In an eternal sense, to be guilty means to not be reconciled unto God. Therefore, you’d still be trapped under the law of Moses with a debt you cannot pay. The Lord Jesus came, died, and resurrected to expunge our record and make us right with God again. He takes our guilt and gives us His righteousness. Also, He gives us a new heart for our new life with Him. Let’s look at what the word guilty means in Hebrew and Greek.

All scriptures are taken from NKJV unless otherwise marked.

What Does The Word ‘Guilty’ Mean In Hebrew?

asham- to be guilty; to be punished.

rasha- morally wrong; bad person.

As a noun, this word means wicked; guilty; or ungodly. It’s used as a legal term for someone who is guilty and may even be deserving of death.

Rasha also refers to the tossing and confusion in which the wicked live and to the perpetual agitation they cause to others.

According to Proverbs 17:15, justifying the wicked is classed as a heinous crime.

The rasha is guilty of hostility to God and His people (Psalm 17:13).

The more general meaning of this word speaks to a category of people who have done wrong, are still living in sin, and are intent on continuing with wrongdoing.

The wicked in his proud countenance does not seek God;
God is in none of his thoughts.

– Psalm 10:4

That person:

  • challenges God (Psalm 10:13)
  • love violence (Psalm 11:5)
  • oppresses the righteous (Psalm 17:9)
  • does not repay his debts (Psalm 37:21)
  • lays a snare to trap the righteous (Palm 119:10)

Rasha is used of murderers (2 Samuel 4:11) and those who have sinned against the law because they are found guilty in the sight of God (Proverbs 28:4).

Psalm 37 gives a vivid description of the acts of the wicked and God’s judgment upon them.

Psalm 37

“Do not fret because of evildoers,
Nor be envious of the workers of iniquity.
For they shall soon be cut down like the grass,
And wither as the green herb.

Trust in the Lord, and do good;
Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.
Delight yourself also in the Lord,
And He shall give you the desires of your heart.

Commit your way to the Lord,
Trust also in Him,
And He shall bring it to pass.
He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light,
And your justice as the noonday.

Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him;
Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way,
Because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass.
Cease from anger, and forsake wrath;
Do not fret—it only causes harm.

For evildoers shall be cut off;
But those who wait on the Lord,
They shall inherit the earth.
10 For yet a little while and the wicked shall be no more;
Indeed, you will look carefully for his place,
But it shall be no more.
11 But the meek shall inherit the earth,
And shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.

12 The wicked plots against the just,
And gnashes at him with his teeth.
13 The Lord laughs at him,
For He sees that his day is coming.
14 The wicked have drawn the sword
And have bent their bow,
To cast down the poor and needy,
To slay those who are of upright conduct.
15 Their sword shall enter their own heart,
And their bows shall be broken.

16 A little that a righteous man has
Is better than the riches of many wicked.
17 For the arms of the wicked shall be broken,
But the Lord upholds the righteous.

18 The Lord knows the days of the upright,
And their inheritance shall be forever.
19 They shall not be ashamed in the evil time,
And in the days of famine they shall be satisfied.
20 But the wicked shall perish;
And the enemies of the Lord,
Like the splendor of the meadows, shall vanish.
Into smoke they shall vanish away.

21 The wicked borrows and does not repay,
But the righteous shows mercy and gives.
22 For those blessed by Him shall inherit the earth,
But those cursed by Him shall be cut off.

23 The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord,
And He delights in his way.
24 Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down;
For the Lord upholds him with His hand.

25 I have been young, and now am old;
Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken,
Nor his descendants begging bread.
26 He is ever merciful, and lends;
And his descendants are blessed.

27 Depart from evil, and do good;
And dwell forevermore.
28 For the Lord loves justice,
And does not forsake His saints;
They are preserved forever,
But the descendants of the wicked shall be cut off.
29 The righteous shall inherit the land,
And dwell in it forever.

30 The mouth of the righteous speaks wisdom,
And his tongue talks of justice.
31 The law of his God is in his heart;
None of his steps shall [f]slide.

32 The wicked watches the righteous,
And seeks to slay him.
33 The Lord will not leave him in his hand,
Nor condemn him when he is judged.

34 Wait on the Lord,
And keep His way,
And He shall exalt you to inherit the land;
When the wicked are cut off, you shall see it.
35 I have seen the wicked in great power,
And spreading himself like a native green tree.
36 Yet he passed away, and behold, he was no more;
Indeed I sought him, but he could not be found.

37 Mark the blameless man, and observe the upright;
For the future of that man is peace.
38 But the transgressors shall be destroyed together;
The future of the wicked shall be cut off.

39 But the salvation of the righteous is from the Lord;
He is their strength in the time of trouble.
40 And the Lord shall help them and deliver them;
He shall deliver them from the wicked,
And save them,
Because they trust in Him.

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

What Does The Word ‘Guilty’ Mean In Greek?

enochoos- liable.

opheilo- to owe; to be under obligation.

hupodikos- under sentence.

This word means “brought to trial” or “answerable to.” It’s a combination of two words:

hupo- under

dike- justice

All in all, this word means guilty.


In conclusion, the word guilty can mean legally guilty of a crime. However, it can also mean someone who is utterly wicked. This person hates God, everything He stands for, and His people. Yet, God gave every person the same gift through His grace in Christ. It’s up to each and every person to accept the gift on their own and receive eternal life.

That’s what the word guilty means in Hebrew and Greek. I pray this article was helpful to you. If so, please share this content. Also, feel free to share any thoughts in the comments below. Thanks for reading!

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