What is Alienation

Alienation is the withdrawal of one person to another person. It brings about the exclusion of other people.


-The Hebrew word rachiq is derived from a word which means “to widen,” and is translated “alienated” in the Old Testament. It also implies “recede or remove a place or relation.” The Hebrew word zur is translated “estranged.” This means “to turn aside.” [Strong, Strong’s Hebrew Lexicon.]


“He has alienated my brothers from me

my acquaintances are completely

estranged from me.” Job19:13


-The New Testament Greek word apallotrioo means “to estrange away,” that is “to be a nonparticipant.” [Strong, Strong’s Greek Lexicon.] It is translated “exclude,” “separate” or “alienate.”


“Once you were alienated from God

and were enemies in your minds

because of your evil behavior. But now he

has reconciled you by Christ’s physical

body through death to present you holy in

his sight, without blemish and free from

accusation.” Colossians 1:21-22


There are types of alienation as noted below.



Alienation of affections (husband or wife being drawn away by a third party)–the conveyance or transfer of property to another. Unfriendliness or hostility toward friends, family or the values of others.



Hostility toward friends, family or the values of others.



Withdrawal from reality to the extent that there is no true understanding of one’s self, resulting in difficulty in developing relationships with others.



The state of being separated from communion with God because of sin.


Biblical Example of Alienation David

2 Samuel 13:1-18:33


There are many parents who feel the pain and remorse of knowing that they have failed when it comes to their children. Look at David’s relationship with his son, Absalom. This is one of the most heartrending examples of the following:






Amnon rapes his own half sister, Tamar. David fails to punish Amnon. Absalom takes matters into his own hands. David’s detachment from his children results in agonizing alienation. This is revealed in alienation that events deteriorated from family discord to physical death. Absalom both rebelled against David and met with a violent death.


“The king was shaken. He went up to the

room over the gateway and wept. As he went,

he said: ‘O my son Absalom! My son, my son

Absalom! If only I had died instead of you–

O Absalom, my son, my son!”

2 Samuel 18:33



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