James 2:5
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Listen, my dear brothers and sisters: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him?

New Living Translation
Listen to me, dear brothers and sisters. Hasn't God chosen the poor in this world to be rich in faith? Aren't they the ones who will inherit the Kingdom he promised to those who love him?

English Standard Version
Listen, my beloved brothers, has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom, which he has promised to those who love him?

New American Standard Bible
Listen, my beloved brethren: did not God choose the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him?

King James Bible
Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Listen, my dear brothers: Didn't God choose the poor in this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom that He has promised to those who love Him?

International Standard Version
Listen, my dear brothers! God has chosen the poor in the world to become rich in faith and to be heirs of the kingdom that he promised to those who keep on loving him, has he not?

NET Bible
Listen, my dear brothers and sisters! Did not God choose the poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom that he promised to those who love him?

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
Hear, my beloved brethren: Is it not the poor of this world, however, who are rich in faith? God has chosen them to be the heirs in that Kingdom which God has promised to those who love him.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Listen, my dear brothers and sisters! Didn't God choose poor people in the world to become rich in faith and to receive the kingdom that he promised to those who love him?

Jubilee Bible 2000
Hearken, my beloved brethren, Has not God chosen the poor of this world that they might be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which he has promised to those that love him?

King James 2000 Bible
Hearken, my beloved brethren, Has not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he has promised to them that love him?

American King James Version
Listen, my beloved brothers, Has not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he has promised to them that love him?

American Standard Version
Hearken, my beloved brethren; did not God choose them that are poor as to the world to be rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he promised to them that love him?

Douay-Rheims Bible
Hearken, my dearest brethren: hath not God chosen the poor in this world, rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which God hath promised to them that love him?

Darby Bible Translation
Hear, my beloved brethren: Has not God chosen the poor as to the world, rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom, which he has promised to them that love him?

English Revised Version
Hearken, my beloved brethren; did not God choose them that are poor as to the world to be rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he promised to them that love him?

Webster's Bible Translation
Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?

Weymouth New Testament
Listen, my dearly-loved brethren. Has not God chosen those whom the world regards as poor to be rich in faith and heirs of the Kingdom which He has promised to those that love Him?

World English Bible
Listen, my beloved brothers. Didn't God choose those who are poor in this world to be rich in faith, and heirs of the Kingdom which he promised to those who love him?

Young's Literal Translation
Hearken, my brethren beloved, did not God choose the poor of this world, rich in faith, and heirs of the reign that He promised to those loving Him?
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

2:1-13 Those who profess faith in Christ as the Lord of glory, must not respect persons on account of mere outward circumstances and appearances, in a manner not agreeing with their profession of being disciples of the lowly Jesus. St. James does not here encourage rudeness or disorder: civil respect must be paid; but never such as to influence the proceedings of Christians in disposing of the offices of the church of Christ, or in passing the censures of the church, or in any matter of religion. Questioning ourselves is of great use in every part of the holy life. Let us be more frequent in this, and in every thing take occasion to discourse with our souls. As places of worship cannot be built or maintained without expense, it may be proper that those who contribute thereto should be accommodated accordingly; but were all persons more spiritually-minded, the poor would be treated with more attention that usually is the case in worshipping congregations. A lowly state is most favourable for inward peace and for growth in holiness. God would give to all believers riches and honours of this world, if these would do them good, seeing that he has chosen them to be rich in faith, and made them heirs of his kingdom, which he promised to bestow on all who love him. Consider how often riches lead to vice and mischief, and what great reproaches are thrown upon God and religion, by men of wealth, power, and worldly greatness; and it will make this sin appear very sinful and foolish. The Scripture gives as a law, to love our neighbour as ourselves. This law is a royal law, it comes from the King of kings; and if Christians act unjustly, they are convicted by the law as transgressors. To think that our good deeds will atone for our bad deeds, plainly puts us upon looking for another atonement. According to the covenant of works, one breach of any one command brings a man under condemnation, from which no obedience, past, present, or future, can deliver him. This shows us the happiness of those that are in Christ. We may serve him without slavish fear. God's restraints are not a bondage, but our own corruptions are so. The doom passed upon impenitent sinners at last, will be judgment without mercy. But God deems it his glory and joy, to pardon and bless those who might justly be condemned at his tribunal; and his grace teaches those who partake of his mercy, to copy it in their conduct.

