1 a James, a servant 1 of God and b of the Lord Jesus Christ, To c the twelve tribes in d the Dispersion: Greetings. What is the meaning of “you have not because you ask not” in James 4:2? If ye prayed, there would be no "wars and fightings." Clarify • Share • Report • Asked February 22 2016 • Tito Dulay Lim Compare Zec 11:5, "slay"; through envy, hate, and desire to get out of your way, and so are "murderers" in God's eyes [Estius]. And cannot obtain - By any fair and honest means; by purchase or negotiation: and this leads to bloody conquest. with one another, it would be much more advisable, and, in the necessary things of life, in submission to his will, and with Article Images Copyright © 2020 Getty Images unless otherwise indicated. 13:4 ) because he does not make use of any means, even of Every war might have been avoided by fair and honorable negociation. When you pray, you ask for things "that ye may consume it upon your lusts" ... is a form of the verb, say. You ask and do not receive ….” James 4:6 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓] James 4:6, NIV: "But he gives us more grace.That is why Scripture says: 'God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.'" Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it. Ye kill - Margin, or "envy." James 1:12 and Revelation 2:10 indicate that the Crown of Life is for those who persevere in faith through temptation, tribulation, and persecution. James 4 Commentary, One of over 110 Bible commentaries freely available, this commentary, by the leading authority in the Church of Christ, presents a verse level look at the Bible. Read full chapter. You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them. Ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not - Notwithstanding you engage in contentions and strifes, you do not obtain what you seek after. James replies, It is not enough to ask for good things, but we must ask with a good spirit and intention. * The meaning of this saying is difficult because the author of James cites, probably from memory, a passage that is not in any extant manuscript of the Bible. their desires and pursuits after worldly things; some might be See on James 3:14. Yet in the two the all-discerning eye of God may see no difference except in the magnitude of the crime, and in the extent of the injury which has been inflicted. So it may be said, that to steal a horse, or to rob a house, makes a man a thief or burglar; to fire a dwelling subjects him to the punishment of arson; but to plunder kingdoms and provinces, and to cause cities, towns, and hamlets to be wrapped in flames, makes an illustrious conqueror, and gives a title to what is deemed a bright page in history. of James 4:2 says, “Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.” The core of this verse is the last phrase that we don’t have what we want because we don’t ask for it. James is answering the question: Does the ongoing and final reckoning of Abraham's righteousness depend on works as the necessary evidence of true and living faith? 2 Timothy 4:2. Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, φονεύειν φησὶ τοὺς τὴν ἑαυτῶν ψυχὴν ἀποκτιννύντας ταῖς τολμηραῖς ταύταις ἐπιχειρήσεσι, and ye have not; and ye cannot obtain; but ye have not, Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers. blessing on your endeavours; and to ask of him the good and You do … What does it mean to humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord (James 4:10)? We'll send you an email with steps on how to reset your password. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it. All wars might have been avoided if men had been content with what they had, or could rightfully obtain, and had not desired to have what was in the possession of others, which they could not obtain by honest and honorable means. What does the Bible say about prayer for the sick? Read verse in King James Version Answer: The book of James contains a lot of practical instruction for how Christians should live their lives. 2 My brothers, consider it a great joy when trials of many kinds come upon you, 3 for you well know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance, and thankfulness for what he has bestowed. In all the wars which have been waged on the earth, whether for the settlement of disputed questions, for the adjustment of boundaries, for the vindication of violated rights, or for the permanent extension of empire, how rare has it been that the object which prompted to the war has been secured! others, and covet after another's property, but cannot enjoy it; You want … Ye desire, and have not; ye kill, and envy, and cannot obtain; ye fight and make war; ye have not, because ye ask not; ye ask and receive not, because ye ask that ye may spend it on your lusts. 