James 1:5
Parallel Verses
New International Version
If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.

New Living Translation
If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.

English Standard Version
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.

New American Standard Bible
But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.

King James Bible
If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Now if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives to all generously and without criticizing, and it will be given to him.

International Standard Version
Now if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives to everyone generously without a rebuke, and it will be given to him.

NET Bible
But if anyone is deficient in wisdom, he should ask God, who gives to all generously and without reprimand, and it will be given to him.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
But if anyone of you lacks wisdom, let him ask from God who gives to everyone simply, and does not reproach, and it will be given to him.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
If any of you needs wisdom to know what you should do, you should ask God, and he will give it to you. God is generous to everyone and doesn't find fault with them.

Jubilee Bible 2000
And if any of you lacks wisdom, let them ask of God (who gives abundantly to all, and without reproach), and it shall be given them.

King James 2000 Bible
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all men liberally, and reproaches not; and it shall be given him.

American King James Version
If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that gives to all men liberally, and upbraides not; and it shall be given him.

American Standard Version
But if any of you lacketh wisdom, let him ask of God, who giveth to all liberally and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

Douay-Rheims Bible
But if any of you want wisdom, let him ask of God, who giveth to all men abundantly, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

Darby Bible Translation
But if any one of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all freely and reproaches not, and it shall be given to him:

English Revised Version
But if any of you lacketh wisdom, let him ask of God, who giveth to all liberally and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

Webster's Bible Translation
If any of you lacketh wisdom, let him ask of God, who giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given to him.

Weymouth New Testament
And if any one of you is deficient in wisdom, let him ask God for it, who gives with open hand to all men, and without upbraiding; and it will be given him.

World English Bible
But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach; and it will be given to him.

Young's Literal Translation
and if any of you do lack wisdom, let him ask from God, who is giving to all liberally, and not reproaching, and it shall be given to him;
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

1:1-11 Christianity teaches men to be joyful under troubles: such exercises are sent from God's love; and trials in the way of duty will brighten our graces now, and our crown at last. Let us take care, in times of trial, that patience, and not passion, is set to work in us: whatever is said or done, let patience have the saying and doing of it. When the work of patience is complete, it will furnish all that is necessary for our Christian race and warfare. We should not pray so much for the removal of affliction, as for wisdom to make a right use of it. And who does not want wisdom to guide him under trials, both in regulating his own spirit, and in managing his affairs? Here is something in answer to every discouraging turn of the mind, when we go to God under a sense of our own weakness and folly. If, after all, any should say, This may be the case with some, but I fear I shall not succeed, the promise is, To any that asketh, it shall be given. A mind that has single and prevailing regard to its spiritual and eternal interest, and that keeps steady in its purposes for God, will grow wise by afflictions, will continue fervent in devotion, and rise above trials and oppositions. When our faith and spirits rise and fall with second causes, there will be unsteadiness in our words and actions. This may not always expose men to contempt in the world, but such ways cannot please God. No condition of life is such as to hinder rejoicing in God. Those of low degree may rejoice, if they are exalted to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom of God; and the rich may rejoice in humbling providences, that lead to a humble and lowly disposition of mind. Worldly wealth is a withering thing. Then, let him that is rich rejoice in the grace of God, which makes and keeps him humble; and in the trials and exercises which teach him to seek happiness in and from God, not from perishing enjoyments.

Pulpit Commentary

Verses 5-11. - Digression suggested by the thought of perfection. There can be no true perfection without wisdom, which is the gift of God, and must be sought from him. It is possible that the thought and connection of the passage is due to a reminiscence of Wisd. 9:6, "For though a man be never so perfect (τέλειος) among the children of men, yet if thy wisdom be not with him, he shall be nothing regarded." But whether this be so or not, the teaching is manifestly founded on our Lord's words with regard to prayer, Matthew 7:7, "Ask, and it shall be given you;" and Mark 11:23, "Have faith in God. Verily I say unto you, Whoever shall say... and shall not doubt (διακριθῇ) in his heart," etc. Τοῦ διδόντος Θεοῦ. The order of the words shows that God's character is that of a Giver: "the giving God." His "nature and property" is to give as well as to forgive. Man often spoils his gifts,

(1) by the grudging way in which they are given, and

(2) by the reproaches which accompany them.

