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Song of Solomon
James 1:16 MEANING
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Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers
Do not err, my beloved brethren.
--Thus far James the Wise has declared what God is not, what qualities are alien to Him; but this is only a negative aspect of the truth, and he now would show the positive--namely, that God is the Author of all and every good. And this lesson he introduces with a caution to his
brethren beloved, not to err.
He is most earnest and emphatic. "Be not
deceived," however much the world may wander in delusive paths. A marked change from the dreadful tenor of the last verse is here made to bright reflections on the gifts of God; and a new incentive to endurance is found in the happy thoughts of His goodness.
- The connection of thought with what goes before appears to be this. God cannot be the author of temptation, which thus leads to sin and death, because all good and perfect gifts, and these only, come from him.
Do not err
be act deceived
. The same formula is also found in
1 Corinthians 6:9
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary
1:12-18 It is not every man who suffers, that is blessed; but he who with patience and constancy goes through all difficulties in the way of duty. Afflictions cannot make us miserable, if it be not our own fault. The tried Christian shall be a crowned one. The crown of life is promised to all who have the love of God reigning in their hearts. Every soul that truly loves God, shall have its trials in this world fully recompensed in that world above, where love is made perfect. The commands of God, and the dealings of his providence, try men's hearts, and show the dispositions which prevail in them. But nothing sinful in the heart or conduct can be ascribed to God. He is not the author of the dross, though his fiery trial exposes it. Those who lay the blame of sin, either upon their constitution, or upon their condition in the world, or pretend they cannot keep from sinning, wrong God as if he were the author of sin. Afflictions, as sent by God, are designed to draw out our graces, but not our corruptions. The origin of evil and temptation is in our own hearts. Stop the beginnings of sin, or all the evils that follow must be wholly charged upon us. God has no pleasure in the death of men, as he has no hand in their sin; but both sin and misery are owing to themselves. As the sun is the same in nature and influences, though the earth and clouds, often coming between, make it seem to us to vary, so God is unchangeable, and our changes and shadows are not from any changes or alterations in him. What the sun is in nature, God is in grace, providence, and glory; and infinitely more. As every good gift is from God, so particularly our being born again, and all its holy, happy consequences come from him. A true Christian becomes as different a person from what he was before the renewing influences of Divine grace, as if he were formed over again. We should devote all our faculties to God's service, that we may be a kind of first-fruits of his creatures.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Do not err, my beloved brethren. For to make God the author of sin, or to charge him with being concerned in temptation to sin, is a very great error, a fundamental one, which strikes at the nature and being of God, and at the perfection of his holiness: it is a denying of him, and is one of those damnable errors and heresies, which bring upon men swift destruction; and therefore to be guarded against, rejected, and abhorred by all that profess any regard unto him, his name and glory.
Courtesy of Open Bible
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