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Word Pictures in the New Testament
(James: Chapter 4)

4:1 {Whence} (pothen). This old interrogative adverb (here twice) asks for the origin of wars and fights. James is full of interrogatives, like all diatribes.
{Wars} (polemoi) {--fightings} (machai).
{War} (polemos, old word, Mt 24:6) pictures the chronic state or campaign, while machˆ (also old word, 2Co 7:5) presents the separate conflicts or battles in the war. So James covers the whole ground by using both words. The origin of a war or of any quarrel is sometimes hard to find, but James touches the sore spot here.
{Of your pleasures} (ek t“n hˆdon“n hum“n). Old word from hˆdomai. Ablative case here after ek, "out of your sinful, sensual lusts," the desire to get what one does not have and greatly desires.
{That war} (t“n strateuomen“n). Present middle articular participle (ablative case agreeing with hˆdon“n) of strateu“, to carry on a campaign, here as in 1Pe 2:11 of the passions in the human body. James seems to be addressing nominal Christians, "among you" (en humin). Modern church disturbances are old enough in practice.

4:2 {Ye lust} (epithumeite). Present active indicative of epithume“, old word (from epi, thumos, 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 to James.
{Ye kill and covet} (phoneuete kai zˆloute). Present active indicatives of phoneu“ (old verb from phoneus, murderer) and zˆlo“, to desire hotly to possess (1Co 12:31). It is possible (perhaps probable) that a full stop should come after phoneuete (ye kill) as the result of lusting and not having. Then we have the second situation: "Ye covet and cannot obtain (epituchein, second aorist active infinitive of epitugchan“), and (as a result) ye fight and war." This punctuation makes better sense than any other and is in harmony with verse 1. Thus also the anticlimax in phoneuete and zˆloute is avoided. Mayor makes the words a hendiadys, "ye murderously envy."
{Ye have not, because ye ask not} (ouk echete dia to mˆ aiteisthai humas). James refers again to ouk echete (ye do not have) in verse 2. Such sinful lusting will not obtain. "Make the service of God your supreme end, and then your desires will be such as God can fulfil in answer to your prayer" (Ropes). Cf. Mt 6:31-33. The reason here is expressed by dia and the accusative of the articular present middle infinitive of aite“, used here of prayer to God as in Mt 7:7f. Humƒs (you) is the accusative of general reference. Note the middle voice here as in aiteisthe in 3. Mayor argues that the middle here, in contrast with the active, carries more the spirit of prayer, but Moulton ("Prol"., p. 160) regards the distinction between aite“ and aiteomai often "an extinct subtlety."

4:3 {Because ye ask amiss} (dioti kak“s aiteisthe). Here the indirect middle does make sense, "ye ask for yourselves" and that is "evilly" or amiss (kak“s), as James explains.
{That ye may spend it in your pleasures} (hina en tais hˆdonais hum“n dapanˆsˆte). Purpose clause with hina and the first aorist subjunctive of dapana“, old verb from dapanˆ, cost (Lu 14:28 only in N.T.), to squander (Lu 15:14). God does not hear prayers like this.

4:4 {Ye adulteresses} (moichalides). Moichoi kai (ye adulterers) is spurious (Syrian text only). The feminine form here is a common late word from the masculine moichoi. 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 (Eph 5:3-5).
{Enmity with God} (echthra tou theou). Objective genitive theou with echthra (predicate and so without article), old word from echthros, enemy (Ro 5:10), with eis theon (below and Ro 8:7). {Whosoever therefore would be} (hos ean oun boulˆthˆi). Indefinite relative clause with hos and modal ean and the first aorist passive (deponent) subjunctive of boulomai, to will (purpose).
{A friend of the world} (philos tou kosmou). Predicate nominative with infinitive einai agreeing with hos. See 2:23 for philos theou (friend of God).
{Maketh himself} (kathistatai). Present passive (not middle) indicative as in 3:6, "is constituted," "is rendered."
{An enemy of God} (echthros tou theou). Predicate nominative and anarthrous and objective genitive (theou).

4:5 {The Scripture} (hˆ graphˆ). 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.
{In vain} (ken“s). Old adverb (Aristotle) from ken“s (2:20), here alone in N.T. "Emptily," not meaning what it says.
{Made to dwell} (kat“ikisen). First aorist active of katoikiz“, old verb, to give a dwelling to, only here in N.T.
{Long unto envying} (pros phthonon epipothei). A difficult phrase. Some even take pros phthonon with legei rather than with epipothei, as it naturally does go, meaning "jealously." But even so, with God presented as a jealous lover, does to pneuma refer to the Holy Spirit as the subject of epipothei or to man's spirit as the object of epipothei? Probably the former and epipothei then means to yearn after in the good sense as in Php 1:8.

