James 5:12

Above all things (pro pantwn). No connection with what immediately precedes. Probably an allusion to the words of Jesus ( Matthew 5:34-37 ). It is not out of place here. See the same phrase in 1 Peter 4:8 . Robinson (Ephesians, p. 279) cites like examples from the papyri at the close of letters. Here it means "But especially" (Ropes). Swear not (mh omnuete). Prohibition of the habit (or to quit doing it if guilty) with mh and the present active imperative of omnuw. The various oaths (profanity) forbidden (mhte, thrice) are in the accusative case after omnuete, according to rule (ouranon, ghn, orkon). The Jews were wont to split hairs in their use of profanity, and by avoiding God's name imagine that they were not really guilty of this sin, just as professing Christians today use "pious oaths" which violate the prohibition of Jesus. Let be (htw). Imperative active third singular of eimi, late form ( 1 Corinthians 16:22 ) for estw. "Your yea be yea" (and no more). A different form from that in Matthew 5:37 . That ye fall not under judgment (ina mh upo krisin peshte). Negative purpose with ina mh and the second aorist active subjunctive of piptw, to fall. See ina mh kriqhte in verse Matthew 9 . Krisi (from krinw) is the act of judging rather than the judgment rendered (krima James 3:1 ).