James 3:15

15 Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic.

James 3:15 in Other Translations

KJV
15 This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.
ESV
15 This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic.
NLT
15 For jealousy and selfishness are not God’s kind of wisdom. Such things are earthly, unspiritual, and demonic.
MSG
15 It's the furthest thing from wisdom - it's animal cunning, devilish conniving.
CSB
15 Such wisdom does not come down from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic.

James 3:15 Meaning and Commentary

James 3:15

This wisdom descendeth not from above
If it must be called wisdom, as it ought not; an envious, quarrelsome, and contentious spirit, does not deserve such a name; yet if any will call it so, or can think that a man of such a disposition is a man possessed of wisdom; it is such wisdom as does not come from above, from heaven, from the Father of lights, from Christ, in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, and from the spirit of wisdom and revelation: what the Jews say F15 of the wisdom of Egypt, may be said of this, that it is (hatt hmkx) "wisdom from below", or inferior wisdom, as it follows:

but is earthly, sensual, and devilish;
it is "earthly", or of the earth, and springs from thence; and it is only conversant about earthly things, and is only suitable to earthly minds: it is sensual, or natural; what a natural man, one destitute of the Spirit of God, and without the knowledge of the things of the Spirit, may have; it is what is acquired by the mere strength of nature, and only relates to natural things; and is only agreeable to corrupt nature, or to a natural and unregenerate man: yea, it is devilish, or such as the devil himself has; and which comes from him, and being used, serves only his kingdom and interest.


FOOTNOTES:

F15 Zohar in Gen. fol. 119. 2.

James 3:15 In-Context

13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.
14 But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth.
15 Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic.
16 For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.
17 But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.

Cross References 2

  • 1. ver 17; James 1:17
  • 2. 1 Timothy 4:1