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I. 1. Ἰάκωβος] For the person intended see Introd., pp. xi ff. The name is Ἰακώβ in LXX., but has been doubtless Graecised as a modern name, as so many names in Josephus. Probably it was common at this time: three are mentioned by Josephus, and curiously one the brother of a Simon (Ant. xx. 5, 2), another coupled with a John (B. J. iv. 4, 2). The third is an Idumaean (B. J. iv. 9, 6). [James brother of Jesus Christ is also mentioned (Ant. xx. 9, 1) (if the passage be genuine). See pp. xv, xxi f.]
θεοῦ καὶ κυρίου Ἰ. Χ. δοῦλος] The combination θεοῦ καὶ κυρίου Ἰ. Χ., though grammatically possible, is against Scriptural analogy, and would involve a very improbable want of balance. The absence of the article is due to abbreviation and compression of phrase. See note on 1 Peter i. i (p. 15 b). An unique phrase as a whole, it unites the O.T. θεοῦ δοῦλος (-οι) (Acts iv. 29; 1 Pet. ii. 16; Apoc. saepe and esp. i. 1; and, in greeting, Tit. i. 1 Παῦλος δοῦλος θεοῦ, ἀπόστολος δὲ Ἰ. Χ.) with St Paul’s δοῦλος Ἰ. Χ. (Ἰ. Χ.) (fully in Rom. i. 1; later Phil. i. 1, δοῦλοι Χ. Ἰ..; as also Jude 1; cf. 2 Pet. i. 1).
This coupling of God and Christ in a single phrase covered by δοῦλος is significant as to St James’ belief. Without attempting to say how much is meant by it, we can see that it involves at least some Divineness of nature in our Lord, something other than glorified manhood. This is peculiarly true as regards a man with Jewish feelings, unable to admit lower states of deity. It thus shews that he cannot have been an Ebionite. Even St Paul’s salutations contain no such combination except in their concluding prayers for grace and peace. An analogous phrase is in Eph. v. 5, ἐν τῇ βασιλείᾳ τοῦ Χριστοῦ καὶ θεοῦ..
The conception is not of two distinct and co-ordinate powers, so to speak; as though he were a servant of two lords. But the service of the one at once involves and is contained in the service of the other. Christ being what He is as the Son of the Father, to be His servant is impossible without being God’s servant; and the converse is also true. κυρίου Ἰ. Χ. is the full phrase illustrated by the early chapters of Acts; esp. ii. 36: God had made Jesus both Lord and Christ. This true sense of χριστός is never lost in N.T.; it is never a mere proper name like Ἰησοῦς, which though a significant name is still a proper name like any other. “Χριστός” has indeed, as a title, a little of the defining power of a proper name, because it. represents not merely its etymology “Anointed” but מָשִׁיחַ. Ἰ Χ. is not merely “Jesus the Anointed” but “Jesus, He who has been looked for under the name ‘the Anointed,’ having therefore the characteristics already 2associated with the name, and more.” Accordingly, though we often find Χ. Ἰ. where Χ. is intended to have special prominence, we never have κ. Χ. Ἰ. but only κ. Ἰ. Χ., as here, Ἰ. standing between κ. and Χ. and thereby declared to have the character of both, but specially linked with Χ., κ. being prefixed to both together.
δοῦλος, servant] Probably in the widest sense, answering to Κύριος, equivalent to “doing His work in His kingdom, in obedience to His will” (cf. Acts iv. 29). It is misleading to call δοῦλος “slave,” as many do, for it lays the whole stress on a subordinate point. It expresses in the widest way the personal relation of servant to master, not the mere absence of wages or of right to depart. But St John in Apoc. (x. 7) uses the O.T. phrase “His own servants the prophets,” from Amos iii. 7; Dan. ix. 6, 10; Zech. i. 6, and probably has this in mind in calling himself “the servant of God” (i. 1). And it is not unlikely that St James also has it in view, not necessarily as implying himself to be a prophet, as Jn probably does, but. as standing in an analogous relation to God and His kingdom.
ταῖς δώδεκα φυλαῖς] . Equivalent to Israel in its fulness and completeness. It has nothing to do with the return or non-return of the different tribes from captivity. Josephus believed the ten tribes to have remained in great numbers beyond the Euphrates, and in 4 Esdras xiii. 45 they are said to be in Arzareth, which Dr Schiller-Szinessy (Journ. of Philology, 1870, pp. 113 f.) has shewn to be only the אֶרֶץ אַחֶרֶת (“another land”) of Deut. xxix. 28, referring to Sanhed., shewing that that verse was referred to the ten tribes. They are also the subject of later traditions. But whatever may have been thought about the actual descendants of the twelve tribes, and their fate, the people was thought of as having returned as a whole.
After the return, when Judah and Benjamin apparently alone returned to any very considerable extent, the reference to tribes, as a practically existing entity, seems to have come to an end, except as regards the descent of individuals through recorded genealogies, and the people that had returned was treated as representing the continuity of the whole nation, Judah and Israel together. (See Ezek. xlvii. 13; Ezra vi. 17; viii. 35.) This would have been unnatural if the tribes had been previously the primary thing, and the people only an agglomeration of tribes: but in reality the true primary unit was the people, and the tribes were merely the constituent parts, the union of which expressed its unity.
Accordingly our Lord Himself chose twelve Apostles, and spoke of them as to sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And in the Apocalypse 12,000 are sealed from each of twelve tribes. Cf. xxi. 12-14.
Hence τ. δ. φ. is equivalent to τὸ δωδεκάφυλον (ἡμῶν), Acts xxvi. 7, which occurs also Clement i. 55 (cf. 31, τὸ δωδεκάσκηπτρον τοῦ Ἰσραήλ, answering to Test. xii. Patriarch. Napht. 5, τὰ δώδεκα σκῆπτρα τ. Ἰσραήλ from 1 Kings xi. 31 ff.; see LXX.), and Joseph. Hypomnesticum (Fabricius Cod. Pseud. V.T. ii. p. 3) τοὺς δώδεκα φυλάρχους ἐξ ὧν τὸ δωδεκάφυλον τοῦ Ἰσραὴλ συνίσταται. Both forms of speech in Lib. Jacobi i. (1, 3).
By keeping up this phrase St James marked that to him the designation of the Israel which believed in Christ as the only true Israel was no mere 3metaphor. To him a Jew who had refused the true Messiah had ceased to have a portion in Israel.
ἐν τῇ διασπορᾷ] The term comes from Deut. xxviii. 25 (LXX.), and also sparingly from later books; also from the more frequent use of the word διασπείρω, which in this connexion is freely used, as well as διασκορπίζω, for זָרָה, to scatter, or blow abroad. The cognate זָרַע, to sow, is used in this sense only, Zech. x. 9 (LXX. καὶ σπερῶ αὐτοὺς ἐν λαοῖς). Even here the notion is merely of scattering, not of sowing seed destined to germinate, and probably this was all that the LXX. anywhere meant. The idea of the Jews among the nations being a blessing to them and spreading light is found in the prophets, but not, I think, in connexion with the image of seed. The corresponding Hebrew word is simply גּוֹלָה, exile (lit. stripping), and hence the exiles collectively.
From the original seat at Babylon, which still continued a main home of the Dispersion, it spread under Alexander and his successors westward into the Greek world, Syria, Egypt (Alexandria and Cyrene), Armenia, Asia Minor, and at last Rome. It was like a network of tracks along which the Gospel could travel and find soil ready prepared for it in the worship of the true God, and the knowledge and veneration of the ancient Scripture.
χαίρειν] See Otto in Jahrb. f. deutsche Theol., 1867, pp. 678 ff. The common greeting in Greek letters. The Semitic was of course שָׁלוֹם or (Chald.) שְׁלָם. In letters in the Apocrypha χαίρειν often occurs, as also εἰρήνην or εἰρήνη (together, χ. and εἰρήνην ἀγαθήν, 2 Macc. i. 1). Hence it must have been freely used by Jews as well as heathens. In N.T. it occurs three times: Acts xxiii. 26, Claudius Lysias to Felix (heathen); xv. 23, Jerusalem letter to Gentile Christians at Antioch, etc.; and here. It has been pointed out that the Jerusalem letter was also not improbably written by St James, but nothing can be built on a coincidence in itself so natural. Here, the Greek form is probably preferred to εἰρήνη, etc. for the sake of the next verse.
2. πᾶσαν χαράν, all joy] Not “every (kind of) joy,” as from the variety of trials; nor yet “joy and nothing but joy” negatively, but simply “all” as expressing completeness and unreservedness. Hence it includes “very great,” but is not quantitative, rather expressing the full abandonment of mind to this one thought. Thus Aristides i. 478 (224), τὸ δὲ μηδ᾽ ἐξ ὧν ἑωράκαμεν ἀξιοῦν πεπαιδεῦσθαι πᾶσα ἂν εἴη σνμφορά; also Epictetus (ap. Gebser Ep. of James p. 8) 3, 22 εἰρήνη πᾶσα; 2, 2 πᾶσά σοι ἀσφάλεια, πᾶσά σοι εὐμάρεια; 26 πᾶσα εὔροια; and Phil. ii. 29; 2 Cor. xii. 12; Eph. iv. 2.
χαράν] Joy, from ground of joy, by a natural figure. The χαράν catches up χαίρειν. “I bid you rejoice. And this I say in the most exact sense, though I know how much you have to bear that seems anything but matter of rejoicing. Just circumstances like these should you account occasions of unreserved joy.”
ὅταν with aor. subj.] Although suggested by present circumstances, the exhortation does not take its form from them. It is not “now that you are encountering,” but “when ye shall,” and probably also, by the common frequentative force of ὅταν, “whensoever ye shall.”
περιπέσητε] Not “fall into” but “fall 4in with,” “light upon,” “come across.” First used of ordinary casual meetings, as of persons in the street or ships at sea; then very commonly of misfortunes of all kinds, sickness, wounds, a storm, slavery, disgrace, etc. So the two other N.T. places: Lk. x. 30; Acts xxvii. 41. The idea then is that, as they go steadily on their own way, they must expect to be jostled, as it were, by various trials.
πειρασμοῖς, trials] An important and difficult word, entirely confined to O.T., Apocr., N.T., and literature founded on them; except Diosc. p. 3 B, τοὺς ἐπὶ τ. παθῶν τειρασμούς, experiments, trials made, with drugs in the case of diseases, i.e. to see what their effect will be.
But the word goes back to πειράζω, which is not so closely limited in range of authors. First, “tempt” is at the utmost an accessory and subordinate sense, on which see on v. 13. It is simply to “try,” “make trial of,” and πειρασμός “trial.”
Nor on the other hand does it, except by the circumstances of context, mean “trial” in the vague modern religious and hence popular sense, as when we say that a person has had great trials, meaning misfortunes or anxieties. Nothing in Greek is said πειράζειν or called a πειρασμός except with distinct reference to some kind of probation.
Young birds are said πειράζειν τ. πτέρυγας (Schol. Aristoph. Plutus 575). But more to the point, Plutarch (Cleom. 7 p. 808 a) says that Cleomenes when a dream was told him was at first troubled and suspicious, πειράζεσθαι δοκῶν, supposing himself to be the subject of an experiment to find out what he would say or do. And still more to the point Plutarch Moralia 15 p. 230 a, Namertes being congratulated on the multitude of his friends asked the spokesman εἰ δοκίμιον ἔχει τίνι τρόπῳ πειράζεται ὁ πολύφιλος; and when a desire was expressed to know he said Ἀτυχίᾳ.
The biblical use is substantially the same. In O.T. πειράζω stands almost always for נַסָּה (also ἐκπειράζω) and πειρασμός for the derivative מַסָּה. נַסָּהis used for various kinds of trying, including that of one human being by another, as Solomon by the Queen of Sheba, but especially of man by God and God by man. Of man by God for probation, under the form of God exploring; of God by man always in an evil sense, “tempting” God, trying as it were how far it is possible to go into disobeying Him without provoking His anger; with this last sense we are not concerned. The trying or “proving” (A.V.) of man by God is sometimes, but not always, by suffering. In one chapter (Deut. viii. 2) it is coupled with עִנָּה, κακόω, “humble” or “afflict”; but the context shews that “proving” is meant, as it is also in Judg. ii. 22; iii. 1, 4. The cardinal instance is Abraham (Gen. xxii. 1). Πειρασμός chiefly refers to temptations of God by men, also probations of Pharaoh (Deut. iv. 34; vii. 19; xxix. 3). There only remains Job ix. 23, very hard and probably corrupt (LXX. altogether different, Vulg. poenis), where “probations” may possibly be said in bitter irony, but “sufferings” is most improbable, considering the derivation.
In Judith, Wisdom and Ecclus. πειράζω similarly has both uses, viz. of God by man, and man by God; also πειρασμός in Ecclus., not only of Abraham (xliv. 20; as also 1 Macc. ii. 52), but more generally; but in ii. 1; xxxvi. 1, on the one hand the context implies affliction, on the other the stress lies on probations. These two are interesting passages as preparing the way for St James. (1) xxxvi. 1, τῷ φοβουμένῳ Κύριον οὐκ ἀπαντήσει κακόν· ἀλλ᾽ ἐν πειρασμῷ (whatever comes will come by way of trial), καὶ `άλιν ἐξελεῖται. Still more (2) ii. 1, Son, if thou settest thyself to serve the Lord God, prepare thy soul εἰς πειρασμόν etc. Cf. ii. 5, ἐν πυρί δοκιμάζεται χρυσός κ.τλ.5
In the N.T. other shades of meaning appear. Besides the ordinary neutral making trial, and God’s trial of man, and man’s evil trial or tempting of God, we have men’s evil making trial of one whom they regarded as only a man, the Scribes and Pharisees “trying” or tempting our Lord, not tempting Him to do evil, but trying to get Him to say something on which they could lay hold.
But further a peculiar sense comes in at what we call our Lord’s temptation (Mk i. 13, πειραζόμενος ὑπὸ τοῦ Σατανᾶ; Mk. iv. 1, πειρασθῆναι ὑπὸ τ. διαβόλου; Lk. iv. 2, πειραζόμενος ὑ. τ. δ.). In Mt. (iv. 3) the devil is then called ὁ τειράζων.
For ποικίλοις, divers, see note on 1 Pet. i. 6 (p. 41).
3. γνώσκοντες, taking knowledge, recognising] Not necessarily a new piece of knowledge, but new apprehension of it.
δοκίμιον, test] In N.T. only here and, in similar connexion, 1 Pet. i. 7, a very hard verse. In LXX. only in two places, both rather peculiar. (1) Prov. xxvii. 21, representing מַצְרֵף, a “melting-pot”; but the change of order shews that “test” was meant by LXX., “there is a δοκίμιον for silver and a πύρωσις for gold.” (2) Ps. xii. 7, צֲלִיל, probably a “furnace,” a difficult and perhaps corrupt passage. Similarly the cognate words δόκιμος, δοκιμάζω in LXX. mostly refer to silver or gold tried and found pure, to a trial by fire. [See Deissmann Bib. Stud. sub voc., and Expositor 1908 p. 566.]
The rather rare word is always the instrument of probation, never the process. Similar places are Herodian ii. 10. 6, δοκίμιον δὲ στρατιωτῶν κάματος: Iamblichus Vita Pythag. 30 p. 185 fin., ταύτην (τ. λήθην) δή μοι θεῶν τις ἐνῆκε, δοκίμιον ἐσομένην τῆς σῆς περὶ συνθήκας εὐσταθείας.
κατεργάζεται, worketh] A favourite word with St Paul.
ὑπομονήν, endurance] The word ὑπομονή (A.V. patience) is hardly used by classical writers (an apophthegm in Plutarch Moralia 208 c, and an interpolated clause in his Crassus 3) to describe a virtue, though frequently for the patient bearing of any particular hardships. It stands for קָוָה and its derivatives in the sense of the object of hope or expectation (as Ps. xxxviii. 8, καιὶ νῦν τίς ἡ ὑπομονή μου; οὐχὶ ὁ κύριος;), and perhaps hope itself in the LXX. and Ecclus. (Fritzsche on xvi. 13). But late Jewish and Christian writers use it freely for the virtue shewn chiefly by martyrs: thus 4 Macc. i. 11, τῇ ἀνδρείᾳ καὶ τῇ ὑπομονῇ, and often; Psalt. Solom. ii. 40; Test. xii. Patriarch. Jos. 10; in the N.T., Lk. xxi. 19 (cf. Mt. xxiv. 13); St Paul often; Hebrews; 2 Peter; and Apoc.; later Clement 1. 5; Ignatius ad Polyc. 6; etc.
No English word is quite strong enough to express the active courage and resolution implied in ὑπομονή (cf. Ellicott on 1 Thess. i. 3). “Constancy” or “endurance” comes nearest, and the latter has the advantage of preserving the parallelism of the verb ὑπομένω. The resemblance of this verse to Rom. v. 3 f. should be noticed, though probably accidental.
4. ἔργον τέλειον ἐχέτω, have a perfect work or result] The sense, obscure in the Greek, is fixed almost certainly by the context. The phrase is suggested by, and must include the meaning of, κατεργάζεται in v. 3. Endurance is represented as having a work to do, a result to accomplish, which must not be suffered to cease prematurely. Endurance 6itself is the first and a necessary step; but it is not to be rested in, being chiefly a means to higher ends. Here the Stoic constancy is at once justified, and implicitly pronounced inadequate, because it endeavours to be self-sufficing and leads the way to no diviner virtue. The work of the Christian endurance is manifold (elicited by divers trials, v. 2) and continuous, not easily exhausted; it remains imperfect (so the connexion of the two clauses teaches) while we are imperfect. This use of ἔργον is illustrated by the common negative formula οὐδὲν ἔργον, generally translated “no use,” as in Plutarch Lysander 11, ἦν δὲ οὐδὲν ἔργον αὐτοῦ τῆς σπουδῆς ἐσκεδασμένων τῶν ἀνθρώπων: Publicola 13, οὐδὲν ἦν ἔργον αὐτοῦ (τοῦ ἡνιόχου) κατατείνοντος οὐδὲ παρηγοροῦντος. The combination of τέλειον with τὸ ἔργον occurs Ignat. Smyrn. but it is not a true parallel.
τέλειοι, perfect] This word in St James, as applied to man, has apparently no reference, as in St Paul, to maturity, and still less to initiation. It expresses the simplest idea of complete goodness, disconnected from the philosophical idea of a τέλος. In the LXX. it chiefly represents תָּמִים, a variously translated word, originally expressing completeness, and occurring in several leading passages as Gen. vi. 9 (τέλειος); xvii. 1 (ἄμεμπτος); Deut. xviii. 13 (τέλειος); Job i. 1 (ἄμεμπτος); Ps. cxix. 1 (ἄμωμος). The Greek τέλειος in a moral sense, rare in the LXX. and virtually wanting in the Apocrypha, recurs with additional meanings in Philo, e.g. Legum Allegoriae iii. 45—49 (in contrast with ὁ προκόπτων. ὁ ὰσκητής).
It regains its full force and simplicity in Christ’s own teaching, Mt. v. 48 (“Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect”); xix. 21 (“If thou wilt be perfect” contrasted with “What lack I yet?”). These passages are probably the chief sources of St James’ usage.
ὁλόκληροι, entire] The principal word τέλειος is reinforced by the almost synonymous ὁλόκληρος, the primary sense of which seems to be freedom from bodily defect either in a victim for sacrifice or in a priest; that is, it is a technical term of Greek ritual. In extant literature we do not find it before Plato, and he may well have introduced it into literature. It soon was applied in a wider manner to all freedom from defect (cf. e.g. the Stoic use in Diogenes Laert. vii. 107) being opposed to πηρός, κολοβός, χωλός. But the original sense was not forgotten, and can be traced in the usage of Josephus and Philo, though not in the LXX.
Thus τέλειος and ὁλόκληρος (which are used together somewhat vaguely at least once by Philo, Quis rerum div. heres? 23 p. 489) denote respectively positive and negative perfection, excellence and complete absence of defect (cf. Trench N.T. Synon. § 22). It is quite probable however that St James uses ὁλόκληρος with a recollection of its original force in Greek religion, and wished his readers to think of perfection and entireness not; merely in the abstract but as the necessary aim of men consecrated to God.!
ἐν μηδενὶ λειπόμενοι, coming behind in nothing] Λειπόμαι with the dative means not mere deficiency but falling short whether of a standard or of other persons, the latter when expressed being in the genitive. Essentially it is to be left behind, as in a race, and it comes to be used for the defeat of an army, strictly for its ceasing to resist the enemy and throwing up the struggle. There is thus a suggestion of acquiescence in shortcoming as a thing to be striven against (cf. Gal. vi. 9; Heb. xii. 3; 2 Thess. iii. 13). Compare the use of ὑστερῶ and ὑστεροῦμαι in St Paul and 7Hebrews (e.g. 1 Cor. i. 5, 7, ἐν παντὶ ἐπλουτισθητε ἐν αὐτῷ, ἐν παντὶ λόγῳ καὶ πάσῃ γνώσει. . . . ὥστε ὑμᾶς μὴ ὑστερεῖσθαι ἐν μηδενὶ χαρίσματι).
The object of comparison is usually expressed, rarely implied (as Diodorus Sic. iii. 39; Plutarch Nicias 3); but λείπομαι is also used quite absolutely, as here, in Plutarch Brutus 39 (ἐρρωμένους χρήμασιν ὅπλων δὲ καὶ σωμάτων πλήθει λειπομένους); cf. Sophocles Oed. Col. 495 f. Ἐν, commonly omitted, occurs Herodotus vii. 8; Sophocles l.c.; and Polybius xxiv. 7 (legat. 50); see also Herod. vii 168.
This final clause, added in apposition (cf. i. 6, 8, 14, 17, 22, 25; ii. 9; iii. 2, 8, 17), not only reaffirms negatively what has been already said positively, but suggests once more the idea of continual progress (a “race” in St Paul’s language, as Phil. iii. 14; cf. “the crown of life” in v. 12) implied in the earlier clauses.
The spiritual force of this and similar verses cannot be reduced within the limits of “common sense.” An “ideal” interpretation can be excluded only by “frittering away a pure and necessary word of Christ Himself. The perfection in all good, after which every Christian should strive simply as a Christian, is infinite in its nature, like a heavenly ladder the steps of which constantly increase the higher we climb: but woe to him who would make landings in it out of his own invention and on his own behalf” (Ewald, Jahrbücher iii. 259).
5. εi δέ τις ὑμῶν λείπεται σοφίας, But if any of you lacketh wisdom] If any, i.e. whoever. The preceding λείπόμενοι suggests λείπεται with a somewhat different sense and construction. Λείπομαι with the genitive meaning to “be wanting in” is rare, this sense being an extension of the commoner to “be bereaved of”; it occurs Sophocles Elect. 474 (γνώμας λειπομένα σοφᾶς); Plato Menex. 19, 246 E; Pseud: Plato Axiochus 366 D (repeating ἄμοιρον); Libanius Progymn. p. 31 A (λ. τῆς τῶν ποιητῶν ἐνθέου μανίας); besides Jam. ii. 15.
σοφίας] The context fixes, without altogether restricting, the sense of wisdom. “True perfectness cannot be where wisdom still is wanting; and wisdom, the inward power to seize and profit by outward trials, cannot be supplied by the trials themselves: but it may be had of God for the asking; He will send it direct into the heart.” It is that endowment of heart and mind which is needed for the right conduct of life. “All salutary wisdom is indeed to be asked of the Lord; for, as the wise man says (Ecclus. i. 1), ‘All wisdom is from the Lord God, and hath been with Him for ever.’ . . . But here there seems to be a special reference to that wisdom which we need for use in our trials, etc.” (Bede).
This human and practical idea of wisdom is inherited from the meditative books of the O.T. and the later works written on their model. Compare “the fear of the Lord that is wisdom” (Job xxviii. 28), where wisdom is the knowledge of the most essential facts and the power to walk instinctively by their light. It is remarkable to find wisdom holding this position in the forefront of the epistle, quite in the spirit of the elder theology. See further the notes on iii. 13-18.
ἁπλῶς, graciously] The combination with giveth early led to the assumption that ἁπλῶς requires here the sense of “abundantly,” but without authority (cf. Fritzsche Rom. iii. 62 ff.) and against the true context. On the other hand, a large body of evidence forbids us to admit only the meanings “simply” or “with singleness of heart,” and establishes a nearer approach to “bounteously” than most good critics have been willing to allow (see below).
In the best Greek authors the guidance 8of etymology is strictly followed, and ἁπλοῦς as a moral epithet denotes only the absence of guile or duplicity. Later writers comprehend under the one word the whole magnanimous and honourable type of character in which this singleness of mind is the central feature. Kindred and associated epithets are γενναῖος (cf. Plato Repub. i. 361 B, ἄνδρα ἁπλοῦν καὶ γενναῖον . . . οὐ δοκεῖν ἀλλ᾽ εἶναι ἀγαθὸν ἐθέλοντα), ἐλευθέριος. (Aeschines, p. 135, Reiske), and μεγαλόψυχος. Truthfulness, liberality, and gentleness variously appear as manifesting the same high sense of honour.
The transition may be seen in Xenophon Cyropaed. viii. 4, 32 ff., where Cyrus blames alike those who magnify their own fortune (so thinking to appear ἐλευθεριώτεροι) and those who depreciate it, and adds, ἁπλουστάτου δέ μοι δοκεῖ εἶναι τὸ τὴν δύναμιν φανερὰν ποιήσαντα ἐκ ταύτης ἀγωνίζεσθαι περὶ καλοκἀγαθίας. But the usage became clearer subsequently. Scipio (Polybius, xxxii. 13, 14) resolved πρὸς μὲν τοὺς ἀλλοτρίους τὴν ἐκ τῶν νόμων ἀκρίβειαν (i.e. his strict legal rights) τηρεῖν, τοῖς δὲ συγγενέσι καὶ φίλοις ἁπλῶς χρῆσθαι καὶ γενναίως κατὰ δύναμιν. One of Timon’s friends (Lucian Tim. 56) professed that he was not one of the flatterers, greedy of gold and banquets, who paid their court πρὸς ἄνδρα οἷόν σε ἁπλοῖκὸν καὶ τῶν ὄντων κοινωνικόν. David is said by Josephus (Ant. vii. 13, 4) to have admired Araunah τῆς ἁπλότητος καὶ τῆς μεγαλοψυχίας, when he offered his threshing-floor and oxen. M. Antony’s popularity is attributed by Plutarch (c. 43) to his εὐγένεια, λόγου δύναμις, ἁπλότης, τὸ φιλόδωρον καὶ μεγαλόδωρον, ἡ περὶ τὰς παιδιὰς καὶ τὰς ὁμιλίας εὐτραπελία. Brutus, having tempered his character by education and philosophy, seemed to Plutarch (c. 1) ἐμμελέστατα κραθῆναι πρὸς τὸ καλόν, so that after Caesar’s death the friends of the latter attributed to Brutus εἴ τι γενναῖον ἡ πρᾶξις ἤνεγκε, considering Cassius ἁπλοῦν τῷ τρόπῳ καὶ καθαρὸν οὐχ ὁμοίως (cf. Philopoem. 13). The Persians desired Ariaspes for their king, as being πρᾷος καὶ ἁπλοῦς καὶ φιλάνθρωπος (Plutarch Artaxerx. 30). Ὁ μὲν ἁπλούστερος, though opposed to ὁ πανουργότερος, is the high-minded friend who, when admitted indiscreetly to a knowledge of private affairs owing to his too complaisant manners, οὐκ οἴεται δεῖν οὐδ᾽ ἀξιοῖ σύμβουλος εἶναι πραγμάτων τηλικούτων ἀλλ᾽ ὑπουργὸς καὶ διάκονος (Plutarch Moralia 63 B). Wine is said to quench πολλὰ τῶν ἄλλων παθῶν (besides fear) ἀφιλότιμα καὶ ἀγεννῆ), and ἄοινος ἀεὶ μέθη καὶ σκυθρωπὴ ταῖς τῶν ἀπαιδεύτων ἐνοικεῖ ψυχαῖς, ἐπιταραττομένη ὑπὸ ὀργῆς τινος ἢ δυσμενείας ἢ φιλονεικίας ἢ ἀνελευθερίας· ὧν ὁ οἶνος ἀμβλύνων τὰ πολλὰ μᾶλλον ἢ παροξύνων οἰκ ἄφρονας οὐδὲ ἡλιθίους ἀλλ᾽ ἁπλοῦς πεοεῖ καὶ ἀπανούργους, οὐδὲ παρορατικοὺς τοῦ συμφέροντος ἀλλὰ τοῦ καλοῦ προαιρετικούς (ib. 716 A, B). We are reminded of this passage of St James by the following: “So I think that the gods confer their benefits in secret, it being their nature to delight in the mere practice of bounty and beneficence (αὐτῷ τῷ χαρίζεσθαι καὶ εὖ ποιεῖν). Whereas the flatterer’s work οὐδὲν ἔχει δίλαιον οὐδ᾽ ἀληθινὸν οὐδ᾽ ἁπλοῦν οὐδ᾽ ἐλευθέριον” (ib. 63 F).
There are traces of a similar extension of meaning in Latin, as Horace Ep. ii. 2, 193, “quantum simplex hilarisque nepoti Discrepet, et quantum discordet parcus avaro” (cf. “the cheerful giver” of Prov. xxii. 8, LXX., and 2 Cor. ix. 7); Tacitus, Hist. iii. 86, “inerat tamen (Vitellio) simplicitas et liberalitas, quae, ni adsit modus, in vitium vertuntur”; and perhaps Vell. Paterc. ii. 125, 5, “vir simplicitatis generosissimae.”
Himerius (Ecl. v. 19) affords the nearest verbal parallel to St James: εἰ δὲ ἁπλῶς διδόντος λαβεῖν οὐκ εὔλογον, τῶς οὐ πλέον, ὅτε μηδὲ προῖκα κ.τ.λ. Here however ἁπλῶς is not ethical at all, but retains its common classical 9meaning “absolutely,” that is (in this connexion) “without a substantial equivalent.” In St James the need for adopting this meaning is removed by the sufficient evidence for “graciously”; and it is excluded by the contrast with “upbraideth.”
In Jewish writings ἁπλοῦς is generalised in a different direction to denote one who carries piety and openness of heart before God into all his dealings. So the LXX.: 1 Chron. xxix. 17 for ישֶׁר; Prov. xix. 1 (cf. x. 9; 2 Sam. xv. 11); Aq.: Gen. xxv. 27; Job iv. 6; Prov. x. 29; Sym.: Job xxvii. 5 for תָּם ,תֹּם, and תֻּמָּה; Wisd. i. 1; 1 Macc. ii. 37, 60; 3 Macc. iii. 21; and the whole Test. vii. Patriarch., esp. the Test. of Issachar (e.g. 3), not without reference to the original meanings, as in opposition to περίεργος.
In St James (as in Rom. xii. 8; 2 Cor. viii. 2; ix. 11, 13) the late Greek usage and the context certainly determine the chief shade of meaning, but with clear reference to singleness. “Liberally” (A.V.) would be the best translation, if we could preserve exclusively its proper ethical sense; but by “liberally” we now usually mean “abundantly,” and that is not the particular aspect of God’s bounty indicated here by the following words, whatever may be the case in the passages of St Paul. On the whole graciously, coupled as it is with giveth, seems the nearest equivalent.
καὶ μὴ ὀνειδίζοντος, and upbraideth not] The opposition is clearly to graciously, not to giveth: to upbraid is not to refuse, or even to vouchsafe “a stone for bread,” but to accompany a gift with ungenerous words or deeds. Ὀνειδίζω often has this sense in classical writers from Aristotle (Rhet. ii. 6. 10; cf. Demosth. de Coron. § 269) onwards (see exx. in Wetstein). In Ecclus. it is a favourite word (with ὀνειδισμός), and occurs more than once in strictly parallel passages: “My son, give not reproach with thy good deeds, neither painful words with every gift. Will not dew assuage the hot wind? So is a word better than a gift. Lo, is not a word more than a good gift? And both are with a gracious man (κεχαριτωμένῳ). A fool will upbraid ungraciously (ἀχαρίστως ὀνειδιεῖ), and a gift of the envious dissolveth the eyes” (xviii. 15-18). “The gift of a fool will profit thee not, for his eyes are many, instead of one. He will give little and upbraid much, and open his mouth as a crier: to-day he will lend, and to-morrow ask back; hated is such a man” (xx. 14, 15). “Have respect . . . unto thy friends concerning words of upbraiding, and upbraid not after thou hast given” (xli. 17, 22).
By this contrast of mean and ignoble benefactors, St James leads on from the naked idea of God as a giver to the more vital idea of His character and mind in giving (cf. i. 13, 17 f.; iv. 6; v. 7), answering by anticipation a superstitious thought which springs up as naturally in the decay of an established faith as in the confused hopes and fears of primitive heathenism. The subject is partly resumed in v. 17.
διδόντος . . . δοθήσεται] Giveth what? Wisdom doubtless in the first instance; but, as the immediate occasion of prayer becomes here the text for a universal lesson, St James’ meaning is best expressed by leaving the object undefined. In like manner the “holy spirit,” promised in Lk. xi. 13 to them that ask, is replaced in the parallel Mt. vii. 11 by “good things” without restriction.
This verse has much in common with some of Philo’s most cherished and at the same time most purely biblical thoughts on God as a free giver and on wisdom as specially the 10gift of God. But his language, beautiful and genuine as it often is, suffers much from being overlaid with a philosophical contrast between this wisdom (virtually “intuition”) and the knowledge and discernment which come by processes of education. The wisdom of St James, for all its immediate descent from heaven, excludes no lesson of experience in thought or life.
6. αἰτείτω δὲ ἐν πίστει, μηδὲν διακρινόμενος, but let him ask in faith, nothing wavering] Taken from our Lord’s words in Mt. xxi. 21, Mk xi. 23; cf. Jam. v. 15. Not the mere petition avails, but the mind of the asker, the trust in God as One who delights to give. Wavering is no doubt the right translation of διακρινόμενος in this verse (as Mt. Mk, ll. cc.; Acts x. 20; Rom. iv. 20; xiv. 23), though singularly enough this sense occurs in no Greek writing, except where the influence of the N.T. might have led to its use. It is supported by the versions, the Greek commentators on the N.T. from Chrysostom and Hesychius, as well as by the context of all the passages. It is probably derived from the common meaning to “dispute” (Jer. xv. 10; Acts xi. 2; Jude 9; cf. Ezek. xvii. 20 codd.; xx. 35 f.; Joel iii. 2), of which there is a trace in the passages of Romans. Compare the use of διαλογίζομαι, to “dispute with oneself,” in the Gospels.
ἔοικεν κλύδωνι θαλάσσης, is like a rough sea] Κλύδων appears never (not even Polyb. x. 10. 3) to mean a “wave,” but always “rough water” (“the rough sea” A.V. Wisd. xiv. 5) or “roughness of water”; it is frequently coupled with σάλος.
ἀνεμιζομένῳ καὶ ῥιπιζομένῳ, blown and raised with the wind] This appears to be the nearest approach to the meaning of the Greek allowed by the English idiom. Ἀνεμίζω, occurs nowhere else in Greek literature, and might by its etymology express any kind of action of the wind. The equally rare analogous verb πνευματίζω is used where fanning is intended (Antigonus Caryst. ap. Wetst.). The compound ἐξανεμίζω is preserved only in the Scholia on Homer Il. xx. 440 (ἦκα μάλα ψύξασα, interpreted τῇ κινήσει τῆς χειρὸς ἡρέμα ἐξανεμίσασα: Steph. s.v.), where likewise it denotes the gentle air made by a wave of the hand. The cognate ἀνεμοῦμαι is to “be breathed through (or, swelled out) by the wind” (whence a singular derivative use peculiar to writers on Zoology), except in one passage; and its compound ἐξανεμοῦμαι has the same range, with the further meaning to “be dissolved into wind.” An epigram in the Anthology (A. P. xiii. 12) applies ἡνεμωμένος to the sea, described as roaring (βρόμος δεινός) and causing a shipwreck. With this exception the evidence, such as it is, implies a restriction of ἀνεμίζω to gentler motions of the air: and in St James the improbability of an anticlimax forbids it being taken as a stronger word than ῥιπίζω.
Still more definitely, ῥιπίζω means strictly to fan either a fire or a person. It is formed not from ῥιπή, a “rushing motion” (as applied to air, a “blast”), but from the derivative ῥιπίς, a fire-fan; and consequently expresses only the kind of blast proper to a fan. This restriction appears to be observed in a few passages of a rather wider range. Thus ῥιπίζομαι is applied to dead bodies allowed to sway freely (?) in the air (Galen. x. 745 ed. Kahn); to sea foam carried inland (Dion Cass. lxx. 4); to spacious and airy chambers (ὑπερῷα ῥιπιστά, Jerem. xxii. 14); to water preserved by motion from the “death” that would follow stagnation (Philo, 11de incor. mundi 24). Lastly an unknown comic poet (Meineke iv. 615) calls the people an unstable evil thing (δῆμος ἄστατον κακόν), which altogether like the sea is blown by the wind (ὑπ᾽ ἀνέμου ῥιπίζεται) and from being calm raises its crest at a trifling breeze (καὶ γαληνός . . . πνεῦμα βραχὺ κορύσσεται. These leading words are clear, though the line is corrupt). The compound ἀναρριπίζω always means to “fan a flame” literally or figuratively.
The prima facie notion of billows lashed by a storm is therefore supported by hardly any evidence; and indeed the restless swaying to and fro of the surface of the water, blown upon by shifting breezes, is a truer image of a waverer (cf. Dion Cass. lxv. 16, Vitellius ἐμπλήκτως ἄνω καὶ κάτω ἐφέρετο, ὥσπερ ἐν κλύδωνι). In the tideless Mediterranean even a slight rufflement would be noticed in contrast with the usually level calm, and the direct influences of disturbing winds are seen free from the cross effects of other agencies.
7, 8. We have to choose here between three constructions, each marked by a different way of punctuating between the verses. (a) With a colon, making two separate sentences (A.V.); “let not that man think that he shall receive anything from the Lord: a man of two minds is unstable in all his ways.” (b) With a comma making v. 7 a complete sentence, with v. 8 added in apposition (R.V. text); “let not that man think that he shall receive anything from the Lord, a man of two minds, unstable in all his ways.” (c) Without a stop, making v. 7 incomplete without part of v. 8 (R.V. marg.); “let not that man think that a man of two minds, unstable in all his ways, shall receive anything from the Lord.”
In (a) and (b) it is “that man” that is said not to receive from the Lord, and so that is blamed. Now who is “that man” — “he that wavereth” or “if any of you etc.”? The whole context excludes him that merely “lacketh wisdom” from blame: blame here attaches not to the absence of wisdom, but to the failure to ask for it, or to the asking without faith. Therefore the constructions (a) and (b) require “that man” to mean the waverer. As an independent proof that he is meant, it is urged that “that man” is itself a reproachful designation. Undoubtedly it might be so employed; but St James’ usage does not favour the supposition. He has the same word for man (ἄνθρωπος) in six other places, but nowhere with a trace of reproach and apparently always in emphatic opposition to other beings. Thus the opposition is to God’s other “creatures” in i. 19; to “the devils” in ii. 20 and probably 24; to “every kind of beasts etc.” in iii. 8 f.; to beings not “of like passions” v. 17; and so here to “the Lord.” Likewise there is no force in a cumbrous reproachful description (ὁ ἄνθρωπος ἐκεῖνος) thus closely preceding an explicit rebuke: in Mt. xii. 45; xxvi. 24 the weight of the words is in harmony with the peculiar solemnity of the subjects. If no reproach is implied, the phrase is still more inexplicable by Greek usage as applied to the person last mentioned.
On the other hand, if he that “lacketh wisdom” be intended, all difficulty vanishes. The obvious way of setting aside the last person and pointing back to the person mentioned before him would be in Greek the use of the pronoun “that” (ἐκεῖνος); and the insertion of “man” we have already seen to be explained by the opposition to “the Lord.”
Since then “that man” must naturally mean him that merely “lacketh wisdom,” and so cannot be identified with the subject of rebuke, the constructions (a) and (b) (of which (b) is certainly the more natural) are excluded, and the two verses become one unbroken sentence. I am not 12aware of any intrinsic advantage of the constructions (a) or (b) that would lead us to set aside this conclusion, though habit makes us assume a pause at the end of v. 7. Perhaps a feeling that the words “unstable in all his ways” must denote a punishment, not a sin, may have introduced the construction (a) into late MSS. of the Vulgate (inconstans est), and so into A.V.: in reality this instability is strictly neither sin nor punishment, but in some sense the transition from the one to the other. The position of the verb (in the Greek) at the beginning of the clause is explained by the length and elaborateness of its subject.
Although the man deficient in wisdom is not directly rebuked, the form of the sentence implies that he is concerned in the words spoken of others. Though not assumed to be a waverer, he is virtually warned that he may easily become liable to the reproach, and reminded of the nature of his relation as a “man” to “the Lord” of men.
8. ἀνήρ, man] A different word from that used in v. 7, and wholly without emphasis.
δίψυχος, of two minds] The image of δίψυχος (lit. “two-souled”) represents either dissimulation (suggested to modern ears by “double-minded” in A.V.), or various kinds of distraction and doubt. Here faithless wavering is obviously meant, the description in verse 6 being made more vivid by an additional figure. Perhaps, as Calvin suggests, there is an intentional contrast with the manner of God’s giving; “graciously” (ἀπλῶς) being according to the primitive meaning of the Greek “simply”: Ita erit tacita antithesis inter Dei simplicitatem, cujus meminit prius, et duplicem hominis animum. Sicut enim exporrecta manu nobis Deus largitur, ita vicissim sinum cordis nostri expansum esse decet. Incredulos ergo, qui recessus habent, dicit esse instabiles etc. There may also be an allusion to “loving God with all the soul” or “the whole soul,” ἐν ὅλῃ τῇ ψυχῃ σου (Deut. vi. 5; Mt xxii. 37). The idea was familiar to the Greeks (δίχα θυμὸν or νόον ἔχειν etc.) from Homer and Theognis (910 Bergk); cf. Xenoph. Cyropaed. vi. 1. 41. It appears less distinctly in 1 Kings xviii. 21, and perhaps 1 Chr. xii. 33 (Heb. “a heart and a heart,” not LXX.). We are reminded of St James by Ecclus. i. 28, “Disobey not the fear of the Lord, and approach Him not with a double heart” (ἐν καρδίᾳ δισσῇ).
The word itself δίψυχος δίψυχία, διψυχέω) occurs here and iv. 8 for the first time. It is sprinkled over the early Fathers rather freely, and is found occasionally in later times in the novelist Eustathius (viii. 7; xi. 17 f.), as well as in ecclesiastical writers. Probably all drew directly or indirectly from St James (Philo, Fragm. ii. 663 Mangey, uses διχονοῦς ἐπαμφοτερής, where St John Damascene has the heading περὶ δειλῶν καὶ διψύχων). The early references are Clem. I. 11, 23; in both cases διστάζοντες is added as if to explain an unfamiliar word: the latter passage (ταλαίπωροί εἰσιν οἱ δίψυχοι, οἱ διστάζοντες τῇ ψυχῇ κ.τ.λ.) seems quoted from an earlier writing (as it is likewise in Ps.-Clem. II. 11); the reference in this passage is conjectured by Lightfoot to be to the prophecies of Eldad and Medad referred to in Hermas, Vis. ii. 3, and therefore current early at Rome: they are said to have prophesied to the people in the wilderness, so that it is probably a Jewish, though possibly a Christian, book; Ep. Barnab. 19 (cf. δίγνωμος, δίγλωσσος ib.; διπλοκαρδία 20); Const. Ap. vii. 11 (“Be not of two minds in thy prayer (doubting) 13whether it shall be or not (cf. Herm. Vis. iii. 4. 3); for the Lord saith to me Peter upon the sea, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?”); Ps.-Ignat. ad Heron. 7; Hermas passim; and Didache Ap. iv. 4 οὐ διψυχήσεις πότερον ἔσται ἢ οὔ (whence the usage in Barnabas, Hermas, and Const. Ap.). The reproof to Peter literally “on the sea” (ὀλιγόπιστε, εἰς τί ἐδίστασας; Mt. xiv. 31) may have been present to St James’ mind, as he had just drawn a comparison from the sea,
ἀκ. ἐν πάσαις τ. ὁδοῖς αὐτοῦ] As “a man of two minds” is a slightly varied repetition of “he that wavereth,” in like manner “unstable in all his ways” answers to “like a rough sea etc.” This parallelism is in itself enough to prove that the absence of the conjunction after “two minds” is expressive, and denotes not simple co-ordination but sequence: “a man of two minds and so unstable in all his ways.”
ἀκατάστατος, unstable] Things properly are called ἀκατάστατα, when they do not follow an established order of any kind (καθεστηκότα: cf. Aristot. Probl. xxvi. 13). The word is rarely applied to persons. Polybius (cf. Demosth. de fals. legat. p. 383) seems to mean by it “fickle” or “easily persuaded” (vii. 4. 6); he couples the substantive with madness (μανία) a few lines further on. Other examples are Epictetus (Diss. ii. 1. 12: φοβήσεται, ἀκαταστατήσει, ταραχθήσεται) “in a state of trepidation”; Pollux “fickle” (vi. 121), and also “disorderly,” i.e. “stirring up disorder” (vi. 129); the translators of the O.T. “staggering” or “reeling”: Gen. iv. 12 (Sym.) ἀνάστατος καὶ ἀκατάστατος with varr., σαλευόμενος καὶ ἀκαταστατῶν (στένων καὶ τρέμων LXX.), Lam. iv. 14 (Sym.), ἀκατάστατοι ἐγένοντο LXX.) τυφλοὶ ἐν ταῖς ἐξόδοις, Isa. liv. 11 (LXX.), “tossed with tempest” (A.V.), of Zion compared to a ship, and apparently Hos. viii. 6 (Sym.) where the “Quinta Editio” has ῥεμβεύων; Plut. II. 714 E, says that wine makes τ. γνώμην ἐπισφαλῆ καὶ ἀκατάστατον; cf. Σκοτόμαινα νύξ ἐστιν ἐν ᾗ μαίνεται καὶ ἀκαταστατεῖ τὰ οὐράνια in Etym. Magn. 719, 34. The verbal resemblance of Tob. i. 15 (ἐβασίλευσεν Σενναχηρὶμ ὁ υἱὸς ἀντ᾽ αὐτοῦ, καὶ αἱ ὁδοὶ αὐτοῦ [al. αἱ ὁδ. τῆς Μηδίας] ἡκαταστάτησαν [so B; Α κατέστησα, א ἀπέστησαν], καὶ οὐκέτι ἡδυνάσθην πορευθῆναι εἰς τὴν Μηδίαν) is curious but hardly more: the meaning seems to be “his roads” (possibly “his ways of government”) “were full of disorder and therefore unsafe.”
On the whole it can scarcely be doubted that St James intended, or at all events had in view, the physical meaning of ἀκατάστατος employed by the translators of the O.T.; so that the two leading words of the phrase make up a vigorous metaphor, “staggering in all his ways.” But the English word “staggering” hardly suits the tone of the verse; and “unsteady” has other disturbing associations. “Unstable” (A. V.), though somewhat feebler than the Greek, must therefore be retained, and has the advantage of covering the alternative meaning “fickle.” Compare Ecclus. ii. 12, “Woe to cowardly hearts and faint hands, and a sinner that walketh upon two paths.”
ἐν πάσαις ταῖς ὁδοῖς αὐτοῦ, in all his ways] Ὁδοῖς retains its original force as “roads” or “journeys” more distinctly than the English equivalent. “In all his ways” is perhaps, as Bede says, in prosperity and adversity alike; whether suffering trial or not, he has no firm footing. The formula occurs Ps. xci. 11 and elsewhere.
The last two sentences may be thus paraphrased: “A prayer for wisdom, to be successful, must be full of trust and without wavering. Wisdom comes not to him that asks God for it only as a desperate chance, without firm 14belief in His power and cheerful willingness to give. Such a one is always tossed to and fro by vague hopes and fears; he is at the mercy of every blast and counterblast of outward things. While he allows them to hide from him the inner vision of God’s works and ways, he cannot go straight forward with one aim and one mind, and therefore lacks the one condition of finding wisdom; he is a stranger to that converse with God, in which alone the mutual act of giving and receiving can be said to exist.”
