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New Living Translation
James 4:9

Let there be tears for the wrong things you have done. Let there be sorrow and deep grief. Let there be sadness instead of laughter, and gloom instead of joy.

Bible Study Resources

Commentaries:

- Clarke Commentary;   Abbott's New Testament;   Birdgeway Bible Commentary;   Coffman Commentaries;   Barne's Notes;   Box's Commentaries on Selected Books;   Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes;   Calvin's Commentary;   Cambridge Greek Testament;   Chuck Smith Commentary;   Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible ;   Constable's Expository Notes;   Daily Study Bible;   Darby's Synopsis;   Dunagan Commentary;   Ellicott's Commentary;   Expositor's Greek Testament;   Family Bible New Testament;   Hole's Commentary;   Meyer's Commentary;   Gaebelein's Annotated;   Morgan's Biblical Exposition;   Gill's Exposition;   Godbey's NT Commentary;   Gary Hampton Commentary;   Everett's Study Notes;   Geneva Study Bible;   Alford's Commentary;   Haydock's Catholic Commentary;   Meyer's Commentary;   The Bible Study New Testament;   Ironside's Notes;   Bengel's Gnomon;   Commentary Critical and Explanatory;   Commentary Critical and Explanatory - Unabridged;   Gray's Commentary;   The People's Bible;   Sutcliffe's Commentary;   Trapp's Commentary;   Kretzmann's Popular Commentary of the Bible;   Lange's Commentary on the Holy Scriptures;   Grant's Commentary;   Henry's Complete;   Henry's Concise;   Poole's Annotations;   Pett's Bible Commentary;   Peake's Bible Commentary;   Preacher's Homiletical Commentary;   Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary;   People's New Testament;   Benson's Commentary;   Robertson's Word Pictures;   Schaff's New Testament Commentary;   Horae Homileticae;   Spurgeon's Verse Expositions;   Biblical Illustrator;   Coke's Commentary;   Expositor's Bible;   Pulpit Commentaries;   Treasury of Knowledge;   Vincent's Studies;   Burkitt's Notes;   Wesley's Notes;   Whedon's Commentary;   Zerr's N.T. Commentary;  

Concordances:

- Nave's Topical Bible - Commandments;   Joy;   Repentance;   Worldliness;   Thompson Chain Reference - Earthly;   Joy;   Joy-Sorrow;   Laughter;   Sinners;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Joy;   Repentance;  

Dictionaries:

- Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Sorrow;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Ordinances of the Gospel;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - James, the General Epistle of;   Holman Bible Dictionary - James, the Letter;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Judas;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Cheerfulness ;   Laughter;   Mourning;  

Encyclopedias:

- International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Heavy;   James, Epistle of;  

Parallel Translations

The Amplified Bible
[As you draw near to God] be deeply penitent and grieve, even weep [over your disloyalty]. Let your laughter be turned to grief and your mirth to dejection and heartfelt shame [for your sins].

The Complete Jewish Bible
Wail, mourn, sob! Let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy into gloom!

American Standard Version
Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.

Bible in Basic English
Be troubled, with sorrow and weeping; let your laughing be turned to sorrow and your joy to grief.

English Revised Version
Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.

English Standard Version
Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom.

Darby's Translation
Be wretched, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and [your] joy to heaviness.

Easy-to-Read Version
Be sad, be sorry, and cry! Change your laughter into crying. Change your joy into sadness.

The Geneva Bible (1587)
Suffer afflictions, and sorrowe ye, and weepe: let your laughter be turned into mourning, and your ioy into heauinesse.

The Bishop's Bible (1568)
Suffer afflictions, and mourne, and weepe: Let your laughter be turned to mournyng, and your ioy to heauinesse.

King James Version (1611)
Bee afflicted, and mourne, and weepe: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your ioy to heauinesse.

Contemporary English Version
Be sad and sorry and weep. Stop laughing and start crying. Be gloomy instead of glad.

New Revised Standard
Lament and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy into dejection.

New Century Version
Be sad, cry, and weep! Change your laughter into crying and your joy into sadness.

James Murdock Translation of the Peshitta
Humble yourselves, and mourn: let your laughter be turned into mourning, and your joy into grief.

Wesley's New Testament (1755)
Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning, and your joy into heaviness.

George Lamsa Translation of the Peshitta
Humble yourselves, and mourn; let your laughter be turned to weeping, and your joy to sorrow.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Be afflicted and mourn and weep: let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy into sorrow.

Good News Translation
Be sorrowful, cry, and weep; change your laughter into crying, your joy into gloom!

Holman Christian Standard
Be miserable and mourn and weep. Your laughter must change to mourning and your joy to sorrow.

Miles Coverdale Bible (1535)
Suffre affliccions: sorowe ye and wepe. Let youre laughter be turned to mornynge, and youre ioye to heuynes.