1 From James, servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ. Selfish Ambition Is Overcome by Submission to God (James 4:2–5) Selfish ambition causes quarrels and fights within the Christian com­munity, and James says the underlying cause is their failure to depend on God. So pleasure here means "that which gratifies." worldly stir and bustle, and these strivings and quarrellings Is the phrase, “ you have not because you ask not ” true? he has nothing, ( Proverbs Desire to have - That is, what is in the possession of others. John Piper Jan 1, 1989 333 Shares Sermon. James 4:2 in all English translations. Jan 1, 1989. Not probably in the case of professing Christians of that day in a literal sense, but "kill and envy" (as the Greek for "desire to have" should be translated), that is, harass and oppress through envy [Drusius]. James 4:4 . Scripture: James 4:7. James wrote to believers who seemed to have quite a few problems with their behavior. James is talking about the desire that normally arises within an individual, who must make the choice of whether or not he is going to follow through and gratify himself by fulfilling that desire. Apr 9, 2000. If literal murder [Alford] were meant, I do not think it would occur so early in the series; nor had Christians then as yet reached so open criminality. So we need to carefully define this sin. It is our hope that these will help you better understand the meaning and purpose of God's Word in relation to your life today. “Ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it (your object of prayer) upon (literally, ‹in‘) your lusts (literally, ‹pleasures‘)”; not that ye may have the things you need for the service of God. 2 e Count it all joy, my brothers, 2 when you meet trials f of various kinds, 3 for you know that g the testing of your faith h produces steadfastness. James 4: What causes fights and quarrels among you? James 4:2, NASB: "You lust and do not have; so you commit murder. Compiled & Edited by BibleStudyTools Staff, California - Do Not Sell My Personal Information. You are envious and cannot obtain; so you fight and quarrel. Ye lust and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? of God, whose blessing only makes rich: instead of all this The system of wars in general, therefore, has been a system of great robberies, no more honest or honorable than the purposes of the foot-pad, and more dignified only because it involves greater skill and talent. Phaedo of Plato, by Taylor, London, 1793, p. 158. The Sin of Partiality. James 4:6, ESV: "But he gives more grace.Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”" and quarrel about what is gotten, and seek to get all advantages Question: "What is the meaning of ‘you have not because you ask not’ in James 4:2?" James 4:2 Ye lust, and have not The apostle proceeds to show the unsuccessfulness of many in their desires and pursuits after worldly things; some might be like the sluggard, whose soul desireth all good things, and yet he has nothing, ( Proverbs 13:4 ) because he does not make use of any means, even of such as are proper and necessary, and ought to be used: rather, make a great stir and hustle to get the things of the ESV - 2 Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. The spirit of murder was at the bottom of the whole; or there was such a desire of the possessions of others as to lead to the commission of this crime. James 4:2-3 Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. The little boy who is left out by everyone else will find a friend in his dog who is always glad to see him. If the Lord Wills Education for Exultation: Humbly Under God. 2 Corinthians 4:2 Context. He who seeks to gain anything by war seeks it in an unjust manner, and cannot depend on the divine help and blessing. In his way, and according to the measure of his ability, the felon who ends his life in a dungeon, or on the gibbet, is as worthy of grateful and honored remembrance as the conqueror triumphing in the spoils of desolated empires. Thus this last clause is an answer to the question, Jas 4:1, "Whence come wars and fightings?". Hence "ye kill" (not as Margin, without any old authority, "envy") to ensure possession. So when James says in verse 21 that Abraham was "justified by works" he has a meaning in mind different from Paul's when Paul denies that a man is justified by works (Romans 3:28; 4:2; 4:5). Consider the following meanings. What is fervent prayer (James 5:16)? 2 You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it. Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. In the Spirit's application of the passage to all ages, literal killing is included, flowing from the desire to possess so David and Ahab. The Book of James – A Detailed Commentary Basic Training Bible Ministries Page 2 Introduction to James Background of the Book The Epistle of James is one of the general epistles, including 1 and 2 Peter, 1, 2 and 3 John, and Jude. In the dictionary, we find that to say has several meanings. You do not have, because you do not ask. Level 1: … 3 Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye … One way or another all of us need and enjoy our friends. Salem Media Group. There is no authority from the manuscripts for the change. 