31 Bible Verses About Evil Doers (with Explanations)

The Bible offers a candid look at the reality of evil and the presence of those who choose paths contrary to God’s will. These verses about evildoers provide insight into the nature of sin, its consequences, and ultimately, God’s sovereignty over darkness.

While they may be challenging to confront, these verses serve important purposes. They remind us of the fallen nature of humanity and the ongoing battle between good and evil. They warn us against the seductive nature of sin and the dangerous path that wickedness offers.

As we explore these verses about evildoers, may we gain a deeper understanding of the destructive nature of sin and the importance of choosing righteousness. May these passages empower us to live as lights in the world, reflecting the goodness of God and standing firm in the face of evil.

Also Read: Bible Verses to Fight Evil Thoughts (with Explanations)

Bible Verses About Evil Doers

Proverbs 2:12-15 (NIV)

“Wisdom will save you from the ways of wicked men, from men whose words are perverse, who have left the straight paths to walk in dark ways, who delight in doing wrong and rejoice in the perverseness of evil.”

Proverbs 2:12-15 offers profound insights into the nature of evil doers. The verses emphasize the protective power of wisdom in steering individuals away from the paths of wickedness. The depiction of evil doers abandoning straight paths to walk in dark ways conveys a deliberate departure from moral and righteous conduct.

The joy they find in doing wrong reflects a distorted moral compass, highlighting the perverse pleasure derived from engaging in malicious actions. This passage serves as a cautionary reminder, urging individuals to seek wisdom as a safeguard against the allure of darkness and the enticements of those who delight in evil.

Psalm 37:1-2 (NIV)

“Do not fret because of those who are evil or be envious of those who do wrong; for like the grass, they will soon wither, like green plants, they will soon die away.”

Psalm 37:1-2 provides a perspective shift for those facing the challenge of evil doers. The counsel not to fret or be envious of wrongdoers implies a trust in divine justice and a recognition of the transient nature of their actions.

The analogy of withering grass and dying green plants portrays the temporal success of those who engage in evil deeds.

Proverbs 24:19-20 (NIV)

“Do not fret because of evildoers or be envious of the wicked, for the evildoer has no future hope, and the lamp of the wicked will be snuffed out.”

Proverbs 24:19-20 echoes the sentiment of Psalm 37, emphasizing the futility of fretting over evildoers. The assertion that the evildoer has no future hope underscores the spiritual bankruptcy inherent in a life devoted to wickedness.

This passage encourages believers to anchor their perspective in the assurance that, despite temporary appearances, the destiny of evildoers is characterized by hopelessness and the eventual extinguishing of their ill-gotten gains.

Matthew 7:15 (NIV)

“Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.”

In Matthew 7:15, Jesus issues a warning about false prophets, highlighting the deceptive nature of those who appear harmless but harbor malicious intentions. The metaphor of coming in sheep’s clothing underscores the camouflage used by evil doers to conceal their true nature.

This verse serves as a call to discernment, urging believers to be vigilant and discerning in identifying those who may exploit appearances to lead others astray. It emphasizes the importance of spiritual discernment to safeguard against the hidden ferocity of those who engage in deceptive and harmful practices.

Psalm 94:3-4 (NIV)

“How long, Lord, will the wicked, how long will the wicked be jubilant? They pour out arrogant words; all the evildoers are full of boasting.”

Psalm 94:3-4 expresses a lament over the apparent success and boasting of the wicked. The psalmist’s plea, “How long, Lord?” reflects the human struggle in witnessing the seeming prosperity of evildoers.

The emphasis on arrogant words and boasting highlights the audacity of those who engage in wickedness. This passage provides a raw expression of the tension believers may experience when confronted with the unbridled boasting of evil doers, prompting a cry for divine intervention and justice.

Proverbs 4:14-15 (NIV)

“Do not set foot on the path of the wicked or walk in the way of evildoers. Avoid it, do not travel on it; turn from it and go on your way.”

Proverbs 4:14-15 offers practical advice on avoiding entanglement with evil doers. The direct instruction not to set foot on their path underscores the proactive role individuals play in safeguarding themselves from the influence of wickedness.

The repetition of the exhortation to avoid, not travel on, and turn from the path of evildoers emphasizes the urgency and decisiveness required to maintain moral integrity.

