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James 1:17 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom can be no variation, neither shadow that is cast by turning.
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— Every good gift and every perfect gift comes down from above, from the Father of lights, with whom is no variation nor shadow of turning.
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— Every good giving, and every perfect gift, is, from above, coming down from the Father of lights—with whom is no alternation, nor shadow cast, by turning:
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— every good giving, and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the lights, with whom is no variation, or shadow of turning;
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— Every best gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no change nor shadow of alteration.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— Euery good gift, and euery perfect gift is from aboue, & commeth downe from the Father of lights, with whom is no variablenesse, neither shadow of turning.
John Etheridge Peshitta-Aramaic NT (1849)
— every good gift and perfect from above descendeth, from the Father of lights, with whom is no alteration, nor the shadow of vicissitude.
James Murdock Peshitta-Aramaic NT (1852)
— Every good and perfect gift cometh down from above, from the Father of lights, with whom is no mutation, not even the shadow of change.

Strong's Numbers & Red-LettersGreek New TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
Every 3956
{3956} Prime
πᾶς
pas
{pas}
Including all the forms of declension; apparently a primary word; all, any, every, the whole.
good 18
{0018} Prime
ἀγαθός
agathos
{ag-ath-os'}
A primary word; 'good' (in any sense, often as noun).
gift 1394
{1394} Prime
δόσις
dosis
{dos'-is}
From the base of G1325; a giving; by implication (concretely) a gift.
and 2532
{2532} Prime
καί
kai
{kahee}
Apparently a primary particle, having a copulative and sometimes also a cumulative force; and, also, even, so, then, too, etc.; often used in connection (or composition) with other particles or small words.
every 3956
{3956} Prime
πᾶς
pas
{pas}
Including all the forms of declension; apparently a primary word; all, any, every, the whole.
perfect 5046
{5046} Prime
τέλειος
teleios
{tel'-i-os}
From G5056; complete (in various applications of labor, growth, mental and moral character, etc.); neuter (as noun, with G3588) completeness.
gift 1434
{1434} Prime
δώρημα
dorema
{do'-ray-mah}
From G1433; a bestowment.
is 2076
{2076} Prime
ἐστί
esti
{es-tee'}
Third person singular present indicative of G1510; he (she or it) is; also (with neuter plural) they are.
z5748
<5748> Grammar
Tense - Present (See G5774)
Voice - No Voice Stated (See G5799)
Mood - Indicative (See G5791)
Count - 1612
from above, 509
{0509} Prime
ἄνωθεν
anothen
{an'-o-then}
From G0507; from above; by analogy from the first; by implication anew.
and cometh down 2597
{2597} Prime
καταβαίνω
katabaino
{kat-ab-ah'-ee-no}
From G2596 and the base of G0939; to descend (literally or figuratively).
z5723
<5723> Grammar
Tense - Present (See G5774)
Voice - Active (See G5784)
Mood - Participle (See G5796)
Count - 2549
from 575
{0575} Prime
ἀπό
apo
{ap-o'}
A primary particle; 'off', that is, away (from something near), in various senses (of place, time, or relation; literally or figuratively).
the x3588
(3588) Complement

ho
{ho}
The masculine, feminine (second) and neuter (third) forms, in all their inflections; the definite article; the (sometimes to be supplied, at others omitted, in English idiom).
Father 3962
{3962} Prime
πατήρ
pater
{pat-ayr'}
Apparently a primary word; a 'father' (literally or figuratively, near or more remote).
of lights, 5457
{5457} Prime
φῶς
phos
{foce}
From an obsolete φάω [[phao]] (to shine or make manifest, especially by rays; compare G5316 and G5346); luminousness (in the widest application, natural or artificial, abstract or concrete, literal or figurative).
with 3844
{3844} Prime
παρά
para
{par-ah'}
A primary preposition; properly near, that is, (with genitive case) from beside (literally or figuratively), (with dative case) at (or in) the vicinity of (objectively or subjectively), (with accusative case) to the proximity with (local [especially beyond or opposed to] or causal [on account of]). In compounds it retains the same variety of application.
whom 3739
{3739} Prime
ὅς
hos
{hos}
Probably a primary word (or perhaps a form of the article G3588); the relative (sometimes demonstrative) pronoun, who, which, what, that.
is 1762
{1762} Prime
ἔνι
eni
{en'-ee}
Contracted for third person singular present indicative of G1751; impersonally there is in or among.
z5748
<5748> Grammar
Tense - Present (See G5774)
Voice - No Voice Stated (See G5799)
Mood - Indicative (See G5791)
Count - 1612
no 3756
{3756} Prime
οὐ
ou
{oo}
A primary word; the absolutely negative (compare G3361) adverb; no or not.
variableness, 3883
{3883} Prime
παραλλαγή
parallage
{par-al-lag-ay'}
From a compound of G3844 and G0236; transmutation (of phase or orbit), that is, (figuratively) fickleness.
neither 2228
{2228} Prime

e
{ay}
A primary particle of distinction between two connected terms; disjunctive, or; comparative, than.
shadow 644
{0644} Prime
ἀποσκίασμα
aposkiasma
{ap-os-kee'-as-mah}
From a compound of G0575 and a derivative of G4639; a shading off, that is, obscuration.
of turning. 5157
{5157} Prime
τροπή
trope
{trop-ay'}
From an apparently primary word τρέπω [[trepo]] (to turn); a turn ('trope'), that is, revolution (figuratively variation).
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