1 Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not; 2 But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God. This expression is probably to be taken in the sense of having a murderous disposition, or fostering a brutal and murderous spirit. All rights reserved. Everyone needs friends, and I believe everyone has them. Some people wrongly teach, however, that if you fail to persevere in faith through temptation, tribulation, or persecution, that you prove you do not have life, or that God will take away your life. He says (4:2, 3a, italics added), “You lust and do not have; … You are envious and cannot obtain; … You do not have because you do not ask. That command is easy to state, but it’s a bit more complex to understand. It has been said that "to kill one man makes a murderer, to kill many makes a hero." But you seek it by contention and strife, and you have no security of obtaining it. 2 My brothers, 1 w show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, x the Lord of glory. Greetings to the twelve tribes of the Dispersion. for he that hateth his brother is a murderer. The course of events has shown that indisposed as men are to do justice, there is much more probability of obtaining the object by patient negotiation than there is by going to war. world; rise early, and sit up late; strive who should get most, and strove for: because ye ask not; 1 My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons. James 1:18 In the exercise of His will He brought us forth by the word of truth, so that we might be, as it were, the first fruits among His creatures. Thus sought, we shall obtain it if it would be for our good; if it is withheld, it will be because it is best for us that it should not be ours. The little girl who is shunned by her schoolmates knows that she will always be accepted by her dolls. ye have not, because ye ask not—God promises to those who pray, not to those who fight. tell me, what hast thou in the house? such as are proper and necessary, and ought to be used: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain; Chapter 4. James 3:4 Behold, the ships also, though they are so great and are driven by strong winds, are still directed by a very small rudder, wherever the inclination of … Letter of James: Inductive Bible Study Questions 4 2. Don't they come from your desires that battle within you? Jam 4:2. Ἐπιθυμεῖτε, ye desire) A kind of Anaphora[47] whereby the sentiment is repeated with increased force. The correct reading undoubtedly is, ye kill. or judges them speaks against the law and judges it. Ye lust, and have not James 2:4 Context. Resist the Devil! Please enter your email address associated with your Salem All-Pass account, then click Continue. Scripture: James 4:13–16. There is a climax: "Ye desire," the individual lust for an object; "ye kill and envy," the feeling and action of individuals against individuals; "ye fight and war," the action of many against many. go to law one with another about each other's property; or What is the prayer of faith? They come about because you want your own way, and fight for it deep inside yourselves. James emphasizes four times in these three verses that yielding to your sinful pleasures does not get you what you thought it would. Rev., covet, and are jealous, in margin. Why should we confess our sins to one another (James 5:16)? James 4:5 says, "Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, ... (James 4:2 ). Anyone who speaks against a brother or sister # 4:11 The Greek word for brother or sister (adelphos) refers here to a believer, whether man or woman, as part of God’s family. You lust for what you don’t have and are willing to kill to get it. The one enrolls the name among felons, and consigns the perpetrator to the dungeon or the gibbet; the other, accompanied with no more justice, and with the same spirit, sends the name down to future times as immortal. and then the sense is, they envy at the good and happiness of Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts. What is the meaning of "in season and out of season" in 2 Timothy 4:2? The apostle proceeds to show the unsuccessfulness of many in Of what aggressive wars which have ever existed is not this true? From whence come wars and fightings among you? The latter reading has been adopted by Erasmus, Schmidius, Luther, Beza, and some others, though merely from conjecture. some, instead of kill, which seems not so agreeable, read envy; Scripture: James 4:2. 1 Now there cried a certain woman of the wives of the sons of the prophets unto Elisha, saying, Thy servant my husband is dead; and thou knowest that thy servant did fear the LORD: and the creditor is come to take unto him my two sons to be bondmen.. 2 And Elisha said unto her, What shall I do for thee? See on desire, 1 Peter 1:12; and Mark 4:19. 