Romans 12:21 (NIV)

“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”

In Romans 12:21, the apostle Paul provides a transformative perspective on dealing with evil. The directive not to be overcome by evil emphasizes the potential for negative influence and spiritual defeat. However, the call to overcome evil with good introduces a proactive and redemptive approach.

This verse challenges believers to respond to evil not with retaliation but with acts of goodness and love, ultimately breaking the cycle of malevolence.

Psalm 10:2-4 (NIV)

“In his arrogance, the wicked man hunts down the weak, who are caught in the schemes he devises. He boasts about the cravings of his heart; he blesses the greedy and reviles the Lord. In his pride, the wicked man does not seek him; in all his thoughts, there is no room for God.”

Psalm 10:2-4 provides a vivid portrayal of the wicked in their arrogance. The imagery of hunting down the weak exposes the ruthless exploitation of those vulnerable to their schemes. The boasting about selfish desires and blessings for the greedy reveals the corrupted values embraced by the wicked.

The rejection of seeking God and the absence of Him in their thoughts underline the spiritual void resulting from pride. This passage serves as a stark reminder of the destructive nature of wickedness, urging reflection on the consequences of pursuing a path devoid of God.

Proverbs 6:16-19 (NIV)

“There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.”

Proverbs 6:16-19 provides a concise list of qualities detested by the Lord, revealing the characteristics of evildoers. The mention of haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands shedding innocent blood emphasizes the moral decay inherent in their actions.

The condemnation of a heart devising wicked schemes and feet rushing into evil underscores the deliberate and swift engagement in wrongdoing. A false witness and a person stirring up conflict expose the destructive impact of deceit and discord.

James 4:7-8a (NIV)

“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you.”

James 4:7-8a offers practical guidance on resisting evil. The call to submit to God implies a surrendering of one’s will and allegiance to divine authority. The directive to resist the devil signifies an active stance against the forces of wickedness. The promise that the devil will flee underscores the power of a God-centered resistance.

Coming near to God is presented as the antidote to evil, emphasizing the transformative and protective nature of a close relationship with the divine. This passage encourages believers to cultivate spiritual resilience and intimacy with God as a means to effectively combat the schemes of the wicked.

Ephesians 6:12 (NIV)

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

Ephesians 6:12 provides a broader perspective on the nature of the battle against evil. The declaration that the struggle is not against flesh and blood emphasizes the spiritual dimension of the conflict.

The enumeration of rulers, authorities, and spiritual forces of evil highlights the organized and pervasive nature of these malevolent influences.

1 Peter 3:9 (NIV)

“Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.”

1 Peter 3:9 introduces a counterintuitive response to evil—repaying it with blessing. This verse challenges the instinct to retaliate and encourages believers to break the cycle of vengeance.

The connection between repaying evil with blessing and inheriting a blessing underscores the redemptive power of responding to malevolence with goodness. This passage aligns with the teachings of Jesus, emphasizing the transformative impact of love and benevolence in the face of evil.

Matthew 26:52-53 (NIV)

“Put your sword back in its place,’ Jesus said to him, ‘for all who draw the sword will die by the sword. Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels?'”

In Matthew 26:52-53, Jesus provides a profound lesson on responding to evil through non-violence. The rebuke of using the sword and the assurance of divine intervention illustrate the supremacy of spiritual means over earthly weapons. Jesus’ acknowledgment of the availability of angelic assistance emphasizes the sovereign authority at His disposal.

This passage challenges believers to trust in God’s ultimate justice and to resist the temptation to combat evil through worldly methods.

Romans 12:17-21 (NIV)

“Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord.”

Romans 12:17-21 extends the theme of responding to evil with a comprehensive ethical framework. The injunction not to repay evil for evil aligns with the teaching of Jesus and underlines the call to higher moral ground.

The emphasis on doing what is right in the eyes of everyone and pursuing peace reflects the aspirational nature of Christian conduct. The exhortation not to take revenge, leaving room for God’s wrath, reinforces the divine role in justice.

Proverbs 28:1 (NIV)

“The wicked flee though no one pursues, but the righteous are as bold as a lion.”

Proverbs 28:1 contrasts the demeanor of the wicked and the righteous. The imagery of the wicked fleeing without pursuit speaks to an underlying sense of guilt, fear, or unease, even in the absence of external threats.

