James 2:2

2 Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in filthy old clothes also comes in.

James 2:2 in Other Translations

KJV
2 For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment;
ESV
2 For if a man wearing a gold ring and fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in,
NLT
2 For example, suppose someone comes into your meeting dressed in fancy clothes and expensive jewelry, and another comes in who is poor and dressed in dirty clothes.
MSG
2 If a man enters your church wearing an expensive suit, and a street person wearing rags comes in right after him,
CSB
2 For suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring, dressed in fine clothes, and a poor man dressed in dirty clothes also comes in.

James 2:2 Meaning and Commentary

James 2:2

For if there come unto your assembly
The place of religious worship where saints are assembled together for that purpose; though some think a civil court of judicature is intended, and to which the context seems to incline; see ( James 2:6 )

a man with a gold ring;
on his finger, which shows him to be a man of dignity and wealth; so those of the senatorian and equestrian orders among the Romans were distinguished from the common people by wearing gold rings; though in time the use of them became promiscuous F17; the ancients used to wear but one F18, as here but one is mentioned; and only freemen, not servants, might wear it: however, by this circumstance, the apostle describes a rich man, adding,

in goodly apparel;
gay clothing, bright shining garments, glistering with gold and silver, very rich and costly, as well as whole, neat, and clean:

and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment;
mean and despicable, filthy and ragged: in the courts of judicature with the Jews, two men, who were at law with one another, might not have different apparel on while they were in court, and their cause was trying: their law runs thus F19;

``two adversaries (at law with each other), if one of them is clothed "with precious garments", ((Myrqy Mydgb) , "goodly apparel",) and the other is clothed with (Nyywzb Mydgb) , "vile raiment", (the judge) says to the honourable person, either clothe him as thou art, while thou contendest with him, or be clothed as he is, that ye may be alike, or on an equal foot.''


FOOTNOTES:

F17 Alex. ab Alex. Genial. Dier. l. 2. c. 29.
F18 Isidor. Hispal. Originum, l. 19. c. 32. p. 171.
F19 Maimon. Hilchot Sanhedrin, c. 21. sect. 2.

James 2:2 In-Context

1 My brothers and sisters, believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must not show favoritism.
2 Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in filthy old clothes also comes in.
3 If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, “Here’s a good seat for you,” but say to the poor man, “You stand there” or “Sit on the floor by my feet,”
4 have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?
5 Listen, my dear brothers and sisters: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him?