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James 4:13

    James 4:13 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain:

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    Go to now, you that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain:

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    Come now, ye that say, To-day or to-morrow we will go into this city, and spend a year there, and trade, and get gain:

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    How foolish it is to say, Today or tomorrow we will go into this town, and be there for a year and do business there and get wealth:

    Webster's Revision

    Come now, ye that say, To-day or to-morrow we will go into this city, and spend a year there, and trade, and get gain:

    World English Bible

    Come now, you who say, "Today or tomorrow let's go into this city, and spend a year there, trade, and make a profit."

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    Go to now, ye that say, Today or tomorrow we will go into this city, and spend a year there, and trade, and get gain:

    Definitions for James 4:13

    Morrow - Next day; tomorrow.

    Clarke's Commentary on James 4:13

    Go to now - Αγε νυν· Come now, the same in meaning as the Hebrew הבה habah, come, Genesis 11:3, Genesis 11:4, Genesis 11:7. Come, and hear what I have to say, ye that say, etc.

    To-day, or to-morrow, we will go - This presumption on a precarious life is here well reproved; and the ancient Jewish rabbins have some things on the subject which probably St. James had in view. In Debarim Rabba, sec. 9, fol. 261, 1, we have the following little story; "Our rabbins tell us a story which happened in the days of Rabbi Simeon, the son of Chelpatha. He was present at the circumcision of a child, and stayed with its father to the entertainment. The father brought out wine for his guests that was seven years old, saying, With this wine will I continue for a long time to celebrate the birth of my new-born son. They continued supper till midnight. At that time Rabbi Simeon arose and went out, that he might return to the city in which he dwelt. On the way he saw the angel of death walking up and down. He said to him, Who art thou? He answered, I am the messenger of God. The rabbin said, Why wanderest thou about thus? He answered, I slay those persons who say, We will do this, or that, and think not how soon death may overpower them: that man with whom thou hast supped, and who said to his guests, With this wine will I continue for a long time to celebrate the birth of my new-born son, behold the end of his life is at hand, for he shall die within thirty days." By this parable they teach the necessity of considering the shortness and uncertainty of human life; and that God is particularly displeased with those ...

    "Who, counting on long years of pleasure here,

    Are quite unfurnished for a world to come."

    And continue there a year, and buy and sell - This was the custom of those ancient times; they traded from city to city, carrying their goods on the backs of camels. The Jews traded thus to Tyre, Sidon, Caesarea, Crete, Ephesus, Philippi, Thessalonica, Corinth, Rome, etc. And it is to this kind of itinerant mercantile life that St. James alludes. See at the end of this chapter, (James 4:17 (note)).

    Barnes' Notes on James 4:13

    Go to now - The apostle here introduces a new subject, and refers to another fault which was doubtless prevalent among them, as it is everywhere, that of a presumptuous confidence respecting the future, or of forming plans stretching into the future, without any proper sense of the uncertainty of life, and of our absolute dependence on God. The phrase "go to now," (ἄγε νῦν age nun,) is a phrase designed to arrest attention, as if there were something that demanded their notice, and especially, as in this case, with the implied thought that that to which the attention is called is wrong. See James 5:1. Compare Genesis 11:7; Isaiah 1:18.

    Ye that say - You that form your plans in this manner or that speak thus confidently of what you will do in the future. The word say here probably refers to what was in their thoughts, rather than to what was openly expressed.

    Today or tomorrow we will go into such a city - That is, they say this without any proper sense of the uncertainty of life, and of their absolute dependence on God.

    And continue there a year - Fixing a definite time; designating the exact period during which they would remain, and when they would leave, without any reference to the will of God. The apostle undoubtedly means to refer here to this as a mere specimen of what he would reprove. It cannot be supposed that he refers to this single case alone as wrong. All plans are wrong that are formed in the same spirit. "The practice to which the apostle here alludes," says the editor of the Pictorial Bible, "is very common in the East to this day, among a very respectable and intelligent class of merchants. They convey the products of one place to some distant city, where they remain until they have disposed of their own goods and have purchased others suitable for another distant market; and thus the operation is repeated, until, after a number of years, the trader is enabled to return prosperously to his home. Or again, a shopkeeper or a merchant takes only the first step in this process - conveying to a distant town, where the best purchases of his own line are to be made, such goods as are likely to realise a profit, and returning, without any farther stop, with a stock for his own concern. These operations are seldom very rapid, as the adventurer likes to wait opportunities for making advantageous bargains; and sometimes opens a shop in the place to which he comes, to sell by retail the goods which he has bought." The practice is common in India. See Roberts" Oriental Illustrations.

    And buy and sell, and get gain - It is not improbable that there is an allusion here to the commercial habits of the Jews at the time when the apostle wrote. Many of them were engaged in foreign traffic, and for this purpose made long journeys to distant trading cities, as Alexandria, Antioch, Ephesus, Corinth, etc. - Bloomfield.

    Wesley's Notes on James 4:13

    4:13 Come now, ye that say - As peremptorily as if your life were in your own hands.