Pulpit Commentary

Verses 5-9. - Proof of the sinfulness of respect of persons. Verse 5. - Hearken (ἀκούσατε). This has been noticed as a coincidence with the speech of St. James in Acts 15:13. It is, however, too slight to be worth much (cf. Acts 7:2; Acts 13:16; Acts 22:1). For τοῦ κόσμου τούτου, read τῷ κόσμῳ (א, A, B, C), "poor as to the world;" perhaps "in the estimation of the world." These God chose (to be) rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom, etc. The kingdom; mentioned here only by St. James (and even here, א, A read ἐπαγγελίας); cf. νόμον βασιλικόν in ver. 8. Which he hath promised. As Dean Plumptre has pointed out, "it is scarcely possible to exclude a direct reference to the words of Christ, as in Luke 6:20; Luke 12:31, 32; and so we get indirect proof of a current knowledge, at the early period at which St. James wrote, of teaching which was afterwards recorded in the written Gospels."

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Hearken, my beloved brethren,.... As to a matter of importance, and worthy of attention and regard; being an instance of the divine conduct towards the poor, and carries in it a strong argument against respect of persons:

hath not God chosen the poor of this world? this interrogative is equal to a strong affirmative; and the sense is, that God has chosen the poor of this world; and which is to be understood, not of the choice of them to an office, either in church or state; though sometimes this has been the case, as the instances of David, and the apostles of Christ, show; nor merely to the Gospel, and the outward means of grace, though the poor have the Gospel preached unto them; nor of the effectual calling, though this is true; but of eternal election, which is the act of God the Father, and passed before the foundation of the world; and is an act of sovereign grace, and is irrespective of faith, holiness, and good works; and is the source of all grace, and remains immutable and irrevocable: now the objects of this are, "the poor of this world"; that is, who are poor with respect to the things of this world, but not with respect to the things of another world; for they are chosen to be heirs of a kingdom, and shall enjoy it; though these are not all chosen by God, nor are they the only persons that are chosen; there are some poor men that are not chosen, and are miserable here and hereafter; and there are some rich men that are chosen; but for the most part, or generally speaking, they are not many mighty, nor noble, but the poorer sort, which God has made choice of to partake both of grace and glory. It may be the apostle has some peculiar respect to the poor among the Gentiles, whom God had chosen; it was usual with the Jews to call the Gentiles the world, and they were Jews the apostle now writes to, and who were scattered abroad among the Gentiles; and therefore he might very aptly call them "this world", among whom they lived; and suggest to them, that God had chosen some of the Gentiles, as well as of the Jews, and even some of the poorer sort of them; and it was usual with the Jews to distinguish between , "the poor of Israel", and , "the poor of the world", or "the poor of the nations of the world" (u): the Alexandrian copy, and some others, leave out the word "this", and so the Syriac and Arabic versions, which makes the phrase more agreeable to the Jewish way of speaking. The Gentiles, in common, were despicable with the Jews, and especially the poor of them; and yet God chose these:

rich in faith; not that they were so, or were considered as such, when chosen, and so were chosen because of their faith; for then also they were, or were considered as heirs of the kingdom, which would be monstrously absurd; and yet there is as much reason, from the text, for the one, as for the other; but the sense is, that they were chosen "to be rich in faith"; and so the Syriac version supplies in the next clause, "that they might be heirs"; which if it had been placed before this clause also, would have been right; election to grace is signified in the one, and election to glory in the other: men are chosen, not because they do believe, or shall believe, but that they might believe; and which faith they have in consequence of election; and which when they have, they are rich: faith is a rich precious grace itself; it is a part of the riches of grace, and is more worth than thousands of gold and silver; and it is the means of receiving and enjoying much riches, as Christ the pearl of great price himself, and all spiritual blessings along with him; such as the rich robe of his righteousness, full pardon of sin, which is according to the riches of his grace, and adoption, which makes men heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ, and even the eternal inheritance itself, both the promise of it, and a right unto it; all which are said to be received by faith; and therefore believers, how poor soever they may be, to this world's goods, are truly rich men:

and heirs of the kingdom; of glory, which is prepared for all the chosen ones, from the foundation of the world; and is freely given to them by their Father, and to which they are called in the effectual calling; and hence they are made kings and priests unto God, and have crowns and thrones provided for them: the Alexandrian copy reads, "heirs of the promise which he hath promised to them that love him"; that is, which God has promised them, as the Vulgate Latin and Syriac versions read; not that their love to God is the cause of this kingdom, or of their choice to it, or of the promise of it to them; all which flow from the love of God to them; but this is descriptive of the persons who shall enjoy it, and may expect to enjoy it, as in James 1:12.

