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  • PARALLEL BIBLE - James 3:6

    CHAPTERS: James 1, 2, 3, 4, 5     

    VERSES: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18




    King James Bible - James 3:6

    And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.

    World English Bible

    And the
    tongue is a fire. The world of iniquity among our members is the tongue, which defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature, and is set on fire by Gehenna.

    Douay-Rheims - James 3:6

    And the
    tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is placed among our members, which defileth the whole body, and inflameth the wheel of our nativity, being set on fire by hell.

    Webster's Bible Translation

    And the
    tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire from hell.

    Greek Textus Receptus

    2532 η 3588 γλωσσα 1100 πυρ 4442 ο 3588 κοσμος 2889 της 3588 αδικιας 93 ουτως 3779 η 3588 γλωσσα 1100 καθισταται 2525 5743 εν 1722 τοις 3588 μελεσιν 3196 ημων 2257 η 3588 σπιλουσα 4695 5723 ολον 3650 το 3588 σωμα 4983 και 2532 φλογιζουσα 5394 5723 τον 3588 τροχον 5164 της 3588 γενεσεως 1078 και 2532 φλογιζομενη 5394 5746 υπο 5259 της 3588 γεεννης 1067

    Treasury of Scriptural Knowledge

    VERSE (6) -
    Jud 12:4-6 2Sa 19:43; 20:1 2Ch 10:13-16; 13:17 Ps 64:3; 140:3

    SEV Biblia, Chapter 3:6

    Y la lengua es un fuego, un mundo de maldad. Así es la lengua entre nuestros miembros que contamina todo el cuerpo, e inflama el curso de nuestro naturaleza, y es inflamada del infierno.

    Clarke's Bible Commentary - James 3:6

    Verse 6. The
    tongue is a fire] It is often the instrument of producing the most desperate contentions and insurrections.

    A world of iniquity] This is an unusual form of speech, but the meaning is plain enough; WORLD signifies here a mass, a great collection, an abundance. We use the term in the same sense-a world of troubles, a world of toil, a world of anxiety; for great troubles, oppressive toil, most distressing anxiety. And one of our lexicographers calls his work a world of words; i.e. a vast collection of words: so we also say, a deluge of wickedness, a sea of troubles; and the Latins, oceanus malorum, an ocean of evils. I do not recollect an example of this use of the word among the Greek writers; but in this sense it appears to be used by the Septuagint, Prov. xvii. 6: tou pistou olov o kosmov twn crhmatwn, tou de apistou oude obolov, which may be translated, "The faithful has a world of riches, but the unfaithful not a penny." This clause has nothing answering to it in the Hebrew text. Some think that the word is thus used, 2 Pet. ii. 5: And brought the flood, kosmw asebwn, on the multitude of the ungodly. Mr. Wakefield translates the clause thus: The tongue is the varnisher of injustice. We have seen that kosmov signifies adorned, elegant, beautiful, &c., but I can scarcely think that this is its sense in this place.

    The Syriac gives a curious turn to the expression: And the tongue is a fire; and the world of iniquity is like a wood. Above, the same version has: A little fire burns great woods. So the world of iniquity is represented as inflamed by the wicked tongues of men; the world being fuel, and the tongue a fire.

    So is the tongue among our members] I think St. James refers here to those well known speeches of the rabbins, Vayikra Rabba, sec. 16, fol.

