James 1:19
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,

New Living Translation
Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.

English Standard Version
Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger;

Berean Study Bible
My beloved brothers, understand this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger,

Berean Literal Bible
Know this, my beloved brothers. But let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow unto anger;

New American Standard Bible
This you know, my beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger;

King James Bible
Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:

Holman Christian Standard Bible
My dearly loved brothers, understand this: Everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger,

International Standard Version
You must understand this, my dear brothers. Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.

NET Bible
Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters! Let every person be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger.

New Heart English Bible
This you know, my beloved brothers. But let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger;

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
And you, my beloved brethren, everyone of you should be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Remember this, my dear brothers and sisters: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and should not get angry easily.

New American Standard 1977
This you know, my beloved brethren. But let everyone be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger;

Jubilee Bible 2000
Therefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath;

King James 2000 Bible
Therefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger:

American King James Version
Why, my beloved brothers, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:

American Standard Version
Ye know this , my beloved brethren. But let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:

Douay-Rheims Bible
You know, my dearest brethren. And let every man be swift to hear, but slow to speak, and slow to anger.

Darby Bible Translation
So that, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath;

English Revised Version
Ye know this, my beloved brethren. But let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:

Webster's Bible Translation
Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:

Weymouth New Testament
You know this, my dearly-loved brethren. But let every one be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to be angry.

World English Bible
So, then, my beloved brothers, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger;

Young's Literal Translation
So then, my brethren beloved, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger,
Study Bible
Hearing and Doing
18He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we would be a kind of firstfruits of His creation. 19My beloved brothers, understand this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger, 20for man’s anger does not bring about the righteousness that God desires.…
Cross References
Numbers 22:27
When the donkey saw the angel of the LORD, she lay down under Balaam; so Balaam was angry and struck the donkey with his stick.

Proverbs 10:19
When there are many words, transgression is unavoidable, But he who restrains his lips is wise.

Proverbs 14:29
He who is slow to anger has great understanding, But he who is quick-tempered exalts folly.

Proverbs 16:32
He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, And he who rules his spirit, than he who captures a city.

Proverbs 17:27
He who restrains his words has knowledge, And he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding.

Proverbs 29:20
Do you see a man who is hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him.

Ecclesiastes 7:9
Do not be eager in your heart to be angry, For anger resides in the bosom of fools.

Acts 1:15
In those days Peter stood up among the brothers (a gathering of about a hundred and twenty) and said,

James 1:2
Consider it pure joy, my brothers, when you encounter trials of many kinds,

James 1:16
Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers.
Treasury of Scripture

Why, my beloved brothers, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:

let.

Nehemiah 8:2,3,12-14,18 And Ezra the priest brought the law before the congregation both …

Nehemiah 9:3 And they stood up in their place, and read in the book of the law …

Proverbs 8:32-35 Now therefore listen to me, O you children: for blessed are they …

Ecclesiastes 5:1 Keep your foot when you go to the house of God, and be more ready …

Mark 2:2 And straightway many were gathered together, so that there was no …

Mark 12:37 David therefore himself calls him Lord; and from where is he then …

Luke 15:1 Then drew near to him all the publicans and sinners for to hear him.

Luke 19:48 And could not find what they might do: for all the people were very …

Acts 2:42 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, …

Acts 10:33 Immediately therefore I sent to you; and you have well done that …

Acts 13:42-44,48 And when the Jews were gone out of the synagogue, the Gentiles sought …

Acts 17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received …

1 Thessalonians 2:13 For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when you …

slow to speak.

James 1:26 If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridles not his tongue, …

James 3:1,2 My brothers, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the …

Proverbs 10:19 In the multitude of words there wants not sin: but he that refrains …

Proverbs 13:3 He that keeps his mouth keeps his life: but he that opens wide his …

Proverbs 15:2 The tongue of the wise uses knowledge aright: but the mouth of fools …

Proverbs 17:27 He that has knowledge spares his words: and a man of understanding …

Proverbs 18:13,21 He that answers a matter before he hears it, it is folly and shame to him…

Proverbs 21:23 Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps his soul from troubles.

Ecclesiastes 5:2,3 Be not rash with your mouth, and let not your heart be hasty to utter …

slow to wrath.

Nehemiah 9:17 And refused to obey, neither were mindful of your wonders that you …

Proverbs 14:17,29 He that is soon angry deals foolishly: and a man of wicked devices is hated…

Proverbs 15:18 A wrathful man stirs up strife: but he that is slow to anger appeases strife.

Proverbs 16:32 He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that rules …

Proverbs 17:14 The beginning of strife is as when one lets out water: therefore …

Proverbs 19:11,19 The discretion of a man defers his anger; and it is his glory to …

Proverbs 25:28 He that has no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken …

Ecclesiastes 7:8,9 Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof: and the …

Matthew 5:22 But I say to you, That whoever is angry with his brother without …

Galatians 5:20,21 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, jealousies, wrath, strife, …

Ephesians 4:26,31 Be you angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down on your wrath…

Colossians 3:8,15 But now you also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, …

(19) We come now to the third subdivision of the chapter. By reason of the Divine benevolence, the Apostle urges his readers--(1) to meekness, (2) self-knowledge, (3) practical religion.

Wherefore, my beloved brethen.--There appears to be some small error in the MSS. here, but the alteration is only just worth mentioning: ye know my brethren beloved, seems the correct version, the very abruptness of which may serve to arrest attention. Yea, "have ye not known?" might well be asked further in the indignant language of Isaiah (Isaiah 40:21; comp. Romans 5:19).

