James 4:4
Parallel Verses
New International Version
You adulterous people, don't you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.

New Living Translation
You adulterers! Don't you realize that friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God? I say it again: If you want to be a friend of the world, you make yourself an enemy of God.

English Standard Version
You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.

New American Standard Bible
You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.

King James Bible
Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Adulteresses! Don't you know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? So whoever wants to be the world's friend becomes God's enemy.

International Standard Version
You adulterers! Don't you know that friendship with the world means hostility with God? So whoever wants to be a friend of this world is an enemy of God.

NET Bible
Adulterers, do you not know that friendship with the world means hostility toward God? So whoever decides to be the world's friend makes himself God's enemy.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
Adulterers! Do you not know that the love of this world is hatred toward God? Therefore whoever chooses to be a friend of this world is an enemy of God.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
You unfaithful people! Don't you know that love for this [evil] world is hatred toward God? Whoever wants to be a friend of this world is an enemy of God.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore that desires to be a friend of the world, makes himself the enemy of God.

King James 2000 Bible
You adulterers and adulteresses, know you not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.

American King James Version
You adulterers and adulteresses, know you not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.

American Standard Version
Ye adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore would be a friend of the world maketh himself an enemy of God.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Adulterers, know you not that the friendship of this world is the enemy of God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of this world, becometh an enemy of God.

Darby Bible Translation
Adulteresses, know ye not that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore is minded to be [the] friend of the world is constituted enemy of God.

English Revised Version
Ye adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore would be a friend of the world maketh himself an enemy of God.

Webster's Bible Translation
Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.

Weymouth New Testament
You unfaithful women, do you not know that friendship with the world means enmity to God? Therefore whoever is bent on being friendly with the world makes himself an enemy to God.

World English Bible
You adulterers and adulteresses, don't you know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.

Young's Literal Translation
Adulterers and adulteresses! have ye not known that friendship of the world is enmity with God? whoever, then, may counsel to be a friend of the world, an enemy of God he is set.
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

4:1-10 Since all wars and fightings come from the corruptions of our own hearts, it is right to mortify those lusts that war in the members. Wordly and fleshly lusts are distempers, which will not allow content or satisfaction. Sinful desires and affections stop prayer, and the working of our desires toward God. And let us beware that we do not abuse or misuse the mercies received, by the disposition of the heart when prayers are granted When men ask of God prosperity, they often ask with wrong aims and intentions. If we thus seek the things of this world, it is just in God to deny them. Unbelieving and cold desires beg denials; and we may be sure that when prayers are rather the language of lusts than of graces, they will return empty. Here is a decided warning to avoid all criminal friendships with this world. Worldly-mindedness is enmity to God. An enemy may be reconciled, but enmity never can be reconciled. A man may have a large portion in things of this life, and yet be kept in the love of God; but he who sets his heart upon the world, who will conform to it rather than lose its friendship, is an enemy to God. So that any one who resolves at all events to be upon friendly terms with the world, must be the enemy of God. Did then the Jews, or the loose professors of Christianity, think the Scripture spake in vain against this worldly-mindedness? or does the Holy Spirit who dwells in all Christians, or the new nature which he creates, produce such fruit? Natural corruption shows itself by envying. The spirit of the world teaches us to lay up, or lay out for ourselves, according to our own fancies; God the Holy Spirit teaches us to be willing to do good to all about us, as we are able. The grace of God will correct and cure the spirit by nature in us; and where he gives grace, he gives another spirit than that of the world. The proud resist God: in their understanding they resist the truths of God; in their will they resist the laws of God; in their passions they resist the providence of God; therefore, no wonder that God resists the proud. How wretched the state of those who make God their enemy! God will give more grace to the humble, because they see their need of it, pray for it are thankful for it, and such shall have it. Submit to God, ver. 7. Submit your understanding to the truth of God; submit your wills to the will of his precept, the will of his providence. Submit yourselves to God, for he is ready to do you good. If we yield to temptations, the devil will continually follow us; but if we put on the whole armour of God, and stand out against him, he will leave us. Let sinners then submit to God, and seek his grace and favour; resisting the devil. All sin must be wept over; here, in godly sorrow, or, hereafter, in eternal misery. And the Lord will not refuse to comfort one who really mourns for sin, or to exalt one who humbles himself before him.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 4. - Ye adulterers and adulteresses. Omit μοιχοὶ καί, with א, A, B. The Vulgate has simply adulteri; the Old Latin (ff), fornicatores. Similarly the Syriae. Very strange is this sudden exclamation, "ye adulteresses!" and very difficult to explain. The same word (μοιχαλίς) is used as a feminine adjective by our Lord in the expression, "an evil and adulterous generation" (Matthew 12:39; Matthew 16:4; Mark 8:38); and in this possibly lies the explanation of St. James's use of the term. More probably, however, it should be accounted for as a reminiscence of Ezekiel 23:45, where we read of Samaria and Jerusalem under the titles of Aholah and Aholibah: "The righteous men, they shall judge them after the manner of adulteresses, and after the manner of women that shed blood; because they are adulteresses, and blood is in their hands." It is remarkable too that in Malachi 3:5 the LXX. has μοιχαλίδες, although the Hebrew has the masculine, and men are evidently referred to. If, then, in the Old Testament the Jewish communities were personified as adulteresses, it is not unnatural for St. James to transfer the epithet to those Judaeo-Christian communities to which he was writing; and the word should probably be taken, just as in the Old Testament, of spiritual fornication, i.e. apostasy from God, shown in this case, not by actual idolatry, but by that "friendship of the world" which is "enmity with God," and by "covetousness which is idolatry." Φιλία. The word occurs here only in the New Testament. With the thought of this verse, compare our Lord's words in John 15:18, 19.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Ye adulterers and adulteresses,.... Not who were literally such, but in a figurative and metaphorical sense: as he is an adulterer that removes his affections from his own wife, and sets them upon another woman; and she is an adulteress that loves not her husband, but places her love upon another man; so such men and women are adulterers and adulteresses, who, instead of loving God, whom they ought to love with all their hearts and souls, set their affections upon the world, and the things of it: the Vulgate Latin, Syriac, and Ethiopic versions, leave out the word "adulteresses": these the apostle addresses in the following manner;

