James 5:4
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Look! The wages you failed to pay the workers who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty.

New Living Translation
For listen! Hear the cries of the field workers whom you have cheated of their pay. The wages you held back cry out against you. The cries of those who harvest your fields have reached the ears of the LORD of Heaven's Armies.

English Standard Version
Behold, the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, are crying out against you, and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts.

New American Standard Bible
Behold, the pay of the laborers who mowed your fields, and which has been withheld by you, cries out against you; and the outcry of those who did the harvesting has reached the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth.

King James Bible
Behold, the hire of the labourers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of sabaoth.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Look! The pay that you withheld from the workers who reaped your fields cries out, and the outcry of the harvesters has reached the ears of the Lord of Hosts.

International Standard Version
Look! The wages that you kept back from the workers who harvested your fields are shouting out against you, and the cries of the reapers have reached the ears of the Lord of the Heavenly Armies.

NET Bible
Look, the pay you have held back from the workers who mowed your fields cries out against you, and the cries of the reapers have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
Behold, the payment of the laborers which you swindled, who have reaped your land, cries out, and the cry of the reapers has entered the ears of THE LORD JEHOVAH of Hosts.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
The wages you refused to pay the people who harvested your fields shout [to God] against you. The Lord of Armies has heard the cries of those who gather the crops.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Behold, the hire of the labourers who have reaped your fields (which you have kept back by fraud) cries out; and the cries of those who have reaped have entered into the ears of the Lord of the hosts.

King James 2000 Bible
Behold, the hire of the laborers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, cries: and the cries of them who have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of hosts.

American King James Version
Behold, the hire of the laborers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, cries: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of sabaoth.

American Standard Version
Behold, the hire of the laborers who mowed your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth out: and the cries of them that reaped have entered into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Behold the hire of the labourers, who have reaped down your fields, which by fraud has been kept back by you, crieth: and the cry of them hath entered into the ears of the Lord of sabaoth.

Darby Bible Translation
Behold, the wages of your labourers, who have harvested your fields, wrongfully kept back by you, cry, and the cries of those that have reaped are entered into the ears of [the] Lord of sabaoth.

English Revised Version
Behold, the hire of the labourers who mowed your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth out: and the cries of them that reaped have entered into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth.

Webster's Bible Translation
Behold, the hire of the laborers who have reaped your fields, which is by you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them who have reaped have entered into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth.

Weymouth New Testament
I tell you that the pay of the labourers who have gathered in your crops--pay which you are keeping back--is calling out against you; and the outcries of those who have been your reapers have entered into the ears of the Lord of the armies of Heaven.

World English Bible
Behold, the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you have kept back by fraud, cry out, and the cries of those who reaped have entered into the ears of the Lord of Armies.

Young's Literal Translation
lo, the reward of the workmen, of those who in-gathered your fields, which hath been fraudulently kept back by you -- doth cry out, and the exclamations of those who did reap into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth have entered;
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