James 1:17

_ _ gift ... gift — not the same words in Greek: the first, the act of giving, or the gift in its initiatory stage; the second, the thing given, the boon, when perfected. As the “good gift” stands in contrast to “sin” in its initiatory stage (James 1:15), so the “perfect boon” is in contrast to “sin when it is finished,” bringing forth death (2 Peter 1:3).

_ _ from above — (Compare James 3:15).

_ _ Father of lights — Creator of the lights in heaven (compare Job 38:28 [Alford]; Genesis 4:20, Genesis 4:21; Hebrews 12:9). This accords with the reference to the changes in the light of the heavenly bodies alluded to in the end of the verse. Also, Father of the spiritual lights in the kingdom of grace and glory [Bengel]. These were typified by the supernatural lights on the breastplate of the high priest, the Urim. As “God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5), He cannot in any way be the Author of sin (James 1:13), which is darkness (John 3:19).

_ _ no variableness ... shadow of turning — (Malachi 3:6). None of the alternations of light and shadow which the physical “lights” undergo, and which even the spiritual lights are liable to, as compared with God. “Shadow of turning,” literally, the dark “shadow-mark” cast from one of the heavenly bodies, arising from its “turning” or revolution, for example, when the moon is eclipsed by the shadow of the earth, and the sun by the body of the moon. Bengel makes a climax, “no variation — not even the shadow of a turning”; the former denoting a change in the understanding; the latter, in the will.

Matthew Henry's Commentary

See commentary on James 1:13-18.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

James 1:17

No evil, but every good gift — Whatever tends to holiness. And every perfect gift — Whatever tends to glory. Descendeth from the Father of lights — The appellation of Father is here used with peculiar propriety. It follows, "he begat us." He is the Father of all light, material or spiritual, in the kingdom of grace and of glory. With whom is no variableness — No change in his understanding. Or shadow of turning — in his will. He infallibly discerns all good and evil; and invariably loves one, and hates the other. There is, in both the Greek words, a metaphor taken from the stars, particularly proper where the Father of lights is mentioned. Both are applicable to any celestial body, which has a daily vicissitude of day and night, and sometimes longer days, sometimes longer nights. In God is nothing of this kind. He is mere light. If there Is any such vicissitude, it is in ourselves, not in him.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

James 1:17

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the (o) Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither (p)shadow of turning.

(o) From him who is the fountain and author of all goodness.

(p) He goes on in the metaphor: for the sun by his many and various kinds of turning, makes hours, days, months, years, light and darkness.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
good:

