Today’s word, mar•giz, aggravating, belongs to a grammatical meaning class in Hebrew that is called ‘hif•il,’ which includes verbs that are causative. This is a special pattern in Hebrew grammar that indicates that the verb is causing an action, usually affecting other people. So, Causative verbs are simply verbs that cause actions to take place. For example, ‘to dictate’ is to cause someone to write or to act as instructed; ‘to amuse’ is to cause someone to laugh; ‘to play’ (music) is causative because it makes others or ourselves hear it, etc.
The English verbs to annoy, to aggravate, and to irritate are all causative. Mar•giz, then, is something or someone who is causing others anger. As in English, this can be an adjective (such as a label we attach to a person) or just a causative verb indicating that something objective is annoying us.
Biblical examples of mar•giz:
“The tents of robbers prosper, and those who provoke God are secure; they who bring their God in their hand”
The verse below shows a magnification of the anger aspect of ‘mar•giz’ and represents an interesting personification (human attributes applied to objects) of anger. As you will see, the earth will shake due to an action taken by man. This is a personification because objects usually shake and tremble when aggravated.
“Those who see you shall narrowly look upon you, and consider you, saying, ‘Is this the man who made the earth tremble, who shook kingdoms'”
The word used here is the very word we discuss today, margiz, which is derived from the root RA.GAZ, anger.
The state of being angry is sometimes favored over worse deeds as long as we know how to defuse it:
“Be angry, and don’t sin. Don’t let the sun go down on your wrath”