The Bible speaks many times about items that are cursed or actions that would cause people and their children to be cursed. But what does the word cursed mean in Hebrew and Greek? Let’s take a look.

All scriptures are taken from NKJV unless otherwise marked.

What Does The Word ‘Cursed’ Mean In Hebrew?

arar- to execrate (place a curse).

The first occurrence of this word is found in Genesis 3:14:

“So the Lord God said to the serpent:

“Because you have done this,
You are cursed more than all cattle,
And more than every beast of the field;
On your belly you shall go,
And you shall eat dust
All the days of your life.”

It’s a pronouncement of judgment on those who break the covenant. “Cursed is the man…” appears 12 times in Deuteronomy 27:15-26.

Curse is often parallel with bless. For example, Cursed is the man who trusts in man… Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord…” found in Jeremiah chapter 17.

Pagans used the power of cursing to deal with their enemies, but God alone is the one who truly curses.

The word curse in the Old Testament can be summed up in the statement: “Cursed is the man who does not obey the words of this covenant” (Jeremiah 11:3).

Jesus came to take away the curses of those who fail short of the Law.

“Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”)…”

– Galatians 3:13


barak- to bless God (as an act of adoration) or to curse.

Barak means “blessed; to blessed; curse; to kneel.” The first occurrence of this word is found in Genesis 1:22. God blessed Adam and Eve telling them to be fruitful and multiply.

God blesses many nations through Abraham and his seed. He does this either through His representatives or directly. He’s the subject of this verb over 100 times.

It’s also used to speak of God’s blessing on men.

However, six times this verb is used to mention profanity.


Related: What Does The Word ‘Blaspheme’ Mean In Hebrew and Greek?

cherum- a doomed object. 

This word is translated into an “accursed thing” nine times.

naqab- to puncture.


Naqab is used as the word curse six times.

qabab- to malign or execrate (to stab with words).

qelalah- vilification.

What Does The Word ‘Cursed’ Mean In Greek?

epikataratos- imprecate, execrable.

As an adjective, this word means “cursed, accursed, lying under God’s curse, and exposed to divine vengeance.”

katara- imprecation, execration.

This word can mean any of the following things:

  • a curse uttered out of malevolence (2 Peter 2:1-4)
  • a curse pronounced by God in His righteous judgment
  • or a curse on those who seek justification through the law (Gal 3:10)

kataraomai- to execrate, curse.

As a verb, this word means to pray against or to wish evil against a thing or person.

“And Peter, remembering, said to Him, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree which You cursed has withered away.”

– Mark 11:21


In conclusion, curses can come from disobeying God’s Word or from someone who wishes to harm you. That’s why it’s important to stay prayed up, close to God, and full of the Holy Spirit at all times.

All in all, that’s what the word cursed means in Hebrew and Greek. I pray you found this article helpful. If so, please share this content. Also, feel free to comment any thoughts below. Thanks for reading!

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