James 1:5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all [men] liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
James 3:15 This wisdom descendeth not from above, but [is] earthly, sensual, devilish.
James 3:17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, [and] easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.
Genesis 41:16 And Joseph answered Pharaoh, saying, [It is] not in me: God shall give Pharaoh an answer of peace.
Genesis 41:38-39 And Pharaoh said unto his servants, Can we find [such a one] as this [is], a man in whom the Spirit of God [is]? ... And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, Forasmuch as God hath shewed thee all this, [there is] none so discreet and wise as thou [art]:
Exodus 4:11-12 And the LORD said unto him, Who hath made man's mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the LORD? ... Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say.
Exodus 31:3-6 And I have filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship, ... And I, behold, I have given with him Aholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan: and in the hearts of all that are wise hearted I have put wisdom, that they may make all that I have commanded thee;
Exodus 36:1-2 Then wrought Bezaleel and Aholiab, and every wise hearted man, in whom the LORD put wisdom and understanding to know how to work all manner of work for the service of the sanctuary, according to all that the LORD had commanded. ... And Moses called Bezaleel and Aholiab, and every wise hearted man, in whose heart the LORD had put wisdom, [even] every one whose heart stirred him up to come unto the work to do it:
Numbers 11:17 And I will come down and talk with thee there: and I will take of the spirit which [is] upon thee, and will put [it] upon them; and they shall bear the burden of the people with thee, that thou bear [it] not thyself alone.
Numbers 11:25 And the LORD came down in a cloud, and spake unto him, and took of the spirit that [was] upon him, and gave [it] unto the seventy elders: and it came to pass, [that], when the spirit rested upon them, they prophesied, and did not cease.
1 Chronicles 22:12 Only the LORD give thee wisdom and understanding, and give thee charge concerning Israel, that thou mayest keep the law of the LORD thy God.
1 Chronicles 29:19 And give unto Solomon my son a perfect heart, to keep thy commandments, thy testimonies, and thy statutes, and to do all [these things], and to build the palace, [for] the which I have made provision.
2 Chronicles 1:11-12 And God said to Solomon, Because this was in thine heart, and thou hast not asked riches, wealth, or honour, nor the life of thine enemies, neither yet hast asked long life; but hast asked wisdom and knowledge for thyself, that thou mayest judge my people, over whom I have made thee king: ... Wisdom and knowledge [is] granted unto thee; and I will give thee riches, and wealth, and honour, such as none of the kings have had that [have been] before thee, neither shall there any after thee have the like.
Proverbs 2:6 For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth [cometh] knowledge and understanding.
Isaiah 28:26 For his God doth instruct him to discretion, [and] doth teach him.
Daniel 2:21-22 And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding: ... He revealeth the deep and secret things: he knoweth what [is] in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with him.
Daniel 2:27-30 Daniel answered in the presence of the king, and said, The secret which the king hath demanded cannot the wise [men], the astrologers, the magicians, the soothsayers, shew unto the king; ... But as for me, this secret is not revealed to me for [any] wisdom that I have more than any living, but for [their] sakes that shall make known the interpretation to the king, and that thou mightest know the thoughts of thy heart.
Matthew 7:11 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?
Matthew 11:25-26 At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. ... Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight.
Matthew 13:11-12 He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. ... For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.
Luke 11:13 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall [your] heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?
John 3:27 John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven.
Acts 5:31 Him hath God exalted with his right hand [to be] a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.
Acts 11:18 When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life.
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin [is] death; but the gift of God [is] eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Romans 11:30 For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief:
Romans 12:6-8 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, [let us prophesy] according to the proportion of faith; ... Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, [let him do it] with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.
1 Corinthians 4:7 For who maketh thee to differ [from another]? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive [it], why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received [it]?
1 Corinthians 12:4-12 Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. ... For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also [is] Christ.
Ephesians 2:3-5 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. ... Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God:
Ephesians 4:8-11 Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. ... And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
Philippians 1:29 For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake;
Titus 3:3-5 For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, [and] hating one another. ... Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
1 John 4:10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son [to be] the propitiation for our sins.
1 John 5:11-12 And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. ... He that hath the Son hath life; [and] he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.

from the:

Genesis 1:2-5 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness [was] upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. ... And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.
Genesis 1:14-15 And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: ... And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.
Deuteronomy 4:19 And lest thou lift up thine eyes unto heaven, and when thou seest the sun, and the moon, and the stars, [even] all the host of heaven, shouldest be driven to worship them, and serve them, which the LORD thy God hath divided unto all nations under the whole heaven.
Psalms 19:1-8 [[To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.]] The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. ... The statutes of the LORD [are] right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD [is] pure, enlightening the eyes.
Psalms 84:11 For the LORD God [is] a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good [thing] will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.
Isaiah 45:7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these [things].
Isaiah 60:19 The sun shall be no more thy light by day; neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee: but the LORD shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory.
John 1:9 [That] was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.
John 8:12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.
2 Corinthians 4:6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to [give] the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
Ephesians 1:18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,
1 John 1:5 This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
Revelation 21:23 And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb [is] the light thereof.
Revelation 22:5 And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.

no variableness:

Numbers 23:19 God [is] not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do [it]? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?
1 Samuel 15:29 And also the Strength of Israel will not lie nor repent: for he [is] not a man, that he should repent.
Psalms 122:6 Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee.
Isaiah 46:10 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times [the things] that are not [yet] done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:
Malachi 3:6 For I [am] the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.
Romans 11:29 For the gifts and calling of God [are] without repentance.
Hebrews 1:11-12 They shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment; ... And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail.
Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.
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Gn 1:2, 14; 41:16, 38. Ex 4:11; 31:3; 36:1. Nu 11:17, 25; 23:19. Dt 4:19. 1S 15:29. 1Ch 22:12; 29:19. 2Ch 1:11. Ps 19:1; 84:11; 122:6. Pv 2:6. Is 28:26; 45:7; 46:10; 60:19. Dn 2:21, 27. Mal 3:6. Mt 7:11; 11:25; 13:11. Lk 11:13. Jn 1:9; 3:27; 8:12. Ac 5:31; 11:18. Ro 6:23; 11:29, 30; 12:6. 1Co 4:7; 12:4. 2Co 4:6. Ep 1:18; 2:3, 8; 4:8. Php 1:29. Tit 3:3. He 1:11; 13:8. Jm 1:5; 3:15, 17. 1Jn 1:5; 4:10; 5:11. Rv 21:23; 22:5.

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