Intolerant Love--Jealousy Part. 1
Gen. James Green
“One cannot help, yet again, marveling at the extraordinarily draconian view taken of the sin of flirting with rival gods…the tragic-force of God’s maniacal jealousy against alternative gods recurs continually throughout the Old Testament” (Atheist Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion, 2006, p. 246).
D AWKINS REFERS to the “draconian view”—the VERY HARSH code of laws attributed to the Athenian statesman and lawgiver, Draco (please request our trilogy, “God’s Holy War and Revolution” in which I deal with the Canaanite genocide).
In this writing I want to deal with “Godly Jealousy,” which is something the New Atheists and the Church liberals see no need for.
THAT THE LORD/LORD IS A JEALOUS GOD, IS A CRYSTAL CLEAR TEACHING RIGHT FROM THE BIBLE. No doubt, God’s jealousy is certainly one of the most foundational DIVINE attributes. Scholar Gerhard Von Rad calls it, “an emotion springing from the very depths of (God’s) personality” (Old Testament Theology, 1962, 1:207). Thank God there are a few theologians/scholars who believe this—that divine jealousy is the basic element of the whole Old Testament idea of God. As stated in my Holy War series, jealousy is the reason given for the second commandment found in Exodus 20:3-5. We find this theme throughout the Old Testament, as we shall see (see Ex. 34:10-28).
Whose Name is Jealous
WHAT? Yes, that’s right: “For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God” (echoing Ex. 20:3, 5). So, Mr. Atheist, “jealous” is an appropriate personal name for Himself. We find this repeatedly throughout the Old Testament (see the following: Ex. 20:5; 34:14; Num. 25:11; Dt. 4:24; 5:9; 6:15; 29:20; 31:16-18; 32:16, 21; Jos. 24:19; 1 Kg. 14:22; 2 Kg. 19:31; Ps. 78:58; 79:5; Isa. 9:7; 26:11; 37:32; 42:13; 59:17; 63:15; Ez. 5:13; 8:3-5; 16:38, 42; 23:25; 36:5, 6; 39:25; Joel 2:18; Nah. 1:2; Zep. 1:18; 3:8; Zech. 1:14, 15; 8:2; Jn. 2:17; 1 Cor. 10:22; 2 Cor. 11:2; Jam. 4:5).
If one studies all these texts, one will conclude that God’s jealousy is for His honor. Not only this, but He is jealous for His TRUE (covenant) people. This can result in blessing—if the people of God remain true; cursing if they do not (I bring this out in my series about when Israel did what the Canaanites did, the WRATH of God also fell on Israel).
HERE IS what the Hebrew and Greek words “jealousy” look like האנק (qinah, Strong’s H7068) and ζλος (zelos, Strong’s G2205). In addition to “jealousy,” other possible translations are “zeal,” “envy,” “ardor,” or “emulation.”
Prof. K. Erik Thoennes relates the following:
אנק (qna, or qana, Strong’s H7065) has an etymological connection with the Akkadian uqnu meaning “to become red or alternatively black.” BDB provides “ardor,” “zeal” and “jealousy” as possible translations of the noun form of אנק (qna) and connects it with the “colour produced in [the] face by deep emotion.” The possible definitions BDB provides for the noun forms are:
(1) Ardor of jealousy of a husband:
(2) Ardor of zeal:
a, of men for God,
b. of God for his people especially in battle;
(3) Ardor of anger:
a. of men against adversaries,
b. of God against men.
For the verb forms the definitions it provides are:
(1) Be jealous.
(2) Be envious.
(3) Be zealous for:
a. of man, for God,
b. of God.
(4) Excite to jealous anger.
BDB also defines the adjective form as “jealous,” and points out that it is used only of God, and in the context of his “demanding exclusive service.” Hendrik G. L. Peels defines אנק as an “intense energetic state of mind towards action which is caused by an infringement of someone’s rights or injury to the subject’s honor.” He also adds “furious” as a possible translation of the verb form. When used of humans in a positive sense, he notes that אנק (qna) is used “to express religious fervor, impassioned devotion to God.” As examples of this religious fervor he gives Phinehas (Num 25:11), David’s words in Psalm 69:9, Elijah (1 Kgs 19:10), and Paul (2 Cor. 11:2). (End Quote, Godly Jealousy, 2005, p. 9.)
WE’VE ALL BEEN taught by these “Candy Store Jesus” preachers/teachers that God/Jesus loves us no matter what we do, or don’t do! Just where in the Bible they get this (false) idea is beyond me. They say their love is unconditional. Really? Just where do they find this? I read that GOD EXPECTS RECIPROCATED LOVE FROM TRUE DISCIPLES OF CHRIST…i.e., obedient behavior. In fact, why is it wrong to be jealous for the things of God? Why should we not also be jealous for God’s holiness, righteousness, His Word, etc.?
The New Testament definitions and translations of ζλος (zelos, Strong’s G2205) are very close to those of qna, which means, generally, “an emotional going out to a person, idea or cause” (check out Hans-Christoph Hahn’s ζλος (zelos) NIDNTT, 1978, 3:1166). The BDAG/TDNT use the words “zeal”/”ardor.” Liddell and Scott gives “jealousy,” “zeal,” “envy,” “fervour,” “indignation” etc. as translations of ζλος. We could carry on with definitions/translations taken from many sources. As lexical studies reveal, our Hebrew/Greek represent exclusive single-mindedness of emotion (either blameworthy or praiseworthy).
