Skip to main content

2 Kinds of Jealousy

Rev. Margaret Minnicks is an ordained Bible teacher. She writes many articles that are Bible lessons.

Jealousy: Definition

Jealousy is an emotion that generally refers to the envy over what someone else has. Jealousy is a negative emotion that a person has for someone else's accomplishments, strengths and possessions and your inability to have the same things.

It is perfectly fine to admire what others possess. However, it becomes jealousy when a person wants those things just because someone else has them. It becomes even worse when someone thinks he deserves those things more than the person who has them.


There are two kinds of jealousy in the scriptures.

  • The Lord is a jealous and avenging God. (Nahum 1:2) This scripture indicates that God is jealous.
  • When Rachel saw that she was not bearing Jacob any children, she became jealous of her sister. (Genesis 30:1) According to this scripture, a human is jealous of what someone else can do.

1. God's Jealousy

God has everything. So why is God jealous?

Keep in mind that God is not jealous of anything you have or anything you can do. God becomes jealous when you give what belongs to Him to someone or something else.

According to the Bible, God's jealousy is justified even though people might think God has nothing to be jealous about.

Usually, we use the word "jealousy" only as a bad reaction. However, God's jealousy is appropriate and good. His jealousy is to defend His word and His honor.

God's jealousy is appropriate and does not lead to sin. The type of jealousy that God has is justified. God has the right to be jealous. God said, "Thy shall have no other gods before me." (Exodus 20:2, Deuteronomy 5:6)

It is appropriate for God to insist on complete honor and loyalty. He wants allegiance to Him and to Him alone. God wants and deserves undivided devotion. If he doesn't get what he wants and deserves, God defends His word and His high honor.


2. Human Jealousy

Human jealousy is not appropriate. To be jealous is to be selfish. Not only do you want what someone else has, you also refuse to admit that someone else deserves it.

Human jealousy can destroy relationships and friendships. The most damaging thing about jealousy is that it can lead to sin. Joseph being sold into slavery by his brothers is a good example of what happens when someone is jealous of another. (Genesis 37-50)

Anything to keep in mind is that human jealousy is not limited to what someone else has. It includes what someone else can do or do better than another. For instance, if you are a gymnast who excels in every competition and your competitors can't do what you do, then they might become jealous.

Explanation of the Differences

God's jealousy is not that God is envious because someone has something He wants or needs. God is jealous when someone gives to another something that rightly belongs to Him.

The use of the word “jealous” is different when God says He is jealous. What He is jealous of belongs to Him and Him alone. Those things are worship, praise, honor, and adoration for only He is truly worthy of them.

Human jealousy is being envious of someone who has something he does not have. It is not a sin to be jealous of one's own mate. Being jealous for something that God declares to belong to you is good and appropriate. Jealousy is a sin when it is a desire for something that does not belong to you.

Scroll to Continue

When Someone is Jealous of You

The best weapon for jealousy is the same whether someone is jealous of you, or if you are jealous of someone.

If someone jealous of you, then keep on loving that person. Saul was jealous of David. However, David didn't do harm to Saul when he could have done so. David kept on being kind toward Saul.


When You Are Jealous of Someone

When you are the one who is jealous of someone, do the same as when someone is jealous of you.

In spite of being jealous of someone, keep on loving the person. Be like Jesus Christ and David. Do what they did. Love will always overcome jealousy.


Margaret Minnicks (author) from Richmond, VA on July 19, 2018:

Dashingscorpio, your first sentence explains how you feel about God being jealous. That's fine because we all have free will to believe what we want to believe.

Even so, I focused on what the Bible said without considering anybody's PERSONAL opinions.

In fact, I didn't even include my own.

dashingscorpio from Chicago on July 18, 2018:

Personally I never bought into the notion that God is jealous.

He's (all knowing) and therefore before a person was born he already knew what choices that person was going to make.

Logically speaking it's impossible to "surprise" God.

It would be a pointless exercise for God to harbor jealousy.

Human jealousy and envy occur various reasons.

Sometimes a person simply feels the other person doesn't "deserve" whatever it is they have. In their mind: "Life is not fair!"

An example might be why is 20 year old Kylie Jenner worth $900 Million dollars and someone else who busted their tail working and going to college at night barely earns enough money to eek by and has a mountain of college student loan debt? That's life!

Matthew 9:29 “According to {your faith}, be it unto you.”

Mark 11:24

"What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, {believe} that ye receive them, and ye shall have them."

Philippians 4:13

"I can do (all things) through Christ which strengthen me"

Now if anyone truly believed all the above to be true they would be so busy staying in their own lane they wouldn't have time for jealousy. However one must also remember: James 2:17

"Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone."

Essentially the law of attraction does not replace the law of action!

Margaret Minnicks (author) from Richmond, VA on July 18, 2018:

Threekeys, Thanks for your kind remarks to be added to my article.

Margaret Minnicks (author) from Richmond, VA on July 18, 2018:

Yes, people are reading them. Thanks!

threekeys on July 17, 2018:

Margaret I cannot speak about jealousy in scriptural terms, only in everyday human terms.

Only up until recently I wanted others to do well and be happy. But because I have been placed into a very unjust hardship situation for sometime I now can feel jealous at the good fortune of others together with getting upset how they take their everyday good fortune for granted or that they should be automatically entitled to it. Feeling this way both makes my blood pressure rise together with having feelings of shame when experiencing pangs of jealousy.

To me jealousy can become a very dangerous emotion which can cause unneccesary suffering to others, including causing the demise of innocent people.

I believe that if we can transmute our jealous feelings we would be on the enlightened pathway to love and creating more loving and fulfilling lives.

This article is a great reminder to do so Margaret.

charlie from From Kingdom of God living on Planet earth in between the oceans on July 17, 2018:

These short poignant articles are good. I hope a lot of people are reading them.

Related Articles