What the scriptures say about
v. make angry, insult | n. crime, sin, assult
YourDictionary.com to create resentment, anger, or displeasure; give offense
Merriam-Webster: to transgress the moral or divine law: sin

We first learn of offense when another person offends us.
Later we realize that we sometimes offend others,
and that going against God's requirements offends Him.
Jesus, who never sinned, sometimes offended other Jews,
even with the truth.

How does God use offense?

Easton's Bible Dictionary | Smith's Bible Dictionary | International Standard Bible Encyclopedia | Thompson Chain Reference
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OFFEND, OFFENDER, OFFENSIVE in scriptures [BibleGateway Search]   Site search: FreeFind

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One person sometimes offends another by accident -

    Exodus 21:22, the offender pays restitution

Court justice for offended and offender -

    Deuteronomy 19:15, offender not convicted with 1 witness
"One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity,
or for any sin, in any sin that he sins:
at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses,
shall a matter be established."
People offend God -

    1 Kings 8:44-51, man's sins offend God to finally anger Him
"..If they sin against you [God]
(for there is no man who doesnít sin),
and you are angry with them..." 1Ki 8:46a
People don't always realise their offenses -

    Job 13:23, doing wrong, sin, disobedience, (offense)

Deal with it: ask God about your offenses -

    Psalm 139:23-24, God will search and reveal wickedness (offenses) in me

Dealing with someone who offended you -

    Proverbs 17:9, talking about offenses separates friends
"He who covers an offense promotes love;
but he who repeats a matter separates best friends."
Dealing with someone who offended you -

    Proverbs 19:11, with wisdom & patience, overlook offenses
"The discretion of a man makes him slow to anger.
It is his glory to overlook an offense."
Dealing with a ruler's offense -

    Ecclesiastes 10:4, calm gentleness can heal offenses
"If the spirit of the ruler rises up against you, donít leave your place;
for gentleness lays great offenses to rest."
God's offer to deal with our offenses -

    Isaiah 44:22, the redeemed are to stop offending
"I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, your transgressions,
and, as a cloud, your sins.
Return to me, for I have redeemed you. "
People offend God -

    Isaiah 59:1-15, how people offend God
"..your iniquities have separated between you and your God,
and your sins have hidden his face from you,
so that he will not hear." Is 59:2
Some people are offended by God's word -

    Jeremiah 6:10, whoever keeps finding God's word offensive eventually can't hear it
"To whom shall I speak and testify, that they may hear?
Behold, their ear is uncircumcised, and they canít listen.
Behold, the word of Yahweh has become a reproach to them.
They have no delight in it."
Some people are offended by God's instructions -

    Jeremiah 24:1-10, Jews who went into Babylonian captivity for punishment, obeyed Him.
      Those whose actions refused to obey, offended Him

Take responsibility for offending God -

    Ezekiel 18:1-32, examples of being responsible for one's own sins and own repenting
"The soul who sins, he shall die:
the son shall not bear the iniquity of the father,
neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son;
the righteousness of the righteous shall be on him,
and the wickedness of the wicked shall be on him." (Eze 18:20)
People who offend defile themselves -

    Ezekiel 37:23, offenses defile the offender; God offers salvation
"neither shall they defile themselves any more with their idols,
nor with their detestable things,
nor with any of their transgressions;
but I will save them out of all their dwelling places, in which they have sinned,
and will cleanse them: so shall they be my people,
and I will be their God."

Correction for people who offend -

    Ezekiel 39:23-25, God offers a time of punishment before a time of salvation
" According to their uncleanness and according to their transgressions
did I to them; and I hid my face from them." (Eze 39:24)
Living among offensive people -

    Amos 5:10-15, living among those who hate justice & truth
"For I know how many your offenses,
and how great are your sinsó
you who afflict the just,
who take a bribe,
and who turn aside the needy in the courts.

Therefore a prudent person keeps silent
in such a time, for it is an evil time.

Seek good, and not evil, that you may live;
and so Yahweh, the God of Armies,
will be with you, as you say.

