The Book of James with Hebrew Insights

James, his Hebrew name Ya’acob, is thought to be the half brother of Jesus, Yehushua meaning YHVH Is Salvation.  His letter would have been written sometime during the dispersion or diaspora of the believers is Yehushua and before he was martyred in 62 A.D.E.

Memorizing these five pages opened my eyes to the Hebrew insights that can still be recognized in our translations. 

I’m looking forward to adding some Audio recordings soon, not only to help English Language Learners, but also native English Speakers, to see through a Hebrew lens.

1st Page

James/Ya’acob, a bond-servant of YHVH and Y’hushua, (YHVH’s Salvation), the Messiah, to the twelve tribes scattered abroad, greetings, (joy to you).

Brothers and sisters, consider it great joy when you experience trials of various kinds, knowing that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. And let endurance do its perfect/finished, (Tamam #8552) work so that you may be complete, (Tamam), lacking nothing. If any of you lack Wisdom, ask God Who gives generously, without finding fault, and it will be given to you, but you must not doubt. The one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, being driven and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from YHVH. A double minded person is unstable in all their ways.

Let the humble/poor in spirit rejoice in their high position and the rich when they are humble, because like a flower in the field, they will pass away. As the sun rises with its scorching heat and dries up the grass, the flower withers and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way the rich will wither away, even while pursuing their own works.

Blessed are All who endure trials, because when they have stood the test they will receive the crown of Life that God promised to those who Love Him. When you are tempted you must not say, “I am being tempted by God.” God is not tempted by anything bad, (Ra #7451b) nor does He tempt anyone. Each of us is enticed and drawn away by our own evil desires/inclination. Then after desire conceives it gives birth to sin and when sin is fully grown it gives birth to destruction.

Dear ones, do not be deceived!

Every good, (Tov #2896b), and perfect, (Tamam) gift is from above, coming down from the Father of heavenly Lights. With Him there is no variation, He is unchanging, there is no shadow cast by His turning. He chose to bring us forth through the Word of Truth, that we would be a kind of first fruits of His creation.

Dearly loved, understand this; everyone must be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to anger. Knowing that man’s anger does not work God’s Righteousness, on this account we must lay aside all filthiness and excess of evil. Humbly receive the implanted Word that is able to save you.

Prove yourselves doers of the Word and not only hearers who deceive themselves.

If anyone hears the Word but does nothing, he is like a man who sees himself in a mirror, perceiving the origin of his face, then goes away and immediately forgets what kind he was. But the one who looks intently into the Perfect Word of Freedom, and continues to do so, not being a forgetful hearer but one who does what it says, this one will be blessed in what he does.

If anyone claims to be religious but does not tame their tongue, their heart is deceived and their religion is worthless. Pure and un-defiled religion before our God and Father is this: to care for widows and orphans in their distress and to keep unstained by the world.

Page 2

My brothers and sisters, do not show prejudice/ partiality if you claim to posses faith in our glorious Lord, Jesus the Messiah.

If someone enters your assembly wearing a gold ring and fine clothing, and a poor person enters in filthy clothes, do you pay attention to the one who is finely dressed and say, “come, sit here in a good place,l” and to the poor person, “you can sit on the floor.” If so, haven’t you made distinctions among yourselves and become judges?

Listen, dear brothers and sisters! Didn’t God choose the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs in the Kingdom promised to those who love Him? But you have dishonored the poor. Arn’t the rich the ones oppressing you and dragging you into the courts, blaspheming the Name of the one you belong to?

But if you fulfill the Royal Law as it says in scripture, “You shall love you neighbor as yourself,” then you do well. But if you show prejudice, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as violators. For the one who keeps the whole law and fails at just one point has broken the law. He Who said, “do not commit adultery,” also said, “do not commit murder.” Now if you do not commit adultery but do commit murder, you have become a violator of the law.

So then speak and act as those who will be judged by a law that gives freedom.

For judgement is merciless to the one who has shown no mercy, but mercy triumphs over judgement.

What good is it, brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but their behavior does not show it? Can this kind of faith save them? If a brother or sister is poorly dressed and lacking daily food and one of you says, “go in peace, stay warm and eat well,” but you do not give them what the body needs, what good is it? So also, faith without actions is dead by itself. Someone may say, “you have faith and I have works,” but show me your faith without works and I will show you my faith by what I do.

You believe God is One, well and good. Even the demons believe that and tremble with fear.

Would you like more evidence, for the one who still doesn’t understand, that faith without works is useless? Wasn’t our Father Abraham justified by what he did when he offered his son on the alter? You see his faith was working together with his works and his faith was perfected by what he did. So scripture was fulfilled that says, “Now Abraham believed God and it was counted to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend. You see that a person is justified by what they do and not by faith alone.