A passage of Philo deserves to be appended; much of the context is necessarily omitted. “Whatsoever things nature gives to the soul need a long time to gain strength; as it is with the communication of arts and the rules of arts by other men to their pupils. But when God, the fountain of wisdom, communicates various kinds of knowledge (τὰς ἐπιστήμας) to mankind, He communicates them without lapse of time (ἀχρόνως); and they, inasmuch as they have become disciples of the Only Wise, are quick at discovering the things which they sought. Now one of the first virtues thus introduced is the eager desire of imitating a perfect teacher, so far as it is possible for an imperfect being to imitate a perfect. When Moses said (to Pharaoh, Ex. viii. 9) ‘Command me a time that I may pray for thee and thy servants etc.,’ he being in sore need ought to have said, ‘Pray thou at once.’ But he delayed, saying, ‘To-morrow,’ that so he might maintain his godless feebleness (τὴν ἁπαλότητα τῆς ἀθεότητος) to the end. This conduct is like that of almost all waverers (ἐπαμφοτερισταῖς), even though they may not acknowledge it in express words. For, when any undesired event befalls them, inasmuch as they have had no previous firm trust in the Saviour God, they fly to such help as nature can give, to physicians, to herbs, to compound drugs, to strict regimen, in short to every resource of perishable things. And if a man say to them, ‘Flee, O ye wretched ones, to the only Physician of the maladies of the soul, and forsake the help which mutable (παθητῆς) nature can give,’ they laugh and mock with cries of ‘To-morrow,’ as though in no case would they supplicate the Deity to remove present misfortunes” (De Sacrif. Ab. et Caini, 17-19).
9Καυχάσθω δὲ [ὁ] ἀδελφὸς ὁ ταπεινὸς ἐν τῷ ὕψει αὐτοῦ, 10 ὁ δὲ πλούσιος ἐν τῇ ταπεινώσει αὐτοῦ, ὅτι ὡς ἄνθος χόρτου παρελεύσεται. 11 ἀνέτειλεν γὰρ ὁ ἥλιος σὺν τῷ καύσωνι καὶ ἐξήρανεν τὸν χὸρτον, καὶ τὸ ἄνθος αὐτοῦ ἐξέπεσεν καὶ ἡ εὐπρέπεια τοῦ προσώπου αὐτοῦ ἀπώλετο· οὕτως καὶ ὁ πλούσιος ἐν ταῖς πορείαις αὐτοῦ μαρανθήσεται.
9-11. A return to the original theme of v. 2, bringing in the characteristic contrast of rich and poor as a special application of the principle of rejoicing in trials. There is probably a reference to the Beatitudes such as they appear in St Luke (vi. 20, 24). An indirect opposition (marked by But and also by the brother) to the waverer of v. 8 is doubtless also intended. Poverty, riches, and the change from one to the other may be among the “ways,” in all of which the waverer is found unstable.
9. The order in the Greek is important. ὁ ἀδελφὸς belongs equally to ὁ ταπεινός and ὁ πλούσιος, so that “let the brother boast” is common to both verses. As St James bids his “brethren” count it all joy when they fell in with trials, so he here points out the appropriate grounds of boasting to each member of the brotherhood, the body who might be expected to take a truer view of life than the outer world.
καυχάσθω, glory] In the O.T. and Ecclus. “glorying” or “boasting” drops altogether its strict sense, and signifies any proud and exulting joy: so הִתְהַלַּל (ἐπαινοῦμαι) Ps. xxxiv. 3; lxiv. 11 etc.; and καυχῶμαι Ps. v. 11; cxlix. 5; Ecclus. xxxix. 8 etc. In the N.T. the word is confined to the Epp. and common there; but rarely loses its original force, probably out of St James only in the parallel Rom. v. 2, 3, 11 and in Heb. iii. 6; in other apparently similar cases the effect is produced merely by obvious 15paradox. Possibly the extension had its origin in Jerem. ix. 23 f., quoted 2 Cor. x. 17. Here καυχάσθω repeats the χαράν of v. 2 with a slight change, meaning joy accompanied with pride.
ταπεινός, of low estate] Poverty is intended, but poverty in relation to “glorying” and contempt, a state despised by the mass of mankind. Ταπεινός means indifferently “poor” and “poor in spirit” i.e. “meek,” two notions which the later Jews loved to combine: it is often used in both senses in Ecclus.
τῷ ὕψει αὐτοῦ, his height] Not any future elevation in this or the other world, but the present spiritual height conferred by his outward lowness, the blessing pronounced upon the poor, the possession of the Kingdom of God. Continued poverty is one of the “trials” to be rejoiced in.
10. τῇ ταπεινώσει αὐτοῦ, his being brought low] Suffering the loss not of wealth only, but of the consideration which wealth brings. Ταπείνωσις might mean “low estate,” as in the LXX.(and Lk. i. 48 from 1 Sam. i. 11); but St James’ language is not usually thus incorrect, and the classical sense is borne out by the context. The correlation with v. 9 is not meant to be exact. The rich brother is to glory in his being brought low whenever that may be, now or at any future day (see v. 1). If the “trials” of the times included persecution, the rich would be its first victims. This is a marked feature in the persecution of the Jews by the mob of Alexandria under the Emperor Gaius (Philo, Leg. ad Gai. 18; e.g. πένητας ἐκ πλουσὶων καὶ ἀπόρους ἐξ εὐπόρων γεγενῆσθαι μηδὲν ἀδικοῦντας ἐξαίφνης καὶ ἀνοίκους καὶ ἀνεστίους, ἐξεωσμένους καὶ πεφυγαδευμένους τῶν ἰδίων οἰκιῶν κ.τ.λ.).
ὅτι, since) This introduces not an explanation of being brought low, but one reason why the rich brother should glory in it, or more strictly why he should not be startled at the command to glory in it. Perfection (v. 4) is assumed to be his aim: our Lord taught that riches are a hindrance in the way of perfection (Mt. xix. 21 ff.): and this doctrine loses no little of its strangeness, when the separable, and so to speak accidental, nature of riches is remembered.
ὡς ἄνθος χόρτου, as the bloom of grass] Taken from the LXX. rendering of Isa. xl. 6: πᾶσα σὰρξ χόρτος πᾶσα δόξα ἀνθρώπου ὡς ἄνθος χόρτου. χόρτος, properly “fodder,” means in the LXX. such grass, or rather herbage, as makes fodder. It stands rightly for חָצִיר (cf. Job xl. 15), in the first place here as in the two following verses. But ἄνθος χόρτου is put for צִיץ הַשָּׂדֶה, which is rightly translated ἄνθος τοῦ ἀγροῦ, “the flower of the field,” in the parallel Ps. ciii. 15. The LXX. nowhere else translate שָׂדֶה by χόρτος, nor will it bear that meaning: hence χόρτου is merely an erroneous repetition. The unique image taken from the flower of grass had therefore an accidental origin, though it yields a sufficient sense.
Grass is frequently used in the poetical books of the O.T. to illustrate the shortness of life, or the swift fall of the wicked. To understand the force of the image we must forget the perpetual verdure of our meadows and pastures under a cool and damp climate, and recall only the blades of thin herbage which rapidly spring up and as rapidly vanish before the Palestine summer has well begun. By “the flower of the field” the prophet (and the LXX. translator) doubtless meant the blaze of gorgeous blossoms which accompanies the first shooting 16of the grass in spring, alike in the Holy Land and on the Babylonian plain (Stanley Sin. and Pal. 138 f.; Layard Nineveh i. p. 78).
παρελεύσεται, pass away] Παρέρχομαι and “pass” answer strictly to each other in their primary and their metaphorical senses: the Greek word here, as often in classical writers, means to “pass away,” i.e. pass by and so go out of sight; it is employed in precisely similar comparison, Wisd. ii. 4; v. 9.
Which passes away, the rich man or his riches? Notwithstanding the form of the sentence, we might be tempted by the apparent connexion with v. 9 to say his riches (ὁ πλοῦτος included in ὁ πλούσιος). But in that case the only way to avoid unmeaning tautology is to take the comparison as justifying the mention of impoverishment rather than the exhortation to glorying in impoverishment; “let the rich man glory in his being brought low, for brought low be assuredly will be, sooner or later.” This gives an intelligible sense; but no one having this in his mind would have clothed it in the language of vv. 10, 11. St James must therefore mean to say not that riches leave the rich man but that he leaves his riches. This is the interpretation suggested by the natural grammar of v. 10, and no other will suit the last clause of v. 11.
But a difficulty remains. St James would hardly say that the rich man is more liable to death than the poor, and the shortness of life common to both is in itself no reason why the rich should glory in being brought to poverty. Probably the answer is that St James has in view not death absolutely but death as separating riches from their possessor, and shewing them to have no essential connexion with him. “Be not thou afraid when one is made rich, when the glory of his house is increased; for when he dieth he shall carry nothing away: his glory shall not descend after him” (Ps. xlix. 16, 17). “Whose shall those things be which thou hast provided?” (Lk. xii. 20). The perishableness was familiar to heathens of all nations: cf. Horace Od. ii. 14 “Linquenda tellus et domus et placens Uxor; neque harum, quas colis, arborum” etc. The argument goes no further than to lower the relative value set upon wealth, and cannot by itself sustain the exhortation of v. 10. But the exaggerated estimate of wealth here combated involved much more than exaggeration. It set up riches as the supreme object of trust and aspiration, and fostered the vague instinct that there was a difference of nature corresponding to the distinction of rich and poor. Thus in effect it substituted another god for Jehovah, and denied the brotherhood of men. To a rich man in this state of mind the lesson of the prophet was a necessary preparation for receiving the teaching of Christ.
I1. ἀνέτειλεν, riseth] This is the common classical (gnomic) aorist of general statements founded on repeated experience. There is no clear instance of this use in the N.T. except here and v. 24. Rapid succession is perhaps also indicated by the series of aorists, though too strongly expressed in A.V. Not unlike is Ps. civ. 22, ἀνέτειλεν ὁ ἥλιος, καὶ συνήχθησαν (so all MSS. except B).
σὺν τῷ καύσωνι, with the scorching wind] A rare word in ordinary Greek, and there chiefly used for some very inflammatory kind of fever (καύσωνος, θέτμης — Suid. where Bernhardy refers to Herod. Epim. p. 196); in Athen. iii. p. 73 A it denotes noontide heat. This seems also to be the meaning in Gen. xxxi. 40 (A all.; καύματι E) and Song of 3 Child. 44 (A Compl. al.3; καῦμα B all., καῦσος all.); also in Mt. xx. 12; Lk. xii. 55 (aestas latt.); and perhaps Isa. xlix. 10, where the Hebrew has nothing to do with wind.17
On the other hand in the O.T. καύσων is a frequent translation of קָדִים (often also rendered νότος) the east wind of Palestine (the Simoom) destructive alike by its violence and its dry heat acquired in passing over the desert. This sense alone occurs in all the chief Greek translations of the O.T., and again apparently in Ecclus. and Judith. The only trace of it out of the Bible is in the Schol. to Aristoph. Lysist. 974, where a whirlwind is probably intended. St Jerome on Hos. xii. 1 recognises both senses (“sequique καύσωνα, hoc eat aestum,” and further on “sequuntur καύσωνα, id est ariditatem sive ventum urentem”), describing the wind as “injurious to the flowers and destroying every budding thing.” Again on Ezek. xxvii. 26 he notices willowy, “which we may translate burning wind,” as an appropriate rendering of קָדִים (“Auster”), and then goes on to refer to Mt. xx. 12 with apparently only the heat in view (“totius diei calorem et aestum”). On the whole there can be little doubt that the O.T. sense is that intended here (“the sun with the scorching wind”). In Jonah iv. 8 the east wind (καύσων) that beat upon Jonah rose with the sun. For its effects on vegetation see Gen. xli. 6, 23, 27; Ezek. xvii. l0; xix. 12. It is said to blow from February to June [v. Enc. Bib. pp. 5304 f.].
ἐξέπεσεν, fadeth away] This is one of the words in this verse derived from Isa. xl. 7, where (as in xxviii. 1, 4) it stands for נָבֵל, to fade or droop away. The notion of dropping off is not distinctly contained in the Hebrew, as it is in Job xiv. 2; xv. 33, where ἐκπίπτω is equally applied to flowers. The strictest parallel is Job xv. 30 in the LXX., but the Hebrew is different. Possibly various metaphors combined (cf. Fritzsche Rom. ii. 281) to give ἐκπίπτω its genuine Greek sense of ending in failure or nothingness; so Ecclus. xxxi. 7; Rom. ix. 6; and the “received” reading of 1 Cor. xiii. 8. But the same force belongs to the root prior to all special applications. πίπτω itself has a hardly distinguishable sense (to “fail” as well as to “fall”), which is associated with παρέρχομαι v. 10) in Lk. xvi. 17. Hence ἐξέπεσεν was probably intended to convey, and will certainly bear, the sense of withering away rather than falling off.
7’) ἡ εὐπρέπεια τοῦ προσώπου αὐτοῦ, the glory of its pride] Each of the principal words will bear two renderings. Εὐπρέπεια might mean “comeliness,” “grace,” “beauty.” Πρόσωπον might be simply the ‘face’ of the grass or flower, by a common metaphor for its outward appearance or ‘fashion.’ Εὐπρέπεια, however (used in O.T. for various Hebrew words), usually includes a notion of stateliness, or majesty. So Ps. xciii. 1, ὁ κύριος ἐβασίλευσεν, εὐπρέπειαν ἐνεδύσατο; Ps. civ. 1, ἐξομολόγησιν καὶ εὐπρέπειαν ἐνεδύσω (א, B); Jerem. xciii. 9, ἐγενήθην ὡς ἀνὴρ συντετριμμένος . . . ἀπὸ προσώπου Κυρίου καὶ ἀπὸ προσώπου εὑπρεπείας δόξης αὐτοῦ: Bar. v. 1 ἔνδυσαι (Ἰερουσαλήμ) τὴν εὐπρέπειαν τῆς παρὰ τοῦ θεοῦ δόξης εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα: Wisd. v. 16, τὸ βασίλειον τῆς εὐπρεπείας: Wisd. vii. 29, ἐστὶν γὰρ αὕτη (σοφία) εὐπρεπεστέρα ἡλίου: etc.
The varied figurative use of פָּנִים (“face”) in the O.T. was closely followed in the LXX. by πρόσωπον, which brought in with it from prior, though late, Greek usages the secondary notion of a person in a drama, or a representative. In late Jewish Greek the old Hebrew idiom to “accept the face” (i.e. “receive with favour”) obtained 18fresh extensions, and thus in various ways the associations of the word πρόσωπον became more complex. It seems to mean a “person” (“personage”), as the possessor of dignity or honour, in Ecclus. xxxii. (xxxv.) 15 (12), μὴ ἔπεχε θυσίᾳ ἀδίκῳ, ὅτι κύριος κριτής ἐστιν καὶ οὐκ ἔστιν παρ᾽ αὐτῷ δόξα προσώπου, i.e. “the glory which distinguishes one person from another has no existence in His sight.” Compare Wisd. vi. 7, οὐ γὰρ ὑποστελεῖται πρόσωπον ὁ πάντων δεσπότης, οὐδὲ ἐντραπήσεται μέγεθος Not unlike is Ecclus. xxix. 27, ἔξελθε, πάροικε, ἀπὸ προσώπου δόξης: cf. 2 Macc. xiv. 24, καὶ εἶχεν τὸν Ἰούδαν διὰ παντὸς ἐν προσώπῳ, ψυχικῶς τῷ ἀνδρὶ προσεκέκλιτο. “Person” in this rather loose sense would accordingly seem to be the most exact translation here, but would involve too harsh a figure in English; and “pride” nearly expresses what is meant.
μαρανθήσεται, wither away] Μαραίνομαι denoted originally the dying out of a fire (cf. Aristot. de vita et morte, 5), but came to be used of many kinds of gradual enfeeblement or decay. In classical Greek there are but slight traces of its application to plants (Plutarch, Dion, 24; Lucian, de Domo, 9; Themistius, Or. xiii. p. 164 C, ἄνθος ἀμυδρὸν ἀρετῆς μαραίνεσθαι). But this is the exact sense in Wisd. ii. 8; and Job xxiv. 24, ἐμαράνθη ὥσπερ μολόχη (al. χλόη) ἐν καύματι ἢ ὥσπερ στάχυς ἀπὸ καλάμης αὐτόματος ἀποπεσών, which curiously resembles the text. Hence probably also the meaning “scorch” in the only remaining instance in the O.T. and Apocrypha, Wisd. xix. 20.
The idea of gradual passing away, which is characteristic of the classical use, is out of place here, where the rapid disappearance of the grass is dwelt upon. The fitness of the word comes solely from its association with the image just employed: it can mean no more than “die or vanish as the grass does.”
πορείαις, goings] The known evidence for the reading πορίαις is insufficient; but in any case it is merely a variation of spelling. There is no authority for the existence of a word πορία signifying “gain” (πορισμός), which is a blunder of Erasmus founded on a false analogy of ἀπορία and εὐπορία. Πορεία means a “journey,” and is very rarely used in any secondary sense, unless by a conscious metaphor indicated in the context. The only clear cases discoverable are Ps. lxviii. 24; (Isa. viii. 11;) and Hab. iii. 6 (whence the interpolation in Ecclus. i. 5). This is the more remarkable as τρίβοι and ὁδοί are abundantly so used in the LXX. Herder’s ingenious suggestion that there is an allusion to travelling merchants (as undoubtedly iv. 13 f.) has great probability. At all events the common interpretation of “goings” as a mere trope for “doings” seems too weak here. The force probably lies in the idea that the rich man perishes while he is still on the move, before he has attained the state of restful enjoyment which is always expected and never arrives. Without some such hint of prematurity the parallel with the grass is lost.
The addition of the elaborate description in v. 11 to the simple comparison in v. 10 seems to shew how vividly St James’ mind had been impressed by the image when himself looking at the grass: what had kindled his own imagination he uses to breathe life into the moral lesson. In the last clause of the verse he returns, as it were, from the contemplation to his proper subject, and ends with an echo of the last words of v. 8.19
“Let God alone be thy boast and thy greatest praise (Deut. x. 21), and pride not thyself upon riches, neither upon honour, neither etc., considering that these things . . . are swift to change, withering away (μαραινόμενα) as it were before they have fully bloomed.” Philo, de vict. off. 10 (ii. 258).
12. The parenthesis (vv. 5-11) ended, St James returns to his first theme, trials. He has dealt with them (vv. 3, 4) as to their intended effects on human character, as instruments for training men to varied perfection. He has spoken (vv. 5-8) of the process as one carried on through a wisdom received from God in answer to trustful prayer, depending therefore on a genuine faith, which in its turn depends on a true knowledge of God’s character. He has spoken (vv. 9-11) of the true estimate of poverty and riches, or rather of the contempt and honour which they confer, as characteristic of the right mind towards men, which should accompany and express the right mind towards God. Now he returns to trials, once more in relation to God, but from quite a new point of view, not as to their effects on character, but as to the thoughts which they at the time suggest to one who has no worthy faith in God.
μακάριος, happy] Not “blessed,” but as we say “a happy man.” Cf. its use in the Psalms (e.g. i. 1) and in the Beatitudes. St James drops the paradoxical form of the original theme in v. 2. Not now trial, but the patient endurance of trial is pronounced “happy.” Thus the explanations in vv. 3, 4 are incorporated with the primary exhortation in v. 2.
ὑπομένει, endureth] Not “has to bear,” but “bears with endurance,” the verb recalling ὑπομονήν (v. 3). So Mt. xxiv. 13; Mk xiii. 13 compared with Lk. xxi. 19. In 1 Pet. ii. 20 the force is very apparent. The phrase Μακάριος ὁ ὑπομένων (B: ὑπομείνας A, etc.) occurs Dan. xii. 12 (Thdn). Compare v. 11.
δόκιμος, approved] Again this word recalls the δοκίμιον of v. 3. It means one who has been tested, as gold or silver is tested (Zech. xi. 13, LXX.; cf. Ps. lxvi. 10), and not found wanting. “Approved” is not quite a satisfactory rendering in modern English, though it is the best available here. “Proved” or “tried” in their adjectival sense would be less ambiguous, if the form of the sentence did not render them liable to be taken for pure participles, expressing not the result but the process of trial.
τὸν στέφανον τῆς ζωῆς, the crown of life] The precise force of this phrase is not easy to ascertain. One of the most ancient and widely spread of symbols is a circlet round the head; expressing chiefly joy or honour or sanctity. There are two principal types, the garland of leaves or flowers (στέφανος) and the linen fillet (διάδημα, μίτρα). From one or other of these two, or from combinations of both, are probably derived all the various “crowns” in more durable or precious materials, sometimes enriched with additional ornaments or symbols. Each type is represented by a familiar instance. The chaplet with which the victor was crowned at the Greek games is a well-known illustration as used by St Paul. A fillet under the name of “diadem” was one of the insignia of royalty among the Persians, and was adopted by the Greek and Graeco-Asiatic kingdoms after Alexander. This ancient original of the modern kingly crown is never called στέφανος in classical Greek; but the same Hebrew word עֲטָרָה, which is always rendered στέφανος by the LXX., 20denotes some royal headdress of gold (shape unknown) in 2 Sam. xii. 30 (the golden crown of the Ammonite king taken at Rabbah) || 1 Chr. xx. 2; (Ps. xxi. 3;) Esth. viii. 15; as well as the symbol of glory, pride, or beauty (cf. Lam. v. 16), στέφανος sometimes standing alone, sometimes being followed by a defining word (στέφανος, δόξης, τρυφῆς, καυχήσεως, τῆς ὕβρεως, κάλλους, χαρίτων; Ecclus. vi. 31; xv. 6). This idiom clearly comes from the general popular use of chaplets, not from any appropriation to particular offices.
Which then of the various uses of crowns or chaplets has supplied St James with his image? In such a context we should naturally think first of the victor’s crown in the games, of which St Paul speaks. On the other hand, the O.T. contains no instance of that use (it would be impossible to rely on the LXX. mistranslation of Zech. vi. 14, ὁ δὲ στόφανος ἔσται τοῖς ὑπομένουσιν, really the proper name Helem); and apparently the Apocrypha has no other instance than the description of virtue, in Wisd. iv. 2, which ἐν τῷ αἰῶνι στεφανηφοροῦσα πομπεύει, τὸν τῶν ἀμιάντων ἄθλων ἀγῶνα νικήσασα. In any case we must take St James’ use with that of St John in Apoc. ii. 10, where again we have the crown of life. The phrase probably came from Jewish usage not now recorded. But when the two contexts are compared it is difficult to doubt that the Greek victor’s crown is an element in the image. Even in Palestine Greek games were not unknown; and at all events St James writing to the Dispersion, and St John to the Churches of Proconsular Asia, could have no misgiving about such an allusion being misunderstood. There is of course no thought of a competitive contest; all alike might receive the crown. It is simply the outward token of glad recognition from the Heavenly Lord above, who sits watching the conflict, and giving timely help in it. It expresses in symbol what is expressed in words in the greeting, “Well done, good and faithful servant!” The martyrs of Vienna and Lugdunum are said in the well-known epistle (Euseb. H. E. v. 1. 36) to receive “the great crown of incorruption” as “athletes.” “The crown of incorruption” is also spoken of in the Mart. Polyc. 17, 19. (So also Orac. Sibyll. ii. pp. 193, 201, quoted by Schneckenburger.)
Life is itself the crown, the genitive being that of apposition. There is no earlier or contemporary instance of this genitive with στέφανος, except 1 Pet. v. 4: but the form of expression recals Ps. ciii. 4. “Life” is probably selected here in contrast to the earthly perishableness dwelt on in vv. 10 f. But it does not follow that perpetuity is the only characteristic in view. Fulness and vividness of life are as much implied. The life is an imparting of God’s life: “enter thou into the joy of thy Lord1616[For the way in which the N.T. fills out the older image of life see Hort’s Hulsean Lectures, pp. 100 ff.]” The idea cannot be made definite without destroying it. The time when the reception of the crown of life begins is likewise not defined, except that it follows a period of trial. Its fulness comes when the trials are wholly passed.
ὃν ἐπηγγείλατο, which He promised] “The Lord” is a natural interpolation. The subject of the verb is to be inferred from the sense rather than fetched from v. 5 or 7; it is doubtless God. The analogy of ii. 5 shews that words of Christ would be to St James as promises of God; and such sayings as that in Mt. xix. 29; Lk. xviii. 29 f. may be intended here. But equally pertinent language may be found in the O.T., as Ps. xvi. 8-11, where the comprehensive idea of “life” well illustrates that of St James: see also Prov. xiv. 27; xix. 23. Zeller (Hilgenfeld, J. B. 1863, 93 ff.) tries to shew 21that the reference here is to the Apocalypse passage. Probably the promise comes from Deut. xxx. 15, 16, 19, 20.
τοῖς ἀγαπῶσιν αὐτόν, them that love Him] This phrase is common in the O.T., usually joined with “keeping of God’s commandments”; but singularly absent from the prophets (exc. Dan. ix. 4), who speak much of God’s love to men. Here see Ps. xxxi. 23; cxlv. 20; also Ecclus. xxxi. 19; Bel and Drag. 38. As St James describes endurance as leading to the crown promised to those who love God, he must have regarded it as at least one form, or one mark, of the love of Him. But then all the preceding verses shew that he considered endurance when perfected to involve trust in Him, unwavering conviction of His ungrudging goodness, and boasting in that low estate which Christ had de-dared to be height in His Kingdom. Probably, specially chosen, the words sum up in the Deuteronomic phrase adopted by Christ the Law as towards God (Deut. vi. 5, ap. Matt. xxii. 37 || Mk. xii. 30 || Lk. x. 27), just as we have the second part of the Law in ii. 8, conforming with St James’ treatment of the Law as spiritualised in the Gospel.
Ἀγαπῶσιν in 1 Cor. ii. 9 is substituted for ὑπομένουιν ἔλεον in Isa. lxiv. 4. Compare Jam. ii. 5 (on which see Exod. xix. 5, 6); Rom. viii. 28 (τ. ἀγ. τὸν θεόν); 2 Tim. iv. 8 (τ. ἡγαπ. τ. ἐπιφάνειαν αὐτοῦ); also the use of אָהַב itself in Ps. xl. 17 || lxx. 5 (οἱ ἀγ. τὸ σωτήριόν σου).
13. In contrast to him who endures trial, bears it with ὑπομονή, and thereby receives life, the opposite way of meeting trial, yet accompanied with a certain recognition of God, is to yield and play a cowardly and selfish part, and to excuse oneself by throwing the blames on God as the Author of the trial. Of course this, like most of the ways rebuked by St James, is a vice of men whose religion has become corrupt, not of men who have none at all.
As far as the first clause is concerned, the use of language is easy. The πειραζόμενος of v. 13 takes up the πειρασμόν; of 12, and that the πειρασμοῖς of 2. Πειρασμός is still simply “trial,” “trying,” the sense of suffering being, as we saw, probably latent, as in Ecclus., but quite subordinate.
ἀπὸ θεοῦ, from God] Not a confusion of ἀπὸ and ὑπό, which would be unlike St James’ exactness of language; the idea is origin not agency: “from God comes my being tried.” The words in themselves are ambiguous as to their spirit. They might be used as the justification of faithful endurance: the sense that God was the Author of the trial and probation would be just what would most sustain him, as the Psalms shew. But here the true phrase has been corrupted into an expression of falsehood. The sense of probation, which implies a personal faith in the Divine Prover, has passed out of the word πειράζομαι: just as God’s giving was; thought of nakedly, without reference to His gracious ungrudging mind in giving, so here His proving is thought of nakedly, without reference to His wise and gracious purpose in proving. Somewhat similar language occurs in Ecclus. xv. 11, 12.
πειράζομαι, tempted or tempted by trial] Now comes the difficulty: we have passed unawares from the idea of trial to that of temptation, by giving what is apparently a neutral, practically an evil, sense to “trial.” Trial manifestly may have either result: if it succeeds in its Divinely appointed effect, it results in perfectness: but it may fail, and the failure is moral evil. If we think of it only 22in relation to this evil when referring it to God, we mentally make Him the Author of the moral evil, in other words a tempter.
We are so accustomed to associate the idea of temptation with πειρασμός, that we forget how secondary the sense is. It is worth while to see what evidence it has from usage. We saw that the only O.T. and Apocryphal senses are: (1) trying of men by God (good); (2) trying of God by men (evil); (3) trying of men by man, which nay be either neutral as in the case of the Queen of Sheba, or with evil purpose, but not properly a “temptational” purpose, as those who tried to entangle our Lord in His words. But the N.T. has another use. Three times in the Gospels the idea of tempting comes in, not as the sole sense but still perceptibly; viz. in the Temptation, the Lord’s Prayer, and “Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation” (Mt. xxvi. 41 and parallels). To see the exact force and connexion we must go back to the O.T. In Genesis God stands face to face with Abraham; He alone is visible as trying him. But not so later. The Book of Job does not apply the words “try,” “trial” (Heb. or Gk) to Job: but it is a record of a typical trial, recognised as such in Jam. v. 11; and while the result of the trial is perfectly good, the agency of Satan is interposed: the same process is carried on for his evil purpose and for God’s good purpose, so that he is an unconscious tool in God’s hand.
Exactly similar is the passage in Lk. xxii. 31, on Satan desiring to have the apostles to sift them as wheat: his evil purpose there stands in subordination to the Divine purpose for perfecting Apostleship. Probably so also in the Temptation: Mt. iv. 1 πειρασθῆναι (πειραζόμενος Mk i. 13, Lk. iv. 2) ὑπὸ τοῦ διαβόλου (Σατανᾶ Mk i. 13), i.e. the appointed probation of the Messiah takes place through the adversary who strives to tempt Him with the ways of false Messiahship. But in Mt. we have further ὁ πειράζων, and this in connexion with 1 Thess. iii. 5, μὴ ἐπείρασεν ὑμᾶς ὁ τειράζων, probably means not the Divinely ordained agent of probation, but he who tries with evil intent, i.e. the Tempter, “lest it prove that ye have been tried by the Tempter” (by him and not by God only). Cf. 1 Cor. vii. 5 (1 Cor. x. 13; Gal. vi. 1 are not certain); also πειρασμός 1 Tim. vi. 9; 2 Pet. ii. 9; Apoc. iii. 10.
So also in the Lord’s Prayer πειρασμόν doubtless starts from trial, but trial considered as a source of danger rather than of effectual probation, as seems to be implied by the antithesis of (masc.) τοῦ πονηροῦ. The Lord’s Prayer virtually rules the sense of μὴ εἰσέλθητε (Mt. xxvi. 41 and parallels). This implication of evil in the idea of trial apparently came from this idea of Satan’s part in Divine trials. Thus the notion is not so much tempt in the sense of “allure,” “seduce,” as “try with evil intent.”
It is difficult to find traces of Jewish influence going as far as the N.T. goes, but we do find “trial” with an evil sense attached, as the Evening Prayer in Berachoth 60 B, where sin, transgression, trial, disgrace stand in a line (cf. Taylor 141 f.).
ἀπείραστός . . . κακῶν, untried in evil] The meaning of ἀπείραστός has been much discussed. It appears in this shape in St James for the first time in Greek literature, though Boeckh has recognised it in the shortened ἀπείρᾶτος (as θαυμαστός, θαυμᾶτός, etc.) of Pindar, Olymp. vi. 54. The preceding words at first sight suggest an active force “incapable of tempting to evil” (so Origen on Exod. xv. 25). A few cases of verbals in -τος in an active sense governing cases occur, but only 23in the tragedians. Ἀπροσδόκητος (Thuc.) and ἄπρακτος with two or three other doubtful instances are used actively by prose writers, but without governing a case. Considerable internal evidence would therefore be required before such a sense could be accepted here, while in fact it would reduce the next clause to an unmeaning repetition. Ἀπείραστός therefore, being from πειράζω, ought in strictness to be only a true passive, “not tried or tempted,” “unattempted” (so Joseph. B. J. vii. 8. 1, μήτ᾽ ἔργον ἀπείραστον παραλείποντες; Galen, in Hip. Aph. i. 1 [xvii. B 354 ed. Kühn] πειρᾶσθαι τῶν ἀπειράστων οὐκ ἀσφαλές, or “incapable of being tried or tempted”: and ἀπ. κακῶν might well be “incapable of being tempted by evil things,” i.e. virtually “to evil,” though the phrase would in this sense be singular; so apparently Ps.-Ignat. ad Philip. 11 πῶς πειράζεις τὸν ἀπείραστον; (? Leuc.) Act. Joh. 190, Zahn [c. 57* Bonnet] ὁ γὰρ σὲ (John) πειράζων τὸν ἀπείραστον πειράζει; and a scholium in Oecumenius. In this way we gain a forcible antithesis to the following clause, but with the loss of causal connexion with the preceding.
The active and passive senses being then excluded by the context, the neuter remains, if only it can be sustained philologically. Now while πειράζω belongs to Epic and to late Greek, and has no middle except once in Hippoc. de Morb. iv. 327 T. ii. (Lob. ap. Buttm. ii. 267)1717Moreover the difference in sense was broken down: πειράζω = πειρῶμαι in Acts xvi. 7; xxiv. 6; (reading) ix. 26. πειρῶμαι only in Acts xxvi. 21. In Heb. iv. 15 for πεπειρασμένον ‘tempted’ many MSS. have πεπειπαμένον., the Attics used πειράω and also the middle πειρῶμαι, whence they had the verbal ἀπείρᾶτος in both passive and neuter senses, which cannot always be distinguished. The phrase ἀπείρατος κακῶν, meaning “having had no experience of evils,” “free from evils,” seems to have been almost proverbial: it occurs in Diod. Sic. i. 1; Plut. Moral. 119 F; Joseph. B. J. ii. 21, 4 (cf. iii. 4, 4): Athenag. de resur. 18 (where the Strasburg MS. has ἀπείραστος); Themist. vii. p. 92 B (Wetst.). It is quite possible that the two forms, having the strict passive sense in common, were at length used indiscriminately, ἀπείραστος borrowing from ἀπείρατος its wider range: and so we find in Theodoret de Prov. v. (iv. 560 Schulze), οὐδὲ γὰρ ἂν ἐδείσαμεν, εἰ παντελῶς ἀπείραστος αὐτῶν (sc. venomous serpents) ἡ ἡμετέρα φύσις μεμενήκει. But, even without supposing St James to have lost the distinction, we can readily understand that he may have seized the familiar ἀπείρατος κακῶν, and by a permissible license substituted the kindred ἀπείραστος in conformity with the πειράζω and πειρασμοί of his context.
Similarly his κακά are not, as usual in this phrase, misfortunes, but moral evils. In English the force is best given by the abstract singular, “untried in evil,” i.e. without experience of anything that is evil. The argument doubtless is: — God’s own nature is incapable of contact with evil, and therefore He cannot be thought of as tempting men, and so being to them the cause of evil. Compare M. Aurel. vi. 1 ὁ δὲ ταύτην (τὴν τῶν ὅλων οὐσίαν) διοικῶν λόγος οὐδεμίαν ἐν ἑαυτῷ αἰτίαν ἔχει τοῦ κακοποιεῖν, κακίαν γὰρ οὐκ ἔχει.
αὐτός, Himself] That is, He for His part (not so others). This the proper sense of αὐτός is compatible with a neuter as well as with a passive rendering of ἀπείραστος: the order is not αὐτός δὲ πειράζει.
πειράζει δὲ αὐτὸς οὐδένα] This statement cannot possibly be taken in the original sense of πειράζει. The whole passage rests on the assumption that πειρασμός as trial does come from God. The word has therefore in this place acquired a tinge partly from the misuse of it in the mouth of the man excusing himself, partly from the 24κακῶν of the following clause; it means “tries” in the sense that the man talks of “trying,” tries for evil, i.e. tempts.
At first sight it looks strange, taking this verse with the next, that St James in denying that God tempts is silent about Satan as the tempter, while yet he does in antithesis speak of a man’s own desire as tempting him. The silence cannot possibly arise from any hesitation to refer to Satan or to his temptations: that supposition is historically excluded by the general language of the N.T. St James as a Jew of this time would be more, not less, ready than others to use such language; and it lies on the surface of the early Gospel records on which his belief was mainly founded.
It is striking that the Clementine Homilies, representing a form of Ebionism, i.e. the exaggeration of St James’ point of view, lean so greatly on the idea of Satan as the tempter that they say absolutely, what St James here says only with a qualification, that God does not πειράζειν at all. In contrasting sayings of Christ with false teaching, it says (iii. 55) τοῖς δὲ οἰομένοις ὅτι ὁ θεὸς πειράζει, ὡς αἱ γραφαὶ λέγουσιν, ἔφη, Ὁ πονηρός ἐστιν ὁ πειράζων· ὁ καὶ αὐτὸν πειράσας, probably from an apocryphal Gospel. And so on the theory that any doctrine of the O.T. which the writer thought false must be an interpolation, he calls it a falsehood (iii. 43) to say that the Lord tried Abraham, ἵνα γνῶ εἱ ὑπομένει; and (xvi. 13) with reference to Deut. xiii. 3 he boldly substitutes ὁ πειράζων ἐπείραζεν for the LXX. πειράζει Κύριος ὁ θεός σου ὑμᾶς εἰδέναι εἰ κ.τ.λ.
This illustrates St James’ caution. He was as anxious as Hom. Clem. to maintain at all hazards the absolute goodness of God, but he entirely believed and upheld the O.T. language. Meanwhile to have spoken here of Satan would have been only substituting one excuse for another. It was as practical unbelief to say, I sin because Satan tempts me, as to say, I sin because God tempts me. In each case it was an external power. What was needed to bring forward was the third factor, that within the man himself, and subject to his own mastery. The whole subject involved two mysteries, that of God as good in relation to evil, that of God as Providence in relation to human responsibility. Explicitly and implicitly St James recognises both sides of each antinomy: he refuses to cut either knot by the sacrifice of a fundamental truth.
14. ἕκαστος δὲ πειράζεται ὑπὸ τῆς ἰδίας ἐπιθυμίας, but each man is tempted by his own desire] Here the particular temptation belonging to the πειρασμοί of persecution is expanded into temptation generally, to doing evil acts, not merely not persisting in good. It is violent to connect ὑπὸ τῆς ἰδίας ἐπιθυμίας exclusively with the following participles: ὑπό goes naturally with a passive transitive verb immediately preceding, unless the sense forbids. There is no need to take either verb or participles quite absolutely: as often happens ὑπὸ κ.τ.λ., standing between both, belongs to both, but especially to the verb as standing first.
ἐπιθυμίας, desire] This must be taken in its widest sense (cf. iv. 1) without special reference to sensuality: such desires as would lead to unfaithfulness under the πειρασμοί of of persecution, to which the Epistle refers at the outset, are not likely to be excluded. It is not abstract desire, but a man’s own desire, not merely because the responsibility is his, not God’s, but also because it substitutes some private and individual end for the will of God: κατὰ τὰς ἰδίας ἐπιθυμίας 25occurs 2 Pet iii. 3 (cf. Jude 16, 18); 2 Tim. iv. 3.
The meaning of the Greek words needs nothing beyond themselves to explain them. But it is likely enough that St James had in mind, when he was writing, הַיֵצֶר הָּרַע, or “the evil impulse,” often spoken of in Jewish literature, starting from Gen. vi. 5; viii. 21 (“imagination”), properly the set or frame (πλάσμα) of the heart or of its thoughts, occasionally identified with Satan, but oftener not. Cf. Weber, Syst. der alt-synagog. Pal. Theol. 204 ff., 223 ff.
The representation of the desire as a personal tempter, probably implied in this verse and clearly expressed in the next, may contain the idea that, not being evil intrinsically, it becomes evil when the man concedes to it a separate voice and will instead of keeping it merged in his own personality, and thus subject to his authority. The story of Eve, with the Jewish allegories on the same subject, can hardly have been absent from St James’ mind: but it does not meet his purpose sufficiently to affect his language. On the other hand he probably pictured to himself the tempter desire as a harlot. Here too a Christian distinction may be latent in the image: the desire tempts not by evil but by misused good (cf. v. 17).
ἐξελκόμενος καὶ δελεαζόμενος, being enticed and allured (by it)] Δελεάζω, to allure by a bait (δέλεαρ), is frequently used metaphorically, as here. Ἐξέλκω, a rather rare word, is not known to occur in any similar passage. The sense of Aristotle’s πληγὰς λαβὼν καὶ παρὰ τῆς γυναικὸς ἐξελκυσθείς (Pol. V. 10, p. 1311 b 29) is too obscure to supply illustration. Several commentators cite as from Plut. De sera num. vind. (no ref.), τὸ γλυκὺ τῆς ἐπιθυμίας ὥσπερ δέλεαρ ἐξέλκειν: Plutarch’s real words are (p. 554 F), τὸ γλυκὺ τῆς ἀδικίας ὥσπερ δέλεαρ εὐθὺς ἐξεδήδοκε. The combination with δελεάζω, has naturally suggested here the image of fish drawn out of the water by a line (οἱ δὲ ἔλκουσι· ἐπεὰν δὲ ἐξελκύσθῃ ἐς γῆν — Herod. ii. 70, of the crocodile), in spite of the obvious difficulty that the bait ought to precede the line: but the whole conception is unsuitable to the passage. The simple ἕλκω is used for the drawing or attracting operation of a love-charm (ἴυγξ: so Pind. Nem. iv. 56; Xen. Mem. iii. 11, 18; Theocrit. ii. 17 ff.; as duco Verg. Ecl. viii. 68); and soon came to be applied to any pleasurable attraction (Xen. Symp. i. 7; Plat. Rep. v. p. 458 D with πείθειν, but ἐρωτικαῖς ἀναγκαῖς; vii 538 D, ἐπιτηδεύματα ἡδονὰς ἔχοντα, ἃ κολακεύει μὲν ἡμῶν τὴν ψυχὴν καὶ ἕλκει ἐφ᾽ ἑαυτά, πείθει δὲ οὒ τοὺς καὶ ὁπῃοῦν μετρίοθς; Philostr. Ep. 39, καλὸς εἶ, κἂν μὴ θέλῃς, καὶ πάντας ἕλκεις τῷ ἀμελουμένῳ, ὥσπερ οἱ βότρυες καὶ τὰ μῆλα καὶ εἴ τι ἄλλο αὐτόματον καλόν; Athan. Or. cont. Gentes 30 on men leaving the way of truth, on which they have been set διὰ τὰς ἔξωιεμ αὐτοὺς ἑλκούσας ἡδονὰς τοῦ βίου; Ael. N. A. vi. 31). It is associated with δέλεαρ, δελεάζω, in Plut. Moral. 1093 D, αἱ δ᾽ ἀπὸ γεωμετρίας καὶ ἀστρολογίας καὶ ἁρμονικῆς δριμὺ καὶ ποικίλον ἔχουσαι τὸ δέλεαρ [ἡδοναὶ] οὐδενὸς τῶν ἀγωγίμων ἀποδέουσιν, ἕλκουσαι καθάπερ ἴϋγξι τοῖς διαγράμμασιν. Philo says (i. 512), ἐπιθυμία μὲν γάρ, ὁλκὸν ἔχουσα δύναμιν, καὶ ἂν φεύγῃ τὸ ποθούμενον διώκειν ἀναγκάζει. Such seems to be the sense here, ἐκ being prefixed to denote the drawing out of the right place or relation or the drawing aside out of the right way: cf. ἐκκλίνω, ἐκπίπτω, ἐκστρέφομαι, ἐκτρέπομαι, and especially (though not in N.T.) ἐξάγω. The present tense of the participles expresses only the enticing and alluring action of the 26desire, antecedently to its being obeyed or resisted. Renderings of ἐξελκόμενος like “drawn astray,” though in themselves more expressive than “enticed,” would therefore involve an erroneous anticipation of the next verse. Cf. on this use of ἕλκω Creuzer in Plotin. de pulchr. pp. 249 ff.
15. εἶτα, next] Εἶτα, when historical (in Heb. xii. 9 it is logical), marks a fresh and distinct incident, whether immediate or, as in the parable of the Sower (Mk iv. 17; Lk. viii. 12), after an interval. Thus here it separates the temptation from the yielding to temptation implied in συλλαβοῦσα.
ἡ ἐπιθυμία, the desire] That is, either his desire generally, as the article in v. 14 suggests, or that particular desire of his which tempted him; not desire in the abstract.
συλλαβοῦσα τίκτει, conceiveth and bringeth forth] The double image distinguishes the consent of the will (the man) to the desire from the resulting sinful act, which may follow either instantly or at a future time. On the other hand the compact phrase adopted from the O.T. (Gen. iv. 1, 17 etc.) participle and verb brings thought and act together as a single stage between the temptations on the one hand and the death on the other: the sin dates its existence from the moment of consent, though it is by act that it is born into the world.
ἁμαρτίαν, a sin] This might of course be “sin”: but the individual sense suits the passage better; each special desire has a special sin for its illegitimate offspring. The personified sin of this verse is neither momentary thoughts nor momentary deeds, but has a continuous existence and growth, a parasitical life: it is what we call a sinful state, a moral disease which once generated runs its course unless arrested by the physician.
ἡ δὲ ἁμαρτία ἀποτελεσθεῖσα, and the sin, when it is fully formed] Ἀποτελεσθεῖσα is not exactly “full-grown,” a sense for which there is no authority, but denotes completeness of parts and functions either accompanying full growth as opposed to a rudimentary or otherwise incomplete state, e.g. of the winged insect in contrast to the chrysalis and the grub (Plato Tim. 73 n; Pseud.-Plato Epinom. 981 C; Aristot. H. A. v. 19, p. 552 a 28; Generat. Animal. ii. 1, p. 732 a 32; iii/ 11. p. 762 b 4), or possessed by beings of high organisation (Aristot. H. A. ix. 1, p. 608 b 7, man as compared with other animals ἔχει τὴν φύσιν ἀποτετελεσμένην). Similarly it is used of mental or moral accomplishment (gen. Hipparch. vii. 4; Oecon. xiii. 3; Lucian Hermot. 8, ὃς ἂν ἀποτελεσθῇ πρὸς ἀρετήν). In virtue of its morbid life the sin goes on acquiring new members and faculties (cf. Rom. vi. 6; Col. iii. 5) till it reaches the perfection of destructiveness. It may be safely assumed that ἀποτελεῖσθαι does not mean, as some suppose, the carrying out of a sinful thought into act, though purposes, desires, hopes, prayers are said ἀποτελεσθεῖσα. The image requires in this place a sense applicable to a living being.
ἀποκυεῖ θάνατον, giveth birth to death] The precise force of ἀποκυέω, here and in v. 18, is not altogether certain. Τίκτω, which St James has just employed, is the usual literary word for the bearing of a son or daughter by the mother (only poets employ it of the father): it has reference to parentage, the relation of mother to child. Ἀποκυέω, as most commonly used, is the medical or physical word denoting the same fact, but chiefly as the close of pregnancy (κυέω): thus a person named is very 27rarely said ἀποκυεῖσθαι; while this verb is often applied to the young of animals, and in the case of human births the accompanying substantive is usually βρέφος or some other neuter form. Perhaps in consequence of this neuter and so to speak impersonal reference, ἀποκυέω seems further (though the evidence is scanty) to have been specially applied to cases of births abnormal in themselves or in their antecedents; as of Athene from the brain of Zeus (Et. Mag. 371, 35) of misshapen animals (Herodian i. 14, 1); or of one species from another (Phlegon passim) etc. Here there is no father. The birth of death follows of necessity when once sin is fully formed, for sin from its first beginnings carried death within.
16. μὴ πλανᾶσθε, be not deceived] Occurs similarly 1 Cor. vi. 9; xv 33; Gal. vi. 7: in each case the danger lies in some easy self-deception, either springing up naturally within or prompted by indulgent acceptance of evil examples without. The “wandering” forbidden is not wandering from right action, but from a right habit of mind concerning action. The middle sense “go not astray” is possible here, but the passive “be not led astray “is preferable (2 Tim. iii. 13; cf. 1 Jn iii. 7). Delusions like these, St James means to say, would not be possible to men fully embracing the fundamental truth “Every gift” etc.
