What does James 5:7 mean?
ESV: Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains.
NIV: Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains.
NASB: Therefore be patient, brothers and sisters, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious produce of the soil, being patient about it, until it gets the early and late rains.
CSB: Therefore, brothers and sisters, be patient until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth and is patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains.
NLT: Dear brothers and sisters, be patient as you wait for the Lord’s return. Consider the farmers who patiently wait for the rains in the fall and in the spring. They eagerly look for the valuable harvest to ripen.
KJV: Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.
NKJV: Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain.
Verse Commentary:
In the prior passage, James condemned rich unbelievers who were oppressing James's often poverty-stricken Christian readers. Here, he turns to encourage these suffering believers. He urges them to be patient as they wait for the coming of the Lord. According to worldly perspectives, their wealthy oppressors appeared to be winning. The rich were comfortable. According to the standards of the world, they had succeeded in every way that mattered.

But, according to James, the day of the Lord—or the "day of slaughter" (James 5:5)—was coming. James had written that these rich people should start crying now in anticipation of the misery headed their way. But to those trusting in Christ, however little money and status they had in this life, James offers that same fact as comfort: The day of the Lord is coming. Be patient while you wait for Him to keep His promise.

Waiting is hard when you're suffering. James uses the analogy of a farmer for encouragement. He asks his readers to think of how hardworking farm hands have to wait for the payoff of their efforts. All of the struggle and strain, through all the stages of the growing season, eventually lead to the glorious harvest. Be patient like that, James says. The harvest will come.
Verse Context:
James 5:7–12 shifts focus from the condemnation of the rich oppressors, back to encouragement of the Christians these abusers were hurting. James urges believers to remain patient and strong in their faith. The day of the Lord is coming. They must not turn on each other, but they should be challenged and encouraged by the examples of the Old Testament prophets and Job who remained faithful to God through great suffering.
Chapter Summary:
What was causing fights and quarrels among the Christians to whom James was writing? They were living by the world's wisdom. This false perspective says human beings should do whatever it takes to get what they want in this life, even if it hurts other people. James says that to live that way is adultery, but God gives grace. Christians should repent and move close to God again. We should trust Him to provide, to be the Judge, and to lift us up in His time. In humility, we must acknowledge that all of our plans are dependent on Him, and He can change them at any moment.
Chapter Context:
Prior chapters in this letter focused on the relationship between beliefs and actions, and how to practically apply the concepts of Christianity. In chapter 4, James called his Christian readers to repent of their worldliness and turn back to closeness with God. Now in the last chapter of his letter, James addresses three things: He pronounces to the rich oppressors of the Christians that their judgment is coming on the day of the Lord. He urges those suffering under that oppression to remain patient, strong in their faith, as they wait for the day of the Lord. And he encourages all Christians to show their faith in God by praying in response to every circumstance.
Book Summary:
The book of James is about specifically understanding what saving faith looks like. How does faith in Christ reveal itself in a believer's life? What choices does real trust in God lead us to make? Those are the questions James answers. Most scholars believe the writer was Jesus' half-brother, a son born to Joseph and Mary after Jesus' birth. James may not have come to believe Jesus was the Messiah until after the resurrection. Eventually, though, he became one of the leaders of the Christian church in Jerusalem. This is possibly the earliest-written of all the New Testament books, around AD 40–50. James addresses his letter to Jewish Christians scattered around the known world.
Accessed 7/17/2024 12:57:21 PM
© Copyright 2002-2024 Got Questions Ministries. All rights reserved.
Text from ESV, NIV, NASB, CSB, NLT, KJV, NKJV © Copyright respective owners, used by permission.
www.BibleRef.com