As promised, I am back to unpack the name of God that identifies Him as Jealous, El Kanna.
In recent days, light has been shed on the fact that there are those who would say that God being jealous is a contradiction in terms and decries the reality of His existence as documented in the Bible. Though I am not arguing for or against this opinion, I pray that God would give us discernment and truth as to how we are to identify Him in this way. So… with that in mind, let’s start with our primary verse of Scripture.
I love the way the amplified calls Him an “impassioned” God. Think about the way we view jealousy in our human mindset.
Webster’s Online Dictionary gives us the following definition for Jealous:
1. Showing extreme cupidity; painfully desirous of another’s advantages; “he was never covetous before he met her”; “jealous of his success and covetous of his possessions”; “envious of their art collection”; “he was green with envy”.
2. Suspicious or unduly suspicious or fearful of being displaced by a rival; “a jealous lover”.
Synonyms: covetous (adj), envious (adj), green (adj), green-eyed (adj), overjealous (adj).
Source: WordNet 1.7.1 Copyright © 2001 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
I also looked up the word cupidity because I did not know what it meant:
1. Extreme greed for material wealth.
Synonyms: avarice (n), avariciousness (n), covetousness (n).
Source: WordNet 1.7.1 Copyright © 2001 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
If we define God as Jealous by human standards He would be: covetous, envious, extremely greedy for material wealth, unduly suspicisious (which implies paranoia) and fearful of being displaced by a rival, as well as painfully desiring the advantages of another. How far off the mark is that?
All of those qualities are not virtues, they are vices. The very sinful degrees by which we humans measure our worthiness and our value, by which we measure our success or failure – in comparison to and in competition with others. But, God says He is Holy and without sin(Leviticus 10:3, 11:44, 20:26), He owns the cattle on a thousand hills and has no need of anything (Psalm 50:10), and He commands us not to covet (Exodus 20) or to fear (Isaiah 43). God does not have to compete – He is God, He created everything and He knows how the story ends. He is not vying for our favor, we are seeking His. And, if Scripture says that God is Jealous, but that coveting is a sin then we must discover what this word means and why our God would call Himself jealous when we view it in such a negative light. After all, God is not a man that He should lie or a son of man who changes His mind (Numbers 23:19). How about we unpack this thing together..
Our first order of business is to unpack the Word Study and commentaries on this particular verse (Exodus 34:14).
Hebrew Strong’s Reference Number: 410
Translated in the KJV: God
Hebrew Word: אֵל
Root: shortened from , Greek and
Cross Reference: TWOT – 93a
Part of Speech: n m
Vine’s Words: God
English Words used in KJV: God 213, god 16, power 4, mighty 5, goodly 1, great 1, idols 1, Immanuel + 2, might 1, strong 1 [Total Count: 245]
shortened from (‘ayil); strength; as adjective mighty; especially the Almighty (but used also of any deity) :- God (god), × goodly, × great, idol*, might (-y one), power, strong. Compare names in “-el.”
*NOTE As we studied before… This word was borrowed from the neighboring pagan countries and could be used to identify God Almighty or any old god. The context of the verse is typically the clarifier for most instances.
Hebrew Strong’s Number: 7067
Translated in the KJV: Jealous
Hebrew Word: קַנָּא
Root: from , Greek
Cross Reference: TWOT – 2038b
Part of Speech: adj
Vine’s Words: Jealous (To Be), Zealous
English Words used in KJV:
jealous 6 [Total Count: 6]
from (qana’); jealous :- jealous. Compare (qannow’)
Hebrew Strong’s Reference Number: 7065
Translated in the KJV: (NOT APPLICABLE – ORIGIN REFERENCE for 7067)
Hebrew Word: קָנָא
Root: a primitive root
Cross Reference: TWOT – 2038
Part of Speech: v
Vine’s Words: Jealous (To Be), Zealous
English Words used in KJV: jealous 10, envy 9, jealousy 5, envious 4, zealous 2, very 2, zeal 1, [Total Count: 33]
a primitive root; to be (causative make) zealous, i.e. (in a bad sense) jealous or envious :- (be) envy (-ious), be (move to, provoke to) jealous (-y), × very, (be) zeal (-ous).————————————————–
Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words (Nelson, Vine (Unger and White), p. 124 Hebrew Dictionary)
TO BE JEALOUS, ZEALOUS, C. Adjectives. qannāʾ (קַנָּא, 7067), “jealous.” This adjective occurs 6 times in the Old Testament. The word refers directly to the attributes of God’s justice and holiness, as He is the sole object of human worship and does not tolerate man’s sin. One appearance is in Exodus 20:5: “…For I the Lord thy god am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me.”