17. The first part of this verse admits several constructions. The commonest makes ἄνωθεν the predicate, and καταβαῖνον κ.τ.λ. epexegetic, “every good gift (or, giving) etc. is from above, descending etc.”: ἄνωθέν ἐστιν is however a weak and unlikely phrase; contrast ἐκ τῶν ἄνω εἰμί (Jn viii. 23) with ἀνωθεν ἐρχόμενος (iii. 31); ἦν δεδομένον σοι ἄνωθεν (xix. 11). This difficulty is removed by making ἄνωθεν dependent on καταβαῖνον etc., which is thus taken into the predicate: but the substitution of ἐστὶ, καταβαῖνον for καταβαίνει either is unmeaning or enfeebles the sense; in iii. 15, οὐκ ἔστιν αὕτη ἡ σοφία ἄνωθεν κατερχομένη , the participle is adjectival or qualitative, as the next clause shews, while here a statement of fact is required. Both constructions are liable to a more fatal objection, incongruity with the context. The doctrine contained in them is clearly enunciated in the Apocrypha and still more by Philo, being an obvious inference from O. T. language; and little if at all less clearly by heathen writers; but it is out of place here. Though every good gift were from above, yet evil gifts might proceed from the same source; and if so, the good God might remain the tempter. A perception of the difficulty has led Bengel and others into forcing an impossible meaning upon πᾶσα δόσις ἀγαθή, “a gift (giving) altogether good,” and then extorting from this translation the sense “nothing but good gifts.”
The true construction was pointed out by Mr Thomas Erskine (The unconditional freeness of the Gospel, Edinburgh, 1829 [ed. 3] pp. 239 ff.). The predicate is ἀγαθή and τέλειον ἄνωθεν, “every giving is good and every gift perfect from above (or, from its first source), descending etc.”; paraphrased by Mr Erskine, “there are no bad gifts, no bad events; every appointment is gracious in its design, and divinely fitted for that design.” Ἄνωθεν is more completely appropriate to τέλειος than to ἀγαθός 28(cf. Symb. Antioch. Macrost. ap. Athan. de Synod. 26, p. 740 D [732 B Migne], οὐδὲν γὰρ πρόσφατον ὁ χριστὸς προσείληφεν ἀξίωμα, ἀλλ᾽ ἄνωθεν τέλειον αὐτὸν καὶ τῷ Πατρὶ κατὰ πάντα ὅμοιον εἶναι πεπιστεύκαμεν): but had its force been intentionally limited to τέλειον (as Mr Erskine apparently assumes), it would hardly have been placed at the end; and it makes. excellent sense with both adjectives. On this view St James must mean by “every gift” every gift of God: the limitation is supplied by the context, and is further justified by the absolute use of ἡ ὀργή, [τὸ] θέλημα (see Lightfoot, On Revision of the N.T., 105 f.), and by the converse use of δῶρον absolute for an offering of man to God (Mt. xv. 5; Mk vii. 11; Lk. xxi. 4 [true text]). Thus i. 5 and this verse complete each other: God’s giving is gracious and ungrudging in respect of His own mind; it is good and perfect in respect of its work and destination: δόσις and ἀγαθή form the intermediate link.
δόσις . . . δώρημα, giving . . . gift] These cannot possibly be synonyms: rhetorical repetition of identical sense in other diction is incompatible with the carefully economised language of all writers of the N.T., and here the words are emphatically distinguished by means of πᾶσα, πᾶν, and the separate adjectives. The difference is probably double. Since δόσις is often not less concrete than δόμα, and δωρεά (as always in Acts) than δώρημα, the variety of termination might have had no significance. But it was easy to use either δόσις and δωρεά or δόμα and δώρημα; so that the contrast of forma and genders would be singularly clumsy if it was not intentional Aoalr occurs elsewhere in the N.T. only in Phil. iv. 15, where it is verbal, δόσεως καὶ λήμψεως: so Ecclus. xli. 19; xlii. 7. It is also verbal in Philo (Leg. Alleg. iii. 20, p. 100; de Cherub. 25, p. 154), being in the second place treated, like δωρεά, as a species of χάρις. In one passage (Rom. v. 15 f.) St Paul distinctly employs δωρεά in the same relation to δώρημα as χάρις to χάρισμα (cf. Mart. Polyc. xx. 2); and the other places where he uses δωρεά gain force if it is taken as qualitative or semi-verbal (Rom. v. 17; 2 Cor. ix. 15; Eph. iii. 7; iv. 7: so probably also Jn iv. 10; Heb. vi. 4). On this evidence, direct and indirect, the relation of “giving” (so the Geneva and “Bishops” Bibles) to “gift” must be accepted as distinguishing δόσις from δώρημα.
Another difference, probably here subordinate, is independent of the termination. In the second passage cited above, and also Leg. Alleg. iii. 70, p. 126, Philo distinguishes the δῶρα and δόματα of the LXX. in Numb. xxviii. 2 by value, calling δῶρα “perfect good things,” and stating that δόσις is a “moderate grace” (χάρις μώση), δωρεά a “better” grace: but this conception is otherwise unsupported. On the other hand δωροῦμαι, δωρεά, δώρημα usually imply free giving, sometimes with anticipation of a return but still not as matter of barter; and Aristotle (Top. iv. 4, p. 125 a 17) chooses δόσις as an illustration of a “genus,” δωρεά of a “species”; “for δωρεά,” he says, “is a δόσις without repayment” (ἀναπόδοτος). This secondary difference cannot be rendered concisely in English without exaggeration: and indeed δώρημα merely gives prominence to what in this context is already latent in δόσις. Moreover in good Attic writers δόσις when not used technically is chiefly applied to Divine benefits, e.g. several times in Plato: so Plutarch (C. Mar. 46, p. 433 A) represents Antipater of Tarsus as counting up the happinesses (μακαρίων) of his life at its end, καθάρερ φιλοχρήστου τῆς τύχης ἅπασαν δόσιν εἰς μεγάλην χάριν τιθεμενον.29
ἀγαθή, good] Ἀγαθός denotes properly what is good in operation and result to things outside itself, utility in the utmost generality (Mt. vii. 17 πᾶν δένδρον ἀγαθὸν καρποὺς καλοὺς ποιεῖ), and hence beneficence where there is a personal agent. So Ecclus. xxxix. 33, “All the works of Jehovah are good (ἀγαθά;), and he (or, they) will supply every need in its season.” “Good” gifts in particular (not deceptive gifts of evil effect), and that as given by God, are the subject of a saying by our Lord (Mt. vii. 11; Lk. xi. 13) which St James may have had in view: but the conception is widely spread.
τέλειον, perfect] As ἀγαθός expresses the character of the gifts, derived from the Giver, so τέλειος expresses the completeness of their operation when they are not misused. Philo says θέμις δὲ οὐδὲν ἀτελὲς αὐτῷ χαρίζεσθαι, ὥσθ᾽ ἁλόκληροι καὶ παντελεῖς αἱ τοῦ ἀγεννήτου δωρεαὶ πᾶσαι (i. 173); χαρίζεται δὲ ὁ θεὸς τοῖς ὑπηκόοις ἀτελὲς οὐδὲν, πλήρη δὲ καὶ τέλεια πάντα (i. 447).
ἄνωθεν, from the beginning or from their source] The commonest sense “from above,” found in various similar passages, is harsh here in combination with the adjectives, though the etymology may have dictated the choice of the word, as specially appropriate to the subject of the verse. It is rather, as often, “from the beginning” (so Lk. i. 3; Acts xxvi. 5; Gal. iv. 9); or, with a slight modification, “from their source,” origin suggesting the ground antecedent to origin. Nearly similar is the use in Dion Cass. xliv. 37: ὅσοις δὲ ἄνωθεν (“from their ancestry,” as the context shews) ἐκ πολλοῦ σπέρμα ἀνδραγαθίας ὑπάρχει; Ps.-Demosth. p. 1125, πονηρὸς οὗτος ἄνωθεν ἐκ τοῦ Ἀνακείου κἄδικος; Athenag. de Res. 17, αὕτη γὰρ τῶν ἀνθρώπων ἡ φύσις, ἄνωθεν καὶ κατὰ γνώμην τοῦ τοιήσαντος συγκεκληρωμένην ἔχουσα τὴν ἀνωμαλίαν; Clem. Alex. Protrept. iv. p. 50, χρυσός ἐστι τὸ ἄγαλμά σου, . . . λίθος ἐστίν, γῆ ἐστὶν ἐὰν ἄνωθεν νοήσῃς. God’s gifts are inherently good and perfect in virtue of His nature.
καταβαῖνον, descending] Sc. “as they do.” This clause is explanatory of ἄνωθεν. They are good and perfect, because their source is good and perfect.
τοῦ πατρὸς τῶν φώτων, the Father of lights] In Greek literature and in Philo πατήρ is sometimes hardly more than a rhetorical synonym for “Maker,” usually coupled with a more exact word such as ποιητής or δημιουργός: but this lax use finds no precedent in Scripture, and leaves the sense imperfect here. God’s relation to finite things must include authorship; but the authorship required by St James’ argument must be combined with likeness, and a higher perfection in the likeness. Every light is an offspring of the perfect and primal Light, and in some sense bears His image: its character as a light fits it to set forth that character of God to which St James makes appeal. Philo calls God “an archetypal Splendour (αὐγή), sending forth numberless beams” (i. 156); “not only Light, but also [a light] archetypal of every other light, nay rather elder and more original (ἀνώτερον) than an archetype” (i. 632); and “the primary most perfect Good, the perpetual fountain of wisdom and righteousness and every virtue,” “an archetypal exemplar of laws and Sun [? archetypal] of sun, intellectual [Sun] of material [sun], supplying from His invisible fountains streams of visible light to all that we see” (ὁρατὰ φέγγη τῷ βλεπομένῳ) (ii. 254).
The plural φῶτα has various applications, to lamps or torches, to windows, and to days. In the O.T. אוֹר, “light,” and מָאוֹר, “a light” or “a luminary,” are distinguished (markedly 30in Gen. i. 3 ff., 18.; contrast 14 ff.). But the phrase אוֹרִים occurs once (Ps. cxxxvi. 7), the subject being the heavenly luminaries, and there the LXX. also has φῶτα (in place of the usual φωστῆρες), as it has again in Jer. iv. 23 with the same sense, but apparently not reading the Massoretic text. The next clause suggests that the luminaries of the sky were present to St James’ mind, nor indeed could he have forgotten the chief of visible lights: it does not however follow that they alone were meant to be denoted by τῶν φώτων, which would more naturally include all lights, and that invisible as well as visible (see next verse and iii. 15, 17). The words “Father” and “lights” taken in their proper sense illustrate each other. Plutarch (ii. 930) uses the phrase πολλὰ τῶν φώτων quite generally, so far as appears, while his immediate subject is the moon.
παρ᾽ ᾧ, with whom] This peculiar use of παρὰ, too lightly treated by commentators, occurs in two other phrases of the N.T., both repeated more than once; παρὰ ἀνθρώποις ἀδύνατον ἀλλ᾽ οὐ παρὰ θεῷ, πάντα γὰρ δυνατὰ παρὰ [τῷ] θεῷ (Mk x. 27; with Mt. xix. 26; Lk. xviii. 27); οὐ γάρ ἐστιν προσωποληψία παρὰ τῷ θεῷ (Rom. ii. 11; and virtually Eph. vi. 9). In the Gospel saying παρὰ ἀνθρώποις is probably formed only in antithesis to παρὰ τῷ θεῷ, itself taken from the common or Alexandrine text of Gen. xviii. 14, μὴ ἀδυνατεῖ παρὰ τῷ θεῷ ῥῆμα, where the original reading (Dov, Hil. a deo, B being deficient here) seems to be παρὰ τοῦ θεοῦ, as the Hebrew suggests, followed by the best MSS. of Lk. i. 37. The usage probably comes from the Hebrew instinct of reverence which preferred “in the presence of God,” “with God” (עִם) to “in God” (בְּ); so Ps. xxxvi. 10, παρὰ σοὶ πηγὴ ζωῆς; cxxx. 7, παρὰ τῷ κυρῖῳ τὸ ἔλεος καὶ πολλὴ παρ᾽ αὐτῷ λύτρωσις; Job xxvii. 11, ἀναγγελῶ ὑμῖν τί ἐστιν ἐν χειρὶ Κυρίου, ἅ ἐστιν παρὰ Παντοκράτορι οὐ ψεύσομαι. Winer’s reference (p. 492 Moulton) to the “metaphysical” conception of possession, power etc. (penes) is forced; and the frequent meaning “in the sight of” (v. 27) is still less applicable. In the only classical passage cited (Matthiae, Winer) Demosthenes uses παρὰ with depreciative circumlocution analogous to but not identical with the biblical diction, εἰ δ᾽ οὖν ἐστι καὶ παρ᾽ ἐμοί τις ἐμπειρία τοιαύτη (De Cor., p. 318), “if indeed any such skill does reside with me.”
οὐκ ἔνι, can be no or there is no room for] Ἔνι is not a contraction of ἔνεστι, ἔνεισι, but simply ἐνὶ, the Ionic form of ἐν, retained in this Attic idiom like πάρα without the substantive verb: so P. Buttmann Gr. Gr. ii. 375; Winer-Moulton, p. 96; Lightfoot on Gal. iii. 28, where as in Col. iii. 11 the use is identical. The same force adds indignant irony to St Paul’s question in 1 Cor. vi. 5, οὕτως οὑκ ἔνι ἐν ὑμῖν οὐδείς σοφὸς ὃς κ.τ.λ.; “is it impossible that there should be among you etc.?”, as it adds playful irony to the suggestion in Plato’s Phaedo (77 E), μᾶλλον δὲ μὴ ὡς ἡμῶν δεδιότων, ἀλλ᾽ ἴσως ἔνι τις καὶ ἐν ἡμῖν παῖς ὅστις τὰ τοιαῦτα φοβεῖται, “perhaps it is not impossible that even among us etc.”: there is no reason to think that ἔνι ever becomes a bare equivalent of ἔστιν.
παραλλαγή, variation] Παραλλάσσω, παράλλαξις, παραλλαγή, are words of wide range, perhaps starting from the notion of alternation or succession attached to the adverb παραλλάξ, but in common use applied to all kinds of variations (different states of a single thing), and then all differences as between one thing and another; not to speak of several derivative senses. The various periodic changes of the heavenly bodies are doubtless chiefl intended here. In the North of Scotland the emperor Severus, says Dion Cassius (lxxvi.13), τήν τε τοῦ ἡλίον 31παράλλαξιν καὶ τὸ τῶν ἡμερῶν, τῶν τε νύκτων καὶ τῶν θερινῶν καὶ τῶν χειμερινῶν μέγεθος ἀκριβέστατα κατεφώρασεν. There is of course no reference to parallax in the modern sense, though it was known (παράλλαξις) to at least the later Greek astronomy. For the doctrine cf. Mal. iii. 6; Ps. cii. 25 ff.
τροπῆς, change] Though τροπή often means a solstice and sometimes also an equinox, this sense is excluded by the combination with “shadow,” which must be intelligible through obvious phenomena without astronomical lore. Τροπή is a favourite word with Philo, usually coupled with μεταβολή, denoting any change undergone by any object. Some passages approach this verse, as i. 80, “When the mind has sinned and removed itself far from virtue, it lays the blame on things divine (τὰ θεῖα), attributing to God its own change (τροπή)”; i. 82, “How shall a man believe God? If he learn that all other things change (τρέπεται), but He alone is unchangeable (ἄτρεπτος)”; ii. 322, “It is unlawful that he [the high priest, Num. xxxv. 25] should have any defilement whatever attaching to him, either owing to deliberate act or in virtue of a change in the soul without purpose (κατὰ προπὴν τῆς ψυχῆς ἀβούλητον: cf. βουληθείς in v. 18).”
St James may have had chiefly in view either night and day (cf. Bas. Hex. Hom. ii. p. 20 B, καὶ νὺξ σκίασμα γῆς ἀποκρυπτομένου ἡλίου γινόμενον), or the monthly obscurations of the moon, or even the casual vicissitudes of light due to clouds.
ἀποσκίασμα, shadow] Either the shadow cast by an object (more commonly σκίασμα, as several times in Plutarch, τὸ σκίασμα τῆς γῆς, the shadow cast by the earth on the moon in an eclipse), or a faint image or copy of an object. On the strength of this second sense some late writers supposed St James to mean “not a trace (ἴχνος) of change”: but usage gives them no support, and shadow no less than change must form part of the primary image. The genitive doubtless expresses “belonging to change,” “due to change” (“shadowing by turning,” Geneva).
The whole verse may be compared with 1 Jn i. 5 ff.: here temptation to evil, there indifference to evil, is declared impossible for the Perfect Light. But here the name Father introduces an additional conception, illustrated in the next verse.
A few lines may be quoted from a striking Whitsun Day sermon of Andrewes on the present verse (p.752, ed. 1635). “Yet are there varyings and changes, it cannot be denied; we see them daily. True: but the point is per quem, on whom to lay them. Not on God. Seems there any recess? it is we forsake Him, not He us: it is the ship that moves; though they that be in it think the land goes from them, not they from it. Seems there any variation, as that of the night? it is umbra terrae makes it: the light makes it not. Is there anything resembling a shadow? a vapour rises from us, makes the cloud, which is as a penthouse between, and takes Him from our sight: that vapour is our lust; there is the apud quem. Is any tempted? it is his own lust doth it: that entices him to sin, that brings us to the shadow of death: it is not God; no more than He can be tempted, no more can He tempt any. If we find any change the apud is with us, not Him: we change; He is unchanged. Man walks in a vain shadow: His ways are the truth; He cannot deny Himself.” [iii. p. 374.]
18. The details of this verse are best approached by asking to whom it refers. Does St James mean by ἡμᾶς “us” men, the recipients of God’s word of reason; or “us” sons of Israel (Jew 32and Christian not distinguished), the recipients of God’s word of revelation generally; or “us” Christians, the recipients of God’s word of the Gospel? Several considerations appear to shew decisively that he meant mankind generally. First, the natural sense of κτισμάτων: a chosen race or Church would surely have been called a firstfruit of “men” (as Apoc. xiv. 4: cf. Jam. iii. 9), not of God’s “creatures”; the force of κτισμάτων is pointed by ἀπεκύησεν (“gave . . . birth”). Second, the connexion with vv. 12-17, which evidently refer to God’s dealings with men generally: a statement applicable only to Christians, or Jews and Christians, could not have been affixed to them with such close structure of language, or without at least some word of clear distinction. Third, the absence of articles with λόγῳ ἀληθείας: a Jew, much more a Christian, could not fail to call the revelation made to him “the word of [the] truth”; St James never indulges in lax omission of articles; and the sense excludes explanation of the omission by a specially predicative emphasis. Fourth, a comparison with v. 21: if, as we shall find, τὸν ἔμφυτον λόγον can mean only “the inborn word,” not any word proclaimed from without, there is a strong presumption that the “word of truth” of the earlier verse is the same. This conclusion is free from difficulty except on the assumption that St James could not call an inward voice of God “a word of truth,” which will be examined below; and no other words of the verse favour, even in appearance, a more restricted reference.
βουληθείς, of set purpose] Βούλομαι and θέλω, though largely coincident in sense, and often capable of being interchanged, never really lose the distinction indicated by Ammonius, De diff. verb. p. 31, βούλεσθαι μὲν ἐπί μόνου λεκτέον τοῦ λογικοῦ, τὸ δὲ θέλειν καὶ ἐπὺ ἀλόγου ζῴου, and again (p. 70), θέλειν καὶ βούλεσθαι ἐὰν λέγῃ τις, δηλώσει ὅτι ἀκουσίως τε καὶ εὐλόγως ὀρέγεταὶ τινος (quoted though not accepted by W. Dindorf in Steph. Thes.). Θέλω expresses the mere fact of volition or desire, neither affirming nor denying an accompanying mental process: βούλομαι expresses volition as guided by choice and purpose. Hence βουλή, “counsel,” agrees exactly in sense with βούλομαι, and the derivative βουλεύομαι differs only by accentuating deliberation of purpose still further: accordingly βουλεύομαι is substituted for βούλομαι in inferior MSS. of Acts, v. 33; xv. 37; 2 Cor. i. 17.
A distinction the inverse of this has been for many years traditional, founded on a part of Buttmann’s acute but not quite successful exposition of Homeric usage in the Lexilogus (194 ff. E.T.). He observed that θέλω is applied to “a desire of something the execution of which is, or at least appears to be, in one’s own power”; while βούλομαι expresses “that kind of willingness or wishing in which the wish and the inclination toward a thing are either the only thing contained in the expression, or are at least intended to be particularly marked”: and he assumed purpose or design to be involved in the former kind of desire. But the observation does not sustain the inference. The cases in which we naturally speak simply of volition are just those in which action either follows instantly or is suspended only by another volition of the same agent: while the separation of wish and inclination from fulfilment exactly corresponds with the separation of the mental process leading to a volition from the volition itself, which is not in strictness formed till action becomes possible. This view is in like manner illustrated by two accessory observations. In Homer the gods are said βούλεσθαι, not θέλειν, although their action is unimpeded. Buttmann explains this peculiarity by a respectful 33intention to emphasize “the inclination, the favour, the concession”; but it seems rather due to a feeling that the volitions of gods are always due to some provident counsel (Διὸς δ᾽ ἐτελείετο βουλή). On the other hand the antithesis ἂν οἵ τε θεοὶ θέλωσι καὶ ὑμεῖς βούλησθε (Demosth. Olynth. ii. 20, p. 24, cited by Dindorf) probably rests on the contrast between the absoluteness of the Divine volitions and the human need of deliberation before decision. Again the meaning of inclination latent in βούλομαι is often extended so as to include preference or relative inclination: but as a rule preference implies comparison, and comparison belongs to the mental antecedents of volition, not to volition itself.
Βουληθείς, like βουλόμενος, might doubtless mean “of His own will,” i.e. spontaneously, without compulsion or suggestion from without: but such a sense is feeble in this context. On the other hand it cannot by itself express graciousness of will, as some have supposed. If we give βούλομαι its proper force, an adequate sense is at once obtained. Man’s evil thoughts of God are inconsistent with a true sense of his own nature and destiny, as determined for him from the beginning by God’s counsel. Thus the words “that we might be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures” would by themselves shew why St James might place the Divine counsel or purpose in the forefront. But there is much reason for thinking that βουληθείς further refers to the peculiarity of man’s creation in the Mosaic narrative, as having been preceded by the deliberative words “Let us make man,” etc. It is morally certain that the rest of the verse is a paraphrase of what had been said about the creation in God’s image: and if so, St James, in recalling God’s purpose concerning man, might naturally point to the mysterious language of Genesis which seemed to invest man’s creation with special glory on this very ground as well as on the other. It is at least certain that the same interpretation was placed on these words of Genesis by several of the gathers (Philo’s explanation is quite different), and that without any apparent dependence on St James. It is probably implied in Tertullian’s remarkable fifth chapter against Praxeas (e.g. Nam etsi Deus nondum Sermonem suum miserat, proinde eum cum ipsa et in ipsa Ratione intra semetipsum habebat tacite cogitando et disponendo secum quae per Sermonem mox erat dicturus; cum Ratione enim sua cogitans atque disponens Sermonem eam efficiebat quam sermone tractabat). The language of others is quite explicit. Macarius Magnes (Fragm. Ham. in Gen., Duchesne De Macario Magnete, p. 39): καὶ τὰ μὲν ἄλλα κτίσματα ῥήματι μόνῳ παρῆκται. ὁ δὲ ἄνθρωπος ἔσχεν ἐξαίρετόν τι κατὰ τὴν ποίησιν παρὰ ταῦτα. Βουλῆς γὰρ προηγουμένης ἐκτίσθη, ἵνα ἐκ τούτου δειχθῇ ὅτιπερ κτίσμα τίμιον ὐπάρχει· τὸ γὰρ Ποιήσωμεν ἄνθρωπον κατ᾽ εἰκόνα ἡμετέραν καὶ καθ᾽ ὁμοίωσιν οὐδὲν ἕτερον δείκνυσιν ἢ ὅτι συμβούλῳ ἐχρήσατο ὁ πατὴρ τῷ μονογενεῖ αὐτοῦ τῷ υἱῷ ἐπὶ τῇ τούτου κατασκευῇ κ.τ.λ. ... βουλῆς γὰρ ἐνέργεια τὸ πᾶν [p. 1397 B-D, Migne].
ἀπεκύησεν ἡμᾶς, gave us birth] i.e. at the outset, antecedently to growth. We are His children, made in His likeness. See note on v. 15.
λόγῳ ἀληθείας, by a word of truth] This phrase is evidently capable of various senses, according to context. In O.T. (Ps. cxix. 43; Prov. xxii. 21 bis; Eccl. xii. l0) it is a word of truth uttered by men in the common ethical sense, words of veracity or of faithful34steadfastness. In 2 Cor. vi. 7, ἐν λόγῳ ἀληθείας, it means “utterance of truth” in speaking such things as are true and recognised as true; the matter of it having been previously called ὁ λόγος τοῦ θεοῦ (ii. 17; and esp. iv. 2, τῇ φανερώσει τ. ἀληθείας). This message of truth as a whole is called ὁ λόγος τῆς ἀληθείας Eph. i. 13; 2 Tim. ii. 15. In this last sense St James is understood by those who assume him to refer here directly to the Gospel. As seen above, this agrees neither with the absence of articles nor with the context. We must at least see whether the words cannot naturally bear a meaning which connects them with the original creation of man.
It is at first sight tempting to have recourse to the Jewish conception of the Creation as accomplished by ten Words of God (“And God said”). So Aboth v. 1, “ By ten Sayings the world was created,” and refit in Taylor; Aristob. ap. Euseb. Pr. Ev. xiii. p.664 says that “Moses has spoken of the whole creation (γένεσιν) of the world as θεοῦ λόγους.” In this case λόγ. ἀλ. would be the actual words described as spoken. But it is not easy to see how they could be called λόγ. ἀλ., and moreover this sense, while it would suit well with ἔκτισεν or ἐποίησεν, does not harmonise with ἐπεκύησεν.
We must therefore seek the explanation rather in the distinctive feature of man’s creation in Gen. ii. 7, the special imbreathing from God Himself, by which man became, in a higher sense than the animals, “a living soul.” But how was this a word, a word of truth? The answer is given by looking back from the word of truth in the special Christian sense. St Peter (i. 23) speaks of Christians as ἀναγεγεννημένοι not by (ἐκ) a corruptible seed but an incorruptible, διὰ λόγου ζῶντος θεοῦ καί μένοντος: he goes on to quote Is. xl. 6-8 on the abidingness of the word of the Lord, and adds that this ῥῆμα is τὸ εὐαγγελισθὲν εἰς ὑμᾶς: in other words, the essence of the Gospel was an utterance (ῥῆμα) of God’s Word or speech to mankind. Here the abiding word of God stands to the new birth, or renewal, in the same position as λόγ. ἀλ. in St James to the original Divine birth, and the word is called a seed. This large view of God’s revelation is, next, what we find in e.g. Ps. cxix., where the spiritual conception of God’s law, which pervades the psalm (and of which we shall find much in St James), is exchanged occasionally for a similar conception of His “word” or utterance (v. 142 compared with 160), the word which abideth for ever in heaven. And now thirdly St James looks back beyond the Law to the original implanting of a Divine seed in man by God. By this Divine spark or seed God speaks to man, and speaks truth. This is the conception of Eph. iv. 24, τὸν κατὰ θεὸν κτισθέντα . . . τῆς ἀληθείας, and Col. iii. 10, εἰς ἐπίγνωσιν κατ᾽ εἰκόνα τοῦ κτίσαντος αὐτὐν. And so Aug. De Gen. ad lit. iii. 30 enquiring wherein consists the image of God says “Id autem est ipsa ratio vel mens vel intelligentia, vel si quo alio vocabulo commodius appellatur. Unde et Apostolus dicit, Renovamini etc.”; and again (32) “Sicut enim post lapsum peccati homo in agnitione Dei renovatur secundum imaginem ejus qui creavit eum, ita in ipsa agnitione creatus est, ante quam delicto veterasceret, unde rursum in eadem agnitione renovaretur.” Here the human agnitio is correlative to the Divine λόγος. Philo (De opif. 28, p. 20) says γεννήσας αὐτὸν (Adam) ὁ πατὴρ ἡγεμονικὸν φύσει ζῶον οὐκ ἔργῳ μόνον ἀλλὰ καὶ τῇ διὰ λόγου χειροτονίᾳ καθίστησι τῶν ὐπὸ σελήνην ἁπάντων βασιλέα. Thus the distinctly perceived word of truth of the Gospel enables St James to look back to the creation, and regard that too not only as a Divine birth, but as a Divine birth in virtue of a Divine seed which 35was also a Word of truth, the means by which all other words of truth were to enter man. [See on 1 Pet. l.c.]
εἰς τὸ, in order that] It is needless here to consider the debated question whether εἰς τὸ with infinitive following a verb denotes always purpose, or sometimes only result (“so that”). Here Divine purpose is clearly meant (cf. iii. 3): the relation of man to the world is part of God’s plan, and cannot indeed be separated from His purpose respecting man himself.
ἀπαρχήν τινα τῶν αὐτοῦ (v. ἐαυτοῦ) κτισμάτων, a kind of firstfruits of his creatures] Here again the phrase has force at all three stages of revelation. It is manifestly true of Christians (cf. Rom. xi. 16): true also of Israel, as Jer. ii. 3 ἅγιος Ἰσραὴλ. τῷ κυρίῳ, ἀρχὴ (רֵאשִׁית) γενημάτων αὐτοῦ; and again Philo de const. princ. 6 (ii. 366) τὸ σύμπαν Ἰουδαίων ἔθνος . . . τοῦ σύμπαντος ἀνθρώπων γένους ἀπεωεμήθη οἷά τις ἀπαρχὴ τῷ ποιητῇ καὶ πατρί; and lastly of the human race (cf. Rom. viii.)
κτισμάτων] Wisdom ix. 2, καὶ τῇ σοφίᾳ σου κατασκεύάσας [κατασκευάσας] ἄνθρωπον ἵνα δεσπόζῃ τῶν ὑπὸ σοῦ γενομένων κτισμάτων. Amb. Hex. vi. 75, Sed jam finis sermoni nostro sit, quoniam completus est dies sextus et mundani operis summa conclusa est, perfecto videlicet homine in quo principatus est animantium universorum, et summa quaedam universitatis, et omnis mundanae gratia creaturae. . . . Fecerat enim hominem, rationis capacem, imitatorem sui, virtutum aemulatorem, cupidum caelestium gratiarum.
19. Ἴστε and ἔστω δὲ] So read for Ὥστε and ἔστω without δέ, which is Syrian only, the connexion between the clauses not being perceived.
Ἴστε may be either indicative or imperative. But St James (iv. 4) has the other form οἴδατε in indicative; and probably used this shorter and sharper form for distinction, to mark the imperative; this being also the best sense. The N.T. writers commonly use οἴδατε; but ἴστε occurs in two other places (Eph. v. 5; Heb. xii. 17), both of which gain by being taken imperatively, the former in particular.
Here St James repeats positively what he has said negatively in v. 16. In vv. 13-15 he was combating error; and then he finally says Μὴ πλανᾶσθε as introductory to his fundamental doctrine of 17, 18. That doctrine being now set forth, he a second time calls attention to it on the positive side, as the basis of what he is going to say. “Know it well, my beloved: brethren (the old address repeated). And on the other hand” (δέ, with tacit reference to the acquiescence in evil hinted at in v. 13).
πᾶς ἄνθρωπος] There is force in iἄνθρωπος with reference to v. 18. The expression is not equivalent to πᾶς, but everyone of the human race, that race which is God’s offspring and endowed by Him with a portion of His own light.
ταχὺς εἰς τὸ ἀκοῦσαι] There are two grounds for this admonition: (1) suggested by λόγῳ ἀληθείας (see v. 21); (2) the love of violent and disputatious speech was to be a special object of attack in the Epistle (c. iii.).
The admonition itself is common enough among moralists (Greek exx. in Wetstein, Theile, etc.), and especially in Ecclus. as v. 11-13; iv. 29 (reading ταχύς with Aא*, not τραχύς); xx. 5 ff. etc., and indeed in O.T. (Prov. xiii. 3 etc.). But in this connexion the sense must be more special, as also v. 20 shews; and the reference must be to speaking in God’s name or on God’s behalf. What is desired is a quick and attentive ear to catch 36what God has spoken or is speaking, to be alive to any λόγος ἀληθείας of His, rather than to be eager to dictate to others about His truth and will in a spirit of self-confidence and arrogance.
Then he goes on in a secondary way to βραδὺς εἰς ὀργήν, because this arrogance of magisterial speech was closely mixed up with violence of speech, zeal for God being made a cloak for personal animosities.
20. ὀργὴ γὰρ ἀνδρὸς, for a man’s wrath] Not “the wrath of man.” It is not exactly the broad distinction of human as against Divine wrath, which would require ἀνθρώπου or τῶν ἀνθρώπων; but a single man’s anger, the petty passion, of an individual soul (cf. τ. ἰδίας ἐπιθυμίας, v. 14). Contrast Rom. xii. 19, τῇ ὀργῇ, the one central universal anger, which is only a particular form of the universal righteousness.
δικαιοσύνην θεοῦ οὐκ ἐργάζεται, worketh no righteousness of God] Not “the righteousness of God,” but no righteousness which is a true part and vindication of God’s righteousness. The late text has οὐ κατεργάζεται by a natural correction: this would more distinctly express result. Result is of course included in ἐργάζεται, but the main point is that a man’s anger is not a putting in force, a giving operation to, any true righteousness of God, as it professed to be.
21. διό clearly marks the connexion of the verses, shewing that 19 f. must be so understood as to prepare for δέξασθε and the accompanying words.
ῥυπαρίαν καὶ περισσείαν, defilement and excrescence] These illustrate each other, being cognate though not identical images. περισσεία is by no means to be confounded with the semi-medical περισσωμα, as it were the refuse of the body. The proper or usual sense of περισσεία is simply abundance, superfluity; usually in a good sense as overflow; sometimes in a bad sense, as beyond measure.
The special image here is evidently rank and excessive growth. So Philo interprets περιτέμνεσθε τ. σκληροκαρδίας as τ. περιττὰς φύσεις τοῦ ἡγεμονικοῖ which are sown and increased by the unmeasured impulses of the passions (De vict. offer. ii. 258); also βλασται περιτταί . . . τ. βλαβερὰν ἐπίφυριν (De somn. i. 667); and other passages have the idea without the word. For the contrast to the original proper growth see Ps.-Just. De Monarch. i.: τῆς ἀνθρωπίνης φύσεως τὸ κατ᾽ ἀρχὴν συζυγίαν συνέσεως καὶ σωτηρίας λαβούσης εἰς ἐπίγνωσιν ἀληθείας θρησκείας τε τῆς εἰς τὸν ἕνα καὶ πάντων δεσπότην, παρεισδῦσα εἰς εἰδωλοποιίας ἐξέτρεψε βασκανία τὸ ὑπέρβαλλον τῆς τῶν ἀνθρώπων μεγαλειότητος, καὶ πολλῷ χρόνῳ μεῖναν τὸ περισσὸν ἔθος ὡς οἰκείαν καὶ ἀληθῆ τὴν πλάνην τοῖς πολλοῖς παραδίδωσι.
Whether St James has trees particularly in view may be doubted, but he probably means simply “excrescence.” The violent speech was not, as it was supposed to be, a sign of healthy life: it was a mere defilement and excrescence on a man considered in his true character as made in God’s image.
κακίας, malice] It might be quite general, “evil”; but it seems here to have the proper sense of “malice”: what was called “holy anger” was nothing better than spite.
πραΰτητι, meekness] The word is contrasted with κακίας: the temper full of harshness and pride towards 37men destroyed the faculty of perceiving whatever God spoke.
τὸν ἔμφυτον λόγον, the inborn word] A simple phrase, made difficult by the context. Heisen has 120 pages on it. Its proper meaning is “inborn,” or rather “ingrown,” “congenital,” “natural” (often coupled with φυσικός). It is used in opposition (Heisen 671) to διδακτός, ἐπικτήτος, ἐπείσακτος, etc. This agrees with the derivation. Φύω or φύομαι is to grow, or causatively, to make to grow, as of a living being putting forth fresh growings (growing teeth, beard, etc.), or a higher being creating that which grows, or a parent producing offspring. So ἐμφύοααι almost always is to be inborn in, to grow as part of. Where the causative use occurs (with one peculiar figurative exception Ael. N. A. xiv. 8 of eels fixing their teeth in a bait), it is always said of a higher power (God, nature, fate) who causes some power or impulse to grow up in a man or other living being from birth.
Occasionally there is a secondary ingrowth, a “second nature,” as we say; and both verb and adjective have this sense too. Thus Clem. Str. vi. 799, λαμβάνει τοίνυν τροφὴν μὲν πλείονα ἡ ἐγκεντρισθεῖσα ἐλαία διὰ τὸ ἀγρίᾳ ἐμφύεσθαι, i.e. “grows into” a wild olive, not “is grafted into,” which would be mere tautology after ἐγκεντρισθεῖσα. Also ἔμφυτος Herod. ix. 94 of Evenius, καὶ μετὰ ταῦτα αὐτίκα ἔμφυτον μαντικὴν εἶχεν, i.e. he had a Divine gift of prophecy, not as a receiver of prophecies, but as the possessor of a power within himself. Such passages as these are useless for shewing that the word can mean implanted. So also passages in which God’s bestowal of the gift is spoken of in the context. Thus Ps-Ign. Eph. 17, διὰ τί λογικοὶ ὄντες οὐ γίνομεθα φρονιμοί; διὰ τί ἔμφυτον τὸ περὶ θεοῦ παρὰ χριστοῦ λαβόντες κριτήριον εἰς ἀγνοίαν καταπίπτομεν, ἐξ ἀμελείας ἀγνοοῦντες τὸ χάρισμα ὁ εἰλήφαμεν ἀνοήτως ἀπολλύμεθα; Similarly Barn. ix. 9, οἶδεν ὁ τὴν ἔμφυτον δωρεὰν τῆς διδαχῆς αὐτοῦ θέμενος ἐν ἡμῖν: where τ. διδαχῆς cannot be doctrine or revelation imparted to us, but an inward Divine teaching to interpret allegory, as is shewn by the parallel vi. 10, εὐλογητὸς ὁ κύριος ἡμῶν, ἀδελφοί, ὁ σοφίαν καὶ νοῦν θέμενος ἐν ἡμῖν τ. κρυφίων αὐτοῦ: and still more the corrupt passage i. 2, οὕτως (or, οὗ τὸ) ἔμφυτον τῆς δωρεᾶς πνευματικῆς χάριν εἰλήφατε (<τῆς before δωρ. C).
It is therefore impossible to take τὸν ἔμφυτον λόγον as the outward message of the Gospel. He could never have used in that sense a word which every one who knew Greek would of necessity understand in the opposite sense. It may be that the idea of reception (δέξασθε) is transferred from the external word: but in any case it has an intelligible meaning. The word is there, always sounding there; but it may be nevertheless received or rejected. This notion of the reception of a word already within is like κτὴσασθε τὰς ψυχάς (Lk. xxi. 19), or κτᾶσθαι τὸ σκεῦος (1 Th. iv. 4). There is special force in ἔμφυτον contrasted with ῥυπαρίαν καὶ περισσ.: these are unnatural, accidental; the voice of the word within is original and goes back to creation.
This sense (Schulthess and as against the wrong sense Heinsius in loc.) has ancient authority. Oecum. (? e Did. Al.) has ἔμφυτον λόγον καλεῖ τὸν διακριτικὸν τοῦ βελτίονος καὶ τοῦ χείρονος, καθ᾽ ὃ καὶ λογικοὶ ἐσμὲν καὶ καλούμεθα. Cf. Athan. Or. c. Gent. 34, ἐπιστρέψαι δὲ δύνανταο ἐὰν ὅν ἐνεδύσαντο ῥύπον πάσης ἐπιθυμίας ἀπόθωνται καὶ τοσοῦτον ἀπονίψωνται ἕως ἂν ἀπόθωνται πᾶν τὸ συμβεβηκὸς ἀλλότριον τῇ ψυχῇ, καὶ μόνην αὐτὴν ὥσπερ γέγονεν ἀποδείξωσιν, ἵν᾽ οὕτως ἐν αὐτῇ θεωρῆσαι τὸν τοῦ πατρὸς λόγον, καθ᾽ ὅν καὶ γεγόνασιν ἐξ ἀρχῆς δυνηθῶσιν. κατ᾽ εἰκόνα γὰρ θεοῦ πεποίηται καὶ καθ᾽ ὁμοίωσιν γέγονεν . . . ὅθεν καὶ ὅτε πάντα τὸν ἐπιχυθέντα ῥύπον τῆς ἁμαρτίας ἀφ᾽ ἐαυτῆς ἀποτίθεται, καὶ μόνον τὸ κατ᾽ 38εἰκόνα καθαρὸν φυλάττει, εἰκότως διαλαμπρυνθέντος τοῦτου ὡς ἐν κατόπτρῳ θεωρεῖ τὴν εἰκόνα τοῦ πατρὸς τὸν λόγον, καὶ ἐν αὐτῷ τὸν πάτερα, οὗ καὶ ἐστιν εἰκὼν ὁ σωτήρ, λογίζεται κ.τ.λ. See also 33 fin., διὰ τοῦτο γοῦν καὶ τῆς περὶ θεοῦ θεωρίας ἔχει τὴν ἔννοιαν, καὶ αὐτὴ ἑαυτῆς γίνεται ὁδός, οὐκ ἔξωθεν, ἀλλ᾽ ἐξ ἑαυτῆς λαμβάνουσα τὴν τοῦ θεοῦ λόγου γνῶσιν καὶ κατάληψιν. Also Vit. Anton. 20 (812 AB).
τὸν δυνάμενον σῶσαι τὰς ψυχὰς ὑμῶν] The simplest sense is right. The contrast is between life and death, the “soul” being the living principle; as Mt. xvi. 25 etc., but esp. Lk. vi. 9. [See note on 1 Peter i. 9.]
This life-giving power as ascribed to the inborn word becomes intelligible if we consider it as differing at different ages of the world according to the stages of experience and of revelation. It is always the testimonium animae naturaliter Christianae (cf. Rom. i. 19 ff.), but the testimony becomes enlightened and enriched ns time goes by. To Christians the inborn word speaks with the increased force and range derived from the Gospel: but what St James is referring to here is not the original reception of the Gospel as a word from without, but the renewed reception of the word within whatever its message may be: it is the original capacity involved in the Creation in God’s image which makes it possible for man to apprehend a revelation at all. Cf. also Deut. xxx. 14 and St Paul’s comment on it in Rom. x. 6 ff.
22. Thus far we have had the relation of hearing to speaking, and hearing has been commended before speaking. But the formalistic spirit of the Jewish Christians could give this too a wrong turn, as though hearing were all that were needed. There remained another antithesis, hearing and doing, and to this St James turns by way of precaution.
γίνεσθε, shew yourselves] i.e. in hearing, to prove that you hear rightly.
ποιηταὶ, doers] Cf. Rom. ii. 13; and Jam. himself vv. 23, 25; iv. 11. So with τ. νόμου 1 Macc. ii. 67. It is founded on our Lord’s sayings Mt. vii. 24 etc., the close of the Sermon on the Mount, just as τέλειοι in v. 4 expresses the close of its first chapter (v. 48) on the Old and New Law.
ποιηταὶ λόγου] Not the Word whether external or internal, but any word that has authority. It is almost adjectival, “word-doers,” as we say “law-abiding,” “law-breakers.”
ἀκροαταί] used in N.T. only in the same passages, Rom. ii. 13 and Jam. i. 23, 25. It expresses listening, but is specially used of the disciples or hearers of philosophers; and probably. also in Judea, where the attendance on the rabbinical schools was strongly inculcated.
Cf. R. Shimeon son of Gamaliel in Aboth i. 18, “All my days I have grown up amongst the wise, and have not found aught good for a man but silence: not learning but doing is the groundwork, and whose multiplies words occasions sin.” So also v. 20, “There are four characters in college-goers. He that goes and does not practise, the reward of going is in his hand. He that practises and does not go, the reward of practice is in his hand. He that goes and practises is pious. He that goes not and does not practise is wicked.” And again v. 18, “There are four characters in scholars. Quick to hear and quick to forget, his gain is cancelled by his loss. Slow to hear and slow to forget, his loss is cancelled by his gain. Quick to hear and slow to 39forget is wise. Slow to hear and quick to forget; this is an evil lot.” But St James uses the common language in a wider sense.
παραλογιζόμενοι] The word occurs Col. ii. 4, where the context rather suggests “delude by false reasoning.” But it is very doubtful whether the word has that force. It has two chief meanings, not to be confused, from two meanings of λογίζομαι, to misreckon, cheat in reckoning, and so cheat in any way; and to misinfer, draw a wrong conclusion from the premises, but without implication of evil intent. It is used several times in LXX. for simple beguiling, though by words. Lightfoot refers to Dan. xiv. [Bel and D.] 7. Cf. Ps. Salom. iv. 12, 14 (παρελογίσατο ἐν λόγοις ὅτι οὐκ ἔστιν ὁρῶν καὶ κρίνων), 25.
23. κατανοοῦντι, taking note of] Not merely to see passively, but to perceive: as Plato (Soph. 233 A) γάρ πω κατανοῶ τὸ νῦν ἐρωτώμενον, “I do not catch the question.” Cf. Mt. vii. 3; Acts vii. 31, etc.
τὸ πρόσωπον τῆς γενέσεως αὐτοῦ, the face of his creation] Not altogether easy. The phrase must be taken with τ. τροχὸν τ. γενέσεως (iii. 6), but I speak only of the simpler case here presented. Here it is often understood as “his natural face” (A.V.), lit the face of his birth, with which he was born, i.e. his bodily face. But if such a meaning were intended, no such circuitous and obscure phrase would have been used; τ. πρόσωπον αὐτοῦ, would have been enough, no other face being mentioned. Also the image so presented has no force: if it is merely a case of hasty looking or intent looking, all that is said in v. 24 is otiose.
The γένεσις is his birth strictly, in antithesis to later degeneracy; but the face is the invisible face, the reflexion of God’s image in humanity. St James is still consistently referring to Gen. i. The face which a man beholds when he receives the Divine word is the representation of what God made him to be, though now defaced by his own wrong doings. So Eustathius in Od. xix. 178, καὶ οὕτω μὲν ἡ Πηνελόπη ὀκνεῖ διορθοῦσθαι τὴν φύσιν, καὶ περιττοτέρα φαίνεσθαι αὑτῆς, καὶ τ. εἰκόνα τοῦ ἐκ γενέσεως προσώπου διαγράφειν εἴτε μεταγρέφειν, where the contrast is between Penelope’s natural face and its disfigurement by artificial cosmetics.
There is special fitness in the word because it is used in LXX. for תּוֹלְדוֹת and מוֹלֶדֶת, and has thus (from Gen. ii. 4; v. 1) given Genesis its Greek name. In itself the word is neuter in force, and in Greek philosophy it rather represents natural processes as governed by necessity, not by Divine will. But to a Christian Jew the only γένεσις could be that of the Pentateuch, Psalms and Prophets, the beginnings of things as coming from the hand of God; so that it virtually carries with it the association of our word “creation”; and it is to be observed that κτίσις, though found in Apocr. for “creation,” is never so used in LXX. proper, though κτίζω (as well as ποιέω) is; there being no Hebrew substantive meaning “creation.” Cf. 2 Macc. vii. 23, ὁ τ. κόσμου Κτίστης, ὁ πλάσας ἀνθρώπου γένεσιν καὶ πάντων ἐξευρὼν γένεσιν.
24. κατενόησεν, he takes note of ] The verb as before: he sees himself and knows that it is himself that he sees, the new man κατὰ θεὸν κτισθέντα. The aorist denotes the instantaneous 40and quickly passing character of the seeing.
ἀπελήλυθεν, is gone away] He went away and remains away: a contrast to παραμείνας. It was a passing glance, not taken up into his life, but relinquished.
εὐθέως ἐπελάθετο, straightway forgetteth] Again the aorist because the forgetting was a single and immediate act.