In contrast, the righteous are described as bold as a lion, highlighting their confidence and fearlessness rooted in moral uprightness. This verse invites reflection on the internal peace and assurance that accompany a life of righteousness, contrasting the restlessness often experienced by those engaged in wrongdoing.

Romans 12:2 (NIV)

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

Romans 12:2 provides a foundational principle for navigating the influences of evil in the world. The call not to conform to the world’s patterns underscores the importance of maintaining a distinct moral identity.

The power of renewing the mind emphasizes the ongoing process of aligning one’s thoughts with God’s truth. This verse offers a proactive approach, empowering believers to discern and align with God’s will amidst the prevailing patterns of the world.

Galatians 5:22-23 (NIV)

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”

Galatians 5:22-23 shifts the focus to the positive attributes that characterize a life influenced by the Spirit. The contrast between the fruit of the Spirit and the works of the flesh, outlined in the preceding verses, underscores the transformative impact of the Holy Spirit.

This passage serves as a guide for believers, highlighting the virtues that should manifest in their lives as they resist the pull of evil. The absence of legal constraints against such fruit emphasizes their alignment with God’s divine order.

Colossians 3:2 (NIV)

“Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.”

Colossians 3:2 directs believers to redirect their focus from earthly concerns to heavenly priorities. This call to set minds on things above speaks to the importance of maintaining an eternal perspective.

The transient nature of earthly things, influenced by the currents of evil, contrasts with the enduring and righteous nature of heavenly pursuits.

2 Timothy 2:22 (NIV)

“Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.”

2 Timothy 2:22 provides practical guidance on resisting evil desires. The imperative to flee underscores the urgency and decisiveness required in avoiding the pitfalls of youthful and worldly cravings.

The directive to pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace presents a positive alternative, encouraging believers to actively engage in a virtuous pursuit. The emphasis on communal efforts, joining with those who call on the Lord with a pure heart, reinforces the supportive role of like-minded companions in the journey of resisting evil.

John 17:15-16 (NIV)

“My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it.”

In John 17:15-16, Jesus offers a prayer for protection against the influence of the evil one. The distinction between being in the world but not of it highlights the tension believers face as they navigate a fallen world.

The prayer for protection acknowledges the spiritual challenges posed by the evil one while affirming the divine safeguarding of those who belong to Christ.

Proverbs 10:2 (NIV)

“Ill-gotten treasures have no lasting value, but righteousness delivers from death.”

Proverbs 10:2 contrasts the ephemeral nature of ill-gotten gains with the enduring value of righteousness. The emphasis on lasting value underscores the temporal and ultimately unsatisfying nature of treasures acquired through wrongful means.

In contrast, righteousness is portrayed as a deliverer from death, suggesting its redemptive and life-preserving qualities. This verse prompts reflection on the quality and source of one’s pursuits, urging a commitment to values that transcend immediate gains and lead to enduring deliverance.

1 Corinthians 15:33 (NIV)

“Do not be misled: ‘Bad company corrupts good character.'”

In 1 Corinthians 15:33, Paul issues a caution against the influence of companionship. The warning not to be misled underscores the potential deception in underestimating the impact of one’s associations.

The adage “Bad company corrupts good character” communicates the idea that the moral fiber of an individual can be compromised by the influence of those with questionable character.

Matthew 5:14-16 (NIV)

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead, they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”

Matthew 5:14-16 employs the metaphor of light to convey the transformative impact of righteous living. The declaration “You are the light of the world” underscores the responsibility of believers to illuminate their surroundings with moral and virtuous conduct.

The call to let one’s light shine before others links righteous actions to the glorification of God. This passage encourages believers to embrace their role as agents of positive influence, contributing to the spiritual illumination of the world.

Ephesians 4:27 (NIV)

“and do not give the devil a foothold.”

Ephesians 4:27 issues a concise but powerful injunction against providing opportunities for the devil’s influence. The metaphor of a foothold conveys the idea of granting the adversary a position from which to exert control.

This verse emphasizes the importance of vigilant self-awareness and proactive resistance against actions or attitudes that could open doors to malevolent forces. It serves as a practical reminder of the ongoing spiritual battle and the need for believers to guard against compromising situations that may give the enemy a foothold in their lives.

