Abarim Publications' online Biblical Hebrew Dictionary
The root רשע (rsh') occurs in cognate languages in the meaning of being loose or disjointed, or irregular, abnormal, wicked. In Hebrew this root yields an adjective, a few nouns and a denominative verb. It's the opposite of the root צדק (zedek; see the name Melchizedek):
- The adjective רשע (resha') means wrong or wicked. Its meanings can be grouped in three categories:
- Describing a person guilty of a crime and deserving punishment (Exodus 2:13).
- Describing a person guilty of hostility to God or his people (Psalm 17:12).
- Describing a person guilty of sin, against either God or man (Numbers 16:26).
- The masculine noun רשע (rasha') means wickedness (Ecclesiastes 3:16, Psalm 125:2, Jeremiah 14:20).
- The verb רשע (rasha'), formed from the previous noun and meaning to be wicked (1 Kings 8:47, Job 34:12), or to condemn as guilty (Exodus 22:8, Job 9:20).
- The feminine equivalent of the preceding noun רשעה (risha'), meaning wickedness (Malachi 1:4, Ezekiel 18:27).
- The feminine noun מרשעת (mirsha'at), meaning wickedness. This noun occurs only in 2 Chronicles 24:7, where it describes Athaliah as the embodiment of wickedness.