Similarly, wasn’t Rahab the prostitute also justified by what she did when she welcomed the messengers and sent them out by another way?

Just as the body without the spirit/breath is dead, so also faith without works is dead.

3rd Page

Not many of you should become teachers, brothers and sisters. Knowing we will be judged with greater strictness. Because we all stumble in many ways. If anyone does not stumble in what they say, they are a perfect individual and also able to bridal the entire body. Just as we are able to put a bit in the mouth of a horse in order to control the direction of it’s body, or a huge ship sailing against harsh winds can be directed where the captain wants it to go by a small rudder. So the tongue is a small part of the body but it boasts of such great things.

Consider how small a flame sets an entire forest ablaze, and the tongue is a flame, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among it’s members and able to stain and pollute the entire body, setting on fire the course of life by the fire from the grave/sheol.

Every kind of animal, sea creature, birds and replies can be tamed by man, but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father and with it we curse people who are made in His image. From the same opening come blessing and cursing. Brothers and sisters, this should not be so. Does a fountain give fresh water and bitter water from the same opening? Can a fig tree bear olives or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a fresh water spring also give salt water.

Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show by their good conduct, in the gentleness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy, envy and selfsh ambithion in your hearts, do not be prideful and boast being false to the truth. This is not the wisdome that comes from above but is earthly, sensual and evil. Whereever there is selfishness and jealousy there is chaos and every vile practice.

The wisdom from above is first pure, peace-loving, kind, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

4th Page

Fourth page:

Brothers and sisters, why do you argue and fight with each other? Isn’t contention and strife caused by selfish desires that battle for control? You envy and covet, wanting what you do not have, you hate (which is the same as committing murder in your heart) yet you still cannot obtain it, and you have not because you ask not.

Yet even if you did ask your prayers would not be answered because you ask only for selfish reasons.

You adulterous people who are unfaithful to God, don’t you know that if you love the things of this world you set yourselves against God? If you choose to be friends with the world than you make yourselves God’s enemy.

Do you doubt the scriptures that say we continually lust with envy? But God shows us even greater kindness, just as it says in scripture, “God opposes the proud but He gives grace to the humble.”

So humble yourselves before the Lord, resist evil and it will flee from you. Cleanse your hands of evil and purify your hearts you double minded. Be sorry and remorseful, turn your laughing into weeping. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord and He will lift you up.

Beloved, do not criticize each other, if you speak against each other you are speaking against God’s Law. You make yourself a judge, putting yourself above the law, refusing to obey it or God Who gave it. God is our Judge, only He can save or destroy, what right do we have to condemn anyone?

You should know better than to boast saying. “we will go to the city and do business. We will stay there for a year and make a lot of money.” What do you know about tomorrow? How can you be so sure of your life? It is just a vapor that appears for a little while before it disappears. You should say, God willing, we will do these things. But you are arrogant and it is wrong to be so proud. If you do not do what you know is right, then it is sin.

5th Page

Listen now, you rich people! Weep and wail for the misery that will come upon you. Your wealth is ruiend and your clothes are moth eaten. Your silver and gold are corroded and their corrosion is a witness against you that will eat your flesh like fire. You hoarded wealth in the last days. Look, the pay you withheld from the workers cries out against you, the cry of the harvesters has reached the ears of the Lord of Hosts. You have lived in luxury and self-indulgence, you have fattened your hearts for the day of slaugher. You have condemned, you have murdered the righteous one who did not resist you.

So wait, beloved, be patient until the day of the Lord’s coming. As the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth and is patient until it receives the early and the late rains. you must also be patient. Strengthen and establish your hearts because the coming of the Lord is near.

Brothers and sisters, do not complain against each other so that you will not be judged. Look, the Judge is standing at the door!

Beloved, take the prophets, who spoke in the Name of the Lord, as an expample of suffering and patients. See, we count as blessed those who have endured. You have heard of Job’s endurance and have seen the outcome from the Lord. The Lore is very compassionate and full of mercy.

Now, above all, my friends, do not swear, either by heaven or with any oath. Let your yes be yes and your no be no, so that you will not fall under judgement.

Is anyone among you suffering? They should pray. I anyone cheerful? They should sing praises. Is anyone sick? They sould call the elders among you to pray over them after anointing them with oil in the Name of the Lord. And the prayer of the prayer of faith will save the sick person and the Lord will restore them to health. If they have commited sin they will be forgiven.

This is why we must confess our sins to one another and pray for each other so we will be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, yet he prayed earnestly that it would not rain and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. Then he prayed again and the sky gave rain and the land produced it’s fruit.

Beloved, if any among you stray from the truth and one of you turns them back, you have saved them form destruction and covered a multitude of sin.

 

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