Envy

ENVY

en'-vi (qin'ah; zelos, phthonos):

"Envy," from Latin in, "against," and video, "to look," "to look with ill-will," etc., toward another, is an evil strongly condemned in both the Old Testament and the New Testament. It is to be distinguished from jealousy. "We are jealous of our own; we are envious of another man's possessions. Jealousy fears to lose what it has; envy is pained at seeing another have" (Crabb's English Synonyms). In the Old Testament it is the translation of qin'ah from kana', "to redden," "to glow" (Job 5:2, the Revised Version (British and American) "jealousy," margin "indignation"; in Isaiah 26:11 the Revised Version (British and American) renders "see thy zeal for the people"; Proverbs 27:4, etc.); the verb occurs in Genesis 26:14, etc.; Numbers 11:29 the King James Version; Psalms 106:16; Proverbs 3:31, etc.; in the New Testament it is the translation of phthonos, "envy" (Matthew 27:18; Romans 1:29; Galatians 5:21, "envyings," etc.); of zelos, "zeal", "jealousy," "envy" (Acts 13:45), translated "envying," the Revised Version (British and American) "jealousy" (Romans 13:13; 1 Corinthians 3:3; 2 Corinthians 12:20; James 3:14,16); the verb phthoneo occurs in Galatians 5:26; zeloo in Acts 7:9; 17:5, the Revised Version (British and American) "moved with jealousy"; 1 Corinthians 13:4, "charity (the Revised Version (British and American) "love") envieth not."

The power of envy is stated in Proverbs 27:4:

"Who is able to stand before envy?" (the Revised Version (British and American) "jealousy"); its evil effects are depicted in Job 5:2 (the Revised Version (British and American) "jealousy"), in Proverbs 14:30 (the Revised Version, margin "jealousy"); it led to the crucifixion of Christ (Matthew 27:18; Mark 15:10); it is one of "the works of the flesh" (Galatians 5:21; compare Romans 1:29; 1 Timothy 6:4); Christian believers are earnestly warned against it (Romans 13:13 the King James Version; 1 Corinthians 3:3 the King James Version; Galatians 5:26; 1 Peter 2:1). In James 4:5 "envy" is used in a good sense, akin to the jealousy ascribed to God. Where the King James Version has "The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy," the Revised Version (British and American) reads "Doth the spirit which he made to dwell in us long unto envying?"; the American Revised Version, margin "The spirit which he made to dwell in us he yearneth for even unto jealous envy"; compare Jeremiah 3:14; Hosea 2:19; or the English Revised Version, margin "That spirit which he made to dwell in us yearneth (for us) even unto jealous envy." This last seems to give the sense; compare "Ye adulteresses" (Hosea 2:4), the American Revised Version, margin "That is, who break your marriage vow to God."

W. L. Walker


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Bibliography Information
Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. "Entry for 'ENVY'". "International Standard Bible Encyclopedia". 1915.  

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