James 3:11

11 Doth a fountain send forth at the same place[a] sweet water and bitter?

James 3:11 Meaning and Commentary

James 3:11

Doth a fountain send forth at the same place
"Or hole"; for at divers places, and at different times, as Pliny F13 observes, it may send forth

sweet [water] and bitter:
and it is reported F14, there is a lake with the Trogloditae, a people in Ethiopia, which becomes thrice a day bitter, and then as often sweet; but then it does not yield sweet water and bitter at the same time: this simile is used to show how unnatural it is that blessing and cursing should proceed out of the same mouth.


F13 Nat. Hist. l. 2. c. 103.
F14 Isodor. Hispal. Originum, l. 13. c. 13. p. 115.

James 3:11 In-Context

9 Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God.
10 Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.
11 Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter?
12 Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh.
13 Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.

Footnotes 1

The King James Version is in the public domain.