James 1:11 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

James 1:11, NIV: "For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich will fade away even while they go about their business."

James 1:11, ESV: "For the sun rises with its scorching heat and withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beauty perishes. So also will the rich man fade away in the midst of his pursuits."

James 1:11, KJV: "For the sun is no sooner risen with a burning heat, but it withereth the grass, and the flower thereof falleth, and the grace of the fashion of it perisheth: so also shall the rich man fade away in his ways."

James 1:11, NASB: "For the sun rises with its scorching heat and withers the grass; and its flower falls off and the beauty of its appearance is destroyed; so also the rich person, in the midst of his pursuits, will die out."

James 1:11, NLT: "The hot sun rises and the grass withers; the little flower droops and falls, and its beauty fades away. In the same way, the rich will fade away with all of their achievements."

James 1:11, CSB: "For the sun rises and, together with the scorching wind, dries up the grass; its flower falls off, and its beautiful appearance perishes. In the same way, the rich person will wither away while pursuing his activities."

What does James 1:11 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

This verse should stand as both a comfort to poor believers and an alarming reminder to wealthy Christians: None of this will last. Echoing Isaiah 40:6–8 and Psalm 103:15–16, James compares rich people to wild flowers. As beautiful as they may be in the morning, the sun will quickly shrivel them in the heat of the day. On an eternal scale, the rich person will fade away quickly even as he goes about his business.

From the perspective of worldly wisdom, wealth may be a high achievement or a sign of status. For those who truly believe God, however, poverty or wealth on this side of eternity is far less important. Christians who make temporary wealth their highest priority demonstrate they are not trusting God.

Paul wrote that, because of a lack of faith in the area of wealth, Christians may fall into a trap and pierce themselves with many griefs (1 Timothy 6:10).