Examples of Mental Illness in the Bible: Hebrew Greek word study insanity madness


1.       The Bible clearly says that God will strike sinners with madness as a curse.

a.       Exactly how God accomplishes this is unknown.

b.       Paranoia, panic and horror was a key factor in why armies would turn on themselves.

c.        Whereas Nebuchadnezzar was directly and miraculously stricken by God with insanity, Saul on the other hand, gradually became more psychotic with paranoia and delusion out of jealously, anger towards David and rebellion to God.

2.       When God defeated the armies who attacked Israel, he did so by striking them with madness so that they began to kill each other in a psychotic panic of confusion and delusion. Originally madness simply means: “one who has sudden, unpredictable, wild outbursts of uncontrollable anger for no apparent reason accompanied with delusion and paranoia”.

3.       “For this reason God will send upon them a deluding [planē, 4106] influence [energeia, 1753] so that they will believe what is false” 2 Thessalonians 2:11

4.       Hebrew words for insanity/madness:

a.       “shaga”, 7696 “to be mad”

b.       “shiggaon”, 7697 “madness”

c.        “Timmahown”, 8541 “confusion, mental illness”

d.       “mehumah”, 4103 “confusion, panic”

e.       “taam”, 2940 “discretion, discernment and good judgment [lack of]”

f.         “halal”, 1984 “shining, boastful, madness”

g.         “hamam”, 2000 “confuse, discomfort, vex, trouble, destroy, discomfort”

5.       Greek words:

a.       “existemi”, 1839 “he lost his senses”

b.       “mainomai”, 3105 “maniac, manic”

c.        “planē, 4106 + energeia, 1753 “delusion influence/behaviour”

d.       “Paraphronia”, 3913, “madness (from para, contrary to, and phrēn, the mind)”


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