YHWH is Jealous: Does this mean he is evil?

Jealous man and wife

YHWH is Jealous?

Exo 34:14 For thou shalt worship no other el: for YHWH, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous El:

The Bible tells us that YHWH describes himself as being a jealous Elohim. Now jealousy is a negative human emotion oftentimes mixed with coveteousness, envy, greed and other sinful human traits.

YHWH is jealous?!

Because of the negative side to jealousy, there are many detractors who use this to say jealousy is a sin and therefore YHWH is evil.

Sadly, this viewpoint is born out of someone not studying to show themself approved. The English word jealousy has several different meanings (some good, some bad).

Definitions of jealous

1: hostile toward a rival or one believed to enjoy an advantage : ENVIOUS
His success made his old friends jealous.They were jealous of his success.

2a: intolerant of rivalry or unfaithfulness
jealous of the slightest interference in household management— Havelock Ellis

b: disposed to suspect rivalry or unfaithfulness
a jealous husband

3: vigilant in guarding a possession
new colonies were jealous of their new independence— Scott Buchanan

 

Intolerant of Rivalry or Unfaithfulness

Whenever jealousy is used in the Bible as it relates to YHWH, it is mostly in reaction to his people going into idolatry. This is meaning 2a above (intolerant of rivalry or unfaithfulness):

Deu 5:9 Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them: for I YHWH thy Elohim am a jealous El (intolerant of rivalry or unfaithfulness), visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me,

Exo 34:14 For thou shalt worship no other el: for YHWH, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous El (intolerant of rivalry or unfaithfulness):

Nah 1:2 El is jealous (intolerant of rivalry or unfaithfulness), and YHWH revengeth; YHWH revengeth, and is furious; YHWH will take vengeance on his adversaries, and he reserveth wrath for his enemies.

Hindu idol worship men

 

Vigilant in Guarding a Possession

At other times, YHWH’S jealousy refers to being vigilant in guarding his possession: his people and his land as well as his name:

Joe 2:18 Then will YHWH be jealous for his land (vigilant in guarding a possession), and pity his people.

Zec 1:14 So the angel that communed with me said unto me, Cry thou, saying, Thus saith YHWH of hosts; I am jealous for Jerusalem and for Zion with a great jealousy (vigilant in guarding a possession).

Zec 8:2 Thus saith YHWH of hosts; I was jealous for Zion with great jealousy (vigilant in guarding a possession), and I was jealous for her with great fury.

Eze 39:25 Therefore thus saith the Sovereign YHWH; Now will I bring again the captivity of Jacob, and have mercy upon the whole house of Israel, and will be jealous for my holy name (vigilant in guarding a possession);

 

Godly Jealousy (2 Corinthians 11:2)

The Apostle Sha’ul confirmed the distinction between sinful human jealousy and what he called “godly jealousy.” Speaking to the Corinthians, Sha’ul said:

2 Co 11:2 For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Mashiach.

Now let us see what that godly jealousy entails:

2 Co 11:3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Mashiach.

2 Co 11:4 For if he that cometh preacheth another Yahushua, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.

Sha’ul was expressing jealousy in guarding YHWH’S possession. The people of Corinth were being wooed away from the original good news that was preached to them. It is the same type of jealousy YHWH expressed here through the prophet Zecharyahu:

Zec 1:14 So the angel that communed with me said unto me, Cry thou, saying, Thus saith YHWH of hosts; I am jealous for Jerusalem and for Zion with a great jealousy.

It is also similar to YHWH’S intolerance of rivalry or unfaithfulness:

Exo 34:14 For thou shalt worship no other el: for YHWH, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous El (intolerant of rivalry or unfaithfulness):

yhwh is jealous - idolatry in music

Musical idolatry

Just a Word Radio Promo 600x300

 

“YHWH is Jealous” is a Righteous Jealousy

Contrary to what the unlearned detractors say, “YHWH is jealous” is a righteous jealousy. It has no corrupt, sinful human traits about it. It simply means he is intolerant of rivalry and unfaithfulness, and he is vigilant in guarding his possession.

Indeed, this is why he is so intolerant of idolatry, to the point that it is spoken against so many times in the Bible. By the way, let us not forget that no idolaters will enter his kingdom:

Eph 5:5 For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Mashiach and of Elohim.

YHWH is jealous with a righteous jealousy. Don’t forget that he is also Qadosh (Holy). As such, there is no sin in him:

Lev 19:2 Speak unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say unto them, Ye shall be qadosh (holy): for I YHWH your Elohim am qadosh.