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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature

Jealousy

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(קַנְאָה, ζῆλος ), properly the feeling of suspicion of a wife's purity (Numbers 5, 14); often used of Jehovah's sensitive regard for the true faith of his Church (Exodus 20:5, etc.; 2 Corinthians 11:2). (See MARRIAGE). The same term is sometimes used for anger or indignation, or an intense interest for the honor and prosperity of another (Psalms 79:5; 1 Corinthians 10:22; Zechariah 1:14; Zechariah 8:2). Conjugal jealousy is one of the strongest passions of our nature (Proverbs 6:34; Song of Solomon 8:6). When God is said to be a jealous God, or to be moved to jealousy, or when the still stronger expression is used, "Jehovah, whose name is Jealous" (Exodus 24:14), we are to understand this language as employed to illustrate, rather than to represent, the emotions of the divine mind. The same causes operating upon the human mind would produce what we call anger, jealousy, repentance, grief, etc.; and therefore, when these emotions are ascribed to the mind of God, this language is used because such emotions can be represented to us by no other. Thus God is represented to us as a husband, related to his Church by a marriage covenant that binds her to be wholly for him, and not for another. The more sincere and constant the love, the more sensitive is the heart to the approach of a rival and the thought of such affection being alienated or corrupted fills the soul with grief and indignation. So God commends the purity, the fervency, and the sincerity of his love to his Church by the most terrific expressions of jealousy. (See IDOLATRY).

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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Jealousy'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/tce/j/jealousy.html. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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