Curses in the Bible

What is a curse?

Who are the cursers?

Does God curse people? If so, who and for what causes? Is it temporary or permanent?

What nation or people have been cursed in the Bible?

Please, share your thoughts in light of the biblical texts (OT/NT). CM



  • C Mc
    C Mc Posts: 4,463
    edited January 2023

    An important topic that laid bare untouched for five months must not go to the annals as a virgin. Curse is a word intended to bring about a negative result for another. In the case of God, a curse may be an action that punishes a person or people. The biblical concept of cursing often involves the consequences of sin against God.

    Cursing relates to binding utterances with damaging connotations. It can convey a declaration of, wish for, or realization of judgment from God. It is associated with binding oaths and can refer to demeaning and harmful speech directed from one person to another.

    Making a pronouncement intended to bring about misfortune for someone.

    • Genesis 27:12–13-- pronouncement that will fall upon Jacob if Isaac is not fooled by his disguise.
    •  1 Sam 14:24 -- uttering an oath.
    • Deut 30:7 -- (ʾālâ, “oath” ) which expresses invoking a curse as laying a binding oath upon someone (e.g., Gen 26:28).

    Matt 25:41-- The word “to curse” (καταράομαι; kataraomai) refers to proclaiming misfortune.

    Curses are often depicted as a judgment or as punishment meted out upon someone who acts against God’s will. This is especially true of curses proclaimed by God.

    • The curse as a result of sin appears clearly in Genesis 3. When Adam and Eve disobeyed God by eating the forbidden fruit in the garden, the ground became cursed (אָרַר, ʾārar).
    • The serpent was also cursed (ʾārar) for leading them astray (Gen 3:14, 17).

    In contrast to the blessing promised:

    • Yahweh promises to curse (ʾārar) those who curse (קָלַל, qālal) Abram (Gen 12:3).
    • Moses warns Israel of curses (קְלָלָה, qĕlālâ) that will come if they disobey Yahweh and do not keep his commandments (Deut 28:15–68).

    Now, we know the "what" and "who" curses. Is God's curses temporary or permanent?

    What's the difference between vulgarity and curses? CM


    •  Joshua G. Mathews, “Cursing,” ed. Douglas Mangum et al., Lexham Theological Wordbook, Lexham Bible Reference Series (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2014).
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