Hate evil, love good, and establish justice in the courts.
It may be that Yahweh, the God of Armies,
will be gracious to the remnant of Joseph." (Amos 5:12-15)

Many people were (are) offended by Jesus
      Matthew 13:54, Mark 6:3
Before worship, reconcile with someone who has something against you
      Matthew 5:23-24
Disciplining and forgiving an offender
      2 Corinthians 2:5-11
a stumbling block offense

Leviticus 19:14 - don't make fun of blind people
Ezekiel 14 - relying on idolatry will trip you up
Matthew 16:23 - putting human concerns ahead of the concerns of God is a stumbling block
Romans 14:13-14 and 1Corinthians 8:9 - passing judgment on one another is a stumbling block. "If anyone regards something as unclean, then for that person it is unclean."
1Corinthians 1:23 - preaching Christ crucified to Jews as a positive is a stumbling block

distressing (offending) another over something you think is right but he/she doesn't
Romans 14:6, 14:16-22, 1 Corinthians 8, 10:23-33
This example refers to food you eat, but how else might we offend others? Words? Actions?

OFFENCE [Easton's Bible Dictionary]

  • An injury or wrong done to one (1 Samuel 25:31; Romans 5:15).
  • A stumbling-block or cause of temptation (Isaiah 8:14; Matthew 16:23; 18:7). Greek skandalon, properly that at which one stumbles or takes offence.
    The "offence of the cross" (Galatians 5:11) is the offence the Jews took at the teaching that salvation was by the crucified One, and by him alone.

    Salvation by the cross was a stumbling-block to their national pride.

  • OFFEND [Smith's Bible Dictionary] (none)

    OFFENCE, OFFEND [International Standard Bible Encyclopedia]

    o-fens', o-fend' (mikhshol, 'asham, chaTa'; skandalon, skandalizo): "Offend" is either transitive or intransitive.

    As transitive it is primarily "to strike against," hence, "to displease" "to make angry," "to do harm to," "to affront," in Scripture, "to cause to sin";

    intransitive it is "to sin," "to cause anger," in Scripture, "to be caused to sin."

    "Offence" is either the cause of anger, displeasure, etc., or a sin.

    In Scripture we have the special significance of a stumbling-block, or cause of falling, sin, etc.

    1. Old Testament Usage:
    In the Old Testament it is frequently the translation of 'asham, "to be guilty," "to transgress": Jeremiah 2:3, the Revised Version (British and American) "shall be held guilty"; Jeremiah 50:7, the Revised Version (British and American) "not guilty"; Ezekiel 25:12, "hath greatly offended"; Hosea 4:15, the Revised Version margin "become guilty"; Hosea 5:15, "till they acknowledge their offense," the Revised Version margin "have borne their guilt"; Hosea 13:1, "He offended in Baal," the Revised Version margin "became guilty"; Habakkuk 1:11, "He shall pass over, and offend, (imputing) this his power unto his god," the Revised Version (British and American) "Then shall he sweep by (as) a wind, and shall pass over (margin "transgress"), and be guilty, (even) he whose might is his god."

    In 2 Ch 28:13, we have 'ashmath `al, literally, "the offense against," the Revised Version (British and American) "a trespass (margin "or guilt") against Yahweh"; we have also chaTa', "to miss the mark," "to sin," "to err" (Genesis 20:9, the Revised Version (British and American) "sinned against thee"; Genesis 40:1, "offended their lord"; 2 Kings 18:14; Jeremiah 37:18, the Revised Version (British and American) "sinned against thee"); baghadh, "to deal treacherously" (Psalms 73:15, "offend against the generation of thy children," the Revised Version (British and American) "dealt treacherously with"); chabhal, "to act wickedly" (Job 34:31); mikhshol, "a stumbling block" (Leviticus 19:14; translated in Isaiah 8:14, "a rock of offense"; compare Ezekiel 14:3; 1 Samuel 25:31; Psalms 119:165, "nothing shall offend," the Revised Version (British and American) "no occasion of stumbling"; compare Isaiah 57:14; Jeremiah 6:21, etc.); pasha`, "to be fractious," "to transgress" (Proverbs 18:19, "a brother offended," the Revised Version margin "injured"). "Offence" is mikhshol (see above, 1 Samuel 25:31; Isaiah 8:14); cheT', "sin," etc. (Ecclesiastes 10:4, "Yielding pacifleth great offenses," the American Standard Revised Version "Gentleness (the English Revised Version "yielding") allayeth," the American Revised Version margin "Calmness (the English Revised Version "gentleness") leaveth great sins undone"). "Offender" is chaTTa' (1 Kings 1:21, margin "Hebrew: sinners"; Isaiah 29:21, "that make a man an offender for a word," the American Standard Revised Version "that make a man an offender in his cause," margin "make men to offend by (their) words," or, "for a word," the English Revised Version "in a cause," margin "make men to offend by (their) words").

