Mark 7:22 thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness.

What is an evil eye?


The "evil eye" is a very eastern idiom that includes more than one single idea as shown by the distinction made in the list of Mark 7:22. It includes the following:

  • Envy and covetousness - see Matt 20:15, "your eye is envious"; Prov 28:22, "A man with an evil eye hastens after riches"
  • Moral shortsightedness - Prov 28:22, "A man with an evil eye ... does not consider the poverty to come upon him"
  • Thinking evil in many situations, Titus 2:15, "Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled."

That is, the "evil eye" is a perverted outlook that seeks to turn every opportunity, even by unfair and dishonest means, to the advantage of the person. It was this depraved mind that Christ came to change:

Rom 12:2, 9 - Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind ... Love must be sincere. Detest what is evil; cling to what is good.


Mark 7:22 New International Version

adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly.

ὀφθαλμὸς (ophthalmos)
Noun - Nominative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 3788: The eye; fig: the mind's eye. From optanomai; the eye; by implication, vision; figuratively, envy.

"Evil eye" is a figure of speech for envy.

Similar usage is found in Proverbs 28:22:

New American Standard Bible

A man with an evil eye hastens after wealth And does not know that want will come upon him.

New King James Version

A man with an evil eye hastens after riches, And does not consider that poverty will come upon him.

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