ὁποῖος ἦν, what manner of man he was] I.e. his original image antecedent to change and becoming. Cf. Apoc. iv. 11, διὰ τὸ θέλημά σου ἦσαν (not εἰσίν) καὶ ἐκτίσθησαν, where ἦσαν perhaps expresses the Divine idea, realised visibly in κτίσις.
On the whole thought of the verse cf. Origen Hom. in Gen. i. § 13, “Semper ergo intueamur istam imaginem Dei, ut possimus ad ejus similitudinem reformari. Si enim ad imaginem Dei factus homo, contra naturam intuens imaginem diaboli, per peccatum similis ejus effectus est; multo magis intuens imaginem Dei, ad cujus similitudinem factus est a Deo, per verbum et virtutem ejus recipiet formam illam quae data ei fuerat per naturam.” Also Athan. (Or. cont. Gent. ii. p. 3) speaks of man as having nothing to hinder him from attaining to the knowledge concerning the Divinity, for by his own purity (καθαρότητος) he always contemplates the image of the Father, the God-Word, in whose image also he is made, . . . ἱκανὴ δὲ ἡ τ. ψυχῆς καθαρότης ἐστὶ τὸν θεὸν δἰ ἑαυτῆς κατοπτρίζεσθαι, as the Lord also says, Blessed are the pure, etc.” See also the passage cited above on v. 21.
So also virtually (though confusedly) Oecum., but supposing the word to be the Mosaic Law (διὰ τ. νόμου μανθάνοντες οἱοὶ γεγόναμεν) and again speaking of a spiritual (νοητόν) mirror.
25. παρακύψας, looketh into] The notion of a steady gaze has been imported into the word from the context, and prematurely. It seems never to have any such meaning. Κύπτω and all its compounds express literally some kind of stretching or straining of the body, as up, down, or forward. Παρακύπτωis the stretching forward the head to catch a glimpse, as especially through a window or door, sometimes inwards, oftener outwards. When used figuratively, as here, it seems always to imply a rapid, hasty, and cursory glance. So Luc. Pisc. 30, κᾷπειδὴ μόνον παρέκυψα εἰς τὰ ὑμέτερα, the speaker says to the philosophers: “As soon as ever I had merely looked into your world, I began to admire you, etc.”; Bas. Ep. lxxi. § 1, εἰ δὲ ὁ δεῖνα ἄρτι παρακύψαι φιλοτιμούμενος πρὸς τ. βίον τ. Χριστιανῶν: “If so and so making it his ambition just now to cast a glance at the life of Christians, and then thinking that his sojourn with us confers on him some dignity, invents what he has not heard, and expounds what he has not understood” : where all turns on the slightness and superficiality of the acquaintance; Philo, Leg. ad Gai. 8, p. 554, ποῦ γὰρ τοῖς ἰδίωταις πρὸ μικροῦ θέμις εἰς ἡγεμονικῆς (imperial) ψυχῆς παρακύψαι βουλεύματα; Ach. Tat. ii. 35 [cf. Jacobs, p. 593] of beauty that παρακύψαν μόνον οἴχεται; D. Cass. lxii. 3, Boadicea of the Romans, ἐξ οὗπερ ἐς τὴν Βρεταννίαν οὗτοι παρέκυψαν, “from the time that these men put their heads into Britain”; lxvi. 17, of emperors who partly reigned together, each of them believed himself to be emperor ἀφ᾽ οὗ γε καὶ ἐς τοῦτο παρέκυψεν, “from the time that he put his head into this,” i.e. began at all to reign (lii. to is not quite so clear); Demosth. Phil. i. 24 (p. 46 fin.) auxiliary troops παρακύψαντα 41ἐπὶ τὸν τ. πόλεως πόλεμον, πρὸς Ἀρτάβαζον καὶ πανταχοῖ μᾶλλον οἴχεται πλέοντα; they just shew themselves for the war, and then sail off.
St James could not have used such a word to contain within itself steady looking, and it must therefore have a meaning analogous to Lk. ix. 62, putting hand to the plough, the stress being on παραμείνας. It answers to κατενόησεν ἑαυτόν. [See on 1 Pet. i. 12.]
νόμον τέλειον τὸν τῆς ἐλευθερίας, a perfect law, even that of liberty] Here the word has become a law, but a perfect law, just as they are interchanged in Ps. cxix. The starting point is language such as we find in that Psalm, also Ps. xix. 7: but Christ’s word in the Sermon on the Mount (Mt. v. 48), itself founded on Deut. xviii. 13, is the main source, that being the sum and climax of Mt. v., the subject of the new or rather subjacent Law. (On the recognition of the heathen as having a law and covenant see Isa. xxiv. 5 and Delitzsch and Cheyne.) Thus St James refers at once to the Gospel and to what was before the Law (cf. Rom. ii. 14 as to the heathen): his “perfect Law” unites both. It is perfect, as expounded by our Lord, because it deals not with single acts but with universal principles.
τὸν τῆς ἐλευθερίας] In what sense? Irenaeus thinks of free-will: but that is not in the context. In LXX. ἐλευθερία is never used in any such figurative or ethical sense. The nearest approach in sense is in Ps. cxix. 32, 44 f., 96 (רָחָב ,רָחַב, “broad,” πλατύνω, πλατυσμός, πλατεῖα, where the reception of God’s law is represented as giving spacious room in which to walk, removing the narrowing bondage of petty personal desires (cf. Wordsworth’s Ode to Duty). The idea of the Law as a source of freedom was not strange to the later Jews: so Aboth iii. 8 (R. Nechoniah Ben Ha-Kanah), “Whoso receives upon him the yoke of Thorah, they remove from him the yoke of royalty and the yoke of worldly care,” etc. (p. 60); also Perek R. Meir (=Aboth vi.) 2 (R. Joshua Ben Levi), “It (the Bath Kol) saith, And the tables were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God, graven upon the tables (Ex. xxxii. 16); read not charuth ‘graven’ but cheruth ‘freedom,’ for thou wilt find no freeman but him who is occupied in learning of Thorah” (p. 114, with Taylor’s note); and also Philo, Q. omn. prob. lib. 7 (ii. 452), ὅσοι δὲ μετὰ νόμου ζῶσιν ἐλεύθεροι: but he has also the Stoic language about the freedom of the wise man: cf. Sacr. Ab. et Cain, 37 (i. 188). But St James seems to mean more than ethical result; rather the character of the law, as positive not negative (“Thou shalt love . . .”) and depending on expansive outflow, not on restraint and negation.
καὶ παραμείνας, and there continueth] The first meaning is to “stay where one is”: then to “stay with a person loyally”: also absolutely to “persevere,” esp. in contrast to others who fall away. Diod. Sic. (ii. 29), contrasting the Greeks with the Chaldaeans and their hereditary lore says: παρὰ δὲ τοῖς Ἕλλησιν ὁ πολὺς ἀπαράσκευος προσιὼν ὀψέ ποτε τῆς φιλοσοφίας ἅπτεται, καὶ μέχρι τινὸς φιλοπονήσας ἀπῆλθε, περισπασθεὶς ὑπὸ βιωτικῆς χρείας, ὀλίγοι δὲ παντελῶς ἐπὶ φιλοσοφίαν ἀποδύντες ἐργολαβίας ἕνεκεν παραμένουσιν ἐν τῷ μαθήματι. The idea then probably is “perseveres in” the law, not perseveres looking at it, nor abides beside it. So Ps. i. 2, καὶ ἐν τ. νόμῳ αὐτοῦ μελετήσει ἡμέρας καὶ νυκτός.
γενόμενος, shewing himself] As γίνεσθε in v. 22.
ἀκροατὴς ἐπιλησμονῆς . . . ποιητὴς ἔργου, 42a hearer that forgetteth...a doer that worketh] The first genitive must be adjectival: not exactly an adjective “a forgetful hearer,” but a hearer in contrast to a doer, and so characterised by forgetting. This sense of a characteristic, or even something stronger, is always to be traced in these Hebraistic genitives in Greek. In like manner ἔργου is quasi adjectival, and so without the article: with the article it would have to be in the plural.
μακάριος] not εὐλογητός. “Happy” in the sense “to be envied.” He may have delight in it or he may not: the state itself is good and desirable: if he is in a right mind, he cannot but delight in it. This μακάριος hardly goes back to the Sermon on the Mount (it comes nearer Jn xiii. 17): rather it is to be referred, if any whither, to the Psalms, not least to Ps. i.
ἐν τῇ ποιήσει, in his doing] Not διὰ τὴν π. Not a reward, but a life. His action is the action that is right and therefore μακαρία. It refers back to ποιητής.
26. δοκεῖ, seemeth] Sc. to himself, as often.
θρησκός, religious] An interesting but extremely rare word. Not known except here and in Lexicographers; Latt. religiosus. The derivation is probably directly from τρέω, and it seems to mean one who stands in awe of the gods, and is tremulously scrupulous in what regards them. The actual renderings in Lexx. are strange: Hesych. ἑτερόδοξος, εὐγενής (?); Et. Nag. and Suid. ἑτερόδοξος; Et. Gud. ὁ ἑτερόδοξος, αἱρετικός. Oecum. (Did.), having previously said that θρησκεία denotes something more than faith, a knowledge of secret things (κρυφίων, interprets θρησκός as “one who knows and exactly keeps the things hidden (ἀπορρήτων) in the Law.” We get more help from other glosses in Hesych. θρέξατο ἐφυλάξατο, ἐσεβάσθη; θρεσκή ἁγνή, πάντα εὐλαβουμέην; θρεσκός περιττός, δεισιδαίμων. None can come from this passage: so that they attest other lost passages, all having the idea of cautious observance of religious restrictions, sometimes spoken of with praise, sometimes with blame. This exactly answers to the proper meaning of religiosus, as of religio which is properly the gathering up of oneself in awe, and consequent scrupulousness. It thus belongs to an early stage of what we now call religion, containing indeed elements which are and must be permanent, but still as a whole narrow and immature, not including faith in God or love of God. Now this was just the; spirit of much of the later Judaism, notwithstanding its opposition to the spirit of the prophets and of much else in the O.T., and it was apparently getting the better of the Jewish Christians. Men prided themselves on a special religiousness because (as in the Gospels) they made clean the outside of the cup and of the platter and tithed mint and cummin. Thus the word, though not here used in an evil sense, is used probably in a limited sense, in the sense which these persons would use for themselves. θρησκός would be the word which they would choose to express their ideal man.
These two concluding verses of c. i. bring together the two points of Christian conduct, which he has been dwelling on since v. 19. From 19 to 21 he taught slowness to speak and so here he teaches the bridling of the tongue. From 22 to 25 he taught doing as against barren hearing: and; so here and in v. 27 he gives illustrations of rightful doing.43
χαλιναγωγῶν γλῶσσαν ἑαυτοῦ, bridling his tongue] A very common figure, worked out more fully in iii. 2 ff.
ἀπατῶν καρδίαν ἑαυτοῦ, deceiving his heart] This answers to παραλογιζόμενοι ἑαυτούς in v. 22. He again, as in 20, implies that the unbridledness of tongue aimed at was one which was defended as the speech of uncompromising zeal.
μάταιος, vain, to no purpose] At once unreal in itself and ineffectual. Cf. ματαία ἡ πίστι ὑμῶν (1 Cor. xv. 17). It is much used in the O.T. for the futility of idols and idolatry (and hence in N.T., Acts xiv. 15; cf. 1 Pet. i. 18), and so Jer. x. 3, τὰ νόμιμα τ. ἐθνῶν μάταια. But still more Isa. xxix. 13 (repeated by our Lord Mt. xv. 8 f.; Mk vii. 6 f.), μάτην δὲ σέβονταί με, etc. (LXX. not Heb.); especially applicable here to a depravation of the true religion.
θρησκεία, religion] A far commoner word than θρησκός, and probably of wider sense, but still a word of very limited history. It occurs twice in Herod. ii. 18, 37, both times with reference to the Egyptians, first about an abstinence from certain flesh, and the second time (ἄλλας τε θρησκίας ἐπιτελέουσι) about white robes, circumcision, shaving, frequent washings, etc., all cases of personal ceremonial (so also θρησκεύω ii. 64). It is apparently absent, as also θρησκεύω, from Attic literature: but like many words found in Herod. came into use in late days. It is doubtful whether there is any earlier instance than this, except Wisd. xiv. 18, 27 (-εύω xi. 16; xiv. 16), all of worship of idols or lower creatures. In N.T. in a good sense, τ. ἡμετ. θρησκείας, Acts xxvi. 5, which illustrates the use of εἴ τις . . . θρησκός: and in St Paul (Col. ii. 18) θρ. τ. ἀγγελων (also 23, ἐθελοθρησκεία). It has a more positively bad sense in Philo, Quod deter. pot. 7 (i. 195), where a man who uses purifications or lavishes wealth on temples and hecatombs and votive offerings is called θρησκείαν ἀντὶ ὁσιότητος ἡγούμενος. But shortly afterwards Clem. Rom. uses it freely in a good sense (x1v. 7), τῶν θρησκευόντων τ. μεγαλοπρεπῆ καὶ ἔνδοξον θρησκείαν τ. ὑψίστου, and lxii.1, περὶ μὲν τῶν ἀνηκόντων τῇ θρησκείᾳ ἡμῶν, the virtuous life “suitable to our worship” of God, as just expounded by a prayer. And still more strongly Melito, p. 413 Otto, οὐκ ἐσμὲν λίθων θεραπευταί, ἀλλὰ μόνον θεοῦ τοῦ πρὸ πάντων . . . καὶ τ. χριστοῦ αὐτοῦ . . . ἐσμὲν θρησκευταὶ: where θεραπευταί is equal to or better than θεραπευταί. And so often in the Fathers and other later writers. What is commonly said that θρησκεία means only ritual is not exact. θρησκεία is simply reverence of the gods or worship of the gods, two sides of the same feeling. The reverence gives rise to ceremonial rites, not of worship but of abstention, which are often called θρησκεία. The worship was expressed in ritual acts, which sometimes are called θρησκεία, esp. in the plural θρησκεῖαι. But the fundamental idea is still what underlies both. Besides, however, the exx. already cited, there are others which especially connect it with Jewish ceremonial religion, as 4 Macc. v. 6, of refusal to eat pork or things offered to idols. Thus St James is still using the word preferred by the Jewish Christians, not that which he would have chosen independently.
27. θρησκεία καθαρὰ καὶ ἁμίαντος, a pure and undefiled religion] It is not ἡ καθ. καὶ ἀμ. θρ. He does not say or mean that what follows includes all that can be called pure and undefiled religion.44
Why these particular words, καθαρά and ἁμίαντος, rather than ἀληθινήor some such word? Because he is still keeping in view the pretension made on behalf of the vain religion, viz. that it was pure and free from pollution. This alone would suffice to shew that St James had chiefly in view ceremonial θρησκεία, the washings and purifications of late Judaism, multiplying Levitical ordinances. These terms which you claim, he means, for your vain θρησκεία do really belong to something very different (Lk. xi. 41).
παρά] In His sight, in His presence, and so in His eyes.
τῷ θεῷ καὶ πατρὶ] The two names are probably combined with reference both to what has preceded and to what is going to follow. The false religion spoke much of God, but forgot that He was also Father. A true sense of being His children would lead to a different conception of Him and of the kind of service acceptable to Him. And again, to think of Him as Father was to think of men as brethren; a point of view forgotten in this θρησκεία which set no store on such brotherliness as is involved in the visiting of orphans and widows.
ἐπισκέπτεσθαι, to visit] The word is often used in O.T. of God visiting individual persons or His people: but no case like this. Ecclus. vii. 35 has it of visiting the sick, and so Test. Sim. i; Mt. xxv. 36, 43 (the latter ἐν φυλαηῇ as well as ἀσθενοῦντα): and it seems an ordinary Greek usage as Xen. Cyr. v. 4. 10; Mem. iii. 11. 10; Plut. Mor. (ii. 129 C, τ. φίλους ἀσθενοῦντας; Luc. Philops. 6.
The word must doubtless then be taken literally: not the mere bestowal of alms, but the personal service. The Bible represents God as specially taking thought for the fatherless and widow, as their “father,” Ps. lxviii. 5 (cf. Deut. xxvii. 19; Isa. i. 17; Ecclus. iv. 10). In contrast Mk xii. 4o (|| Lk. xx. 47), the devouring widows’ houses is a mark of the scribes.
ἄσπιλον, unstained] Quite a late word, apparently not extant before N.T The force of the word here is that after St James has noticed the acts of brotherly care towards orphans and widows, he returns to the claim of purity, as though to point out that there was indeed a purity and undefiledness in the strictest sense to be pursued, not from fictitious and artificial pollutions, but from a power able to infect and pollute the inward self.
ἀπὸ τοῦ κόσμου, from the world] The use of κόσμος here is remarkable. The word can hardly be used neutrally here, as though St James meant only that the κόσμος contained things that might bring moral defilement. The κόσμος is evidently thought of as itself defiling. The same comes out yet more strongly in iv. 4, and probably also in the difficult iii. 6. We are used to this language as conventional. But it needs investigation as to its strict meaning and origin. There is nothing of the kind in the first three Gospels or in the Acts or (strange to say) the Apocalypse or Hebrews: very abundant in St John’s Gospel and first Epistle; and 1 Jn. ii. 15 furnishes a remarkable parallel to iv. 4. It is not very clear in St Paul (2 Cor. vii. 10), ὁ κ. οὗtow [1 Cor. iii. 19; v. 10; vii. 31; Eph. ii. 2] being, at least partly, a different conception; but it is found in 2 Peter, distinctly in ii. 20, τὰ μιάσματα τ. κόσμου (ct. ἄσπιλον), and indirectly i. 4; ii. 5 (bis); iii. 6. Thus it is clear in St John’s Gospel and Epistle, 2 Peter, and St James. There is nothing to be made of the common Greek sense 45as the visible universe, or the order of it. This physical sense seems to belong to some places where the word is used, but not to those where the κόσμος is in any sense evil.
The conception must be Jewish: can it be traced back to the O.T.? Certainly not the Greek word from the LXX., for there it has only the “order” or “ornament” meanings. In the Apocr. it is the world, but not in an evil sense. In the LXX. its place is apparently taken by οἰκουμένη, which represents the Heb. תֵּבֵלּ, a curious ancient word, always used without the article, meaning apparently at first the fruitful soil of the earth, and then as a virtual synonym of “earth,” but esp. earth as the habitation of men. Sometimes, like “world,” it is naturally transferred to the collective races of men. Hence we get an intermediate sense in Ps. ix. 8, where God appears as judging תֵּבֵלּ in righteousness, and the phrase is repeated in the later psalms, xcvi. 13; xcviii 9. But it acquires a more distinctly bad sense in the early chapters of Isaiah, xiii. 11; xiv. 17 (21); xviii. 3; xxiv. 4 (see foll. vv. for sense); xxvi. 9, 18. In these passages it means the sum of the fierce surrounding heathen nations, the powers of the heathen world at once destructive and corruptive (xxvi. 9), and see Cheyne’s note, who calls attention to two points: “(1) the Jews are in constant inter-course with the heathen; (2) they suffer, not merely by their political subjugation, but by the moral gulf between themselves and the heathen.” Thus תֵּבֵלּ is virtually the ideal Babylon of the prophets and still more of the Apocalypse. Delitzsch (Isa. xxvi. 18) rightly calls it a κόσμος: and conversely we may say that the N.T. κόσμος probably came from this source.
To Jewish Christians scattered through the Empire, to the Christians of Ephesus (1 Jn), the contact with the heathen world would be a perpetual source of moral danger, and they would be tempted to all sorts of risks from trying to avoid collisions with it. Its injurious effects would be many; but their prevailing characteristic would be defilement. In St John, and perhaps to some extent here, we have the paradox of the holy people itself becoming the world, by putting on in other forms the maxims and practice of an outer world. At all events the evil is conceived of as residing not in anything physical, but in a corrupt and perverted society of men. This is probably always the true ethical sense of “world.” Thus the two clauses answer to each other in respect of the outward objects of the two forms of pure religion: the one is a duty of communication with men for good, the other a duty of avoiding such evil as comes from communication with men.
The whole verse has doubtless a paradoxical shape, though this is explained by the latent antithesis to the spurious θρησκεία. But in any case the conception is that of Isa. lviii. 3-7 (esp. 6); Zech. vii. 4-10.
II. 1. ἀδελφοί μου] The preface being ended St James turns to the special points of practice which he had directly in view. He makes no further exordium, but breaks at once in medias res with this personal appeal, putting ἀδ. μου in the forefront. It does not occur again at the beginning of a sentence till the close (v. 19).
In what follows in this verse three points of construction require consideration: 46 the mood and general force of ἐν . . . ἔχετε; the nature of the genitive τοῦ κυρίου in connexion with τὴν πίστιν; and the construction and consequent interpretation of τῆς δόξης.
ὴ ἐν προσωποληψίαις ἔχετε] This is often, naturally enough, taken as an imperative: but this gives a rather tame sense, and gives no exact sense to ἐν πρ. ἔχετε, and especially to the position of ἐν πρ. as coming before ἔχετε. It is more natural to take it as an interrogative appeal to their consciences: “ Can you really think ἐν προσωποληψίαις that you are having or holding the faith etc.”
The plural -αις probably expresses “in (doing) acts of:” When words having an abstract sense are in the plural, the meaning is either different kinds (as “ambitions” = different kinds of ambition) or different concrete acts or examples. The abstract has no number strictly speaking: but a plural at once implies a number of singulars to make it up, and (apart from kinds) things concrete can alone be numbered.
προσωποληψίαις, acts of partiality] This group of words has a Hebrew origin. נָשָֹא פְנֵי, “to receive the face of,” is much used in different books of the O.T. for receiving with favour an applicant, whether in a good or bad sense. The exact force of the phrase is not clear. נָשָֹא has not the strong sense “accept,” “welcome,” but rather either simply “take” or “lift up,” and some accordingly adopt “lift up.” Against this Gesen. Thes. 915 f. (cf. Hupfeld on Ps. lxxxii. 2) has argued with much force: but he has not succeeded in explaining the precise manner in which “taking the face of” comes to have the required meaning. From the sense of receiving a particular person with favour would naturally come the perversion, the receiving with undue favour, i.e. favouritism, partiality. In some of the passages the partiality is spoken of as due to bribes: but this is an accident: the partiality itself is what the phrase denotes. It is variously rendered by the LXX. as λαμβάνω πρόσωπον, προσδέχομαι πρ., θαυμάζω πρ. etc. The N.T. has λαμβ., θαυμ., βλέπω εἰς. From the commonest rendering were formed a group of compound words, προσωπολήμπτης Acts x. 34; ἀπροσωπολήμπτως 1 Pet. i. 17; προσωπολημπτέω, Jam. ii. 9; and προσωπολημψία here and three times in St Paul. They are doubtless words of Palestinian Greek.
ἔχετε τὴν πίστιν τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν κ.τ.λ.] The two most obvious senses of the genitive here are the subjective, the faith which our Lord Himself had, and the objective, the faith in Him. The former is not a likely sense to be meant without some special indication of it: the latter is not supported by any clear parallels, and (taken thus nakedly) gives a not very relevant turn to the sentence. The true sense is doubtless more comprehensive, and answers to an idea widely spread in the N.T.; “which comes from Him, and depends on Him,” “the faith which He taught, and makes possible, and bestows”: it is a faith in God, enlarged and strengthened by the revelation of His Son; the faith in God which specially arises out of the Gospel and rests on Him of whom the Gospel speaks. It thus includes a faith in Christ: but this is only the first step on the way to a surer and better faith in God. “He that hath seen me hath seen the Father.” This is the probable sense always where πίστις is followed by Ἰησοῦ or similar words. Even Mk xi. 22, ἔχετε πίστιν θεοῦ, is not so much “Have faith in God” as “Have faith from God. Trust on, as men should do to whom God is a reality.”47
τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν] It is impossible to determine precisely how much meaning St James put into these words. But they do not differ from St Paul’s formula, and probably to say the least go much beyond what the disciples meant by κύριος in the days of the ministry. They must be taken with i. 1.
τῆς δόξης, who is the Glory] Δόξης is very difficult in this position. Some take it with πίστιν, changing the meaning of πίστιν: Have ye the faith in respect of glory? equivalent to, Do ye take the same view of true glory and dignity? This gives a fair sense; but imports an unnatural force into πίστιν, and leaves the transposition of τ. δόξης inexplicable, besides disturbing the connexion between τ. πίστιν and τ. κυρίου etc. The other interpretations, “faith in the glory,” “glorious faith,” are evidently impossible.
Another favourite way is to take it with τ. κυρίου (so A.V.). The possibility of two genitives, ἡμῶν and τ. δόξης, cannot be denied: so in 1 Tim. iv. 2 δαιμονίων and ψευδολόγων are probably independent genitives governed by διδασκαλίαις: also Acts v. 32 (T.R.); 2 Cor. v. 1; Phil. ii. 30; Mt. xxvi. 28: (Winer-Moulton 239). But τ. κυρίου τ. δόξης is itself a phrase at once so compact and so nearly unique (1 Cor. ii. 8; cf. ὁ θεὸς τ. δόξης Ps. xxix. 3, and probably thence Acts vii. 2) that the division of it into two distant parts is not probable, and can only be taken as a possible interpretation.
It is needless to examine the combination with Χριστοῦ, or with the whole phrase τ. κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰ. Χ.
There remains the possibility of not taking it as directly dependent on any preceding words, but in apposition to Ἰ. Χ., “our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the Glory”: so Bengel. Several passages of the Epistles give a partial confirmation. Rom. ix. 4, ἡ δόξα seems to be the glory of the Divine presence (O.T.); 1 Cor. xi. 7, a man is said to be εἰκὼν καὶ δόξα θεοῦ, which may be taken with v. 3, κεφαλὴ δὲ γυναικὸς ὁ ἀνήρ, κεφαλὴ δὲ τοῦ χριστοῦ ὁ θεός; Eph. i. 17, ὁ θεὸς τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰ. Χ. ὁ πατὴρ τῆς δόξης, where the two clauses seem to stand in precise parallelism and it seems impossible to give the second an intelligible sense except it means that the Son was Himself the Glory; Tit. ii. 13, τὴν μακαρίαν ἐλπίδα καὶ ἐπιφάνειαν τῆς δόξης τοῦ μεγάλου θεοῦ καὶ σωτῆρος ἡμῶν Χ. Ἰ., where it is on the whole easiest to take Χ. Ἰ. as in apposition to τ. δόξης τ. μεγάλου θεοῦ κ. σωτῆρος ἡμῶν. Illustrative passages are 2 Cor. iv. 6; Heb. i. 3 (ἀπαύγασμα τ. δόξης, He who is an effulgence of the Father’s glory being thereby Himself the Glory); possibly 1 Pet. iv. 14; also Apoc. xxi. 11, 23, where note the parallelism to καὶ ὁ λύχνος αὐτῆς τὸ ἀρνίον. [See Add. Note.]
But was there anything to lead to such a representation? The O. T. speaks much of the כָּבוֹד of the Lord. From this and from the late dread of connecting God too closely with lower things arose the Jewish conceptions of the Glory יְקָרָא, and the Shechinah. See Weber 160 on the Glory as in Heaven; 179 ff. on the Glory and the Shechinah, and the relation of the Shechinah to the Word in the Targums (cf. Westcott, Introd.6 152); and 182 ff. the combination of both conceptions (Word and Shechinah) in the Shechinah in Talmud and Midrash. Now the Word of the Targums is the true antecedent of the Logos in St John, much more so than the Logos of Philo; and it would be only natural that the other great conception which linked God to men, that of the Glory, should be transferred to Christ as the true fulfiller of it.
The force then of the title here would probably be that the faith of Christ as the Glory was peculiarly at variance with this favouritism shewn to the rich: since He who represented the very majesty of heaven 48was distinguished by His lowliness and poverty: cf. Phil. ii. 5 ff.; 2 Cor. viii. 9. As St James (iii. 9) rebukes the cursing of men who are made in the likeness of God, so here he rebukes the contemptuous usage of poor men, even such as the Incarnate Glory of God Himself became.
2. εἰς συναγωγὴν ὑμῶν, into your (place of) assembly] The word means either the assembly or the building which held the assembly, and either makes sense: in Jn vi. 59, xviii. 20 it is the assembly clearly.
Two subjects of historical interest, the thing and the word, demand notice. As regards the thing synagogue see Plumptre in Smith’s Dict.; Schürer ii. § 27. The date when the synagogue-system arose is unknown. It is remarkable that there are no clear traces of it in the Apocrypha; yet probably there is a reference in Ps. lxxiv. 8 (Maccabaean). But it was widely spread in the first century in all places where Jews were to be found.
The name “synagogue.” The origin is doubtless the LXX., but in a confused way. There are two chief words in O.T. (cf. Schürer l.c. [and Hort, Christian Ecclesia]) for kindred meanings, קָהָל, “congregation,” and עֵדָה, “assembly”: in this sense עֵדָה is almost always rendered συναγωγή, קָהָל ἐκκλησία about 70 times, συναγωγή about half as many, other words very rarely. Probably ἐκκλησία was, chosen for קָהָל, because both words express the calling or summoning of a public assembly (convocation) by a herald. Both עֵדָה and συναγωγή are somewhat more general words. But the difference in usage was very slight. They stand side by side in Prov. v. 14 (where see Delitzsch), also (Heb.) Exod. xii. 6; and [ἐξ]εκκλησιάζειν συναγωγήν occurs several times; also συνήχθησαν . . . ἐκκλησία (sic) 2 Ezra x. 1, and ἐπισυνήχθη ἐκκλησία 1 Macc. v. 16. This O.T. double use recurs in Apocrypha, especially Ecclus. and 1 Macc. The late traces of ἐκκλησία is shew that it must have survived, apparently as the body of men making up a congregation, the religious community so to speak; and also as the community of the whole nation (Mt. xvi. 18), as in the O.T. (For the Hebrew words used see Schürer l.c.) The late use of συναγωγή was apparently limited to the individual buildings, or to the congregation as assembled in them. There is some evidence of its being employed to denote some religious associations among the Greeks (see Harnack cited below), but probably this had nothing to do with the selection. It is very common for Jewish synagogues in N.T.; three times in Josephus; also Philo, Q. omn. prob. lib. 12 (ii. 458), “The seventh day is reckoned holy, on which abstaining from other works, καὶ εἰς ἱεροὺς ἀφικνούμενοι πόπους, οἱ καλοῦνται συναγωγαί, they sit in ranks according to age, the younger below the older, placed for listening with the fitting order.”
Now, as far as evidence goes, the Christian usage was to adopt ἐκκλησία both for single congregations and for a whole community. For the building it is not used in the apostolic age, though it was afterwards. On the other hand the Christian use of συναγωγή is very limited: see a long note in Harnack Hermas Mand. xi. 9. He shews how rarely and as it were etymologically only it was used by ordinary Christian writers, and it at last became definitely the synagoga contrasted with ecclesia as in Augustine; and in earlier writers it some-times is used in a depreciatory sense like our “conventicle.” What however especially concerns us here is 49the evidence for its use among Jewish Christians, see Lightfoot, Phil. 190: Epiph. (xxx. 18) states that the Ebionites call their church συναγωγήν and not ἐκκλησίαν; and Jer. Ep. 112. 13 says of the Ebionites, “To the present day through all the synagogues of the E. among the Jews there is a heresy called of the Minaei” etc. This makes it very likely that Jewish Ebionites inherited the name from the purer days of Jewish Christianity, and that St James does here distinctly mean “synagogue”: and since he elsewhere (v. 14) speaks of τ. πρεσβυτέρους τῆς ἐκκλησίας, i.e. the living congregation, the difference of word suggests that here the building is meant.
χρυσοδακτύλιος] Not known elsewhere. The adjective was doubtless chosen to express that the wearing of gold rings, probably a multitude of them (τῶν δακτυλίων πλῆθος ἔχων, Luc. Nigr. xiii.), was characteristic of the kind of man.
ἐσθῆτι λαμπρᾷ contrasted with ῥυπαρᾷ ἐσθῆτι] The two words are strictly opposed, as often; practically new glossy clothes and old shabby clothes. Λαμπρός has nothing to do with brilliance of colour, being in fact often used of white robes. Artemidorus (ii. 3 s. fin.), after enumerating the omens from garments of all sorts of colours, concludes ἀεὶ δὲ ἄμεινον καθαρὰ καὶ λαμπρὰ ἱμάτια ἔχειν καὶ πεπλυμένα καλῶς ἢ ῥυπαρὰ καὶ ἄπλυτα, πλὴν τῶν τὰς ῥυπώδεις ἐργασίας ἐργαζομένων.
3. ἐπιβλέψητε δὲ ἐπὶ, and ye look with favour on] Ἐπιβλέπω ἐπί is often used in LXX. of God looking with favour on men; not apparently of men on men. But Aristotle (Eth. Nic. iv. 2, p. 1120 b 6) says (in giving) τὸ γὰρ μὴ ἐπιβλέπειν ἐφ᾽ ἑαυτὸν ἐλευθερίου, to pay no regard to oneself and one’s own interest.
καλῶς, in a good place] Ael. V. H. ii. 13, καὶ δὴ καὶ ἐν καλῷ τ. θεάτρου ἐκάθητο; xiii. 22, Ptolemy having built a temple for Homer αὐτὸν μὲν καλὸν καλῶς ἐκάθισε, κύκλῳ δὲ τὰς πόλεις περιέστησε τ. ἀγάλματος.
στῆθι ἢ κάθου] It is uncertain whether to read στῆθι ἢ κάθου ἐκεῖ ὑπὸ τὸ ὑποπόδιον (B ff), or στῆθι ἐκεῖ ἢ κάθου ὑπὸ τὸ ὑποπόδιον. Probably the former, notwithstanding the want of verbal balance. Stand anywhere contrasted with sit in a particular humble place.
ὑπὸ τὸ ὑποπόδιόν μου, below my foot-stool] Ὑπό might be “down against,” i.e. close up to, with the accessory sense of lowness. But more probably “below” in the sense of in a lower place, as Plutarch Artax. v. (i. 1013 E) καθεζομένων τῆς μὲν ὑπ᾽ αὐτόν, τῆς δὲ μητρὸς ὑπὲρ αὐτόν.
4οὐ διεκρίθητε ἐν ἑαυτοῖς καὶ ἐγένεσθε κριταὶ διαλογισμῶν πονηρῶν2222οὐ διεκρίθητε . . . πονηρῶν] διεκρίθητε . . . πονηρῶν;
4. No καὶ before οὐ; perhaps omit οὐ (B* ff) which gives the same sense, substituting affirmation for question.
διεκρίθητε ἐν ἑαυτοῖς, divided in your own minds] As i. 6; explained by Mt. xxi. 21, ἐὰν ἔχητε πίστιν καὶ μὴ διακριθῆτε, appearing in Mk xi. 23 as καὶ μὴ διακριθῇ ἐν τῇ καρδίᾳ αὐτοῦ ἀλλὰ πιστεύῃ ὅτι κ.τ.λ.; cf. Acts x. 20; Rom. iv. 20; xiv. 23 (ὅτι οὐκ ἐκ πίστεως): cf. Jude 22. The idea is that the singleness and strength of faith is split up and shattered by the divided mind, professing devotion to God yet reaching away to a petty and low standard. Ἐν ἑαυτοῖς is in antithesis 50to what follows: the wrong-doing to others is traced back to its root within, just as in iv. 1.
κριταὶ διαλογισμῶν πονηρῶν, judges swayed by evil deliberations] The genitive is not unlike i. 25. The idea seems to be “judges swayed by evil deliberations or thinkings”: contrast Prov. xii. 5, λογισμοί δικαίων κρίματα. διαλογισμός is a very elastic word. In Mt. xv. 19 διαλογισμοὶ πονηροί (|| Mk. vii. 21, οἱ διαλογισμοὶ οἱ κακοί) stand at the head of the evil things that come forth from the heart, and probably mean malicious evil plottings (cf. 1 Tim. ii. 8, χωρίς ὀργῆς καὶ διαλογισμοῦ), answering apparently to the single Hebrew word מְזִמָּה, properly only a thought, device, but usually an evil device. In various places of St Luke it is used of the plotting of the Pharisees and the imperfect faith of the disciples. Probably the mere suggestion that they made themselves κριταί contained a reproach: cf. iv. 11: they broke the command of the Sermon on the Mount (Mt. vii. 1). But further the office of a true judge is to divide, to sever right from wrong: but here the division was dictated not by justice according to the facts, but by evil divisions within their own minds (cf. Rom. xiv. 10, 13), by evil calculations, as we might say. Contrast Lk. xiv. 12 ff. Such moral distraction is a form of διψυχία, and opposed to the singleness of faith.
5. ἀκούσατε, hearken] An imperative like ἴστε in i. 19, but with a sharper tone, as of a warning prophet: cf. especially Isa. li. 1, 4, 7. It introduces an appeal to a truth that could not be denied by any who accepted Christ’s Gospel. It is softened at once by ἀδελφοί μου ἀγαπητοί, of which ἀγαπ. here occurs for the last time (previously in i. 16; i. 19, where likewise there are appeals to accepted but practically belied truths).
οὐχ ὁ θεὸς ἐξελέξατο, did not God choose] What choice by God is meant here? In our Lord’s apocalyptic discourse Mt. xxiv. 22 (with ||8) He spoke of the shortening of the days of tribulation for the elect’s sake, and Mk adds οὓς ἐξελέξατο, which is virtually implied in the verbal ἐκλεκτούς. The conception doubtless is that the infant church or congregation of Christians owed their hearing and reception of the Gospel to God’s choice. Here as elsewhere it is not a simple question of benefit bestowed on some and refused to others: those on whom it is bestowed receive it for the sake of the rest: they are God’s instruments for the diffusion of His truth and salvation. This choice of Christians by God from among heathenism or unbelieving Judaism is spoken of by St Paul 1 Cor. i. 27 f. (a passage much resembling this) and Eph. i. 4. It is implied in various places where ἐκλεκτός or ἐκλογή is spoken of. Both words occur often in St Paul, ἐκλογή in 2 Pet. i. 10, and ἐκλεκτός especially in 1 Pet. viz. i. 1; ii. 4, 6, 9, where St Peter carries it back to two passages of Isaiah, one xxviii. 16 LXX. only (cf. Prov. xvii. 3 LXX.) properly “well-tried”; the other xliii. 20, where as in neighbouring chapters and some Psalms it refers to Israel as the object of God’s choice. But ἐξελέξατο itself stands in a still more fundamental passage, Deut. xiv. 1, 2. [See further on 1 Peter ll. cc.]
St James does not however refer directly to Christians but to the poor. The reference is doubtless to the special manner in which Christ’s own preaching was addressed to the poor. The Gospel was not intended to be confined to them; but they were to be its first and its strictly primary recipients, the recipients who would 51best shew its true character. “Blessed are ye poor” are the first words of the Sermon on the Mount: πτωχοὶ εὐαγγελίζονται is the culminating mark of Christ’s true Messiahship, founded about Isa. lxi. 1, which is quoted in full in the words spoken in the synagogue at Nazareth which head the ministry in St Luke (iv. 18), as the Sermon on the Mount does in St Matthew.
τοὺς πτωχοὺς τῷ κόσμῳ, the poor in the eyes of the world] Τῷ κόσμῳ might be taken as “in relation to the world”: but more probably ‘in the eyes of “the world”’ (cf. 1 Cor. i. 18, τ. ἀπολλυμένοις κ.τ.λ.; 2 Cor. x. 4 δυνατὰ τῷ θεῷ; Acts vii. 20 ἀστεῖος τ. θεῷ). Cf. Lk. xvi. 15 τὸ ἐν ἀνθρώποις ὑψηλόν, said to the φιλάργυροι Pharisees. “The world” is used in the same sense as before, here as judging by an external and superficial standard.
πλουσίους ἐν πίστει, to be rich in virtue of faith] Not “as being,” but “to be” expressed more explicitly in Eph. i. 4 by εἶναι ἡμᾶς ἀγίους καὶ ἀμώμους κ.τ.λ.
The meaning is not “abounding in faith,” which would weaken the force of πλουσίους in this connexion, but “rich in virtue of faith”: their faith of itself constituted them not only powerful, able to move mountains, but rich: see 2 Cor. vi. 10; viii. 9; Apoc. ii. 9; iii. 18; and esp. 1 Pet. i. 7. The explanation is that the use and enjoyment of riches contain two elements, the thing used and enjoyed, and the inward power of using and enjoying it; and this inward power is so intensified and multiplied by a strong and simple faith in God that it so to speak extracts more out of external poverty than can without it be extracted out of external riches. Cf. Ps. xxxvii. 16 and in spirit the whole Psalm; Test. Gad 7, ὁ γὰρ πένης καὶ ἄφθονος, ἐπί πᾶσι Κυρίῳ εὐχαρισοτῶν, αὐτὸς παρὰ πᾶσι πλουτεῖ, ὅτι οὐκ ἔχει τὸν πονηρὸν περισπασμὸν τῶν ἀνθρώπων.
κληρονόμους τῆς βασιλείας, heirs of the kingdom] The kingdom of heaven is what in the Sermon on the Mount is especially pronounced to belong to the poor. The Gospel preached to them is the Gospel of the kingdom. In Lk. xii. 32 we have “Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom”; and less distinct passages abound. The combination κληρον. τῆς βασιλ.. occurs in Mt. xxv. 34 and in St Paul (I Cor. vi. 9 f.; xv. 50; Gal. v. 21: cf. Eph. v. 5), but not in connexion with the poor. The conception of inheritance is common however in similar contexts, and especially in the O. T. It is involved in the conception of sonship, as Gal. iv. 7.
ἧς ἐπηγγείλατο τοῖς ἀγαπῶσιν αὐτόν, which He promised to them that love Him] This corresponds exactly to the use of the same phrase with τὸν στέφανον τ. ζωῆς in i. 12. Even with that peculiar phrase derivation from the Apocalypse was seen to be unlikely: much more this commoner phrase from Apoc. i. 6; v. 10. The promise referred to is probably Dan. vii. 18, 27, though our Lord’s language may possibly be meant, or may at least give definiteness to the older language. Τοῖς ἀγαπῶσιν is, as before, the general Deuteronomic term expressing fulfilment of the new and perfect Law.
6. ὑμεῖς δὲ] in the strongest contrast.52
οὐχ οἱ πλούσιοι, do not the rich] What follows shews that rich men not Christians are meant. But this does not force us to take the rich and poor of v. 2 as other than Christians. Within the Christian body there were both classes: but further the whole body was bound to regard itself emphatically as a band of poor men in the face of the wealth and power of the encompassing heathen or even Jewish world. The whole passage reminds us that the name Ebionites for the Jewish Christians of Palestine has nothing to do with an imaginary Ebion, but is simply the Ebionim, the Poor Men.
καταδυναστεύουσιν ὑμῶν, oppress you] Δυναστεύω is to “be a potentate,” “have” or “exercise mastery,” either absolutely or over some one in particular: sometimes in a neutral sense, sometimes with a bad sense “lord it over.” Καταδυναστεύω expresses the same more strongly, violent exercise of mastery, tyranny. It occurs in Xen. and often in late Greek: much in LXX., chiefly for יָנָה, to oppress; as the poor Ezek. xviii. 12; xxii. 29; (LXX. Amos viii. 4); also Wisd. ii. 10. The case is usually (always in LXX.) the accusative, but the genitive occurs Diod. Sic. xiii. 73 fin. and Symm. apparently (Ps. lxiv. 4), cf. Wyttenb., as often happens with compounds into which κατά enters.
καὶ αὐτοὶ ἕλκουσιν ὑμᾶς, and are not they the men that drag you] Not “drag you in person,” as is shewn by v. 7. The pretext of law covered violent usage: cf. σύρω Acts viii. 3; xvii. 6. [Swete on Ps.-Pet. iii.]
εἰς κριτήρια, into courts of justice] Here the meaning can hardly be “suits,” though κριτήρια may mean this. Better, as sometimes, courts of justice, though we should have expected ἐπί rather than εἰς.
It can hardly be doubted that this means judicial persecutions, whether formally on the ground of being Christians, we cannot tell for that time. No definite law against Christians is likely to have then existed. But if they had become objects of dislike, it was easy to find legal pretexts.
7. οὐκ αὐτοι βλασφημοῦσιν, are not they the men who abuse] Βλασφημέω carries with it nothing of our sense of “blaspheme” as containing some extreme irreverence towards God. It is simply abusive and scurrilous language whether directed against God or men. Very rare in LXX. It comes here from Isai. lii. 5 where the word is נָאַץ, properly expressive of contempt, usually rendered παροξύνω (even with τὸ ὄνομα) or some such word (one derivative is once βλασφημία, Ezek. xxxv. 12).
τὸ καλὸν ὄνομα, the honourable name] Worthy of admiration, not contempt and contumely. Καλός is what is good as seen, as making a direct impression on those who come in contact with it; contrast ἀγαθός which is good in result.
τὸ ἐπικληθέν ἐφ᾽ ὑμᾶς, by the which ye are called] From the LXX. of Amos ix. 12 (quoted Acts xv. 17) literally following the Hebrew, but also Jer. xiv. 9. The phrase is adopted for its vividness. The name was as it were laid upon them, stamping them with a special allegiance.
What name does he mean? Probably Χριστός or Χριστιανός, as 1 Pet. iv. 14, 16; cf. Acts xxvi. 28. That is, the watchword, as seen in the Acts, was “Jesus is Christ”: and so in the more important and significant name of the two the whole sense became concentrated. If the Epistle was indeed addressed first to Antioch, it is an interesting fact that there the disciples were first called Christians. 53It matters little for St James’ meaning whether the name was chosen by Christians themselves or given by others in reproach (Tac. Ann. xv. 44, quos per flagitia invisos vulgus Christianos appellabat). It would soon be willingly accepted: and if this had not taken place when St James wrote, it would at least contain the καλὸν ὄνομα Χριστός. [See Lightfoot, Ignatius vol. I. p. 400.]
8. μέντοι, indeed, really] Not an easy use of this particle, which occurs Jn five times; 2 Tim. ii. 19; Jud. 8. In St John and St Paul it clearly has its commonest (adversative) sense “however,” “howbeit,” and perhaps also in St Jude. Hence commentators naturally try to find the same sense here. A sharp and intelligible adversativeness is obtained by supposing St James to be replying to an imagined plea of the Jewish Christians that they were shewing their love to their neighbours by their civility to the man with the gold rings. It is hardly credible however that so absurd a plea, of which there is not the least hint in the text, should be contemplated by St James; and it is difficult to find any other way of satisfactorily justifying an adversative sense. It seems more likely that μέντοι retains its original force of a strong affirmation, which is not confined to answers to questions, though they furnish the commonest examples. It is virtually little more than a strengthened μέν, and a δέ naturally follows. It thus becomes equal to “if you indeed,” “if you really.” This kind of sense is common in Xen. especially the Memorabilia (as i. 3. 10 with εἰ; i. 4. 18 with ἤν; see Kühner: also his Gr. ii. 694 f.: of. Sturz Lex. Xen. iii. 114 f.). The force of the particle seems to lie in an implied reference to a contradiction between the respect of persons and a virtue specially claimed, namely fulfilment of the Law. Thus just as St James had rebuked the unreal ἀκρόασις, the unreal θρησκεία, the unreal πίστις, so here he rebukes an unreal keeping of the law.
νόμον . . . βασιλικόν, a royal law] The order shews that either βασιλικόν is accessory (“a law, a royal law”), or has a special force, a law which well deserves to be called “royal.” But in what sense royal? Probably not in the vague figurative sense common in Greek to denote anything specially high or worthy (sometimes βασιλικὸς καὶ θεῖος); nor again in the Greek application to laws, perhaps starting from Pindar’s famous νόμος πάντων βασιλεύς (on which see Thompson Gorg. 484 B), of which the most interesting for our purpose are in Xen. Oec. xiv. 6 f. and Ps.-Plat. 317 C. Probably one of two senses, either fit to guide a king, a law such as a true king would take for his own government as Ps. lxxii., Zech. ix. 9, and the Gospels in so far as they set forth our Lord as a king; — or, more probably perhaps, a law which governs other laws, and so has a specially regal character. This sense gains in probability if taken with the context. St James does not deny that there was an obedience to a law of some rank or other. When our Lord rebuked the Pharisees (Mt. xxiii. 23), it was for tithing herbs on the one hand and leaving τὰ βαρύτερα τ. νόμου, judgment, mercy, and faith, on the other, adding “these ought ye to have done etc.”; thereby implying the existence of less weighty parts of the law. So here the law, fulfilling which was made a boast, was not denied, but with it was contrasted by implication the neglect of the higher and more fundamental law of love. 54One of the two commandments, of which our Lord had said that on them hung all the Law and the Prophets, might well be called royal.
