“Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy?”
King James Version (KJV)
4:5 Do you think that the scripture saith in vain - Without good ground. St. James seems to refer to many, not any one particular scripture. The spirit of love that dwelleth in all believers lusteth against envy - #Gal 5:17|; is directly opposite to all those unloving tempers which necessarily flow from the friendship of the world.
Jas 4:5 Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain? The reference is to De 32:1-47, where God's love and jealousy of his people are described. The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy? "Long unto envying" (Revised Version). Long for our love even to the envy of the worldly objects which have secured it. The Revised Version suggests the idea, which harmonizes with the thought in Jas 4:4. A freer translation will make it plainer. "The spirit that he (God) hath placed in us desireth us jealously", that is, desires we should not commit adultery with the world, but be wholly devoted to God, as those espoused to God in Christ, and even envies the world which has secured our love.