Best Bible Verses For Jealousy (With Bible Meaning)

Jealousy, often rooted in insecurity and a sense of rivalry, is a human emotion that the Bible addresses in various contexts. In this compilation, we explore 20 Bible verses that touch on the theme of jealousy, each accompanied by an expanded commentary.

These verses provide insights into the consequences of jealousy, the call to overcome it, and the divine perspective on this complex emotion. Through these scriptures, readers are encouraged to seek God’s guidance in navigating jealousy and cultivating a spirit of contentment and love.

Bible Verses For Jealousy

Exodus 20:17 (NKJV):

“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.”

The Tenth Commandment explicitly prohibits coveting, a precursor to jealousy, and emphasizes contentment with one’s possessions.

Exodus 20:17 serves as a foundational commandment, urging individuals to resist the temptation to covet what belongs to others. The prohibition extends to various aspects of life, emphasizing the importance of contentment and gratitude.

Proverbs 14:30 (NKJV):

“A sound heart is life to the body, But envy is rottenness to the bones.”

Proverbs 14:30 contrasts a healthy heart with the destructive effects of envy, highlighting the impact of jealousy on one’s well-being.

Proverbs 14:30 draws a vivid analogy between a sound heart and life, contrasting it with the decay caused by envy. This verse underscores the detrimental effects of jealousy on both the spiritual and physical aspects of an individual.

Proverbs 27:4 (NKJV):

“Wrath is cruel and anger a torrent, But who is able to stand before jealousy?”

Proverbs 27:4 emphasizes the potent and destructive nature of jealousy, presenting it as a force challenging to withstand.

Proverbs 27:4 vividly portrays jealousy as a formidable force, suggesting that its impact can be more overwhelming than wrath or anger. This verse prompts reflection on the pervasive and insidious nature of jealousy.

1 Corinthians 3:3 (NKJV):

“For you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men?”

In addressing the Corinthians, Paul links envy with a carnal, worldly mindset, challenging them to transcend such behavior.

1 Corinthians 3:3 underscores the spiritual implications of envy within the Christian community. Paul challenges believers to rise above divisive and jealous behavior, emphasizing the call to embrace a transformed, Christ-like mindset.

James 3:14-16 (NKJV):

“But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there.”

James condemns bitter envy and self-seeking as ungodly, attributing them to earthly, sensual, and demonic wisdom.

James 3:14-16 provides a stern warning against the destructive nature of bitter envy and self-seeking. The association with earthly and demonic wisdom emphasizes the need for believers to pursue a wisdom that aligns with divine truth.

Galatians 5:19-21 (NKJV):

“Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.”

Paul includes jealousy among the works of the flesh, warning of its detrimental impact on spiritual inheritance.

Galatians 5:19-21 places jealousy within a list of works of the flesh, emphasizing its negative spiritual consequences. This passage serves as a call to believers to resist such behaviors to inherit the kingdom of God.

Proverbs 6:34-35 (NKJV):

“For jealousy is a husband’s fury; Therefore, he will not spare in the day of vengeance. He will accept no recompense, Nor will he be appeased though you give many gifts.”

Proverbs 6:34-35 uses the analogy of jealousy in a marital context, describing its unrelenting and destructive nature.

Proverbs 6:34-35 vividly portrays jealousy as a powerful force within the dynamics of a relationship. The refusal to accept recompense and lack of appeasement underscore the intensity and irrationality associated with jealousy.

Proverbs 23:17 (NKJV):

“Do not let your heart envy sinners, But be zealous for the fear of the Lord all the day.”

Proverbs 23:17 advises against envying sinners and encourages a zealous commitment to the fear of the Lord.

Proverbs 23:17 offers practical guidance, cautioning against envy directed towards those who follow sinful paths. Instead, it advocates for a sustained and fervent commitment to the fear of the Lord as a safeguard against jealousy.

Proverbs 24:1-2 (NKJV):

“Do not be envious of evil men, Nor desire to be with them; For their heart devises violence, And their lips talk of troublemaking.”

Proverbs 24:1-2 dissuades from envying evildoers, highlighting the destructive nature of their actions.

Proverbs 24:1-2 reinforces the theme of avoiding envy towards those who engage in wrongdoing. The warning against desiring to be with them emphasizes the need to distance oneself from the negative influences of those who promote troublemaking.

James 4:5 (NKJV):

“Or do you think that the Scripture says in vain, ‘The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously’?”

James 4:5 references the yearning of the Spirit dwelling within believers and raises questions about the appropriateness of jealousy.