The adjective qannōʾ also means “jealous.” This word appears only twice, with implications similar to qannāʾ. Josh. 24:19 is one example: “And Joshua said unto the people, Ye cannot serve the Lord; for he is a holy God; he is a jealous God; he will not forgive your transgressions nor your sins.” Nah. 1:2 contains the other occurrence of qannōʾ.
Our passage in Deuteronomy 4:23-24 yesterday has a bit more commentary that I want to examine from the Bible Knowledge Commentary Old Testament (Victor Books, Walvoord and Zuck, 1985, p. 270).
4:21-24. (continued) As a jealous God (cf. 5:9; 32:16, 21; see comments on 6:15) He will not allow another to have the honor that is due Him alone (Isa. 42:8; 48:11). Therefore Israel needed to be extremely careful to remember the covenant (cf. 4:9).
(p. 158, commentary on Exodus 34:14)
34:12-17. God had revealed His character (vv.5-7) and promised His presence and power (vv. 10-11). The covenant obligation to obey, given in detail in chapters 21-23, was not (34:12-18) given in summary form. This code is essentially what was previously given in “the book of the Covenant” (24:7) though 34:12-28 is more harsh than the first because of Israel’s recent sin (chap. 32).
One of the major purposes of these regulations was to keep Israel from idolatry, an unthinkable practice in a theocracy. Israel, however, had already fallen into idolatry. To make a treaty (cf. 23:32) with a people implies the acceptance of their gods, and this was to be avoided. Strong action was to be taken against idols: altars were to be broken, sacred stones (cf. Deut. 7:5; 12:3), possibly male fertility symbols, smashed, and Asherah poles cut down. In their pagan worship Canaanites erected poles in honor of the goddess Asherah, consort of Baal (also see comments on 2 Chron. 14:3). Because Israel had fallen into idolatry (Ex. 32) the instructions here (34:12-13) were more inclusive than those in 23:24.
The Mosaic Covenant was the basis of God’s theocratic rule over His people. Therefore since He alone is God He tolerates no rivals (cf. 20:3). It is in this sense that God is jealous (cf. 20:5).
Making a treaty with idolaters would lead to involvement in their sacrificial communal meals (34:15), to intermarrying their daughters (many of whom were spiritual and/or physical prostitutes to their gods; cf. Hosea 4:13-14), and even to making molten images (Ex. 34:17, cf. 20:4) as they had already done with the gold calf (32:4). Tragicaly Israel did not heed these warnings and they did in fact become involved in worshipping the Canaanites’ adn others’ false gods. Ultimately this led to Israel being exiled.
In context, this passage and God’s name being Jealous takes on a whole new meaning. God is not jealous of us worshipping other gods, He is jealous for us to worship Him as the One True and Living God of all. Jealous, full of zeal and impassioned about His people is our God upon His throne initiating each and every phase of His Divine plan for us from Creation to Eternity and desiring what in return – our devotion, our worship and our praise, our humilty and our love. God wants us to be as sold out on Him as He is on us… Sold out enough to die for Him, the way He died for us!
As a western culture nation, I would say that we in the United States are desensitized and demoralized by the “fat” lifestyles we live, we cry when we don’t have enough money to get our nails done or to buy the new dress we’ve been eyeing at Dillard’s. Our children tell us they are bored with the 50 video games and 500 DVDs hidden away in our house and they just don’t have time to read their Bible as they should. Where did they learn it? From their parents, the grown ups who have for decades modelled a slow and tedious move from the spiritual to the natural way of doing things. We may not hang around the temple erecting monuments to false gods and prostituting ourselves for and to them, but we sure have sold our soul to MasterCard, Visa and American Express.