Philippians 4:8 (NIV)

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”

Philippians 4:8 presents a positive directive for the mental focus of believers. The list of virtues—truth, nobility, righteousness, purity, loveliness, and admirability—encourages a deliberate and intentional mindset.

The call to think about things that are excellent and praiseworthy underscores the transformative power of cultivating a positive thought life. This verse aligns with the broader biblical theme of renewing the mind and emphasizes the role of intentional thinking in resisting the pull of evil.

1 Peter 5:8-9 (NIV)

“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.”

1 Peter 5:8-9 provides a vivid metaphorical description of the devil’s predatory nature. The comparison to a roaring lion underscores the urgency and potential danger of spiritual attack.

The call to be alert and of sober mind emphasizes the need for clear-headed awareness in the face of spiritual threats.

Hebrews 4:12 (NIV)

“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”

Hebrews 4:12 vividly portrays the dynamic nature of the Word of God. Described as alive and active, it surpasses the sharpness of any physical weapon.

This verse underscores the transformative power of God’s Word, capable of penetrating the innermost recesses of individuals, discerning their thoughts, and evaluating the motivations of their hearts. It encourages believers to engage with Scripture as a potent tool for spiritual discernment and transformation.

James 1:12 (NIV)

“Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.”

James 1:12 highlights the concept of perseverance under trial as a source of blessing. The mention of standing the test conveys the idea of enduring challenges with steadfast faith.

This verse provides encouragement for believers facing adversity, reinforcing the idea that enduring trials with faithfulness leads to spiritual victory and the fulfillment of God’s promises.

1 Thessalonians 5:22-23 (NIV)

“Reject every kind of evil. May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul, and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

1 Thessalonians 5:22-23 encapsulates a threefold exhortation. The initial call to reject every kind of evil emphasizes the necessity of active discernment and intentional avoidance of wrongdoing.

The subsequent prayer for sanctification reflects the believer’s dependence on God for purification and holiness. The comprehensive plea for the entire being—spirit, soul, and body—to be kept blameless highlights the holistic nature of sanctification.

Also Read: Bible Verses to Fight Evil Thoughts (with Explanations)

What Does the Bible Say About Evil Doers?

The Bible provides a comprehensive perspective on evil doers, offering insights, warnings, and guidance for believers navigating a world influenced by malevolent forces.

The Scriptures portray evil doers as individuals who engage in actions contrary to God’s moral order, often driven by selfishness, deception, and a rejection of righteous principles. Here are some key themes the Bible addresses regarding evil doers:

Consequences of Evil Deeds: The Bible consistently emphasizes the consequences of evil deeds. Proverbs 11:21 (NIV) states, “Be sure of this: The wicked will not go unpunished, but those who are righteous will go free.” This underscores the divine principle that wrongdoing will ultimately face accountability, either in this life or the next.

Temporary Success and Ultimate Downfall: Psalms and Proverbs frequently contrast the seeming success of evil doers with their eventual downfall. Psalm 37:1-2 (NIV) advises, “Do not fret because of those who are evil or be envious of those who do wrong; for like the grass, they will soon wither, like green plants, they will soon die away.” This emphasizes the transient nature of the apparent prosperity of evildoers.

Discernment and Avoidance: The Bible calls believers to exercise discernment and avoid entanglement with evil. Proverbs 4:14-15 (NIV) instructs, “Do not set foot on the path of the wicked or walk in the way of evildoers. Avoid it, do not travel on it; turn from it and go on your way.” This underscores the proactive role believers play in safeguarding themselves from the influence of wickedness.

A Short Prayer for Protection Against Evildoers

Heavenly Father,

In Your steadfast love, we come before You, seeking Your divine protection against evildoers who may seek to harm or deceive. Surround us, Lord, with Your shield of righteousness, and guard us from the snares of those who walk in darkness. Let Your light expose any hidden schemes, and grant us discernment to navigate the paths of righteousness.

Cover us, O God, with the wings of Your refuge, shielding us from the arrows of wicked intentions. Strengthen our hearts with courage and fortify our spirits with the assurance of Your unwavering presence. May Your angels stand watch over us, and may Your Holy Spirit guide us in every step we take.

In the name of Jesus, our Protector and Redeemer, we place our trust. Amen.