    159. "Rabbi Eleazar said, Man has one hundred and forty-eight members, some confined, others free. The tongue is placed between the jaws; and from under it proceeds a fountain of water, (the great sublingual salivary gland,) and it is folded with various foldings. Come and see what a flame the tongue kindles! Were it one of the unconfined members, what would it not do?" The same sentiment, with a little variation, may be found in Midrash, Yalcut Simeoni, par. 2, fol. 107; and in Erachin, fol. xv. 2, on Psalm cxx. 3: What shall be given unto thee, or what shall be done unto thee, thou false tongue? "The holy blessed God said to the tongue: All the rest of the members of the body are erect, but thou liest down; all the rest are external, but thou art internal. Nor is this enough: I have built two walls about thee; the one bone, the other flesh: What shall be given unto thee, and what shall be done unto thee, O thou false tongue?" Setteth on fire the course of nature] flogizousa ton trocon thv genesewv? And setteth on fire the wheel of life. I question much whether this verse be in general well understood. There are three different interpretations of it: 1. St. James does not intend to express the whole circle of human affairs, so much affected by the tongue of man; but rather the penal wheel of the Greeks, and not unknown to the Jews, on which they were accustomed to extend criminals, to induce them to confess, or to punish them for crimes; under which wheels, fire was often placed to add to their torments. In the book, Deuteronomy Maccabaeis, attributed to Josephus, and found in Haverkamp's edition, vol. ii., p. 497-520, where we have the account of the martyrdom of seven Hebrew brothers, in chap. ix, speaking of the death of the eldest, it is said: anebalon auton epi ton trocot-peri on katateinomenov? "They cast him on the wheel, over which they extended him; pur upestrwsan kai dihreqisan ton trocon prosepikatateinontev? they put coals under it, and strongly agitated the wheel." And of the martyrdom of the sixth brother it is said, cap. 11: parhgon epi ton trocon, ef ou katateinomenov ekmelwv kai eksfondulizomenov upekaieto. kai obeliskouv de oxeiv purwsantev, toiv notoiv proseferon, kai ta pleura diapeirantev autou, kai ta splagcna diekaion? They brought him to the wheel, on which, having distended his limbs, and broken his joints, they scorched him with the fire placed underneath; and with sharp spits heated in the fire, they pierced his sides, and burned his bowels.

    The fire and the wheel are mentioned by Achilles Tatius, lib. 7, p. 449.

    "Having stripped me of my garments, I was carried aloft, twn men mastigav komizontwn, twn de pur kai trocon, some bringing scourges, others the fire and the wheel." Now as genesiv often signifies life, then the wheel of life will signify the miseries and torments of life. To set on fire the wheel of life is to increase a man's torments; and to be set on fire from hell implies having these miseries rendered more active by diabolic agency; or, in other words, bad men, instigated by the devil, through their lies and calumnies, make life burdensome to the objects of their malicious tongues. The wheel and the fire, so pointedly mentioned by St. James, make it probable that this sort of punishment might have suggested the idea to him. See more in Kypke.

    2. But is it not possible that by the wheel of life St. James may have the circulation of the blood in view? Angry or irritating language has an astonishing influence on the circulation of the blood: the heart beats high and frequent; the blood is hurried through the arteries to the veins, through the veins to the heart, and through the heart to the arteries again, and so on; an extraordinary degree of heat is at the same time engendered; the eyes become more prominent in their sockets; the capillary vessels suffused with blood; the face flushed; and, in short, the whole wheel of nature is set on fire of hell. No description can be more natural than this: but it may be objected that this intimates that the circulation of the blood was known to St. James. Now supposing it does, is the thing impossible? It is allowed by some of the most judicious medical writers, that Solomon refers to this in his celebrated portraiture of old age, particularly in Ecclesiastes xii. 6: "Or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern." Here is the very wheel of life from which St. James might have borrowed the idea; and the different times evidently refer to the circulation of the blood, which might be as well known to St. James as the doctrine of the parallax of the sun. See on chap. i. 17.

    3. It is true, however, that the rabbins use the term twdlwt lglg gilgal toledoth, "the wheel of generations," to mark the successive generations of men: and it is possible that St. James might refer to this; as if he had said: "The tongue has been the instrument of confusion and misery through all the ages of the world." But the other interpretations are more likely.