God, on the contrary, gives to all

(1) liberally, and

(2) without upbraiding Ἁπλῶς: only here in the New Testament, but cf. ἁπλότης in Romans 12:8; 2 Corinthians 8:2; 2 Corinthians 9:11, 13. Vulgate, affluenter; A.V. and R.V., "liberally." It is almost equivalent to "without any arriere pensee." Μὴ ὀνειδίζοντος: cf. Ecclus. 41:22, Μετὰ τὸ δοῦναι μὴ ὀνείδιζε

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

If any of you lack wisdom,.... This shows that the perfection before spoken of is not to be understood as in this life, since the apostle immediately supposes lack of wisdom in them; for this is not said in a form of doubting, whether they wanted it or not, but rather as supposing, and taking it for granted that they did; and in the first, and primary sense of the words, it intends wisdom to behave aright under temptations or afflictions. Saints often want wisdom to consider God as the author of them, and not look upon them as matters of chance, or impute them merely to second causes; but to regard them as coming from the hand of God, and as his hand upon them, as Job did; who does not ascribe his calamities to the thieving Chaldeans and Sabeans, to the boisterous wind, and to the malice of Satan, but to God: they want wisdom to observe the sovereignty of God in them, and bow unto it, and be still, and know that he is God, who does all things well and wisely; and likewise to see and know that all are in love, and in very faithfulness, and for good; as well as to see his name, to hear his rod, and him that has appointed it, his voice in it, his mind and meaning, and what he designs by it; as likewise to learn the useful lessons under it, and particularly to take the cross well, to bear it patiently, and even to count it all joy, and reckon it to be right, necessary, and useful: it requires much wisdom to learn all this, and act up to it. Moreover, this may be applied to all other cases, in which wisdom is wanted; men want wisdom to conduct them in the common affairs of life, and especially the people of God; for the children of the world are wiser in their generation, for themselves and posterity, and in the management of worldly affairs, than the children of light; and also to observe the providences of God, and the footsteps of Providence, and to follow them; and likewise to make a right use of providences, and behave suitably under them, and not be lifted up too much in prosperity, nor be cast down, and too much distressed in adversity; but to consider, that the one is set against the other, and both work together for good. Saints have need of wisdom in things spiritual; they want more grace, which is the truest wisdom, and a larger knowledge of the Gospel, which is the wisdom of God, the hidden wisdom of God; and they lack wisdom to know how to walk towards them that are without, and towards them that are within, so as becomes the Gospel of Christ: and as this is more or less the case of everyone

let him ask of God wisdom; of God the Father, who is the only wise God, who has abounded in creation, in providence, and, above all, in redemption and grace, in all wisdom and prudence; and of his Son Jesus Christ, who is the wisdom of God, and has all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge in him; and of the Spirit of God, who is a Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Christ, and all divine things:

that giveth to all men liberally; God is the giver of all good things, in nature, providence, and grace; every good and perfect gift comes from him, and therefore he, and he only, should be applied unto: and he gives to "all men" the bounties of his providence; and to all that ask, and call upon him in sincerity, the riches of his grace; even to Jews and Gentiles, high and low, rich and poor, greater or lesser sinners; all which he gives "liberally", readily, and at once, freely and cheerfully, and largely and abundantly; not grudgingly, sparingly, and with a strait hand, but with an open one, and in a very extensive manner.