There is no difficulty in thus applying so wide a term as νόμος to a single precept, since the precept itself was so comprehensive. Thus in Rom. xiii. 8 ff. the separate commandments are called ἐντολαί, but this the sum of them is called a νόμος, and by one not improbable interpretation τὸν ἕτερον νόμον.
κατὰ τὴν γραφήν, according to the Scripture] Doubtless the O.T. (Lev. xix. 18) : the saying had a double sanction, Scripture, and the Lord’s ratification of it.
καλῶς ποιεῖτε, ye do well] This has no sarcasm, as some suppose: simply “ye do well” (cf. v. 19; Mk vii. 37; Acts x. 33; 1 Cor. vii. 37 f.; 2 Pet. i. 19; 3 Jn 6). “I do not complain of you for seeking to fulfil a law, but for neglecting the true value of one law as compared with another: if you are fulfilling a law of the high kind, you are indeed doing well.”
9. προσωποληπτεῖτε, ye have respect of persons] Apparently ἅπαξ λεγόμενον.
ἁμαρτίαν ἐργάζεσθε] A strong phrase, which must mean more than “ye commit sin.” Probably a reminiscence of Mt. vii. 23 (Sermon on the Mount), where those who say “Lord, Lord” are at last addressed, “I never knew you, depart from me of ἐργάζόμενοι τὴν ἀνομίαν” (from Ps. vi. 8). St James never uses ἄνομος, ἀνομία; and ἁμαρτία is often used as virtually a synonym, though the conceptions are different. Moreover (see v. 10) it is quite possible that he refers to a willingness to treat this conduct as no sin at all.
ἐλεγχόμενοι, convicted, shewn to be guilty.
τοῦ νόμου] The definite concrete law of Moses.
παραβάται, transgressors] Cf. Rom. ii. 25, 27; Gal. ii. 18. Παραβάτης is not used in LXX.; though παραβαίνω much (and παράβασις once), chiefly of covenants but also of laws and commandments, just as in classical usage: the strict sense is to “over-step.” The point is that the sticklers for law are marked as essentially “law-breakers,” and that on the chewing of legality itself. Probably there is no reference to such places in the Law itself as Exod. xxiii. 2; Deut. xvi. 19: otherwise the following yelp would lose force.
10. ὅλον τὸν νόμον τηρήσῃ, keep the whole law] The subjunctives τηρήσῃ . . . πταίσῃ are certainly right according to the best MSS. It is the only quite certain N. T. example of ὅστις or ὅς with subjunctive without ἄν, though it has some good authority in Mt. x. 33 (not xviii. 4). But it certainly occurs occasionally in good Greek authors. There is no real difference of sense, though a”v marks the indefiniteness more explicitly. See Kühner ii. 205 f., better than Winer-Moulton 386.
This is probably said with reference to the plea that the whole Law had been observed. The verse seems to be a reminiscence of our Lord’s answer, Mk x. 21, ἕν σε ὑστερεῖ; Lk. xviii. 22, ἔτι ἔν σοι λείτει (cf. Mt. xix. 21, εἰ θ͓λεις τέλειος εἶναι), said after an enumeration of the commandments of the second table, and the profession that they had been kept. The selling of goods and giving to the poor there corresponds antithetically to the neglect of the poor here.55
τηρήσῃ] No longer τελέσῃ. The more formal word is appropriate here.
γέγονεν πάντων, is become (makes himself) guilty of all] Ἔνοχος is used with genitive or dative of crimes, or punishments, or, as here, precepts. Properly speaking it means simply “bound by,” “subject to,” “coming under.”
The force of πάντων is determined by ἑνί: it is all separate points or items that make up the Law.
Various Jewish writings contain sayings like this verse (Schöttg. 1016 ff.); as Shabbath (R. Jochanan): “If a man do all (of the 39 works prescribed by Moses), but omit one, he is guilty for all and each.” There is nothing in the O. T. exactly answering to this: but Deut. xxvii. 26, after the various specific curses on Mt Ebal, ends with “Cursed be he that confirmeth not (all) the words of this law to do them,” where the LXX. and Samar. insert πᾶσιν, and St Paul (Gal. iii. 10) so quotes the passage. The insertion is partially supported by Deut. xi. 32 (taken with vv. 26, 28) as Delitzsch points out. The same principle of the Law being one whole is implied in Mt v. 18 f., ἰῶτα ἓν ἢ μία κεραία . . . μίαν τ. ἐντολῶν τούτων τ. ἐλαχίστων.
11. ὁ γὰρ εἰπών κ.τ.λ.] It is very unlikely that the two commandments are chosen at random, as though both were unconnected with προσωπολημψία. If this were the case, there would be no clear and coherent course of thought. It is quite possible that Μὴ μοιχεύσῃς implies that such sins as adultery were really avoided and condemned by those who dishonoured the poor; and that they made their condemnation of fleshly sins an excuse for indulgence towards spiritual sins. At all events Μὴ φονεύσεις is directly connected with the matter in hand, because murder is only the extreme outcome of want of love to neighbours or brethren. Our Lord (Mt. v. 21-26) had carried back murder to the expression of anger (cf. Jam. i. 19 f.), and though St Paul (Rom. xiii. 8, 9) had carried back all commandments of the second table alike to love of the neighbours, the 6th was evidently the most direct expression of the principle common to all, for (v. 10) “love worketh no ill to a neighbour.”
12. οὕτως λαλεῖτε καὶ οὕτως ποιεῖτε, so speak ye, and so do] The two chief spheres of shewing forth love or its absence. We have had them paired already in i. 19-21 contrasted with 22-25, i. 26 contrasted with 27; and are now going to have them on a larger scale, in inverted order, ii. 14-26 contrasted with iii. 1-12. Both are exemplified in the treatment of the poor in the synagogues, the contemptuous language accompanying the loveless acts.
ὡς διὰ νόμου ἐλευθερίας, as by a law of liberty] This use of διὰ with κρίνεσθαι is singular, though disguised by the ambiguity of “by,” which denotes κατά with acc., or ὑπό with gen. (cf. Jn vii. 51, “Doth our law judge a man?”), as well as διὰ with gen. Apparently it comes from Rom. ii. 12, ὅσοι ἐν νόμῳ ἧμαρτον διὰ νόμου κριθήσονται, where it apparently means “on terms of,” “in a state depending on,” and corresponds to some other peculiar uses of διὰ by St Paul, as διὰ γράμματος καὶ περιτομῆς (Rom. ii. 27); δι᾽ ἀκροβυστίας (iv. 11); διὰ προσκόμματος 56(xiv. 20); (?) διὰ δόξης (2 Cor. iii. 11); (?) δι᾽ ἐπαγγελίας (Gal. iii. 18). Thus the sense would seem to be not that the law of liberty is the standard or the instrument by which they are to be judged, but that they are to be judged as men who have lived in an atmosphere, as it were, of a law of liberty, and subject to its conditions. The two conceptions are closely related, but διὰ seems to lay stress chiefly on the present state rather than on the future judgment. It is probably for this reason that διὰ νόμου ἐλ. stands before μέλλοντες.
A law of liberty, exactly as i. 25: viz. Christ’s Law, as distinguished from the Mosaic. The transition from the Mosaic Law in vv. 10, 11 to the Christian Law here corresponds precisely to the transition in the Sermon on the Mount from the one jot or tittle, one of these least commandments of Mt. v. 18 f., to “Except your righteousness etc.” of Mt. v. 20, where the exceeding righteousness of the Christian disciple consists not in the performance of a greater number of positive precepts than the Scribes and Pharisees, but in the inner subjection of the spirit to the law of love, taking possession not of individual acts or abstinences, but of the whole life.
The whole passage implies that under the unity of the external law there lies a much deeper unity of the spiritual law. If the whole external law was broken by the murderous conduct of a man who kept himself clean from adultery, much more was wrong done to the whole spiritual and free law of love by the attempt to keep any part of conduct exempt from it.
13. ἡ γὰρ κρίσις] To be interpreted by κρίνεσθαι: the Divine judgment: cf. v. 9.
ἀνέλεος τῷ μὴ ποιήσαντι ἔλεος, without mercy to him that hath shewed no mercy] The requital is in kind, cf. Mt. vii. 1, 2, and the parable of the Two Debtors, Mt. xviii. 21-35, esp. 33. Here not love but mercy or pity is named. It is quite possible that St James is not thinking exclusively of the treatment of the poor in the synagogue, but going on to a wider range of kindred conduct (cf. i. 27), and the absence of tenderness which is a common mark of the Pharisaical or perverted religious spirit. But in any case the word is in place, for while love is the universal fundamental attitude between man and man according to the Divine plan of the world, the characteristic form which love takes when directed to the poor is pity. To suffer with their suffering is the test of its reality.
κατακαυχᾶται, glorieth against] This is the true as well as the common reading: another ancient reading is κατακαυχάσθω, and another, less attested, κατακαυχᾶσθε. The abrupt introduction of this apophthegm gave rise to various conjunctions, δέ the best attested, also (T. R.) καὶ, also quoniam or “for.”
The verb itself recurs iii. 14, and is found Rom. xi. 18; also three times in LXX., scarcely at all elsewhere. The sense of the image will depend on the interpretation of ἔλεος and κρίσεως. The opposition of the two words is singular, because they are coupled in the O. T., Ps. ci. (c.) 1; (LXX. xxxiii. (xxxii.) 5); virtually Hos. xii. 6; Mic. vi. 8; Zech. vii. 9. In these places κρίσις, מִשְׁפָּט, means the quality by which justice is done, as by an actual or virtual judge. ἔλεος is in like manner coupled with righteousness, and with truth. The same combination with near appears Mt. xxiii. 23 (with faith added), these being the weightier matters of the law neglected by the Scribes and Pharisees. This cannot however be St James’ sense. Except as applied to God’s judgment, he never uses κρίνω, κρίσις, κριτής in a good sense; but always as governed 57by “Judge not that ye be not judged.” Here, as the previous ἡ κρίσις suggests, there must be at least some reference to the Divine judgment on its condemnatory side, as κρίμα iii. 1, and κριθῆτε v. 9. The image then probably is that κρίσις comes so to speak as the accuser before the tribunal of God, and ἔλεος stands up fearlessly and as it were defiantly to resist the claim. Is it then human or Divine ἔλεος, the plea of the mercy that has been shewn in life or the Divine mercy resisting the Divine condemnation? Probably neither without the other: the two mercies are coupled as in Mt. v. 7, in the Lord’s Prayer, and the Two Debtors.
There is a somewhat similar use of καυχῶμαι (not κατακαυχ.) in Ecclus. xxiv. 1, 2. Schneckenburger well refers for a similar virtual καύχησις to 1 Cor. xv. 55. On the general sense cf. Or. Sib. ii. 81, Ῥύεται ἐκ θανάτου ἔλεος, κρίσις ὅπποτ᾽ ἂν ἔλθῃ.
It is however probable that in so far as St James contemplates this sense of the defying of judgment by mercy, it is only as a particular case of a universal truth. That is, he may mean that this final triumph of mercy proceeds from the previous and inherent superiority of mercy to κρίσις, human as well as Divine, answering to the superiority of mercy to sacrifice (Mt. ix. 13; xii. 7). Mercy is greater and better than human κρίσις in this narrower sense (an echo of κριταὶ διαλογισμῶν πονηρῶν in v. 4), just as the Gospel is greater and better than the Law: and they who recognise and act on this truth become recipients of the Divine mercy, and have passed beyond condemnation by the Divine judgment in so far as it is embodied in the Law.
Unless this sense is present, it is difficult to account for the absence of δέ. Since there is no conjunction, this clause can hardly be merely antithetical to the preceding, but must supply its foundation: the quoniam gives the truer connexion, though not the whole of it.
14. We now come to the section on faith and works.
ἀδελφοί μου] Marking a fresh appeal, though closely connected with what precedes.
ἐὰν πίστιν λέγῃ τις ἔχειν, if a man say he hath faith] We have already had (i. 22 ff.) hearing without doing: here we have believing without doing. We have also had a spurious θρησκεία: here we have a spurious πίστις. The profession of a πίστις has been already presumed in ii. 1, where St James implies that the true faith of Jesus Christ was absent or defective. Our Lord in St Luke’s account of the explanation of the Parable of the Sower (viii. 13) had spoken of a temporary believing, which fell away in time of πειρασμός. The expression of it is “Lord, Lord”; and the fἔργα μὴ ἔχῃ here exactly answers to Lk. vi. 46 (καὶ οὐ ποιεῖτε ἃ λέγω), just as the listening to words without doing in i. 22 f. answers to Mt. vii. 24, 26. The hearing the word, which is also spoken of in the Parable of the Sower, is the first step of reception; and belief marks another step: the failure may take place at either stage.
It is to be observed that here at least St James does not say ἐὰν πίστιν ἔχῃ τις but ἐ. π. λέγῃ τις ἔχειν: it is not faith without works but the profession of faith without works that thus far is pronounced unprofitable.
There is no reason for referring this spurious claim to faith to a Jewish origin. There is no clear evidence for anything answering to it among the Jews. It would on the other hand be a natural accompaniment of a slackening Christian devotion. 58“Faith” or “believing” was emphatically the Christian watchword, hardly less prominent in the first three Gospels than in St Paul or St John. And the corruption of the Christian type of religion would need reprobation by the authority of one in St James’ position quite as much as the corruption of so much of the Jewish type of religion as the Jewish Christians retained. The question of justification introduces a fresh element; but we do not reach that till v. 21.
ἡ πίστις] Naturally “the faith,” “that faith,” the faith which is compatible with the absence of works. The phrase doubtless implies that there was something to which the name might in some sense be given; though it is not what St James recognises as genuine faith.
σῶσαι] As i. 21.
15. This verse shews the connexion with what precedes. The examples of deficient works to which St James at once flies are taken from the treatment of the poor, quite as much as all that has been said about places in the synagogues.
ἀδελφὸς ἢ ἀδελφὴ] The explicit notice of both sexes brings out two degrees, as it were, in the helplessness which craved the sympathy and support of Christians. The women, as in the special example of the widows in i. 27, would have all the needs and difficulties of the men, and the additional needs and difficulties falling naturally to their sex, especially in ancient times.
The term “brother” “sister,” repeated from i. 9, calls attention to the special ties between those who by believing in the Son had acquired a closer and deeper tie of brotherhood as alike children of the Father. There was a true sense in which it was applied to all mankind: but in those days when the little community was surrounded by a more or less hostile population, the specially Christian sense had peculiar force. Christ too had in this connexion spoken of His own brethren, Mt. xxv. 35 f., 40, 42 f.
γυμνοί, naked] In the conventional sense of Scripture, as needing clothing, corresponding to the next phrase on the need of food.
ὑπάρχωσιν] Ὑπάρχω denotes not simple being, but being in a state or condition as distinguished from what is temporary or accidental: it is used properly with reference to antecedent states. Often it means what one is by nature: but that specially strong force comes from the context. The prior continuity is the main thing. Hence what is implied here is that not some casual poverty but habitual poverty is meant.
λειπόμενοι, in lack of] With the gen. just as in i. 5. In this sense of outward destitution Just. Mart. uses it absolutely. Ap. i. 67, οἱ ἔχοντες τοῖς λειπομένοις πᾶσιν ἐπικουροῦμεν; and again, καὶ αὐτὸς ἐπικουρεῖ ὀρφανοῖς τε καὶ χήραις, καὶ τοῖς διὰ νόσον ἢ δι᾽ ἄλλην αἰτίαν λειπομένοις.
Omit ὦσιν after λειπόμενοι; the participle instead of λείπωνται continues the indication of ὑπάρχωσιν, expressing a habitual condition, not an accidental want of food.
τῆς ἐφημέρου τροφῆς] Simply the food needed day by day, daily food.
16. εἴπῃ δέ τις αὐτοῖς ἐξ ὑμῶν] He first begins indefinitely, “if a man say to them,” and then after αὐτοῖς adds ἐξ ὑμῶν, implying that such a speech would really be the speech 59expressive of the temper of their own minds, though only one here or there might have the boldness to put it into these words.
θερμαίνεσθε καὶ χορτάζεσθε, be ye warmed and filled] These words are usually taken as imperatives. Plumptre ingeniously suggests that they are indicatives; the unreal assertion that the poor are warmed and fed being a repetition of the unreal assertion that they had faith when they shewed such a lack of love. But it is difficult to get this sense out of the words as actually put into the mouth of the speaker, not as another’s description of his act. We must therefore keep to the imperative sense. It is not a mere substitution for the optative, “I hope you may somehow get warmed and fed,” but an exhortation to go and get for themselves the means of doing this. It reminds us to a certain extent of “Send the multitude away that they may buy for themselves victuals” (Mt. xiv. 15 and parallels). Not that there is any clear reflexive force in the middle, which is probably rather a passive, or at least not distinguish-able from such: but it does lie in the use of the imperative. The use of the present tenses, not aorists, goes with ὑπάρχωσιν and λειπόμενοι, as marking the reference to a continuous state, “get your food and clothing now and always.”
θερμαίνω, χορτάζω. Two strong words seem to be purposely chosen. “Warming” (Heb. and LXX.) is spoken of as an effect of clothes: Job xxxi. 20; Hag. i. 6 (cf. 1 Kin. i. i). Plut. Symp. 691 D speaks of the same garment as warming in winter, cooling in summer. Galen, V. M. S. ii. (ap. Wetst.) speaks of it as a common incorrect custom to speak of a thing as warming, because it hinders chilling.
χορτάζω, originally of pasturing cattle, is used in late Greek of feeding men: but usually, perhaps always, with the sense of feeding to the full, satisfying.
Thus the warm garments and satisfying food correspond to ἐν εἰρήνῃ.
μὴ δῶτε δὲ, and yet ye give not] Transition to the full plural. Though one alone might be ready to speak the words, the general line of conduct was common to a large number.
τὰ ἐπιτήδεια τοῦ σώματος, the things needful to the body] Ἐπιτήδειος is properly what is convenient or fitting, useful. But τὰ ἐπιτήδ. by usage are ordinary necessaries, sometimes called τὰ ἀνάγκαια ἐπιτήδεια.
τοῦ σώματος has force in relation to the following comparison (οὕτως καὶ). It is an appeal to an example from the obvious realm “of the body.”
17. οὕτως καὶ, even so] What is the precise comparison? i.e. what is it that in vv. 15, 16 is compared to faith as being liable to be dead? The result spoken of is that the body is, as a matter of fact, chilled and starved if it has not necessaries. Presently, in v. 26, St James says, in a similar comparison about the deadness of faith without works, that the body without spirit is dead. One is tempted to assume that he meant the love or beneficence is dead if it contents itself with words. But there would be no real image there, merely a repetition of the dead faith in a particular application. Moreover τί ὄφελος points not to the unreality of the beneficence but to the absence of result in the way of starvation 60prevented. Apparently the comparison is to the words spoken: they are dead words inasmuch as they produce no effect on the supposed need. This is Grotius’ explanation, and although not altogether satisfactory, it seems to be the best. Most commentators overlook the need of explanation altogether. Wetstein quotes from Plaut. Epidic. i. 2. 13 f. A man asks another for money: the reply is “If I had it, I certainly would not refuse it”; and then comes the rejoinder, Nam quid to igitur rettulit Beneficum ease oratione, si ad rem auxilium emortuum est?
ἔχῃ ἔργα, have works] A remarkable phrase, but very expressive of St James’ true meaning. The works are not something added on to the faith, but elements of it, parts of itself.
νεκρά ἐστιν, is dead] Again the same, not merely “useless” or “unacceptable” but “dead.” It is no question of faith v. works, but whether faith is faith if it has no works.
καθ᾽ ἑαυτήν, in itself] This brings out the same yet more emphatically, “in and by itself,” not merely in relation to other things, not merely in its utility, so to speak; but in its own very and inherent nature.
18. ἀλλ᾽ ἐρεῖ τις, But some one will say] An extremely difficult verse, The natural way of taking ἀλλ᾽ ἐρεῖ τις is as the words of an objector, and then it is difficult to see how the next words could be put into an objector’s mouth. It is then suggested that the τις is virtually St James himself, like “so that a man shall say etc.” (Ps. lviii. 11) as often wrongly interpreted (the true meaning being “men shall say”); but this is very unnatural from every point of view. Accordingly it is often now supposed that a third person is introduced, mainly on St James’ side. This however only lessens, by no means removes, the difficulty. (1) It is very unlike St James to favour the broad positive statement addressed to those whom he is rebuking, “Thou hast faith, and I have works”; (2) ἀλλ᾽ ἐρεῖ τις is a most unlikely phrase for introducing one who is more for than against the writer; and (3) the supposed speaker disappears thenceforward, and it is difficult to see what good purpose would be served by this momentary introduction.
Not only the most natural but the only natural way to understand ἀλλ᾽ ἐρεῖ τις is as introducing an objector, one of the persons rebuked (τις . . . ἐξ ὑμῶν), as in 1 Cor. xv. 35 (cf. Rom. ix. 19; xi. 19). Indeed it is difficult otherwise to understand the σύ, of v. 19, ὦ ἄνθ. κενέ of 20, and βλέπεις of 22, but especially 20. In 24 there is a return to the plural in ὁρᾶτε, but the intermediate singular 2nd person singles out someone for rebuke, who can be no other than the τις of 18, for the τις of 16 belongs exclusively to the illustration.
A very fair and, to say the least, not improbable sense may then be obtained by taking Σύ to ἔχω alone as put into the objector’s mouth, the rest of the verse being taken as St James’ own reply; and further by taking Σὺ πίστιν ἔχεις by itself as a question. Questions of this kind are very common in St James, and 19 is best so interpreted. The sense will then be “Thou, James, hast thou faith, that thing which thou slightest in me? I for my part as well as thou (κἀγώ) have works”; that is, “I do not allow 61that I have no works, I have works (sc. works of the law) in addition to my faith: can you conversely say that you have faith in addition to your works?” St James’ reply then attacks the notion that faith and works are two separate things. All turns on χωρίς, which does not mean simply “without,” but “apart from,” “separated from.” “Shew me,” he says, “thy faith apart from the works, the works that properly belong to it and should characterise it”; implying that this is an impossibility; “and I will shew thee by my works the faith, the faith belonging to them and inspiring them.” That is, he turns the tables, and pleads that it is he alone, not the antagonist, who can shew both. The form δεῖξόν μοι . . . κάγώ σοι δείξω occurs Theoph. Ant. i. 2, Ἀλλὰ καὶ ἐὰν φῇς Δεῖξόν μοι τὸν θεόν σου, κἀγώ σοι εἴποιμι ἄν Δεῖξόν μοι τὸν ἄνθρωπόν σου κἀγώ σοι δείξω τὸν θεόν μου; where two impossibilities are set against each other: but in St James the κἀγώ σοι is positive, not merely contingent on the other shewing. The whole is little more than a paraphrase of “By their fruits ye shall know them.”
19. σὺ πιστεύεις, thou believest, dost thou not?] The sense is not very different whether we take it as indicative or interrogative: but interrogative is more forcible.
ὅτι εἶς θεὸς ἔστιν, that there is (exists) one God] MSS. much divided. The best attested readings are εἶς θεὸς ἔστιν and εἶς ὁ θεὸς ἔστιν (or, inverted, in the common form, εἶς ἔστιν ὁ θεὸς). The second (and third) would mean “that God is one.’ Cf. Deut. vi. 4 etc. On the whole it is more probable that St James is not singling out the detached affirmation of unity, but taking all together thefirst article in the creed of Jew and Christian alike, an article not first only but fundamental. The meaning apparently is “you claim to have a belief detached from works, though you claim likewise to have works independently: well, what is that belief? Take it in its simplest and most fundamental form, the belief that there is One God. A belief without works necessarily consists in belief in a proposition; belief not in One God, but that there is One God. Well, so far so good: thou doest well.”
καὶ τὰ δαιμόνια πιστεύουσιν, the devils also believe this] Καὶ is of course not “and” but “also,” they as well as thou.
πιστεύουσιν] Sc. this, believe that this is true.
τὰ δαιμόνια] Here as in the Gospels we must not think simply of “powers of evil,” as such, but of the πνεύματα πονηρά or ἀκάθαρτα by which those called demoniacs were possessed. The reference is probably to the Gospel narratives, “What have we to do with thee, Jesus of Nazareth? Art thou come to destroy us? We know thee who thou art, the Holy One of God” (Mk i. 24 etc.).
φρίσσουσιν, shudder] Properly the same as the Latin horror, the standing of hair on end with fear. Specially used of awe of a mysterious Divine power, as often of the adepts in the Greek mysteries. Cf. Plat. Phaedr. 251 A, πρῶτον μὲν ἔφριξε καὶ τι τῶν τότε ὑπῆλθεν αὐτὸν δειμάτων, εἶτα προσορῶν ὡς θεὸν σέβεται. It is something at once more distant and more prostrate than worship. Cf. Ast on the above p. 449 and Wytt. on Plut. ii. 26B. An Orphic fragment quoted by Clem. Alex. Str. v. 724 and Euseb. P.E. xiii. 13 (Hermann pp. 453 f.) on God: 62Δαίμονες ὃν φρίσσουσι, θεῶν δὲ δέδοικεν ὅμιλος; an oracle ap. Lact. de ira Dei xxiii. (and in Latin Aug. Civ. Dei xix. 23), Wolff Proph. Orac. p. 143:
Ἐς δὲ θεὸν βασιλῆα καὶ εἰς γενετῆρα προπάντων,
Ὃν τρομέει καὶ γαῖα καὶ οὐρανὸς ἡδὲ θάλασσα
Ταρτάριοί τε μυχοὶ καὶ δαίμονες ἐκφρίσσουσιν;
and a magical invocation (Ὀνειροπομπὸς Ἀγαθοκλεῦς (sic) in A. Dieterich Papyrus magica Mus. Lugd. Bat. p. 800: Lips. 1888), Θώθ, ὅν πᾶς θεὸς προσκυνεῖ καὶ πᾶς δαίμων φρίσσει. There is thus no force of “and yet” in καί before φρ.: it is rather “their belief” is so strong and undeniable that it ends in a kind of strong homage. It is a proof that they believe, not something done in spite of it.
Thus the force of the clause lies on the word δαιμόνια (cf. δαιμονιώδης iii. 15). A belief such as this, even though its contents are so true and important as a belief in One God, cannot be a very Divine thing when it can be shared by the δαιμόνια.
The whole then turns on the real nature of the belief or faith supposed, and Bede seems to have understood it rightly, when, taking up language of Augustine, he says: “Sed nec Deum credere et contremiscere magnum est, si non et in eum credatur, hoc est si non ejus in corde amor teneatur. Aliud est enim credere illi, aliud credere illum, aliud credere in illum. Credere illi est credere vera esse quae loquitur: credere illum credere quod ipse sit Deus: credere in ilium est diligere illum. Credere vera esse quae loquitur multi et mali possunt, credunt enim esse vera, et nolunt ea facere, quia ad operandum pigri sunt. Credere autem ipsum esse Deum, hoc et daemones potuerunt. Credere vero in Deum soli novere qui diligunt Deum, qui non solo nomine sunt Christiani sed et factis et vita.” (For reff. to Aug. see Pearson Creed p. 16.)
20. θέλεις δὲ γνῶναι, but wilt thou gain the knowledge] He is now going to prove his point by reference to Scripture. The words are equivalent to “Do you ask me what proof I have that . . .”
ὦ ἄνθρωπε κενέ, O vain man] Ἄνθρωπε probably in contrast to δαιμόνια, a being who shouldest have such a much better faith than δαιμόνια.
Κενός (by itself) is not at all common as applied to men: it denotes pretentiousness, hollowness accompanying display. Thus Epictet. ii. 19. 8, “But if I am κενός, especially at a banquet, I astonish the visitors by enumerating the writers (on a particular subject)”; iv. 4. 35, κενόν, ἐφ᾽ οἷς οὑ δεῖ ἐπαιρόμενον. Plutarch Sertor. xxvi. (581 F), “to despise Mallius ὡς κενοῦ καὶ ἀλαζόνος; Moral. 81 B, agriculturalists like to see ears of corn bending down, but those that are lifted by lightness κενοὺς ἡγοῦνται καὶ ἀλαζόνας; and so of youths intending to philosophise, those who are most κενοί and deficient in βάρος θράσος ἔχουσι, and a gait and walk and countenance full of scorn and contempt. The use of ἄνδρας κενούς (lit. empty) in Judg. ix. 4 does not help. Probably the sense is rather analogous to the Greek sense than identical. It is doubtful whether personal arrogance is intended here. Rather the unreality of the kind of faith professed, a faith which had no inner core to it.
ὅτι ἡ πίστις χωρὶς τῶν ἔργων] Probably as before (v. 18) this faith separated from the works belonging to it.
ἀργή, worthless] So best MSS., not νεκρά, which comes from v. 26; ἀργός is worthless, i.e. either not working, idle, 63lazy, or producing no works in the sense of results, hence useless, fruitless, ineffectual, as 2 Peter i. 8, οὐκ ἀργοὺς οὐδὲ ἀκάρπους; and perhaps Mt. xii. 36, πᾶν ῥῆμα ἀργόν. This sense would suit the context: but as there is an apparent contrast to συνήργει in v. 22, it is better to refer it rather to the act of working than to the result. Τῶν ἔργων are the concrete works capable of being spoken of separately; so that there is no tautology, the working being thought of with reference to the agent, and ἀργή here meaning “inactive,” putting forth no powers.
21. St James comes now to his examples to prove his point.
Αβραὰμ ὁ πατὴρ ἡμῶν] These words stand first, before οὐκ, in the sense “Take Abraham our father for instance, was not he,” etc. “Abraham our father” in a combination of senses, as the father of the old Israel (Mt. iii. 9, etc.), as the father of the new Israel which had arisen out of the old Israel (claimed by Stephen, Acts vii. 2), and above all as the father of those who have shewn faith (Rom. iv. ii, 12, 16; Gal. iii. 7 ff.). The context seems to shew that this last is chiefly meant. Abraham’s example is important for this purpose just because he was the typical instance of faith.
οὐκ ἐξ ἔργων] The words do not express whether he means that works had a share in it, or that works alone were concerned: but the former sense alone can be reconciled either with the general argument or with the quotation in v. 23.
ἐδικαιώθη] This word is manifestly to be interpreted in the first instance by its O.T. usages. The active voice δικαιόω represents the Piel and Hiphil of צָדַק both causative, to cause to be צַדִּיק (δίκαιος), just as δικαιόω) as applied ethically to persons is properly to make δίκαιος. The passive voice δεκαιοῦσθαι is one of the representatives of the Kal of the same verb, to be צַדִּיק or δίκαιος, a word chiefly though not exclusively used in Job (see especially Isa. xliii. 9, 26; xlv. 25), and sometimes rendered δίκαιος εἰμι, or in English “to be righteous.” So far all is etymologically clear: the active is to make righteous, the passive to be made righteous. But then comes the question, does צַדִּיק or δίκαιος or righteous mean always simply a quality in a man without reference to the recognition of it? Certainly not. Various passages (e.g. Ps. cxliii. 2) express or imply the sense of being righteous in God’s sight, and this is almost the only sense of the active, chiefly with the force “defending the cause of,” “pleading for the righteousness” or “innocence of.” The same senses reappear freely in Ecclus. So in N.T.: Mt. xii. 37; Lk. vii. 29; x. 29; xvi. 15; xviii. 14 (not to count ἐδικαιώθη ἡ σοφία etc., Mt. xi. 19; Lk. vii 35); besides all the passages in St Paul, and also Acts xiii. 39 where St Paul is the speaker.
Leaving then for the present St Paul out of sight, that we may not disturb St James’ argument, we have naturally here the sense “Did not Abraham appear righteous in God’s sight on the ground of works?”
ἀνενέγκας κ.τ.λ.] From a combination of Gen. xxii. 2 (ἐνένεγκον) and 9, ἐπέθηκεν αὐτὸν ἐπὶ τὸ θυσιαστήριον. There is sometimes doubt when ἐπὶ stands before τὸ θυσιαστήρ. whether it means “to” or “upon”: but here doubtless, as the Hebrew suggests, it is “upon,” as Mt. v. 23; 1 Pet. ii. 24. The meaning is that this act was distinctly a work. The faith in God which Abraham felt was carried out in a piece of conduct which tried it to the utmost.
22. βλέπεις, thou perceivest] It is 64so obvious, when looked at, that there is no room for doubt.
ἡ πίστις, the faith] Sc. in this case: the faith in antithesis to the works was not separate from them but wrought with them.
συνήργει, worked with] A bold image. The faith not only was followed or accompanied by works — that is expressed in τοῖς ἔργοις αὐτοῦ — but itself worked with his works. Not for faith plus works does St James plead, but for faith at work, living, acting in itself, apart from any value in its results; συνήργέω is properly to be a συνήργός: not used in LXX., but twice in Apocr. and in four other places of the N.T.
καὶ ἐκ τῶν ἔργων, and by the works] Ἐκ as before, in consequence of, by effects proceeding from.
ἡ πίστις ἐτελειώθη, the faith was made perfect] So long as the faith was not exercised, it was in a manner imperfect. It gained maturity and completeness by being thoroughly acted out. This is the only place where St James uses this verb (common in N.T., especially Jn, 1 Jn, Heb.), but τέλειος, as we have seen, he has five times, and this nearly answers to ἔργον τέλειον ἐχέτω in i. 4. It is to be observed that the two clauses are exactly complementary to each other. The works received the co-operation of a living power from the faith: the faith received perfecting and consummation from the works into which it grew.
23. καί ἐπληρώθη ἡ γραφὴ ἡ λέγουσα, and there was a fulfilment of the Scripture which saith] The usual phrase, as Lk. iv. 21, etc. The Divine word spoken is conceived of as receiving a completion so to speak in acts or events which are done or come to pass in accordance with it. This idea of filling, or giving fullness to, is always contained in the biblical use of fulfilling, though not always in precisely the same sense. ἡ γραφή probably the individual saying of Scripture (ἡ γραφὴ αὕτη in Lk.).
The passage Gen. xv. 6 was the one which most clearly expressed the faith of Abraham and which at the same time connected it with the accounting it on the part of God as righteousness. The words ἐλογίσθη αὐτῷ εἰς δικ. are equivalent to saying ἐδικαιώθη (he, not the faith). Philo, Leg. All. iii. 81 (p. 132) paraphrases them, Ἀβραάμ γέ τοι ἐπίστευσε τῷ θεῷ, καὶ δίκαιος ἐνομίσθη. The two passages are brought together also in 1 Macc. ii. 52, Ἀβραὰμ οὐχὶ ἐν πειρασμῷ εὑρέθη πιστός, καὶ ἐλογίσθη αὐτῷ εἰς δικαιοσύνην; for the πειρασμός doubtless refers to Gen. xxii. 1, ὁ θεὸς ἐπείραζεν τὸν Ἀβραάμ.
καὶ φίλος θεοῦ ἐκλήθη, and (so) he was called the friend of God] Probably the meaning is that this was another result of the faith which be shewed in the sacrifice of Isaac, the first result being the fulfilling of the words spoken of him with reference to an earlier exhibition of faith. The reference itself is doubtless mainly, if not wholly, to Isa. xli. 8 (Heb. Sym., not LXX. ὃν ἡγάπησα) “who loved me,” not “whom I loved” (see Cheyne); 2 Chr. xx. 7 (Heb. not LXX. τῷ ἡγαπημένῳ σου); but v.l. τῷ φίλῳ apud Field), and ἐκλήθη means not “acquired the human title,” but “was Divinely stamped” with that unique name. At the same time the name, though doubtless originating in Isaiah if not earlier, was widely spread, and St James may have had Greek authority for it. See the authorities in Lightfoot on Clem. Rom. 10 (Clement refers to it 17 also); and Rönsch in Hilg. Z. S. 1873 iv. 583 ff., and Wetst. Philo 65uses it, even substituting it once for τοῦ παιδός μου in Gen. xviii. 17. Judith viii. 26=22 in lat. vg., “quomodo pater nester Abraham tentatus est, et per multas tribulationes probatus Dei amicus factus est.” Cf. Wisd. vii. 27; Clem. Hom. xviii. 13; Recog. i. 32. So also Lib. Jubil. 19, Ber. R. on Gen. xiii. 8, etc.; and the name is still in use among the Arabs, El Khalil. Weil, cited by Rönsch 585, quotes “When Abraham by Nimrod’s command was to be thrown into the fire, the heaven with its angels and the earth with all the creatures therein cried out with one voice, ‘God of Abraham, Thy friend, who alone on earth adores Thee, is thrown into the fire’ etc.” This various use shews by the way that the occurrence of the phrase in a Christian author is no sufficient proof that he employed the Epistle of St James.
It is very doubtful whether the name is etymological, though a writer against the Jews called Molon, cited by Alex. Polyhistor ap. Euseb. P. E. 9. 19, p. 420, says, ὃν δὴ μεθερμηνεύεσθαι Πατρὸς φίλον; and Rönsch argues that ח being changed into ה, רַחַם represents φίλος, though more properly “one on whom God had mercy.”
24. ὁρᾶτε, ye see] St James now turns from the “empty man” to the brethren whom he was previously addressing. Τοίνυν is spurious. Elsewhere in the N.T. ὁρᾶτε is always imperative, but in the sense “see to it,” “beware,” which will not do here. It is not likely to be used in the sense “take note,” “observe,” so that the indic. is the most natural. The sense must be “ye see by this example of Abraham”: otherwise ὁμοίως δὲ καὶ has no force.
ἐξ ἔργων δικαιοῦται] The same phrase as in v. 21: but here the important explanatory clause is added, καὶ οὐκ ἐκ πίστεως μόνον; shewing that with him it was no question of faith contrasted with works, but of faith without works contrasted with faith with works: the faith as a ground of justification is assumed as a starting point.
25. ὁμοίως δὲ καὶ] This introduces another example, not needing such full exposition. Abraham the father of the Jewish people was the first; now St James cites a heathen, a Canaanitess, as a type of the other branch of Israelites and of Christians, the proselyte Jews, the Gentile Christians; nay the first of all proselytes, for her act took place at the very entrance into the Promised Land. In doing this, St James doubtless was building on a Jewish traditional view. Setting aside Heb. xi. 31, the remarkable introduction of Rahab’s name in Mt. i. 5 (as also Tamar, Ruth, Bathsheba) implies a tradition as to her marriage to Salmon which marks her out in a signal manner. See Wetst. (i. 226) and better Wünsche Erl. der Ev. 3 f. Thus Megilla 14 b, “Eight prophets who were also priests are descended from the harlot Rahab, etc.” (ten prophets and prophetesses according to Midrash, Ruth i.): another Midrash says priests. Midr. Cant. “As long as the Israelites do the will of God, He brings every righteous man whom He sees among the other peoples, and joins him to Israel, as came to pass with Jethro and Rahab.
The precise purpose of adding ἡ πόρνη (added also in Heb.) is not clear. Perhaps her occupation is meant to point to her heathen origin, and as marking the extreme form of a faith which was due to a change or conversion, not part of an orderly and continuous growth, as in Abraham or Samuel.
οὐκ ἐξ ἔργων ἐδικαιώθη] The force of this lies in what is implied, that 66she was justified in virtue of her faith in that she embraced the belief in the one true God, and risked all on the belief. This very faith, he says, was not one barren of works: it shewed its strength by her willingness to risk her life to save the servants of the true God.
ὑποδεξαμένη, hospitably entertained.
τοὺς ἀγγέλους] Called κατασκόπους in Heb., and τοὺς κατασκοπεύσαντας Josh. vi. 25. The more favourable word is perhaps chosen to suggest that in receiving them she was as it were receiving angels.
ἑτέρᾳ ὁδῷ] Probably no more than “different different from the way by which they came.”
ἐκβαλοῦσα, dismissed them] So probably. The word is a stronger one than we should expect to find used, but the same thing happens in other places of the N.T., as Mt. ix. 38, Lk. x. 2, ἐργάτας; Jn x. 4, πρόβατα; Mt. xii. 35, xiii. 52, ἐκ τ. ἀγαθοῦ θησαυροῦ τὰ ἀγαθά, etc.
26. γὰρ is very doubtful: some authority for δέ: but no conjunction most likely. It is a general summing up, not standing in very near relation to v. 25, but referring alike to the whole passage from v. 14.
χωρὶς πνεύματος, separated from (the) spirit] Not spirit in the higher sense, but simply the breath of life. The body with the breath in it has all the difference from the body out of which the breath has departed that life has from death, although externally the body is nearly the same. So too the same contents of faith, that there is one God, or to go on to all that is contained in ii. 1, the faith of the Lord Jesus Christ the Glory, is a dead thing if it is separated from works, in other words, from active energy. The paradox must be intentional. The opposite is what most would be tempted to say: but it would be only superficially true. True faith is a faith that aims at work and motion; false faith is virtually a corpse. He uses νεκρά here where he had said ἀργή before. The idea is much the same, but νεκρά expresses it by a strong image.
Now as regards the relation of this section to St Paul, the examples cited are certainly not enough to imply that St Paul had already written. St Paul mentions Abraham: but who could do otherwise in speaking of faith? St Paul does not mention Rahab; and though the Pauline author of Heb. does, it is not in connexion with justification or with any controversial purpose but simply as one of a series of examples of faith. It is remarkable that Philo, de nobil. 5 (ii. 442), first speaks strongly of Abraham (διὸ καὶ πιστεῦσαι λέγεται τῷ θεῷ πρῶτος, ἐπειδὴ καὶ πρῶτος ἀκλινῆ καὶ βεβαίαν ἔσχεν ὑπόληψιν, ὡσ ἔστιν ἕν αἴτιον τὸ ἀνωτάτω καὶ προνοεῖ τοῦ τε κόσμου καὶ τῶν ἐν αὐτῷ), and then proceeds Ταύτην τὴν εὐγένειαν οὐ μόνον θεοφιλεῖς ἄνδρες ἀλλὰ καὶ γυναῖκες ἐζήλωσαν, and then gives as an instance Tamar, who appears in Mt. with Rahab, using language that might be applied at once to Rahab, how she was an inhabitant of Palestine, a woman brought up in a city full of many gods, full of images etc.: and then how out of deep darkness she was able to see a little dawn of light, and how she waxed strong unto piety, little heeding life if she were not to live nobly. Thus both examples might come quite naturally to St James simply from his Jewish education.
But the phrase ἐξ ἔργων ἐδικαιώθη, taken in its juxtaposition to faith, is very hard to explain without reference to St Paul. There is no real evidence for any similar Jewish language. Justification is not part of St James’ 67original argument: but he brings it in from vv. 21-24 in a way which implies that he is arguing against some actual plea. If he had been intending to argue against St Paul he would have used language which struck at St Paul’s doctrine. But this he avoids. His language is indeed formally inconsistent with St Paul’s, since St Paul altogether declined to speak of any justification by works. But this language of St Paul may easily have been used, even by men opposed to him, in a manner at variance with his true purpose. Such verbal contradictions are sometimes inevitable for the expression of the fulness of the truth: and laying aside the insoluble question whether St James personally would have accepted every word that St Paul used, or St Paul every word that St James used, we are justified in considering both, not merely to have been needful as leaders of the Church in the Apostolic age, but as having contributed two forms of teaching, each of which is permanently necessary for the completeness of truth.
III. 1. St James takes up now a fresh point: wrong speech after wrong action.
μὴ πολλοὶ διδάσκαλοι, not many teachers] There is no need to correct to πολυδιδάσκαλοι or otherwise. The phrase is peculiar, but forcible and clear enough as interpreted by the context and by vv. 13 ff. It is assumed that for the good of the community there should be teachers, discharging a special function for the rest (1 Cor. xii. 29, μὴ πάντες διδάσκαλοι; cf. 28, τρίτον διδασκάλους), and then implied that many set up as teachers not from a sense of responsibility but from a vain or censorious spirit. Thus the single notion “many teachers” practically involves the idea that the teaching arose from low personal motives.
The context would allow διδάσκαλοι to be used vaguely, as if ordinary social censoriousness were intended. But it is hardly likely that this word would have been chosen except with reference to actual public teaching. The sense is illustrated by the whole of 1 Cor. xii.-xiv., but especially by xiv. 26; though it is true that we cannot conclude too rapidly from the ways of Corinthian Greeks to the Jews of the Dispersion. Still what follows in the rest of the chapter is strikingly analogous to much that St Paul says in 1 Cor. about σοφία and λόγος, and to the manner in which he connects together the misuse of both. The disputatiousness of Greeks may well have had much in common with the disputatiousness of Jewish Christians, more especially as many of them were of Greek race.
This precise tendency has no distinct echo in the Gospels, except the warning against idle words. Mt. xxiii. 8-10 refers rather to the honour of rabbiship than to the pride of the exercise of the office of teacher,
ἀδελφοί μου] This again introduces a fresh point, softening off at the outset the sharpness of what St James had to say.
εἰδότες] Not “taking note,” “observing,” but “knowing as ye already do.”
μεῖζον κρίμα ληψόμεθα, shall receive greater judgment] The word of Christ on idle words (Mt. xii. 36 f.) pronounced that account should be given ἐν ἡμέρᾳ κρίσεως; “for by thy 68words . . . thou shalt be condemned (καταδικασθήσῃ).”
κρίμα ληψόμεθα] This phrase occurs in a different context Mk xii. 40 || Lk. xx. 47, with περισσότερον for μεῖζον. There περισσότερον seems to mean that those who combined the pretensions of scribeship with these faults and vices should be condemned yet more than ordinary offenders. Here μεῖζον must have much the same force, but perhaps also a special reference to the just retribution involved in “Judge not that ye be not judged”: that is, it seems to be implied that wrong judging was a characteristic of the much teaching. This seems to follow from γάρ in v. 2, which cannot be otiose. We all stumble and therefore come under judgment: but the judgment is greater if we have been taking on ourselves to judge others.
2. πολλὰ γὰρ πταίομεν ἄπαντες, For in many things we all stumble] Πταίω as before (ii. 10).
πολλὰ] Lies between πολύ and πολλάκις: it is “much” with the idea of plurality and repetition introduced: so Mt. ix. 14 v.1. (νηστεύομεν); Mk iii. 12 (ἐπετίμα); v. 10 (παρεκάλει), 38 (ἀλαλάζοντας), 43 (διεστείλατο), etc.
ἄπαντες] “one and all.”
εἴ τις ἐν λόγῳ οὐ πταίει, If any stumbleth not in speech] Not μή but οὐ, = “succeeds in escaping stumbling,” the two words being taken together. For the phrase cf. Ps. xxxix. 1, τοῦ μὴ ἀμαρτάνειν ἐν γλώσσῃ μου; Ecclus. xix. 16, καὶ τίς οὐχ ἥμαρτεν ἐν τῇ γλώσσῃ αὐτοῦ; (Cf. Philo de nom. mut. 1082 C; de Abr. 352 C.) The image was applied to the tongue by Zeno ap. Diog. Laert. vii. 26 (Wetst.), κρεῖττον εἶναι τ. ποσὶν ὀλισθεῖν ἢ τῇ γλώττῃ: cf. Eustathius in Od. viii. 171.
The previous sentence spoke of moral stumbling of any kind. Here it becomes narrowed to speech: stumbling in speech is peculiarly easy and common: but the misuse of speech in pride and bitterness of teachership is something much worse than ordinary stumbling in speech. Here then St James drops for a while the subject begun in v. 1, to be taken up again in 13-18. The vicious teachership suggested to him the vicious use of the tongue in general, and so he launches out into this wider subject.
τέλειος ἀνήρ, a perfect man] The adjective as before, consecrated by Mt. v. 48. Ἀνήρ cannot have the sense that ἄνθρωπος would have, “one shewing the perfection of humanity”: it is simply “one that is perfect.”
