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James 1:25

    James 1:25 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    But whoever looks into the perfect law of liberty, and continues therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    But he that looketh into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and'so continueth, being not a hearer that forgetteth but a doer that worketh, this man shall be blessed in his doing.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    But he who goes on looking into the true law which makes him free, being not a hearer without memory but a doer putting it into effect, this man will have a blessing on his acts.

    Webster's Revision

    But he that looketh into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and'so continueth, being not a hearer that forgetteth but a doer that worketh, this man shall be blessed in his doing.

    World English Bible

    But he who looks into the perfect law of freedom, and continues, not being a hearer who forgets, but a doer of the work, this man will be blessed in what he does.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    But he that looketh into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and so continueth, being not a hearer that forgetteth, but a doer that worketh, this man shall be blessed in his doing.

    Definitions for James 1:25

    Blessed - Happy.

    Clarke's Commentary on James 1:25

    But whoso looketh into the perfect law - The word παρακυψας, which we translate looketh into, is very emphatic, and signifies that deep and attentive consideration given to a thing or subject which a man cannot bring up to his eyes, and therefore must bend his back and neck, stooping down, that he may see it to the greater advantage. The law of liberty must mean the Gospel; it is a law, for it imposes obligations from God, and prescribes a rule of life; and it punishes transgressors, and rewards the obedient. It is, nevertheless, a law that gives liberty from the guilt, power, dominion, and influence of sin; and it is perfect, providing a fullness of salvation for the soul: and it may be called perfect here, in opposition to the law, which was a system of types and representations of which the Gospel is the sum and substance. Some think that the word τελειον, perfect, is added here to signify that the whole of the Gospel must be considered and received, not a part; all its threatenings with its promises, all its precepts with its privileges.

    And continueth - Παραμεινας· Takes time to see and examine the state of his soul, the grace of his God, the extent of his duty, and the height of the promised glory. The metaphor here is taken from those females who spend much time at their glass, in order that they may decorate themselves to the greatest advantage, and not leave one hair, or the smallest ornament, out of its place.

    He being not a forgetful hearer - This seems to be a reference to Deuteronomy 4:9 : "Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life." He who studies and forgets is like to a woman who brings forth children, and immediately buries them. Aboth R. Nathan, cap. 23.

    Shall be blessed in his deed - In Pirkey Aboth, cap. Deuteronomy 4:14, it is said: "There are four kinds of men who visit the synagogues,

    1. He who enters but does not work;

    2. He who works but does not enter.

    3. He who enters and works.

    4. He who neither enters nor works.

    The first two are indifferent characters; the third is the righteous man; the fourth is wholly evil."

    As the path of duty is the way of safety, so it is the way of happiness; he who obeys God from a loving heart and pure conscience, will infallibly find continual blessedness.

    Barnes' Notes on James 1:25

    But whoso looketh - (παρακύψας parakupsas). This word means, to stoop down near by anything; to bend forward near, so as to look at anything more closely. See the word explained in the notes at 1 Peter 1:12. The idea here is that of a close and attentive observation. The object is not to contrast the manner of looking in the glass, and in the law of liberty, implying that the former was a "careless beholding," and the latter an attentive and careful looking, as Doddridge, Rosenmuller, Bloomfield, and others suppose; for the word used in the former case (κατενόησε katanoēse) implies intense or accurate observation, as really as the word used here; but the object is to show that if a man would attentively look into, and continue in the law of liberty, and not do as one who went away and forgot how he looked, he would be blessed. The emphasis is not in the manner of looking, it is on the duty of continuing or persevering in the observance of the law.

    The perfect law of liberty - Referring to the law of God or his will, however made known, as the correct standard of conduct. It is called the perfect law, as being wholly free from all defects; being just such as a law ought to be. Compare Psalm 19:7. It is called the law of liberty, or freedom because it is a law producing freedom from the servitude of sinful passions and lusts. Compare Psalm 119:45; Notes, Romans 6:16-18.

    And continueth therein - He must not merely look at the law, or see what he is by comparing himself with its requirements, but he must yield steady obedience to it. See the notes at John 14:21.

    This man shall be blessed in his deed - Margin, doing. The meaning is, that he shall be blessed in the very act of keeping the law. It will produce peace of conscience; it will impart happiness of a high order to his mind; it will exert a good influence over his whole soul. Psalm 19:11. "In keeping of them there is great reward."

    Wesley's Notes on James 1:25

    1:25 But he that looketh diligently - Not with a transient glance, but bending down, fixing his eyes, and searching all to the bottom. Into the perfect law - Of love as established by faith. St. James here guards us against misunderstanding what St. Paul says concerning the yoke and bondage of the law. He who keeps the law of love is free, John 8:31, and c. He that does not, is not free, but a slave to sin, and a criminal before God, James 2:10. And continueth therein - Not like him who forgot it, and went away. This man - There is a peculiar force in the repetition of the word. Shall be happy - Not barely in hearing, but doing the will of God.