5:1-6 Public troubles are most grievous to those who live in pleasure, and are secure and sensual, though all ranks suffer deeply at such times. All idolized treasures will soon perish, except as they will rise up in judgment against their possessors. Take heed of defrauding and oppressing; and avoid the very appearance of it. God does not forbid us to use lawful pleasures; but to live in pleasure, especially sinful pleasure, is a provoking sin. Is it no harm for people to unfit themselves for minding the concerns of their souls, by indulging bodily appetites? The just may be condemned and killed; but when such suffer by oppressors, this is marked by God. Above all their other crimes, the Jews had condemned and crucified that Just One who had come among them, even Jesus Christ the righteous.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 4 accounts for the miseries that are coming upon them. Their sins are the cause. The language is modeled upon the Old Testament, and the special sin denounced is one that is expressly forbidden in the Law (see Deuteronomy 24:14, 15, "Thou shalt not oppress an hired servant that is poor and needy. At his day thou shalt give him his hire, neither shall the sun go down upon it: for he is poor, and setteth his heart upon it: lest he cry against thee unto the Lord, and it be sin unto thee;" cf. Malachi 3:5, "I will be a swift witness... against those that oppress the hireling in his wages (LXX., ἐπὶ τοὺς ἀποστεροῦντας μισθὸν μισθωτοῦ)" Later allusions to the same sin are found in Tobit 4:14; Ecclus. 34:22. Which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth. For ἀπεστερημένος of the Received Text, read ἀφυστερημένος (א, B). It is possible to join the words ἀφ ὑμῶν with κράζει, but it is more natural to take them as the A.V. with ἀφυστερημένος. Reaped... reaped (ἀμησάντων... θερισάντων); R.V., "mowed... reaped." But it would seem that the words should have been reversed, as, judging by Old Testament usage, ἀμάω is always used of corn (Leviticus 25:11; Deuteronomy 24:19; Isaiah 17:5; Isaiah 37:30; Micah 6:15); while θερίζειν is the wider word, including all "harvesting," and used of χόρτος in Psalm 128. (127.) 7; Jeremiah 9:22. Into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth. These words are adopted from Isaiah 5:9, Κύριος Σαβαώθ, a Grecized form of the Hebrew יהוה צבאות, frequent in the LXX. Found in the New Testament only here and Romans 9:29 (in a quotation); elsewhere, e.g. in the Apocalypse, it is represented by παντοκράτωρ (Revelation 1:8, etc.); so also in 2 Corinthians 6:18 (equivalent to 2 Samuel 7:8).

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Behold the hire of the labourers, which have reaped down your fields,.... The wages agreed for by the day, with the labourers in their fields, particularly their reapers; which one instance serves for many others; and is the rather mentioned, because reaping is a laborious work, and those who are employed in it have nothing to live upon but their hand labour; and especially because they are made use of in cutting down the corn when it is fully ripe, and in great plenty; wherefore, to detain their just wages from them argues great inhumanity and wickedness; and yet this was what was done by rich men:

which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth; unto God for vengeance, as the blood of Abel did; and shows that such an evil, however privately and fraudulently it may be done, will be made public, and is a crying one:

and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of sabaoth; that is, the Lord of hosts; of angels, and of men; of the host of heaven, and of the inhabitants of the earth; of Jews and Gentiles, and of rich and poor; and who has power to vindicate the cause of the latter against their rich oppressors, and will do it; his ears are open to their cries, he takes notice of them, and regards them, and will take vengeance on those that injure them. The reference is to Deuteronomy 24:15.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

4. Behold—calling attention to their coming doom as no vain threat.

labourers—literally "workmen."

of you kept back—So English Version rightly. Not as Alford, "crieth out from you." The "keeping back of the hire" was, on the part OF the rich, virtually an act of "fraud," because the poor laborers were not immediately paid. The phrase is therefore not, "kept back by you," but "of you"; the latter implying virtual, rather than overt, fraud. James refers to De 24:14, 15, "At this day … give his hire, neither shall the sun go down upon it, lest he CRY against thee unto the Lord, and it be sin unto thee." Many sins "cry" to heaven for vengeance which men tacitly take no account of, as unchastity and injustice [Bengel]. Sins peculiarly offensive to God are said to "cry" to Him. The rich ought to have given freely to the poor; their not doing so was sin. A still greater sin was their not paying their debts. Their greatest sin was not paying them to the poor, whose wages is their all.

cries of them—a double cry; both that of the hire abstractly, and that of the laborers hired.

the Lord of sabaoth—here only in the New Testament. In Ro 9:29 it is a quotation. It is suited to the Jewish tone of the Epistle. It reminds the rich who think the poor have no protector, that the Lord of the whole hosts in heaven and earth is the guardian and avenger of the latter. He is identical with the "coming Lord" Jesus (Jas 5:7).

