James 4:3
Parallel Verses
New International Version
When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.

King James Bible
Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.

Darby Bible Translation
Ye ask and receive not, because ye ask evilly, that ye may consume [it] in your pleasures.

World English Bible
You ask, and don't receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it for your pleasures.

Young's Literal Translation
ye ask, and ye receive not, because evilly ye ask, that in your pleasures ye may spend it.

James 4:3 Parallel
Commentary
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

Ye ask, and receive not - Some think that this refers to their prayers for the conversion of the heathen; and on the pretense that they were not converted thus; they thought it lawful to extirpate them and possess their goods.

Ye ask amiss - Κακως αιτεισθε· Ye ask evilly, wickedly. Ye have not the proper dispositions of prayer, and ye have an improper object. Ye ask for worldly prosperity, that ye may employ it in riotous living. This is properly the meaning of the original, ἱνα εν ταις ἡδοναις ὑμων δαπανησητε, That ye may expend it upon your pleasures. The rabbins have many good observations on asking amiss or asking improperly, and give examples of different kinds of this sort of prayer; the phrase is Jewish and would naturally occur to St. James in writing on this subject. Whether the lusting of which St. James speaks were their desire to make proselytes, in order that they might increase their power and influence by means of such, or whether it were a desire to cast off the Roman yoke, and become independent; the motive and the object were the same, and the prayers were such as God could not hear.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

ask, and.

James 1:6,7 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavers is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed...

Job 27:8-10 For what is the hope of the hypocrite, though he has gained, when God takes away his soul...

Job 35:12 There they cry, but none gives answer, because of the pride of evil men.

Psalm 18:41 They cried, but there was none to save them: even to the LORD, but he answered them not.

Psalm 66:18,19 If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me...

Proverbs 1:28 Then shall they call on me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me:

Proverbs 15:8 The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD: but the prayer of the upright is his delight.

Proverbs 21:13,27 Whoever stops his ears at the cry of the poor, he also shall cry himself, but shall not be heard...

Isaiah 1:15,16 And when you spread forth your hands, I will hide my eyes from you: yes, when you make many prayers, I will not hear...

Jeremiah 11:11,14 Therefore thus said the LORD, Behold, I will bring evil on them, which they shall not be able to escape...

Jeremiah 14:12 When they fast, I will not hear their cry; and when they offer burnt offering and an oblation, I will not accept them...

Micah 3:4 Then shall they cry to the LORD, but he will not hear them: he will even hide his face from them at that time...

Zechariah 7:13 Therefore it is come to pass, that as he cried, and they would not hear; so they cried, and I would not hear, said the LORD of hosts:

Matthew 20:22 But Jesus answered and said, You know not what you ask. Are you able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of...

Mark 10:38 But Jesus said to them, You know not what you ask: can you drink of the cup that I drink of?...

1 John 3:22 And whatever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.

1 John 5:14 And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he hears us:

ye may.

Luke 15:13,30 And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country...

Luke 16:1,2 And he said also to his disciples, There was a certain rich man, which had a steward...

lusts. or, pleasures.

James 4:1 From where come wars and fights among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?

Library
December 29 Evening
Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you.--JAMES 4:8. Enoch walked with God.--Can two walk together, except they be agreed?--It is good for me to draw near to God. The Lord is with you, while ye be with him: and if ye seek him, he will be found of you: but if ye forsake him, he will forsake you. When they in their trouble did turn unto the Lord God of Israel, and sought him, he was found of them. For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of
Anonymous—Daily Light on the Daily Path

April 4. "Resist the Devil and He Will Flee" (James iv. 7).
"Resist the devil and he will flee" (James iv. 7). Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. This is a promise, and God will keep it to us. If we resist the adversary, He will compel him to flee, and will give us the victory. We can, at all times, fearlessly stand up in defiance, in resistance to the enemy, and claim the protection of our heavenly King just as a citizen would claim the protection of the government against an outrage or injustice on the part of violent men. At the same time we
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth

Next Let not Man, Now that He Knoweth that by the Grace of God...
44. Next let not man, now that he knoweth that by the grace of God he is what he is, fall into another snare of pride, so as by lifting up himself for the very grace of God to despise the rest. By which fault that other Pharisee both gave thanks unto God for the goods which he had, and yet vaunted himself above the Publican confessing his sins. What therefore should a virgin do, what should she think, that she vaunt not herself above those, men or women, who have not this so great gift? For she ought
St. Augustine—Of Holy Virginity.

Whether Strife is a Daughter of Anger?
Objection 1: It would seem that strife is not a daughter of anger. For it is written (James 4:1): "Whence are wars and contentions? Are they not . . . from your concupiscences, which war in your members?" But anger is not in the concupiscible faculty. Therefore strife is a daughter, not of anger, but of concupiscence. Objection 2: Further, it is written (Prov. 28:25): "He that boasteth and puffeth up himself, stirreth up quarrels." Now strife is apparently the same as quarrel. Therefore it seems
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

Cross References
1 Kings 3:11
So God said to him, "Since you have asked for this and not for long life or wealth for yourself, nor have asked for the death of your enemies but for discernment in administering justice,

Psalm 66:18
If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened;

Proverbs 1:28
"Then they will call to me but I will not answer; they will look for me but will not find me,

1 John 3:22
and receive from him anything we ask, because we keep his commands and do what pleases him.

1 John 5:14
This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.

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