So, the jealousy of God is vital to the essence of His moral character. To call His jealousy “maniacal” is blasphemy in my estimation. The word “jealousy” translates the Hebrew/Greek accurately in either a negative or positive experience.
Today’s Church, let alone the world, has an attitude problem with the fact that God’s transcendent qualities includes jealousy—He is both MASTER who COMMANDS (as He did to “utterly destroy” the Canaanites), as well as the God/Father who loves.
Jealousy=The ardent desire to maintain exclusive devotion within a relationship in the face of a challenge to that exclusive devotion. Thoennes presents 5 requirements for jealousy to be present:
1) A lover
2) A beloved
3) A rival
4) Infidelity expressed in some way by the beloved
5) An emotional response to that infidelity.
About point 4, Thoennes says, “For godly jealousy to be present, there must be due cause. This means that even if the beloved is enticed to infidelity, godly jealously will not be present unless the beloved is in some way unfaithful. A range of other godly emotions may be felt in response to the attempt of a rival to seduce a beloved (indignation, anger, betrayal), but godly jealousy is always in response to the expressed or intended infidelity of the beloved” (ibid, p. 13).
It may be pointed out that the covenant and metaphors of sexual relations, father-son relations, and marriage relations are common in the Biblical expressions of jealousy.
Qna and zel are used in the marriage metaphor (at least 17 times—see Gen. 30:1; Num. 5:14-30=10 times; Prov. 6:34; Canticles 8:6; Ez. 16:38, 42; 23:25; 2 Cor. 11:2).
Proverbs 27:4 is asking, “Wrath is fierce and anger is a flood, but who can stand before jealousy?” The KJV uses “Wrath is cruel, and anger is outrageous; but who is able to stand before envy?;” the RSV has “jealousy.” I guess anger/wrath does not last long, but jealousy burns on until it consumes the person who is its object (the jealousy referred to here is that of a jealous husband).
Jealousy sometimes expresses itself in the enjoyment of the misfortunes of others. It was reported that Bacon once said that, “whoso is out of hope to attain to another’s virtue, will seek to come at every hand by depressing another’s fortune” (Essay “Of Envy”). This is human jealousy, not divine Jealousy.
Envy is never godly. While jealousy desires the protection of something possessed, envy is the resentful desire to possess something not currently possessed, thus, envy, is always negative (see Gen. 26:14; Ps. 73:3). (For a detailed account of envy, see The Psychology of Jealousy and Envy by Peter Solovey, 1991; Daniel Farrell’s, Jealousy, 1980; Immanuel Kont’s, Jealousy, Envy and Spite, 1993, and dozens more.)
IN MY SERIES, I mainly deal with God’s indignation (anger aroused by something unjust, unworthy, and/or mean) and His vengeance (punishment inflicted). In the case of the 7 Canaanite nations, it was for sex-offenses (Lev. 18) and occult-offenses (Dt. 18). Deut. cpt. 7 offers us insight as to WHY God had Israel to, “cast out many nations before thee” (7:1) and, “...smite them, and utterly destroy them…nor shew mercy unto them” (v. 2). Verse 4 tells us WHY: “For they will turn away thy son from following Me, that they may serve other gods: so will the ANGER of the LORD be kindled against you (Israel), and DESTROY THEE suddenly.” Note v. 9: “know therefore that the LORD thy God, He is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that (note this!) LOVE Him and KEEP His Commandments…” Hence, conditional.
Deut. 9:5 tells us that it was, “for the WICKEDNESS of these nations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee…” Statements like these are what irk people like Dawkins and the Church liberals. God’s jealousy (for His people) demanded “Holy War.” What man or woman has the right to judge God for what He did or did not do?
GOD’S WRATHFUL JEALOUSY has been kindled by this sinful and shameful generation (see our Jan. 1, 2017 Word for the New Year and what follows). What He did centuries ago, HE WILL DO AGAIN—FOR THE SINFULNESS OF MANKIND DEMANDS IT TO BE SO.
There is an article out there called “Yahweh, God of the Fireball,” by Gerald Ringer. His complaint is that God has no right to be jealous! He blames God (and His people) for most of the world’s destruction. Well, I can’t deny some of this, but he fails to mention the human jealousy involved (on purpose!). He calls God’s jealousy an “unutterable horror” (ibid, p. 86). Too bad for this liberal, God will use whatever means needed to PUNISH whosoever needs punishing.
I am sickened by all this Political Correctness that presents itself as God. Do we hear a peep out of these psychology freaks about the millions and millions and millions of babies aborted/being aborted right here in good ol America? Their hubris evaluation of God’s wrathful jealousy—“His territorial imperative of the primal mind,” in turn produces the “My Turf” mentality of territorial religion, which comes from the mind of Satan himself. THESE HUBRIS REPTILIAN SICKOS WILL EVENTUALLY FIND OUT WHO THE BOSS IS!