Comments K-Z

W. Phillip Keller:  We are also told in our text for this chapter that the "love of God" is not envious. Some modern translations use the word "jealous" instead of envious. That is not quite accurate. There is a subtle but profound difference between envy and jealousy.

One envies that which another achieves or owns. We envy that which does not belong to us. Jealousy, on the other hand, is an inflamed sense of personal possession. It is self-centeredness and self-preoccupation with what I already own and am unwilling to share with others.

Next to the sin of self-pity, which is without doubt the most heinous of all human sins carried out against God by Christians, jealousy is perhaps the next most despicable. Self-pity implies God has failed me and cannot care for me. Jealousy implies that I am so self-centered I cannot share what is entrusted to me.

It is obvious neither attitude ever occurs in the impeccable character of Christ. The statements made in Scripture that God is jealous would be much better translated "zealous". For example, He is zealous for His name, for His reputation, for His presence amongst His people. Being God, very God, supreme and sovereign in the universe, there is no reason He should envy or be jealous of anyone, for He has no equals.

We humans with our limited comprehension of God's character tend to overindulge in anthropomorphism. We attribute qualities of human personality to Him which at times are very erroneous. These are a caricature of His true likeness. To say He is jealous or envious as we are is very misleading and wrong!

On the other hand, the love of God is exceedingly fair, generous, and well-intentioned toward others. Christ is delighted when He sees others succeed. He is elated when His people triumph. He loves to know that because of His poured-out life to us we too can enjoy life abundantly.

We never, ever see Christ caught up in the wretched, self-centered role of a rival. We do not see Him debasing Himself with envy, ill-will or any hint of personal jealousy. Even when abused and despised by His detractors, He remained silent and refused to respond with railing against railing. (Meditate on 1 Pet. 2:15-25.)

This is the greatness of Our God.

It is the surpassing generosity of His Spirit.

It is the character of Christ unclouded by discord.

Christ calls us, as His followers, to live our lives on this same lofty plane. He sheds His great love abroad in our characters to keep us from getting mired in the cruel criticism and mud-slinging that is all too common in some Christian circles. Too many are envious of the success or blessings or benefits bestowed on their brothers and sisters in God's family.

Instead we should be glad and cheer for those who are doing well. We should rejoice for any ground gained by those who love The Lord. We should thank Our Father for every inch of territory taken by any Christian in his contest with the enemy.

Cornelius a Lapide:  Envieth not. For, as St. Gregory says (Hom. v. in Evang.), "the good will which charity begets is one that fears others' misfortunes as its own, which rejoices in the prosperity of its neighbour as in its own, believes others' losses as its own, and reckons others' gains as its own." The reason is, because charity does not regard my things and thine, but those which are God's. For, as St. Gregory says (ibid.), "whatever we desire in this world, we envy to our neighbor," for we seem to lose what another gains. For this cause charity is cold where lust is bold. On the contrary, when brotherly love reigns, then lust lives an exile; for, as St. Augustine says (de Doctr. Christ. lib. iii. c. 10), "the more the kingdom of lust is destroyed, the more charity is increased".

Steve Lewis:  Is not jealous (zeloo) = to passionately covet for one's self the things which another person possesses; to burn with envy against another person. We might call this quality "selfish passion." This kind of attitude is sometimes produced by a deep sense of personal inferiority, and the apostle Paul had addressed the issue of inferiority in chapter twelve. But the attitude produced by God's kind of love is one of contentment and joy.

Heinrich Meyer:  ou zeloi] negation of all passionate, selfish feelings towards others (envy, jealousy, and such like).

Mark Heber Miller:  Love is not (being) jealous.

The Greek for "jealous" is ZELOI and the phrase is variously rendered: KJV: envieth not; WMS: never boils with jealousy; TCNT: love is never envious. One can see the English word "zeal" in the Greek. There is a good jealousy (John 2:17; 2 Corinthians 11:2) and there is bad jealousy. (Romans 13:13; 1 Corinthians 3:3) Often when the subject is the bad form of ZELOS then translators use the word "envy." When it is good, it is "zeal." But, zeal can be misdirected or wrongly motivated.

This may be illustrated two ways: there are three friends but one becomes overly zealous (jealous) in this friendship and begins to speak unkindly against one of the others. The jealous one seeks a singular and unique friendship which closes out all others. Also, jealousy may manifest itself in greed or envy. Here the jealous person covets what another has: beauty, riches, intelligence, social standing, or spiritual status. This jealousy always manifests itself in gossip, slander, or hard-hearted coldness.

Proper jealousy may be illustrated by a wife or husband’s insistence on exclusivity in matters of romance or intimacy. (Proverbs 6:32-34) This is a proper jealousy which is an insistence on exclusive devotion. It is not petty and over-bearing so that the mate may have no friends because of the other mate’s jealousy.

Jealousy and envy are exceedingly dangerous and corrosive. (Proverbs 14:30) Proverbs 27:4 warns, "There is the cruelty of rage, also the flood of anger, but who can stand before jealousy?" This may be illustrated: a flood may not move a giant boulder but water dripping incessantly will wear it away. Just so, a godly man may be able to withstand great attacks but the subtle and veiled Chinese water torture of jealous slander may take its toll. This is what happened to Moses who spoke without faith because he was provoked by the jealousy of others . (Psalm 106:32, 33)

If we remember that if we are ever moved to speak unkindly, even evilly in slander of another, it is probably jealousy or envy which motivates us.

