James 5:17
New International Version
Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years.

New Living Translation
Elijah was as human as we are, and yet when he prayed earnestly that no rain would fall, none fell for three and a half years!

English Standard Version
Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth.

Berean Study Bible
Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years.

Berean Literal Bible
Elijah was a man of like nature to us, and with fervent prayer he prayed for it not to rain, and it did not rain upon the earth three years and six months.

New American Standard Bible
Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the earth for three years and six months.

King James Bible
Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months.

Christian Standard Bible
Elijah was a human being as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the land.

Contemporary English Version
Elijah was just as human as we are, and for three and a half years his prayers kept the rain from falling.

Good News Translation
Elijah was the same kind of person as we are. He prayed earnestly that there would be no rain, and no rain fell on the land for three and a half years.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Elijah was a man with a nature like ours; yet he prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the land.

International Standard Version
Elijah was a person just like us, and he prayed earnestly for it not to rain, and rain never came to the land for three years and six months.

NET Bible
Elijah was a human being like us, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain and there was no rain on the land for three years and six months!

New Heart English Bible
Elijah was a human being with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
Elijah was a man subject to suffering like we, and he prayed that it would not rain on the land, and it did not come down for 3 years and six months;

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Elijah was human like us. Yet, when he prayed that it wouldn't rain, no rain fell on the ground for three-and-a-half years.

New American Standard 1977
Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain; and it did not rain on the earth for three years and six months.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Elijah was a man subject to passions like unto ours, and he asked in prayer that it might not rain, and it did not rain on the earth for three years and six months.

King James 2000 Bible
Elijah was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth for three years and six months.

American King James Version
Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months.

American Standard Version
Elijah was a man of like passions with us, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain; and it rained not on the earth for three years and six months.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Elias was a man passible like unto us: and with prayer he prayed that it might not rain upon the earth, and it rained not for three years and six months.

Darby Bible Translation
Elias was a man of like passions to us, and he prayed with prayer that it should not rain; and it did not rain upon the earth three years and six months;

English Revised Version
Elijah was a man of like passions with us, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain; and it rained not on the earth for three years and six months.

Webster's Bible Translation
Elijah was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months.

Weymouth New Testament
Elijah was a man with a nature similar to ours, and he earnestly prayed that there might be no rain: and no rain fell on the land for three years and six months.

World English Bible
Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain, and it didn't rain on the earth for three years and six months.

Young's Literal Translation
Elijah was a man like affected as we, and with prayer he did pray -- not to rain, and it did not rain upon the land three years and six months;
Study Bible
The Prayer of Faith
16Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man has great power to prevail. 17Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. 18Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth yielded its crops.…
Cross References
1 Kings 17:1
Now Elijah the Tishbite, who was among the settlers of Gilead, said to Ahab, "As surely as the LORD, the God of Israel, lives, I stand before Him, and in these years there will be neither dew nor rain except at my word!"

1 Kings 18:1
After a long time, in the third year of the drought, the word of the LORD came to Elijah: "Go and present yourself to Ahab, and I will send rain on the face of the earth."

Luke 4:25
But I tell you truthfully that there were many widows in Israel in the time of Elijah, when the sky was shut for three and a half years and great famine swept over all the land.

Acts 14:15
"Men, why are you doing this? We too are only men, human like you. We are bringing you good news that you should turn from these worthless things to the living God, who made heaven and earth and sea and everything in them.

Treasury of Scripture

Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months.

Elias.

1 Kings 17:1
And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead, said unto Ahab, As the LORD God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word.

Elijah.

Acts 10:26
But Peter took him up, saying, Stand up; I myself also am a man.

Acts 14:15
And saying, Sirs, why do ye these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein:

and he.

Romans 11:2
God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew. Wot ye not what the scripture saith of Elias? how he maketh intercession to God against Israel, saying,

Revelation 11:6
These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will.

earnestly.

Luke 4:25
But I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elias, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land;







Lexicon
Elijah
Ἠλίας (Ēlias)
Noun - Nominative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 2243: Elijah, the prophet. Of Hebrew origin; Helias, an Israelite.

was
ἦν (ēn)
Verb - Imperfect Indicative Active - 3rd Person Singular
Strong's Greek 1510: I am, exist. The first person singular present indicative; a prolonged form of a primary and defective verb; I exist.

a man
ἄνθρωπος (anthrōpos)
Noun - Nominative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 444: A man, one of the human race. From aner and ops; man-faced, i.e. A human being.

just like
ὁμοιοπαθὴς (homoiopathēs)
Adjective - Nominative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 3663: From homoios and the alternate of pascho; similarly affected.

us.
ἡμῖν (hēmin)
Personal / Possessive Pronoun - Dative 1st Person Plural
Strong's Greek 1473: I, the first-person pronoun. A primary pronoun of the first person I.

He prayed earnestly
προσευχῇ (proseuchē)
Noun - Dative Feminine Singular
Strong's Greek 4335: From proseuchomai; prayer; by implication, an oratory.

[that it would] not
μὴ (mē)
Adverb
Strong's Greek 3361: Not, lest. A primary particle of qualified negation; not, lest; also (whereas ou expects an affirmative one) whether.

rain,
βρέξαι (brexai)
Verb - Aorist Infinitive Active
Strong's Greek 1026: To moisten, rain, send rain. A primary verb; to moisten.

