Nearly six different Hebrew roots and three major Greek roots are used to translate the word "wrath" in the Bible's original languages. For brevity's sake we will only cover two of the main words for wrath in each of the Testaments, with some observations at the end. In both the Hebrew and Aramaic of the Old Testament we find two of the most common words for wrath that each aid the reader in understanding the concept of wrath.
The first main word (qa-tef) refers to the provoking of a person to anger. In human beings such wrath occurs when a person is compelled to respond in an angry manner against a perceived wrong or possible damage to one's reputation (Esther 1:18).
The second Hebrew word (cha-ma) is used the most times (122) to describe wrath in the Hebrew Bible.3 Whenever the word (cha-ma) appears, the type of wrath being expressed refers to an anger that arises at the end of a process of long standing sin. This word is used to describe the type of wrath God displayed when a nation or people reaches the final stages of sin and rebellion and is used most often in prophetic texts to describe God's wrath against sinful man at the end of history in final judgment (compare Deuteronomy 29:28; Micah 5:15).
Top New Testament words translated "wrath"
The second Greek word translated wrath in the New Testament is the word (thu-mos) which is very similar to the Hebrew word (cha-ma) in regards to referring to an anger that is heated and passionate for what is right, Holy, pure and hateful of what is sinful. When God displays (thumos), it refers to an anger that has risen gradually overtime and settles into a fixed pattern against sin. Both of these words are expressed most frequently in the books of Romans and Revelation.
What we learn from the above word studies on the word "wrath" in the Bible
2. The people to whom God directs His wrath are not innocent, but knowingly, willingly and with a high-hand persist in ignoring His repeated warnings to forsake their sin.
3. Wrath is a necessary component in communicating the Gospel and warning sinners of His wrath that will be executed in the judgment He will bring upon this world at Christ's second coming.
4. God's wrath is not an out-of-control anger or a sinful anger like it often can be in human beings. Wrath in God describes what He hates - namely sin and unrighteousness.
5. If God were not the God of wrath, He could not be the God of love. Why? Because if God loved everything, He could not be the God of love, since the love of God cannot love righteousness and unrighteousness, what is holy and profane or love what is opposite of His character and yet be zealous for His name at the same time. Theologian Wayne Grudem affirms this point:
Closing thoughts about the wrath of God