James 3:12
Parallel Verses
New International Version
My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.

King James Bible
Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh.

Darby Bible Translation
Can, my brethren, a fig produce olives, or a vine figs? Neither [can] salt [water] make sweet water.

World English Bible
Can a fig tree, my brothers, yield olives, or a vine figs? Thus no spring yields both salt water and fresh water.

Young's Literal Translation
is a fig-tree able, my brethren, olives to make? or a vine figs? so no fountain salt and sweet water is able to make.

James 3:12 Parallel
Commentary
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

So can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh - For the reading of the common text, which is οὑτως ουδεμια πηγη ἁλυκον και γλυκυ ποιησαι ὑδωρ, so no fountain can produce salt water and sweet, there are various other readings in the MSS. and versions. The word οὑτως, so, which makes this a continuation of the comparison in James 3:11, is wanting in ABC, one other, with the Armenian and ancient Syriac; the later Syriac has it in the margin with an asterisk. ABC, five others, with the Coptic, Vulgate, one copy of the Itala, and Cyril, have ουτε ἁλυκον γλυκυ ποιησαι ὑδωρ, neither can salt water produce sweet. In the Syriac and the Arabic of Erpen, it is, So, likewise, sweet water cannot become bitter; and bitter water cannot become sweet. The true reading appears to be, Neither can salt water produce sweet, or, Neither can the sea produce fresh water; and this is a new comparison, and not an inference from that in James 3:11. This reading Griesbach has admitted into the text; and of it Professor White, in his Crisews, says, Lectio indubie genuina, "a reading undoubtedly genuine." There are therefore, four distinct comparisons here:

1. A fountain cannot produce sweet water and bitter.

2. A fig tree cannot produce olive berries.

3. A vine cannot produce figs.

4. Salt water cannot be made sweet. That is, according to the ordinary operations of nature, these things are impossible. Chemical analysis is out of the question.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

the fig tree.

Isaiah 5:2-4 And he fenced it, and gathered out the stones thereof, and planted it with the choicest vine, and built a tower in the middle of it...

Jeremiah 2:21 Yet I had planted you a noble vine, wholly a right seed: how then are you turned into the degenerate plant of a strange vine to me?

Matthew 7:16-20 You shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles...

Matthew 12:33 Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt...

Luke 6:43,44 For a good tree brings not forth corrupt fruit; neither does a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit...

Romans 11:16-18 For if the first fruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches...

so.

Exodus 15:23-25 And when they came to Marah, they could not drink of the waters of Marah, for they were bitter...

2 Kings 2:19-22 And the men of the city said to Elisha, Behold, I pray you, the situation of this city is pleasant, as my lord sees...

Ezekiel 47:8-11 Then said he to me, These waters issue out toward the east country, and go down into the desert, and go into the sea...

Library
January the Twenty-Sixth the Fire of Envy
"Where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work!" --JAMES iii. 13-18. In Milton's "Comus" we read of a certain potion which has the power to pervert all the senses of everyone who drinks it. Nothing is apprehended truly. Sight and hearing and taste are all disordered, and the victim is all unconscious of the confusion. The deadly draught is the minister of deceptive chaos. And envy is like that potion when it is drunk by the spirit. It perverts every moral and spiritual sense.
John Henry Jowett—My Daily Meditation for the Circling Year

Whether Wisdom Should be Reckoned among the Gifts of the Holy Ghost?
Objection 1: It would seem that wisdom ought not to be reckoned among the gifts of the Holy Ghost. For the gifts are more perfect than the virtues, as stated above ([2705]FS, Q[68], A[8]). Now virtue is directed to the good alone, wherefore Augustine says (De Lib. Arb. ii, 19) that "no man makes bad use of the virtues." Much more therefore are the gifts of the Holy Ghost directed to the good alone. But wisdom is directed to evil also, for it is written (James 3:15) that a certain wisdom is "earthly,
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

Whether Our Atmosphere is the Demons' Place of Punishment?
Objection 1: It would seem that this atmosphere is not the demons' place of punishment. For a demon is a spiritual nature. But a spiritual nature is not affected by place. Therefore there is no place of punishment for demons. Objection 2: Further, man's sin is not graver than the demons'. But man's place of punishment is hell. Much more, therefore, is it the demons' place of punishment; and consequently not the darksome atmosphere. Objection 3: Further, the demons are punished with the pain of fire.
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

Whether a Religious Sins More Grievously than a Secular by the Same Kind of Sin?
Objection 1: It would seem that a religious does not sin more grievously than a secular by the same kind of sin. For it is written (2 Paralip 30:18,19): "The Lord Who is good will show mercy to all them who with their whole heart seek the Lord the God of their fathers, and will not impute it to them that they are not sanctified." Now religious apparently follow the Lord the God of their fathers with their whole heart rather than seculars, who partly give themselves and their possessions to God and
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

Cross References
Matthew 7:16
By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?

Matthew 7:20
Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.

Matthew 21:19
Seeing a fig tree by the road, he went up to it but found nothing on it except leaves. Then he said to it, "May you never bear fruit again!" Immediately the tree withered.

James 3:11
Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring?

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