James 4:5 introduces a thought-provoking concept, the yearning of the Spirit dwelling within believers. This verse prompts reflection on the nature of this jealousy and its compatibility with the biblical understanding of the Spirit’s work.

1 Peter 2:1 (NKJV):

“Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking.”

Peter calls believers to lay aside envy along with other destructive behaviors, emphasizing the importance of a transformed character.

1 Peter 2:1 highlights the need for believers to actively discard envy as part of a broader call to cultivate a virtuous character. The list of vices serves as a guide for moral and spiritual growth.

Proverbs 14:30 (NKJV):

“A sound heart is life to the body, But envy is rottenness to the bones.”

Proverbs 14:30 is repeated to underscore the contrast between a healthy heart and the decay caused by envy.

The repetition of Proverbs 14:30 serves as a reminder of the profound contrast between a sound heart, symbolizing spiritual and emotional health, and the corrosive impact of envy on one’s inner being.

Romans 13:13 (NKJV):

“Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy.”

Paul includes envy in the list of behaviors to avoid, emphasizing the importance of righteous living.

Romans 13:13 aligns envy with behaviors to be discarded in favor of walking properly in the light. This verse reinforces the call for believers to pursue a life marked by righteousness and virtue.

1 Corinthians 13:4 (NKJV):

“Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up.”

In the famous “Love Chapter,” envy is singled out as incompatible with the nature of genuine love.

1 Corinthians 13:4 emphasizes the selfless and other-centered nature of love. The exclusion of envy underscores its incongruence with the principles of true, agape love.

Titus 3:3 (NKJV):

“For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another.”

Titus 3:3 recalls the past state of believers, including a life marked by malice and envy, highlighting the transformative work of God’s grace.

Titus 3:3 serves as a retrospective acknowledgment of the pre-conversion state of believers. The mention of malice and envy underscores the radical transformation wrought by God’s grace in the lives of those who have experienced His redemptive power.

1 Timothy 6:4 (NKJV):

“He is proud, knowing nothing, but is obsessed with disputes and arguments over words, from which come envy, strife, reviling, evil suspicions.”

In describing certain individuals, Paul attributes the emergence of envy to a prideful and contentious mindset.

1 Timothy 6:4 points to the connection between pride, disputes, and the emergence of envy. This verse serves as a cautionary reminder about the dangers of allowing a prideful attitude to foster negative emotions.

Ecclesiastes 4:4 (NKJV):

“Again, I saw that for all toil and every skillful work a man is envied by his neighbor. This also is vanity and grasping for the wind.”

Ecclesiastes 4:4 observes the pervasive nature of envy in response to human toil and skillful work, declaring it as vanity.

Ecclesiastes 4:4 reflects on the futility of human endeavors when met with the pervasive response of envy from neighbors. This verse contributes to the overarching theme of the book, life’s pursuits apart from God are ultimately meaningless.

Matthew 27:18 (NKJV):

“For he knew that they had handed Him over because of envy.”

Matthew 27:18 recounts the motive behind the religious leaders handing Jesus over to be crucified, envy.

Matthew 27:18 unveils a dark moment in human history, attributing the decision to hand Jesus over to envy. This verse serves as a stark reminder of the destructive potential of jealousy, even leading to the crucifixion of the Son of God.

Acts 7:9 (NKJV):

“And the patriarchs, becoming envious, sold Joseph into Egypt. But God was with him.”

Stephen, in his speech, attributes the sale of Joseph into Egypt to the envy of his brothers.

Acts 7:9 recounts the historical event of Joseph being sold into Egypt by his brothers due to envy. Despite their malicious intent, God’s providence is highlighted as He remains with Joseph throughout his journey.

Proverbs 27:4 (NKJV):

“Wrath is cruel and anger a torrent, But who is able to stand before jealousy?”

Proverbs 27:4 is repeated to underscore the formidable and overwhelming nature of jealousy.

The repetition of Proverbs 27:4 serves as a poignant closing reflection on the intense and challenging nature of jealousy. This verse prompts individuals to consider the difficulty of navigating and resisting the destructive force of envy.

Conclusion: Bible Verses For Jealousy

The Bible offers profound insights into the nature of jealousy, its consequences, and the transformative power of God’s grace to overcome it. These 20 verses, accompanied by detailed commentaries, provide a comprehensive exploration of jealousy within various contexts, from interpersonal relationships to spiritual growth.

As readers reflect on these scriptures, may they find guidance, encouragement, and a deeper understanding of God’s perspective on overcoming envy and cultivating a spirit of love and contentment.

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