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Bible Dictionaries

Bridgeway Bible Dictionary

Jealousy

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There are two aspects of jealousy in the Bible, one bad, the other good. Jealousy in the bad sense is envy – the feeling of resentment or hate that people have towards those who have more influence, power, ability, status, fame or possessions than they (Genesis 30:1; Genesis 37:11; 1 Samuel 18:8-9; Job 5:2; Psalms 106:16; Matthew 27:18; Acts 5:17; 1 John 3:12). Such jealousy is a characteristic of sinful human nature, but the Spirit of Christ and the power of love in a person’s life can overcome it (Proverbs 27:4; Romans 13:13-14; 1 Corinthians 13:4; Galatians 5:21; James 3:14-16).

Jealousy in the good sense is the desire a person has for the well-being of someone he or she loves. It is a desire so strong that it demands faithfulness and opposes all that would tempt to unfaithfulness (Numbers 5:12-15; Proverbs 6:32-35). This is what the Bible means when it speaks of God being jealous for his people. He desires their faithfulness and has a deep concern for their well-being (Exodus 20:4-5; Deuteronomy 6:15; Joshua 24:19; Psalms 78:58; Zechariah 1:14; 1 Corinthians 10:21-22; James 4:5).

Likewise the godly leader who is concerned for the spiritual progress of God’s people may speak of himself as being jealous for them (2 Corinthians 11:2). In the same way the person who is concerned to uphold the honour of God’s name is jealous for God (1 Kings 19:10; Ezekiel 39:25). Jealousy may therefore include the idea of zeal for all that is right and opposition to all that is wrong (Numbers 25:11-13; Deuteronomy 4:24; Nahum 1:2; John 2:17; 2 Corinthians 7:11).


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Bibliography Information
Fleming, Don. Entry for 'Jealousy'. Bridgeway Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/bbd/j/jealousy.html. 2004.

Lectionary Calendar
Sunday, November 17th, 2019
the Week of Proper 28 / Ordinary 33
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