James 5:10
Take, my brothers, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(10) For an example.—Another reason for endurance, an example of affliction and patience, the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. These are the bright ones in the cloud of witnesses, of whom the Epistle to the Hebrews (Hebrews 12:1) speaks, who, like Daniel, “stopped the mouths of lions”; like Jeremiah and Elijah, “escaped the edge of the sword;” “out of weakness were made strong”; who “were stoned,” like Zachariah; “sawn asunder,” like Isaiah; “slain with the sword,” like Urijah and John; “of whom the world was not worthy.” Thus the saints of the Old Covenant are held up for honour and imitation to those of the New. James was not advocating a religion alien to that of Moses, but building again more widely “the ruins of the tabernacle which had fallen down,” that “all the Gentiles might seek after the Lord.” (Comp. his speech in the synod, Acts 15:13-21.)

James 5:10-11. Take the prophets — Once persecuted like you, even for speaking in the name of the Lord — The very men that gloried in having the prophets, yet could not bear their message. Nor did either the holiness or the high commission of these messengers of God screen them from suffering; for an example of suffering affliction — Or persecution from the persons to whom they brought divine revelations; and of patience — In suffering. Behold, we count them happy — We commend them, and believe them to be the beloved children of God; who endure — Bear their sufferings with patience, meekness, and a contented mind. The apostle’s mentioning this immediately after he had proposed the prophets as an example of patience in suffering, shows that he herein alludes to Christ’s words, (Matthew 5:11,) Blessed are ye when men shall revile you, &c., for so persecuted they the prophets that were before you. Ye have heard of the patience of Job — Under his peculiarly heavy sufferings; and have seen the end of the Lord — Ye have seen, in the history of that good man, what a happy issue the Lord gave to his sufferings; or how much to his honour and comfort his various and heavy afflictions concluded; that the Lord is very pitiful, &c. — And that it is with the bowels of an affectionate father that he corrects his beloved children, and not for his own gratification, but with a view to their eternal advantage.5:7-11 Consider him that waits for a crop of corn; and will not you wait for a crown of glory? If you should be called to wait longer than the husbandman, is not there something more worth waiting for? In every sense the coming of the Lord drew nigh, and all his people's losses, hardships, and sufferings, would be repaid. Men count time long, because they measure it by their own lives; but all time is as nothing to God; it is as a moment. To short-lived creatures a few years seem an age; but Scripture, measuring all things by the existence of God, reckons thousands of years but so many days. God brought about things in Job's case, so as plainly to prove that he is very pitiful and of tender mercy. This did not appear during his troubles, but was seen in the event, and believers now will find a happy end to their trials. Let us serve our God, and bear our trials, as those who believe that the end will crown all. Our eternal happiness is safe if we trust to him: all else is mere vanity, which soon will be done with for ever.Take, my brethren, the prophets - That is, in your trials and persecutions. To encourage them to the exercise of patience, he points them to the example of those who had trod the same thorny path before them. The prophets were in general a much persecuted race of men; and the argument on which the apostle relies from their example is this:

(1) that if the prophets were persecuted and tried, it may be expected that other good men will be;

(2) that they showed such patience in their trials as to be a model for us.

An example of suffering affliction - That is, they showed us how evils are to be borne.

10. the prophets—who were especially persecuted, and therefore were especially "blessed."

example of suffering affliction—rather, simply, "of affliction," literally, "evil treatment."

Take, my brethren, the prophets; as being most eminent among God’s people, and leaders of them; he intimates that it is an honour to suffer among the best.

Who have spoken in the name of the Lord; by his command and authority, and so were employed in the highest services in the church, and thereby appeared to be approved of God, and most dear to him.

For an example of suffering affliction: as much as God honoured and loved them, yet they were not exempted from afflictions, but were maligned, traduced, and persecuted by men, 1 Kings 18:13 19:14 2 Kings 6:31 Amos 7:10 Hebrews 11:1-40; and therefore when they suffered such hard things, it is no shame for you to suffer the like, Matthew 5:12.

And of patience; as the example of their sufferings should prevent your discouragement, so the example of their patience should provoke your imitation; God having set them forth as examples of both, that if you suffer the same things, you may suffer with the same minds. Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord,.... Men who have been highly honoured of God, with a gift of prophesying, or foretelling things to come; to whom God revealed his secrets, doing nothing without acquainting them with it; and who were sent forth by him, and prophesied in his name what were made known unto them; and yet, though these were his favourites, they suffered much; as cruel mockings, scourgings, imprisonment, famine, nakedness, and death in various shapes; some being stoned, others sawn asunder, and others killed by the sword; all which they endured with incredible patience. And therefore the apostle proposes them to be taken,

for an example suffering affliction, and of patience; their afflictions were many and great, and yet they were very patient under them; and through faith and patience they went through them, and now inherit the promises; and so are a very proper example and pattern for New Testament saints to follow and copy after.

{6} Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience.

(6) Because most men will object, that it is good to repel injuries by whatever means, he contrasts that with the examples of the fathers whose patience had a most happy end, because God as a most bountiful Father, never forsakes his.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Jam 5:10-11. Old Testament examples adduced for the sake of strengthening the exhortation to patience.

ὑπόδειγμα λάβετε] ὑπόδειγμα (instead of the classical παράδειγμα) here, as frequently in the N. T. and LXX., an example, a pattern; in sense equivalent to ὑπόγραμμον, 1 Peter 2:21; τύπος, 2 Thessalonians 3:9 (εἰς τὸ μιμεῖσθαι).