Let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.--For all these cautions are required in the building up of the new life. "The quick speaker is the quick kindler;" and we are told later on "how great a matter a little fire kindleth" (James 3:5). And what have we at all to do with wrath, much less that our whole life--as unhappily it often is--should be wasted with such bitterness? Anger, no doubt, is a wholesome tonic for some minds, and certain weaknesses; but "he that is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city" (Proverbs 16:32).

Verses 19-27. - EXHORTATION

(1) TO HEAR RATHER THAN TO SPEAK,

(2) NOT ONLY TO HEAR, BUT ALSO TO DO. Verse 19. - The text requires correction. For ὥστε... ἔστω πᾶς of the Textus Receptus, read, Ἴστε ἀδελφοί μοι ἀγαπητοι ἔστω δὲ πᾶς, א, A, B, C, Latt. Ἴστε is probably indicative, and refers to what has gone before. "Ye know this, my beloved brethren. But let every man," etc. The verse gives us St. James's version of the proverb, "Speech is silver. Silence is golden." Similar maxims were not infrequent among the Jews. So in Ecclus. 5:11, "Be swift to hear; and let thy life be sincere; and with patience give answer;" cf. 4:29, "Be not hasty in thy tongue, and in thy deeds slack and remiss." In the rabbinical work, 'Pirqe Aboth,' 1. 12, we have the following saying of Rabbi Simeon, the son of Gamaliel (who must, therefore, have been a contemporary of St. James): "All my days I have grown up amongst the wise, and have not found ought good for a man but silence; not learning but doing is the groundwork; and whoso multiplies words occasions sin." This passage is curiously like the one before us, both in the thoughts and in the expressions used. Wherefore, my beloved brethren,.... Since the Gospel, the word of truth, is the means and instrument which God makes use of in regeneration, and in forming people for himself:

let every man be swift to hear; not anything; not idle and unprofitable talk, or filthy and corrupt communication; but wholesome advice, good instructions, and the gracious experiences of the saints, and, above all, the word of God; to the hearing of which men should fly, as doves to their windows; should make haste, and be early in their attendance on it, as well, as constant; and receive it with all readiness, and with a sort of greediness of mind, that their souls may be profited, and God may be glorified: the phrase is Jewish; things easy and smooth, a man is , "swift to hear them (l): slow to speak"; against what is heard, without thoroughly weighing and considering what is said; and this may regard silence under hearing the word, and is also a rule to be observed in private conversation: or the sense may be, be content to be hearers of the word, and not forward to be preachers of it; and if called to that work, think before you speak, meditate on the word, and study to be approved to God and men. Silence is not only highly commended by the Pythagoreans, among whom it was enjoined their disciples five years (m); but also by the Jews: they say, nothing is better for the body than silence; that if a word is worth one shekel, silence is worth two, or worth a precious stone; that it is the spice of speech, and the chief of all spices; that it is the hedge of wisdom; hence it is the advice of Shammai; "say little, and do much" (n): and they cry up, as a very excellent precept, "be silent, and hear"; and as containing more than persons are aware of (o):

slow to wrath; in hearing; when admonitions and reproofs are given, sin is exposed, and vice corrected, and the distinguishing doctrines of grace, are preached; which are apt to fill natural men with wrath, and which must greatly hinder the usefulness of the word; see Luke 4:28. This is omitted in the Ethiopic version.

(l) Gloss. in T. Bab. Megilla, fol. 21. 1.((m) Alex. ab Alex. Genial. Dier. l. 2. c. 25. (n) Pirke Abot, c. 1. sect. 15. 17. & 3. 13. T. Bab. Megilla. fol. 18. 1. Vajikra Rabba, sect. 16. fol. 158. 3. Midrash Kohelet, fol. 71. 1.((o) Philo Zuis Rer. Divin. Haeres. p. 482. Vid. T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 7. 1.19. Wherefore—as your evil is of yourselves, but your good from God. However, the oldest manuscripts and versions read thus: "Ye know it (so Eph 5:5; Heb 12:17), my beloved brethren; BUT (consequently) let every man be swift to hear," that is, docile in receiving "the word of truth" (Jas 1:18, 21). The true method of hearing is treated in Jas 1:21-27, and Jas 2:1-26.

slow to speak—(Pr 10:19; 17:27, 28; Ec 5:2). A good way of escaping one kind of temptation arising from ourselves (Jas 1:13). Slow to speak authoritatively as a master or teacher of others (compare Jas 3:1): a common Jewish fault: slow also to speak such hasty things of God, as in Jas 1:13. Two ears are given to us, the rabbis observe, but only one tongue: the ears are open and exposed, whereas the tongue is walled in behind the teeth.

slow to wrath—(Jas 3:13, 14; 4:5). Slow in becoming heated by debate: another Jewish fault (Ro 2:8), to which much speaking tends. Tittmann thinks not so much "wrath" is meant, as an indignant feeling of fretfulness under the calamities to which the whole of human life is exposed; this accords with the "divers temptations" in Jas 1:2. Hastiness of temper hinders hearing God's word; so Naaman, 2Ki 5:11; Lu 4:28.1:19-21 Instead of blaming God under our trials, let us open our ears and hearts to learn what he teaches by them. And if men would govern their tongues, they must govern their passions. The worst thing we can bring to any dispute, is anger. Here is an exhortation to lay apart, and to cast off as a filthy garment, all sinful practices. This must reach to sins of thought and affection, as well as of speech and practice; to every thing corrupt and sinful. We must yield ourselves to the word of God, with humble and teachable minds. Being willing to hear of our faults, taking it not only patiently, but thankfully. It is the design of the word of God to make us wise to salvation; and those who propose any mean or low ends in attending upon it, dishonour the gospel, and disappoint their own souls.
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