Wicked, Wickedness

WICKED, WICKEDNESS (Heb. ra, rasha, Gr. ponēros, ponēria). The KJV often uses these words, but later translations prefer “evil,” especially in the NT. The idea is that of a person or thing that is bad, worthless, depraved, and corrupt, and especially of a person or thing that opposes God, his will, his Messiah, and his gospel. It can describe a whole people or an individual or the state in which they are (as seen by God). Ps.37.1-Ps.37.40 has many references to wicked or evil people as they are contrasted with the godly or righteous. This Psalm begins, “Do not fret because of evil men...for like the grass they will soon wither.” Wickedness had been in the world since the entrance of sin, and because of it the Lord sent the great Flood (Gen.6.5), saving only the righteous Noah and his family.

The certainty of punishment for the wicked is often declared (e.g., Matt.13.49). God permits wickedness in this age but does not condone it, and he will judge those responsible for it.

See also Malice; Evil.——PT