does not mean God trampled the wine press, but the grapes within it. The grapes represent the Edomites and the treading action represents their punishment. The juice flowing from the grapes represents the outpouring of their lifeblood, that is, their death. From the peoples no one was with me means no one from any nation helped God. New International Version says “from the nations no one was with me” (similarly Bible en français courant [1997], Die Bibel im heutigen Deutsch). Another possible rendering is “nobody else worked with me.” Instead of the peoples, New Jerusalem Bible and New English Bible have “my people,” but Hebrew Old Testament Text Project does not endorse this reading.

I trod them in my anger and trampled them in my wrath: These two synonymous parallel lines repeat the figure of “treading,” adding the idea of God’s anger. Good News Translation combines them into one, saying “I trampled them in my anger.”

Their lifeblood is sprinkled upon my garments: As a result of treading the grapes, the juice splattered on the LORD’s clothing. This is a graphic description of the slaughter of the Edomites. The Hebrew term rendered lifeblood can mean “juice.” It occurs only here and in verse 6 in the Old Testament, so we depend on the context to determine its meaning. Here it is clearly a figure for “blood.” The verb sprinkled may be rendered “spattered.”

And I have stained all my raiment is parallel to the previous line. The spattered grape juice (that is, blood) stained the LORD’s clothing. The Hebrew verb for stained comes from the same root (gʾl) as the word for “redemption” in the next verse, so there is a play-on-words here. The Hebrew noun for raiment is a synonym of the terms for garments and “apparel.”

Translation examples for this verse are:

• “I alone have trodden the wine press,
no other person worked with me.
In my anger I trod them down,
in my fury I trampled on them.
Their blood spattered on all my clothes
and stained my garments.

• “I trod the wine press alone,
without help from anyone from any nation.
I trod them in my anger,
I trampled them in my rage.
My garments are splattered with their blood,
and all my clothes are stained red.

• “I alone crushed the grapes in the wine press,
no help came from anyone else.
I crushed them in anger,
trampled them in my fury.
All my clothes are all stained red,
splattered with their blood.

Quoted with permission from Ogden, Graham S. and Sterk, Jan. A Handbook on Isaiah. (UBS Helps for Translators). New York: UBS, 2011. For this and other handbooks for translators see here .