δυνατὸς χαλιναγωγῆσαι καὶ ὅλον τὸ σῶμα, able to bridle the whole body also] The force of καὶ is that his stumbling not in speech arises from his bridling his tongue; and that a man who can bridle his tongue can also bridle his whole body. This may be in two senses, that the tongue is so difficult to bridle that it is an easier thing to bridle the whole body, and that in the bridling of the tongue the bridling of the body is virtually accomplished at the same time. The comparison to the horses’ bridle in v. 3 and to the rudder in v. 4 and the whole language of 6 prevent the exclusion of the second sense, while the form of this sentence rather suggests the first. Probably St James meant both senses to be included.
The bridling of the tongue (already named i. 26) is naturally one of the commonest of images in various languages: but it is especially associated with μὴ ἁμαρτάνειν ἐν γλώσσῃ in Ps. xxxix. 1 (Heb. not LXX.).
3. εἰ δὲ] True reading, not ἰδέ (or 69as T.R. with a few ἰδού) derived from supposed parallelism to ἰδού in v. 4. The δὲ is equivalent to the logical “now”: the verse is really an inference from the force of the word χαλιναγωγῆσαι. St James has used it completely metaphorically of the whole body, when he might have said in general terms “keep in order”: but it occurs to him that the word has a special force for his purpose because it is just through the mouth, the source of speech, that the process of bridling takes place.
τῶν ἵππων] Put first because horses are the direct subjects of comparison with τέλειος ἀνήρ: it thus is equivalent to “in the case of horses” though of course governed not only by τα στόματα but also by τοὺς χαλινοὺς: the mouths are the part of the horses into which we put the bits by which we mean to restrain them. This accounts for the two articles.
εἰς τὸ πείθεσθαι (not πρός), to make them obey us] St James doubtless means to express not merely result but purpose. The reason why the phrase is introduced is probably because St James is thinking how far control of the tongue goes towards producing control of the whole body.
μετάγομεν, we turn about] Μετάγω as commonly used means to “transfer” or “transport” in a strong sense, as prisoners to a strange land, or the power of government from one class to another. It is also used of turning men to a better mind (still transference) Plut. ii. 225 F; Epict. Ench. xxxiii. 3. Apparently here simply in the sense of leading not from one place to another but from one direction to another, though it is not satisfactory to have no clear authority for it. Lexicons and commentaries pass the point over.
4. The example of the ships and rudders comes in by way of addition, apparently as suggested by the last words of v. 3.
τηλικαῦτα ὄντα καὶ ὑπὸ ἀνέμων σκληρῶν ἐλαυνόμενα, though they are so great, and though they are driven by rough winds] This is the most natural construction according to the form of the sentence. On the other hand it is somewhat singular that the size and the driving by winds, which would not be always rough, are coupled together; and it is possible that καὶ means not “and” but “even,” “the ships, great as they are, even when they are being driven by rough winds, are turned about,” etc.
πηδαλίου, rudder] From the Odyssey onwards.
ὁρμή, impulse] This might be either the impulse in the mind of the steersman or the impulse which his hand communicates to the helm: but the whole phrase would be rather feeble if referred to the mind only: moreover there would be almost a contradiction between the “impulsiveness “and the purpose (βουλή).
τοῦ εὐθύνοντος, the steersman] Εὐθύνω, first to make straight, is then used of any kind of guidance, shepherd of sheep, charioteer of chariot, steersman of ship (Plato etc.); and of the rudder itself (Luc. Dial. Mort. x. 10, εὔθυνε, ὦ πορθμεύ, τὸ πηδάλιον; Eur. Cyc. 15,
ἐν πρύμνῃ δ᾽ ἄκρᾳ
αὐτὸς λαβὼν ηὔθυνον ἀμφῆρες δόρυ).
βούληται, willeth] By a bold figure the deliberation and decision is transferred to the last point at which the steersman’s action passes into that of 70the rudder by the movement of his hand. Βούλομαι as before implies not mere will but intention: the steersman turns the helm this way or that because he knows which way his course lies. Rudders and steersmen have furnished many images. This combination of the horse’s bridle and the ship’s rudder as illustrative of the government of the tongue is found in Ps.-Plat. Axioch. [? ap. Theoph. Simoc. Ep. 70] and in Plutarch and Philo [see Wetst. and Mayor].
5. Apparently a direct comparison with v. 4. What is not easy is μεγάλα αὐχεῖ (so better than μεγάλαυχεῖ).
μεγάλα αὐχεῖ, hath great things whereof to boast] Αὐχέω is properly to stretch the neck and hold up the head in pride, and hence to speak with proud confidence. Μεγάλαυχέω seems always to be used in a disparaging sense, to denote “boastfulness.” The difficulty is that the comparison seems to require not great pretension but great performance to be ascribed to the tongue. Oecumenius has μεγάλα ἐργάζεται by way of paraphrase, and something like this is doubtless what we should expect. It does not help much to say that the pretension comes first, the performance next, viz. in the following verses. The true solution lies probably in the wider use of αὐχέω than of μεγάλαυχέω. Though αὐχέω never loses the sense of boast, it frequently, both in early and late Greek, is used without sense of unreality in the boast, and virtually as equivalent to “having cause to boast.” The only question then is as to the use of μεγάλα, which prima facie has an adverbial force, “greatly.” Now αὐχεῖ used absolutely without reference to any object could refer only to boastfulness, pretence; and μεγάλα as an adverb would only accentuate this force, by the association with μεγάλαυχέω. But in late Greek αὐχέω is not infrequently used with the accusative of things boasted of, where the classical usage would be with dative with or without ἐπί. Thus Aristid. i. 103, μόνοις δ᾽ ὑμῖν ὑπάρχει καθαρὰν εὐγένειάν τε καὶ πολιτείαν αὐχῆσαι: just as we use the verb “boast” transitively: “that country boasts many great cities.” So here μ. αὐχεῖ doubtless means “hath great things whereof to boast,” or shortly “great are its boasts” (i.e. the concrete subjects for boasting, αὐχήματα, not the boastings, αὐχήσεις). This sense is supported by the analogy of κατακαυχᾶται in ii. 13, where the glorying of mercy against judgment is no mere vain boasting, but a true position proudly held. It is thus quite doubtful whether there is even an indirect reference to arrogance of tongue. What follows gives examples of the “great things.”
ἰδοὺ ἡλίκον (not ὀλέγον) πῦρ ἡλίκην ὕλην ἀνάπτει, Behold how much wood is kindled by how small a fire] Ἡλίκος expresses magnitude in either direction, quantus or quantillus (Luc. Hermot. 5): the antithesis explains that with πῦρ it means “how little,” with ὕλην “how great.” This is a good example of St James’ pregnant enigmatic style, leaving much to the reader’s intelligence.
ὕλην] Etymologically = silva, and answers fairly to both the English words “wood” and “timber.” It is used either of dead wood or living, and either will make sense here. But it never means a wood, a forest. As applied to living wood it is either woodland as opposed to mountains and cultivated plains, specially the rough bushy skirts of the hills, or brushwood. Thus Plat. Polit. 272 A says, καρπούς τε ἀφθόνους εἶχον ἀπό τε δένδρων καὶ πολλῆς ὕλης ἄκκης. A spark setting fire to the brush might suggest the image, or it may be (as 71often) simply a great mass of cut timber ready for the carpenter. The word is interesting on account of Plato’s use, answering to materia, materies. [See Additional Note.]
The image was probably taken from the Hebrew Proverbs of Ben Sira (trans]. in Drusius ap. Crit. Sacr. viii. p. 1899) cf. Ecclus. xi. 32. “A burning fire kindles many heaps of corn.” On which the Scholiast has “There is nothing which more devastates the world than an evil tongue: for a tongue of this kind, though it be not very evil, is the ruin of many just and pious men. (Example of Doeg.) Wherefore the wise Hebrews declare that in an evil tongue lurks deadly poison, and that because of it the world suffers chastisement,” etc.
6. A very difficult verse. Οὕτως is spurious before ἡ γλῶσσα καθίσταται, and misleading also. It is impossible Greek to take ἡ σπιλοῦσα as predicate to the sentence ἡ γλῶσσα καθίστ. as though it were τὸ σπιλοῦν. The best punctuation is to take καὶ ἡ γλῶσσα πῦρ as a separate clause, “the tongue also is a fire,’ introductory to what follows. Then ὁ κ. τ. ἀδ. ἡ γλ. καθίστ. ἐν τ. μέλ. ἡμ.; then ἡ σπιλοῦσα . . .γεέννης, in which last clause references to fire appear again. Hence ἡ γλῶσσα (the 2nd) must be the subject, ὁ κόσμος τ. ἀδ. the predicate; and the reason why ὁ κόσμος τ. ἀδ. is put first is because ἡ γλῶσσα must be put last in order to connect it distinctly with the following participles. Thus the arrangement of words is exactly analogous to that of i. 7, 8.
ὁ κόσμος τῆς ἀδικίας, the unrighteous world] Certainly a difficult phrase. The article must of course have its full force, “a world of iniquity” cannot be right. Some take κόσμος as “ornament”: understanding it to mean that the tongue gives a specious and seductive colour or gloss to what is evil by means of plausible words. But though words might by a rather bold figure be called the adornment of iniquity, the tongue that utters them could not: nor has that sense any special force here. The commonest interpretation is to take it as “world” in the sense of universe, “that world of iniquity.” The article here acquires a possible sense with the other construction, in apposition with πῦρ; but not as the predicate after καθίσταται. The sense itself too is at once exaggerated and vague. It is not the comprehensiveness of the tongue within itself that the context refers to, but its power of acting upon what is without it.
There remains the “evil” sense of κόσμος, found already i. 27, and recurring iv. 4. To repeat very briefly. This sense of something called the κόσμος as not only containing evil elements but itself in some sense evil is chiefly found in Jn and 1 Jn, also 2 Pet.; perhaps not elsewhere (2 Cor. vii. 10 doubtful). It is not derived from the physical universe, but a Jewish image taken from the תֵּבֵלּ of the early chapters of Isaiah (cf. Ps. ix. 8 etc.), rendered οἰκουμένη in LXX., denoting the heathen nations around, the heathen world at once as destructive and as corruptive: hence it is human society in a corrupt and perverted state. As applied to the tongue then, the meaning is that the tongue is to the rest of the body what the corrupt society is to mankind, and especially to the Church as the representative of mankind in its true state. Thus τ. ἀδικίας may be compared to its use in Lk. xvi. 8, τὸν οἰκονόμον τῆς ἀδικίας and 9, μαμωνᾶ τ. ἀδ. and xviii. 6, ὁ κριτὴς τ. ἀδ.: the world which gives itself up to unrighteousness, which takes its form from unrighteousness 72and obeys it: somewhat similar are the genitives in i. 25. Much the same ultimate sense would be obtained by taking κόσμος as the sphere or region, the domain as it were in which unrighteousness obtains a footing. But this is not a natural sense of the word, which is more easily interpreted by the other passages of this Epistle referred to.
καθίσταται, is constituted, shews itself, makes itself, acts the part of] The exact force is shewn by iv. 4. Καθίστασθαι εἰς is to come into a certain state, or καθ. with nominative to become (contrast καθέστηκα to have become, to be). Thus Plut. ii. 2 E, trees if neglected στρεβλὰ φύεται καὶ ἄκαρπα καθίσταται, τυχόντα δὲ ὀρθῆς παιδαγωγίας ἔγκαρπα γίνεται καὶ τελεσφόρα (cf. 6 F).
ἐν τοῖς μέλεσιν ἡμῶν, among our members] Apparently not merely with reference to its action on the other members; but as being that one among the members which has this special power.
ἡ σπιλοῦσα, that stainer of] The article has the effect of giving a substantive force to the participle, as it were, the tongue that stainer of the body. The use of this word agrees with the interpretation just given of κόσμος, when compared with ἄσπιλος . . . ἀπὸ τ. κόσμου in i. 27. The image however is difficult: in what sense can the tongue be said to stain the body? Apparently with reference to the idea that runs through chap. i. that there is a Divine image received by man at creation, a true ideal form derived from likeness to God, and that all moral evil is to be regarded in relation to this as (i. 21) a ῥυπαρία or defilement and a περισσεία or excrescence (unnatural growth). Still why “the body,” for St James certainly regarded the Divine image as (at least in the first instance) inward and spiritual? Probably because he regarded the body as the outward expression of the inward mind; and the, external deformities of passion as true types as well as results of the invisible deformities from which they spring. Moreover the action of the tongue might be regarded as staining the action of the whole body, the total conduct of which the body is the organ. Cf. also Eccles. v. 5.
καὶ φλογίζουσα τὸν τροχὸν τῆς γενέσεως, and it setteth on fire the wheel of man’s creation] Here we reach one of the hardest phrases in the Bible. To discuss it fully would take too long. We must be content to deal with the leading points. At the outset Grotius’ suggestion that τροχόν should be read τρόχον, a running or course, must be set aside. The word, chiefly poetic, is never used figuratively; and at all events φλογίζουσα points to some physical image. The suggestion comes from too prosaic a dealing with the imagery of a prophet. Φλ. τ. τροχόη must mean “setting on fire the wheel.”
But then what is τ. γενέσεως, and what wheel is meant? Attention was called eight years ago by Hilgenfeld (ZWT. 1873. 20; cf. Einl. 539 f.) to the certainly curious fact that Simplicius on Arist. de caelo ii. p. 91 B in allegorising Ixion’s wheel says, “and he hath been bound by God τῷ τῆς μοίρας τροχῷ καὶ τῆς γενέσεως, ὃν ἀδύνατον μεταλλάξαι κατ᾽ Ὀρφέα (what follows is hopelessly corrupt, but ends with τὰς ἀνθρωπινὰς ψυχάς), clearly referring to an Orphic doctrine. The sense comes out more clearly, but with κύκλος for τροχός, in Procl. Tim. v. 330 A (on Plato’s words τῇ ταὐτοῦ καὶ ὁμοίου περιόδῳ, “This is the one salvation of the soul which is held forth by the Creator, delivering it τοῦ 73κύκλου τ. γενέσεως and from the great error and from the ineffectual life, namely the ascent of the soul to the spiritual region (τὸ νοερὸν εἶδος) and its flight from all things which cleave to us ἐκ τῆς γενέσεως; and lower down (B) . . . ἀπὸ τῆς περὶ τὴν γένεσιν πλάνης, ἧς καὶ οἱ παρ᾽ Ὀρφεῖ τῷ Διονύσῳ καὶ τῇ Κόρῃ τελούμενοι τυχεῖν εὔχονται
Κύκλου τ᾽ αὖ λῆξαι καὶ ἀναπνεύσαι κακότητος.
There is somewhat similar language in Procl. Tim. i. 32 E and Theol. Pl. vi. 3 p. 351; cf. Verg. Aen. vi. 748, Hos omnes ubi mille rotam volvere per annos. For γενέσεως we have ἀνάγκης in the statement of Diog. Laert. viii. 14, Vit. Pyth., “They say that he was the first to declare the soul κύκλον ἀνάγκης ἀμείβουσαν ἄλλοτε ἄλλοις ἐνδεῖσθαι ζώοις. So more vaguely, without reference to any one in particular, Chrys. Mt. lxxv. 728 C, περιφορὰν καὶ γένεσιν λέγοντες. Also Philo de Somn. ii. 6, p. 664 of Pharaoh’s gold chain round Joseph’s neck, ἀγχόνην ἐπιφανῆ, κύκλον καὶ τροχὸν ἀνάγκης ἀτελευτήτου, . . . οὐκ ἀκολουθίαν καὶ τὸ ἑξῆς ἐν βίῳ καὶ τὸν εἱρμὸν τῶν τῆς φύσεως πραγμάτων, ὡς ἡ Θάμαρ, οὐ γὰρ κλοιὸς, ἀλλ᾽ ὁρμίσκος αὐτῆς ὁ κόσμος (cf. de mut. nom. 23 p. 598). In the first places cited the reference is certainly to the Orphic or Pythagorean doctrine of a cycle of metempsychosis: Chrys. and Philo are ambiguous. Another passage of Simplicius (Comm. in Epict. Ench. p. 177 C) gives it a distinctly wider sense, “The dissolution of compounds and the change of simples one into another is good for the whole; since the destruction of one is the origin (γένεσις) of another; and this is the cause why τὸν τῆς γενέσεως κύκλον remains imperishable (ἀνέκλειπτον).
But it is most improbable that St James should use a phrase of this origin to convey a doctrine with which he can have had no sympathy. The Orphic doctrine would be entirely alien to him (notwithstanding Hilgenfeld’s references to θρησκός), and the vaguer doctrine hardly less. Γένεσις in this connexion was the word used in late Greek philosophy to express natural necessity; the necessary chain of causation; and it was especially opposed to any religious view of the world.
An equal improbability lies in the mode of use: this setting on fire of the τροχὸν τ. γενέσεως is evidently spoken of as an evil thing; but to a believer in God this interruption of the wheel of earthbound destiny would be no subject for regret. The interpretation thus just inverts the purport of the sentence.
Moreover it is difficult to think that τῆς γενέσεως should recur in two places of the Epistle (here and i. 23) in very peculiar phrases, yet be entirely different in sense: for whatever sense we give to γενέσεως with τὸ πρόσωπον, it cannot possibly be destiny.
Another simpler image occurs in various classical writers, partly again in connexion with Ixion, that of human life as a wheel rolling down hill over all sorts of inequalities: thus Sil. Ital. vi. 120. But here too there is no special force in the setting fire, and τ. γενέσεως remains inexplicable. The same may be said of the vaguer senses “course of life,” “course of nature.”
The true clue is doubtless to be found in τ. γενέσεως which we saw (on i. 23) to refer to the original creation of man. It is not in classical but in biblical language that we should naturally expect to find the explanation. Not the heathen godless genesis but the genesis of revelation, the origin of the world in the will and purpose of God, is denoted by the word for St James. It is the תלדת or מלדת (see Gen. ii. 4; v. 1), whence Genesis has its Greek name. Κτίσις is not used in LXX. (though κτίζω is): see 2 Macc. vii. 23, ὁ τοῦ κόσμου κτίστης, ὁ πλάσας ἀνθρώπου γένεσιν καὶ πάντων ἐξευρών γένεσιν. It thus is 74equivalent to what in modern language we call Creation. The phrase “the wheel of creation” is limited by the sense of the rest of the sentence to “the wheel of man’s creation,” i.e. the wheel of man’s nature according to its original Divine purpose, just as τι πρόσωπον τ. γενέσεως αὐτοῦ is “the face of his creation,” the face reflecting the Divine image in which he was created.
What then is meant by the wheel? It can hardly be the detached wheel rolling uselessly along, as in the classical image. It must be the chariot wheel of man as he advances on the way of life, fulfilling his appointed course. Probably, I do not say more, but probably there is an allusion to the wheel in the vision of Ezekiel (i. 15, 16b, 19-21). This may sound fanciful till we remember that this vision of Ezekiel, called the Chariot by the later Jews, was in Jewish thought associated with the Creation. According to the imagery of the vision, the wheel might be the body and all its activities, by means of which the spirit moves upon the earth. This is represented as set on fire by the tongue, because its orderly Divinely-appointed motion is made violent and irregular by the passions which the tongue excites: it catches fire, and loses its power to fulfil its proper course. [See Additional Note.]
καὶ φλογιζομένη ὑπὸ τῆς γεέννης, and is set on fire by hell] The fire is not a fire from above but from beneath. This seems to be the true force of the reference to Gehenna, which usually in the N.T. appears simply as the place of punishment for evil (whether we mean by punishment retribution only, or retribution combined with purification), not excepting perhaps Mt. xxiii. 15, υἱὸν γεέννης, as itself so to speak a realm of evil. The fire lighted at the nether fires is a simpler and broader image, answering in some degree to the lower wisdom of v. 15. Wetstein quotes the Targum on Ps. cxx. 2 (where the hot burning coals may be taken as describing either the operation of the tongue or its punishment, or indeed both, i.e. its appropriate punishment) Lingua dolosa . . . cum carbonibus juniperi, qui incensi sunt in gehenna inferne.
7. γὰρ, For] The purpose of γὰρ seems to be to introduce an explanation and justification of the strong language just used. From the word “bridle” in v. 2 St James has been led to the idea of a small agency exercising great power, and especially to the image of fire as representing the tongue: and now he proceeds to explain this, pointing first to its unbridledness, and then to its strange inconsistency of action.
πᾶσα γὰρ φύσις, every nature] Φύσις is often used periphrastically with the genitive, so that this might mean simply “all beasts and birds,” etc. And it is also sometimes used for “kind.” Thus Diod. Sic. i. 10, ἡ γῆ πάλιν ἐξ ἀρχῆς καινὰς ἤνεγκε τῶν ζώων φύσεις; Plut. ii. 636 E, ζώων δὲ πολλὰς φύσεις τοῦ κόσμου περιέχοντος, οὐδέν, ὡς εἰπεῖν, γένος ἄμοιρόν ἐστι τῆς ἐξ ᾤου γενέσεως. But even in such places the original sense is latent, “many kinds” as dependent on “many natures.” Here, at all events, the strict sense is required by τῇ φύσει τῇ ἀνθρωπινῃ; for although ἀνθρωπίνη φύσις is occasionally, though very rarely, equivalent to “mankind,” the periphrasis would have a rhetorical unnaturalness here, especially in the resolved form τῇ φ. τῇ ἀνθ. (not τῇ ἀνθ. φ.). The meaning doubtless is that the inherent nature of man, that nature which proceeds from the Divine image, has proved its kingship over the natures of different classes of animals, probably with reference to Gen. i. 28; ix.2. The meaning cannot be that every kind, or the nature of every kind, of animals 75has been tamed; which would be manifestly untrue: but each of these four great classes is considered as having a special nature. An exact parallel is 1 Cor. xv. 39, ἄλλη δὲ σὰρξ κτηνῶν κ.τ.λ. What is there said of the outward flesh is here implied as to the inward nature.
θηρίων τε καὶ πετεινῶν ἑρπετῶν τε καὶ ἐναλίων, of beasts and birds, of creeping things and things in the sea] These classes are exactly and almost verbally taken from Gen. ix. 2, which is a modification of i. 28. Θηρία probably includes both θηρία and κτήνη of i. 28, the fiercest and least tameable of quadrupeds being taken as representatives of the whole class: πετεινά and ἐρπετά are taken as they stand.
In the second pair ἐρπετῶν answers to θηρίων in the first, and doubtless was intended especially to include serpents, with especial reference to the tongue (see v. 8). The allusion may be to the sacred tame serpents which were kept in different temples, for instance in those of Asclepius. Tame fish, sacred and other, were also known to the ancients (see Ael. Nat. An. viii. 4; xii. 30). Ἐνάλια answer to ἰχθύες. A poetic word, used in prose in this general manner in late writers only, as Ps.-Arist. de mundo 5, οὗτος ἐναλίων ζῴων καὶ πεζῶν καὶ ἀερίων φύσεις ἐχώρισεν; Plut. ii. 911 D, τὸ τῶν ἐναλίων γένος contrasted with τὰ χερσαῖα; also 729 E, ἐφείδοντο μάλιστα τῶν ἐναλίων.
δαμάζεται καὶ δεδάμασται τῇ φύσει τῇ ἀνθρωπίνῃ, is tamed and hath been tamed into subjection to the nature that is human] First comes the general statement that they are tamed: then the thought occurs that there are domestic races which have been tamed long ago; and so the present acquires a more precise sense.
There is a long-established conquest by the human race transmitted by hereditary instinct, and it is being perpetually renewed. Δαμάζω is sometimes applied to the mere crushing of a foe: its proper sense is taming, subduing not for destruction but for orderly use, as with horses and oxen. There is no clear indication that use is contemplated here: but rather the general notion of taming, involving obedience and restraint. There is probably a reminiscence of what has been said above of the bridling of horses.
The taming is part of the lordship of the earth bestowed in Gen. i. 28, and corresponds to the government (ἄρχετε LXX.) over the lower animals which there follows: cf. Ps. viii. 6 ff. This is brought out by the emphatic form τῇ φύσει τῇ ἀνθ.; lit. “the nature that is human,” i.e. the conquest is connected with the characteristic prerogative of the living soul which God breathed into man. The dative is probably not the simple dative of agency with a passive verb, of which (except with passive participles) there is no clear case in the N.T. All the instances seem to fall under one of two heads, including the idea either of appearing to (as a εὑρεθῶ ὑμῖν 2 Cor. xii. 20; αὐτῷ εὑρεθῆναι 2 Pet. iii. 14; ἐγνώσθη Lk. xxiv. 35; Phil. iv. 5) or of being subjected to (here, and ᾧ τις ἧττηται 2 Pet. ii. 19). Thus the sense is not simply tamed by the human nature, but tamed into subjection to it. See the chorus in the Antigone 332 ff., esp. 342-351.
8. τὴν δὲ γλῶσσαν οὐδεὶς δαμάσαι δύναται ἀνθρώπων, but the tongue can no one, even of men, tame] By a vivid image the tongue is projected, as it were, out of human nature and spoken of as though it had a separate life of its76own, over which no one can gain complete mastery. And though in strictness the tongue is nothing more than the organ by which what is in the heart and mind is expressed, yet experience shews that speech or utterance, as such, has what may well be called a magic power which acts reflexly on the mind within: so that St James’ language does express a true fact, though it does not attempt to explain all the grounds of it. There may be, that is, a kind of conflict between a man and his own tongue, or his own impulse of utterance, in which his true self gets worsted.
The position of ἀνθρώπων is at once secondary and emphatic; it might be “the tongue no one can tame, — no one, that is, of men”; but is rather “no one, even of men,” even of those beings so highly endowed, of whom he has been just speaking.
ἀκατάστατον κακόν, a disorderly evil] This is the true reading, not ἀκατάσχετον, which would be merely a feeble repetition of οὐδεὶς δαμάσαι δύναται. St James has used the word already in i. 8, and ἀκατάστασία in iii. 16, where it is coupled with πᾶν φαῦλον πρᾶγμα. To his mind it expressed the utmost evil, the disorder which is the entire opposite of God’s perfect purpose and man’s single-minded surrender to God’s purpose. Cf. 1 Cor. xiv. 33.
Not ἀκατάστατον only, but ἀκ. κακόν. It is startling to hear the tongue called “an evil,” rather than its misuse. But (1) the adjective explains how it becomes an evil; and (2) its evil arises from the very fact of its independence, i.e. from its isolation from the integrity of humanity. There is just the same abnormal and morbid independence as in the case of a desire which in like manner can be conceived of as something distinct from the man in whom it arises (i. 14 f.).
μεστή, full of] Not μεστόν: it cannot therefore agree with κακόν, but goes back to ἡ γλῶσσα. The tongue not merely contains deadly venom, it is charged with it: cf. Ps. lviii. 4; cxl. 3. There must be an indirect reference to a poisonous serpent, as in these Psalms; the image probably being derived in the first instance from the flexibility and mobility of the actual tongue.
9. ἐν αὐτῇ (bis), therein] The phrase is remarkable. The purely instrumental use of ἐν is Hebraistic, and found only in such writers of the N.T. as admit a certain (not very large) amount of Hebraism. It does not agree with the general colour of St James’ language. Nor does this passage come well under the rather vague “causal” use of ἐν (Jelf 246 f.; Kühner ii. 403 f.). But St James’ purpose is probably to identify ourselves with the tongue. If he had said δι᾽ αὐτῆς, it would have expressed a pure instrumentality: we should have appeared solely as the speakers, the tongue as our organ merely. Now the whole passage implies a kind of independent power over us exerted by the faculty of utterance; so that St James intentionally makes the tongue an actual speaker as well as an organ of speech: in the tongue we bless God, almost in the sense “in the person of the tongue.” The nearest parallel is in Rom. xv. 6, ἐν ἑνὶ στόματι δοξάζητε κ.τ.λ..: cf. also Mt. ix. 34, ἐν τῷ ἄρχοντι τῶν δαιμονίων; and Acts xvii. 31, κρίνειν τ. οἰκουμένην . . . ἐν ἀνδρὶ ᾧ ὥρισεν.
εὐλογοῦμεν, we bless] This is the highest function of speech. As man’s relation to God is the supreme fact of his nature which alone puts all others into their right place, so blessing God for His goodness and His benefits is 77the supreme use of the powers of utterance. Thus (Lk. i. 64) this is the first use which Zacharias makes of the recovered power, ἀνεῴχθη δὲ τὸ στόμα . . . καὶ ἡ γλῶσσα αὐτοῦ, καὶ ἐλάλει εὐλογῶν τὸν θεόν. Cf. Ps. li. 15.
τὸν κύριον (not θεόν) καὶ πατέρα, the Lord and Father] The less common phrase is the true reading. The κύριον expresses God’s majesty and His rule over all His creatures, and especially over men who have the privilege of being able to render conscious obedience. Πατέρα expresses both rule and love, and also all the associations connected with the human word, in reference (i. 18) to the first origin of man as not merely owing his existence to God’s fiat but a partaker of the Divine nature as being made in God’s image.
καταρώμεθα, we curse] Καταρῶμαι originally took the accusative of the thing, the dative of the person: “imprecate this or that against a man,” the thing imprecated being sometimes omitted. But in late writers (Plutarch, Lucian) it succumbs to the general tendency to pure transitiveness. The first person καταρώμεθα (as well as εὐλογοῦμεν) is singular, because St James does not seem to be speaking directly of a universal human shortcoming (πολλὰ πταίομν ἅπαντες v. 2).
As far as this verse goes, the meaning might be only that blessing and cursing are both utterances of the tongue: but v. 10 shews that St James meant to say that they come from the very same tongue, and that he is in fact attacking not merely a vice of the tongue but a false kind of religion. He is dealing with a tendency, close akin to that which he combated at the end of chapter i., to a loveless religiosity, the combination of professed devotion to God with indifference and even hatred to men. He implies that the utterance of blessing must be spurious if it does not include men as its objects as well as God: cf. 1 Pet. iii. 9; Rom. xii. 14; 1 Cor. iv. 12; and their source, the use of the word in Lk. vi. 28, where it has a stronger force than appears at first sight.
It is to be observed that τὸν κύριον καὶ πατέρα here repeats the τῷ θεῷ καὶ πατρίof i. 27.
τοὺς ἀνθρώπους, men] Not simply individual men, but mankind: the curse uttered against the hated or despised individual persons was in effect a wrong done to mankind, and sprang from an evil spirit as towards mankind, a disregard of the second law, the law of love to neighbours. It was the temper of the Pharisees in Jn vii. 49, “This people which knoweth not the law are accursed.”
τοὺς καθ᾽ ὁμοίωσιν θεοῦ γεγονότας, which are made after the likeness of God] Here the latent doctrine of the Epistle breaks out into plain words. The connexion between the two supreme forms of love which together make up the sum of human duty is not accidental: the love of man is founded on the love of God. The tenderness and mercy shewn to the lower animals form but a small part in that true love of men which attaches itself to the Godlike in them, hidden as the image may often be; so that the cursing of them is a cursing of that which bears the stamp of the Creator’s own nature.
St James chooses not the κατ᾽ εἰκόνα, but the second phrase καθ᾽ ὁμοίωσιν, not elsewhere found in the N.T. On these words it is worth while to refer to Delitzsch New Comm. on Genes. E.T. i. pp. 99 f., on the words צֶלֶם εἰκών, and דְּמוּת ὁμοίωσις. In image, he says, the representation of the primitive form or model predominates, in likeness the representation of the pattern or ideal. He accordingly treats the 78difference as justifying the interpretation common in the Fathers, by which likeness is the gradual process of assimilation to the archetypal image; image belonging to fundamental nature, likeness to progressive character. The distinction is an important one, whether it was intended in Genesis or not; a point very hard to determine. There does not appear, however, to be any trace of it here, where the reference is rather to what God originally made men to be than to what they have grown to be under His fatherly nurture.
Γεγονότας with καθ᾽ ὁμοίωσιν expresses at once the primitive origin and the present continuance of the state which it introduced: in St James’ eyes mankind are still in the likeness of God for all their sin and evil. Beresh. Rabb. 24 fin. (on Gen. v. i), “According to R. Akiba the words Lev. xix. 18, ‘Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself,’ are a comprehensive principle of the Law. Thou shouldest not say ‘Because I have been despised, may my neighbour be despised with me; and because I have been cursed, may my neighbour be cursed with me.’ If thou attest so, said R. Tanchuma, know that he whom thou despisest is made after the image of God.” On the image cf. Ecclus. xvii. 3 (and context).
10. ἐκ τοῦ αὐτοῦ στόματος, from the same mouth] This merely states clearly and emphatically what was implied in v. 9. It excludes the notion of different tongues blessing and cursing: it is not “from the same source,” but definitely “from the same mouth.”
Cf. Testam. Benj. 6, ἡ ἀγαθὴ διάνοια οὐκ ἔχει δύο γλώσσας εὐλογίας καὶ κατάρας.
οὐ χρή, ἀδελφοί μου, ταῦτα οὕτως γίνεσθαι, It is not fitting, my brethren, that these things should so be] Here St James turns from his statement to direct expostulation, intermitted since v. 1; so that the division of verses is very awkward, though modern editions of the A.V. have partially mended it by putting a full stop in the middle.
Ἀδελφοί μου marks the sudden turn of language, kept up by the repetition in v. 12.
χρή occurs here alone in the N.T., not at all in the LXX. or Apocrypha. Though St James does not use δεῖ, χρή is not a synonym. It is a somewhat vague word, apparently starting from the sense “there is need.” In ethical applications it comes nearer to πρέπει or καθήκει than to δεῖ, meaning rather “fitting,” “congruous to a law or rather standard.” Hence St James probably does not mean “ this conduct of yours is wrong,” but “this doubleness in the use of the tongue is an unnatural monstrous thing.” Then ταῦτα has probably the definite sense, the blessing on the one hand and the cursing on the other: it is a monstrous state to be in that this blessing and this cursing should be constantly arising on this footing of identical origin, from the same tongue, the organ of the same mind. Thus, there is no redundance in the two words ταῦτα οὕτως; and the present γίνεσθαι has also its force, for he is speaking not of casual sins but of a settled and deliberate habit.
11. μήτι, Can it be that] The τι added to μή strengthens it, suggesting impossibility. Two similar uses of it in the N.T. are Mk iv. 21 and Lk. vi. 39. In other places it is used where the possibility is recognised by the side of the unexpectedness.
ἡ πηγή, the fountain] The force of the article is not obvious: συκῆ has none, and a fountain, as such, has no 79particular title to be spoken of generically. The true reason probably is that St James is thinking of what the fountain stands for, the heart. The reference to ἡ πηγή in itself proves that the tongue was to him merely the organ of a power within. Doubtless he remembered (Mt. xii. 34) ἐκ γὰρ τοῦ περισσεύματος τῆς καρδίας τὸ στόμα λαλεῖ, the overflow. And so ἡ πηγή = ἡ καρδία (cf. ὁ ὀφθαλμός, τὸ σῶμα).
ὀπῆς, crevice] Ὀπή is properly a chink in a wall for looking through. It then comes to be applied to holes and burrows in the ground, as those of ants and of hibernating animals, or somewhat larger clefts in the rock (Heb. xi. 38, etc.). Here too it is probably the crevice in a face of rock through which a stream bursts forth. The πηγή is not to be confounded with the well. On the springs of Palestine see Stanley Sinai and Palestine pp. 123, 146, and Grove’s App. 500 ff.
βρύει, sends forth] Βρύω is chiefly used of the fresh and vigorous putting forth of herbage by the earth, or of leaves, flowers, or fruits by plants and trees; but also sometimes of the shooting forth of water by a source (cf. Clem. Alex. Paed. i. 6. 45; iii. 7. 39). Usually also it occurs with a dative, but occasionally in late writers, as here, with an accusative.
τὸ γλυκὺ καὶ τὸ πικρόν, that which is sweet and that which is bitter] The articles are not easy. If we supply nothing, and understand merely “that which is sweet,” etc., the articles are quite justified, and on the whole this is best, the most general abstract opposites being used here in the first instance, and then ἁλυκόν afterwards substituted. The mere omission of ὕδωρ would create no difficulty: but a generalisation of water “the sweet water,” “the bitter water” does not seem natural here.
St James would be familiar with bitter springs from those of Tiberias (see Reland Palest. 301 ff., 1039 f.; Robinson Bibl. Res. ii. 384).
12. Not only a new image comes in here, but a new point of view, prepared for by part of v. 11. In 9-11 St James has dwelt on the inconsistency of the two kinds of speech as coming forth from the same tongue, as though bitter and sweet came alike from the same spring. But ἡ πηγή has carried us back from the springs to the inner reservoirs, from the mouth to the heart; and so now a comparison between the heart and its utterance, rather than between two utterances, comes into view. The image is formed by examples of our Lord’s words, Lk. vi. 44, “Each tree is known by its own fruit.” Wishing to treat them gently, he keeps within the limits of that single sentence of Christ, as though it were only one kind of fruit tree as against another, all three being good and useful. But doubtless he intended them to apply the associated words, which spoke of “corrupt trees” and of “thorns” and “thistles “(Lk. vi. 43 f. || Mt. vii. 16-20). In so doing he was indirectly implying that the curses uttered by their tongues expressed the contents of their hearts more truly than the blessings, which he assumes to be unreal words. The same comes out more clearly in the next image.
οὔτε ἁλυκὸν γλυκὺ ποιῆσαι ὕδωρ, neither can salt water yield sweet] So we must read for οὕτως and οὐδεμία πηγὴ ἀλ. καὶ γλυκύ, a vapid repetition of v. 11. Οὔτε is hard and some good MSS. naturally substitute οὐδέ, but by a manifest grammatical 80correction. In late Greek the original difference of οὔτε and οὐδέ, μήτε and μηδέ, became to a great extent broken down. This may be seen in the N.T. (as Acts xxiii. 8), and still more in later MSS. of the N.T. See Win.-Moult. 614 if. Probably the best way to explain this οὔτε, which Lachmann thought corrupt, and which seems to have no exact parallel, is to treat the previous questions as equivalent to negative assertions: “the fountain does not, the fig tree cannot, nor can,” etc.
ἁλυκόν] Simply “salt” as an adjective: doubtless ὕδωρ, kept to the end, goes with both ἀλ. and γλυκύ. Ποιῆσαι is borrowed from above, being used of natural producing. As applied to ὕδωρ it means to rain, and this is a rare use. Doubtless St James purposely retained the same word as an image in the sense, out of a reservoir of salt water springs forth no fountain of sweet water. Thus he distinctly implies, though he still leaves the rebuke to implication, that not the verbal blessing of God but the cursing of men was a true index to what lay within. It is no longer merely a difference of kinds placed on a level, but one is evil, the other good. Thus this sentence is no mere repetition of v. 11, but goes far beyond it.
13. Here the long digression on the tongue ends, and St James returns with full recollection of what he has said in the interval, to the interrupted warning of v. 1 against being “many teachers.” The excuse for this ambitious teachership was the possession of wisdom, and so he goes on now to consider the true and the false wisdom. Speech and wisdom, as good things liable to grievous abuse, appear in like manner in 1 Corinthians (i. 5, 17, and thence on through ii.; also iii. 18 f., etc.).
Τίς is by no means equivalent to ὅς. The only passage in the N.T. where this can be, and this at best is doubtful, is Acts xiii. 25. But it shews how the one sense can pass over into the other. St James rather calls upon anyone who makes this claim to come forward, and hear what the true demand upon him is. Cf. Ps. xxxiv. 12, LXX.
σοφὸς καὶ ἐπιστήμων, wise and understanding] As Deut. i. 13; iv. 6. Ἐπιστήμων especially expresses personal acquaintance with things, conversance with them: it thus includes experience.
δειξάτω, let him shew] Cf. ii. 18 bis; ἐκ also as there.
καλῆς, good] As directly beheld and contemplated, as distinguished from ἀγαθός good in fruit or result. Thus here it manifestly refers to a goodness which can be seen and recognised. This comes out strongly in the parallel but more limited passage 1 Pet. ii. 12, where conduct which even the heathen must honour and admire is expressed by καλός (also ἀναστροφή): on this application of letting the light shine before men cf. Rom. xii. 17; 2 Cor. viii. 21.
ἀναστροφῆς, behaviour] Ἀναστροφή is “manner of life.” Perhaps “behaviour” is the most exact rendering. Ἀναστρέφεσθαι (=versari) is first used of externals, to have your employment in a place, be going to and fro in it. Then in later Greek as Polybius it is used ethically: the verb, not the substantive, occurs once or twice in this sense in LXX., but the substantive in Apocr. In the N.T. in the Epistles generally (not Evv., Act., Apoc.), and doubtless widely used at that time. Chiefly, and perhaps wholly, it means in the N.T. acts performed towards others, social conduct, whether as towards fellow Christians or towards the world at large.
τὰ ἔργα αὐτοῦ, his works] This is no tautology: his works are not simply his acts, but the utterance and 81outcome of his wisdom and understanding. It is assumed that the use of wisdom and understanding is practical (so i. 5 in connexion with i. 4); so that τὰ ἔργα αὐτοῦ are equivalent to “the works of the wise man.” Just as works in chap. ii. were the manifestation of faith, so they are here of wisdom. The works are to be shewn forth in contrast to the words to which vv. 1-12 refer.
ἐν πραΰτητι σοφίας, in meekness of wisdom] Here comes in the controlling spirit, the mention of which indicates what it was that vitiated the supposed wisdom. It was pride and bitterness, exaltation of self and not contempt only but hatred of others. Both of these characteristics are negatived together by “meekness,” including at once humility towards self, and gentleness and forbearance towards others (contrast with v. 14). The word itself stands twice in the Gospels as spoken by Christ, Mt. v. 5, “Blessed are the meek”; xi. 29, “for I am meek”; and in Zech. ix. 9, quoted by Mt. xxi. 5, it is a characteristic of King Messiah as He comes to Jerusalem. It occurs a few times in LXX. (chiefly for עָנָו), and is the word applied to Moses (Numb. xii. 3). In i. 21 St James had dwelt on meekness as a condition of receptivity in hearing: here conversely he speaks of it as a condition of the true shewing forth to others for their instruction.
At first sight ἐν πραΰτητι σοφίας is a paradox. The arrogant disputer is ready to praise meekness as a fitting virtue for the weak and foolish; but thinks it out of place for himself St James lays down on the other hand that it is a fruit and mark of wisdom. He who is wise in a true sense of the word, he means, cannot but be meek. By meekness of behaviour wisdom will be displayed rather than disguised. St James leaves untouched the question whether the possession of wisdom is a sufficient ground for assuming the responsibilities of teaching. He implies that the καλὴ ἀναστροφή must come first, and then much at least of the ostentatious teaching will disappear.
14. ζῆλον, jealousy] A word that oscillates between a good and an evil sense, both occurring in the N.T. Arist. (Rhet. ii. 11. 1) distinguishes it from φθόνος, as emulation from envy; he says, καὶ ἐπιεικές ἐστιν ὁ ζῆλος καὶ ἐπιεικῶν, τὸ δὲ φθονεῖν φαῦλον καὶ φαύλων, etc.; and classical writers generally incline to an at least not distinctly evil sense, which they express rather by φθόνος or ζηλοτυπία. But in the Acts ζῆλος is distinctly evil, and so in at least St Paul and St James. St James, however, though in v. 16 he uses ζῆλος absolutely as St Paul does, here precludes mistake by adding πικρὸν.
ἐριθίαν, ambition, rivalry] Combined with ζῆλος likewise in Gal. v. 20. A curious word with an obscure history: see Fritzsche Rom. 143-8, the best account, but very imperfect. Ἔριθος (derivation doubtful) in Homer’s time is a hired labourer, apparently an agricultural labourer (Etym. Mag. κυρίως δὲ ὁ τὴν γῆν ἐργαζόμενος ἐργάτης ἐπὶ μισθῷ): and a gloss of Hesychius (ἐριθεύει, εἰκῆ, ἐργάζη μάτην) seems to shew that labour or work was the main idea. The same is always the force of the somewhat commoner compound συνέριθος. The fundamental passage is Odyss. vi. 32, where Athene tells Nausicaa that she will accompany her καί τοι ἐγὼ συνέριθος ἅμ᾽ ἕψομαι, when she goes with the housemaidens to wash the linen. This one passage apparently gave rise to many others, one in Aristoph. Pax 785 and many in late poets; also 82Plat. Rep. vii. 533 D; Leg. x. 889 D of the arts cooperative, coancillary with, philosophy, whence also Orig. Ep. ad Greg. i. Afterwards, probably from wrong etymology, it was used of women servants spinning wool. But in Arist. Polit. v. 2, 3 we find ἐριθεία, -εύομαι in a quite different sense. Speaking of changes of political constitution, some he says take place from arrogance, some from fear; some from preeminence, some from contempt and so on: and then some δι᾽ ἐριθείαν. The term is explained by the next chapter: “Constitutions change without sedition also διὰ τὰς ἐριθείας, as at Heraea, ἐξ αἱρετῶν γὰρ διὰ τοῦτο ἐποίησαν κληρωτάς, ὅτι ἡποῦντο τοὺς ἐριθευομένους” i.e. apparently they changed the mode of appointment to offices from election to lot, because they chose τοὺς ἐριθευομένους: this may mean either candidates who bribed, or who courted and gained a following in other ways. Suidas says, ἐριθία· ἡ διὰ λόγων φιλονεικία, λέγεται δὲ καὶ ἡ μισθαρνία. More definitely speaking of δεκάζεσθαι (bribery) he says, ὅμοιον καὶ τὸ ἐριθεύεσθαι τῷ δεκάζεσθαί ἐστιν, καὶ ἡ ἐριθεία εἴρηται ἀπὸ τῆς τοῦ μισθοῦ δόσεως (cf. Etym. Mag. 254). This points to the gaining of followers and adherents by gifts. It might, however, be by arts as well as gifts: see Ezek. xxiii. 5, 12, καὶ ἡριθεύσατο (Sym.). But apparently the word came to be used not merely of the manner of winning followers, but of the seeking of followers itself. Thus Hesych., ἡπριθευμένων πεφιλοτιμημένων, ἡριθεύετο ἐφιλόνεικει: hence to be ambitious, indulge in ambitious rivalry. The Scholl on Soph. Ajax 833, ὁ δὲ Σοφοκλῆς ἐριθεῦσαι μέν τι ὡς πρεσβυτέρῳ (sc. Aeschylus) μὴ βουληθείς, οὐ μὴν παραλιπεῖν αὐτὸ δοκιμάζων ψιλῶς φησι κ.τ.λ.; Polyb. x. 25. 9, οἱ δὲ τῆς στρατηγίας ὀρεγόμενοι διὰ ταύτης τῆς ἀρχῆς ἐξεριθεύονται τοὺς νέους, καὶ παρασκευάζουσιν εὔνους συναγωνιστὰς εἰς τὸ μέλλον. It is likewise implicitly coupled with φιλοτιμία in Philo Leg. ad Caium 10 (ii. 555), ἡγεμονία δ᾽ ἀφιλόνεικος καὶ ἀνερίθευτος ὀρθὴ μόνη. (The passages in Eust. Opusc. ap. Stephan. suit either “ambition “or “ faction.” Cf. C.I.G. 2671. 46, ἀνερίθευτοι)
What sense the earlier Greek Fathers attached to it in St Paul does not appear. Chrys. on Rom. ii. 8 seems to identify it with φιλονεικίας τινὸς καὶ ῥαθυμίας as if he had ἔρις in mind: in the four other places we learn nothing, nor do we from Theodore: Didymus on 2 Cor. has ἔριδάς τε καὶ ἐριθείας. Theodoret on Rom. is strange and obscure. The Latin evidence is as follows:
Rom. ii. 8, contentione d g vg pp
2 Cor. xii. 20, dissensions d g r vg Ambst
Gal. v. 20, provocationes simultates Cyp2 (em. Nemesianus) simultates Ambst inritationes d g Iren rixae Luc Hier vg
Phil. i. 17, aemulatione Tert dissensione d contentione g Ambst vg contumaciam r Aug3 invidia(m) et contentione(m) Aug2
Phil. ii. 3, contentionem d g vg Aug Amb al aemulationem Hil irritationem Ambst
Jam. iii. 14, contentionem (es) f s vg Aug
Jam. iii. 16, contentio f s vg Aug
Most of these renderings suggest the erroneous association with ἔρις (also “contention” syr vg): but aemulatio (Tert Hil) may have another force. Some of the N.T. places are ambiguous: but wherever the context has a defining force, it is in favour of the sense found in Polyb. etc. The difficult Rom. ii. 8 must be taken with Phil. i. 17, which seems to point to the Judaizing leaders, who intrigued against St Paul. In 2 Cor. xii. 20 it is separated from ἔρις by ζῆλος and θυμοί and precedes καταλαλιαί, so also in Gal., though followed by διχοστασίαι. In Phil. ii. 3 it is coupled with κενοδοξία and contrasted with ταρεινοφροσύνη: so here with ζῆλος. 83Thus all points to the personal ambition of rival leaderships. There is no real evidence for “party spirit,” “faction,” etc., i.e. for the vice of the followers of a party: ἐριθία really means the vice of a leader of a party created for his own pride: it is partly ambition, partly rivalry.
