James 3:4

The ships also (kai ta ploia). Old word from plew, to sail ( Matthew 4:21 ). Another metaphor like "horses" (ippoi). "There is more imagery drawn from mere natural phenomena in the one short Epistle of James than in all St. Paul's epistles put together" (Howson). Though they are so great (thlikauta onta). Concessive participle of eimi. The quantitative pronoun thlikouto occurs in the N.T. only here, 2 Corinthians 1:10 ; Hebrews 2:3 ; Revelation 16:18 . If James had only seen the modern mammoth ships. But the ship on which Paul went to Malta carried 276 persons ( Acts 27:37 ). And are driven (kai elaunomena). Present passive participle of elaunw, old verb, in this sense ( 2 Peter 2:17 ) for rowing ( Mark 6:48 ; John 6:19 ). Rough (sklhron). Old adjective (from skellw, to dry up), harsh, stiff, hard ( Matthew 25:24 ). Are yet turned (metagetai). Present passive indicative of the same verb, metagw, in verse Matthew 3 . James is fond of repeating words ( Matthew 1:13 ; Matthew 2:14 Matthew 2:16 ; Matthew 2:21 Matthew 2:25 ). By a very small rudder (upo elacistou phdaliou). For the use of upo (under) with things see Luke 8:14 ; 2 Peter 2:7 . There is possibly personification in the use of upo for agency in James 1:14 ; James 2:9 ; Colossians 2:18 . Phdaliou (from phdon, the blade of an oar) is an old word, in N.T. only here and Acts 27:40 . Elacistou is the elative superlative as in 1 Corinthians 4:3 (from the Epic elacu for mikro). The impulse (h ormh). Old word for rapid, violent motion, here of the hand that worked the rudder, in N.T. only here and Acts 14:5 (rush or onset of the people). Of the steersman (tou euqunonto). Present active genitive articular participle of euqunw, old verb, to make straight (from euqu, straight, level, Mark 1:3 ), in N.T. only here and John 1:23 . Used also of the shepherd, the charioteer, and today it would apply to the chauffeur. "The twin figure of the control of horse and of ship are frequently found together in later Greek writers" (Ropes). As in Plutarch and Philo. Willeth (bouletai). Present middle indicative of boulomai, common verb to will. Here intention of the steersman lies back of the impact of the hand on the rudder.