Go to now, you rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come on you.…
St. James' words here are of a highly tragical character, and therefore the sentences are brief, abrupt, concise, and broken; the graphic metaphor reminds us of the style of the outpourings of Hosea. The difficulty here, as in other examples of the same kind of composition, is to catch the logical relation of the thoughts expressed, and trace out the consecutiveness of the clauses. He had charged them with laying up riches "in the last days." There his purpose was to point out their folly with reference to the time in which they were engaged in their ungodly gain. Now he proceeds to show where they were doing this, in the land, the land of Israel, which was on the very point of being given over to the avenger. In the former chapter the visiting of the city by the rich for the purposes of gain had been adverted to, now he supposes them ripen the spot, and the day of vengeance at hand. Jerusalem was the central spot on which the thunderbolt was about to fall that would paralyse all Israel, Hebrews and Hellenists. As a matter of history it is well known that vast numbers of the Dispersion were involved in the catastrophe of the holy city. This passage, however, though addressed to, and by direct implication comprising the Dispersion, yet evidently conveys a prophetic warning and denunciation against the whole family of Israel, on whom the judgment was about to descend.
(F. T. Bassett, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you.