James 2:6
New International Version
But you have dishonored the poor. Is it not the rich who are exploiting you? Are they not the ones who are dragging you into court?

New Living Translation
But you dishonor the poor! Isn't it the rich who oppress you and drag you into court?

English Standard Version
But you have dishonored the poor man. Are not the rich the ones who oppress you, and the ones who drag you into court?

Berean Study Bible
But you have dishonored the poor. Is it not the rich who oppress you and drag you into court?

Berean Literal Bible
But you have dishonored the poor. Are not the rich oppressing you and they dragging you into court?

New American Standard Bible
But you have dishonored the poor man. Is it not the rich who oppress you and personally drag you into court?

King James Bible
But ye have despised the poor. Do not rich men oppress you, and draw you before the judgment seats?

Christian Standard Bible
Yet you have dishonored the poor. Don't the rich oppress you and drag you into court?

Contemporary English Version
You mistreat the poor. But isn't it the rich who boss you around and drag you off to court?

Good News Translation
But you dishonor the poor! Who are the ones who oppress you and drag you before the judges? The rich!

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Yet you dishonored that poor man. Don't the rich oppress you and drag you into the courts?

International Standard Version
But you have humiliated the man who is poor. Are not rich people the ones who oppress you and drag you into court?

NET Bible
But you have dishonored the poor! Are not the rich oppressing you and dragging you into the courts?

New Heart English Bible
But you have dishonored the poor person. Do not the rich oppress you, and personally drag you before the courts?

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
But you have despised the poor. Behold, do not the rich have dominion over you and drag you to court?

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Yet, you show no respect to poor people. Don't rich people oppress you and drag you into court?

New American Standard 1977
But you have dishonored the poor man. Is it not the rich who oppress you and personally drag you into court?

Jubilee Bible 2000
But ye have despised the poor. Do not the rich oppress you with tyranny and draw you with violence to the courts?

King James 2000 Bible
But you have despised the poor. Do not rich men oppress you, and draw you before the judges?

American King James Version
But you have despised the poor. Do not rich men oppress you, and draw you before the judgment seats?

American Standard Version
But ye have dishonored the poor man. Do not the rich oppress you, and themselves drag you before the judgment-seats?

Douay-Rheims Bible
But you have dishonoured the poor man. Do not the rich oppress you by might? and do not they draw you before the judgment seats?

Darby Bible Translation
But ye have despised the poor [man]. Do not the rich oppress you, and [do not] they drag you before [the] tribunals?

English Revised Version
But ye have dishonoured the poor man. Do not the rich oppress you, and themselves drag you before the judgment-seats?

Webster's Bible Translation
But ye have despised the poor. Do not rich men oppress you, and draw you before the judgment-seats?

Weymouth New Testament
But *you* have put dishonour upon the poor man. Yet is it not the rich who grind you down? Are not they the very people who drag you into the Law courts? --

World English Bible
But you have dishonored the poor man. Don't the rich oppress you, and personally drag you before the courts?

Young's Literal Translation
and ye did dishonour the poor one; do not the rich oppress you and themselves draw you to judgment-seats;
Study Bible
A Warning against Favoritism
5Listen, my beloved brothers: Has not God chosen the poor of this world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom He promised those who love Him? 6But you have dishonored the poor. Is it not the rich who oppress you and drag you into court? 7Are they not the ones who blaspheme the noble Name by which you have been called?…
Cross References
Proverbs 18:23
The poor man pleads for mercy, but the rich man answers harshly.

Proverbs 22:7
The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender.

Isaiah 3:14
The LORD brings this charge against the elders and leaders of His people: "You have devoured the vineyard; the plunder of the poor is in your houses.

Acts 8:3
But Saul began to destroy the church. Going from house to house, he dragged off men and women and put them in prison.

Acts 16:19
When the girl's owners saw that their hope of making money was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them before the authorities in the marketplace.

1 Corinthians 11:22
Don't you have your own homes in which to eat and drink? Or do you despise the church of God and humiliate those who have nothing? What can I say to you? Shall I praise you for this? Of course not!

Treasury of Scripture

But you have despised the poor. Do not rich men oppress you, and draw you before the judgment seats?

ye.

James 2:3
And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool:

Psalm 14:6
Ye have shamed the counsel of the poor, because the LORD is his refuge.

Proverbs 14:31
He that oppresseth the poor reproacheth his Maker: but he that honoureth him hath mercy on the poor.

Do.

James 5:4
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.

Job 20:19
Because he hath oppressed and hath forsaken the poor; because he hath violently taken away an house which he builded not;

Psalm 10:2,8,10,14
The wicked in his pride doth persecute the poor: let them be taken in the devices that they have imagined…

and.

James 5:6
Ye have condemned and killed the just; and he doth not resist you.

1 Kings 21:11-13
And the men of his city, even the elders and the nobles who were the inhabitants in his city, did as Jezebel had sent unto them, and as it was written in the letters which she had sent unto them…

Acts 4:1-3,26-28
And as they spake unto the people, the priests, and the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees, came upon them, …







Lexicon
But
δὲ (de)
Conjunction
Strong's Greek 1161: A primary particle; but, and, etc.

you
ὑμεῖς (hymeis)
Personal / Possessive Pronoun - Nominative 2nd Person Plural
Strong's Greek 4771: You. The person pronoun of the second person singular; thou.

have dishonored
ἠτιμάσατε (ētimasate)
Verb - Aorist Indicative Active - 2nd Person Plural
Strong's Greek 818: To disgrace, treat disgracefully, dishonor, insult; I despise. From atimos; to render infamous, i.e. contemn or maltreat.

the
τὸν (ton)
Article - Accusative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 3588: The, the definite article. Including the feminine he, and the neuter to in all their inflections; the definite article; the.

poor.
πτωχόν (ptōchon)
Adjective - Accusative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 4434: Poor, destitute, spiritually poor, either in a good sense (humble devout persons) or bad.

