James 5:11

11 Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of 1the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen 2the purpose of the Lord, how 3the Lord is compassionate and merciful.

James 5:11 Meaning and Commentary

James 5:11

Behold, we count them happy which endure
Affliction, with courage, constancy, and patience, and hold out to the end; for such shall be saved; theirs is the kingdom of heaven; they are happy now, and will be so hereafter: the Spirit of God, and of glory, now rests upon them; and it is an honour done them that they are counted worthy to suffer for Christ; and they will be glorified with him to all eternity; the consideration of which may serve to encourage and increase patience.

Ye have heard of the patience of Job;
from the account which is given of him, and his patience, in the book that bears his name; how he behaved under every trial, which came one upon the back of another; as the plundering of his substance, the loss of his children, and of the health of his body; and yet in all this Job sinned not, nor murmured against God, nor charged him foolishly, and was a mirror of patience; and though he afterwards let fall some expressions of impatience, yet he was humbled for them, and brought to repentance: this shows, that as the Apostle James, so the Jews, to whom he writes, believed that there had been really such a man as Job; and that the book which bears his name is an authentic piece of holy Scripture, and contains a narrative of matters of fact; or otherwise this reference to him would have been impertinent. How long Job endured the chastenings of the Lord cannot be said. The Jews F25 say they continued on him twelve months, which they gather from ( Job 7:3 ) .

And have seen the end of the Lord;
that is, the happy end, or exodus, out of all his troubles; which the Lord gave "to him", as the Oriental versions add; for he gave him twice as much as he had before, and blessed his latter end more than his beginning, ( Job 42:10 Job 42:12 ) . Some understand this of the Lord Jesus Christ, both of his great patience in sufferings, in which he is an example to his people, and they would do well to look to, and consider him; and of the end of his sufferings, his glorious resurrection from the dead, and session at the right hand of God, where he is crowned with glory and honour; but the former sense is best:

that the Lord is very pitiful and of tender mercy;
as to Job, so to all his people; his paternal relation to them engages his pity towards them; nor does he willingly afflict them; and when he does, he sympathizes with them; he is afflicted with them, and in his pity redeems them; his heart moves towards them, and he earnestly remembers them, and works deliverance for them in his own time and way; and therefore it becomes them to be patient.


F25 Seder Olam Rabba, c. 3. p. 9.

James 5:11 In-Context

9 Do not grumble against one another, brothers, so that you may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing at the door.
10 As an example of suffering and patience, brothers, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord.
11 Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful.
12 But above all, my brothers, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or by any other oath, but let your "yes" be yes and your "no" be no, so that you may not fall under condemnation.
13 Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise.

Cross References 3

  • 1. Job 1:21, 22; Job 2:10
  • 2. Job 42:10, 12
  • 3. See Exodus 34:6
The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.