A strong feeling of possessiveness, often caused by the possibility that something which belongs, or ought to belong, to one is about to be taken away. The word can be used in a positive sense (e.g., the jealousy of God), meaning a passionate commitment to something which rightly belongs to one. It can also be used in a negative sense (e.g., human jealousy), to mean a self-destructive human emotion similar to envy.
God’s jealousy for his people:
God’s jealousy demands an exclusive response from his people Ex 20:4-6 See also Ex 34:14; Dt 32:16,21.
1) God pictured as a jealous husband with an unfaithful wife Eze 16:1-63.
2) God is jealously protective of his people Joel 2:18 See also Isa 26:11; Zec 1:14-15; 8:2.
3) God possessiveness expresses itself in judgment on his people’s unfaithfulness Dt 4:24 See also Dt 6:15; 29:20; Jos 24:19; 1Ki 14:22; Eze 23:25; 36:6; Na 1:2; Zep 1:18; 3:8.
Human jealousy is potentially destructive
Human jealousy arises from sin Mk 7:21-23 pp Mt 15:19-20.
Human jealousy can be destructive Pr 14:30 See also Job 5:2; Pr 27:4; Ecc 9:5-6.
Human jealousy is criticized by Scripture Gal 5:19-21 See also Ps 37:1-2; Pr 23:17; Ro 13:13; 1Co 13:4-7; Tit 3:3-5; Jas 3:14-16.
Examples of jealousy
1) In the OT Ge 4:3-5 Cain and Abel; Ge 27:41 Esau and Jacob; Ge 30:1 Rachel and Leah.
2) Joseph’s brothers: Ge 37:4; Ac 7:9; 1Sa 18:6-9 Saul and David; Isa 11:13 Ephraim and Judah.
3) In the early church Ac 5:17; 13:45; 17:5; 1Co 3:3; 2Co 12:20.