    John Gill's Bible Commentary

    Ver. 6. And the tongue is a fire , etc.] It is like to fire, very useful in its place, to warm and comfort; so is the tongue in Christian conversation, and in the ministry of the word; the hearts of God's children burn within them, while they are talking together, and while the Scriptures of truth are opening to them; but as fire should be carefully watched, and kept, so should men take heed to their ways, that they sin not with their tongue, and keep their tongue from evil, and their lips from speaking guile; for as fire kindles and rises up into a flame, so unchaste, angry, and passionate words, stir up the flame of lust, anger, envy, and revenge; and as fire is of a spreading nature, so are lies, scandal, and evil reports vented by the tongue; and as fire devours all that comes in its way, such are the words of an evil tongue; and therefore are called devouring words, ( Psalm 52:4) they devour the good names of men, and corrupt their good manners, and destroy those who make use of them; and what wood is to fire, and coals to burning coals, that are whisperers, tale bearers, backbiters, and contentious persons to strife, ( Proverbs 26:20,21) a world of iniquity ; that is, as the world is full of things, and full of sin, for it lies in wickedness, so is the tongue full of iniquity; there is a world of it in it; it abounds with it; it cannot well be said how much sin is in it, and done, or occasioned by it; as blasphemy against God, Father, Son, and Spirit; cursing of men, imprecations on themselves, their souls, and bodies, and on others, with a multitude of profane and dreadful oaths; obscene, filthy, and unchaste words; angry, wrathful, and passionate ones; lies, flatteries, reproaches, backbitings, whisperings, tale bearings, etc. And the Jews say, that he that uses an evil tongue multiplies transgression, and that it is equal to idolatry, adultery, and murder f32 , and the cause of all sin; and which they express by way of fable, in this manner f33 : when Adam sinned, God laid hold on him, and slit his tongue into two parts, and said unto him, the wickedness which is, or shall be in the world, thou hast begun with an evil tongue; wherefore I will make all that come into the world know that thy tongue is the cause of all this.

    The Syriac version renders this clause thus, and the world of iniquity is as wood; or the branch of a tree; the tongue is fire, and a wicked world is fuel to it. So is the tongue amongst our members, that it defileth the whole body : the body politic, a whole nation, filling it with contention, strife, division, and confusion; and the ecclesiastical body, the church, by sowing discord, fomenting animosities, making parties, and spreading errors and heresies, whereby the temple of God is defiled; and the natural body, and the several members of it, even the whole person of a man, soul and body, bringing upon him a blot of infamy and reproach never to be wiped off; as for instance, the vice of the tongue, lying, does; and oftentimes through the tongue, the actions done in the body, which seem good, are quite spoiled: and setteth on fire the course of nature , or wheel of nature: the natural body, as before, in which there is a continual rotation or circulation of the blood, by which it is supported; this is the wheel broken at the cistern at death, in ( Ecclesiastes 12:6) or the course of a man's life and actions, yea, of all generations, and the vicissitudes and changes which have happened in them, on which the tongue has a great influence; and so the Syriac version renders it, and sets on fire the series of our genealogies, or our generations, which run like wheels: or it may intend the frame of nature, the whole fabric of the universe, and the general conflagration of it, which will be owing to the tongue; or because men's tongues are against the Lord, to provoke the eyes of his glory, because of the hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against Christ and his people, of which they will be convinced by flames of fire about them: and it is set on fire of hell ; that is, by the devil; for as heaven sometimes is put for God, who dwells in heaven, ( Matthew 21:25 Luke 15:18) so hell is put for the devil, whose habitation it is; (see Matthew 16:18), and the sense is, that the tongue is influenced, instigated, and stirred up by Satan, to speak many evil things, and it will be hereafter set on fire in hell, as the tongue of the rich man in ( Luke 16:24). To which purpose are those words of the Talmud f34 ; whoever uses an evil tongue, the holy blessed God says to hell, I concerning him above, and thou concerning him below, will judge him, as it is said, ( <19C003> Psalm 120:3,4). What shall be done to thee, thou false tongue? sharp arrows of the mighty, with coals of juniper, there is no arrow but the tongue, according to ( Jeremiah 9:8) and there is no mighty one but God, ( Isaiah 42:13) coals of juniper, nhyg wnyyh , these are hell.

