Examples Of Jealousy In The Bible

Have you ever wondered about the destructive power of jealousy and its consequences in the Bible? In this blog post, we will explore various examples of jealousy found in the scriptures, delving into the lessons we can learn from these stories. By examining these narratives, we can gain a deeper understanding of the dangers of jealousy and how to overcome it in our own lives.

Exploring Envy: Biblical Instances of Jealousy

Jealousy is a recurring theme in the Bible, with numerous examples illustrating its destructive power and consequences. In both the Old and New Testaments, we see how jealousy can lead to betrayal, violence, and ultimately, separation from God.

1. Cain and Abel: The story of Cain and Abel in Genesis 4 is perhaps one of the most well-known examples of jealousy in the Bible. Cain becomes jealous of his brother Abel because God favored Abel’s offering over his own. This jealousy ultimately leads Cain to murder his brother out of spite.

2. Saul and David: King Saul’s jealousy of David is another prominent example in the Bible. Saul, who was initially pleased with David’s military victories, soon became envious of David’s growing popularity and success. This jealousy consumed Saul to the point where he sought to kill David multiple times.

3. Joseph and His Brothers: In the book of Genesis, the story of Joseph and his brothers highlights the destructive nature of jealousy within a family. Joseph’s brothers, envious of their father’s favoritism towards him, plotted to kill him but ultimately sold him into slavery out of jealousy.

4. The Pharisees and Jesus: In the New Testament, the religious leaders of Jesus’ time, particularly the Pharisees, were often consumed by jealousy towards Jesus. They envied his teachings, popularity, and authority, leading them to plot against him and eventually crucify him.

5. Paul and Some Preachers: Even within the early Christian community, jealousy was present. In Philippians 1:15-17, Paul mentions how some preachers were motivated by envy and rivalry, seeking to cause trouble for him while he was imprisoned. Paul’s response was to focus on the preaching of the Gospel, regardless of their intentions.

These examples serve as cautionary tales, reminding us of the destructive nature of jealousy and the importance of guarding our hearts against such feelings. Jealousy not only harms relationships but also distances us from God’s love and grace. As we reflect on these stories, may we learn to cultivate contentment, gratitude, and humility in our own lives.

What is the root cause of jealousy Bible?

The root cause of jealousy in the Bible can be traced back to sin and discontentment. Jealousy often arises when individuals compare themselves to others and feel inadequate or envious of what someone else has. In the Bible, jealousy is seen as a destructive emotion that can lead to conflict and division among people. It is important for individuals to guard their hearts against jealousy and focus on being content with what they have, trusting in God’s provision and plan for their lives.

What does God tell us about jealousy?

In the Bible, God warns us about the dangers of jealousy. In the Ten Commandments, God explicitly states, “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor” (Exodus 20:17). This commandment reminds us that jealousy leads to coveting what others have, which can ultimately lead to sinful actions and discontentment. Additionally, Proverbs 14:30 teaches us that “A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.” This verse highlights the destructive nature of jealousy and how it can harm both our physical and spiritual well-being. Overall, the Bible encourages us to guard our hearts against jealousy and instead focus on gratitude and contentment in all circumstances.

What are the characteristics of jealousy in the Bible?

Jealousy is a recurring theme in the Bible, often portrayed as a negative and destructive emotion. In the context of the Bible, jealousy is characterized by envy, resentment, and possessiveness. It is seen as a sin that can lead to harmful actions and consequences. The Bible warns against the dangers of jealousy, emphasizing the importance of contentment and trust in God’s plan. Notable biblical examples of jealousy include Cain’s jealousy towards his brother Abel, and the jealousy of Saul towards David. Ultimately, the Bible teaches that jealousy is a manifestation of selfishness and lack of faith, and encourages believers to cultivate virtues such as love, humility, and gratitude.

What are some envious stories in the Bible?

Some envious stories in the Bible include:

1. Cain and Abel: In the book of Genesis, Cain becomes envious of his brother Abel’s favor with God and ends up killing him out of jealousy.

2. Joseph and his brothers: In the book of Genesis, Joseph’s brothers become envious of him because of their father’s favoritism towards him, leading them to sell him into slavery.

3. Saul and David: King Saul becomes envious of David’s popularity and success, which ultimately leads him to try and kill David multiple times.

4. The Pharisees and Jesus: The religious leaders of the time become envious of Jesus’ teachings and following, leading them to plot against him and eventually crucify him.

These stories serve as reminders of the destructive nature of envy and the importance of overcoming such negative emotions in order to live a righteous and fulfilling life.


What are some examples of jealousy portrayed in the Bible?

Cain’s jealousy of Abel (Genesis 4:5-8), Joseph’s brothers’ jealousy of him (Genesis 37:11), and Saul’s jealousy of David (1 Samuel 18:9) are examples of jealousy portrayed in the Bible.

How did jealousy impact the relationships between characters in Biblical stories?

Jealousy led to conflict and betrayal between characters in Biblical stories.

Is jealousy a common theme throughout the Bible?

Yes, jealousy is a common theme throughout the Bible.