4:6 {More grace} (meizona charin). "Greater grace." Greater than what? "Greater grace in view of the greater requirement" (Ropes), like Ro 5:20f. God does this.
{Wherefore} (dio). To prove this point James quotes Pr 3:34.
{God resisteth the proud} (ho theos huperˆphanois antitassetai). Present middle (direct) indicative of antitass“, old military term, to range in battle against, with dative case (Ro 13:2) as in 5:6. Huperˆphanois (huper, phainomai) is like our vernacular "stuck-up folks" (Ro 1:30), "haughty persons."
{But giveth grace to the humble} (tapeinois de did“sin charin). Anarthrous adjective again, "to humble or lowly persons," for which word see 1:9f. Cf. 2:5-7; 5:1-6.

4:7 {Be subject therefore unto God} (hupotagˆte oun t“i the“i). Second aorist (ingressive) passive imperative of hupotass“, old verb, to range under (military term also). Same form in 1Pe 2:23; 5:5. With the dative case the“i (unto God). The aorist has the note of urgency in the imperative. Note the ten aorist imperatives in verses 7-10 (hupotagˆte, antistˆte, eggisate, katharisate, hagnisate, talaip“rˆsate, penthˆsate, klausate, metatrapˆt“, tapein“thˆte).
{But resist the devil} (antistˆte de t“i diabol“i). Second aorist (ingressive) active (intransitive) imperative of anthistˆmi, "take a stand against." Dative case diabol“i. Result of such a stand is that the devil will flee (pheuxetai, future middle of pheug“). See 1Pe 5:8f.; Eph 6:11f.; Lu 10:17.

4:8 {Draw nigh to God} (eggisate t“i the“i). First aorist active imperative of eggiz“, late verb from eggus (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.
{Cleanse your hands} (katharisate cheiras). First aorist active imperative of kathariz“, to cleanse, from dirt in a ritual sense (Ex 30:19-21; Mr 7:3,19). Here it is figurative, as in Ho 1:16; Ps 24:4. If we always had clean (from sin) hands and hearts? {Ye sinners} (hamart“loi). A sharp term to strike the conscience, "a reproach meant to startle and sting" (Ropes). {Purify your hearts} (hagnisate kardias). First aorist active imperative of hagniz“, old verb from hagnos (Jas 3:17), ceremonially (Ac 21:24,26), but here morally as in 1Pe 1:22; 1Jo 3:3. Anarthrous use of kardias as of cheiras (wash hands, purify hearts).
{Ye double-minded} (dipsuchoi). As in 1:8.

4:9 {Be afflicted} (talaip“rˆsate). First aorist active imperative talaip“re“, old verb from talaip“ros (Ro 7:24), to endure toils, here only in N.T. Cf. talaip“riais in 5:1. {Mourn} (penthˆsate). First aorist active imperative of penthe“, old verb from penthos (mourning, 4:9), as in Mt 5:4f. Often in N.T. joined as here with klai“, to weep (Mr 16:10; Lu 6:25). A call to the godly sorrow spoken of in 2Co 7:10 (Mayor), like an O.T. prophet.
{Weep} (klausate). First aorist active imperative of klai“.
{Laughter} (gel“s). Old word from Homer down, only here in N.T. as gela“, to {laugh} (opposite of klai“), in N.T. only in Lu 6:21,25, but katagela“ in Lu 8:53 (Mr 5:40; Mt 9:24).
{Be turned} (metatrapˆt“). Second aorist passive imperative of metatrep“, old word, to turn about, to transmute, in Homer (not in Attic), here only in N.T.
{Heaviness} (katˆpheian). Old word from katˆphˆs (of a downcast look, from kata, phaˆ eyes), hanging down of the eyes like the publican in Lu 18:13, here only in N.T.

4:10 {Humble yourselves} (tapein“thˆte). First aorist passive imperative of tapeino“, old verb from tapeinos (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.
{He shall exalt you} (hups“sei humas). Future active indicative of hupso“, common verb from hupsos (height), used by Jesus in contrast with tapeino“ as here (Mt 23:12; Lu 14:11; 18:14).

4:11 {Speak not one against another} (mˆ katalaleite allˆl“n). Prohibition against such a habit or a command to quit doing it, with and the present imperative of katalale“, 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).
{Judgeth} (krin“n). In the sense of harsh judgment as in Mt 7:1; Lu 6:37 (explained by katadikaz“).
{Not a doer of the law, but a judge} (ouk poiˆtˆs nomou, alla kritˆs). This tone of superiority to law is here sharply condemned. James has in mind God's law, of course, but the point is the same for all laws under which we live. We cannot select the laws which we will obey unless some contravene God's law, and so our own conscience (Ac 4:20). Then we are willing to give our lives for our rebellion if need be.

