James 5:9 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

James 5:9, NIV: Don't grumble against one another, brothers and sisters, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door!

James 5:9, ESV: Do not grumble against one another, brothers, so that you may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing at the door.

James 5:9, KJV: Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door.

James 5:9, NASB: Do not complain, brothers and sisters, against one another, so that you may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing right at the door.

James 5:9, NLT: Don't grumble about each other, brothers and sisters, or you will be judged. For look--the Judge is standing at the door!

James 5:9, CSB: Brothers and sisters, do not complain about one another, so that you will not be judged. Look, the judge stands at the door!

What does James 5:9 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

In the previous verses, James urged his oppressed Christian readers to remain patient while waiting for the coming of the Lord. James understands the difficulty in this request. There are times when it appears the oppressors are winning, and injustice will be left unpunished. It seems sometimes as if the suffering would never end. And yet, believers have the promise that the day of the Lord is coming soon! On that day, everything will be judged and made right.

So, James writes, these suffering believers must strengthen their hearts. Don't waver now, James says. Remain patient.

In the meantime, conflict between them was evidence that they were not being strong in their waiting. James warns his Christian readers not to grumble against each other, which shows a lack of trust in God. The fact that the day of the Lord will come soon means that the Judge is standing at the door. Don't risk His judgment by giving in to the pressure of your suffering and turning on each other.

This echoes what James wrote to these same believers about their fighting and quarreling in chapter 4. The temptation to go back and live according to the world's wisdom grows stronger with our suffering, and the result is always greater conflict between us.