τῆς κακοπαθείας καὶ τῆς μακροθυμίας] κακοπάθεια, in the N. T. ἅπ. λεγ., is not synonymous with μακροθυμία = vexationum patientia (Hottinger), but denotes suffering, affliction, synonymous with ξυμφοραί, Thue. vii. 77; in 2Ma 2:26-27, it is used in a somewhat attenuated sense. Schneckenburger arbitrarily combines it with the following words into one idea = τῆς ἐν κακοπαθείᾳ μακροθυμίας; by this combination the point of κακοπάθεια is weakened. On the sentiment, see Matthew 5:12.

By the relative clause οἳ ἐλάλησαν (ἐν) τῷ ὀνόματι κυρίου, belonging to τοὺς προφήτας, is indicated that the prophets, as servants of God, stand opposed to the world, even as believing Christians do. The dative τῷ ὀνόματι (see critical remark) is not to be explained, with Meyer (see on Matthew 7:22), “by means of the name, i.e. that the name of the Lord satisfied their religious consciousness and was the object of their confession;” but, as is commonly understood = ἐν τῷ ὀνόματι κυρίου (Wiesinger: jussu et autoritate; de Wette: “by virtue of the name”); this is evident from the fact that the Hebrew דִּבֵּר בְּשֵׁם יְהֹוָה is translated in the LXX. not only by ἐν (τᾷ) ὀν. κυρίου (Daniel 9:6) or by ἐπὶ τῷ ὀν. (Jeremiah 20:9), but also by λαλεῖν τῷ ὀνόματι κυρίου (Jeremiah 44:16).[233]

[233] Also in union with other verbs the LXX. translate בְּשֵׁם sometimes by the simple dative; thus Exodus 33:19; Exodus 34:5 : καλεῖν τῷ ὀνόματι; Jeremiah 12:16 : ὀμνύειν τῷ ὀν. μου; see also Isaiah 41:25; Isaiah 43:7; Isaiah 45:4.—Though this usage were not decisive, yet it would be most natural to explain the dative τῷ ἐνόματι = through the name, by which the name of the Lord would be conceived as the objective power by which the prophets were induced to speak.Jam 5:10. ὑπόδειγμα: Cf. Sir 44:16 and especially John 13:15, ὑπόδ. ἔδωκα ὑμῖν … of our Lord.—τῆς κακοπαθείας: ἅπ. λεγ. in N.T. cf. 4Ma 9:8. It means “endurance” rather than the R.V. “suffering”; this goes better with μακροθυμίας, “patience”. The rendering “endurance” has support from the papyri, see Deissmann, Neue Bibelst., pp. 91 f.—ἐν τῷ ὀνόματι: although this use of the phrase is paralleled by its use in the papyri (see Deissmann, Bibelst., pp. 143–5: Neue Bibelst., pp. 25, 26), it is more probable that in this case it comes through the Septuagint from the Hebrew בשׁם; cf. above Jam 2:7.10. Take, my brethren, the prophets …] Better, as representing the emphatic order of the Greek, As an example of affliction and long-suffering take, my brethren, the prophets … The first of the nouns expresses simply the objective affliction, not the manner of enduring it.

the prophets who have spoken …] Better, who spake. The words point, perhaps, chiefly to the prophets of the Old Testament, as having, with scarcely an exception, suffered persecution (Matthew 5:12). But we must not forget that there were prophets also in the Christian Church (1 Corinthians 12:10; 1 Corinthians 14:24; 1 Corinthians 14:29; Ephesians 2:20; Ephesians 4:11; Revelation 22:9), and that these were exposed to the same trials as their predecessors. It is to their sufferings that St Paul probably referred in 1 Thessalonians 2:15, and St James may well have included them in his general reference. Stephen and his own namesake, the son of Zebedee, may have been specially present to his thoughts.Jam 5:10. Ἀδελφοί μου, τῆς κακοπαθείας) The vindication of this reading is to be found, App. Crit. Ed. ii. on this passage.[72]—Τῆς ΚΑΚΟΠΑΘΕΊΑς, the enduring of evils) lest you should think that any strange thing has happened to you. The word κακοπαθεῖ occurs, Jam 5:13.—ΤΟῪς ΠΡΟΦΉΤΑς, the prophets) who were singularly persecuted in their time, and therefore blessed: Matthew 5:12.—ἐλάλησαν, have spoken) How great was the violence of the world, and the patient endurance of the prophets, is here intimated.—τῷ ὀνόματι, in the name) The obedience of the prophets in praising the name of the Lord is intended: ἐν is understood, as at Matthew 7:22; Leviticus 19:12, Septuagint.

[72] AB Vulg. omit μον. Rec. Text omits it, with Syr. and Memph. Also AB and most Versions put ἀδελφοὶ before κακοπαθείας. Rec. Text puts it after κακοπ, without good authority.—E.Verse 10. - The injunction is further strengthened by an appeal to the example of the prophets of the old covenant, an "example of suffering and of patience." Read ἐν τῶ ὀνόματι, with א, B, and observe the anarthrous Κυρίου (cf. on James 4:10). Suffering affliction. Τῆς κακοπαθείας.: here only in the LXX., Malachi 1:13; 2 Macc. 2:26. Example (ὑπόδειγμα)

See on 2 Peter 2:6.

Of suffering affliction (κακοπαθείας)

Only here in New Testament. The word does not mean the endurance of affliction, but affliction itself. Hence, Rev., rightly, suffering.

The prophets

Compare Matthew 5:12.

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