Jose L.S. Nogales:  El amor no tiene envidia (ou dseloi). No alberga celos malsanos, ni alimenta sospechas, inquietud o duda insoportable de que el amado haya mudado sus afectos. Se siente capaz de despertar cada día el amor. Y no tiene complejos. Sino una razonable confianza en su valía para mantener y sostener el afecto y el cariño del amado, a quien respeta en su sana y legítima libertad. El amor no mantiene prisiones. Es sutil, y huye con el alma cuando sospecha la prisión. El corazón, más que en el cuerpo, está en aquello que ama. El amor sabe de la inutilidad de los barrotes para aprisionar física, psicológica o moralmente. Porque, nacido en él, conoce el libre vuelo del corazón. El amor no aprisiona. Cuida el espacio de libertad que el corazón necesita para volar.

Matthew Poole:  Charity envieth not; though a charitable person seeth others in a higher and more prosperous condition than himself, yet it doth not trouble him, but he is glad at the preferment, good, and prosperity of other men, however it fareth with himself. Every envious man, that is displeased and angry at another’s faring well, is an uncharitable man, there is no true root of love to God or to his neighbour in his heart.

Ray Pritchard:  Third, love does not envy. This is the sin of those who think others have too much and they have too little. By contrast, love is generous. It does not begrudge others their gifts. How do you respond to the good fortune of others? If they do better than you, if they prosper when you don’t, if their family seems happy while yours is torn apart, how will you react? If they achieve what you cannot, if they gain what you lack, if they win where you lose, then the truth will come out. Can you lose gracefully? Can you walk away from the contest without bitterness?

If you live long enough, you’ll probably find someone who does what you do better than you can do it. You’ll meet people with your talents and your gifts -- only much more of them. You’ll find people who surpass you in every way. What will you do then? This is one test of love. And if you live long enough, you are certain to encounter people who are less talented and less gifted than you in every way, yet they seem to catch all the breaks and end up ahead of you in the great game of life. How will you respond when an inferior person passes you by? This is an even sterner test of love.

A.T. Robertson:  {Envieth not} (ou zeloi). Present active indicative of zeloo- (contraction oei=oi, same as subjunctive and optative forms). Bad sense of zelos from zeo-, to boil, good sense in 12:31. Love is neither jealous nor envious (both ideas).

Hamilton Smith:  "Love is not emulous of others." The flesh ever seeks a place above others, and is jealous of favour or position bestowed on others rather than self. Love can delight without a thought of envy in honours bestowed upon another.

Richard L. Strauss:  "Love envies not." Love is not jealous; it is not in competition with its loved one, nor is it hurt when it comes out second best. Unfortunately, husbands and wives are sometimes jealous of each other. The husband may be jealous of his wife's talents, her leadership abilities, her capacity for getting along with other people, or her understanding of God's Word. The wife may be jealous of the time her husband spends with the children, or the attention the children give him when he comes home from work -- after she has given of herself all day to care for them. She may be jealous of the time and effort the husband gives to his job, to the church, or to something else he enjoys. Either of them may feel surges of jealousy when some member of the opposite sex seems especially friendly to their spouse. Agape love is not possessively jealous, and does not insist on having all the attention all the time.

R.A. Torrey:  Genesis 30:1; 37:11; Matthew 27:18; Romans 1:29; 13:13; 2 Corinthians 12:20; Galatians 5:21 Galatians 5:26 Philippians 1:15; 1 Timothy 6:4; Titus 3:3; James 3:14-16; 4:5; 1 Peter 2:1.

Bill Turner:  Love is not envious. "Ou zeloi."

"Zeloi" is the present active indicative of "zeloo," from "zeo," to boil. Paul here warns us that love does not boil with envy or jealousy. The present tense shows the permanent lack of envy and jealousy in the soul of the Christian who is motivated by "agape" love. The noun "zelos" is used in a good sense of the noble aspiration, and godly zeal and ardour of our Lord in Jn.2:17.. The verb "zeloo" is also used in a good sense in 1 Cor. 12:31, where Paul exhorts us to covet spiritual gifts, but he does not want us to manifest the envious begrudging spirit that is part and parcel of worldly covetousness. Love recognises the various ministries of Christ's Church, it is not jealous of what God gives to others. 1 Cor. 12:4-6; Rom.12:4; Gal.5:19-21; Acts 13:44,45. Love never boils with jealousy.

Bob Utley:  "no es envidioso (celoso)" Literalmente significa "hervir" y describe un fuerte deseo. El amor no es el deseo egoísta por los bienes o el control de las personas.

John Wesley, Sermon 22:  Consequently, "love envieth not:" It is impossible it should; it is directly opposite to that baneful temper. It cannot be, that he who has this tender affection to all, who earnestly wishes all temporal and spiritual blessings, all good things in this world and the world to come, to every soul that God hath made, should be pained at his bestowing any good gift on any child of man. If he has himself received the same, he does not grieve, but rejoice, that another partakes of the common benefit. If he has not, he blesses God that his brother at least has, and is herein happier than himself. And the greater his love, the more does he rejoice in the blessings of all mankind; the farther is he removed from every kind and degree of envy toward any creature.

John Wesley, Sermon 139:  Farther: “Love envieth not.” This, indeed, is implied, when it is said, “Love is kind.” For kindness and envy are inconsistent: They can no more abide together than light and darkness. If we earnestly desire all happiness to all, we cannot be grieved at the happiness of any. The fulfilling of our desire will be sweet to our soul; so far shall we be from being pained at it. If we are always doing what good we can for our neighbour, and wishing we could do more, it is impossible that we should repine at a good he receives: Indeed, it will be the very joy of our heart. However, then, we may flatter ourselves, or one another, he that envieth hath not love.

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