James 4:5 (ESV)
Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, "He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us"?
I don't know of an Old Testament passage similar to James's quote. What is he referring to?
This is, unfortunately, a passage where there are many options and no real consensus over a definitive translation. Perhaps the most popular assertion is that James is merely alluding to "Scripture" as a whole. There is, of course, no requirement to expect James to quote a specific verse having said that "the Scripture says" (See Motyer's commentary on James p148).
There are other scholars who see this "quotation" as evidence that some early Christian writers believed that not every inspired word from God had to be incorporated into the canon (See The Old Testament in Early Christianity, E. Ellis, p4-5). Personally, I find this explanation weak as New Testament writers are usually fairly conservative in what they quote - none ever quote the Apocrypha. There are a couple of quotes from other Jewish texts that were considered to have some "religious weight" (the most well-known being Jude's quote of 1 Enoch 1:9), but they are very rare (see Models for Scripture, J. Goldingay, p145.)
To conclude, I support Motyer's claim that James is referring to Scripture as a whole (or rather, numerous passages from the Old Testament concerning the jealousy of God), and that putting quotemarks after "the Scripture says" is somewhat unwise. Though other options are not to be entirely discounted.
There is indeed no Old Testament passage that contains those words, but there are a number of theories regarding what James was referring to. From Precept Austin:
I have always understood James as referring to the "jealousy" of God as brought forward in many OT passages. For example;
When coupled with the verses about God putting His Spirit in His chosen/elect.
Some of the confusion appears to be root words vs derivatives. Envy #07068 from Heb. root #07065 is used 9x in OT. Zealous is this same Heb. root #07065. Jealousy #07067 is used 6x in OT but only used of God; but it, too, is from Heb. root #07065. Apparently envy and jealousy are very close in meaning; so close that one word is used for God alone, to separate it, and bind it to a holy meaning. Thus, James could be referring any one or all of the 6 #07067 "jealousy" passages attributed to God.
I think that the strongest candidate is Wisdom 6:23, in the Deuterocanonical books of the Greek Septuagint. I explain my reasoning below.
The ESV editors chose to translate the Greek as you indicate,
where they interpreted the Greek,
as, after arranging the proper order:
The western Church Father (Venerable) Bede maintains that this is not the correct rendering. He states that the second clause must be read as a question in itself:
which falls into place simply when πρὸς is understood to mean "for" (one of its accepted translations) instead of "with" and understanding the clause to be a question (the original manuscripts were not punctuated).
This does not make finding the verse in the Old Testament much easier to find (Bede and other Fathers said it simply isn't to be found), but it would negate some of the interpretations suggested that say the verse is referring to the jealousy of God. Bede writes:
As I said, Bede's interpretation and commentary don't reveal which Old Testament Scripture is being referred to. I did notice, however, that the Greek word φθόνος ("envy", "jealousy") only appears in the Septuagint's Deuterocanonical books: 1 and 3 Maccabees and the Wisdom of Solomon. Only Wisdom 6:23 seems to be related:
If we take the reference in James 4:5 as a paraphrase rather than an exact quote, this passage seems to fit, but I would certainly be interested in opinions.
JAMES 4:5 IS QUOTING HOSEA I hate be the odd ball here.... First off... this letter was not written by james.... it was written by yakov/ jacob....
Second.... let s look at his audience.... "the twelve tribes scattered abroad" By the way.... this is not only "jews" which is a reference to judah and benjamin, but it is a reference to the 10 tribes to the north who whored after pagan gentile ways and whose seed/ sperm had been mixed with the pagan gentiles all over the globe as prophesied by the prophets.... Yakov/ jacob is addressing both houses of israel as 12 but 1 in fulfillment of ezekial 37's 2 sticks and hundreds of other prophecies never preached correctly.... All of israel... that is his audience... it is not a spiritual israel... it is a physical israel awaiting their time to return from the nations in the last days... see also the prodigal son's return.
Third... let's see his audience in chapter 4=5... "you"... is a reference to "the 12 tribes scattered abroad".... in this chapter he calls us "adulterers""adultresses"... .. My point is that "you" is not an individual... "you" is a people... the congregation that is still scattered today.
Last.... the "spirit in you" from 4=5 is not holy.... that's why we get confused and try to rationalize why the Ruach Ha Kodesh/ Spirit that is Holy would be jealous/ envious/ OR MORE ACCURATELY "LUSTETH"... He is not that.. This is a corporate address to the congregation scattered.... and Yakov/ jacob is actually referencing the Scroll of Hosea, which is also a prophecy to the whoring 10 northern tribes of Ephraim/ Israel/ House of Joseph..... You will notice in Hosea 5 that we are informed that our harlot spirit (little "s") is in our midst.... The translators didnt know what to do with "the spirit lusteth" because they didn't and still don't know the Scriptures. I believe Andrew Gabriel Roth's translation of the Eastern Aramaic Manuscripts gets this Yakov 4=5 part right..... By the way I highly recommend the AENT (Aramaic English New Testament) to ALL pastors. He sheds light on alot of greek fallacies butchered by anti semitic scribes through the dark ages...
So to sum it up.... Yakov/ Jacob/ James 4:5 is a reference to Hosea 5:4.... 4:5 = 5:4
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