on James 5 :6
Ye have condemned and killed the just; and he doth not resist you - Several by τον δικαιον, the just one, understand Jesus Christ, who is so called, Acts 3:14; Acts 7:52; Acts 22:14; but the structure of the sentence, and the connection in which it stands, seem to require that we should consider this as applying to the just or righteous in general, who were persecuted and murdered by those oppressive rich men; and their death was the consequence of their dragging them before the judgment seats, James 2:6, where, having no influence, and none to plead their cause, they were unjustly condemned and executed.
And he doth not resist you. - In this, as in τον δικαιον, the just, there is an enallege of the singular for the plural number. And in the word ουκ αντιτασσεται, he doth not resist, the idea is included of defense in a court of justice. These poor righteous people had none to plead their cause; and if they had it would have been useless, as their oppressors had all power and all influence, and those who sat on these judgment seats were lost to all sense of justice and right. Some think that he doth not resist you should be referred to God; as if he had said, God permits you to go on in this way at present, but he will shortly awake to judgment, and destroy you as enemies of truth and righteousness.
on James 5 :6
Ye have condemned and killed the just - τὸν δίκαιον ton dikaion - "the just one," or "the just man" - for the word used is in the singular number. This may either refer to the condemnation and crucifixion of Christ - meaning that their conduct towards his people had been similar to the treatment of the Saviour, and was in fact a condemnation and crucifixion of him afresh; or, that by their rejection of him in order to live in sin, they in fact condemned him and his religion; or, that they had condemned and killed the just man - meaning that they had persecuted those who were Christians; or, that by their harsh treatment of others in withholding what was due to them, they had deprived them of the means of subsistence, and had, as it were, killed the righteous. Probably the true meaning is, that it was one of their characteristics that they had been guilty of wrong towards good men. Whether it refers, however, to any particular act of violence, or to such a course as would wear out their lives by a system of oppression, injustice, and fraud, cannot now be determined.
And he doth not resist you - Some have supposed that this refers to God, meaning that he did not oppose them; that is, that he bore with them patiently while they did it. Others suppose that it should be read a question - "and doth he not resist you?" meaning that God would oppose them, and punish them for their acts of oppression and wrong. But probably the true reference is to the "just man" whom they condemned and killed; meaning that they were so powerful that all attempts to resist them would be vain, and that the injured and oppressed could do nothing but submit patiently to their acts of injustice and violence. The sense may be either that they could not oppose them - the rich men being so powerful, and they who were oppressed so feeble; or that they bore their wrongs with meekness, and did not attempt it. The sins, therefore, condemned in these verses James 5:1-6, and for which it is said the divine vengeance would come upon those referred to, are these four:
(1) that of hoarding up money when it was unnecessary for their real support and comfort, and when they might do so much good with it, (compare Matthew 6:19;)
(2) that of keeping back the wages which was due to those who cultivated their fields; that is, keeping back what would be a fair compensation for their toil - applicable alike to hired men and to slaves;
(3) that of giving themselves up to a life of ease, luxury, and sensual; indulgence; and,
(4) that of wronging and oppressing good and just men - men, perhaps in humble life, who were unable to vindicate their rights, and who had none to undertake their cause; men who were too feeble to offer successful resistance, or who were restrained by their principles from attempting it.
It is needless to say that there are multitudes of such persons now on the earth, and that they have the same reason to dread the divine vengeance which the same class had in the time of the apostle James.
on James 5 :6
5:6 Ye have killed the just - Many just men; in particular, that Just One, Acts 3:14. They afterwards killed James, surnamed the Just, the writer of this epistle. He doth not resist you - And therefore you are secure. But the Lord cometh quickly, Jas 5:8.