And upbraideth not; with former sins and transgressions, with former miscarriages and misconduct; or with former kindnesses, suggesting that he had given largely already, and his favours had been despised or abused; or he had been treated with ingratitude and neglect; in which manner sometimes men put off those that apply unto them, but so does not God; wherefore every word here used is encouraging to go to God for wisdom: yea, it follows,

and it shall be given him; God has said it, Christ has promised it, and the apostle might, with certainty, say it after them, and all experience confirms the truths of it; See Matthew 7:7.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

5. English Version omits "But," which the Greek has, and which is important. "But (as this perfect entireness wanting nothing is no easy attainment) if any," &c.

lack—rather, as the Greek word is repeated after James's manner, from Jas 1:4, "wanting nothing," translate, "If any of you want wisdom," namely, the wisdom whereby ye may "count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations," and "let patience have her perfect work." This "wisdom" is shown in its effects in detail, Jas 3:7. The highest wisdom, which governs patience alike in poverty and riches, is described in Jas 1:9, 10.

ask—(Jas 4:2).

liberally—So the Greek is rendered by English Version. It is rendered with simplicity, Ro 12:8. God gives without adding aught which may take off from the graciousness of the gift [Alford]. God requires the same "simplicity" in His children ("eye … single," Mt 6:22, literally, "simple").

upbraideth not—an illustration of God's giving simply. He gives to the humble suppliant without upbraiding him with his past sin and ingratitude, or his future abuse of God's goodness. The Jews pray, "Let me not have need of the gifts of men, whose gifts are few, but their upbraidings manifold; but give me out of Thy large and full hand." Compare Solomon's prayer for "wisdom," and God's gift above what he asked, though God foresaw his future abuse of His goodness would deserve very differently. James has before his eye the Sermon on the Mount (see my [2603]Introduction). God hears every true prayer and grants either the thing asked, or else something better than it; as a good physician consults for his patient's good better by denying something which the latter asks not for his good, than by conceding a temporary gratification to his hurt.

James 1:5 Additional Commentaries
Context
Rejoicing in Trials
4And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. 5But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. 6But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind.…
Cross References
1 Kings 3:9
So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?"

Psalm 51:6
Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb; you taught me wisdom in that secret place.

Proverbs 2:6
For the LORD gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.

Proverbs 3:6
in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

Proverbs 8:17
I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me.

Daniel 2:21
He changes times and seasons; he deposes kings and raises up others. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning.

Matthew 7:7
"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.

James 3:17
But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.
Treasury of Scripture

If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that gives to all men liberally, and upbraides not; and it shall be given him.

any.

Exodus 31:3,6 And I have filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, …

Exodus 36:1-4 Then worked Bezaleel and Aholiab, and every wise hearted man…

1 Kings 3:7-9,11,12 And now, O LORD my God, you have made your servant king instead of …

Job 28:12-28 But where shall wisdom be found? and where is the place of understanding…

Proverbs 3:5-7 Trust in the LORD with all your heart; and lean not to your own understanding…

Proverbs 9:4-6 Whoever is simple, let him turn in here: as for him that wants understanding, …

Jeremiah 1:6,7 Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child…

2 Corinthians 2:16 To the one we are the smell of death to death; and to the other the …

let.

James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down …

James 3:17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, …

James 5:16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that …

1 Chronicles 22:12 Only the LORD give you wisdom and understanding, and give you charge …

2 Chronicles 1:10 Give me now wisdom and knowledge, that I may go out and come in before …

Proverbs 2:3-6 Yes, if you cry after knowledge, and lift up your voice for understanding…

Isaiah 55:6,7 Seek you the LORD while he may be found, call you on him while he is near…

Jeremiah 29:12 Then shall you call on me, and you shall go and pray to me, and I …

Jeremiah 29:13 And you shall seek me, and find me, when you shall search for me …

Daniel 2:18-22 That they would desire mercies of the God of heaven concerning this secret…

Matthew 7:7-11 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, …

Luke 11:9-13 And I say to you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall …

John 4:10 Jesus answered and said to her, If you knew the gift of God, and …

John 14:13 And whatever you shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father …

John 15:7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, you shall ask what …

John 16:23,24 And in that day you shall ask me nothing. Truly, truly, I say to …

1 John 3:22 And whatever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, …

1 John 5:14,15 And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any …

and upbraideth.

Matthew 11:20 Then began he to upbraid the cities wherein most of his mighty works …

Mark 16:14 Afterward he appeared to the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided …

Luke 15:20-22 And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great …

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