ἐν τῇ καρδίᾳ ὑμῶν, in your heart] Here what answers to the πηγή is at last distinctly expressed.
μὴ κατακαυχᾶσθε, boast not] The imperative is not the most obvious mood: we should rather have expected some statement of the natural consequences of having bitter jealousy in the heart, viz. “how can ye do other than boast, etc.?” Μὴ with a question cannot mean “Do ye not?” so that the imperative is unquestionable. The meaning seems to be this, “Do not set up for teachers, for then your teaching will be a boasting, etc.” It is thus in antithesis to δειξάτω in v. 13. He asks “Who is wise etc.?” The possession of wisdom was made a claim to teachership. He deals with it first positively. There is a right way to show forth wisdom. But, he goes on, if when searching your hearts you find bitter jealousy and ambition there, do not speak and teach, for in shewing forth what you regard as your wisdom you will be boasting etc.
κατακαυχᾶσθε] As in ii. 13 (cf. 1. 9; iv. 16), but here followed by an additional κατά. This one word exactly expresses the true spirit and purpose of the ambitious teachership. It was boasting against other men, partly against the multitude, still more against rival teachers. But St James unexpectedly puts in another object. The boasting directed against other men would in effect be a boasting against the truth itself which was supposed to be spoken. Nay it would be more, it would turn to falsehood uttered against the truth.
καὶ ψεύδεσθε κατὰ, and lie not against] If necessary the κατά might be repeated in sense from κατακαυχᾶσθε (Kühner ii. 1073 f.): but a better sense is given by the words as they stand: the adverse boast turns to simple falsehood, and the truth suffers from both.
τῆς ἀληθείας, the truth] For somewhat similar contexts of ἡ ἀληθεία see Rom. i. 18; ii. 8 (also ἐξ ἐριθίας), 20; 1 Jn i. 6, 8. The implied doctrine is a paradox, but amply attested by experience. The mere possession of truth is no security for true utterance of it: all utterance is so coloured by the moral and spiritual state of the speaker that truth issues as falsehood from his lips in proportion as he is himself not in a right state: the correct language which be utters may carry a message of falsehood and evil in virtue of the bitterness and self-seeking which accompanies his speaking. At bottom such speakers do not cherish the truth except as a possession of their own, or a missile of their own.
15. οὐκ ἔστιν αὕτη ἡ σοφία, This wisdom is not] These words are enough to confirm the interpretation of v. 14 just given. No evil wisdom has been directly spoken of. But it is implied in κατακαυχᾶσθε etc.: the speech there spoken of is the speech which claims to be the speech of wisdom: now therefore St James will say what the wisdom is. Wisdom as such is what he specially prized (i. 5; iii. 17), which made him all the more hostile to its counterfeit.
ἄνωφεν κατερχοµένη, a wisdom that cometh down from above] ἔστιν . . . κατερχοµένη is not equivalent to οὐ κατέρχεται. The participle is qualitative, i.e. in effect an adjective: “is not one that cometh down,” “is not of 84a kind that cometh down”: it is not such a wisdom as God gives (i. 5). Cf. Philo Leg. All. iii. 58 (i. 120), τούτοις (tried ascetes) συμβίβηκε μὴ τοῖς γηΐνοις ἀλλὰ ταῖς ἐπουρανίαις ἐπιστήμαις τρέφεσθαι.
ἀλλὰ ἐπίγειος, but is earthly] Opposed to ἐπουράνιος. It belongs to the earthly sphere. However it may discourse about heavenly things, it derives its aims and its measures from a mere transfer of things earthly to a higher sphere: it has none of the large vision which belongs to the spirit. Compare τὰ ἐπίγεια φρονοῦντες of Phil. iii. 19, likewise said, I believe, of Judaizers, and Col. iii. 2, which manifestly refers to them, and has the same context (ii. 23) λόγον μ͒ν ἔχοντα σοφίας. Speaking to Greeks St Paul analogously refers to ἡ σοφία τοῦ κόσμου τούτου (1 Cor. i. 20; iii. 19), τοῦ αἰῶνος τούτου (ii. 6). All these three words gain their proper sense only when understood in antithesis to characteristics of the true wisdom. The spurious wisdom, in relation to its source and sphere, is earthly not from heaven.
ψυχικὴ, of the mind] A remarkable word, not known in this sense before the N.T. It occurs in four passages: 1 Cor. ii. 14, ψ. ἄνθρωπος contrasted with ὁ πνευματικός; 1 COr. xv. 44 (bis), 46, σῶμα ψ. contrasted with σῶμα πνευματικόν; Jude 19, ψυχικοί, πνεῦμα μὴ ἔχοντες. These all contain express opposition to πνευματικός, and the same is doubtless implied here. It is not likely that St James and St Jude borrowed it, in such different connexions, from St Paul; and St Paul’s own manner of using it in both places does not suggest that he was giving it a new sense. Most probably all three writers took it from the Greek religious language of Palestine. In earlier usage the word means simply of or belonging to the ψυχή; and this is fundamentally the biblical sense, the only peculiar colouring coming from the way in which the ψυχή was regarded as not identical with the πνεῦμα but inferior to it. On this head there is very little Jewish evidence (Delitzsch seems to know of none: Hor. Hebr. on 1 Cor. ii. 14 in Z. S. f. Luth. Th. 1897 p. 209). But Joseph. Ant. i. 1. 2 describing the Creation says that God καὶ πνεῦμα ἐνῆκεν αὐτῷ (man) καὶ ψυχήν; and in 4 Macc. i. 32 (perhaps from a Platonic basis) it is said that of desires some are ψυχικαί, some σωμαρικαί; and reason (ὁ λογισμός) appears to rule over both; which implies the inferiority of the ψυχή to reason. Cf. Iren. v. 6. 1; Orig. on Ezek. Schol. (iii. 727 Migne). What is implied then is that this wisdom does not rise above the lower parts of the mind. The rendering “sensual” is so far wrong that it suggests sensuality in the common sense: the Latin animalis is in like manner correct as taken from anima, but suggests “bestial,” which is not the true sense, which is simply “of the mind” in contrast to “of the spirit.”
δαιμονιώδης, demon-like] The word requires care. -ώδης properly denotes (1) fullness, (2) similarity. The word itself, a rare word, in all the known examples means “demon-like,” except in two very late writers, where (like δαιμόνιος) it means “supernaturally sent.” The interpretation “inspired by demons” is not unnaturally suggested by κάτωθεν ἐρχομένη and v. 6 φλογιζομένη ὑπὸ τῆς γεάννης; cf. 1 Tim. iv. 1, διδασκαλίαις δαιμονίων. But that sense is stronger than really suits the context; and the more correct sense “demon-like” or rather “such as demons have” makes the triad more natural and complete. The origin and sphere of the spurious wisdom is the earth not heaven; its seat in man is his soul, not his spirit; the beings with whom he shares it are the 85demons, not the angels: thus the wisdom shared by demons answers to the faith shared by demons of ii. 19.
16. ὅπου γάρ, For where] A necessary justification of what has just been said : St James has just used strong language respecting the professed wisdom of these teachers, and the reasonableness of his language did not lie on the surface, but had to be explained. Ὅπου and ἐκεῖ express presence. Though wisdom is God’s gift, it is also an energy of the human mind and heart, and therefore takes its colour from the condition of the human heart and mind. If jealousy and rivalry are present there, these other things inconsistent with a truly Divine wisdom must be present there likewise.
ἀκαταστασία, disorder] A Stoic word. Cf. ἀκαταστατος i. 8; iii. 8. In Lk. xxi. 9 (cf. 2 Cor. vi. 5) it is coupled with πολέμους, as outward commotions and disorders. In 1 Cor. xiv. 33 it is contrasted with εἰρήνη with reference to orderliness in assemblies of the Church. In 2 Cor. xii. 20 (μή πως ἔρις, ζῆλος, θυμοί, ἐριθίαι, καταλαλιαί, ψιθυρισμοί, φυσιώσεις, ἀκαταστασίαι) it follows ψιθυρισμοί, φυσιώσεις. The meaning here seems to be that the presence of jealousy and rivalry implies a disorderly state of mind leading to disorder of spiritual vision; so that everything is seen in a distorted and disarranged light, the true mark of wisdom being to discern the inward order of things.
καὶ πᾶν φαῦλον πρᾶγμα, and every worthless matter] Πρᾶγμα is a vague word, properly an act, a thing performed, but often used only as “a matter.” Cf. Herm. Vis. i. 1. 8, ἢ οὐ δοκεῖ σοι ἀνδρὶ δικαίῳ πονηρὸν πρᾶγμα εἶναι ἐὰν ἀναβῇ αὐτοῦ ἐπὶ τὴν καρδίαν ἡ πονηρὰ ἐπιθυμία;
Φαῦλος expresses not so much moral evil as worthlessness; it is applied to what is poor, paltry, worthless (four times in N.T. of acts and mostly contrasted with τὰ ἀγαθά: Jn iii. 20, contrasted with τ. ἀλήθειαν; v. 29; Rom. ix. 11; 2 Cor. v. 10. Tit. ii. 8 is different). Here apparently we have another antithesis to true wisdom: wisdom discerns not only the order of things, but their relative worth and dignity: and the presence of what is low and worthless in the heart and mind incapacitates it for this discernment. Both ἀκαταστασία and φαῦλον exactly agree with ἐπίγειος etc., implying not so much positive evil as the limitations and paltrinesses that belong to a low order of things.
πρῶτον μὲν, ἔπειτα] Apparently express first the purely inward personal character, second the social character of the true wisdom, the conduct which it inspires towards others.
ἀγνή, pure] The word answers very nearly to “pure,” καθαρός being rather “clean.” It is an ancient word of Greek religion, denoting freedom from any kind of defilement, whether of sensuality or of things supposed to be of a defiling nature. Cf. Plut. Qu. Rom. i. (ii. 263 E), Διὰ τί τὴν γαμουμένην ἅπτεσθαι πυρὸς καὶ ὕδατος κελεύουσιν; . . . ἢ ὅτι τὸ πῦρ καθαίρει καὶ τὸ ὕδωρ ἁγνίζει, δεῖ δὲ καθαρὰν καὶ ἁγνὴν διαμένειν τὴν γαμηθεῖσαν; It thus expresses religious purity, combining καθαρός and ἄγιος. But in due time it acquired an ethical sense. Theoph. (Bernays 68) and Clem. Alex. 652 quote an inscription from the temple at Epidaurus,
ἀγμὸν χρὴ ναοῖο θυώδεος ἐντὸς ἰόντα ἔμμεναι· ἁγνείη δ᾽ ἐστὶ φρονεῖν ὅσια.86
Cf. Clem. 629 with reference to washings, εὐ γοῦν κἀκεῖνο εἴρηται Ἴσθι μὴ λουτρῷ ἀλλὰ νοῷ καθαρός. ἁγνεία γὰρ, οἶμαι, τελεία ἡ τοῦ νοῦ καὶ τῶν ἔργων καὶ τῶν διανοημάτων, πρὸς δὲ καὶ τῶν λόγων εἰλικρίνεια (“Let all thy converse be sincere”). 1 Jn iii. 3 applies it even to God Himself (= ἅγιος). Thus here it seems to mean purity from every kind of inward stain or blemish (the positive side of ἄσπιλογ ἑαυτὸν τηρεῖ ἀπὸ τοῦ κόσμου), and that on the ground of consecration to God. A similar sense and sequence occur 1 Pet. i. 22, τὰς ψυχὰς ὑμῶν ἡγνικότες ἡν τῇ ὑπακοῇ τῆς ἀληθείας (leading on to) εἰς φιλαδελφίαν etc. [See note in loc.] Also Jam. iv. 8.
εἰρηνική, peaceable] The most general exhibition of wisdom inspired by love. The true purpose of wisdom is not to gain victories over others, which in an unchristian state of society is implicitly the purpose of speech, but to promote peace: Mt. v. 9, “Blessed are the peacemakers”; cf. 1 Cor. xiv. 33 already cited (contrasted with ἀκαταστασία): also Eph. iv. 3; Phil. iv. 7 ff.; Col. iii. 15.
ἐπιεικής, forbearing] Originally “fitting,” “appropriate”: then “fair” or “reasonable,” “justly just”; see Aristot. Rhet. i. 13. 13, τὸ γὰρ ἐπιεικὲς δοκεῖ δίκαιον εἶναι, ἔστι δὲ ἐπιεικὲς τὸ παρὰ τὸν γεγραμμένον νόμον δίκαιον . . . (17) καὶ τὸ τοῖς ἀνθρωπίνοις συγγινώσκειν ἐπιεικές (cf. Eth. Nic. v. 14). Cf. Plato passim. It may thus be sometimes rendered by gentleness; but expresses rather forbearance, unwillingness to exact strict claims.
εὐπειθής, compliant] This word is tolerably common in the sense “compliant,” “obedient,” especially as towards laws or morality. It is apparently confined to action, not extended to belief in the sense “docile.” The precise force here is probably to be gathered by antithesis. The false wisdom would be domineering and imperious: the true wisdom shews itself in willing deference within lawful limits.
μεστὴ ἐλέους, full of mercy] Perhaps in contrast to μεστὴ ἰοῦ θανατηφόρου (iii. 8); at all events the two passages illustrate each other. Filled with mercy and good fruits, so that they break forth in overflow.
On ἔλεος see ii. 13 (cf. Mt. ix. 13; xii. 7 from Hos. vi. 6). The true wisdom takes account of the actual wants and sufferings of men, and never loses sight of practical aims. It is not self-contained, but of necessity issues forth in good fruits. “Good” in the sense of our Lord (Mt. vii. 17 ff., etc.), though here ἀγαθούς, not καλούς, because the benefits to others are specially here in view.
ἀδιάκριτος, without dividings of mind] This word usually takes its sense from the active διακρίνω to “distinguish,” and means (passive or neuter) “without distinction,” “promiscuous,” or (active) “without making distinctions”; in which sense it is usually employed as a term of blame, though rarely by some Fathers as a term of praise (implicit obedience). But no such senses are possible here; and we may fairly take it as negativing any sense of either διακρίνω or -ομαι. This being the case, the meaning is virtually fixed by i. 6 bis, ii. 4, founded on Mt. xxi. 21 || Mk xi. 23; Acts x. 20; Rom. iv. 20; xiv. 23. The prominent meaning there is doubting, but doubting as a result of division of mind. Ἀδιάκριτος is “without dividings of mind”; the negative form of singleness 87or wholeness of heart; cf. i. 5-8. These last two negative epithets seem parallel to ἁγνή on the one side and εἰρηνική etc. on the other; and ἀδιάκριτος to the inward character of the wisdom in relation to God alone.
ἀνυπόκριτος, without hypocrisy or feigning] This word expresses the relation to men. The true wisdom requires not only singleness before God but truthfulness towards men, and is incompatible with all playing of parts. We may recognise here a warning against the pharisaic leaven still lingering among Jewish Christians.
18. καρπὸς δὲ δικαιοσύνης, But the fruit which is righteousness] For the whole verse cf. Heb. xii. 11: for this phrase cf. Prov. xi. 30; Amos vi. 12; (also Phil. i. 11); and Isa. xxxii. 17 (but with ἔργα not καρπὸς). It might be either (as apparently in Isaiah) the fruit which springs from righteousness, or the fruit which is righteousness, righteousness as fruit. The latter alone suits this sentence. It is as though St James feared that the force of the one comprehensive word εἰρηνική might be lost in the additional cognate epithets; and so returned to it with a fresh expansion for the emphatic close of the paragraph. Καρπὸς δικαιοσύνης in like manner catches up the μεστὴ καρπῶν ἀγαθῶν: St James cannot too often reiterate his warning, founded on our Lord’s, against anything that bears no fruit, an unfruitful religion, an unfruitful faith, and now an unfruitful wisdom. He had said before (i. 20) “the wrath of man worketh no righteousness of God”; now he shews in contrast how righteousness is produced, for the warning of those who professed to be champions of righteousness. It is not the product of angry vindications: but it grows slowly up as the corn from the seed, the seed which is inevitably and always sown by those who make peace.
ἐν εἰρήνῃ, in peace] It might be doubted whether this goes with καρπὸς δικ. or σπείρεται or both. It is difficult to see any clear force in connexion with σπείρεται, and the order rather suggests at least a primary connexion with δικαιοσύνης. The righteousness which thus springs up is a righteousness in peace. Righteousness and peace are connected Ps. lxxxv. 10; lxxii. 7. Usually the relation would be reversed, as it were εἰρήνη ἐν δικαιοσύνῃ, righteousness the foundation of peace, as Ps. lxxii. 3; Isa. xxxii. 17 (already cited). But the other relation is true also: peace is the condition required for the growth of righteousness, though it may be peace in the midst of turmoil and trouble (cf. Lk. i. 74 f.). Compare the use of the cognate ἐν ἀγάπῃ in Ephesians (i. 4; iii. 17; iv. 15 f.). As the sowing is peaceful by the very fact that the sowers are the peacemakers, so the harvest of righteousness is in peace too. The dative τοῖς as before probably does not denote pure agency, but also what redounds to them: they have this fruit of their labour.
τοῖς ποιοῦσιν εἰρήνην, for them that make peace] Only a resolved form of οἱ εἰρηνοποιοί (Mt. v. 9). They who make peace shew likeness to God the great maker of peace. They do His work.
IV. 1. The true reading has πόθεν twice.
πόλεμοι] This of course is suggested by the preceding εἰρήνην. A new paragraph begins here, the last of the middle or principal part of the book, its subject being strife as proceeding from the inward strife of desire. Till v. 11 the tongue is not mentioned again: St James is now about to deal more directly with the inward nature, as he has already spoken of action and of speech. The word πόλεμοι is the simplest and 88broadest that could be used in opposition to “peace.” He probably was not thinking of the wars of nations, though they too, on one side or on both, might usually be traced to the same origin; but of the factions which divided one set of Christians from another. What the factions of the Jews of Palestine were, almost every page of Josephus shews; and the temper may well have spread to the Jews of other lands, and have kept its hold even on those of them who became Christians.
καὶ πόθεν μάχαι] Battles bear the same relation to wars that single conflicts do to standing animosities and hostile states. Thus if πόλεμοι are here the factions and antagonisms among Christians, the μάχαι are their casual quarrels. μάχη in late Greek is often applied to philosophical disputes, and even to contradictions or inconsistencies in logic. But the context does not point to doctrinal disputes; rather to more ordinary quarrels and factiousnesses.
ἐν ὑμῖν] This might be either “among you” or “within you”: but what follows fixes the sense to “among you.”
οὐκ ἐντεῦθεν] Probably only preparatory to what follows: “from this source, viz.”
ἐκ τῶν ἡδονῶν ὑμῶν] It is not easy to seize the precise force; it is not likely to mean simply “desires,” which is expressed by ἐπιθυμία in i. 14 f. Nor can it be concrete pleasures, i.e. pleasant things, for they could hardly be said στρατεύεσθαι. Apparently it means “indulgence of desires,” “indulged desires.” There is no limitation to sensual “pleasures,” which only supply as it were imagery for the rest. Possessions and places of dignity or fame (v. 2) may be as sweet (ἡδονή) to the soul as anything else; and in i. 14 f. there is a similar description of all kinds of desires in terms specially applicable to desires belonging to the senses. So also St Paul (e.g. Gal. v. 19) includes among the works of the flesh such vices as enmities, strife, jealousy, anger etc.
τῶν στρατευομένων, that war] Στρατεύομαι like στρατεύω is used either of the general or of the soldiers who serve under him: chiefly the latter. But it is difficult here to see either command or service implied with ἐν following. Further against whom? The somewhat parallel passage, 1 Pet. ii. 11, has τῶν σαρκικῶν ἐπιθυμιῶν, αἵτινες στρατεύονται κατὰ τῆς ψυχῆς, but that does not of necessity rule the sense here. “Against each other” is difficult to explain, what follows having nothing to do with the occasional conflict of pleasure with pleasure; and we should then expect “against each other” to be expressed; indeed στρατεύομαι absolute probably could not mean this.
The answer to both questions is found by taking στρατευομένων ἐν τοῖς μέλεσιν strictly together. The pleasures are represented as making war in the members, i.e. as invading them as a territory. Though εἰς would be the preposition generally used of invading a territory, ἐν is quite suitable here where the invading power does not come from an extraneous region. It is not that the war is made against the members: properly war is not said to be made against the territory invaded, but against its owners. So here the war is against the true lord of the members, i.e. the human spirit acknowledging and obeying the will of God, since the true nature of man is formed to do God’s will. Cf. Rom. vii. 23, ἔτερον νόμον ἐν τοῖς μέλεσίν μου ἀντιστρατευόμενον τῷ νόμῳ τοῦ νοός μου. Thus 1 Pet. ii. 11 agrees, if we give τῆς ψυχῆς its highest sense. [See note in loc.]89
ἐν τοῖς μέλεσιν ὑμῶν, in your members] In contrast to ἐν ὐμῖν. The outer strife is only a product of an inner strife. The very reference to “members” implies the compositeness of human nature, and the need of acting with reference to the relation of the parts to each other and to the whole. Reflexly it calls attention to the fact that in the larger body, the body corporate in which the πόλεμοι and μάχαι arise, we are strictly “members one of another.”
2. ἐπιθυμεῖτε, ye covet] “Desire” in the widest sense. But in reference to dealings with others it becomes limited to “coveting,” i.e. desiring what is another’s. Compare St Paul’s reference to Commandment X. in Rom. vii. 7; xiii. 9.
καὶ οὐκ ἔχετε, and have not] The order quite excludes that prior want which leads to desire. The words must mark the intermediate stage. First comes the desire, next the desire finds no satisfaction.
φονεύετε, ye commit murder] This has long been recognised as a serious difficulty, because it is a strange word to couple with ζηλοῦτε, more especially as preceding it. Jealousy or envy would be the cause, not the result, of murder. Moreover “murder” is a kind of crime that we should hardly look for among any early Christians. Accordingly Erasmus and many after him have proposed to read φθονεῖτε. There is absolutely no MS. authority for this; and though it is possible that slight errors occur here and there in all MSS., and there are some passages where this does appear to be the case, it must not be accepted in any single instance without clear evidence. Now though φθονεῖτε is certainly possible here, it would not really be as natural a word as it appears at first sight. St James has already used ζηλοῦτε in a very strong sense, strong enough for his purpose, so that φθονέω is not wanted; and if it were to be used, being the more clearly disparaging word, it ought to stand after ζηλοῦτε, not before it. Cf. Plat. Menex. 242 A: “From prosperity,” he says, “there came upon the city πρῶτον μὲν ζῆλος, ἀπὸ ζήλου δὲ φθόνος.” Plut. ii. 796 A says of φθόνος that “this passion, which befits no time of life, yet among the young is rich in specious names, being called competition (ἅμιλλα) and ζῆλος and ambition (φιλοτιμὶα).”
Thus φθονεῖτε followed by ζηλοῦτε makes an anticlimax, though not so startling an anticlimax as φονεύετε ζηλοῦτε. The true solution seems to lie in a change of punctuation. St James’ style is abrupt and condensed: and apparently he intended φονεύετε to be taken by itself as the single consequent to ἐπιθυμεῖτε καὶ οὐκ ἔχετε, and καὶ ζηλοῦτε to be the beginning of a fresh series, not part of the conclusion of the first. This view is also taken by Hofmann. It has, I think, but two difficulties worth consideration. (1) The presence of καί before ζηλοῦτε, where a sharper antithesis would have seemed to be given by the absence of a conjunction: but ζηλοῦτε to say the least contains a fresh element not in ἐπιθυμεῖτε, and really expresses a different idea, and Hebrew precedent is favourable to either presence or absence of the conjunction. (2) The reference to murder remains. This difficulty must remain if φονεύετε is genuine, whatever be the punctuation; and it is hardly greater than what μοιχαλίδες in v. 4 presents, if taken literally, as it doubtless must be. Murder and adultery were both contemplated as fast approaching those to whom the Epistle was written, if not, as the strictest interpretation of the words would imply, actually among them. 90Of such murder Ahab and Naboth’s vineyard would be a well remembered type. It is not unlikely that he first gives the extreme example of what leads to murder (in the spirit of the Sermon on the Mount; cf. 1 Jn iii. 15), and then (ζηλοῦτε) turns to what was clearly and widely present. Analogously the adulteresses of v. 4 seem to be an extreme example, leading to the widely spread and unquestionable friendship with the world.
As positive evidence for this punctuation independent of φονεύετε, may be noted its throwing καὶ οὐ δύνασθε ἐπιτυχεῖν into exact analogy with καὶ οὐκ ἔχετε, and its giving μάχεσθε καὶ πολεμεῖτε force by making them correspond to φονεύετε. The whole verse should, I believe, be read thus: “Ye covet, and have not: ye commit murder. And ye envy, and cannot attain: ye fight and war.” The usual punctuation gives the whole verse a loose and apparently inconsequent structure.
καὶ ζηλοῦτε, and ye envy] The verb like the substantive has both a good and an evil sense. The evil is clearly meant here, as Acts vii. 9; 1 Cor. xiii. 4. As we have seen ζῆλος might be simply the first stage of φθόνος, and both might mean envy of possessions. But comparison with iii. 14 on the one hand, where ζῆλος is used and ambition not covetousness is in question, and with ἐπιθυμεῖτε . . . φονεύετε on the other, which clearly refers to covetousness, shews that ζηλοῦτε expresses not envy of possessions but envy of position or rank or fame. It is sordid and bitter personal ambition. In this sense much is said of ζῆλος in Clem. Rom., not only in the enumeration iii. 2, but iv. 7-13; v. 2 ff.; vi. 1 ff. etc. (On the word see Lightfoot on iii. 2 and Trench Syn. i.) The passage quoted above from Plutarch specially illustrates the true sense here.
καὶ οὐ δύνασθε ἐπιτυχεῖν, and cannot attain] Ἐπιτυγχάνω does not properly mean to “obtain,” i.e. get possession, but to “attain,” i.e. either fall in with or hit the mark, and is specially used absolutely of being successful. Here then it will be “succeed in attaining” the position of the rivals.
μάχεσθε καὶ πολεμεῖτε, ye fight and war] These words stand in exactly the same relation to καὶ ζηλοῦτε . . . ἐπιτυχεῖν as φονεύετε to ἐπιθυμεῖτε . . . ἔξετε. The words are repeated from v. i, here naturally in inverse order, because the single and casual μάχαι are a step to the settled and continuous πόλεμοι.
οὐκ ἔχετε, ye have not] St James goes back to the former οὐκ ἔχετε. The desire, in so far as it included no coveting towards others, was not (or need not be) in itself evil. Men have various wants, and it is by Divine appointment that they have desires that these wants should be supplied. And so it is also of Divine appointment that these wants should be carried before God in prayer, and desires take the form of petitions. Except by prayer, men stand in this, as in all things, in a false relation to God and therefore to all things.
διὰ τό μὴ αἰτεῖσθαι ὐμᾶς, because ye ask not] It is remarkable that the middle is used here and in the next line, but the active between. αἰτέω is properly to ask a person, what is asked for being often added in a second accusative; it is as it were to “petition.” αἰτοῦμαι is properly to ask for a thing: the person asked is sometimes also inserted, but rarely. Thus the two forms approach each other from different sides, and it is often difficult to distinguish them. Thus compare 1 Jn iii. 22 with v. 14 f. Here αἰτοῦμαι retains its proper force. δαπανήσητε requires an implied object, spending 91must be a spending of something; and the same object seems to be implied throughout, viz. “what things ye desire.” “Ye have not what things ye desire because ye ask not [for them],” and again, “ye ask [for them] amiss, that ye may spend them” etc.
3. Then the intermediate αἰτεῖτε is probably due to an intentional reference to our Lord’s words in their Greek form (Mt. vii. 7 f. || Lk. xi. 9 f.; Jn xvi. 24); he wishes the apparent contradiction of them to be patent, that he may explain it. Thus αἰτεῖτε καὶ οὐ λαμβάνετε, “ye ask, and ye do not receive.” The apparent contradiction of v. 2 must also be noticed; but it is impossible to explain it by difference of active and middle: St James could never mean to say that they did αἰτεῖν though they did not αἰτεῖσθαι. The true solution is simpler. In a sense they did ask, but it was an evil asking, and therefore not a true asking. We had a similar ambiguity in the language about faith.
διότι κακῶς αἰτεῖσθε, because ye ask in evil wise] Not all asking from God is prayer. Asking is but the external form of prayer, and no asking from God which takes place in a wrong frame of mind towards Him or towards the object asked has anything to do with prayer. It is an evil asking.
ἵνα ἐν ταῖς ἡδοναῖς ὑμῶν δαπανήσητε, that ye may consume what ye desire in your pleasures] The usual preposition with δαπανάω is εἰς, and no other example of ἐν seems to be known: but it is difficult to take δαπανήσητε alone as the primary predicate, and doubtless ἐν ταῖς ἡδοναῖς δαπ. must be taken together, not precisely in the sense “consume upon your pleasures,” but literally “consume in your pleasures,” i.e. by using for your pleasures. Throughout “what ye desire” is to be understood as the object. There is force in δαπανήσητε; not simply spend, but consume, expend, dissipate. This force is explained by ἐν ταῖς ἡδ. ὑμῶν, which as before must be taken in the widest sense, not limited to pleasures of the senses. God’s gifts, when rightly used, are not dissipated in the using: they are transmuted as it were to some fresh form of energy, which lives on, and turns to fresh use. But the use which consists in nothing more than individual gratification, not tending in any way to improve and enlarge the person gratified, is pure waste, dissipation, destruction. God bestows not gifts only, but the enjoyment of them: but the enjoyment which contributes to nothing beyond itself is not what He gives in answer to prayer; and petitions to Him which have no better end in view are not prayers.
4. μοιχαλίδες, ye adulteresses] Μοιχοὶ καὶ is spurious (Syrian). The first question here is whether the word is used literally or figuratively. It is a common late word for “adulteress.” It is usually taken figuratively for these reasons, that adulterers are omitted, that friendship with the world seems too slight and too inappropriate a charge to bring against adultery, and that adultery was not a kind of offence likely to be found in early Christian societies. Hence it is assumed that μοιχαλίδες is to be interpreted with reference to the O.T. language, in which all sin and apostasy are spoken of as adultery, in reference to such language as “thy Maker is thy husband.” On that view the reference may either be to whole communities (backsliding Israel) or to individuals (adulterous souls). The difficulty of μοιχαλίδες is undeniable. But it is hardly credible that this figurative view should have been brought in by a single word, without any mark of its figurative intention; and moreover φονεύετε and μοιχαλίδες in a literal sense confirm each other, and both stand on 92the same footing as the passage iv. 13-v. 6, which likewise does not read as if addressed to Christians, least of all v. 6. It would seem as though in all this part of the Epistle St James extended his vision beyond the immediate state of things among those to whom he was writing and contemplated likewise that which would naturally spring from the roots which already were there, and what did indeed already exist among the unbelieving Jews. The other alternative would be to treat the Epistle as written to all Jews of the Dispersion, not Christian Jews only: and that is apparently excluded by ii. 1.
The mention of adulteresses alone may be founded on, and is at least illustrated by Mal. iii. 5, a passage which is probably referred to in v. 4: there in LXX. τὰς μοιχαλίδας represents a masculine in the Hebrew. But there is also a fitness in the word used. The whole passage is not exhaustive, it deals with representative evils. Peace has suggested war, war has suggested first wrong deeds of aggression (murder etc.) due to the action of indulged pleasures, which in this case are aptly represented as themselves making war. But St James wishes to point to another class of evils likewise due to pleasures but not of the aggressive type. Now a male adulterer as such is an aggressor, a maker of war, an invader of that which belongs to another man; so that he would not so well serve as an ex-ample for this second illustration. Unfaithfulness, disloyalty, breach of a sacred bond and covenant are the essence of this second type of evil; and of these the faithless wife serves as the clearest example, since the faithless husband, who as such is doubly an adulterer, does not exhibit this characteristic detached from the other.
οὐκ οἴδατε ὅτι ἡ φιλία] Here we reach the remaining difficulty, the connexion between literal adultery and love of the world. The difficulty is greatly diminished when we remember that both in the Bible and in actual fact adultery includes much more than impurity. The broken bond and the price paid for the breach of the bond are doubtless here contemplated. The price might be gifts, or pride, or distinction, or other such things: they would at all events often belong to the world even more than to the flesh. (Cf. Ezek. xxiii. 5 f., 12, 14 ff.; also Hos. ii. 12; ix. 1 f.) Guinevere’s disloyalty to Arthur for the sake of Lancelot has not a little in common with disloyalty to God for the sake of the world. It is the surrender to the glory and strength of visible things in forgetfulness of simple inward love and duty.
ἡ φιλία τοῦ κόσμου, the friendship of the world] To be compared with 1 John ii. 15, Μὴ ἀγαπᾶτε τὸν κόσμον κ.τ.λ.; both being closely connected with Mt. vi. 24 || Lk. xvi. 13. Yet the conceptions of the three passages, as represented by the three words λεύειν, ἀγαπᾶτε, φιλία, are different. φιλία, not occurring elsewhere in N.T. but several times in Prov. (LXX.), and in Apocr., is best rendered by “friendship,” though it goes beyond it in Greek usage. It is used (see Rost and Palm) for any kind of family affection, but especially for friendship proper (see the singularly interesting and beautiful discussion in Aristotle’s Eth. Nicom. viii.). As between God and men St James has already recognised it in the person of Abraham (ii. 23). The friendship of the world (i.e. standing on terms of friendship with it) in those days would mean or involve conformity to heathen standards of living (see on i. 27; iii. 6). At the time when St James wrote this, the eyes of all Jews must have been turned on one signal example illustrating this verse. The Empress Poppaea, the 93wife of Nero, one of the vilest of women, was conspicuous at Rome; and there is reason to believe that she had embraced Judaism (Friedlander i. 413), for Josephus calls her θεοσεβής (Ant. xx. 8. 11), and she was the patroness and friend of the Jews at Rome.
Both φιλία and ἔχθρα doubtless denote here rather states than feelings. To be on terms of friendship with the world involves living on terms of enmity with God. It is neither simply hatred of God nor the being hated by God; but being on a footing of hostility. This explains the genitive.
ὃς ἐὰν οὖν βουληθῇ, whosoever therefore chooses] Here we pass from the footing to the state of mind. There might be much thoughtless and as it were casual love of the world of which St James might hesitate to use this language. But he wishes the contradiction to be recognised and faced. The relation between the two states as such being what he has described, any one who deliberately chooses the one makes himself to belong to the other. Βούλομαι implies purpose, intention, not mere will, but will with premeditation as i. 18. καθίσταταιvirtually “makes himself” as iii. 6.
κενῶς, in vain] Cf. ὦ ἄνθρωπε κενέ ii. 20; and κενός is often used with λόγος and ῥῆμα, a word void of meaning.
ἡ γραφὴ λέγει] These words and those that follow stand almost on a level with iii. 6 for difficulty, and the number of solutions proposed is great (see Theile). It is impossible here to examine them in detail. As regards the general construction, πρὸς φθόνον κ.τ.λ. may be joined to what precedes, as the quotation referred to, or it may be taken as a separate sentence affirmative or interrogative: and further τὸ πνεῦμα may be taken either as the subject to ἐπιποθεῖ or as governed by it, and πρὸς φθόνον may be variously understood.
At the outset κατῴκισεν, not -ησεν, is the reading: so that the verse contains a distinct reference to God, “which He caused to dwell in us.” This of itself makes it highly probable that ἐπιποθεῖ has the same subject, making τὸ πνεῦμα accusative, “He longs for the spirit which He caused to dwell.” The reference here is certainly, as in other parts of the Epistle, to God’s breathing into man’s nostrils the breath of life ; probably also to Gen. vi. 3, where the LXX. and other versions [Jer. Onk. Syr. Sah.; but Sym. κρινεῖ] have οὐ μὴ καταμείνῃ τὸ πνεῦμά μου ἐν τοῖς ἀνθρώποις τούτοις εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα for the difficult יָדוֹן, for which they perhaps had another Hebrew word: also Job xxvii. 3 (cf. xxxiii. 4; xxxiv. 14). ἐπιποθεῖ is well illustrated by Alford, though he inverts the construction: it expresses God’s yearning over the human spirit. which He not only made but imbreathed as a breath from His own Spirit: for His yearning see Deut. xxxii. 11.
πρὸς φθόνον, jealously] This makes another step. Apparently it can only mean “jealously,” in the same way that πρὸς ὀργήν means “angrily,” πρὸς ἀλήθειαν “truly” etc. This is the only place in the N.T. where πρὸς is so used: but there can be no real doubt about it here.
Is then φθόνον used in a good or 94an evil sense? If we follow the usage of the word itself, it should have an evil sense. But in that case πρὸς φθόνον κ.τ.λ. must form a question expecting a negative answer “Is it jealously (or, for jealousy) that He yearns” etc., with the meaning “It is not from jealousy of others but for some other reason, as simply love to men, that He yearns” etc. But this does not suit the context: ἢ δοκεῖτε ὅτι clearly shews that St James is still pursuing the stern strain of v. 4, and maintaining the incompatibility of friendship with God and the world together. Now this is exactly what the Bible calls jealousy (see 2nd Commandment), and the difficulty here arises not from the conception of jealousy, but from the word used. This being the case it seems tolerably certain that St James does mean to attribute φθόνος to God (not of course in the sense in which Herodotus i. 32; iii. 40 said φθονερὸν τὸ θεῖον and Plato Phaedr. 247 A, φθόνος γὰρ ἔξω θείου χοροῦ ἵσταται, denied it, i.e. as grudging mankind happiness or prosperity), but in the sense that He does grudge the world or any other antagonistic power such friendship and loyalty as is due to Himself alone. We may therefore render the words “jealously (or, with jealousy) doth He yearn after the spirit which He caused to dwell in us.”
Lastly, are these words independent or a quotation? No one probably would doubt that the form of language suggests a quotation. ὅτι κενῶς ἡ γραφὴ λέγει certainly does not sound as if it were meant to stand absolutely, and there are no words of the O.T. which could readily occur to any one as so clearly expressing the substance of v. 4 as not to need quotation. Also πρὸς φθόνον κ.τ.λ. comes in abruptly as St James’ own words; though fitly enough if they belonged originally to another context.
The difficulty is that no such words can be found. The passages already cited contain however their substantial purport; so that our O.T. Scripture does in a manner furnish them. But it is likely enough that they come directly from some intermediate source now lost to us. There are other reasons for supposing the N.T. writers to have used Greek paraphrases of the O.T. resembling the Hebrew Targums, and the words may have come literally from one of these. In their vocabulary such paraphrases would certainly not always follow the same limitation as the LXX.; and though the LXX. sedulously uses ζῆλος etc. only (there is no trace of φθόνος as a rendering of קִנְאָה in Hexapla), and avoids φθόνος in speaking of God, it by no means follows that a Palestinian paraphrase would do the same.
6. Before examining the first six words of the verse, it will be well to consider the quotation which follows, from which the words δίδωσιν χάριν are derived. The form in which St James quotes Prov. iii. 34, διὸ λέγει, Ὁ θεὸς ὑπερηφάνοις ἀντιτάσσεται, ταπεινοῖς δὲ δίδωσιν χάριν, differs from the LXX. only by the substitution of ὁ θεός (so also 1 Pet. v. 5, doubtless from Jam.) for Κύριος. Both subjects of the verbs are absent from the Hebrew, but both come from the LXX. of 32 (Κυρίου), 33 (Θεοῦ), Jehovah in both places. The verse in the original is rather peculiarly worded, but probably means (contrast Delitzsch) “Though to the scorners He sheweth Himself a scorner, yet to the lowly He giveth grace.” That is, unlike the scorners of the earth, who are specially scornful to the lowly, He is scornful only to scorners and to the lowly on the contrary a giver of grace.
ὑπερηφάνοις, scorners] ὑπερήφανος belongs to all periods of Greek in the sense “insolent,” being especially used of such evil effects as follow from 95wealth or position (Arist. Rhet. ii. 16. 1. Trench Syn. § 29 is worth reading, but he makes ὑπερήφανος too purely inward). In N.T. the substantive stands Mk vii. 22 between βλασφημία (not “blasphemy” but “reviling”) and ἀφροσύνη (for this sequence cf. Arist. Rhet. ii. 17. 6 ὑπερηφανώτεροι καὶ ἀλεγιστότεροι). The adjective (not to speak of Lk. i. 51, derived from Ps. lxxxix. 10) stands in 2 Tim. iii. 2 between ἀλαζόνες and βλάσφημοι, and in Rom. i. 30 between ὑβριστάς and ἀλαζόνας. This last collocation (adopted also by Trench, though in a peculiar way) best illustrates the force of ὑπερήφανος, as is seen in a passage of “Callicratidas” (Neo-Pythagorean) in Stob. Fl. 85. 16 (iii. 141 f. Mein.) ἀνάγκα γὰρ τὼς πολλὰ ἔχοντας τετυφῶσθαι πρᾶτον, τετυφωμένως δὲ ἀλαζόνας γίγνεσθαι, ἀλαζόνας δὲ γενομένως ὑπερηφάνως ἦμεν καὶ μήτε ὁμοίως μήτε ἴσως ὑπολαμβάνεν τὼς συγγενέας κ.τ.λ., ὑπερηφάνως δὲ γενομένως ὑβριστὰς ἦμεν (cf. Teles, ib. 93. 31 (p. 187.6) ὑπερήφανος ἐξ ἀλαζονείας). The ἀλαζών is personally arrogant, and gives expression to his arrogance; in the ὑπερήφανος the personal arrogance has become insolence towards others, whether in thought, word or deed; in the ὑβριστής the impulse to assert self by actual contumely or violence to others has become the dominant characteristic. The whole range of the three words is exemplified in iv. 13-v. 6, which ends with ἀντιτάσσεται ὑμῖν, best explained as an echo of iv. 6.
The original of ὑπερήφανοι is לֵצִים, the scorners or scoffers, a word much used in Proverbs and occasionally elsewhere: see especially Hupfeld on Ps. i. 1. It is rendered in various ways by LXX., never very successfully; here alone by ὑπερήφανος, which fairly represents the temper expressed outwardly by לֵצִים.
ἀντιτάσσεται, withstands] Possibly for יִתְיַצֵּב, ”withstands,” stands in the way.” But the words in Prov. are הוּא יָלִיץ, “himself sheweth scorn,” of which ἀντιτάσσεται cannot be a direct translation, but may perhaps be a paraphrase, in the sense “To the scorners God sets himself face to face,” i.e. meets scorn with scorn (cf. the probable meaning of μὴ ἀντιστῆναι τῷ πονηρῷ in Mt. v. 39). However this may be ἀντιτάσσεται was probably taken by St James in its common and obvious sense of facing for resistance, as Esther iii. 4, and (by corruptions of the Hebrew text) 1 Kings xi. 34; Hos. i. 6. Ἀντιτάσσομαι is properly a military word, to set or be set in battle array, but often used figuratively, in the singular no less than the plural.
ταπεινοῖς δὲ, but to those of low estate] The K’thibh here has עֲנָיִים, the Q’ri עֲנָוִים. It is usually said (the case is well stated by Delitzsch on Ps. ix. 12) that the former word has a physical sense, outwardly lowly, afflicted, poor; the latter an ethical sense, inwardly lowly, humble, meek. Hupfeld i.e. has shewn the difficulty of carrying out the distinction consistently. Lowliness (downcastness, depression) is the fundamental idea in both cases. On the whole, whatever be the Hebrew reading, probably the physical sense was intended in Prov, if not always in O.T. The עֲנָיִים are the helpless or poor trampled on or insulted by the insolent rich or powerful. The same sense on the whole suits best in St James. The strictly ethical sense can never be clearly traced in the N.T. in the absence of some qualifying adjunct (παπεινὸς τῇ καρδίᾳ Mt. xi. 29; παπεινόφρων, ταπεινοφροσύνη Acts, 1 Peter, St Paul). Elsewhere παπειν̥ς, ταπεινόω, ταπείνωσις denote always some kind of external lowliness or abasement. Here we are especially reminded of ὁ ἀδελφὸς 96ὁ ταπεινός in i. 10, and the strong sympathy with the poor (אֶבְיוֹנִים) perceptible in the Epistle, as in early Jewish Christianity generally.
δίδωσιν χάριν, giveth grace or acceptance] Not to be interpreted as referring to “grace” in the traditional theological sense. Still less can the phrase δίδ. χάριν bear here the meaning found in classical writers (Eur. Suppl. 414; Plat. Leg. 702 C; 877 A; and later authors), to gratify, do a pleasure or favour to (gratificor). In the LXX. χάρις almost always represents חֵן, the primary force of which is seen in the phrase “find grace in the eyes of,” common in the historical books. The same books four times have “give grace,” but always with the same adjunct “in the eyes of,” the giver of the grace or favourable estimation being thus distinct from the person whose favourable estimation is given. Of a phrase “give grace” in a sense directly correlative to that of “finding grace” i.e. “shew favour,” there is no example with חֵן in the O.T., though it finds place in the solitary instance of the cognate חֲנִינָה (LXX. with a change of person δώσουσιν ἔλεος) Jer. xvi. 13: cf. Tob. vii. 17. On the other hand the Psalms and Proverbs three times speak of “giving grace” in a sense arising out of the absolute use of the word “grace” (almost always without any defining adjunct) in these books and in Ecclesiastes. The fundamental sense “acceptance,” which predominates a few times (Prov. iii. 4; xxii. 1; xxxiii. 23; Eccl. ix. 11), is usually more or less merged in the sense of the quality or qualities which lead to acceptance and constitute acceptability, whether it be graciousness of speech and demeanour or the lesser “grace” of gracefulness, adornment, beauty. Acceptability and acceptance are blended in the two passages which most concern us here; Prov. xiii. 15 “Good understanding giveth grace” (cf. iii. 4 “So [by devotion to “mercy and truth “] shalt thou find grace and good understanding in the sight of God and man”; also Ecclus. xxi. 16; xxxvii. 21); and Ps. lxxxiv. 11 “The Lord will give grace and glory” (cf. Prov. iv. 9 “a garland of grace” parallel to “a crown of glory”; also Ecclus. xxiv. 16 of οἰ κλάδοι μου κλάδοι δόξης καὶ χάριτος). In like manner here, Prov. iii. 34, God is represented as granting to the lowly a “grace” or acceptance (before the more discerning of men as well as before Himself) doubtless founded on a disposition worthy of such acceptance, a lowliness of spirit (Prov. xvi. 19; xxix. 23; Mt. v. 3), which He denies to the scornful men of power, externally the monopolists of “grace” or acceptance.
This the original sense of Proverbs, illustrated by an almost immediately preceding verse, iii. 31, “Envy thou not the oppressor, and choose none of his ways,” is also the sense of St James. He is giving a warning against the danger of courting the friendship of the world, the society ruled by powerful scorners. Refusal to seek that friendship meant acceptance of the lowly estate, held in no visible honour by God or men. But the ancient wisdom of Israel had pronounced the true judgement. Those who looked below the surface of things would find that the powerful scorners have God Himself set against them (cf. ἐχθρὸς τοῦ θεοῦ καθίσταται) while it is to the lowly ones that He gives “grace” or acceptance.
