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Bible4 “The wisdom which is from above”

The Epistle of James the Legate – Chapter 3

1 Let there not be many teachers among you, my brethren; but know ye, that we are obnoxious to , a severer judgment.
2 For we all offend in many things.
Whoever offendeth not in discourse, is a perfect man, who can also keep his whole body in subjection.
3 Behold, we put bridles into the mouth of horses, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body.
4 Huge ships also, when strong winds drive them, are turned about by a small timber, to what place the pleasure of the pilot looketh.
5 So likewise the tongue is a small member, and it exalteth itself.
Also a little fire inflameth large forests.
6 Now the tongue is a fire, and the world of sin is like a forest.
And this tongue, which is one among our members, marreth our whole body; and it inflameth the series of our generations that roll on like a wheel; and it is itself on fire.
7 For all natures of beasts and birds and reptiles, of the sea or land, are subjugated by the nature of man.
8 But the tongue hath no one been able to tame:
it is an evil thing, not coercible, and full of deadly poison.
9 For with it, we bless the Lord and Father; and with it we curse men, who were made in the image of God:
10 and from the same mouth, proceed curses and blessings.
My brethren, these things ought not to be so.
11 Can there flow from the same fountain, sweet waters and bitter?
12 Or can the fig-tree, my brethren, bear olives? or the vine, figs ?
So also salt waters cannot be made sweet.
13 Who is wise and instructed among you ?
Let him show his works in praiseworthy actions, with modest wisdom.
14 But if bitter envy be in you, or contention in your hearts, exalt not yourselves against the truth, and lie not.
15 For this wisdom cometh not down from above; but is earthly, and from the devices of the soul, and from demons.
16 For where envy and contention are, there also is confusion, and every thing wrong.
17 But the wisdom which is from above, is pure, and full of peace, and mild, and submissive, and full of compassion and of good fruits, and without partiality, and without respect of persons.
18 And the fruits of righteousness are sown in stillness, by them who make peace.

comment: by judging and preferring some, based on appearance, we are judging ourselves, and that judgment is evident by what our tongue speaks – the tongue repeats what is in the heart, as JESUS taught

commentary: this is a curious letter, as James was the brother of JESUS by Joseph’s first wife James came to trust Christ much later and there was prejudice against their step-brother; for this reason none of them wanted to adopt His mother Mary when He died.

