Bitter is sweet • Bitterness
The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Revised
Bitter; Bitterness
Bitter; Bitterness [Heb. mar, mārar, mōrâ, me, merōrâ, merōrîm, tamrûrîm, memer, mammerōrîm, merîrûṯ, mārûḏ, also la‘a—‘wormwood’ (“bitter fruit,” Dt. 29:18), rō‘š—‘gall’ (Lam. 3:5), nihyâ (Mic. 2:4); Gk. pikraínō, pikrós, pikría]; AV also GRIEF, GRIEVE, MISERY,
The Wycliffe Bible Encyclopedia
BITTER. In one form or another, the word is used 65 times, mostly in the OT. It may be of things concrete, as herbs (Ex 12:8; Num 9:11); or water, as at Marah, “bitter,” i.e., brackish (Ex 15:23); or in the water trial for a woman’s adultery (Num 5:16–28); of the stomach (Rev 10:9–10); and even of people
Eerdmans Bible Dictionary
Bitter. In general, something disagreeable to the sense of taste (in the Old Testament, Heb. mārar or a derivative; in the New Testament, Gk. pikrós or a derivative). The Old Testament mentions bitter herbs (Exod. 12:8), bitter grapes (Deut. 32:32; JB “envenomed”), and bitter water, which comes
The New Unger’s Bible Dictionary
BITTER (some form of Heb. mārar; Gk. pikros). Bitterness in Scripture is symbolic of affliction, misery, servitude (Ex. 1:14; Ruth 1:20; Prov. 5:4), and wickedness (Jer. 4:18). A time of mourning and lamentation is called a “bitter day” (Amos 8:10). The “gall of bitterness” describes a state of extreme
Easton’s Bible Dictionary
BitterBitterness is symbolical of affliction, misery, and servitude (Ex. 1:14; Ruth 1:20; Jer. 9:15). The Chaldeans are called the “bitter and hasty nation” (Hab. 1:6). The “gall of bitterness” expresses a state of great wickedness (Acts 8:23). A “root of bitterness” is a wicked person or a dangerous
Nelson’s New Illustrated Bible Dictionary
BITTERNESS — in the Old Testament, a symbol of hard bondage, misery, and the ruin that follows immorality (Ex. 1:14). The Passover was to be eaten with “bitter herbs” (Num. 9:11), representing the affliction of Egyptian bondage. The waters of Marah were “bitter,” probably meaning salty, briny, brackish
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
BITTER; BITTERNESS<bit’-er>, <bit’-er-nes> (מַר‎ [mar], or מָרָה‎ [marah] = “bitter” (literally or figuratively); also (noun) “bitterness” or (adverb) “bitterly”; “angry,” “chafed,” “discontented,” “heavy” (Genesis 27:34; Exodus 15:23; Numbers 5:18, 19, 23, 24, 27; Est 4:1;
The Zondervan Encyclopedia of the Bible, Volume 1, A–C
Bitter, Bitterness
bitter, bitterness. These English terms usually render Hebrew mārar H5352 and derivatives, and Greek pikrainō G4393 and derivatives. Israel was commanded at the Feast of Passover to eat bitter herbs with the roast lamb and unleavened bread (Exod. 12:8). The observance was meant to symbolize the bitterness
The International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia, Volumes 1–5
Bitter, Bitterness
BITTER, bitʹẽr, BITTERNESS, bitʹẽr-nes (מַר‎, mar, or מָרָה‎, mārāh = “bitter” [lit. or fig.]; also [noun] “bitterness” or [adv.] “bitterly”; “angry,” “chafed,” “discontented,” “heavy” [Gen 27:34; Ex 15:23; Nu 5:18, 19, 23, 24, 27; Est 4:1; Job 3:20; Ps 64:3; Prov 5:4; 27:7; Eccl 7:26; Isa 5:20; Jer
The New Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible, Volumes 1–5
BITTER [מָרַרmarar; πικραίνω pikrainō]. Describes undesirable feelings, taste, morals, and motivation; it even becomes a personal and place name. It labels attitudes analogous to the flavor it describes. The quintessential example of this is the bitter herbs used in the Passover ritual (Exod 12:8;
Key passages
Ex 12:8

And they will eat the meat on this night; they will eat it fire-roasted and with unleavened bread on bitter herbs.

Am 8:10

And I will turn your feasts into mourning and all of your songs into lament, and I will put sackcloth on all loins and baldness on every head. And I will make it like the mourning for an only child, and its end like a bitter day.

Ac 8:23

For I see you are in a state of bitter envy and bound by unrighteousness.”

Heb 12:15

Take care that no one falls short of the grace of God; that no one growing up like a root of bitterness causes trouble, and by it many become defiled;

Jas 3:14

But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and tell lies against the truth.

See also
Topics & Themes