Let’s continue our study on the jealousy of God, looking at one more Hebrew term translated as jealous in the Old Testament.
God’s Jealousy קַנּוֹא
The following words for jealous are used only of God, and the remainder of the post will consider God’s jealousy
The Hebrew word H7067,קַנּוֹא qannôwʼ, kan-no’; jealous or angry:—jealous, which occurs 6 times in the following 5 verses.
Exodus 20:5You 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,
Moses, in the first occurrence of this concept of God’s jealousy, directly links jealousy with worship and service. This is a recurring theme in the verses we will look at.
Jealousy is also rooted in covenant, since the law is being given in this passage, and this passage is the establishment of the Sinaitic covenant, the covenant that establishes Israel as a Theocratic kingdom on earth.
Consider the marriage covenant. Two people promise themselves to one another. One breaks the promise by being unfaithful. Jealousy rears it’s head. As humans, we tend to immediately seek selfish revenge. Can we attribute this selfish revenge to God?
The covenant warns those entering into it the severity of the covenant. Iniquity will be visited up. There were no secrets, or hidden clauses that Israel could accuse God of. And yet, the visitation of God upon the nation of Israel was not swift and severe. It tended to be forgiving, patient and merciful.
Now Carl you have gone to far!
Consider the verse we are looking at. Note that God will visit the iniquities of the fathers generations later. The average Israeli could expect judgment upon his life, or 60 to 80 years after the sin, (if I read this right, given that a generation is 20 years).
Exodus 34:14(for you shall worship no other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God),
A reiteration of the above conditions the nation entered into at Sinai.
Deuteronomy 4:24For the LORD your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.
Deuteronomy 5:9You 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 fourth generation of those who hate me,
As the book title means “Second Telling”, this verse repeats Exodus 20:5
You shall not go after other gods, the gods of the peoples who are around you—
for the LORD your God in your midst is a jealous God—lest the anger of the LORD your God be kindled against you, and he destroy you from off the face of the earth.
Is anger a common thread? Yes. Is the competition of ones devotion involved in both? Yes.
Is both jealousies patient and concerned about the “traitors” life? Not so much.
Human jealousy is selfish and impatient, concerned only with my rights and refuses to consider the responsibilities of the relationship.
“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!
God is a jealous God, and His patience and longsuffering in the midst of His anger is beyond understanding.
But it isn’t beyond some limit.
Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.