[Is it] not
οὐχ (ouch)
Adverb
Strong's Greek 3756: No, not. Also ouk, and ouch a primary word; the absolute negative adverb; no or not.

the
οἱ (hoi)
Article - Nominative Masculine Plural
Strong's Greek 3588: The, the definite article. Including the feminine he, and the neuter to in all their inflections; the definite article; the.

rich
πλούσιοι (plousioi)
Adjective - Nominative Masculine Plural
Strong's Greek 4145: Rich, abounding in, wealthy; subst: a rich man. From ploutos; wealthy; figuratively, abounding with.

who oppress
καταδυναστεύουσιν (katadynasteuousin)
Verb - Present Indicative Active - 3rd Person Plural
Strong's Greek 2616: To overpower, quell, treat harshly. From kata and a derivative of dunastes; to exercise dominion against, i.e. Oppress.

you
ὑμῶν (hymōn)
Personal / Possessive Pronoun - Genitive 2nd Person Plural
Strong's Greek 4771: You. The person pronoun of the second person singular; thou.

and
καὶ (kai)
Conjunction
Strong's Greek 2532: And, even, also, namely.

drag
ἕλκουσιν (helkousin)
Verb - Present Indicative Active - 3rd Person Plural
Strong's Greek 1670: To drag, draw, pull, persuade, unsheathe. Or helko hel'-ko; probably akin to haireomai; to drag.

you
ὑμᾶς (hymas)
Personal / Possessive Pronoun - Accusative 2nd Person Plural
Strong's Greek 4771: You. The person pronoun of the second person singular; thou.

into
εἰς (eis)
Preposition
Strong's Greek 1519: A primary preposition; to or into, of place, time, or purpose; also in adverbial phrases.

court?
κριτήρια (kritēria)
Noun - Accusative Neuter Plural
Strong's Greek 2922: Neuter of a presumed derivative of krites; a rule of judging, i.e. a tribunal.
(6) But ye have despised the poor.--Better, ye dishonoured the poor man--i.e., when, as already mentioned (James 2:2-3), you exalted the rich unto the "good place" of your synagogue. Thus whom God had called and chosen, you refused. "It is unworthy," observes Calvin on this passage, "to cast down those whom God lifts up, and to treat them shamefully whom He vouchsafes to honour. But God honoureth the poor; therefore whoever he is that rejects them perverts the ordinance of God."

Do not rich men oppress you?--Or, lord it over you as a class; not assuredly that this can be said of each wealthy individual. It is the rich man, of the earth earthy, trusting in his riches (comp. Matthew 10:24), who makes them a power for evil and not for good. Here is presented the other side of the argument, used on behalf of the poor, viz., observe first how God regards them (James 2:5), and next, judge their adversaries by their own behaviour.

Draw you before the judgment seats?--Better, Do they not drag you into courts of justice? "Hale" you, as the old English word has it. Summum jus summa injuria--extreme of right is extreme of wrong--a legal maxim oft exemplified. The purse-proud litigious man is the hardest to deal with, and the one who specially will grind the faces of the poor. No body of laws could on the whole be more equitable than the Roman, but their administration in the provinces was frequently in venal hands; and besides, the large fees demanded by the juris-consulti--"the learned in the law"--quite barred the way of the poorer suitors, such as, for the most part, were the Christians to whom this Letter was written.

Verse 6. - You have dishonored by your treatment the poor man, whom God chose; while those rich men to whom ye pay such honor are just the very persons who

(1) oppress you and

(2) blaspheme God and Christ. Poor... rich. In the Old Testament we occasionally find the term "poor" parallel to "righteous" (Amos 2:6; Amos 5:12); and "rich" to "wicked" (Isaiah 53:9). St. James's use here is somewhat similar (see on James 1:9, etc.). "Christiani multi ex pauperibus erant: pauci ex divitibus" (Bengel). The "rich men" here alluded to are evidently such as was the Apostle Paul before his conversion.

(1) They dragged the poor Christians before the judgment-seat (ἕλκουσιν ὑμᾶς εἰς κριτήρια). So Saul, "haling (σύρων) men and women, committed them to prison" (Acts 8:3).

(2) They blasphemed the honorable Name by which Christians were called. So Saul thought that he ought to do many things contrary to the Name of Jesus of Nazareth, and strove to make them blaspheme (Acts 26:9-11).

(3) All this they did in person (αὐτοί); "themselves," just as Saul did. No difficulty need be felt about the presence of these rich men in the synagogues of the Christians (see Introduction, p. 8.). It will be noticed that St. James never calls them "brethren." Further, it must be remembered that, at this early date, the Church had not yet learnt by bitter experience the need for that secrecy with which in later days she shrouded her worship. At this time the Christian assemblies were open to any who chose to find their way in. All were welcome, as we see from 1 Corinthians 14:23, etc., where the chance entry of "men unlearned or unbelieving" is contemplated as likely to happen. Hence there is no sort of difficulty in the presence of the "rich man" here, who might be eagerly welcomed, and repay his welcome by dragging them to the judgment-seat. Draw you before the judgment-seats. The account given by Josephus of the death of St, James himself affords a good illustration of the manner in which Christians were liable to this (see Introduction, p. 6.). But the tribunals need not be confined to Jewish ones. Other instances of similar treatment, illustrating the thoughts and language of the passage before us, may be found in Acts 16:19; Acts 17:6; Acts 18:12. Litigation of an entirely different character between Christians themselves is alluded to and condemned by St. Paul in 1 Corinthians 6. 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.
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