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James 1:23

23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror

Read James 1:23 Using Other Translations

For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:
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.
For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror.

What does James 1:23 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
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.
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