The introductory words μείζονα δὲ δίδωσιν χάριν can now hardly have any other meaning than this, “But He giveth a greater grace or acceptance than the world or its friendship can give”: that is, their connexion is with v. 4, v. 5 being parenthetic. To connect them directly with v. 5, in the sense “He gives a (spiritual) grace to aid men to cleave to Him, proportionate to the jealousy with which He yearns after His spirit within them,” renders the whole of the quotation irrelevant except the two words already cited, besides involving a 97complete departure from the sense of Proverbs. The subject of the verb is naturally identical with the implied subject of the preceding principal verb ἐπιποθεῖ. By “greater” St James doubtless means worthier, higher, as 1 Cor. xii. 31 (right text); Heb. ix. 11; xi. 26.
διό, wherefore] The employment of διό in the introductory formula of a quotation is elsewhere found only in Eph. iv. 8; v. 14 (διό λέγει both times, as here); while the more obvious διότι, “because,” is confined to 1 Peter. It seems to be derived from a Rabbinic usage (Surenhuis Βιβλ. καταλ. 9), but ultimately it may be traced to Gen. x. 9; Num. xxi. 14 (עַל־כֵּן יֵאָמַר, LXX. διὰ τοῦτο ἐροῦσιν, δ. τ. λέγεται). The idea probably meant to be suggested is that the truth stated is presupposed in the quotation appealed to, forming as it were the basis, on which it rests.
λέγει, the Scripture saith] Λέγει may have as a subject ἡ γραφή from v. 5, or the implied subject of δίδωσιν, that is, God; or again it may be virtually impersonal, as in Eph. v. 14, and probably iv. 8. This use of λέγει (or other such words) without an expressed or directly implied subject, for introducing quotations from Scripture or quasi-Scriptural books, is not identical with the common interposition of an impersonal ἔφη (inquit) after the opening words of quotations of all kinds: it doubtless implies an appeal to an authoritative voice. The Rabbinical illustrations cited by Surenhuis, p. 11, belong only to cases (like Rom. xv. 10) where another quotation has immediately preceded. To supply mentally either “God” or “the Scripture” is in strictness to define too much as there is no real ellipse, but in translation into modern languages some supplement is needed, and for this purpose “the Scripture” gives the truest impression. Ἢ γραφή is also the more probable of the two possible subjects furnished by the preceding context.
ὑποτάγητε οὖν τῷ θεῷ, Submit yourselves therefore to God] It is hardly credible that St James should use this phrase without a conscious reference to its associations in the Psalm from which (LXX.) it virtually comes, and that Psalm xxxvii. Noli aemulari. See vv. 7, 9, ὑποτάγηθι τῷ κυρίῳ καὶ ἱκέτευσον αὐτόν· μηή παραζήλου ἐν τῷ κατευοδουμένῳ ἐν τῇ ζωῇ, κ.τ.λ. οἱ δὲ ὑπομένοντες τὸν κύριον αὐτοὶ κληρονομήσουσιν τὴν γῆν: so again Ps. lxii. 1, 5, Οὐχὶ τῷ θεῷ ὑποταγήσεται ἡ ψυχή μου; παρ᾽ αὐτοῦ γὰρ τὸ σωτήριόν μου. . . . πλὴν τῷ θεῷ ὑποτάγηθι, ἡ ψυχή μου, ὅτι παρ᾽ αὐτοῦ ἡ ὑπομονή μου. This is but a paraphrastic rendering of the original, the Hebrew (דּוּמִיָה ,דָּמַם) meaning “to be silent (or, still: σίγησον Aq., ἡσύχαζε Sym.) to the Lord,” i.e. the going forth of the soul to Him not in speech (whether clamour to Him or murmur against Him) but in resolute suppression of speech. Similarly Lam. iii. 26, “It is good that a man wait and be still to the salvation (saving help) of Jehovah” (LXX. ὑπομενεῖ καὶ ἡσυχάσει εἰς τὸ σωτήριον Κυρίου); and with another reference, Job xxix. 21, “men . . . kept silence to my counsel” (LXX. ἐσιώπησαν ἐπί). Compare Ps. iv. 4; cxxxi. 2. This deeply felt idea of a strenuous silence to God, the expression of perfect trust, loses somewhat by translation into the common thought of submission, which need imply no more than a sense of inability to resist: but St James might well assume that readers of the LXX. Psalter would recognise the “submission” of which he spoke to be one aspect of faithful endurance under trials.
Yet doubtless St James’ primary meaning was the simple Greek meaning “submit yourselves.” In 2 Mac. ix. 12 the dying Antiochus Epiphanes 98is made to say, Δίκαιον ὑποτάσσεσθαι τῷ θεῷ καὶ μὴ θνητὸν ὄντα ὑπερήφανα φρονεῖν Epictetus uses the same word, applying it to both the fact of subjection to God (Diss. iii. 24. 65, ὡς τοῦ Διὸς διάκονον ἔδει, ἅμα μὲν κηδόμενος, ἅμα δ᾽ ὡς τῷ θεῷ ὑποτεταγμένος) and the duty of submission to Him (iv. 12. 11, ἐγὼ δ᾽ ἔχω τίνι με δεῖ ἀρέσκειν, τίνι ὑποτετάχθαι, τίνι πείθεσθαι, τῷ θεῷ καὶ τοῖς μετ᾽ ἐκεῖνον). In the N.T., which dwells much on submission as among men, human submission to God is spoken of only here and Heb. xii. 9 (ὑποταγησόμεθα τῷ πατρὶ τῶν πνευμάτων). Here as οὖν indicates, it is doubtless suggested by ὑπερηφάνοις (cf. 2 Mac. above). The insolence of the powerful implies a sense at once of having others in subjection and of being in subjection to none (cf. Ps. xii. 3-5). The lowly then are bidden to find refuge for their subjection to the tyrannous and too visible “world,” not in wooing its friendship but in cherishing the submission or accepted subjection to the invisible God (compare Ign. Eph. 5, γέγραπται γάρ, Ὑπερηφάνοις ὁ θεὸς ἀντιτάσσεται· σπουδάσωμεν οὖν μὴ ἀντιτάσσεσθαι τῷ ἐπισκόπῳ, ἵνα ὦμεν θεῷ ὑποτασσόμενοι). The same word expresses both the external fact (subjection) and the voluntary acceptance of it (submission): — “be ye subject (in mind), as being already subject (in destiny); take up the attitude belonging to the position.”
ἀντίστητε δὲ τῷ διαβόλῳ, but resist the devil] Δέ is omitted in the Rec. Text after the later Syrian text, doubtless because the following initial imperatives have no connecting particles.
The name ὁ διάβολος is used much in the N.T., somewhat more than the transliterated original ὁ Σατανᾶς. Both names occur in Mt., Lk., Jn, Acts, St Paul and Apoc. Apparently in most if not all cases the use of the Greek διάβολος involves a distinct reference to the etymology.
The precise force of the Hebrew name is not free from doubt. Apparently the verb שָֹטָן (also שָֹטָם) meant originally to “lie in ambush for,” and so to “bear a chronic grudge against” or “be a treacherous enemy to.” The subst. שָֹטָן stands in Numbers for the angel waylaying Balaam, and in Samuel and Kings for (apparently secret) enemies, as it were thorns in the side. In the later books it becomes a proper name for the evil spirit, as an accuser (Ps. cix. 6; Zech. iii. 1, 2), as an insidious enemy (1 Chr. xxi. 1), and as both (Job i., ii.). The occurrence of the derivative, שִׂטְנָה for “an accusation” in Ezra iv. 6 is sufficient proof that in the late language the original sense had become specialised to express in particular that form of insidious hostility which consists in malicious accusation; and there is ample evidence (see e.g. Levy-Fleischer, N. Heb. W. B. iii. 500 f.) that malicious accusation came to be regarded as a characteristic of Satan, as indeed appears by Apoc. xii. 10 (see Schöttgen, Hor. Heb. i. 1121 ff.). The Fathers usually interpret the name simply as ὁ ἀντικείμενος, adversarius, in accordance with a possible latitude of interpretation in several places where the verb or the substantive used appellatively occurs; and similarly [ὁ] ἀντικείμενος is the rendering of Theodotion in Job, and of both him and Symmachus in Zech. iii. 2, as they also (and Aquila likewise) use ἀντίκειμαι and its participle in passages of less direct bearing. But (except in the later revised text, once 99or twice) not so the LXX., which employs διαβάλλω, διαβολή, ἐνδιαβάλλω, ἐπίβουλος, σατάν, and for the evil spirit exclusively [ὁ] διάβολος.
There can be little doubt that the writers of the N.T. adopted the term διάβολος directly or indirectly from the LXX.; and this consideration seems to set aside the tempting interpretation suggested by abundant Greek usage as regards the verb, the “severer,” “putter at variance,” in opposition to a “reconciler.” For the equally tempting interpretation “perverter,” that is, “one who turns good to evil,” there is no Greek evidence beyond the occasional sense of διά in composition (as it were, one who casts awry). The biblical origin of the name fixes upon it the sense “malicious accuser,” “of God to men, and of us to God, and again of ourselves to each other” (Chrys. 2 Cor. p. 438 D). There is a special fitness in the word, because it is oftener applied in ordinary Greek to suggested disparagement, whether open or secret, to words or acts intended to produce an unfavourable impression (see Aristotle’s account of διαβολή as a department of forensic rhetoric, Rhet. iii. 15. 1, with Cope’s note), than to formal and definite accusation.
This the proper biblical sense of ὁ διάβολος, of which the sense in which he is called ὁ πειράζων is only another aspect, agrees well with the context here. Trustful submission to God involves resistance to him who tempts men to faithlessness by insinuating disparagement of God’s power or His goodness, backed up with suggestion of the safer and pleasanter friendship of “the world.”
8ἐγγίσατε τῷ θεῷ, καὶ θγγίσει ὑμῖν. καθαρίσατε χεῖρας, ἀμαρτωλοί, καὶ ἁγνίσατε καρδίας, δίψυχοι. 9 ταλαιπωρήσατε καὶ πενθήσατε καὶ κλαύσατε· ὁ γέλως ὑμῶν εἰς πένθος μεταστραπήτω2727μεταστραπήτω] μεταστραφήτω καὶ ἡ χαρὰ εἰς κατήφειαν· 10 ταπεινώθητε ἐνώπιον Κυρίου, καὶ ὑψώσει ὑμας. 11 Μὴ καταλαλεῖτε ἀλλήλων, ἀλλήλων, ἀδελφοί· ὁ καταλαλῶν ἀδελφοῦ ἢ κρίνων τὸν ἀδελφὸν αὐτοῦ καταλαλεῖ νόμου καὶ κρίνει νόμον· εἰ δὲ νόμον κρίνεις, οὐκ εἶ ποιητὴς νόμου ἀλλὰ κριτής. 12 εἷς ἔστιν2828ἔστιν] ἐστὶν ὁ νομοθέτης καὶ κριτής, ὁ δυνάμενος σῶσαι καὶ ἀπολέσαι· σὺ δὲ τίς εἶ, ὁ κρίνων τὸν πλησίον;
13 Αγε νῦν οἱ λέγοντες Σήμερον ἢ αὔριον πορευσόμεθα εἰς τήνδε τὴν πόλιν καὶ ποιήσωμεν ἐκεῖ ἐνιαυτὸν καὶ ἐμπορευόωμεθα καὶ κερδήσωμεν· 14 οἵτινες οὐκ ἐπίστασθε τῆς αὔριον ποία ἡ ζωὴ ὑμῶν· ἀτμίς γάρ ἐστε2929τῆς αὔριον . . . γάρ ἐστε] τὰ τῆς αὔριον· ποία γὰρ ἡ ζωὴ ὑμῶν; ἀτμίς ἐστε ἡ πρὸς ὀλίγον φαινομένη ἔπειτα καὶ ἀφανιζομένη· 15 ἀντὶ τοῦ λέγειν ὑμᾶς Ἐὰν ὁ κύριος θέλῃ,3030θέλῃ] θελήσῃ καὶ ζήσωμεν καὶ ποιήσωμεν τοῦτο ἢ ἐκεῖνο100
16 νῦν δὲ καυχᾶσθε ἐν ταῖς ἀλαζονίαις ὑμῶν· πᾶσα καύχησις τοιαύτη πονηρά ἐστιν. 17 εἰδότι οὖν καλὸν ποιεῖν καὶ μὴ ποιοῦντι, ἁμαρτία αὐτῷ ἐστίν. V. 1 Αγε νῦν οἱ πλούσιοι, κλαύσατε ὀλολύζοντες ἐπί ταῖς ταλαιπωρίαις ὑμῶν ταῖς ἐπερχομ͓ναις. 2 ὁ πλοῦτος ὑμῶν σέσηπεν, καὶ τὰ ἱμάτια ὑμῶν σητόβρωτα γέγονεν, 3 ὁ χρυσὸς ὑμῶν καὶ ὁ ἄργυρος κατίωται, καὶ ὁ ἰὸς αὐτῶν εἰς μαρτύριον ὑμῖν ἔσται καὶ φάγεται τὰς σάρκας ὑμῶν· ὡς πῦρ3131ὑμῶν· ὡς πῦρ] ὑμῶν ὡς πῦρ· ἐθησαυρίσατε ἐν ἐσχάταις ἡμέραις. 4 ἰδοὺ ὁ μισθὸς τῶν ἐργατῶν τῶν ἀμησάντων τὰς χώρας ὑμῶν ὁ ἀφυστερημένος ἀφ᾽ ὑμῶν κράζει, καὶ αἱ βοαὶ τῶν θερισάντων εἰς τἀ ὦτα Κυρίου Σαβαὼθ εἰσελήλυθασιν· 5 ἐτρυφήσατε ἐπί τῆς γῆς καὶ ἐσπαταλήσατε, ἐθρέψατε τὰς καρδίας ὑμῶν ἐν ἡμέρᾳ σφαγῆς. 6 κατεδικάσατε, ἐφονεύσατε τον δίκαιον. οὐκ ἀντιτάσσεται ὑμῖν;3232ὑμῖν;] ὑμῖν.
7 Μακροθυμήσατε οὖν, ἀδελφοί, ἕως τῆς παρουσίας τοῦ κυρίου. ἰδοὺ ὁ γεωργὸς ἐκδέχεται τὸν τίμιον καρπὸν τῆς γῆς, μακροθυμῶν ἐπ᾽ αὐτῷ ἕως λάβῃ πρόϊμον καὶ ὄψιμον 8 μακροθυμήσατε καὶ ὑμεῖς, στηρίξατε τὰς καρδίας ὑμῶν, ὅτι ἡ παρουσία τοῦ κυρίου ἤγγικεν 9 μὴ στενάζετε, ἀδελφοί, κατ᾽ ἀλλήλων, ἵνα μὴ κριθῆτε· ἰδοὺ ὁ κριτὴς πρὸ τῶν θυρῶν ἕστηκεν. 10 ὑπόδειγμα λάβετε, ἀδελφοί, τῆς κακοπαθίας καὶ τῆς μακροθυμίας τοὺς προφήτας, ὃι ἐλάλησαν ἐν τῷ ὀνόματι Κυρίου. 11 ἰδοὺ μακαρίζομεν τοὺς ὑπομείναντας· τὴν ὑπομονὴν Ἰὼβ ἡκούσατε, καὶ τὸ τέλος Κυρίου εἴδετε, ὅτι πολύσπλαγχνός ἐστιν ὁ κύριος3333ὁ κύριος] Κύριος καὶ οἰκτίρμων. 12 Πρὸ πάντων δέ, ἀδελφοί μου, μὴ ὀμνύετε, μήτε τὸν οὐρανὸν μήτε τὴν γῆν μήτε ἄλλον τινὰ ὅρκον· ἤτω δὲ ὑμῶν τό Ναί ναὶ καὶ τό Οὔ οὔ, ἵνα μὴ ὑπὸ κρίσιν πέσητε. 13 Κακοπαθεῖ τις ἐν ὑμιν; προσευχέσθω· εὐθυμεῖ τις; 101ψαλλέτω 14 ἀσθενεῖ τις ἐν ὑμῖν; προσκαλεσάσθω τοὺς πρεσβυτέρους τῶς ἐκκλησίας, καὶ προσευξάσθωσαν ἐπ᾽ αὐτὸν ἀλείψαντες ἐλαίῳ ἐν τῷ ὀνόματι [τοῦ κυρίου]· 15 καὶ ἡ εὐχὴ τῆς πίστεως σώσει τὸν κάμνοντα, καὶ ἐγερεῖ αὐτὸν ὁ κύριος· κἂν ἁμαρτίας ᾖ πεποιηκώς, ἀφεθήσεται αὐτῷ. 16 ἐξομολογεῖσθε οὖν ἀλλήλοις τὰς ἁμαρτίας καὶ προσεύχεσθε3434προσεύχεσθε] εὔχεσθε ὑπὲρ ἀλλήλων, ὅπως ἰαθῆτε. πολύ ἰσχύει δέησις δικαίου ἐνεργουμένη. 17 Ἠλίας ἄνθρωπος ἦν ὁμοιοπαθὴς ἡμῖν, καὶ προσευχῆ προσηύξατο τοῦ μὴ βρέξαι, καὶ οὐκ ἔβρεξεν ἐπί τῆς γῆς ἐνιαυτοὺς τρεῖς καὶ μῆνας ἕξ· 18 καὶ πάλιν προσηύξατο, καὶ ὁ οὐρανὸς ὑετὸν ἔδωκεν3535ὑετὸν ἔδωκεν] ἔδωκεν ὑετὸν καὶ ἡ γῆ ἐβλάστησεν τὸν καρπὸν αὐτῆς. 19 Αδελφοί μου, ἐάν τις ἐν ὑμῖν πλανηθῇ ἀπὸ τῆς ἀληθείας καὶ ἐπιστρέψῃ τις αὐτόν, 20 γινώσκετε3636γινώσκετε] γινωσκέτω ὅτι ὁ ἐπιστρέψας ἀμαρτωλὸν ἐκ πλάνης ὁδοῦ αὐτοῦ σώσει ψυχὴν αὐτοῦ ἐκ θανάτου3737αὐτοῦ ἐκ θανάτου] ἐκ θανάτου αὐτοῦ καὶ καλύψει πλῆθος ἁμαρτιῶν102
Note on “Brother” improperly used (see p. xx).
Gen. xiv. 14, 16, Abram and Lot (really nephew), LXX. ἀδολφὸς A etc., ἀνεψιὸς g n, υὑὸς τ. ἀδελφοῦ m, ἀδολφιδοῦς codd. Cf. xiii. 8, “for we be men, brethren,” ἄνθρωποι ἀδελφοί; xiii. 11, ἔκαστος ἀπὸ τοῦ ἀδελφοῦ αὐτοῦ. Contra, xii. 5; xiv. 12; “brother’s son,” (τὸν) υἱὸν τοῦ ἀδελφοῦ (αὐτοῦ).
Gen. xxix. 12, Jacob Rachel’s “father’s brother” (i.e. father’s sister’s son), LXX. ἀδελφὸς τοῦ πατρὸς αὐτῆς; xxix. 15, Laban to Jacob, “thou art my brother” (i.e. sister’s son), ἀδελφός μου. Contra, xxix. 10 ter, Laban Jacob’s “mother’s brother.”
2 Chron. xxxvi. 10, Zedekiah (Mattaniah) Jehoiachin’s brother (i.e. father’s brother, LXX. ἀδελφὸν τοῦ πατρὸς αὐτοῦ). Contra, 2 Kings xxix. 17, “father’s brother” (LXX. unintelligibly υἱόν). 1 Chron. iii. 15 has the genealogy rightly.
Gen. ix. 25, Shem and Japheth Canaan’s “brethren” (i.e. uncles), LXX. τοῖς ἀδελφοῖς αὐτοῦ.
Numb. xx. 14, Israel (people) brother of (the king of ?) Edom.
Neh. v. 10, 14, Nehemiah’s brethren (i.e.? household).
Job vi. 15, “My brethren” (i.e.? Job’s friends), LXX. οἱ ἐγγύτατοί μου, Ἄλλος· ἀδελφοί μου.
Isa. lxvi. 20, “your brethren,” apparently fellow-worshippers of Jehovah from other nations.
Fellow-descendants of Israel, Exod. ii. 11; iv. 8; (xxii. 25 LXX.); Lev. xix. 17 (?); xxv. 35 etc.; and esp. Deut. xv. 2 (contrasted with ὁ ἀλλότριος); Jud. xiv. 3. Fellow-descendants of a tribal head, Judah 2 Sam. xix. 12; Levi Numb. viii. 26; xvi. 10; Nehem. iii. 1; (Gk Ezra passim); 2 Chron. xxxi. 15.103
2 Sam. i. 26, David and Jonathan.
Cf. Tobit passim.
Job xlii. 11, Job’s brethren and sisters (?). Nations of like nature and character, Ezek. xvi. 46; xxiii. 31. Metaphorically, of the same nature, Job xvii. 14; Prov. vii. 4. Term of endearment, Cant. passim. Things in pairs, Exod. xxvi. 3, 5, 6, 17; Ezek. i. 9; iii. 13. Member of the same nation (Midianite), Numb. xxv. 18.
Note on τῆς δόξης (see ii. 1).
[The following is a note by Dr Hort on Tit. ii. 13 (τῆς δόξης τοῦ μεγάλου θεοῦ καὶ σωτῆρος ἡμῶν, Χριστοῦ Ἰησοῦ).]
Χριστοῦ Ἰησοῦ is best taken as in apposition to τῆς δόξης, not to τοῦ μεγάλου θεοῦ καὶ σωτῆρος ἡμῶν. The obvious difficulties of the latter in reference to St Paul’s usage are much increased by μεγάλου, partly by its sense, partly as an adjective merely.
As an adjective, because it compels θεοῦ to be a pure substantive, and thus individualises it. It to say the least suggests “division” of “substance,” a separate Deity, the Deity of Tritheism, not the equally perfect Deity of a Person of the One Godhead3838As if Quicunque vult had said “sicut unamquamque personam esse singillatim (or, per se) Deum et Dominum confitemur,” not “sicut singillatim unamquamque personam Deum et Dominum confitemur.”. This is very unlike St Paul and the N.T.
St Paul does not elsewhere categorically call our Lord the glory of the Father; but various phrases of his have the same effect. In 2 Cor. iv. 4 we have τὸν φωτισμὸν τοῦ εὐαγγελίου τῆς δόξης τοῦ χριστοῦ, ὅς ἐστιν εἰκὼν τοῦ θεοῦ, while in 1 Cor. xi. 7 εἰκών and δόξα are coupled (ἀνήρ, . . . εἰκὼν καὶ δόξα θεοῦ ὑπάρχων, ἡ γυνὴ δὲ δόξα ἀνδρός ἐστιν. In the same context in 2 Cor. (iv. 6) we have πρὸς φωτισμὸν τῆς γνώσεως τῆς δόξης τοῦ θεοῦ ἐν προσώπω ῳ Χριστοῦ, which must go along with 2 Cor. ii. 10, καὶ γὰρ ἐγὼ ὃ κεχάρισμαι, εἴ τι κεχάρισμαι, δι᾽ ὑμᾶς ἐν προσώπῳ Χριστοῦ, meaning in both cases in the person of Christ, so that St Paul describes God’s glory as set forth (or as being) in the person of Christ. The sense is given without the word in 1 Tim. vi. 15, 16, where much stress is laid on the height and invisibility of the Father, φῶς οἰκῶν ἀπρόσιτον, who καιροῖς ἰδὶοις will shew (δείξει) the ἐπιφάνεια of Ἰ. Χ.: unseen Himself, He manifests His Son as His glory. There is less certainty about 1 Tim. i. 11, τὸ εὐαγγέλιον τῆς δόξης τοῦ μακαρίου θεοῦ, though μακάριος probably denotes the supreme unapproachableness; and about Eph. i. 17, ὁ θεὸς τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰ. Χ., ὁ πατὴρ τῆς δόξης (a remarkable juxtaposition when compared with ὁ θεὸς καὶ πατὴρ τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰ. Χ. in Eph. i. 3 etc.). Still 104more doubtful is 1 Cor. ii. 8, τὸν κύριον τῆς δόξης, and perhaps even Jam. ii. 1, τὴν πίστιν τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰ. Χ. τῆς δόξης, where the order becomes quite easy if we may take τῆς δόξης, used quite absolutely, as in apposition to Ἰ. Χ. In Rom. ix. 4 ἡ δόξα is thus used absolutely, and seems to mean the Shechinah, and it is by no means unlikely that our Lord would be spoken of by the Apostles as the true Shechinah. In any case Apoc. xxi. 10, 11 is quite in point. Heb. i. 3 gives the same sense under the form ἀπαύγασμα τῆς δόξης.
Note on ὕλην (iii. 5).
[The following represents Dr Hort’s notes from his letter to Dean Scott of January 28, 1878, written in answer to the Dean’s list of passages intended to show that ὕλη may mean “a forest.”]
In St James “how great a forest” might be tolerated as a paraphrase of “how much woodland,” but not as a literal rendering. Hence a reference to living wood seems rather unlikely, as often fire is connected with ὕλη meaning “cut wood.”
Odyss. v. 63 f.,
ὕλη δὲ σπέος ἀμφιπεφύκει τηλεθόωσα,
κλήθρη τ᾽, αἴγειρός τε, καὶ εὐώδης κυπάρισσος.
Rather “luxuriant tree-age” (like herbage) about the cave: so Il. vi. 147 f.,
φύλλα τὰ μέν τ᾽ ἄνεμος χαμάδις χέει, ἄλλα δέ θ᾽ ὕλη τηλεθόωσα φύει.
Il. xi. 155 ff., wood and a wood equally pertinent:
ὡς δ᾽ ίτε πῦρ ἀΐδηλον ἐν ἀξύλῳ ἐμπέσῃ ὕλῃ,
πάντῃ τ᾽ εἰλυφόων ἄνεμος φέρει, οἱ δέ τε θάμνοι
πρόρριζοι πίπτουσιν ἐπειγόμενοι πυρὸς ὁρμῇ.
Hes. op. 506 ff.,
μέμυκε δὲ γαῖα καὶ ὕλη·
πολλὰς δὲ δρῦς ὑψικόμους ἐλάτας τε παχείας
οὔρεος ἐν βήσσῃς πιλνᾷ χθονὶ πουλυβοτείρῃ
ἐμπίπτων, καὶ πᾶσα βοᾷ τότε νήριτος ὕλη.
“Woodland” (the forest region) is more coordinate with γαῖα than “a forest” would be: cf. also νήριτος, 509.
Thuc. ii. 77. If the sentence, ἤδη γὰρ ἐν ὄρεσιν ὕλη τριφθεῖσα ὑπ᾽ ἀνέμων πρὸς αὑτὴν ἀπὸ ταὑτομάτου πῦρ καὶ φλόγα ἀπ᾽ αὐτοῦ ἀνῆκεν, stood alone, it would be Il. xi. 155 over again. But just before ὕλη twice means “wood” indefinitely (cut wood): hence there is a presumption that here again ὕλη is “wood” indefinitely. The same thing is spoken of in two states, cut and living: a transition from cut wood to a forest would be much more violent. 105Lucretius (i. 896 ff.) probably had the passage in view, but throws no light: the described phenomenon is the same on either view:
At saepe in magnis fit montibus, inquis, ut altis
Arboribus vicina cacumina summa terantur
Inter se, validis facere id cogentibus austris,
Donec flammai fulserunt flore coorto.
Aristot. H. A. ix. 11. 3 (615 a 15), ἔνιοι δὲ τῶν ὀρνίθων ἐν τοῖς ὄρεσι καὶ τῇ ὕλῃ κατοικοῦσιν, is distinctly in favour of the indefinite use. He coordinates τοῖς ὄρεσι with τῇ ὕλῃ (the forest region). So still more c. 32 (618 b 21), οὗτος (sc. the white-tailed eagle) κατὰ τὰ πεδία καὶ τὰ ἄλση καὶ περὶ τὰς πόλεις γίνεται . . . πέτεται δὲ καὶ εἰς τὰ ὄρη καὶ εἰς τὴν ὕλην διὰ τὸ θάρσος, where τὰ ἄλση bears the same relation to τὰ πεδία that ἡ ὕλη does to τὰ ὄρη.
Theocr. xxii. 36,
παντοίην δ᾽ ἐν ὄρει θηεύμενοι ἄγριον ὕλην.
Παντοίην favours the same use.
Soph. O. T. 476 ff.,
φοιτᾷ γὰρ ὑπ᾽ ἀγρίαν
ὕλαν ἀνά τ᾽ ἄντρα καὶ
πέτρας ἅτε ταῦρος.
The sing. ὕλαν with plur. ἄντρα: ὑπό irrelevant, whether as “seeking the covert of,” or simply “under the covert of.”
Eur. Hipp. 215,
πέμπετέ μ᾽ εἰς ὄρος· εἶμι πρὸς ὕλαν
καὶ παρὰ πεύκας,
forest region, like “the (collective) mountain.” Cf. Scott, Lady of the Lake, iii 16,
“He is gone on the mountain,
He is lost to the forest.”
On the other hand, Herodian’s use, vii. 2. 4 (λίθων μὲν γὰρ παρ᾽ αὐτοῖς (sc. the Germans) ἢ πλίνθων ὀπτῶν σπάνις, ὗλαι δ᾽ εὔδενδροι), 5 (οἱ δὲ Γερμανοὶ ἀπὸ μὲν τῶν πεδίων καὶ εἴτινες ἦσαν χῶραι ἄδενδροι ἀνακεχωρήκεσαν· ἐν δὲ ταῖς ὕλαις ἐκρύπτοντο, περί τετὰ ἕλη διέτριβον), also viii. 1. 2 (ἐν κοιλάσιν ὀρῶν ἢ λόχμαις ὕλαις τε), is at first sight individual, and may be so. But in the absence of other clear evidence, I suspect that it is collective. Thus Plutarch Pyrrh. 25, δασεῖαν ὕλαις ὁδόν; while also Aratus 32, πόπον ὕλης γέμοντα. Aristotle just after the above place has (618 b 28) οὗτος οἰκεῖ ὄρη καὶ ὕλας, though the evidence already given makes a strictly individual sense improbable.
Aristotle’s collective sense of the singular with the article is well illustrated by Xenoph. Cyn. vi. 12 (δήσαντα δ᾽ ἐκ τῆς ὕλης τὰς κύνας); ix. 2 (τὰς μὲν κύνας δῆσαι ἄποθεν ἐκ τῆς ὕλης), 19 (^ἰς δικρόας τῆς ὕλης); x. 7 (ἐπιβάλλοντας τοὺς βρόχους ἐπί ἀποσχαλιδώματα τῆς ὕλης δίκρα); Plato Crit. 107 C (γῆν μὲν καὶ ὄρη καὶ ποταμοὺς καὶ ὕλην οὐρανόν τε ξύμπαντα); Polit. 272 A (καρποὺς δὲ ἀφθόνους εἶχον ἀπό τε δένδρων καὶ πολλῆς ὕλης ἄλλης. No doubt forest trees were included, but the predominating and sometimes exclusive meaning 106is brushwood or even mere weeds of a shrubby or woody nature. Its leading idea, when it is used of living wood, seems to be nearly that of loca silvestria, the indeterminate wild rough country on the flanks of the hills, as distinguished from the cultivated land below.
Note on τὸν τροχὸν τῆς γενέσεως (iii. 6).
[The following references in further illustration of this phrase have been taken from the marginal notes in Dr Hort’s Greek Testament and from his other MSS.]
On the wheel or circle of human affairs (their reverses) see a large collection of passages in Gataker on Marcus Aurelius ix. 28.
On the Orphic and Pythagorean wheel or circle of Genesis (metempsychosis) see Lobeck, Aglaophamus, 797-800.
On the general cycle of growth and decay see Simplicius Comm. in Epict. Ench. p. 94 B, ἀλλ᾽ οὔτε τῇ ψυχῆ κακόν ἐστιν ἡ τοῦ σώματος νόσος, εἴπερ ἰατρεία οὖσα τῆς ψυχῆς δέδεικται καὶ φαίνεται πολλαχοῦ ἐναργῶς αὐτή. καὶ εἰ ἐπιβλαβὴς δὲ τῷ μερικῷ σώματι ἡ νόσος ἦν καὶ ἡ φθορὰ αὐτῆς, ὡφέλιμος δὲ οὖσα ἐφαίνετο τῇ τε τοῦ χρωμένου ψυχῇ, καὶ τῇ τοῦ παντὸς συστάσει τῶν ἐν αὐτῷ στοιχείων, καὶ τῷ ἀπεράντῳ τῆς γενέσεως κύκλῳ, διὰ τοῦτο ἐπ᾽ ἄπειρον προϊόντι, διὰ τὸ τὴν ἄλλου φθορὰν ἄλλου γένεσιν εἶναι. So ὁ τῆς γενέσεως ποταμός, Plutarch, de consolat. (ii. 106 F).
Plato, Leg. x. p. 898 (Jowett’s translation), “Of these two kinds of motion, that which moves in one place must move about a centre like globes (μίμημά τι κύκλων) made in a lathe, and is most entirely akin and similar to the circular movement of mind (τῇ τοῦ νοῦ περιόδῳ). . . . In saying that both mind and the motion which is in one place move in the same and like manner, in and about the same, and in relation to the same, and according to one proportion and order, and are like the motion of a globe (σφαίρας ἐντόρνου ἀπεικασμένα φοραῖς), we invented a fair image, which does no discredit to our ingenuity. . . . Then, after what has been said, there is no difficulty in distinctly stating, that since soul carries all things round (ἐπειδὴ ψυχὴ μέν ἐστιν ἡ περιάγουσα ἡμῖν πάντα), either the best soul or the contrary must of necessity carry round and order and arrange the revolution of the heaven” (τὴν δὲ οὐρανοῦ περιφορὰν ἐξ ἀνάγκης περιάγειν φατέον ἐπιμελουμένην καὶ κοσμοῦσαν ἤτοι τὴν ἀρίστην ψυχὴν ἢ τὴν ἐναντίαν).
Iamblichus de myster. viii. 6, λέγεις τοίνυν ὡς Αἰγυπτίων οἱ ολείους, καὶ τὸ ἐφ᾽ ἡμῖν ἐκ τῆς τῶν ἀστέρων ἀνῆψεν κινήσεως. τὸ δὲ πῶς ἔχει δεῖ δίχα πλειόνων ἀπὸ τῶν Ἑρραϊκῶν σοι νοημάτων διερμηνεῦσαι. δύο γὰρ ἔχει ψυχὰς, ὡς ταῦτά φησι τὰ γράμματα, ὁ ἄνθρωπος. καὶ ἡ μέν ἐστιν ἀπὸ τοῦ πρώτου νοητοῦ μετέχουσα καὶ τῆς τοῦ δημιουργοῦ δυνάμεως, ἡ δὲ, ἐνδιδομένη ἐκ τῆς τῶν οὐρανίων περιφορᾶς, εἰς ἣν ἐπεισέρπει ἡ θεοπτικὴ ψυχή. τούτων δὴ οὕτως ἐχόντων, ἡ μὲν ἀπὸ τῶν κόσμων εἰς ἡμᾶς καθήκουσα ψυχὴ, ταῖς περιόδοις συνακολουθεῖ τῶν κόσμων· ἡ δὲ ἀπὸ τοῦ νοητοῦ νοητῶς παροῦσα, τῆς γενεσιουργοῦ κινήσεως ὑπερέχει, καὶ κατ᾽ αὐτὴν ἥ τε λύσις γίνεται τῆς εἱμαρμένγς, καὶ ἡ πρὸς τοὺς νοητοὺς θεοὺς ἄνοδος, θεουργία τε, ὅση πρὸς τὸ ἀγέννητον ἀνάγεται, κατὰ τὴν τοιαύτην ζωὴν ἀποτελεῖται..107
Clement Strom. v. 8 (pp. 672 f.), ἀλλὰ καὶ Διονύσιος ὁ Θρᾷξ ὁ γραμματικὸς ἐν τῷ Περὶ τῆς ἐμφάσεως περὶ τοῦ τῶν τροχίσκων συμβόλου φησὶ κατὰ λέξιν· ἐσήμαινον γοῦν οὐ διὰ λέξεως μόνον, ἀλλὰ καὶ διὰ συμβόλων ἔνιοι τὰς πράξεις, διὰ λέξεως μὲν ὡς ἔχει τὰ λεγόμενα Δελφικὰ παραγγέλματα, τὸ μηδὲν ἄγαν καὶ τὸ γνῶθι σαυτὸν καὶ τὰ τούτοις ὅμοια, διὰ δὲ συμβόλων ὡς ὅ τε τροχὸς ὁ στρεφόμενος ἐν τοῖς τῶν θεῶν τεμένεσιν εἱλκυσμένος παρὰ Αἰγυπτίων καὶ τὸ τῶν θαλλῶν τῶν διδομένων τοῖς προσκυνοῦσι. φησὶ γὰρ Ὀρφεὺς ὁ Θρᾴκιος·
θαλλῶν δ᾽ ὅσσα βροτοῖσιν ἐπὶ χθονὸς ἔργα μέμηλεν,
οὑδὲν ἔχει μίαν αἶσαν ἐπὶ φρεσίν, ἀλλὰ κυκλεῖται,
πάντα πέριξ, στῆναι δὲ καθ᾽ ἓν μέρος οὐ θέμις ἐστίν,
ἀλλ᾽ ἔχει, ὡς ἤρξαντο, δρόμου μέρος ἶσον ἕκαστος.
Cf. Plutarch Numa 14 (i. 69 f.) τοῖς Αἰγυπτίοις τρόχοις αἰνίττεταί τι.
Nilus Sentent. 193 (Orelli Opusc. Sent. i. 344) [1245 A, B, Migne], Γέλα μὲν τοῦ βίου τὸν τροχόν, ἀτάκτως κυλιόμενον· φυλάττου δὲ τὸν βόθρον [τροχὸν, Migne] εἰς ὃν κυλίει τοὺς ἐν αὐτῷ νυστάζοντας. Cf. 122, p. 334 [1260 D], Σκιᾷ καὶ τροχῷ τὰ λυπηρὰ τοῦ βίου καὶ τὰ φαιδρὰ παράβαλλε· ὡς γὰρ σκιὰ οὐ μένει, καὶ ὡς τροχὸς κυλίεται; and 140, p. 338 [1240 C], Εἰ τὴν ζωὴν τὴν ὄντως ποθεῖς, προσδέχου ἀεὶ τὸν ἀνθρώπινον θάνατον, καὶ μίσει τὸν παρόντα βίον· ὁρᾷς γὰρ τὸν τροχὸν ἀτάκτως κυλιόμενον.
On the whole passage cf. Andrewes, Sermons 603 f. [Library Ang. Grath. Th. iii. p. 122], “The tongue is the substantive and subject of all the rest. It is so; and God can send from Heaven no better thing, nor the devil from hell no worse thing than it. ‘The best member we have,’ saith the Prophet [Ps. cviii. 1 P. B. V.]; the worst member we have, saith the Apostle: — both, as it is employed.
“The best, if it be of God’s cleaving; if it be of His lightening with the fire of Heaven; if it be one that will sit still, if cause be. The worst, if it come from the devil’s hands. For he, as in many other, so in the sending of tongues, striveth to be like God; as knowing well they are every way as fit instruments to work mischief by, as to do good with.”
Note on ἐσπαταλήσατε (v. 5).
Ezek. xvi. 49, ἐν πλησμονῇ ἄρτων καὶ ἐν εὐθηνίᾳ (οἴνου Α) ἐσπατάλων αὕτη (Sodom) καὶ αἱ θυγατέρες αὐτῆς. הַשְׁקֵט, to be at rest, A.V. “idleness.”
Deut. xxviii. 54, “the man that is tender and very delicate (הָרַךְ וְהֶעָנֹג) among you.” Sym. ὁ σπάταλος, LXX. ὁ τρυφερός, Aq. τρυφητής.
Eccles. ii. 8 (Sym.) σπατάλας, תַּעֲנֻגוֹת, the delights of the sons of men. LXX. ἐντρυφήματα, Aq. τρυφάς.
Cant. vii. 7 (6): Ἄλλος (? Sym.), ἀγαπητὴ, ἐν σπατάλαις, תַּעֲנוּגִים. LXX., Aq. τρυφαῖς (ῶν), “O love, for delights.” The same Hebrew word occurs elsewhere only Prov. xix. 10; Mic. 1. 16; ii. 9, and is rendered τρυφή, τρυφερά, τρυφῇς by LXX.108
Amos vi. 4, οἱ καθεύδοντες ἐπὶ κλινῶν ἐλεφαντίνων καὶ κατασπαταλῶντες ἐπ͖ ταῖς στρωμναῖς αὐτῶν, סְרֻחִים, Jer. lascivitis. In vi. 7 the same Hebrew word is τρυφφητῶν in Sym., lascivientium Jer., LXX. having another reading. The word seems to mean “hang” or “stretch languidly and effusely.”
Prov. xxix. 21, ὃς κατασπαταλᾷ ἐκ παιδὸς οἰκέτης ἔσται, מְפַנֵּק (cf. Arab. root “live softly”).
Ps.-Theano Ep. 1 [p. 741] (Gale Opusc. mythol. 86), εἰδυῖα ὅτι τὰ σπαταλῶντα τῶν παιδίων, ὅταν ἀκμάσῃ πρὸς ἄνδρας, ἀνδράποδα γίνεται, τὰς τοιαύτας ἡδονὰς ἀφαίρει. The epistle is all about luxurious and indulgent education.
Nilus Sentent. 319 (Orelli i. 368) ὁ δὲ ἐμπλατύνων ἑαυτὸν ἐν τῷ παρόντι βίῳ διὰ σπατάλης καὶ μέθης καὶ δόξης ἀπανθούσης κ.τ.λ.
Anthologia Palatina xi. 402 σπατάλη bis, κατασπαταλᾷς, with reference to luxurious eating; ix. 642, σπατάλημα, of luxurious food.
Gloss ap. Steph., σπαταλάω delicias ago.
Polybius excerpta Vaticana p. 451 [xxxvii. 4, 6 ed. Didot] πλουσίους το͛τους καταλιπεῖν (τ. παῖδας) καὶ σπαταλῶντας θρέψαι.
Clement Strom. iii. 7 (p. 538): We must practise ἐγκράτεια not only περὶ τὰ ἀφροbίσια, but also περὶ τὰ ἄλλα ὅσα σπαταλῶσα ἐπιθυμεῖ ἡ ψυχὴ ἡμῶν, οὐκ ἀρκουμένη τοῖς ἀναγκαίοις, περιεπγαζομένη δὲ τὴν χλιδήν.
Eustathius bis ap. Steph., τῶν σπαταλώντων μνηστήρων.
Anth. Pal. v. 18: τοῖς σπατάλοις κλέμμασι, . . . ἐκ σπατάλης, of the ointments and other luxurious equipments of rich ladies (τῶν σοβαρῶν).
Ib. v. 27. 6,
καὶ σοβαρῶν ταρσῶν χρυσοφόρος σπατάλη
νῦν πενιχρὴ κ.τ.λ.
ταῦτα τὰ τῶν σπαταλῶν τέρματα παλλακίδων.
Ib. vii. 206. 6 (on a cat killed for eating a partridge),
οἱ δὲ μύες νῦν
ὀρχοῦνται τῆς σῆς δραξάμενοι σπατάλης.
Ib. vi. 74. 8,
παρρίψασα δὲ κισσὸν
χεῖρα περισφίγξω χρυσοδέτῳ σπατάλῃ.
Ib. v. 271. 2,
τὴν χρυσοκροτάλῳ σειομένην σπατάλῃ.
Epiphanius i. 812 A, εἰ ἑώρα τινὰ ἐν τρυφῇ καὶ σπατάλῃ.
“Bardesanes” ap. Euseb. Prep. En. vi. 10 (p. 276 A): From the conjunction of Ares and Paphia in Crius of οἱ Χαλδαίζοντες say are born τοὺς ἀνδρείους καὶ σπατάλους. Cureton says the corresponding Syriac word is unknown to him: dissolutos is the Latin of Rufinus.
Philo de sept. spect. i. 5, σπάταλον καὶ βασιλικὸν τὸ φιλοτέχνημα (the Hanging Gardens).
Chrysostom (on 1 Tim. v. 6) evidently takes gluttony as the leading idea, but sometimes includes drunkenness, and apparently once over-sleep.
Barnabas x. 3, ὅταν σπαταλῶσιν men as swine.109
Hermas Sim. vi. 1, τὰ πρόβατα ταῦτα ὡσεὶ τρυφῶντα ἦν καὶ λίαν σπαταλῶντα, καὶ ἱλαρὰ ἦν σκιρτῶντα ὧδε κἀκεῖσε.
Ps.-Chrysost. de poen. (ix. 777 E), ὁ σπαταλιστὴς ἐκεῖνος, sc. Dives in the parable.
delicata est Cyp Tert 171
in deliciis agit d pp
” ” est vg pp
” ” vivit pp g1
deliciosa ” g2
All the biblical passages and some of the others suggest simply luxurious and self-indulgent living. The leading idea is probably luxurious feeding, as several times in Anth. Pal. and in Chrysostom.
None of the passages bear out the supposed connexion with σπαθάω, to lavish. Rather (as Lobeck) from σπάω, to suck down.
Peculiarities of vocabulary in the Codex Corbeiensis of
|i.||3 (also 4; v. 11)3939All the passages in Jam. in which ὑπομονή occurs.||ὑπομονή||suferentia4040Occurs besides in vg. of v. 11 and twice in d (Lk. viii. 15; xxi. 19).|
|4 bis (also 25; iii. 2)4141In i. 17 perfectus; ii. 22 ἐτελειὡθη||τέλειος||consummatus|
|10 (also 11; ii. 5; v. 1)4242But in ii. 6 divites.||πλούσιος||locuples|
|13||ἀπείραστός (ἐστιν)||temptator non (est)|
|14||δελεάζεται||elicitor (cod. eliditur)|
|15||ἀποκυεῖ4343In i. 18 ἀπεκύησεν, peperit.||(?) adquirit|
|τροπή (? ῥοπή)||(?) momentum (cod. modicum)|
|11021 (also iii. 13)||πραΐτης||clementia|
|22||παραλεγιζόμ^νοι (ἑαυτούς)||(?) aliter consiliantes|
|23||γένεσις4444In iii. 6 nativitas.||natale|
|25||ἀκροατής4545But in vv. 22, 23 auditor.||audiens|
|1||τῆς δόξης||honoris (cod. honeris)|
|4||διακρίνομαι4646But in i. 6 bis dubito.||dijudicer|
|5||ἐπαγγέλλομαι4747In i. 12 promitto.||expromitto|
|6||ἡτιμάσατε||frustrastis (cod. -atis)|
|καταδυναστεύουσιν ὑμῶν||potentantur in vobis|
|8||τελεῖτε||consummamini4848Cf. i. 4,|
|12||ἐλευθερία4949But in i. 25 libertas.||liberalitas|
|13||κατακαυχῶμαι5050Cf. i. 9 καυχ̤σθω, glorietur; iv. 16 καυχᾶσθ9ε, gloriamini; καύχησις, gloria, (?) gloriatio; but iii. 14 ͖ατακαυχᾶσθε, alapamini.||superglorior|
|14 (also i. 21; iv. 12; v. 15, 20||σώζω||salvo|
|iii.||3||πείθομαι||consentio5151Cf. iii. 17,|
|4||(ὅπου)||ubicumque5252Apparently in the sense “anywhere.”|
|6||γένεσις5353In i. 23 natale.||nativitas|
|14||(κατα)καυχᾶσθε5454Cf. ii. 13.||alapamini|
|εὐπειθής||consentiens5555Cf. iii. 3.|
|3||ἡδοναί5656But in iv. i voluptates.||libidines|
|(?) concupisco as vg.)|
|11 ter||καταλαλέω||retracto de|
|13 (also v. 1)||ἄγε νῦν||jam nunc|
|14||ἀτμίς||momentum5757[Dr Hort suggested, flamentum. See Studia Biblica (first series), p. 140.]|
|πρὸς ὀλίγον||per modica (? per modicú)|
|16||καύχησις5858Cf. ii. 13.||gloria (? gloriatio for talis follows)|
|φάγεται||manducabit (of rust)|
|4||τῶν θερισάντων||qui araverunt in|
|7||τίμιον καρπόν||honoratum fructum|
|τῆς κακοπαθίας5959But see v. 13.||de malls passionibus|
|11||πολύσπλαγχνος (? -ως)||visceraliter|
|13||κακοπαθέω6060But see v. 10.||anxio|
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