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

it did not rain
ἔβρεξεν (ebrexen)
Verb - Aorist Indicative Active - 3rd Person Singular
Strong's Greek 1026: To moisten, rain, send rain. A primary verb; to moisten.

on
ἐπὶ (epi)
Preposition
Strong's Greek 1909: On, to, against, on the basis of, at.

the
τῆς (tēs)
Article - Genitive Feminine 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.

land
γῆς (gēs)
Noun - Genitive Feminine Singular
Strong's Greek 1093: Contracted from a primary word; soil; by extension a region, or the solid part or the whole of the terrene globe.

for three
τρεῖς (treis)
Adjective - Accusative Masculine Plural
Strong's Greek 5140: Three. Or neuter tria a primary number; 'three'.

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

[a half]
ἕξ (hex)
Adjective - Accusative Masculine Plural
Strong's Greek 1803: Six. A primary numeral; six.

years.
ἐνιαυτοὺς (eniautous)
Noun - Accusative Masculine Plural
Strong's Greek 1763: A year, cycle of time. Prolongation from a primary enos; a year.
(17) Elias.--James supplies a lacuna in the story of Elijah. In 1Kings 17:1, the prophet simply and sternly tells Ahab "there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word." Further on (1Kings 18:41-46) "there is a sound of abundance of rain." In our Epistle we read that Elias "prayed earnestly"--literally, prayed in his prayer, a Hebraistic form of emphasis (see margin). He asked for drought, and it lasted three years and a half, so that "there was a sore famine in Samaria." He prayed once more, and "the heaven was black with clouds and wind, and there was a great rain," and thus again "the Lord hearkened unto the voice of a man." Yet Elijah was no demi-god; we even learn how he shrank from his prophet's yoke, and longed to die. No one therefore may despair in his petitions but rather let his "requests be made known unto God;" for "men ought always to pray, and not to faint" (Luke 18:1).

It rained not on the earth.--This Orientalism need not be a snare to the most literal of readers. The punishment, because of Ahab and Jezebel, fell on their own kingdom, and not the whole world. In a similar hyperbole Obadiah told Elijah, concerning this very famine, "there is no nation, or kingdom, whither my lord hath not sent to seek thee" (1Kings 18:10).

Verses 17, 18. - Illustration of the last statement of ver. 16, from the case of Elijah, "a righteous man" under the old covenant, but one "of like passions with us," and therefore one from whose case it is lawful to argue to our own. Subject to like passions as we are. Ὁμοιοπαθὴς ἡμῖν: simply "of like passions with us;" cf. Acts 14:15, where it is used in just the same way. In the LXX. only in Wisd. 7:3. He prayed earnestly. Προσευχῇ προσηύξατο: a Hebraism, not infrequent in the New Testament (see Luke 22:15; John 3:29; Acts 4:17; Acts 5:28; Acts 23:14), in imitation of the Hebrew dissolute infinitive (cf. Winer, p. 584). For the incident alluded to by St. James, see 1 Kings 17:1; 1 Kings 18:1; but note

(1) that we are never told that the famine was in consequence of Elijah's prayer; and

(2) nothing is said of the duration of time (three years and a half) during which it rained not upon the earth. All we read is that "after many days the word of the Lord came to Elijah in the third year;" but there is no clear indication from what period this "third year" is dated. With regard to

(1), it may have been St. James's own inference from the narrative, or may have been due to tradition. With regard to

(2), the very same time is mentioned by our Lord in his allusion to the same incident (Luke 4:25), "the heaven was shut up three years and six months." And as the same period is said to be given in the Yalkut Shimeoni on 1 Kings 16, it was probably the time handed down by tradition, being taken by the Jews as a symbol of times of tribulation (cf. Daniel 7:25; Daniel 12:7; Revelation 11:2). 5:12-18 The sin of swearing is condemned; but how many make light of common profane swearing! Such swearing expressly throws contempt upon God's name and authority. This sin brings neither gain, nor pleasure, nor reputation, but is showing enmity to God without occasion and without advantage It shows a man to be an enemy to God, however he pretends to call himself by his name, or sometimes joins in acts of worship. But the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. In a day of affliction nothing is more seasonable than prayer. The spirit is then most humble, and the heart is broken and tender. It is necessary to exercise faith and hope under afflictions; and prayer is the appointed means for obtaining and increasing these graces. Observe, that the saving of the sick is not ascribed to the anointing with oil, but to prayer. In a time of sickness it is not cold and formal prayer that is effectual, but the prayer of faith. The great thing we should beg of God for ourselves and others in the time of sickness is, the pardon of sin. Let nothing be done to encourage any to delay, under the mistaken fancy that a confession, a prayer, a minister's absolution and exhortation, or the sacrament, will set all right at last, where the duties of a godly life have been disregarded. To acknowledge our faults to each other, will tend greatly to peace and brotherly love. And when a righteous person, a true believer, justified in Christ, and by his grace walking before God in holy obedience, presents an effectual fervent prayer, wrought in his heart by the power of the Holy Spirit, raising holy affections and believing expectations and so leading earnestly to plead the promises of God at his mercy-seat, it avails much. The power of prayer is proved from the history of Elijah. In prayer we must not look to the merit of man, but to the grace of God. It is not enough to say a prayer, but we must pray in prayer. Thoughts must be fixed, desires must be firm and ardent, and graces exercised. This instance of the power of prayer, encourages every Christian to be earnest in prayer. God never says to any of the seed of Jacob, Seek my face in vain. Where there may not be so much of miracle in God's answering our prayers, yet there may be as much of grace.
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