James 5:3
Parallel Verses
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
Clarke'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


2 Timothy 2:17 And their word will eat as does a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus;

a witness.

Genesis 31:48,52 And Laban said, This heap is a witness between me and you this day. Therefore was the name of it called Galeed...

Joshua 24:27 And Joshua said to all the people, Behold, this stone shall be a witness to us...

Job 16:8 And you have filled me with wrinkles, which is a witness against me: and my leanness rising up in me bears witness to my face.

and shall.

Jeremiah 19:9 And I will cause them to eat the flesh of their sons and the flesh of their daughters...

Micah 3:3 Who also eat the flesh of my people, and flay their skin from off them; and they break their bones, and chop them in pieces...

Revelation 17:16 And the ten horns which you saw on the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked...

Revelation 20:15 And whoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

Revelation 21:8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and fornicators, and sorcerers, and idolaters...

Ye have.

Deuteronomy 32:33,34 Their wine is the poison of dragons, and the cruel venom of asps...

Job 14:16,17 For now you number my steps: do you not watch over my sin...

Romans 2:5 But after your hardness and impenitent heart treasure up to yourself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation...

the last. See on

Genesis 49:1 And Jacob called to his sons, and said, Gather yourselves together, that I may tell you that which shall befall you in the last days.

Isaiah 2:2 And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD's house shall be established in the top of the mountains...

Micah 4:1 But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established in the top of the mountains...

Acts 2:17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, said God, I will pour out of my Spirit on all flesh...

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

June 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?"
Ps. 94:16. 1. In all ages, men who neither feared God nor regarded man have combined together, and formed confederacies, to carry on the works of darkness. And herein they have shown themselves wise in their generation; for by this means they more effectually promoted the kingdom of their father the devil, than otherwise they could I have done. On the other hand, men who did fear God, and desire the happiness of their fellow-creatures, have, in every age, found it needful to join together, in order
John Wesley—Sermons on Several Occasions

On the Whole, Since Scripture Places the Principal Part of Worship in the Invocation Of...
On the whole, since Scripture places the principal part of worship in the invocation of God (this being the office of piety which he requires of us in preference to all sacrifices), it is manifest sacrilege to offer prayer to others. Hence it is said in the psalm: "If we have forgotten the name of our God, or stretched out our hands to a strange god, shall not God search this out?" (Ps. 44:20, 21). Again, since it is only in faith that God desires to be invoked, and he distinctly enjoins us to frame
John Calvin—Of Prayer--A Perpetual Exercise of Faith

But Some Seem to be Moved by the Fact...
But some seem to be moved by the fact, that the prayers of saints are often said to have been heard. Why? Because they prayed. "They cried unto thee" (says the Psalmist), "and were delivered: they trusted in thee, and were not confounded" (Ps. 22:5). Let us also pray after their example, that like them we too may be heard. Those men, on the contrary, absurdly argue that none will be heard but those who have been heard already. How much better does James argue, "Elias was a man subject to like passions
John Calvin—Of Prayer--A Perpetual Exercise of Faith

Cross References
James 5:7
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.

James 5:8
You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord's coming is near.

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