¶ My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive
the greater condemnation.
.2 For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.
3 Behold, we put bits in the horses' mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body.
4 Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth.
| 1 -Be
not many We may read, "Not many should
be." James apparently felt that their works didn't support their professed
1 - Masters Or "teachers." In this chapter, they should control the tongue beginning at v2, have good behavior v13, have right attitudes v14ff, and get wisdom from God v17.
Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold,
how great a matter a little fire kindleth!
.6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.
7 For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind:
.8 But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.
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8 - Tame the tongue That is, a wild tongue. Compare pr2511. If it's impossible, what can we do? See on je1323.
| 9 Therewith bless we
God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after
the similitude of God.
10 Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.
.11 Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter?
12 Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh.
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we God ... curse men This would be a sign that our relationship
with God is not true. 1jo0420.
11 - Fountain? The modern word is "spring." The implied answer is "no."
12 - Can the fig tree? Jesus made a similar statement mt0716. As for the fountain, any contamination in the water makes all the water impure.
¶ Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew
out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.
.14 But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.
.15 This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.
16 For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.
.17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.
17 - . . . reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy. (NASB)
18 And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.
- Wise Many have studied deeply and
understand their special field of knowledge. James tells us that true and
complete wisdom (and true education) comes only from God ja0117.
13 - Good conversation Or "behavior." Compare ep0203. Also ga0113, 1ti0412, 1pe0115.
14 - Envying From zelos, the bad kind of zeal. jn0217. If we don't forgive others in our heart, we carry this kind of bitterness.
14 - Strife From eritheia meaning working to strengthen a group against others. Or "But if you have bitter envy in your heart and the desire to get the better of others, have no pride in this, talking falsely against what is true." (BBE)
17 - Easy to be intreated Such a person is easy to get along with.