James 1:17

17 1Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from 2the Father of lights 3with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.[a]

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James 1:17 Meaning and Commentary

James 1:17

Every good gift and every perfect gift
Whether of nature, providence, or grace, and especially the latter; spiritual gifts given along with Christ, or spiritual blessings in him; every such gift is; as the Vulgate Latin version reads, the "best" gift; better than those which only relate to the present life: and is "perfect" such as the gifts of righteousness, remission of sins, adoption, regeneration, and eternal life. The Jews say F11, that the good things of this world are not truly good, in comparison of the good things of the world to come, and are not (bwj rwmg) , "a perfect good." And every such an one is from above; is not from a man's self, from the creature, or from below, but from heaven, and from God who dwells there:

and cometh down from the Father of lights;
or author of lights; of all corporeal light; as the sun, moon, and stars; of all natural, rational, and moral light, in angels and men; of all spiritual light, or the light of grace in regenerate persons; and of eternal light, the light of glory in the spirits of just then made perfect:

with whom is no variableness, nor shadow of turning:
as there is in that great luminary, the sun in the firmament, which has its parallaxes, eclipses, and turnings, and casts its shadow; it rises and sets, appears and disappears every day; and it comes out of one tropic, and enters into another at certain seasons of the year: but with God, who is light itself, and in him is no darkness at all, there is no change, nor anything like it; he is changeable in his nature, perfections, purposes, promises, and gifts; wherefore he being holy, cannot turn to that which is evil; nor can he, who is the fountain of light, be the cause of darkness, or admit of any in him; and since every good and perfect gift comes from him, evil cannot proceed from him, nor can he tempt any to it.


FOOTNOTES:

F11 Tzeror Hammor, fol. 23. 2, 3.

James 1:17 In-Context

15 Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.
16 Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers.
17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.
18 Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.
19 Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger;

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Cross References 3

  • 1. Psalms 85:12; John 3:27; 1 Corinthians 4:7
  • 2. 1 John 1:5
  • 3. Malachi 3:6

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. Some manuscripts variation due to a shadow of turning