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24 For the Lord, your God, is a consuming fire, a jealous God.[a](A)

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  1. 4:24 A jealous God: Hebrew ’el qanna. The root of the adjective qanna expresses the idea of intense feeling focused on solicitude for someone or something; see, e.g., Ps 69:10; Sg 8:6; Is 9:6; 37:32; Ez 39:25. The Septuagint translated the adjective as zelotes, and the Vulgate followed suit; hence the traditional English rendering “jealous” (and sometimes “zealous”) found in the Douai-Rheims and King James versions. In modern usage, however, “jealous” denotes unreasonable, petty possessiveness, a meaning, even as nuance, wanting in the Hebrew. In the first commandment (5:6–10; Ex 20:2–6) and passages derived from it (like 4:24; 6:15; Ex 34:14; Jos 24:19; Na 1:2), Israel’s God is represented as totally committed to his purpose, and Israel is put on notice to take him and his directives for their life as a people with equal seriousness.