James 5:5
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
You have lived luxuriously on the earth and led a life of wanton pleasure; you have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter.

King James Bible
Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; ye have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter.

Darby Bible Translation
Ye have lived luxuriously on the earth and indulged yourselves; ye have nourished your hearts as in a day of slaughter;

World English Bible
You have lived delicately on the earth, and taken your pleasure. You have nourished your hearts as in a day of slaughter.

Young's Literal Translation
ye did live in luxury upon the earth, and were wanton; ye did nourish your hearts, as in a day of slaughter;

James 5:5 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth - One of the things to which the rich are peculiarly addicted. Their wealth is supposed to be of value, because it furnishes them the means of doing it. Compare Luke 12:19; Luke 16:19. The word translated "lived in pleasure, (τρυφάω truphaō) occurs only here in the New Testament. It means, to live delicately, luxuriously, at ease. There is not in the word essentially the idea or vicious indulgence, but that which characterizes those who live for enjoyment. They lived in ease and affluence on the avails of the labors of others; they indulged in what gratified the taste, and pleased the ear and the eye, while those who contributed the means of this were groaning under oppression. A life of mere indolence and ease, of delicacy and luxury, is nowhere countenanced in the Bible; and even where unconnected with oppression and wrong to others, such a mode of living is regarded as inconsistent with the purpose for which God made man, and placed him on the earth. See Luke 12:19-20. Every man has high and solemn duties to perform, and there is enough to be done on earth to give employment to every human being, and to fill up every hour in a profitable and useful way.

And been wanton - This word now probably conveys to most minds a sense which is not in the original. Our English word is now commonly used in the sense of "lewd, lustful, lascivious." It was, however, formerly used in the sense of "sportive, joyous, gay," and was applied to anything that was variable or fickle. The Greek word used here (σπαταλάω spatalaō) means, to live luxuriously or voluptuously. Compare the notes at 1 Timothy 5:6, where the word is explained. It does not refer necessarily to gross criminal pleasures, though the kind of living here referred to often leads to such indulgences. There is a close connection between what the apostle says here, and what he refers to in the previous verses - the oppression of others, and the withholding of what is due to those who labor. Such acts of oppression and wrong are commonly resorted to in order to obtain the means of luxurious living, and the gratification of sensual pleasures. In all countries where slavery exists, the things here referred to are found in close connection. The fraud and wrong by which the reward of hard toil is withheld from the slave is connected with indolence and sensual indulgence on the part of the master.

Ye have nourished your hearts - Or, yourselves - the word hearts here being equivalent to themselves. The meaning is, that they appeared to have been fattening themselves, like stall-fed beasts, for the day of slaughter. As cattle are carefully fed, and are fattened with a view to their being slaughtered, so they seemed to have been fattoned for the slaughter that was to come on them - the day of vengeance. Thus many now live. They do no work; they contribute nothing to the good of society; they are mere consumers - fruges, consumere nati; and, like stall-fed cattle, they seem to live only with reference to the day of slaughter, and to the recompense which awaits them after death.

As in a day of slaughter - There has been much variety in the interpretation of this expression. Robinson (lex.) renders it, "like beasts in the day of slaughter, without care or forethought." Rosenmuller (Morgenland) supposes that it means, as in a festival; referring, as he thinks, to the custom among the ancients of having a feast when a part of the animal was consumed in sacrifice, and the rest was eaten by the worshippers. So Benson. On such occasions, indulgence was given to appetite almost without limit; and the idea then would be, that they had given themselves up to a life of pampered luxury. But probably the more correct idea is, that they had fattened themselves as for the day of destruction; that is, as animals are fattened for slaughter. They lived only to eat and drink, and to enjoy life. But, by such a course, they were as certainly preparing for perdition, as cattle were prepared to be killed by being stall-fed.

James 5:5 Parallel Commentaries

Library
Against Rash and Vain Swearing.
"But above all things, my brethren, swear not." St. James v. 12. Among other precepts of good life (directing the practice of virtue and abstinence from sin) St. James doth insert this about swearing, couched in expression denoting his great earnestness, and apt to excite our special attention. Therein he doth not mean universally to interdict the use of oaths, for that in some cases is not only lawful, but very expedient, yea, needful, and required from us as a duty; but that swearing which
Isaac Barrow—Sermons on Evil-Speaking, by Isaac Barrow

Conversion
Our text has in it, first of all, a principle involved--that of instrumentality.--"Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; let him know that he who converteth a sinner from the error of his way, shall save a soul from death." Secondly, here is a general fact stated:--"He who converteth a sinner from the error of his way, shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins." And thirdly, there is a particular application of this fact made. "Brethren, if any
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 1: 1855

Prayer for and with Each Other.
"Confess your faults one to another and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much."--James v. 16. Let our last article touch once more the key of love wherein the article preceding that of prayer was set. To speak of the Spirit's work in our prayers, omitting the intercession of the saints, betrays a lack of understanding concerning the Spirit of all grace. Prayer for others is quite different from prayer for ourselves. The latter
Abraham Kuyper—The Work of the Holy Spirit

On the Sacrament of Extreme Unction.
To this rite of anointing the sick our theologians have made two additions well worthy of themselves. One is, that they call it a sacrament; the other, that they make it extreme, so that it cannot be administered except to those who are in extreme peril of life. Perhaps--as they are keen dialecticians--they have so made it in relation to the first unction of baptism, and the two following ones of confirmation and orders. They have this, it is true, to throw in my teeth, that, on the authority of
Martin Luther—First Principles of the Reformation

Cross References
Jeremiah 12:3
But You know me, O LORD; You see me; And You examine my heart's attitude toward You. Drag them off like sheep for the slaughter And set them apart for a day of carnage!

Jeremiah 25:34
"Wail, you shepherds, and cry; And wallow in ashes, you masters of the flock; For the days of your slaughter and your dispersions have come, And you will fall like a choice vessel.

Ezekiel 16:49
"Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had arrogance, abundant food and careless ease, but she did not help the poor and needy.

Luke 16:19
"Now there was a rich man, and he habitually dressed in purple and fine linen, joyously living in splendor every day.

1 Timothy 5:6
But she who gives herself to wanton pleasure is dead even while she lives.

2 Peter 2:13
suffering wrong as the wages of doing wrong. They count it a pleasure to revel in the daytime. They are stains and blemishes, reveling in their deceptions, as they carouse with you,

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