The American Dream is no longer a Judea-Christian environment with family values and strong moral convictions. It is not the dream of community ownership and legacy building as the forefathers saw it where prayer, Bible study and religious convictions rested alongside family and community values at the forefront of their writings and speeches. No… we have sold out the American Dream for the Bigger Better Deal that leaves us feeling cheated or inadequated if we don’t have 2.4 gas guzzling vehicles sitting in the garage, cannot afford our every whim or fancy that catches our eye and if we don’t have the latest and greatest technological device (ipod, cell phone, superduper nanosecond processing computers and flat screen super huge and terribly expensive televisions) we somehow think we are missing out and missing it. We work three jobs and debt our way into the next century leaving behind a legacy of bad debt, bad decisions and godlessness. What’s worse, we feel entitled to it… we compromise daily to achieve it and we wonder why God is allowing our nation to sink lower and lower into the mental and social slavery of this world.
The other day, my father made a comment about Nikita Khrushev stating that the west would fall by their own standards and they would not only be buried by the Communist countries, but we would pay them to bury us. This is totally a political statement, but the trillions of dollars of debt this country has is selling us into a scenario none of would soon imagine. Watch the Middle East and the communist run countries… They will be here before you know it if we do not wake up. Our debt is currently being purchased by nations like China and Arab states. That means these countries won’t have to invade us to take us by force – they will just have to call in their debts! They are buying America lock, stock and barrel and we think we have it over them! Rome fell, Jerusalem fell, Babylon fell… all the great cities of society have fallen, why? Because God is in control – He sets up kings and deposes them. He sends His people into exile to bring them back unto Himself… when will we wake up and realize that Jesus truly is the answer for the world today. Without Him we are more than lost, we are destroyed.
My political rant is over, please, please… pray for our country. But don’t stop there… Take a Stand! Are we really standing up and saying that the cream of the crop are the three remaining candidates that stand before us to claim the position and responsibility of President of the United States. Really?
Now, to Scripture! Today’s sampling is meaty no doubt, but see it through to the end and I pray you are blessed!
Zephaniah 1:18 (AMP) “Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the Lord’s indignation and wrath. But the whole earth shall be consumed in the fire of His jealous wrath, for a full, yes, a sudden, end will He make of all the inhabitants of the earth.”
Anything that we can gain in the natural that gets our devotion, our full passion and desire and temporarily satisfies our physical, emotional or mental needs but does not focus or center us on God alone is an idol. Here God tells us that our own accomplishments, earnings and ability to provide for ourselves and take care of ourselves amount to nothing. It will not redeem, save or deliver us from our troubles. And ultimately the perishable will be consumed while the imperishable lasts forever. If it doesn’t glorify God and contribute to His eternal Kingdom what is the value really?
Psalm 78:58-72 (AMP) “For they provoked Him to [righteous] anger with their high places [for idol worship] and moved Him to jealousy with their graven images. 59 When God heard this, He was full of [holy] wrath; and He utterly rejected Israel, greatly abhorring and loathing [her ways], 60 So that He forsook the tabernacle at Shiloh, the tent in which He had dwelt among men [and never returned to it again], 61 And delivered His strength and power (the ark of the covenant) into captivity, and His glory into the hands of the foe (the Philistines). 62 He gave His people over also to the sword and was wroth with His heritage [Israel]. 63 The fire [of war] devoured their young men, and their bereaved virgins were not praised in a wedding song. 64 Their priests [Hophni and Phinehas] fell by the sword, and their widows made no lamentation [for the bodies came not back from the scene of battle, and the widow of Phinehas also died that day]. 65 Then the Lord awakened as from sleep, as a strong man whose consciousness of power is heightened by wine. 66 And He smote His adversaries in the back [as they fled]; He put them to lasting shame and reproach. 67 Moreover, He rejected the tent of Joseph and chose not the tribe of Ephraim [in which the tabernacle had been accustomed to stand]. 68 But He chose the tribe of Judah [as Israel’s leader], Mount Zion, which He loved [to replace Shiloh as His capital]. 69 And He built His sanctuary [exalted] like the heights [of the heavens] and like the earth which He established forever. 70 He chose David His servant and took him from the sheepfolds; 71 From tending the ewes that had their young He brought him to be the shepherd of Jacob His people, of Israel His inheritance. 72 So [David] was their shepherd with an upright heart; he guided them by the discernment and skillfulness [which controlled] his hands.”