    2. New Testament Usage:
    The New Testament usage of these words deserves special attention. The word most frequently translated "offend" in the King James Version is skandalizo (skandalon, "offence"), very frequent in the Gospels (Matthew 5:29, "if thy right eye offend thee"; Matthew 5:30; 11:6; 18:6, "whoso shall offend one of these little ones"; Matthew 13:41, "all things that offend"; Luke 17:1, "It is impossible but that offenses will come," etc.; Romans 14:21; 16:17, "Mark them which cause .... offenses"; 1 Corinthians 8:13 twice, "if meat make my brother to offend," etc.). Skandalon is primarily "a trap-stick," "a bentstick on which the bait is fastened which the animal strikes against and so springs the trap," hence, it came to denote a "snare," or anything which one strikes against injuriously (it is Septuagint's word for moqesh, a "noose" or "snare," Joshua 23:13; 1 Samuel 18:21); "a stumbling-block" Septuagint for mikhshol (see above), Leviticus 19:14). For skandalizo, skandalon, translated in the King James Version, "offend," "offence," the Revised Version (British and American) gives "cause to stumble," "stumbling-block," etc.; thus, Matthew 5:29, "if thy right eye causeth thee to stumble," i.e. "is an occasion for thy falling into sin"; Matthew 16:23, "Thou art a stumbling-block unto me," an occasion of turning aside from the right path; in Matthew 26:31,33 twice, "offended" is retained, margin, Matthew 26:33 twice, "Greek: caused to stumble" (same word in Matthew 26:31); Mark 9:42, "whosoever shall cause one of these little ones that believe on me to stumble," to fall away from the faith, or fall into sin; Luke 17:1, "It is impossible but that occasions of stumbling should come; but woe unto him, through whom they come"; in Romans 14:21; 16:17; in 1 Corinthians 8, Paul's language has the same meaning, and we see how truly he had laid to heart the Saviour's earnest admonitions--"weak brethren" with him answering to the master's "little ones who believe"; Romans 14:21, "It is good not to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor to do anything whereby thy brother stumbleth," i.e. "is led by your example to do that which he cannot do with a good conscience"; Romans 14:20, "It is evil for that man who eateth with offense (dia proskommatos)," so as to place a stumbling-block before his brother, or, rather, `without the confidence that he is doing right'; compare Romans 14:23, "He that doubteth is condemned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith; and whatsoever is not of faith is sin"; so 1 Corinthians 8:13; Romans 16:17, "Mark them that are causing the divisions and occasions of stumbling, contrary to the doctrine, (margin "teaching") which ye learned" (Is not the "teaching" of Christ Himself implied here?). Everything that would embolden another to do that which would be wrong for him, or that would turn anyone away from the faith, must be carefully avoided, seeking to please, not ourselves, but to care for our brother, "for whom Christ died," "giving no occasion of stumbling (proskope) in anything" (2 Corinthians 6:3).

    Aproskopos, "not causing to stumble," is translated "void of offense" (Acts 24:16, "a conscience void of offense"; 1 Corinthians 10:32, the Revised Version (British and American) "occasion of stumbling"; Philippians 1:10, "void of offense"); hamartano, "to miss the mark," "to sin," "to err," is translated "offended" (Acts 25:8, the Revised Version (British and American) "sinned"); hamartia, "sin," "error" (2 Corinthians 11:7, the Revised Version (British and American) "Did I commit a sin?"); ptaio, "to stumble," "fall" (James 2:10; 3:2 twice, "offend," the Revised Version (British and American) "stumble," "stumbleth"); paraptoma, "a falling aside or away," is translated "offence" (Romans 4:25; 5:15 twice,Romans 16,17,18,20, in each case the Revised Version (British and American) "trespass"); adikeo, "to be unrighteous" (Acts 25:11, the Revised Version (British and American) "wrongdoer," the King James Version "offender").

    In the Apocrypha we have "offence" (skandalon, Judith 12:2), the Revised Version (British and American) "I will not eat thereof, lest there be an occasion of stumbling"; "offend" (hamartano, Ecclesiastes 7:7), the Revised Version (British and American) "sin"; "greatly offended" (prosochthizo, Ecclesiasticus 25:2); "offended" (skandalizo, Ecclesiasticus 32:15), the Revised Version (British and American) "stumble."

    W. L Walker

    OFFENCES [Thompson Chain Reference]
    * (causes of stumbling)
        * Matthew 18:7
        * Mark 9:43
        * Romans 14:21
        * 1 Corinthians 10:32
        * 2 Corinthians 6:3
        * SEE Evil; Influence

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