New American Standard Bible
Your riches have rotted and your garments have become moth-eaten.
King James Bible
Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten.
Darby Bible Translation
Your wealth is become rotten, and your garments moth-eaten.
World English Bible
Your riches are corrupted and your garments are moth-eaten.
Young's Literal Translation
your riches have rotted, and your garments have become moth-eaten;
James 5:2 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
Your riches are corrupted - The word here rendered "corrupted" (σήπω sēpō) does not occur elsewhere in the New Testament. It means, to cause to rot, to corrupt, to destroy. The reference here is to their hoarded treasures; and the idea is, that they had accumulated more than they needed for their own use; and that, instead of distributing them to do good to others, or employing them in any useful way, they kept them until they rotted or spoiled. It is to be remembered, that a considerable part of the treasures which a man in the East would lay up, consisted of perishable materials, as garments, grain, oil, etc. Such articles of property were often stored up, expecting that they would furnish a supply for many years, in case of the prevalence of famine or wars. Compare Luke 12:18-19. A suitable provision for the time to come cannot be forbidden; but the reference here is to cases in which great quantities had been laid up, perhaps while the poor were suffering, and which were kept until they became worthless.
Your garments are moth-eaten - The same idea substantially is expressed here in another form. As the fashions in the East did not change as they do with us, wealth consisted much in the garments that were laid up for show or for future use. See the notes at Matthew 6:19. Q. Curtius says that when Alexander the Great was going to take Persepolis, the riches of all Asia were gathered there together, which consisted not only of a great abundance of gold and silver, but also of garments, Lib. vi. c. 5. Horace tells us that when Lucullus the Roman was asked if he could lend a hundred garments for the theater, he replied that he had five thousand in his house, of which they were welcome to take part or all. Of course, such property would be liable to be moth-eaten; and the idea here is, that they had amassed a great amount of this kind of property which was useless to them, and which they kept until it became destroyed.
LibraryAgainst Rash and Vain Swearing.
"But above all things, my brethren, swear not." St. James v. 12. Among other precepts of good life (directing the practice of virtue and abstinence from sin) St. James doth insert this about swearing, couched in expression denoting his great earnestness, and apt to excite our special attention. Therein he doth not mean universally to interdict the use of oaths, for that in some cases is not only lawful, but very expedient, yea, needful, and required from us as a duty; but that swearing which …
Isaac Barrow—Sermons on Evil-Speaking, by Isaac Barrow
Prayer for and with Each Other.
On the Sacrament of Extreme Unction.
While I am decaying like a rotten thing, Like a garment that is moth-eaten.
Behold, the Lord GOD helps Me; Who is he who condemns Me? Behold, they will all wear out like a garment; The moth will eat them.
"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.
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