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James 3:5 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— So the tongue also is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how much wood is kindled by how small a fire!
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— So also the tongue is a small part of the body, and [yet] it boasts of great things. See how great a forest is set aflame by such a small fire!
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— Thus also the tongue is a little member, and boasts great things. See how little a fire, how large a wood it kindles!
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— So, also, the tongue, is, a little member, and yet, of great things, maketh boast. Lo! how small a fire, kindleth, how great a forest;
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— so also the tongue is a little member, and doth boast greatly; lo, a little fire how much wood it doth kindle!
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— Even so the tongue is indeed a little member and boasteth great things. Behold how small a fire kindleth a great wood.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— Euen so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things: behold, how great a matter a litle fire kindleth.
John Etheridge Peshitta-Aramaic NT (1849)
— So also the tongue is a small member, and uplifteth itself. A little fire also burneth many forests;
James Murdock Peshitta-Aramaic NT (1852)
— So likewise the tongue is a small member, and it exalteth itself. Also a little fire inflameth large forests.

Strong's Numbers & Red-LettersGreek New TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
Even 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.
so 3779
{3779} Prime
οὕτω
houto
{hoo'-to}
From G3778; in this way (referring to what precedes or follows).
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).
tongue 1100
{1100} Prime
γλῶσσα
glossa
{gloce-sah'}
Of uncertain affinity; the tongue; by implication a language (specifically one naturally unacquired).
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
a little 3398
{3398} Prime
μικρός
mikros
{mik-ros'}
Apparently a primary word, including the comparative (second form); small (in size, quantity, number or (figuratively) dignity).
member, 3196
{3196} Prime
μέλος
melos
{mel'-os}
Of uncertain affinity; a limb or part of the body.
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.
boasteth great things. 3166
{3166} Prime
μεγαλαυχέω
megalaucheo
{meg-al-ow-kheh'-o}
From a compound of G3173 and αὐχέω [[aucheo]] (to boast; akin to G0837 and G2744); to talk big, that is, be grandiloquent (arrogant, egotistic).
z5719
<5719> Grammar
Tense - Present (See G5774)
Voice - Active (See G5784)
Mood - Indicative (See G5791)
Count - 3019
Behold, 2400
{2400} Prime
ἰδού
idou
{id-oo'}
Second person singular imperative middle voice of G1492; used as imperative lo!.
z5628
<5628> Grammar
Tense - Second Aorist (See G5780)
Voice - Active (See G5784)
Mood - Imperative (See G5794)
Count - 459
how great 2245
{2245} Prime
ἡλίκος
helikos
{hay-lee'-kos}
From ἧλιξ [[helix]] (a comrade, that is, one of the same age); as big as, that is, (interjectively) how much.
a matter 5208
{5208} Prime
ὕλη
hule
{hoo-lay'}
Perhaps akin to G3586; a forest, that is, (by implication) fuel.
a little 3641
{3641} Prime
ὀλίγος
oligos
{ol-ee'-gos}
Of uncertain affinity; puny (in extent, degree, number, duration or value); especially neuter (adverbially) somewhat.
fire 4442
{4442} Prime
πῦρ
pur
{poor}
A primary word; 'fire' (literally or figuratively, specifically lightning).
kindleth! 381
{0381} Prime
ἀνάπτω
anapto
{an-ap'-to}
From G0303 and G0681; to enkindle.
z5719
<5719> Grammar
Tense - Present (See G5774)
Voice - Active (See G5784)
Mood - Indicative (See G5791)
Count - 3019
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

James 3:5

_ _ boasteth great things — There is great moment in what the careless think “little” things [Bengel]. Compare “a world,” “the course of nature,” “hell,” James 3:6, which illustrate how the little tongue’s great words produce great mischief.

_ _ how great a matter a little fire kindleth — The best manuscripts read, “how little a fire kindleth how great a,” etc. Alford, for “matter,” translates, “forest.” But Grotius translates as English Version, “material for burning”: a pile of fuel.

Matthew Henry's Commentary

See commentary on James 3:1-12.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

James 3:5

Boasteth great things — Hath great influence.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

James 3:5

Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. (5) Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!

(5) On the contrary part he shows how great inconveniences arise by the excesses of the tongue, throughout the whole world, to the end that men may so much the more diligently give themselves to control it.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
so:

Exodus 5:2 And 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.
Exodus 15:9 The 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.
2 Kings 19:22-24 Whom 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. ... I have digged and drunk strange waters, and with the sole of my feet have I dried up all the rivers of besieged places.
Job 21:14-15 Therefore they say unto God, Depart from us; for we desire not the knowledge of thy ways. ... What [is] the Almighty, that we should serve him? and what profit should we have, if we pray unto him?
Job 22:17 Which said unto God, Depart from us: and what can the Almighty do for them?
Psalms 10:3 For the wicked boasteth of his heart's desire, and blesseth the covetous, [whom] the LORD abhorreth.
Psalms 12:2-4 They speak vanity every one with his neighbour: [with] flattering lips [and] with a double heart do they speak. ... Who have said, With our tongue will we prevail; our lips [are] our own: who [is] lord over us?
Psalms 17:10 They are inclosed in their own fat: with their mouth they speak proudly.
Psalms 52:1-2 [[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. ... Thy tongue deviseth mischiefs; like a sharp razor, working deceitfully.
Psalms 73:8-9 They are corrupt, and speak wickedly [concerning] oppression: they speak loftily. ... They set their mouth against the heavens, and their tongue walketh through the earth.
Proverbs 12:18 There is that speaketh like the piercings of a sword: but the tongue of the wise [is] health.
Proverbs 15:2 The tongue of the wise useth knowledge aright: but the mouth of fools poureth out foolishness.
Proverbs 18:21 Death and life [are] in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.
Jeremiah 9:3-8 And 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. ... Their tongue [is as] an arrow shot out; it speaketh deceit: [one] speaketh peaceably to his neighbour with his mouth, but in heart he layeth his wait.
Jeremiah 18:18 Then 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.
Ezekiel 28:2 Son 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:
Ezekiel 29:3 Speak, 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.
Daniel 3:15 Now 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 musick, 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?
Daniel 4:30 The 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 honour of my majesty?
2 Peter 2:18 For 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.
Jude 1:16 These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling [words], having men's persons in admiration because of advantage.
Revelation 13:5-6 And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty [and] two months. ... And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.

matter:
or, wood
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Chain-Reference Bible Search

Ex 5:2; 15:9. 2K 19:22. Jb 21:14; 22:17. Ps 10:3; 12:2; 17:10; 52:1; 73:8. Pv 12:18; 15:2; 18:21. Jr 9:3; 18:18. Ezk 28:2; 29:3. Dn 3:15; 4:30. 2P 2:18. Jde 1:16. Rv 13:5.

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