James 3:5

A little member (mikron melo). Melo is old and common word for members of the human body ( 1 Corinthians 12:12 , etc.; Romans 6:13 , etc.). Boasteth great things (megala aucei). Present active indicative of aucew, old verb, here only in N.T. The best MSS. here separate megala from aucew, though megalaucew does occur in Aeschylus, Plato, etc. Megala is in contrast with mikron. How much--how small (hlikon--hlikhn). The same relative form for two indirect questions together, "What-sized fire kindles what-sized forest?" For double interrogatives see Mark 15:24 . The verb anaptei is present active indicative of anaptw, to set fire to, to kindle ( Luke 12:49 , only other N.T. example except some MSS. in Acts 28:2 ). Hulhn is accusative case, object of anaptei, and occurs here only in N.T., though old word for forest, wood. Forest fires were common in ancient times as now, and were usually caused by small sparks carelessly thrown.