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James 3

James 3:5 KJV (With Strong’s)

kai (Greek #2532)
and, also, even, so then, too, etc.; often used in connection (or composition) with other particles or small words
KJV usage: and, also, both, but, even, for, if, or, so, that, then, therefore, when, yet.
Pronounce: kahee
Origin: apparently, a primary particle, having a copulative and sometimes also a cumulative force
houto (Greek #3779)
in this way (referring to what precedes or follows)
KJV usage: after that, after (in) this manner, as, even (so), for all that, like(-wise), no more, on this fashion(-wise), so (in like manner), thus, what.
Pronounce: hoo'-to
Origin: οὕτως (hoo'-toce) adverb from 3778
the tongue
ho (Greek #3588)
the definite article; the (sometimes to be supplied, at others omitted, in English idiom)
KJV usage: the, this, that, one, he, she, it, etc.
Pronounce: ho
Origin: ἡ (hay), and the neuter τό (to) in all their inflections
glossa (Greek #1100)
the tongue; by implication, a language (specially, one naturally unacquired)
KJV usage: tongue.
Pronounce: gloce-sah'
Origin: of uncertain affinity
i is
esti (Greek #2076)
he (she or it) is; also (with neuter plural) they are
KJV usage: are, be(-long), call, X can(-not), come, consisteth, X dure for a while, + follow, X have, (that) is (to say), make, meaneth, X must needs, + profit, + remaineth, + wrestle.
Pronounce: es-tee'
Origin: third person singular present indicative of 1510
a little
mikros (Greek #3398)
small (in size, quantity, number or (figuratively) dignity)
KJV usage: least, less, little, small.
Pronounce: mik-ros'
Origin: μικρότερος (mik-rot'-er-os) apparently a primary word
melos (Greek #3196)
a limb or part of the body
KJV usage: member.
Pronounce: mel'-os
Origin: of uncertain affinity
, and
kai (Greek #2532)
and, also, even, so then, too, etc.; often used in connection (or composition) with other particles or small words
KJV usage: and, also, both, but, even, for, if, or, so, that, then, therefore, when, yet.
Pronounce: kahee
Origin: apparently, a primary particle, having a copulative and sometimes also a cumulative force
boastethk great things
megalaucheo (Greek #3166)
to talk big, i.e. be grandiloquent (arrogant, egotistic)
KJV usage: boast great things.
Pronounce: meg-al-ow-kheh'-o
Origin: from a compound of 3173 and αὐχέω (to boast; akin to 837 and 2744)
. Behold
idou (Greek #2400)
second person singular imperative middle voice of 1492; used as imperative lo!; --behold, lo, see.
Pronounce: id-oo'
, how great
helikos (Greek #2245)
as big as, i.e. (interjectively) how much
KJV usage: how (what) great.
Pronounce: hay-lee'-kos
Origin: from ἧλιξ (a comrade, i.e. one of the same age)
τa matter
hule (Greek #5208)
a forest, i.e. (by implication) fuel
KJV usage: matter.
Pronounce: hoo-lay'
Origin: perhaps akin to 3586
a little
oligos (Greek #3641)
puny (in extent, degree, number, duration or value); especially neuter (adverbially) somewhat
KJV usage: + almost, brief(-ly), few, (a) little, + long, a season, short, small, a while.
Pronounce: ol-ee'-gos
Origin: of uncertain affinity
pur (Greek #4442)
"fire" (literally or figuratively, specially, lightning)
KJV usage: fiery, fire.
Pronounce: poor
Origin: a primary word
anapto (Greek #381)
to enkindle
KJV usage: kindle, light.
Pronounce: an-ap'-to
Origin: from 303 and 681

