James 2:2

2 For if a man comes into your assembly with a gold ring and dressed in 1fine clothes, and there also comes in a poor man in 2dirty clothes,

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.''


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 brethren, do not hold your faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ with an attitude of personal favoritism.
2 For if a man comes into your assembly with a gold ring and dressed in fine clothes, and there also comes in a poor man in dirty clothes,
3 and you pay special attention to the one who is wearing the fine clothes, and say, "You sit here in a good place," and you say to the poor man, "You stand over there, or sit down by my footstool,"
4 have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil motives?
5 Listen, my beloved brethren: did not God choose the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him?

Cross References 2

  • 1. Luke 23:11; James 2:3
  • 2. Zechariah 3:3

Footnotes 2

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