1999 James A. Fowler
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I. Some Biblical usages of the word "jealousy"
A. Hebrew words qana, qanna, qina
- meaning "zealous" or "jealous"
- "his brothers were jealous of him" (Joseph)
- "I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God"
- "jealous of his wife"
- "they made Him jealous with strange gods"
- "I am exceedingly jealous for Zion"
B. Greek words zelos, zeloo, zelotes
- meaning "zealous" or "jealous"
3:3 - "there is strife and jealousy among you"
10:22 - "do we provoke the Lord to jealousy?"
13:4 - "love is not jealous"
11:2 - "I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy"
- "jealousy and selfish ambition exist"
II. Defining "jealousy"
A. English word "jealousy"
is etymologically derived from Greek zelos
B. Webster's Dictionary
of loss of exclusive devotion"
of rivalry or unfaithfulness"
toward one believed to enjoy an advantage"
to guard a possession"
C. Defining features from original Biblical
expression toward person, idea or cause
D. A working definition: "Jealousy
is a fervent desire to have things transpire as one desires."
III. Applying the definition to the Biblical usages
A. The jealousy of God
has a fervent desire that things should transpire as He desires,
which is always in accord
with His character.
Exod 20:5; Deut 4:24; 5:9; 6:15; Josh 24:19
is zealous/jealous that His people should not sin.
Deut. 29:20; 32:16,21; Ps. 78:58; 79:5; Ezek. 16:38; I Cor. 10:22
is zealous/jealous that His people should live in accord with
Ezek. 39:25; Zech 8:2
B. The jealousy of man
can have a fervent desire that things should transpire as God
Kings 19:10 - "I have been zealous for the Lord"
2:17 - "Zeal for Thy house will consume Me"
Cor. 11:2 - "I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy"
can have a fervent desire that things should transpire as he
ignorantly or selfishly desires.
Jealousy is linked with
selfish ambition - James 3:14,16
strife, conflict - Rom. 13:13; I Cor. 3:3; II Cor. 12:20
deeds of the flesh - Gal. 5:20
anger, wrath, rage - Prov. 6:34; 27:4
Jealousy is a dissatisfaction and unacceptance of God's providential
arrangement of one's
Jealousy exhibits diabolic character - James 3:15
Jealousy is destructive - Job 5:2; Prov. 6:34; 27:4
Jealousy is often based on an inadequate sense of identity (cf.
I Cor. 15:10), and fuels depression
Biblical examples of selfish jealousy
brothers of Joseph - Gen. 37:11,19; Acts 7:9
Korah - Ps. 106:16,18; Numb. 16:3
Jewish leaders - Acts 5:17; 17:5
Zealots - Lk. 6:15; Acts 1:13
IV. Examples of selfish jealousy
A. jealous of another's possessions,
wealth, assets - (greed, coveting)
B. jealous of another's position, placement,
C. jealous of another's authority, power,
D. jealous of another's recognition,
E. jealous of another's abilities, talents,
F. jealous of another's accomplishments,
G. jealous of another's intelligence,
H. jealous of another's personality,
I. jealous of another's relationships,
communication, intimacy, marriage
J. jealous of another's loyalties, devotion,
K. jealous of another's age, youth, maturity,
L. jealous of another's looks, appearance,
M. jealous of another's clothes, style,
N. jealous of another's opportunities,
privileges, advantages, good fortune
V. The character of God in reference to zealousy or jealousy
A. In our zeal we must recognize
character of God and His intents
zeal according to knowledge - cf. Rom. 10:2; Gal. 1:14; Phil.
godly jealousy - cf. II Cor. 11:2
only God's grace can bring about what He desires.
B. In place of selfish jealousy we must
allow the character of God to be expressed in
- our receptivity of His active expression of His character
gratitude - recognizing the "good grace" of God in
His providential arrangement
of our life
satisfaction, acceptance, appreciation - cf. Phil. 4:11
- "seeks highest good of other, without thinking what I
get out of it" - I Cor. 13:4 - "love
is not jealous"
- "abide under" even unfairness, inequity