(u) T. Bab. Gittin, fol. 30. 1. & Bava Bathra, fol. 10. 2.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

5. Hearken—James brings to trial the self-constituted "judges" (Jas 2:4).

poor of this world—The best manuscripts read, "those poor in respect to the world." In contrast to "the rich in this world" (1Ti 6:17). Not of course all the poor; but the poor, as a class, furnish more believers than the rich as a class. The rich, if a believer, renounces riches as his portion; the poor, if an unbeliever, neglects that which is the peculiar advantage of poverty (Mt 5:3; 1Co 1:26, 27, 28).

rich in faith—Their riches consist in faith. Lu 12:21, "rich toward God." 1Ti 6:18, "rich in good works" (Re 2:9; compare 2Co 8:9). Christ's poverty is the source of the believer's riches.

kingdom … promised—(Lu 12:32; 1Co 2:9; 2Ti 4:8).

James 2:5 Additional Commentaries
Context
A Warning against Favoritism
4have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil motives? 5Listen, my beloved brethren: did not God choose the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him? 6But you have dishonored the poor man. Is it not the rich who oppress you and personally drag you into court?…
Cross References
1 Samuel 2:8
He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap; he seats them with princes and has them inherit a throne of honor. "For the foundations of the earth are the LORD's; on them he has set the world.

Job 34:19
who shows no partiality to princes and does not favor the rich over the poor, for they are all the work of his hands?

Proverbs 13:7
One person pretends to be rich, yet has nothing; another pretends to be poor, yet has great wealth.

Isaiah 14:32
What answer shall be given to the envoys of that nation? "The LORD has established Zion, and in her his afflicted people will find refuge."

Isaiah 29:19
Once more the humble will rejoice in the LORD; the needy will rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.

Matthew 5:3
"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 25:34
"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.

Luke 12:21
"This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God."

1 Corinthians 1:27
But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.

James 1:12
Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.

James 1:16
Don't be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters.

James 1:19
My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,

Revelation 2:9
I know your afflictions and your poverty--yet you are rich! I know about the slander of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.
Treasury of Scripture

Listen, my beloved brothers, Has not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he has promised to them that love him?

Hearken.

Judges 9:7 And when they told it to Jotham, he went and stood in the top of …

1 Kings 22:28 And Micaiah said, If you return at all in peace, the LORD has not …

Job 34:10 Therefore listen to me you men of understanding: far be it from God, …

Job 38:14 It is turned as clay to the seal; and they stand as a garment.

Proverbs 7:24 Listen to me now therefore, O you children, and attend to the words of my mouth.

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

Mark 7:14 And when he had called all the people to him, he said to them, Listen …

Acts 7:2 And he said, Men, brothers, and fathers, listen; The God of glory …

Hath not.

James 1:9 Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted:

Isaiah 14:32 What shall one then answer the messengers of the nation? That the …

Isaiah 29:19 The meek also shall increase their joy in the LORD, and the poor …

Zephaniah 3:12 I will also leave in the middle of you an afflicted and poor people, …

Zechariah 11:7,11 And I will feed the flock of slaughter, even you, O poor of the flock. …

Matthew 11:5 The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are …

Luke 6:20 And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed be …

Luke 9:57,58 And it came to pass, that, as they went in the way, a certain man …

Luke 16:22,25 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the …

John 7:48 Have any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed on him?

1 Corinthians 1:26-28 For you see your calling, brothers, how that not many wise men after …

2 Corinthians 8:9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he …

rich.

Proverbs 8:17-21 I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me…

Luke 12:21 So is he that lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.

1 Corinthians 3:21-23 Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours…

2 Corinthians 4:15 For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might …

2 Corinthians 6:10 As sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; …

Ephesians 1:18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know …

Ephesians 3:8 To me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given…

1 Timothy 6:18 That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, …

Hebrews 11:26 Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures …

Revelation 2:9 I know your works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but you are rich) …

Revelation 3:18 I counsel you to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that you may be …

Revelation 21:7 He that overcomes shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, …

heirs.

Matthew 5:3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 25:34 Then shall the King say to them on his right hand, Come, you blessed …

Luke 12:32 Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to …

Luke 22:29 And I appoint to you a kingdom, as my Father has appointed to me;

Romans 8:17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; …

1 Thessalonians 2:12 That you would walk worthy of God, who has called you to his kingdom and glory.

2 Thessalonians 1:5 Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that …

2 Timothy 4:8,18 From now on there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which …

1 Peter 1:4 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fades not …

2 Peter 1:11 For so an entrance shall be ministered to you abundantly into the …

the. or, that which. See on ch.

James 1:12 Blessed is the man that endures temptation: for when he is tried, …

Exodus 20:6 And showing mercy to thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.

1 Samuel 2:30 Why the LORD God of Israel said, I said indeed that your house, and …

Proverbs 8:17 I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me.

Matthew 5:3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Luke 6:20 And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed be …

Luke 12:32 Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to …

1 Corinthians 2:9 But as it is written, Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither have …

2 Timothy 4:8 From now on there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which …

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