James 5:17
Parallel Verses
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.

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.

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;

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;

James 5:17 Parallel
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

Elias was a man subject to like passions - This was Elijah, and a consistency between the names of the same persons as expressed in the Old and the New Testaments should be kept up.

The word ὁμοιοπαθης signifies of the same constitution, a human being just as ourselves are. See the same phrase and its explanation in Acts 14:15, and the note there. There was some reason to apprehend that because Elijah was translated, that therefore he was more than human, and if so, his example could be no pattern for us; and as the design of St. James was to excite men to pray, expecting the Divine interference whenever that should be necessary, therefore he tells them that Elijah was a man like themselves, of the same constitution, liable to the same accidents, and needing the same supports.

And he prayed earnestly - Προσευχῃ προσηυξατο· He prayed with prayer; a Hebraism for, he prayed fervently.

That it might not rain - See this history, 1 Kings 17:1, etc.

And it rained not on the earth - Επι της γης· On that land, viz. the land of Judea; for this drought did not extend elsewhere.

Three years and six months - This is the term mentioned by our Lord, Luke 4:25; but this is not specified in the original history. In 1 Kings 18:1, it is said, In the third year the word of the Lord came to Elijah, that is, concerning the rain; but this third year is to be computed from the time of his going to live at Zarephath, which happened many days after the drought began, as is plain from this, that he remained at the brook Cherith till it was dried up, and then went to Zarephath, in the country of Zidon; 1 Kings 17:7-9. Therefore the three years and six months must be computed from his denouncing the drought, at which time that judgment commenced. Macknight.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge


1 Kings 17:1 And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead, said to Ahab, As the LORD God of Israel lives, before whom I stand...

Elijah. subject.

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 you these things? We also are men of like passions with you...

and he.

Romans 11:2 God has not cast away his people which he foreknew. Know you not what the scripture said of Elias?...

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...

earnestly. or, in prayer. and it rained not.

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...

June the Twenty-Ninth Effectual Prayers
"The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much." --JAMES v. 13-20. Or, as Weymouth translates it, "The heartfelt supplication of a righteous man exerts a mighty influence." Prayer may be empty words, with no more power than those empty shells which have been foisted upon the Turks in their war with the Balkan States. Firing empty shells! That is what many professed prayers really are; they have nothing in them, and they accomplish nothing. They are just forged upon the lips, and
John Henry Jowett—My Daily Meditation for the Circling Year

"Who Will Rise up with Me against the Wicked?"
Ps. 94:16. 1. In all ages, men who neither feared God nor regarded man have combined together, and formed confederacies, to carry on the works of darkness. And herein they have shown themselves wise in their generation; for by this means they more effectually promoted the kingdom of their father the devil, than otherwise they could I have done. On the other hand, men who did fear God, and desire the happiness of their fellow-creatures, have, in every age, found it needful to join together, in order
John Wesley—Sermons on Several Occasions

On the Whole, Since Scripture Places the Principal Part of Worship in the Invocation Of...
On the whole, since Scripture places the principal part of worship in the invocation of God (this being the office of piety which he requires of us in preference to all sacrifices), it is manifest sacrilege to offer prayer to others. Hence it is said in the psalm: "If we have forgotten the name of our God, or stretched out our hands to a strange god, shall not God search this out?" (Ps. 44:20, 21). Again, since it is only in faith that God desires to be invoked, and he distinctly enjoins us to frame
John Calvin—Of Prayer--A Perpetual Exercise of Faith

But Some Seem to be Moved by the Fact...
But some seem to be moved by the fact, that the prayers of saints are often said to have been heard. Why? Because they prayed. "They cried unto thee" (says the Psalmist), "and were delivered: they trusted in thee, and were not confounded" (Ps. 22:5). Let us also pray after their example, that like them we too may be heard. Those men, on the contrary, absurdly argue that none will be heard but those who have been heard already. How much better does James argue, "Elias was a man subject to like passions
John Calvin—Of Prayer--A Perpetual Exercise of Faith

Cross References
1 Kings 17:1
Now Elijah the Tishbite, from Tishbe in Gilead, said to Ahab, "As the LORD, the God of Israel, lives, whom I serve, there will be neither dew nor rain in the next few years except at my word."

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

Luke 4:25
I assure you that there were many widows in Israel in Elijah's time, when the sky was shut for three and a half years and there was a severe famine throughout the land.

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

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