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Commentary on "Jealousy"



Day 1: Sabbath Afternoon, February 26, 2011 - Introduction



This week we are looking into jealousy along with envy.Memory text:

Fury is cruel, and anger a flood, but who can withstand jealousy? (Proverbs 27:4 HCSB)



The most we can safely infer from Pro. 27:4 is that fury, anger and jealousy are very powerful emotions. What it doesn’t say is that they are, by themselves, sin. Of course, when it is fallen sinful mankind that experiences these emotions, sin can be dangerously near at hand.

The lesson, with reference to Isa. 14:14, asserts that “one of the most devastating emotions is jealousy”. This verse doesn’t say (Satan) was jealous nor does this verse use the word ‘envy’, but he certainly desired or lusted to be like the Most High. Only if you leave the biblical text and consult the writings of Ellen White would you associate jealousy and envy with this verse.

Jealousy and envy, although closely related, are not equivalent terms. Jealousy is an emotion and as such is not moral. Even God has emotions including that of jealousy as demonstrated during the time of Jesus’ life on earth. Envy, which can be the root cause of jealousy however, is one of the desires or ‘works of the flesh’ condemned as sin in Gal. 5:16-21.

Here are passages where jealousy is spoken of as a positive emotion:

Ex. 20:4-5, Ps. 78:58, 1 Cor. 10:22, James 4:5 are passages that refer to God as jealous. God is holy and without sin. In 2 Cor. 11:1-4, Paul speaks of his own jealousy.



  1. Jealousy is an emotion. Emotions are attributes of how we were created. Along with our physical attributes, they are not of themselves, evil or sinful. Scriptures give many examples of where jealousy is associated with both sinful and righteous actions including times when God displays his own jealousy.
  2. The real lesson of Proverbs 27:4 is the very real danger that the emotions of fury, anger and jealousy are very powerful and often lead to evil acts when experienced and expressed by fallen mankind. Obviously, they are emotions that must be displayed with much caution and wisdom.




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