New American Standard Bible
Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
King James Bible
Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.
Darby Bible Translation
Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, sinners, and purify your hearts, ye double-minded.
World English Bible
Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
Young's Literal Translation
draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you; cleanse hands, ye sinners! and purify hearts, ye two-souled!
James 4:8 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you - Compare 2 Chronicles 15:2. This declaration contains a great and important principle in religion. If we wish the favor of God, we must come to him; nor can we hope for his mercy, unless we approach him and ask him for it. We cannot come literally any nearer to God than we always are, for he is always round about us; but we may come nearer in a spiritual sense. We may address him directly in prayer; we may approach him by meditation on his character; we may draw near to him in the ordinances of religion. We can never hope for his favor while we prefer to remain at a distance from him; none who in fact draw near to him will find him unwilling to bestow on them the blessings which they need.
Cleanse your hands, ye sinners - There may possibly be an allusion here to Isaiah 1:15-16; "Your hands are full of blood; wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil." The heart is the seat of motives and intentions - that by which we devise anything; the hands, the instruments by which we execute our purposes. The hands here are represented as defiled by blood, or by acts of iniquity. To wash or cleanse the hands was, therefore, emblematic of putting away transgression, Matthew 27:24. Compare Deuteronomy 21:6; Psalm 26:6. The heathen and the Jews were accustomed to wash their hands before they engaged in public worship. The particular idea here is, that in order to obtain the favor of God, it is necessary to put away our sins; to approach him with a desire to be pure and holy. The mere washing of the hands, in itself, could not recommend us to his favor; but that of which the washing of the hands would be an emblem, would be acceptable in his sight. It may be inferred from what is said here that no one can hope for the favor of God who does not abandon his transgressions. The design of the apostle is, evidently, to state one of the conditions on which we can make an acceptable approach to God. It is indispensable that we come with a purpose and desire to wash ourselves from all iniquity, to put away from us all our transgressions. So David said, "I will wash my hands in innocency; so will I compass thine altar. O Lord," Psalm 26:6.
("To obtain the favor of God, it is necessary to put away our sins" - is somewhat unguarded phraseology. If the favor of God were not obtained but on this condition, none ever would obtain it. The passage is a strong injunction to holiness and singleness of heart: it does not say, however, that by these we obtain acceptance with God. Of his favor, holiness is the fruit, the effect, and not the cause. The sinner must not think of getting quit of his sins to prepare him for going to God by Jesus; but he must first go to Jesus to prepare for laying aside his sins. Yet in every approach to God, it is true there must be a "desire "to be free from sin; and this doubtless is the view of the commentary; indeed it is so expressed, though some words are objectionable.)
And purify your hearts - That is, do not rest satisfied with a mere external reformation; with putting away your outward transgressions. There must be a deeper work than that; a work which shall reach to the heart, and which shall purify the affections. This agrees with all the requisitions of the Bible, and is in accordance with what must be the nature of religion. If the heart is wrong, nothing can be right. If, while we seek an external reformation, we still give indulgence to the secret corruptions of the heart, it is clear that we can have no true religion.
Ye double-minded - See the notes at James 1:8. The apostle here seems to have had his eye on those who were vacillating in their purposes; whose hearts were not decidedly fixed, but who were halting between good and evil. The heart was not right in such persons. It was not settled and determined in favor of religion, but vibrated between that and the world. The proper business of such persons, therefore, was to cleanse the heart from disturbing influences, that it might settle down in unwavering attachment to that which is good.
LibraryDecember 19. "God Giveth Grace unto the Humble" (James iv. 6).
"God giveth grace unto the humble" (James iv. 6). One of the marks of highest worth is deep lowliness. The shallow nature, conscious of its weakness and insufficiency, is always trying to advertise itself and make sure of its being appreciated. The strong nature, conscious of its strength, is willing to wait and let its work be made manifest in due time. Indeed, the truest natures are so free from all self-consciousness and self-consideration that their object is not to be appreciated, understood …
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth
God's Will About the Future
Whether Every Sin Includes an Action?
Whether the Reason Can be Overcome by a Passion, against Its Knowledge?
1 Samuel 14:35
And Saul built an altar to the LORD; it was the first altar that he built to the LORD.
2 Chronicles 15:2
and he went out to meet Asa and said to him, "Listen to me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin: the LORD is with you when you are with Him. And if you seek Him, He will let you find Him; but if you forsake Him, He will forsake you.
"Nevertheless the righteous will hold to his way, And he who has clean hands will grow stronger and stronger.
But as for me, the nearness of God is my good; I have made the Lord GOD my refuge, That I may tell of all Your works.
I hate those who are double-minded, But I love Your law.
"Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; Remove the evil of your deeds from My sight. Cease to do evil,
"Yet they seek Me day by day and delight to know My ways, As a nation that has done righteousness And has not forsaken the ordinance of their God. They ask Me for just decisions, They delight in the nearness of God.
Jump to PreviousClean Cleanse Deceit Double Doubleminded Double-Minded Draw Evil-Doers Half-Hearted Hands Hearts Mind Minded Nigh Pure Purify Sinners Towards Two-Souled Wash
Jump to NextClean Cleanse Deceit Double Doubleminded Double-Minded Draw Evil-Doers Half-Hearted Hands Hearts Mind Minded Nigh Pure Purify Sinners Towards Two-Souled Wash
LinksJames 4:8 NIV
James 4:8 NLT
James 4:8 ESV
James 4:8 NASB
James 4:8 KJV
James 4:8 Bible Apps
James 4:8 Biblia Paralela
James 4:8 Chinese Bible
James 4:8 French Bible
James 4:8 German Bible
James 4:8 Commentaries