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THE GENERAL EPISTLE OF JAMES - Chapter 1 - Verse 2

Verse 2. My brethren. Not brethren as Jews, but as Christians. Compare Jas 2:1. Count it all joy. Regard it as a thing to rejoice in; a matter which should afford you happiness. You are not to consider it as a punishment, a curse, or a calamity, but as a fit subject of felicitation. See Barnes on "Mt 5:12".

When ye fall into divers temptations. On the meaning of the word temptations, see Barnes on "Mt 4:1".

It is now commonly used in the sense of placing allurements before others to induce them to sin, and in this sense the word seems to be used in Jas 1:13-14. Here, however, the word is used in the sense of trials, to wit, by persecution, poverty, calamity of any kind. These cannot be said to be direct inducements or allurements to sin, but they try the faith, and they show whether he who is tried is disposed to adhere to his faith in God, or whether he will apostatize. They so far coincide with temptations, properly so called, as to test the religion of men. They differ from temptations, properly so called, in that they are not brought before the mind for the express purpose of inducing men to sin. In this sense, it is true that God never tempts men, Jas 1:13-14. On the sentiment in the passage before us, see Barnes on "1 Pe 1:6-7".

The word divers here refers to the various kinds of trials which they might experience—sickness, poverty, bereavement, persecution, etc. They were to count it a matter of joy that their religion was subjected to anything that tried it. It is well for us to have the reality of our religion tested, in whatever way it may be done.

{a} "count it all joy when you fall into divers temptations"

Mt 5:12; 1 Pe 4:13-16 {*} "temptations", or "various trials"

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