Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges - James 5:6 - 5:6

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Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges - James 5:6 - 5:6


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This Chapter Verse Commentaries:

6. κατεδικάσατε, ye condemned. Another reference to the courts, κριτήρια ch. Jam 2:6, which were used as instruments of oppression.

ὀφονεύσατε τὸν δίκαιον, ye slew the just one. Either (a) some special case of martyrdom is referred to, or (b) τὸν δίκαιον points to a class, the article generalising. See Winer, p. 132 and comp. 2Co 12:12 τὰ σημεῖα τοῦ ἀποστόλου, Mat 12:35 ὁ ἀγαθὸς ἄνθρωπος … ἐκβάλλει ἀγαθά, or (c) by τὸν δίκαιον Jesus Christ is intended. Comp. Act 3:14 ὑμεῖς δὲ τὸν ἅγιον καὶ δίκαιον ἠρνήσασθε κ.τ.λ. Of these (a) appears to be the preferable interpretation. One actual instance of such cruelty and oppression best explains the vehement and indignant protest of the apostle. Such an incident may be explained by the motives named in Wisdom of Solomon Jam 2:10-20 καταδυναστεύσωμεν πένητα δίκαιον … ἐνεδρεύσωμεν τὸν δίκαιον ὅτι δύσχρηστος ἡμῖν ἐστι … καταδικάσωμεν αὐτόν, ἔσται γὰρ αὐτοῦ ἐπισκοπὴ ἐκ λόγων αὐτοῦ. The words found a striking parallel in the death of James himself: Eus. H. E. II. 23 καὶ ἔλεγον ἀλλήλοις· Λιθάσωμεν Ἰάκωβον τὸν δίκαιον. καὶ ἤρξαντο λιθάζειν αὐτόν, κ.τ.λ. Plato Rep. 362 A describes the fate of the man δοκῶν μὲν εἷναι ἄδικος διὰ βίου ὢν δὲ δίκαιος. In the end μαστιγώσεται, στρεβλώσεται … τελευτῶν πάντα κακὰ παθὼν ἀνασχινδυλευθήσεται.

οὐκ ἀντιτάσσεται ὑμῖν, he resists you not. The non-resistance of the innocent righteous is in the spirit of our Lord’s words, Mat 5:39 ff. ἐγὼ δὲ λέγω ὑμῖν μὴ ἀντιστῆναι τῷ πονηρῷ, κ.τ.λ. Comp. also the picture of the suffering servant of Jehovah, Isa 53:7 ff. ὡς πρόβατον ἐπὶ σφαγὴν ἤχθη, καὶ ὡς ἀμνὸς ἐνανίον τοῦ κείροντος ἀφωνος οὔτως οὐκ ἀνοίγει τὸ στόμα. Comp. Book of Enoch, ch. ciii., ‘to those who hate us have we humbled our neck; but they have shewn no compassion towards us.’ If the clause be pointed interrogatively the meaning would be either (a) Doth not the Lord (ὁ κύριος understood) oppose you? or (b) Doth not he oppose you by his testimony at the judgment seat of Christ?