James 5:4 Additional Commentaries
Context
Misuse of Riches
3Your gold and your silver have rusted; and their rust will be a witness against you and will consume your flesh like fire. It is in the last days that you have stored up your treasure! 4Behold, the pay of the laborers who mowed your fields, and which has been withheld by you, cries out against you; and the outcry of those who did the harvesting has reached the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth. 5You have lived luxuriously on the earth and led a life of wanton pleasure; you have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter.…
Cross References
Exodus 2:23
During that long period, the king of Egypt died. The Israelites groaned in their slavery and cried out, and their cry for help because of their slavery went up to God.

Exodus 22:23
If you do and they cry out to me, I will certainly hear their cry.

Leviticus 19:13
"'Do not defraud or rob your neighbor. "'Do not hold back the wages of a hired worker overnight.

Deuteronomy 15:9
Be careful not to harbor this wicked thought: "The seventh year, the year for canceling debts, is near," so that you do not show ill will toward the needy among your fellow Israelites and give them nothing. They may then appeal to the LORD against you, and you will be found guilty of sin.

Deuteronomy 24:15
Pay them their wages each day before sunset, because they are poor and are counting on it. Otherwise they may cry to the LORD against you, and you will be guilty of sin.

Job 24:10
Lacking clothes, they go about naked; they carry the sheaves, but still go hungry.

Job 31:38
"if my land cries out against me and all its furrows are wet with tears,

Job 31:39
if I have devoured its yield without payment or broken the spirit of its tenants,

Job 34:28
They caused the cry of the poor to come before him, so that he heard the cry of the needy.

Isaiah 5:9
The LORD Almighty has declared in my hearing: "Surely the great houses will become desolate, the fine mansions left without occupants.

Jeremiah 22:13
"Woe to him who builds his palace by unrighteousness, his upper rooms by injustice, making his own people work for nothing, not paying them for their labor.

Malachi 3:5
"So I will come to put you on trial. I will be quick to testify against sorcerers, adulterers and perjurers, against those who defraud laborers of their wages, who oppress the widows and the fatherless, and deprive the foreigners among you of justice, but do not fear me," says the LORD Almighty.

Matthew 9:37
Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.

Romans 9:29
It is just as Isaiah said previously: "Unless the Lord Almighty had left us descendants, we would have become like Sodom, we would have been like Gomorrah."
Treasury of Scripture

Behold, the hire of the laborers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, cries: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of sabaoth.

the hire.

Leviticus 19:13 You shall not defraud your neighbor, neither rob him…

Deuteronomy 24:14,15 You shall not oppress an hired servant that is poor and needy, whether …

Job 24:10,11 They cause him to go naked without clothing, and they take away the …

Job 31:38,39 If my land cry against me, or that the furrows likewise thereof complain…

Isaiah 5:7 For the vineyard of the LORD of hosts is the house of Israel, and …

Jeremiah 22:13 Woe to him that builds his house by unrighteousness, and his chambers …

Habakkuk 2:11 For the stone shall cry out of the wall, and the beam out of the …

Malachi 3:5 And I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift witness …

Colossians 4:1 Masters, give to your servants that which is just and equal; knowing …

the cries.

Genesis 4:10 And he said, What have you done? the voice of your brother's blood …

Exodus 2:23,24 And it came to pass in process of time, that the king of Egypt died: …

Exodus 3:9 Now therefore, behold, the cry of the children of Israel is come to me…

Exodus 22:22-24,27 You shall not afflict any widow, or fatherless child…

Deuteronomy 24:15 At his day you shall give him his hire, neither shall the sun go …

Job 34:28 So that they cause the cry of the poor to come to him, and he hears …

Psalm 9:12 When he makes inquisition for blood, he remembers them: he forgets …

Luke 18:7 And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night to …

Lord.

Romans 9:29 And as Esaias said before, Except the Lord of Sabaoth had left us …

Isaiah 1:9 Except the LORD of hosts had left to us a very small remnant, we …

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Armies Cries Crieth Crops Cry Cutting Ears Entered Failed Falsely Field Fields Fraud Gathered Grain Grass Harvesters Harvesting Hire Hosts Keeping Kept Laborers Money Mowed Outcries Outcry Pay Reached Reaped Reapers Sabaoth Wages Workers Workmen
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