know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? that an immoderate love for the good things of the world, and a prevailing desire after the evil things of it, and a delight in the company and conversation of the men of the world, and a conformity to, and compliance with, the sinful manners and customs of the world, are so many declarations of war with God, and acts of hostility upon him; and show the enmity of the mind against him, and must be highly displeasing to him, and resented by him:

whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God; whoever is in league with the one must be an enemy to the other; God and mammon cannot be loved and served by the same persons, at the same time; the one will be loved, and the other hated; the one will be attended to, and the other neglected: this may be known both from reason and from Scripture, particularly from Matthew 6:24.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

4. The oldest manuscripts omit "adulterers and," and read simply, "Ye adulteresses." God is the rightful husband; the men of the world are regarded collectively as one adulteress, and individually as adulteresses.

the world—in so far as the men of it and their motives and acts are aliens to God, for example, its selfish "lusts" (Jas 4:3), and covetous and ambitious "wars and fightings" (Jas 4:1).

enmity—not merely "inimical"; a state of enmity, and that enmity itself. Compare 1Jo 2:15, "love … the world … the love of the Father."

whosoever … will be—The Greek is emphatic, "shall be resolved to be." Whether he succeed or not, if his wish be to be the friend of the world, he renders himself, becomes (so the Greek for "is") by the very fact, "the enemy of God." Contrast "Abraham the friend of God."

James 4:4 Additional Commentaries
Context
Warning against Pride
3You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures. 4You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. 5Or do you think that the Scripture speaks to no purpose: "He jealously desires the Spirit which He has made to dwell in us"?…
Cross References
Jeremiah 2:2
"Go and proclaim in the hearing of Jerusalem: "This is what the LORD says: "'I remember the devotion of your youth, how as a bride you loved me and followed me through the wilderness, through a land not sown.

Ezekiel 16:32
"'You adulterous wife! You prefer strangers to your own husband!

Matthew 6:24
"No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.

John 15:19
If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.

Romans 8:7
The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so.

1 Corinthians 1:20
Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?

1 Corinthians 1:21
For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe.

James 1:27
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

1 John 2:15
Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them.
Treasury of Scripture

You adulterers and adulteresses, know you not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.

adulterers.

Psalm 50:18 When you saw a thief, then you consented with him, and have been …

Psalm 73:27 For, see, they that are far from you shall perish: you have destroyed …

Isaiah 57:3 But draw near here, you sons of the sorceress, the seed of the adulterer …

Jeremiah 9:2 Oh that I had in the wilderness a lodging place of wayfaring men; …

Hosea 3:1 Then said the LORD to me, Go yet, love a woman beloved of her friend, …

Matthew 12:39 But he answered and said to them, An evil and adulterous generation …

Matthew 16:4 A wicked and adulterous generation seeks after a sign; and there …

the friendship.

John 7:7 The world cannot hate you; but me it hates, because I testify of …

John 15:19,23 If you were of the world, the world would love his own: but because …

John 17:14 I have given them your word; and the world has hated them, because …

1 John 2:15,16 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If …

enmity.

Genesis 3:15 And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your …

Romans 8:7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject …

whosoever.

Galatians 1:10 For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for …

is the.

Psalm 21:8 Your hand shall find out all your enemies: your right hand shall …

Luke 19:27 But those my enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, …

John 15:23,24 He that hates me hates my Father also…

Romans 5:10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death …

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