Examining Examples of Jealousy Found Within the Bible


You might not think of the Bible as a source of jealousy stories, but they are there. In fact, jealousy is one of the most common and destructive human emotions. And, as you might expect, it crops up regularly in the pages of the Bible.

Take a look at some of the most famous jealousy examples in the Bible. We’ll explore what these stories can teach us about this powerful emotion and how to overcome it.

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Cain and Abel’s Story of Jealousy

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In the story of Cain and Abel, we see the first example of jealousy in the Bible.

Cain was jealous of Abel because God favored his sacrifice over Cain’s. As a result, Cain killed Abel in a fit of anger. This story is a perfect illustration of the destructive power of jealousy.

Jealousy can make us do terrible things to the people we love. It can also make us feel inferior and unworthy. When we’re consumed by jealousy, it’s hard to think straight or act rationally.

If you’re feeling jealous, it’s important to remember that your feelings are valid, but that doesn’t mean you have to act on them. Try to talk to someone you trust about how you’re feeling, and then work on taking positive steps to improve your self-confidence.

Joseph’s Brothers’ Jealousy of Joseph

You might be wondering why Joseph’s brothers were so jealous of him in the first place.

It all started when their father, Jacob, gave Joseph a special robe. This robe was a symbol of his favoritism for Joseph, and his brothers were not happy about it. They started to become jealous of Joseph’s position in the family, and their jealousy grew even more when they saw him talking to their father.

King Saul’s Jealousy of David

As you read the Bible, you’ll find many examples of jealousy. One of the most well-known is the story of King Saul and David. Saul was insanely jealous of David and did everything in his power to try and get rid of him.

He started by trying to kill David outright, but when that didn’t work, he resorted to more underhanded methods. He hired people to spy on David and report back to him; he tried to have him thrown in prison and even had him followed when he went out on walks.

Saul’s jealousy ultimately led to his downfall. He was so blinded by it that he lost sight of what was really important, and it cost him both his kingdom and his life.

Jesus Returns and Disciples Display Jealousy

When Jesus returns, the disciples demonstrate their jealousy of the special attention Jesus pays to Mary Magdalene. Even in his resurrected form, Jesus shares an intimate moment with her. His other disciples are jealous and angry, showing it through their thoughts and words.

The Bible states: “Peter said to him, ‘Lord, what about this man?’ Jesus said to him, ‘If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow me!’” (John 21:21-22). This verse shows how the disciples are trying to reestablish their positions of authority with Jesus once again.

The jealous tension amongst the disciples was so thick that it took a direct command from Jesus for Peter to understand his place in the matter and take hold of his task at hand—to follow Christ. This example in the Bible highlights how jealousy can draw us back from our mission if we let it consume us.

Paul and the Judaizers

It’s easy to see the jealousy between Paul and the Judaizers in the New Testament. Paul was a convert to Christianity, while the Judiazers were born Jewish and converted to Christianity. In a sense, they had been given a “head start” in their faith journey, and this drove Paul to defend his message of salvation through faith in Christ.

Paul felt that his message was being undermined by the Judaizers who were insisting that believers take on some of the Jewish laws in order to be fully accepted within the Christian community. For example, they argued that circumcision was a necessary requirement for acceptance as a Christian, something which Paul disagreed with. This led to tension between Paul and his detractors, as each side fought for their own interpretation of the gospel message.

Consequences of Jealousy in the Bible

Jealousy, as seen in the Bible, often has far-reaching and damaging consequences. We can see this in Cain and Abel – Cain’s jealousy ultimately led him to murder his own brother. We also see it in the story of Joseph. His brothers were so jealous of his favored status that they sold him into slavery.

In the story of Herod and John the Baptist, we are reminded that jealousy leads to reckless and irrational decisions. When Herod discovered that John was talking about his marriage, he became so jealous and enraged that he had him beheaded.

The Bible also shows us how jealousy can ruin relationships. In the book of Numbers, we see how Korah’s jealousy leads to rebellion against Moses and Aaron – ultimately resulting in a tragedy as God opens up the earth to swallow Korah and his followers alive.

Finally, we also observe how jealous thinking can lead us astray from God’s will for our lives – as evidenced by Saul’s repeated attempts to take matters into his own hands out of jealousy for David.


The examples of jealousy throughout the Bible provide an interesting perspective on this powerful emotion. Jealousy can lead to destructive behavior, as well as damaging relationships. It’s important to be aware of the signs of jealousy and to take steps to deal with this emotion in a healthy way.

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