Bible Verses About Jealousy: 20 Important Quotes

by Daryl Evans · Print Print · Email Email

The battle that rages inside all of us is that even when our intentions are good, we still have a sin nature and often yield to sin.  One of those sins is jealousy, which is closely related to one of the “seven deadly sins” called envy or covetous.  There are a number of verses that deal with this topic because when we fall into jealousy or envy, we will often spiral down very quickly in our spiritual life.  It is easy to fall into jealousy in our materialistic society.  The mantra of culture seems to be to keep up with the Jones’.  Grab all that you can.  Put yourself first in all things.  Consider what Scripture says about jealousy and envy…

Bible Verses Where Jealousy is Contrasted with Good Characteristics

Song of Solomon 8:6 Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm, for love is strong as death, jealousy is fierce as the grave. Its flashes are flashes of fire, the very flame of the LORD.

1Corinthians 13:4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it his not arrogant

Philippians 2:3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.

James 3:14-15 But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth.  This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic.

Bible Verses About Jealousy

James 3:16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.

Scriptures Where Jealousy Leads to Destruction

Genesis 4:8  Cain spoke to Abel his brother. And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him.

Psalm 37:1-3 Fret not yourself because of evildoers; be not envious of wrongdoers!  For they will soon fade like the grass and wither like the green herb. Trust in the LORD, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.

Proverbs 6:34 For jealousy makes a man furious, and he will not spare when he takes revenge.

James 3:16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.

James 4:1-2  What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? 2 You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask.

Proverbs 14:30  A tranquil heart gives life to the flesh, but envy makes the bones rot.

Bible Quotes that Show That God is a Jealous God

Exodus 20:5 You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me

Exodus 34:14 (for you shall worship no other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God)

Deuteronomy 4:24 For the LORD your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.

Psalm 79:5  How long, O LORD? Will you be angry forever? Will your jealousy burn like fire?

Verses About Jealousy and Sin

Exodus 20:17You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.”

Proverbs 27:4   Wrath is cruel, anger is overwhelming, but who can stand before jealousy?

Acts 7:9 “And the patriarchs, jealous of Joseph, sold him into Egypt; but God was with him

1Corinthians 3:3-5 for you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way? 4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it his not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful

Ephesians 5:3 But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. 4 Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving. 5 For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.

Galatians 5:19-21 Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Romans 13:13 Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy.

There are many more examples that I could point to in Scripture.  If we are honest with ourselves, we all get envious or jealous at times.  Sometimes it may be subtle in our own minds as we wish things were different.  Maybe we question God about some of the circumstances in our life.  God can handle any question that we may have but we need to ask if we are honestly seeking an answer to a struggle in our life or questioning the ways and will of God.  That is a fine line.  Thankfully, we serve and love a great God.  He is the God of the Old Testament and the New Testament.  He is the same yesterday, today and forever.  He loves us so much in spite of our sins.  My prayer today is that we all would evaluate our own life and if convicted by the Holy Spirit about the sin of jealousy, that we would ask forgiveness and repent of our sin.  God wants to give us freedom over our sin that comes through the shed blood of Jesus.  Praise Him!

Looking for some more Bible verse studies?

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The Holy Bible, English Standard Version

“Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”


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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Robert July 16, 2012 at 10:12 am

Loved what you said about jealousy and our culture. It’s almost as if our culture is pro-jealousy and covetousness.

The section about God being jealous shouldn’t be seen as a contradiction (i.e. jealousy is a sin but God is jealous). God is jealous for our love and worship as I am jealous for my wife’s love and affection. It is appropriate that my wife’s love/affection is for me and it is appropriate that our love/affection/worship is towards God. Anyway, that’s my two-cents worth.
Great article, Daryl. Thanks again.
Yours in Christ,


Paul Arasanalu November 16, 2012 at 11:07 pm

so sweet & lovely, appreciate u much!


Michelle March 16, 2013 at 1:29 am

So true. Jealousy is terrible and we should never be jealous of others. As a woman I know that a lot of women are jealous of other women because of looks and because of men. It’s wrong and terrible to dislike someone and treat someone badly because you are jealous of them. We should be happy for one another and loving and kind to one another. This should be taught in churches about jealously. Especially because it’s something that a lot of women do. It should be taught that it’s a sin and how wrong it is. Great article.


Jojo May 19, 2013 at 5:23 am

Thanks, the biblical quotes on jealously. Jealously definitely is terrible. I’ve been experiencing this feeling lately. God, please gave me strength to empty my heart from myself and be full with you.


devon December 22, 2013 at 8:49 am

If God is a jealous God, and jealousy is a sin, then God sins? I’m a Christian, and this was pointed out to me by an atheist and it concerned me. Can someone explain this to me?


Jack Wellman December 22, 2013 at 1:06 pm

Where does the Bible say that jealousy is sin, particularly if it is for a spouse? God uses language that we can understand and He is jealous not like a human is. If a man’s wife was spending time with another man and cooking for him and doing all kinds of things with him, would it be sin for her husband to be jealous? No, it is understandable for sure. If you are listening to an atheist, that means that you may be trying to have him destroy your faith. God cannot sin but humans do. Atheists don’t really exist for an atheist believes that there is no God yet ask Him to prove to you that there is no God. He cannot.


Tonia December 26, 2014 at 11:30 pm

I can understand it when a unsaved person is showing extreme jealous emotions…..but when another Christians does it.and does not try to pray to get rid of jealous feelings…now that’s a big problem…..believe I know..I have relatives that are suppose to be saved…but they are far from it.

So sad.


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