Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Word Study: Jealous

Exodus 34:14 "(for you shall worship no other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.)"

Jealous: from the Hebrew word "qana" meaning "zealous or jealous" (Strong's Exhaustive Concordance).

This is one of those instances where it is important to understand the original meaning of the word in order to fully comprehend its context. I've heard some people (including a famous talk show host) say that verses like this mean God is jealous of us. Really? I sincerely want to ask "Why? Why would our Creator be jealous of us?"

The answer is He is not jealous of us, but rather for us. He loves us so much that He wants to be number one in our heart just as we are in His. He loves us so much, He sent His Son to die for us.

I find it interesting that the Hebrew word also connotates "zealous." According to, zealous means "ardently active, devoted." Synonyms include enthusiastic, eager, and passionate. God is passionate for us. He is devoted to us. Of everything I know about the LORD (and trust me, I have plenty to learn still), this explanation of His jealousy is in tune with who He is.

This is just an example of why it is important to learn the original context of scripture before dismissing it. More people would live in truth and know who God truly is instead of a misconception.


Melyssa said...

I think we've lost a lot in the translations of the Bible. Tony reads a bit of ancient Greek and can attest to the mis-translations. Your mission of seeking out the true meaning of words is a good thing!!

I've always though of this verse as God is VERY protective of us. Just as we wouldn't want to share our children or we wouldn't be happy if our children had another Mother or Father in their hearts. The feeling would, of course, be magnified more than we can imagine because we cannot fathom our Heavenly Father's power.

Denise Miller Holmes said...

I think that when someone is passionate about another, it makes sense they would be jealous of anything that would come between them and the other person. That's the way God is with us because His love is not in his head, a duty, but a true deeply-felt love. Of course He would want to protect us from anything or anybody that would weaken our connection with Him. Good post, Jo!