2 Esdras 13
1 And it came to pass after seven days, I dreamed a dream by night: 2 And, lo, there arose a wind from the sea, that it moved all the waves thereof. 3 And I beheld, and, lo, that man waxed strong with the thousands of heaven: and when he turned his countenance to look, all the things trembled that were seen under him. 4 And whensoever the voice went out of his mouth, all they burned that heard his voice, like as the earth faileth when it feeleth the fire. 5 And after this I beheld, and, lo, there was gathered together a multitude of men, out of number, from the four winds of the heaven, to subdue the man that came out of the sea 6 But I beheld, and, lo, he had graved himself a great mountain, and flew up upon it. 7 But I would have seen the region or place whereout the hill was graven, and I could not. 8 And after this I beheld, and, lo, all they which were gathered together to subdue him were sore afraid, and yet durst fight. 9 And, lo, as he saw the violence of the multitude that came, he neither lifted up his hand, nor held sword, nor any instrument of war: 10 But only I saw that he sent out of his mouth as it had been a blast of fire, and out of his lips a flaming breath, and out of his tongue he cast out sparks and tempests. 11 And they were all mixed together; the blast of fire, the flaming breath, and the great tempest; and fell with violence upon the multitude which was prepared to fight, and burned them up every one, so that upon a sudden of an innumerable multitude nothing was to be perceived, but only dust and smell of smoke: when I saw this I was afraid. 12 Afterward saw I the same man come down from the mountain, and call unto him another peaceable Multitude. 13 And there came much people unto him, whereof some were glad, some were sorry, and some of them were bound, and other some brought of them that were offered: then was I sick through great fear, and I awaked, and said, 14 Thou hast shewed thy servant these wonders from the beginning, and hast counted me worthy that thou shouldest receive my prayer: 15 Shew me now yet the interpretation of this dream. 16 For as I conceive in mine understanding, woe unto them that shall be left in those days and much more woe unto them that are not left behind! 17 For they that were not left were in heaviness. 18 Now understand I the things that are laid up in the latter days, which shall happen unto them, and to those that are left behind. 19 Therefore are they come into great perils and many necessities, like as these dreams declare. 20 Yet is it easier for him that is in danger to come into these things, than to pass away as a cloud out of the world, and not to see the things that happen in the last days. And he answered unto me, and said, 21 The interpretation of the vision shall I shew thee, and I will open unto thee the thing that thou hast required. 22 Whereas thou hast spoken of them that are left behind, this is the interpretation: 23 He that shall endure the peril in that time hath kept himself: they that be fallen into danger are such as have works, and faith toward the Almighty. 24 Know this therefore, that they which be left behind are more blessed than they that be dead. 25 This is the meaning of the vision: Whereas thou sawest a man coming up from the midst of the sea: 26 The same is he whom God the Highest hath kept a great season, which by his own self shall deliver his creature: and he shall order them that are left behind. 27 And whereas thou sawest, that out of his mouth there came as a blast of wind, and fire, and storm; 28 And that he held neither sword, nor any instrument of war, but that the rushing in of him destroyed the whole multitude that came to subdue him; this is the interpretation: 29 Behold, the days come, when the most High will begin to deliver them that are upon the earth. 30 And he shall come to the astonishment of them that dwell on the earth. 31 And one shall undertake to fight against another, one city against another, one place against another, one people against another, and one realm against another. 32 And the time shall be when these things shall come to pass, and the signs shall happen which I shewed thee before, and then shall my Son be declared, whom thou sawest as a man ascending. 33 And when all the people hear his voice, every man shall in their own land leave the battle they have one against another. 34 And an innumerable multitude shall be gathered together, as thou sawest them, willing to come, and to overcome him by fighting. 35 But he shall stand upon the top of the mount Sion. 36 And Sion shall come, and shall be shewed to all men, being prepared and builded, like as thou sawest the hill graven without hands. 37 And this my Son shall rebuke the wicked inventions of those nations, which for their wicked life are fallen into the tempest; 38 And shall lay before them their evil thoughts, and the torments wherewith they shall begin to be tormented, which are like unto a flame: and he shall destroy them without labour by the law which is like unto me. 39 And whereas thou sawest that he gathered another peaceable multitude unto him; 40 Those are the ten tribes, which were carried away prisoners out of their own land in the time of Osea the king, whom Salmanasar the king of Assyria led away captive, and he carried them over the waters, and so came they into another land. 41 But they took this counsel among themselves, that they would leave the multitude of the heathen, and go forth into a further country, where never mankind dwelt, 42 That they might there keep their statutes, which they never kept in their own land. 43 And they entered into Euphrates by the narrow places of the river. 44 For the most High then shewed signs for them, and held still the flood, till they were passed over. 45 For through that country there was a great way to go, namely, of a year and a half: and the same region is called Arsareth. 46 Then dwelt they there until the latter time; and now when they shall begin to come, 47 The Highest shall stay the springs of the stream again, that they may go through: therefore sawest thou the multitude with peace. 48 But those that be left behind of thy people are they that are found within my borders. 49 Now when he destroyeth the multitude of the nations that are gathered together, he shall defend his people that remain. 50 And then shall he shew them great wonders. 51 Then said I, O Lord that bearest rule, shew me this: Wherefore have I seen the man coming up from the midst of the sea? 52 And he said unto me, Like as thou canst neither seek out nor know the things that are in the deep of the sea: even so can no man upon earth see my Son, or those that be with him, but in the day time. 53 This is the interpretation of the dream which thou sawest, and whereby thou only art here lightened. 54 For thou hast forsaken thine own way, and applied thy diligence unto my law, and sought it. 55 Thy life hast thou ordered in wisdom, and hast called understanding thy mother. 56 And therefore have I shewed thee the treasures of the Highest: after other three days I will speak other things unto thee, and declare unto thee mighty and wondrous things. 57 Then went I forth into the field, giving praise and thanks greatly unto the most High because of his wonders which he did in time; 58 And because he governeth the same, and such things as fall in their seasons: and there I sat three days.
2 Esdras 13 KJVA


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