4:12 {One only} (heis). No "only" in the Greek, but heis here excludes all others but God.
{The lawgiver} (ho nomothetˆs). Old compound (from nomos, tithˆmi), only here in N.T. In Ps 9:20. Cf. nomothete“ in Heb 7:11; 8:6.
{To save} (s“sai, first aorist active infinitive of s“z“) {and to destroy} (kai apolesai, first aorist active infinitive of apollumi to destroy)
. Cf. the picture of God's power in Mt 10:28, a common idea in the O.T. (De 32:39; 1Sa 2:16; 2Ki 5:7).
{But who art thou?} (su de tis ei;). Proleptic and emphatic position of su (thou) in this rhetorical question as in Ro 9:20; 14:4.
{Thy neighbour} (ton plˆsion). "The neighbour" as in Jas 2:8.

4:13 {Go to now} (age nun). Interjectional use of age (from ag“) as in 5:1 (only N.T. instances) with a plural verb (hoi legontes, present active articular participle, ye that say) as is common in ancient Greek like ide nun ˆkousate (Mt 26:65). {Today or tomorrow} (sˆmeron ˆ aurion). Correct text (Aleph B), not kai (and).
{Into this city} (eis tˆnde tˆn polin). Old demonstrative hode, rare in N.T. (Lu 10:39) save in neuter plural tade (these things Ac 21:11). One would point out the city on the map (Mayor) as he made the proposal (we will go, poreusometha).
{And spend a year there} (kai poiˆsomen ekei eniauton). Another future (active of poie“). "We will do a year there."
{And trade} (kai emporeusometha). Future middle of emporeuomai (en, poreuomai, to go in)
, old verb from emporos (a merchant or trader, a drummer, one going in and getting the trade, Mt 13:45), a vivid picture of the Jewish merchants of the time.
{And get gain} (kai kerdˆsomen). Future (Ionic form) active of kerdain“, old verb from kerdos (gain, Php 1:21), as in Mt 16:26.

4:14 {Whereas ye know not} (hoitines ouk epistasthe). The longer relative hostis defines here more precisely (like Latin "qui") hoi legontes (ye who say) of verse 13 in a causal sense, as in Ac 10:47, "who indeed do not know" (present middle indicative of epistamai).
{What shall be on the morrow} (tˆs aurion). Supply hˆmeras (day) after aurion. This is the reading of B (Westcott) "on the morrow" (genitive of time), but Aleph K L cursives have to tˆs aurion ("the matter of tomorrow"), while A P cursives have ta tˆs aurion ("the things of tomorrow"). The sense is practically the same, though to tˆs aurion is likely correct.
{What is your life?} (poia hˆ z“ˆ hum“n). Thus Westcott and Hort punctuate it as an indirect question, not direct. Poia is a qualitative interrogative (of what character).
{As vapour} (atmis). This is the answer. Old word for mist (like atmos, from which our "atmosphere"), in N.T. only here and Ac 2:19 with kapnou (vapour of smoke (from Joe 2:30).
{For a little time} (pros oligon). See same phrase in 1Ti 4:8, pros kairon in Lu 8:13, pros h“ran in Joh 5:35.
{That appeareth and then vanisheth away} (phainomenˆ epeita kai aphanizomenˆ). Present middle participles agreeing with atmis, "appearing, then also disappearing," with play on the two verbs (phainomai, aphaniz“ as in Mt 6:19, from aphanˆs hidden Heb 4:13)
with the same root phan (phain“, a-phan-ˆs).

4:15 {For that ye ought to say} (anti tou legein humƒs). "Instead of the saying as to you" (genitive of the articular infinitive with the preposition anti and the accusative of general reference with legein), "instead of your saying."
{If the Lord will} (ean ho kurios thelˆi). Condition of the third class with ean and the present active subjunctive (or first aorist active thelesˆi in some MSS). The proper attitude of mind (Ac 18:21; 1Co 4:19; 16:7; Ro 1:19; Php 2:19,24; Heb 6:3), not to be uttered always in words like a charm. This Hellenistic formula was common among the ancient heathen, as today among modern Arabs like the Latin "deo volente".
{This or that} (touto ˆ ekeino). Applicable to every act.

4:16 {In your vauntings} (en tais alazoniais hum“n). Old word for braggart talk (from alazoneuomai, to act the alaz“n empty boaster Ro 1:30), common in Aristophanes, in N.T. only here and 1Jo 2:16.
{Glorying} (kauchˆsis). Act of glorying, late word from kauchaomai, good if for Christ (1Th 2:19), bad if for self as here.

4:17 {To him that knoweth} (eidoti). Dative case of second perfect participle eid“s (from oida), and with the infinitive to know how, "to one knowing how."
{To do good} (kalon poiein). "To do a good deed."
{And doeth it not} (kai mˆ poiounti). Dative again of the present active participle of poie“, "and to one not doing it." Cf. "not a doer" (1:23) and Mt 7:26.
{Sin} (hamartia). Unused knowledge of one's duty is sin, the sin of omission. Cf. Mt 23:23.

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Word Pictures in the New Testament
(James: Chapter 4)

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