James 4:5

“Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy?”

King James Version (KJV)

Other Translations for James 4:5

Doe ye thinke that the Scripture saith in vaine, the spirit that dwelleth in vs lusteth to enuy?
- King James Version (1611) - View 1611 Bible Scan

Or do you think that the Scripture speaks to no purpose: "He jealously desires the Spirit which He has made to dwell in us?"
- New American Standard Version (1995)

Or think ye that the scripture speaketh in vain? Doth the spirit which he made to dwell in us long unto envying?
- American Standard Version (1901)

Or does it seem to you that it is for nothing that the holy Writings say, The spirit which God put into our hearts has a strong desire for us?
- Basic English Bible

Think ye that the scripture speaks in vain? Does the Spirit which has taken his abode in us desire enviously?
- Darby Bible

Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy?
- Webster's Bible

Or do you suppose that it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, "The Spirit which He has caused to dwell in our hearts yearns jealously over us"?
- Weymouth Bible

Or do you think that the Scripture says in vain, "The Spirit who lives in us yearns jealously"?
- World English Bible

Whether ye gessen, that the scripture seith veynli, The spirit that dwellith in you, coueitith to enuye?
- Wycliffe Bible

Do ye think that emptily the Writing saith, `To envy earnestly desireth the spirit that did dwell in us,'
- Youngs Literal Bible

Bible Commentary for James 4:5

Wesley's Notes for James 4:5

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.

People's Bible Notes for James 4:5

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.

Discussion for James 4:5

  • David Yew on James 4:5
    Is James 4:5 "The spirit" refer to The Holy Spirit or man's spirit?

    and how "lusteth to envy" is to be interpreted?
  • Mishael on James chapter 5 - in Reply on James 4:5
    In this case you need to read all of chapter 5 to perceive the context of what it is saying. Do what it says in verse 7-8.

    You're being drawn away from God, by spirits (little s always means, demons)

    This demons name is 'envy'.

    The Holy Spirit is always capitalized: such as the Spirit, Spirit of Jesus.

    The chapter is saying that when we let our guard down, even just a little, being friendly with worldly things, attitudes, people; we are at enmity with God. We are becoming His enemy.

    Satan and his demons are invisible spirits, but we can see their FRUIT in situations or people also under their influence. Demons study us intently to tempt in areas of us, that are weak. Temptations come in by way of the eye gate, the ear gate, and mouth.

    If you ask The Holy Spirit to teach you, He will. That's one of the things He's in charge of.

    Now I want to ask you if you have received Jesus as your Savior and Lord? It helps us to begin a relationship that will eventually be so important to you; you will never consider losing it: if we are happy telling others how we became born again. It's called a personal Testimony.

    Get a King James Bible that has the center column on each page. The alphabet letters or numbers give much additional information about a chapter you are reading. I will be happy to see you here often.
  • Chris - in Reply on James 4:5
    David, this is a good question that you have brought to our notice, as it can be misunderstood easily. The word that brings us confusion is the word "lusteth", as this is often thought of in a negative, sinful manner. But in English, we know that there are words that have more than one meaning/application, & this word is one of them. For example, the word 'wench', is usually understood as a morally loose woman. But the other meaning is simply, that of a 'young girl'. Also, 'intercourse', can be both verbal & sexual in nature. So when reading, 'lusteth', the context in use is of 'greatly desiring or being jealous over' & not in terms of a sinful craving.

    So, Js 4:5 does speak of the Holy Spirit, but in context with the Scripture around it, it would read like this: "the Holy Spirit Who indwells us, longs for us (or is jealous over us) to pursue a lifestyle that doesn't compromise the relationship (& intimate friendship) that we have with God". This verse refers directly to v 4, where some Christians were being unfaithful to God by seeking out the world's sinful delights as well as claiming to love God. And this union can never God-honouring & a trait of the true believer (1 Jn 2:15). But even in our weakness in this area, we are reminded that "God giveth us more grace to overcome; to the humble but not to the haughty" (v 6).

    Yet, in v 5, we are not privy to "the Scripture" which James alludes to in this connection. He may have learned this from some other writing or letter not given to us in the canon of Scripture.


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