When I landed on this Scripture I read it aloud to my husband. I just couldn’t quit reading it in the context in which it was written. God so desires to be the sole pursuit of our lives that He will take away His presence forever if we cannot and will not turn ourselves to Him. He is a jealous, all consuming God. He desires us, and is passionate about dwelling with us – in our midst. He desires to have a relationship with us, not just to be identified with us. We must be after His heart, His desires and His continual presence in our lives or we have completely missed it.
1 Corinthians 10:14-31 (AMP) “Therefore, my dearly beloved, shun (keep clear away from, avoid by flight if need be) any sort of idolatry (of loving or venerating anything more than God). 15 I am speaking as to intelligent (sensible) men. Think over and make up your minds [for yourselves] about what I say. [I appeal to your reason and your discernment in these matters.] 16 The cup of blessing [of wine at the Lord’s Supper] upon which we ask [God’s] blessing, does it not mean [that in drinking it] we participate in and share a fellowship (a communion) in the blood of Christ (the Messiah)? The bread which we break, does it not mean [that in eating it] we participate in and share a fellowship (a communion) in the body of Christ? 17 For we [no matter how] numerous we are, are one body, because we all partake of the one Bread [the One Whom the communion bread represents]. 18 Consider those [physically] people of Israel. Are not those who eat the sacrifices partners of the altar [united in their worship of the same God]? 19 What do I imply then? That food offered to idols is [intrinsically changed by the fact and amounts to] anything or that an idol itself is a [living] thing? 20 No, I am suggesting that what the pagans sacrifice they offer [in effect] to demons (to evil spiritual powers) and not to God [at all]. I do not want you to fellowship and be partners with diabolical spirits [by eating at their feasts]. 21 You cannot drink the Lord’s cup and the demons’ cup. You cannot partake of the Lord’s table and the demons’ table. 22 Shall we thus provoke the Lord to jealousy and anger and indignation? Are we stronger than He [that we should defy Him]? 23 All things are legitimate [permissible—and we are free to do anything we please], but not all things are helpful (expedient, profitable, and wholesome). All things are legitimate, but not all things are constructive [to character] and edifying [to spiritual life]. 24 Let no one then seek his own good and advantage and profit, but [rather] each one of the other [let him seek the welfare of his neighbor]. 25 [As to meat offered to idols] eat anything that is sold in the meat market without raising any question or investigating on the grounds of conscientious scruples, 26 For the [whole] earth is the Lord’s and everything that is in it. 27 In case one of the unbelievers invites you to a meal and you want to go, eat whatever is served to you without examining into its source because of conscientious scruples. 28 But if someone tells you, This has been offered in sacrifice to an idol, do not eat it, out of consideration for the person who informed you, and for conscience’s sake— 29 I mean for the sake of his conscience, not yours, [do not eat it]. For why should another man’s scruples apply to me and my liberty of action be determined by his conscience? 30 If I partake [of my food] with thankfulness, why am I accused and spoken evil of because of that for which I give thanks? 31 So then, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you may do, do all for the honor and glory of God.”
This too just captured my full attention. I have read and reread this passage about liberty, but also I consider the weight with which it speaks to the way we must find God in everything from what we think to those things we eat to the tiniest activities of our day we must in the end find God glorified in it. Liberty is not given for liberty’s sake, it is given that we may fully and freely live for the will of God. I don’t think I have fully grasped all the weight of this passage, but for today… I think two parts resonate in my heart loudly enough for me to take notice: verse 15 “I am speaking as to intelligent (sensible) men. Think over and make up your minds [for yourselves] about what I say. [I appeal to your reason and your discernment in these matters.]” and verse 22 “Shall we thus provoke the Lord to jealousy and anger and indignation? Are we stronger than He [that we should defy Him]?”
I am responsible for what I believe, I am responsible to what I believe and I am to consider the weighty matters with due diligence by the power of His Holy Spirit and His ability to discern Truth for me. I must allow God’s Will to resonate in my life.
