New International Version
Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire. You have hoarded wealth in the last days.
King James Bible
Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days.
Darby Bible Translation
Your gold and silver is eaten away, and their canker shall be for a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as fire. Ye have heaped up treasure in [the] last days.
World English Bible
Your gold and your silver are corroded, and their corrosion will be for a testimony against you, and will eat your flesh like fire. You have laid up your treasure in the last days.
Young's Literal Translation
your gold and silver have rotted, and the rust of them for a testimony shall be to you, and shall eat your flesh as fire. Ye made treasure in the last days!
James 5:3 Parallel
CommentaryClarke's Commentary on the Bible
Your gold and silver is cankered - Instead of helping the poor, and thus honoring God with your substance, ye have, through the principle of covetousness, kept all to yourselves.
The rust of them shall be a witness against you - Your putrefied stores, your moth-eaten garments, and your tarnished coin, are so many proofs that it was not for want of property that you assisted not the poor, but through a principle of avarice; loving money, not for the sake of what it could procure, but for its own sake, which is the genuine principle of the miser. This was the very character given to this people by our Lord himself; he called them φιλαργυροι, lovers of money. Against this despicable and abominable disposition, the whole of the 12th chapter of St. Luke is levelled; but it was their easily besetting sin, and is so to the present day.
Shall eat your flesh as it were fire - This is a very bold and sublime figure. He represents the rust of their coin as becoming a canker that should produce gangrenes and phagedenous ulcers in their flesh, till it should be eaten away from their bones.
Ye have heaped treasure together - This verse is variously pointed. The word ὡς, like as, in the preceding clause, is left out by the Syriac, and some others; and πυρ, fire, is added here from that clause; so that the whole verse reads thus: "Your gold and your silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall consume your flesh. Ye have treasured up Fire against the last days." This is a bold and fine image: instead of the treasures of corn, wine, and oil, rich stuffs, with silver and gold, which ye have been laying up, ye shall find a treasure, a magazine of fire, that shall burn up your city, and consume even your temple. This was literally true; and these solemn denunciations of Divine wrath were most completely fulfilled. See the notes on Matthew 24 (note), where all the circumstances of this tremendous and final destruction are particularly noted.
By the last days we are not to understand the day of judgment, but the last days of the Jewish commonwealth, which were not long distant from the date of this epistle, whether we follow the earlier or later computation, of which enough has been spoken in the preface.
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
the last. See on
LibraryJune the Twenty-Ninth Effectual Prayers
"The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much." --JAMES v. 13-20. Or, as Weymouth translates it, "The heartfelt supplication of a righteous man exerts a mighty influence." Prayer may be empty words, with no more power than those empty shells which have been foisted upon the Turks in their war with the Balkan States. Firing empty shells! That is what many professed prayers really are; they have nothing in them, and they accomplish nothing. They are just forged upon the lips, and …
John Henry Jowett—My Daily Meditation for the Circling Year
"Who Will Rise up with Me against the Wicked?"
On the Whole, Since Scripture Places the Principal Part of Worship in the Invocation Of...
But Some Seem to be Moved by the Fact...
Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord's coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains.
You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord's coming is near.
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