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(ποθεν). This old interrogative adverb (here twice) asks for the origin of wars and fights. James is full of interrogatives,
like all diatribes.
(επιθυμειτε). Present active indicative of επιθυμεω, old word (from επι, θυμος, yearning passion for), not necessarily evil
as clearly not in Lu 22:15
of Christ, but usually so in the N.T., as here. Coveting what a man or nation does not have is the cause of war according
Because ye ask amiss
(διοτ κακως αιτεισθε). Here the indirect middle does make sense, "ye ask for yourselves" and that is "evilly" or amiss (κακως),
as James explains.
(μοιχαλιδες). Μοιχο κα (ye adulterers) is spurious (Syrian text only). The feminine form here is a common late word from
the masculine μοιχο. It is not clear whether the word is to be taken literally here as in Ro 7:3
, or figuratively for all unfaithful followers of Christ (like an unfaithful bride), as in 2Co 11:1f.; Eph 5:24-28
(the Bride of Christ). Either view makes sense in this context, probably the literal view being more in harmony with the language
of verses 2f
. In that case James may include more than Christians in his view, though Paul talks plainly to church members about unchastity
(η γραφη). Personification as in Ga 3:8; Jas 2:23
. But no O.T. passage is precisely like this, though it is "a poetical rendering" (Ropes) of Ex 20:5
. The general thought occurs also in Ge 6:3-5; Isa 63:8-16
, etc. Paul has the same idea also (Ga 5:17,21; Ro 8:6,8
). It is possible that the reference is really to the quotation in verse
6 from Pr 3:34
and treating all before as a parenthesis. There is no way to decide positively.
(μειζονα χαριν). "Greater grace." Greater than what? "Greater grace in view of the greater requirement" (Ropes), like Ro 5:20f
. God does this.
Be subject therefore unto God
(υποταγητε ουν τω θεω). Second aorist (ingressive) passive imperative of υποτασσω, old verb, to range under (military term
also). Same form in 1Pe 2:23; 5:5
. With the dative case θεω (unto God). The aorist has the note of urgency in the imperative. Note the ten aorist imperatives
7-10 (υποταγητε, αντιστητε, εγγισατε, καθαρισατε, αγνισατε, ταλαιπωρησατε, πενθησατε, κλαυσατε, μετατραπητω, ταπεινωθητε).
Draw nigh to God
(εγγισατε τω θεω). First aorist active imperative of εγγιζω, late verb from εγγυς (near) as in Mt 3:2
. With dative case again of personal relation. The priests in the sanctuary drew nigh to God (Ex 19:22
), as we should now.
(ταλαιπωρησατε). First aorist active imperative ταλαιπωρεω, old verb from ταλαιπωρος (Ro 7:24
), to endure toils, here only in N.T. Cf. ταλαιπωριαις in
(ταπεινωθητε). First aorist passive imperative of ταπεινοω, old verb from ταπεινος (1:9), as in Mt 18:4
. The passive here has almost the middle or reflexive sense. The middle voice was already giving way to the passive. See 1Pe 5:6
for this same form with the same promise of exaltation.
Speak not one against another
(μη καταλαλειτε αλληλων). Prohibition against such a habit or a command to quit doing it, with μη and the present imperative
of καταλαλεω, old compound usually with the accusative in ancient Greek, in N.T. only with the genitive (here, 1Pe 2:12; 3:16
). Often harsh words about the absent. James returns to the subject of the tongue as he does again in
5:12 (twice before, 1:26; 3:1-12
(εις). No "only" in the Greek, but εις here excludes all others but God.
Go to now
(αγε νυν). Interjectional use of αγε (from αγω) as in
5:1 (only N.T. instances) with a plural verb (ο λεγοντες, present active articular participle, ye that say) as is common in
ancient Greek like ιδε νυν ηκουσατε (Mt 26:65
Whereas ye know not
(οιτινες ουκ επιστασθε). The longer relative οστις defines here more precisely (like Latin qui) ο λεγοντες (ye who say) of verse
13 in a causal sense, as in Ac 10:47
, "who indeed do not know" (present middle indicative of επισταμα).
For that ye ought to say
(αντ του λεγειν υμας). "Instead of the saying as to you" (genitive of the articular infinitive with the preposition αντ and
the accusative of general reference with λεγειν), "instead of your saying."
In your vauntings
(εν ταις αλαζονιαις υμων). Old word for braggart talk (from αλαζονευομα, to act the αλαζων empty boaster Ro 1:30
), common in Aristophanes, in N.T. only here and 1Jo 2:16
To him that knoweth
(ειδοτ). Dative case of second perfect participle ειδως (from οιδα), and with the infinitive to know how, "to one knowing
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