The following is noted in two different translations:
2 Corinthains 11:1-3 (NIV) “I hope you will put up with a little of my foolishness; but you are already doing that. 2 I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him. 3 But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ.”
2 Corinthians 11:1-3 (AMP) “I WISH you would bear with me while I indulge in a little [so-called] foolishness. Do bear with me! 2 For I am zealous for you with a godly eagerness and a divine jealousy, for I have betrothed you to one Husband, to present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. 3 But [now] I am fearful, lest that even as the serpent beguiled Eve by his cunning, so your minds may be corrupted and seduced from wholehearted and sincere and pure devotion to Christ.”
Paul so beautifully expresses the jealousy of God for us as the Bride of Christ in this cautionary exhortation. He longs for us to get it, to live fully immersed in our relationship with Him. Identifying and prospering in His will and His presence. But, the enemy certainly would like for us to live defeated, to have us give up on our Bridegroom and forsake Him for the here and now. Let’s live beyond the curse and walk in our calling as the ELECT, the Bride of Christ.
As we weigh the Word today, consider all the ways that God’s jealousy is for us and not of us or against us:
The Lord Promises to Bless Jerusalem
1 Again the word of the Lord Almighty came to me.
2 This is what the Lord Almighty says:
“I am very jealous for Zion;
I am burning with jealousy for her.”
3 This is what the Lord says:
“I will return to Zion and dwell in Jerusalem.
Then Jerusalem will be called the City of Truth,
and the mountain of the Lord Almighty
will be called the Holy Mountain.”
4 This is what the Lord Almighty says:
“Once again men and women of ripe old age
will sit in the streets of Jerusalem,
each with cane in hand because of his age.
5 The city streets will be filled with
boys and girls playing there.”
6 This is what the Lord Almighty says:
“It may seem marvelous to the remnant
of this people at that time,
but will it seem marvelous to me?”
declares the Lord Almighty.
7 This is what the Lord Almighty says:
“I will save my people from the countries
of the east and the west.
8 I will bring them back to live in Jerusalem;
they will be my people,
and I will be faithful and
righteous to them as their God.”
9 This is what the Lord Almighty says:
“You who now hear these words spoken
by the prophets who were there when
the foundation was laid for
the house of the Lord Almighty,
let your hands be strong
so that the temple may be built.
10 Before that time there were
no wages for man or beast.
No one could go about his business safely
because of his enemy, for I had turned
every man against his neighbor.
11 But now I will not deal with
the remnant of this people as
I did in the past,”
declares the Lord Almighty.
12 “The seed will grow well,
the vine will yield its fruit,
the ground will produce its crops,
and the heavens will drop their dew.
I will give all these things as an inheritance
to the remnant of this people.
13 As you have been an object of cursing
among the nations, O Judah and Israel,
so will I save you, and you will be a blessing.
Do not be afraid, but let your hands be strong.”
14 This is what the Lord Almighty says:
“Just as I had determined to bring disaster
upon you and showed no pity when your
fathers angered me,” says the Lord Almighty,
15 “so now I have determined to do good
again to Jerusalem and Judah. Do not be afraid.
16 These are the things you are to do:
Speak the truth to each other,
and render true and sound judgment
in your courts;
17 do not plot evil against your neighbor,
and do not love to swear falsely. I hate all this,”
declares the Lord.
18 Again the word of the Lord Almighty came to me.
19 This is what the Lord Almighty says:
“The fasts of the fourth, fifth, seventh and tenth months
will become joyful and glad occasions
and happy festivals for Judah.
Therefore love truth and peace.”
20 This is what the Lord Almighty says:
“Many peoples and the inhabitants of many cities will yet come,
21 and the inhabitants of one city will go to another and say,
‘Let us go at once to entreat the Lord
and seek the Lord Almighty. I myself am going.’
22 And many peoples and powerful nations
will come to Jerusalem to seek the Lord Almighty
and to entreat him.”
23 This is what the Lord Almighty says:
“In those days ten men from all languages
and nations will take firm hold of one Jew
by the hem of his robe and say,
‘Let us go with you, because we have heard that God is with you.'”