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Chapter 5

1Come now, you rich people! weep aloud and howl over the miseries that are going to overtake you! 2Your wealth has rotted, your clothes are moth-eaten, 3your gold and silver are rusted, and their rust will testify against you and eat into your very flesh, for you have stored up fire for the last days. 4Why, the wages you have withheld from the laborers who have reaped your harvests cry aloud, and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of Hosts. 5You have lived luxuriously and voluptuously here on earth; you have fattened your hearts for the day of slaughter. 6You have condemned and murdered the upright. Will he make no resistance?

7So be patient, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer has to wait for the precious crop from the ground, and be patient with it, until it gets the early and the late rains. 8You must have patience too; you must keep up your courage, for the coming of the Lord is close at hand. 9Do not complain of one another, brothers, or you will be judged. The judge is standing right at the door! 10As an example, brothers, of ill-treatment patiently endured, take the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord. 11Why, we call those who showed such endurance happy! You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen what the Lord brought out of it, for the Lord is very kind and merciful.

12Above all, my brothers, do not swear an oath, either by heaven or by the earth, or by anything else; let your “Yes” be a plain Yes, and your “No” a plain No, or you will fall under condemnation.

13If any one of you is in trouble, he should pray. If any one is in good spirits, he should sing a hymn. 14If any one is sick, he should call in the elders of the church and have them pray over him, and pour oil on him in the name of the Lord, 15and the prayer offered in faith will save the sick man; the Lord will restore him to health, and if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. 16So confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, so that you may be cured. An upright man can do a great deal by prayer when he tries. 17Elijah was a man like us, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain, and for three years and six months there was no rain in the land. 18Then he prayed again, and the heavens yielded rain and the earth produced crops. 19My brothers, if any one of you is led astray from the truth, and someone brings him back, 20you may be sure that whoever brings a sinner back from his misguided way will save the man’s soul from death, and cover up a host of sins.

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