James 4:1
Parallel Verses
New International Version
What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don't they come from your desires that battle within you?

King James Bible
From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?

Darby Bible Translation
Whence [come] wars and whence fightings among you? [Is it] not thence, -- from your pleasures, which war in your members?

World English Bible
Where do wars and fightings among you come from? Don't they come from your pleasures that war in your members?

Young's Literal Translation
Whence are wars and fightings among you? not thence -- out of your passions, that are as soldiers in your members?

James 4:1 Parallel
Commentary
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

From whence come wars and fightings - About the time in which St. James wrote, whether we follow the earlier or the later date of this epistle, we find, according to the accounts given by Josephus, Bell. Jud. lib. ii. c. 17, etc., that the Jews, under pretense of defending their religion, and procuring that liberty to which they believed themselves entitled, made various insurrections in Judea against the Romans, which occasioned much bloodshed and misery to their nation. The factions also, into which the Jews were split, had violent contentions among themselves, in which they massacred and plundered each other. In the provinces, likewise, the Jews became very turbulent; particularly in Alexandria, and different other parts of Egypt, of Syria, and other places, where they made war against the heathens, killing many, and being massacred in their turn. They were led to these outrages by the opinion that they were bound by their law to extirpate idolatry, and to kill all those who would not become proselytes to Judaism. These are probably the wars and fightings to which St. James alludes; and which they undertook rather from a principle of covetousness than from any sincere desire to convert the heathen. See Macknight.

Come they not hence - of your lusts - This was the principle from which these Jewish contentions and predatory wars proceeded, and the principle from which all the wars that have afflicted and desolated the world have proceeded. One nation or king covets another's territory or property; and, as conquest is supposed to give right to all the possessions gained by it, they kill, slay, burn, and destroy, till one is overcome or exhausted, and then the other makes his own terms; or, several neighboring potentates fall upon one that is weak; and, after murdering one half of the people, partition among themselves the fallen king's territory; just as the Austrians, Prussians, and Russians have done with the kingdom of Poland! - a stain upon their justice and policy which no lapse of time can ever wash out.

These wars and fightings could not be attributed to the Christians in that time; for, howsoever fallen or degenerate, they had no power to raise contentions; and no political consequence to enable them to resist their enemies by the edge of the sword, or resistance of any kind.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

whence.

James 3:14-18 But if you have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth...

fightings. or, brawlings. come they.

James 1:14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.

Genesis 4:5-8 But to Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell...

Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

Matthew 15:19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:

Mark 7:21-23 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders...

John 8:44 You are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father you will do. He was a murderer from the beginning...

Romans 8:7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.

1 Timothy 6:4-10 He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof comes envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings...

Titus 3:3 For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy...

1 Peter 1:14 As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:

1 Peter 2:11 Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;

1 Peter 4:2,3 That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God...

2 Peter 2:18 For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness...

2 Peter 3:3 Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,

1 John 2:15-17 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him...

Jude 1:16-18 These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaks great swelling words...

lusts. or, pleasures. See on ver.

James 4:3 You ask, and receive not, because you ask amiss, that you may consume it on your lusts.

in.

Romans 7:5,23 For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit to death...

Galatians 5:17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other...

Colossians 3:5 Mortify therefore your members which are on the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence...

Library
December 29 Evening
Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you.--JAMES 4:8. Enoch walked with God.--Can two walk together, except they be agreed?--It is good for me to draw near to God. The Lord is with you, while ye be with him: and if ye seek him, he will be found of you: but if ye forsake him, he will forsake you. When they in their trouble did turn unto the Lord God of Israel, and sought him, he was found of them. For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of
Anonymous—Daily Light on the Daily Path

April 4. "Resist the Devil and He Will Flee" (James iv. 7).
"Resist the devil and he will flee" (James iv. 7). Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. This is a promise, and God will keep it to us. If we resist the adversary, He will compel him to flee, and will give us the victory. We can, at all times, fearlessly stand up in defiance, in resistance to the enemy, and claim the protection of our heavenly King just as a citizen would claim the protection of the government against an outrage or injustice on the part of violent men. At the same time we
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth

Next Let not Man, Now that He Knoweth that by the Grace of God...
44. Next let not man, now that he knoweth that by the grace of God he is what he is, fall into another snare of pride, so as by lifting up himself for the very grace of God to despise the rest. By which fault that other Pharisee both gave thanks unto God for the goods which he had, and yet vaunted himself above the Publican confessing his sins. What therefore should a virgin do, what should she think, that she vaunt not herself above those, men or women, who have not this so great gift? For she ought
St. Augustine—Of Holy Virginity.

Whether Strife is a Daughter of Anger?
Objection 1: It would seem that strife is not a daughter of anger. For it is written (James 4:1): "Whence are wars and contentions? Are they not . . . from your concupiscences, which war in your members?" But anger is not in the concupiscible faculty. Therefore strife is a daughter, not of anger, but of concupiscence. Objection 2: Further, it is written (Prov. 28:25): "He that boasteth and puffeth up himself, stirreth up quarrels." Now strife is apparently the same as quarrel. Therefore it seems
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

Cross References
Romans 7:23
but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me.

2 Timothy 2:23
Don't have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels.

Titus 3:9
But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and quarrels about the law, because these are unprofitable and useless.

1 Peter 2:11
Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul.

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