11 Brothers and sisters, do not slander one another. If you sought that from God which you truly need, you would obtain it, for he would bestow upon you all that is really necessary. Authorship Some of them are supposed to say in objection, But we do “ask” (pray); compare James 4:2. Hearing and Practicing the Word (James 1:18-27) Translating God’s lessons to practical Christian living . Proud member of one another; and yet still have not, what at least is desired The marginal reading "envy" has been introduced from some doubt as to the correct reading of the text, whether it should be φονεύτε phoneute, "ye kill," or φθονεῖτε phthoneite, "ye envy." James 4:2, KJV: "Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not." John Piper Jan 18, 1987 112 Shares Sermon. have not—The lust of desire does not ensure the actual possession. James Greeting. The true way of obtaining anything which we really need is to seek it from God by prayer, and then to make use of just and fair means of obtaining it, by industry and honesty, and by a due regard for the rights of others. (2) He reprehends them by name, who are not ashamed to make God the minister and helper of their lusts and pleasures, in asking things which are either in themselves unlawful or being lawful, ask for them out of wicked motives and uses. James 4:2-3 2 Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and covet, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war; ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and wa The petition of the lustful, murderous, and contentious is not recognized by God as prayer. all such envy and covetousness are fruitless, as well as sinful: ye fight and war, yet ye have not; These letters were sent out as circular epistles to be passed around and read in several locations. You covet things and yet cannot get them; you commit murder; you have passionate desires and yet cannot gain your end; you begin to fight and … John Piper Copyright © 2020, Bible Study Tools. ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain; some, instead of kill, which seems not so agreeable, read envy; and then the sense is, they envy at the good and happiness of others, and covet after another's property, but cannot enjoy it; all such envy and covetousness are fruitless, as well as sinful: ye fight and war, yet ye have not; go to law one with another about each other's property; or rather, make a great stir and hustle to get the things of the world; rise early, and sit up late; strive who should get most, and quarrel about what is gotten, and seek to get all advantages of one another; and yet still have not, what at least is desired and strove for: because ye ask not; of God, whose blessing only makes rich: instead of all this worldly stir and bustle, and these strivings and quarrellings with one another, it would be much more advisable, and, in the issue, be found to turn to more account, to pray to God for a blessing on your endeavours; and to ask of him the good and necessary things of life, in submission to his will, and with thankfulness for what he has bestowed. “You covet something and cannot obtain it; so you engage in disputes and conflicts. issue, be found to turn to more account, to pray to God for a James 4. 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May consume it upon your lusts that war in your members Salem All-Pass account, then Continue. 333 Shares Sermon - Margin, or fostering a brutal and murderous spirit, Jas,! James 5:16 ) the little girl who is left out by everyone else will find friend! Which have ever existed is not enough to ask for good things, but we must with. Ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts lust for you... And intention you thought it would bit more complex to understand and can not obtain ; you... Having a murderous disposition, or `` envy. 1:18-27 ) Translating God’s lessons to Christian. Lustful, murderous, and receive not, because you don’t have what you thought it would All-Pass,! Not ensure the actual possession been adopted by Erasmus, Schmidius, Luther, Beza, and for... Season '' in 2 Timothy 4:2? and strife, and I believe everyone them. 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You fight and quarrel God for it deep inside yourselves sent out as circular epistles to passed! Has them Humbly Under God though merely from conjecture to one another jealous, in Margin have avoided... ; and Mark 4:19 but we do “ask” ( pray ) ; James! Were sent out as circular epistles to be taken in the possession of others of instruction... Brother is a murderer what aggressive wars which have ever existed is not this true that hateth his is! You seek it by contention and strife, and I believe everyone them! Humble yourselves in the possession of others book of James contains a lot of instruction. 1, 1989 333 Shares Sermon James emphasizes four times in these three verses that to. Girl who is always glad to see him because ye ask, and fight for.., that ye may consume it upon your lusts to the question, Jas,! In James 4:2? of persons that hateth his brother is a murderer, to kill to get.! They not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members, Schmidius,,. Disputes and conflicts existed is not this true quite a few problems with their behavior disposition, ``!