James 4:14

Whereas ye know not (oitine ouk epistasqe). The longer relative osti defines here more precisely (like Latin qui) oi legonte (ye who say) of verse Matthew 13 in a causal sense, as in Acts 10:47 , "who indeed do not know" (present middle indicative of epistamai). What shall be on the morrow (th aurion). Supply hmera (day) after aurion. This is the reading of B (Westcott) "on the morrow" (genitive of time), but Aleph K L cursives have to th aurion ("the matter of tomorrow"), while A P cursives have ta th aurion ("the things of tomorrow"). The sense is practically the same, though to th aurion is likely correct. What is your life? (poia h zwh umwn). Thus Westcott and Hort punctuate it as an indirect question, not direct. Poia is a qualitative interrogative (of what character). As vapour (atmi). This is the answer. Old word for mist (like atmo, from which our "atmosphere"), in N.T. only here and Acts 2:19 with kapnou (vapour of smoke (from Joel 2:30 ). For a little time (pro oligon). See same phrase in 1 Timothy 4:8 , pro kairon in Luke 8:13 , pro wran in John 5:35 . That appeareth and then vanisheth away (painomenh epeita kai apanizomenh). Present middle participles agreeing with atmi, "appearing, then also disappearing," with play on the two verbs (painomai, apanizw as in Matthew 6:19 , from apanh hidden Hebrews 4:13 ) with the same root pan (painw, a-pan-h).