WISDOM IS NOT “BEYOND THE SEA”
Deuteronomy 30:11 For this commandment which I command thee this day, it is not hidden from thee, neither is it far off.
Deuteronomy 30:12 It is not in heaven, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it?
Deuteronomy 30:13 Neither is it beyond the sea, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it?
Deuteronomy 30:14 But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it.
A Rabbi of the past once said this: “Wisdom is not ‘beyond the sea’ --that is, it will not be found among traders or merchants, whose mind must be engrossed by gain.”
Edersheim, the historian writes: “And it was trade and commerce which procured to the Babylonians their wealth and influence. Although agriculture was not neglected. Their caravans --of whose camel drivers, by the way, no very flattering account is given --carried the rich carpets and woven stuffs of the East, as well as its precious spices, to the West: generally through Palestine to the Phoenician harbours, where a fleet of merchantmen belonging to Jewish bankers and shippers lay ready to convey them to every quarter of the world.
These MERCHANT PRINCES were keenly alive to all that passed, not only in the financial, but in the political world. We know that they were in possession of State secrets and entrusted with the intricacies of diplomacy …” The Life and Times of Jesus The Messiah
It was in that setting that James wrote to the twelve tribes that were scattered abroad. (James 1:1)
TO THE WICKED AND COVETOUS RICH, JAMES SAID:
James 5:1 Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you.
James 5:2 Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten.
James 5:3 Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days.
James 5:4 Behold, the hire of the labourers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of sabaoth. [The Lord of Hosts]
James 5:5 Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; ye have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter.
James 5:6 Ye have condemned and killed the just; and he doth not resist you.
TO THE FAITHFUL BRETHREN, JAMES SAID:
James 5:7 Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.
James 5:8 Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.
James 5:9 Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door.
James 5:10 Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience.
James 5:11 Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.
James 5:12 But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation.
Adam Clarke writes:
“Let your yea be yea, etc. - Do not pretend to say yea with your lips, and annul it in your heart; let the yea or the nay which you express be bona fide such. Do not imagine that any mental reservation can cancel any such expressions of obligation in the sight of God.
Lest ye fall into condemnation - Ἱνα μη ὑπο κρισιν πεσητε· Lest ye fall under judgment. Several MSS. join ὑπο and κρισιν together, ὑποκρισιν, and prefix εις, into, which makes a widely different reading: Lest ye fall into hypocrisy. Now, as it is a fact, that the Jews did teach that there might be mental reservation, that would annul the oath, how solemnly soever it was taken; the object of St. James, if the last reading be genuine, and it is supported by a great number of excellent MSS., some versions, and some of the most eminent of the fathers, was to guard against that hypocritical method of taking an oath, which is subversive of all moral feeling, and must make conscience itself callous.”
A quote found in the Bible of Harold Kupp:
“ WISDOM is a sure knowledge of moral righteousness according to God. (What God requires of us.)”