Zealous - Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words


[ A-1,Noun,G2207, zelotes ]
is used adjectivally, of being zealous"
(a) "of the Law," Acts 21:20;
(b) "toward God," lit., "of God," Acts 22:3, RV, "for God;"
(c) "of spiritual gifts," 1 Corinthians 14:12, i.e., for exercise of spiritual gifts (lit., "of spirits," but not to be interpreted literally);
(d) "for (AV, 'of') the traditions of my fathers," Galatians 1:14, of Paul's loyalty to Judaism before his conversion;
(e) "of good works," Titus 2:14.

The word is, lit., "a zealot," i.e., "an uncompromising partisan." The "Zealots" was a name applied to an extreme section of the Pharisees, bitterly antagonistic to the Romans. Josephus (Antiq. xviii. 1. 1, 6; B.J. ii. 8. 1) refers to them as the "fourth sect of Jewish philosphy" (i.e., in addition to the Pharisees, Sadducees, and Essenes), founded by Judas of Galilee (cp. Acts 5:37). After his rebellion in A.D. 6, the Zealots nursed the fires of revolt, which, bursting out afresh in A.D. 66, led to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70. To this sect Simon, one of the Apostles, had belonged, Luke 6:15; Acts 1:13. The equivalent Hebrew and Aramaic term was "Cananean" (Matthew 10:4); this is not connected with Canaan, as the AV "Canaanite" would suggest, but is derived from Heb. quanna, "jealous."

[ B-1,Verb,G2206, zeloo ]
"to be jealous," also signifies "to seek or desire eagerly;" in Galatians 4:17, RV, "they zealously seek (you)," in the sense of taking a very warm interest in; so in Galatians 4:18, Passive Voice, "to be zealously sought" (AV, "to be zealously affected"), i.e., to be the object of warm interest on the part of others; some texts have this verb in Revelation 3:19 (See No. 2). See AFFECT, Note, COVET, DESIRE, ENVY, JEALOUS.

[ B-2,Verb,G2206, zeleuo ]
a late and rare form of No. 1, is found in the best texts in Revelation 3:19, "be zealous."

Note: For spoudazo, Galatians 2:10, RV, See DILIGENT, B, No. 1.

Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words