    Matthew Henry Commentary

    Verses 1-12 - We are taught to dread an unruly tongue, as one of the greatest evils The affairs of mankind are thrown into confusion by the tongues of men Every age of the world, and every condition of life, private or public affords examples of this. Hell has more to do in promoting the fire of the tongue than men generally think; and whenever men's tongues ar employed in sinful ways, they are set on fire of hell. No man can tam the tongue without Divine grace and assistance. The apostle does no represent it as impossible, but as extremely difficult. Other sin decay with age, this many times gets worse; we grow more froward an fretful, as natural strength decays, and the days come on in which we have no pleasure. When other sins are tamed and subdued by the infirmities of age, the spirit often grows more tart, nature being drawn down to the dregs, and the words used become more passionate That man's tongue confutes itself, which at one time pretends to ador the perfections of God, and to refer all things to him; and at anothe time condemns even good men, if they do not use the same words an expressions. True religion will not admit of contradictions: how man sins would be prevented, if men would always be consistent! Pious an edifying language is the genuine produce of a sanctified heart; an none who understand Christianity, expect to hear curses, lies boastings, and revilings from a true believer's mouth, any more tha they look for the fruit of one tree from another. But facts prove tha more professors succeed in bridling their senses and appetites, than i duly restraining their tongues. Then, depending on Divine grace, let u take heed to bless and curse not; and let us aim to be consistent in our words and actions.

    Greek Textus Receptus

    2532 η 3588 γλωσσα 1100 πυρ 4442 ο 3588 κοσμος 2889 της 3588 αδικιας 93 ουτως 3779 η 3588 γλωσσα 1100 καθισταται 2525 5743 εν 1722 τοις 3588 μελεσιν 3196 ημων 2257 η 3588 σπιλουσα 4695 5723 ολον 3650 το 3588 σωμα 4983 και 2532 φλογιζουσα 5394 5723 τον 3588 τροχον 5164 της 3588 γενεσεως 1078 και 2532 φλογιζομενη 5394 5746 υπο 5259 της 3588 γεεννης 1067

    Vincent's NT Word Studies

    World of iniquity (kosmov thv adikiav). Kosmov, primarily, means order, and is applied to the world or universe as an orderly system. A world of iniquity is an organism containing within itself all evil essence, which from it permeates the entire man. World is used in the same sense as in the latter part of Prov. xvii. 6 (Sept.), which is not given in the A.V. "The trusty hath the whole world of things, but the faithless not a groat." Is the tongue (kaqistatai). This differs a little from the simple is, though it is not easy to render it accurately. The verb means to appoint, establish, institute, and is used of the tongue as having an appointed and definite place in a system (among our members). It might be rendered hath its place.

    Defileth (spilousa). Lit., defiling. Only here and Jude 23. See on 2 Peter ii. 13.

    Setteth on fire (flogizousa). Lit., setting on fire. Only in this verse in New Testament.

    The course of nature (trocon thv genesewv). A very obscure passage. Trocov (only here in New Testament), from trecw, to run, applies generally to anything round or circular which runs or rolls, as a wheel or sphere. Hence, often a wheel. Used of the circuit of fortifications and of circles or zones of land or sea. From the radical sense, to run, comes the meaning course, as the course of the sun; and from this a place for running, a race-course. Genesewv rendered nature, means origin, beginning, birth, manner of birth, production, and is used by Plato for the creation, or the sum of created things. It also means a race, and a generation or age. In the New Testament it occurs but twice outside of this epistle, viz., at Matt. i. 1, "the book of the generation of Jesus Christ," where the meaning is origin or birth; the birth-book of Jesus Christ. The other passage is Matt. i. 18, according to the best texts, also meaning birth. In Jas. i. 23, as we have seen, proswpon thv genesewv is the face of his birth. We may then safely translate trocov by wheel; and as birth is the meaning of genesiv in every New Testament passage where it occurs, we may give it the preference here and render the wheel of birth - i.e.., the wheel which is set in motion at birth and runs on to the close of life. It is thus a figurative description of human life. So Anacreon: "The chariot-wheel, like life, runs rolling round."

    Tertullian says: "The whole revolving wheel of existence bears witness to the resurrection of the dead." The Rev., which gives nature, puts birth in margin. This revolving wheel is kindled by the tongue, and rolls on in destructive blaze. The image is justified by the fact. The tongue works the chief mischief, kindles the most baleful fires in the course of life.

    CHAPTERS: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
    VERSES: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18


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