“Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you.”
King James Version (KJV)
5:1 Come now, ye rich - The apostle does not speak this so much for the sake of the rich themselves, as of the poor children of God, who were then groaning under their cruel oppression. Weep and howl for your miseries which are coming upon you - Quickly and unexpectedly. This was written not long before the siege of Jerusalem; during which, as well as after it, huge calamities came on the Jewish nation, not only in Judea, but through distant countries. And as these were an awful prelude of that wrath which was to fall upon them in the world to come, so this may likewise refer to the final vengeance which will then be executed on the impenitent.
Jas 5:1 Warnings to the Rich SUMMARY OF JAMES 5: The Sins of Rich Men. The Judgments Coming Upon Them. Patience Under Affliction. The Examples of Job and Elijah. Healing the Sick. Effectual Prayer. Restoring Sinners. Go to now. The same expression is used in Jas 4:13. There it is a rebuke to those who haste to be rich; here to those who use riches wickedly. [Ye] rich men. James looks beyond the church of his day to be his nation and to the church of after time. Weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon [you]. Because of coming judgments for your sins.