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Cross References


Ministry on This Verse

Ex. 5:2• 2And Pharaoh said, Who is the Lord, that I should obey his voice to let Israel go? I know not the Lord, neither will I let Israel go. (Ex. 5:2)
Ex. 15:9• 9The enemy said, I will pursue, I will overtake, I will divide the spoil; my lust shall be satisfied upon them; I will draw my sword, my hand shall destroy them. (Ex. 15:9)
2 Kings 19:22‑24• 22Whom hast thou reproached and blasphemed? and against whom hast thou exalted thy voice, and lifted up thine eyes on high? even against the Holy One of Israel.
23By thy messengers thou hast reproached the Lord, and hast said, With the multitude of my chariots I am come up to the height of the mountains, to the sides of Lebanon, and will cut down the tall cedar trees thereof, and the choice fir trees thereof: and I will enter into the lodgings of his borders, and into the forest of his Carmel.
24I have digged and drunk strange waters, and with the sole of my feet have I dried up all the rivers of besieged places.
(2 Kings 19:22‑24)
Job 21:14‑15• 14Therefore they say unto God, Depart from us; for we desire not the knowledge of thy ways.
15What is the Almighty, that we should serve him? and what profit should we have, if we pray unto him?
(Job 21:14‑15)
Job 22:17• 17Which said unto God, Depart from us: and what can the Almighty do for them? (Job 22:17)
Psa. 10:3• 3For the wicked boasteth of his heart's desire, and blesseth the covetous, whom the Lord abhorreth. (Psa. 10:3)
Psa. 12:2‑4• 2They speak vanity every one with his neighbor: with flattering lips and with a double heart do they speak.
3The Lord shall cut off all flattering lips, and the tongue that speaketh proud things:
4Who have said, With our tongue will we prevail; our lips are our own: who is lord over us?
(Psa. 12:2‑4)
Psa. 17:10• 10They are inclosed in their own fat: with their mouth they speak proudly. (Psa. 17:10)
Psa. 52:1‑2• 1<<To the chief Musician, Maschil, A Psalm of David, when Doeg the Edomite came and told Saul, and said unto him, David is come to the house of Ahimelech.>> Why boastest thou thyself in mischief, O mighty man? the goodness of God endureth continually.
2Thy tongue deviseth mischiefs; like a sharp razor, working deceitfully.
(Psa. 52:1‑2)
Psa. 73:8‑9• 8They are corrupt, and speak wickedly concerning oppression: they speak loftily.
9They set their mouth against the heavens, and their tongue walketh through the earth.
(Psa. 73:8‑9)
Prov. 12:18• 18There is that speaketh like the piercings of a sword: but the tongue of the wise is health. (Prov. 12:18)
Prov. 15:2• 2The tongue of the wise useth knowledge aright: but the mouth of fools poureth out foolishness. (Prov. 15:2)
Prov. 18:21• 21Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof. (Prov. 18:21)
Jer. 9:3‑8• 3And they bend their tongues like their bow for lies: but they are not valiant for the truth upon the earth; for they proceed from evil to evil, and they know not me, saith the Lord.
4Take ye heed every one of his neighbor, and trust ye not in any brother: for every brother will utterly supplant, and every neighbor will walk with slanders.
5And they will deceive every one his neighbor, and will not speak the truth: they have taught their tongue to speak lies, and weary themselves to commit iniquity.
6Thine habitation is in the midst of deceit; through deceit they refuse to know me, saith the Lord.
7Therefore thus saith the Lord of hosts, Behold, I will melt them, and try them; for how shall I do for the daughter of my people?
8Their tongue is as an arrow shot out; it speaketh deceit: one speaketh peaceably to his neighbor with his mouth, but in heart he layeth his wait.
(Jer. 9:3‑8)
Jer. 18:18• 18Then said they, Come, and let us devise devices against Jeremiah; for the law shall not perish from the priest, nor counsel from the wise, nor the word from the prophet. Come, and let us smite him with the tongue, and let us not give heed to any of his words. (Jer. 18:18)
Ezek. 28:2• 2Son of man, say unto the prince of Tyrus, Thus saith the Lord God; Because thine heart is lifted up, and thou hast said, I am a God, I sit in the seat of God, in the midst of the seas; yet thou art a man, and not God, though thou set thine heart as the heart of God: (Ezek. 28:2)
Ezek. 29:3• 3Speak, and say, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I am against thee, Pharaoh king of Egypt, the great dragon that lieth in the midst of his rivers, which hath said, My river is mine own, and I have made it for myself. (Ezek. 29:3)
Dan. 3:15• 15Now if ye be ready that at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of music, ye fall down and worship the image which I have made; well: but if ye worship not, ye shall be cast the same hour into the midst of a burning fiery furnace; and who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands? (Dan. 3:15)
Dan. 4:30• 30The king spake, and said, Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honor of my majesty? (Dan. 4:30)
2 Peter 2:18• 18For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error. (2 Peter 2:18)
Jude 16• 16These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men's persons in admiration because of advantage. (Jude 16)
Rev. 13:5‑6• 5And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.
6And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.
(Rev. 13:5‑6)
or, wood.
 If not bridled, the tongue can become the means of expressing the vanity of our hearts by condemning others and exalting ourselves, for it can boast "great things". (The Evil of the Flesh: James 3-4 by H. Smith)
 though "a little member", it resembles a little fire that is capable of destroying an entire forest. (The Evil of the Flesh: James 3-4 by H. Smith)
 no member of the body so readily and easily expresses our will, exposes our weakness, and reveals the true state of our heart, as the tongue. It is easily inflamed by malice in the heart, and inflames others (The Evil of the Flesh: James 3-4 by H. Smith)
 The tongue is ordinarily used among men it is rightly declared by James to be “a fire, a world of iniquity” (ch. 3:6). Small as it is, it boasts great things. It may be like a little spark of fire, but how many a ruinous conflagration has been started by a little spark! (James 3 by F.B. Hole)

J. N. Darby Translation

Thus also the tongue is a little member, and boasts great things. See how little a fire, how large a wooda it kindles!

JND Translation Notes

i.e. a forest. But some regard the expression as meaning "materials."

W. Kelly Translation

So also the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. See how large a wooda how little a fire kindleth!

WK Translation Notes

It may be observed that the word hylēn generally translated "wood" or "forest" is often in philosophical writings used to express "matter," and by historians or others, like "materia" in Latin authors, the stuff or material of anything, timber etc. The KJV had ground for its rendering, even if the preponderance lean to that view which is presented here.