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1 John 3:17

    1 John 3:17 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    But whoever has this world's good, and sees his brother have need, and shuts up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwells the love of God in him?

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    But whoso hath the world's goods, and beholdeth his brother in need, and shutteth up his compassion from him, how doth the love of God abide in him?

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    But if a man has this world's goods, and sees that his brother is in need, and keeps his heart shut against his brother, how is it possible for the love of God to be in him?

    Webster's Revision

    But whoso hath the world's goods, and beholdeth his brother in need, and shutteth up his compassion from him, how doth the love of God abide in him?

    World English Bible

    But whoever has the world's goods, and sees his brother in need, and closes his heart of compassion against him, how does the love of God remain in him?

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    But whoso hath the world's goods, and beholdeth his brother in need, and shutteth up his compassion from him, how doth the love of God abide in him?

    Definitions for 1 John 3:17

    Bowels - Inward parts; affections.

    Clarke's Commentary on 1 John 3:17

    But whoso hath this worlds good - Here is a test of this love; if we do not divide our bread with the hungry, we certainly would not lay down our life for him. Whatever love we may pretend to mankind, if we are not charitable and benevolent, we give the lie to our profession. If we have not bowels of compassion, we have not the love of God in us; if we shut up our bowels against the poor, we shut Christ out of our hearts, and ourselves out of heaven.

    This world's good. - Του βιον του κοσμου· The life of this world, i.e. the means of life; for so βιος is often used. See Mark 12:44; Luke 8:43; Luke 15:12, Luke 15:30; Luke 21:4, and other places.

    How dwelleth the love of God in him? - That is, it cannot possibly dwell in such a person. Hardheartedness and God's love never meet together, much less can they be associated.

    Barnes' Notes on 1 John 3:17

    But whoso hath this world's good - Has property - called "this world's good," or a good pertaining to this world, because it is of value to us only as it meets our wants this side of the grave; and perhaps also because it is sought supremely by the people of the world. The general meaning of this verse, in connection with the previous verse, is, that if we ought to be willing to lay down our lives for others, we ought to be willing to make those comparatively smaller sacrifices which are necessary to relieve them in their distresses; and that if we are unwilling to do this, we can have no evidence that the love of God dwells in us.

    And seeth his brother have need - Need of food, of raiment, of shelter; or sick, and poor, and unable to provide for his own wants and those of his family.

    And shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him - The bowels, or "upper viscera," embracing the heart, and the region of the chest generally, are in the Scriptures represented as the seat of mercy, piety, and compassion, because when the mind feels compassion it is that part which is affected. Compare the notes at Isaiah 16:11.

    How dwelleth the love of God in him? - How can a man love God who does not love those who bear his image? See the notes at 1 John 4:20. On the general sentiment here, see the notes at James 2:14-16. The meaning is plain, that we cannot have evidence of piety unless we are ready to do good to others, especially to our Christian brethren. See the Matthew 25:45 note; Galatians 6:10 note.