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Hatred Contrasted with Love
Proverbs 10:12 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
12 Hatred stirs up strife,
but love covers all transgressions.
Hatred stirs up strife: This level of hatred (Heb. sinah) is an emotion of extreme intense dislike or hatred of others, which includes feelings of hostility, that can lead to actions of opposition. The Hebrew verb (teorēr) rendered stirs up means to be agitated, excited, or aroused to action. The Hebrew noun (medānim), which is in the plural refers to bitter conflict, often heated violent dissension between two people.
Hatred produces contentions in human society that are the result of extreme intense dislike or hatred, awakening some to violent actions in the form of a bitter conflict. Actually, provoking another person needlessly is a manifestation of hatred.
but love covers all transgressions: The opposite end of hatred is love (Heb. ahabah), which is a strong relationship, with a harmonious, positive emotion of regard and a strong affection for another. Love covers (Heb. keseh), which is used metaphorically for forgiving, that is removing the guilt of a wrongdoing, as an extension of hiding or concealing the transgression. The Hebrew term rendered transgression (pesha) means wantonness (depravity, debauchery, immorality, shamelessness), crime, wrongdoing, an offense against a law, duty, or moral principle. This is an overstepping, namely, to exceed a moral limit or boundary. Biblically speaking, this would be crossing the line and saying, feeling, thinking or doing something that is contrary to God’s personality, standards, ways, will and purposes, as set out in the Scriptures. It is breaking God’s moral law. However, in the book of Proverbs, at times, it is used for those who have committed personal offenses against another.
Hatred is like a disease in humanity today. We are constantly being told that we are living in an enlightened world that far removed from the savagery of the past. Yet at every level of society, we see constant evidence of the sad truth expressed here: “Hatred stirs up strife.” Godly contains empathy and understanding, as it does not expect perfection from imperfect people. This kind of love is willing to put up with a lot. When someone makes a mistake, rather than becoming angry over it and sharing it with others, godly love will cause us to seek to overlook and protect the erring one when there has been no serious wrongdoing. Through mistreatment as a Christian in this fallen world, love “covers all transgressions.” If we possess a deep love for God and a love for neighbor, we will cover over the mistakes and shortcomings of others.