James 1:23

23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror.

James 1:23 Meaning and Commentary

James 1:23

But if any man be a hearer of the word, and not a doer,
&c.] The Arabic version here again reads, "a hearer of the law", and so some copies; not hearing, but practice, is the main thing; not theory, but action: hence, says R. Simeon, not the word, or the searching into it, and the explanation of it, is the root, or principal thing, (hvemh ala) , "but the work" F16: and if a man is only a preacher, or a hearer, and not a doer,

he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass;
or, "the face of his generation"; the face with which he was born; his true, genuine, native face; in distinction from any counterfeit one, or from the face of his mind: it means his own corporeal face. The Ethiopic version renders it, "the lineaments of his face".


FOOTNOTES:

F16 Pirke Abot, c. 1. sect. 17.

James 1:23 In-Context

21 Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.
22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.
23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror.
24 For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like.
25 But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.