Desire to possess another person’s gifts, possessions, position or achievements.
The Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary
ENVY. Envy is not a topic of any significance in either the OT or the NT. There is, for instance, no passage in which envy itself is discussed. This is in striking contrast to the importance it is accorded in Greek and Latin literature and in the writings of the Fathers of the Church. In this latter
The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Revised
Envy; Envious
Envy; Envious [Heb. qānāʾ] (Gen. 26:14; 30:1; Ps. 37:1; 73:3; Prov. 3:31; 23:17; 24:1, 19; Ezk. 31:9); NEB also JEALOUS, EMULATE; [rāṣaḏ] (Ps. 68:16 [MT 17]); AV LEAP; [qinʾâ] (Eccl. 4:4; 9:6; Ezk. 35:11); NEB RIVALRY, JEALOUSY; [Gk. phthónos] (Mt. 27:18; Mk. 15:10; Rom. 1:29; Gal. 5:21; Phil.
The Wycliffe Bible Encyclopedia
ENVY. Envy is an active principle of hostility aimed maliciously at the real or supposed superiority of another person. It originated in Satan’s abortive attempt to usurp divine attributes (Isa 14:12–20). Eve imbibed this pernicious evil in yielding to Satan’s insinuations (Gen 3:4–7). Envy prompted
The New Bible Dictionary, Third Edition
ENVY. A grudging regard for the advantages seen to be enjoyed by others—cf. Lat. invidia from invideo, ‘to look closely at’, then ‘to look with malicious intent’ (see 1 Sa. 18:9). The Heb. qin’â means originally a burning, then the colour produced in the face by a deep emotion, thus ardour, zeal, jealousy.
The New Unger’s Bible Dictionary
ENVY (Heb. qin˒â; Gk. phthonos). (1) That discontented feeling that arises in the selfish heart in view of the superiority of another, nearly tantamount to jealousy (Ps. 37:1; 73:3; Prov. 24:1, 19; Phil. 1:15; etc.). (2) That malignant passion that sees in another qualities that it covets, often resulting
Nelson’s New Illustrated Bible Dictionary
ENVY — a feeling of resentment and jealousy toward others because of their possessions or good qualities. James linked envy with self-seeking (James 3:14, 16; selfish ambition, NIV, NRSV). Christians are warned to guard against the sin of envy (Rom. 13:13; 1 Pet. 2:1).
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
ENVY<en’-vi> ([קִנְאָה‎, qin’ah]; [ζη̂λος, zelos], [φθόνος, 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.
A Dictionary of Christ and the Gospels: Aaron–Zion
ENVY—.The word φθόνος occurs in the Gospels only in the two parallel passages Mt 27:18 and Mk 15:10 in connexion with the trial of Jesus. When the members of the Jewish hierarchy sought the death of Jesus at the hands of Pilate, they attempted to veil their motives under the pretence of loyalty to Cæsar.
Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary
ENVY Painful or resentful awareness of another’s advantage joined with the desire to possess the same advantage. The advantage may concern material goods (Gen. 26:14) or social status (30:1). Old Testament wisdom frequently warns against envying the arrogant (Ps. 73:3), the violent (Prov. 3:31), or the
The Zondervan Encyclopedia of the Bible, Volume 2, D–G
envy. A feeling of displeasure and ill will because of another’s advantages or possessions. The English word may render Hebrew qinʾâ H7863, “passion,” which is often used in the good sense of “zeal,” less frequently in the negative sense of “envy” (e.g., Job 5:2; verb qānāʾ H7861, “to be envious,
The International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia, Volumes 1–5
ENVY, enʹvi (קִנֽאָה‎, ḳin’āh; ζῆλος, zḗlos, φθόνος, phthónos): “Envy,” from Lat in, “against,” and video, “to look,” “to look with ill-will,” etc, toward another, is an evil strongly condemned in both the OT and the NT. It is to be distinguished from jealousy. “We are jealous of our own; we are
The New Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible, Volumes 1–5
ENVY [קִנְאָהqinʾah; φθόνος phthonos]. The OT concept of envy includes rivalry and zeal (Eccl 4:4; 9:6; Ezek 35:11). Envy and JEALOUSY are also related. Envy usually connotes a desire for an object belonging to someone else (Gen 20:17), while jealousy seems to address ownership or claim on another
Key passages
Ge 4:3–5

And in the course of time Cain brought an offering from the fruit of the ground to Yahweh, and Abel also brought an offering from the choicest firstlings of his flock. And Yahweh looked with favor to Abel and to his offering, but to Cain and to his offering he did not look with favor. And …

Ge 37:4

When his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they hated him and were not able to speak peaceably to him.

Ex 20:17

“You shall not covet the house of your neighbor; you will not covet the wife of your neighbor or his male servant or his female servant or his ox or his donkey or anything that is your neighbor’s.”

1 Sa 18:6–9

When they were coming back after David had returned from striking down the Philistine, the women went out from all the cities of Israel singing and dancing to meet King Saul with tambourines, with joy, and with three-stringed instruments. And the women sang as they danced, and they said, …

Pr 14:30

A heart of tranquility is life to the flesh, but causes bones of passion to rot.

Ga 5:26

We must not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.

See also
Topics & Themes