Mace New Testament (1729)
be afflicted, be mournful, and weep: let your mirth be converted to sadness, and your joy to vexation.

J.P. Green Literal Translation
Be distressed, and mourn, and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy into shame.

New King James
Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom.

New International Version
Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom.

King James Version
Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.

New American Standard Version
Be miserable and mourn and weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy to gloom.

New Life Version
Be sorry for your sins and cry because of them. Be sad and do not laugh. Let your joy be turned to sorrow.

Hebrew Names Version
Lament, mourn, and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to gloom.

International Standard Version
Be miserable, mourn, and cry. Let your laughter be turned into mourning, and your joy into gloom.

John Etheridge Translation of the Peshitta
Be humbled and sorrowful, and let your laughter be turned into grief, and your gladness into anxiety.

The Emphasised Bible
Be miserable and lament and weep, let, your laughter, into lamentation, be turned, and, your joy, into dejection;

Revised Standard Version
Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to dejection.

Tyndale Bible
Suffre affliccios: sorowe ye and wepe. Let youre laughter be turned to mornynge and youre ioye to hevynes.

Updated Bible Version 1.9
Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.

The Webster Bible
Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and [your] joy to heaviness.

World English Bible
Lament, mourn, and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to gloom.

Weymouth New Testament
Afflict yourselves and mourn and weep aloud; let your laughter be turned into grief, and your gladness into shame.

The Wycliffe Bible (1395)
Be ye wretchis, and weile ye; youre leiyyng be turned in to weping, and ioye in to sorewe of herte.

Young's Literal Translation
be exceeding afflicted, and mourn, and weep, let your laughter to mourning be turned, and the joy to heaviness;

The Message
Hit bottom, and cry your eyes out. The fun and games are over. Get serious, really serious.

Lexham English Bible
Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your*Literally "the"; the Greek article is used here as a possessive pronoun joy to gloominess.

Contextual Overview

1What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? Isn't it the whole army of evil desires at war within you? 2You want what you don't have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous for what others have, and you can't possess it, so you fight and quarrel to take it away from them. And yet the reason you don't have what you want is that you don't ask God for it. 3And even when you do ask, you don't get it because your whole motive is wrong – you want only what will give you pleasure. 4You adulterers! Don't you realize that friendship with this world makes you an enemy of God? I say it again, that if your aim is to enjoy this world, you can't be a friend of God. 5What do you think the Scriptures mean when they say that the Holy Spirit, whom God has placed within us, jealously longs for us to be faithful ? 6He gives us more and more strength to stand against such evil desires. As the Scriptures say, "God sets himself against the proud, but he shows favor to the humble." 7So humble yourselves before God. Resist the Devil, and he will flee from you. 8Draw close to God, and God will draw close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, you hypocrites. 9Let there be tears for the wrong things you have done. Let there be sorrow and deep grief. Let there be sadness instead of laughter, and gloom instead of joy. 10When you bow down before the Lord and admit your dependence on him, he will lift you up and give you honor.

Verse Review

from
Treasury of Scripure Knowledge

Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.
afflicted
5:1,2; Psalms 119:67,71,136; 126:5,6; Ecclesiastes 7:2-5; Isaiah 22:12,13; Jeremiah 31:9,13,18-20; Ezekiel 7:16; 16:63; Zechariah 12:10-14; Matthew 5:4; Luke 6:21; 2 Corinthians 7:10,11
let
Job 30:31; Proverbs 14:13; Ecclesiastes 2:2; 7:6; Lamentations 5:15; Luke 6:25; 16:25; Revelation 18:7,8

Cross-References

Genesis 4:4
while Abel brought several choice lambs from the best of his flock. The LORD accepted Abel and his offering,

Genesis 4:9
Afterward the LORD asked Cain, "Where is your brother? Where is Abel?""I don't know!" Cain retorted. "Am I supposed to keep track of him wherever he goes?"

Genesis 4:11
You are hereby banished from the ground you have defiled with your brother's blood.

Genesis 4:13
Cain replied to the LORD, "My punishment is too great for me to bear!

Genesis 4:14
You have banished me from my land and from your presence; you have made me a wandering fugitive. All who see me will try to kill me!"

Genesis 37:32
They took the beautiful robe to their father and asked him to identify it. "We found this in the field," they told him. "It's Joseph's robe, isn't it?"

Psalms 9:12
For he who avenges murder cares for the helpless. He does not ignore those who cry to him for help.

Proverbs 28:13
People who cover over their sins will not prosper. But if they confess and forsake them, they will receive mercy.

John 8:44
For you are the children of your father the Devil, and you love to do the evil things he does. He was a murderer from the beginning and has always hated the truth. There is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies.

Gill's Notes on the Bible

Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep,.... Not in a bare external way; not by afflicting the body with fastings and scourgings, by renting of garments, and clothing with sackcloth, and putting ashes on the head, and other such outward methods of humiliation; but afflicting the soul is meant, an inward mourning and weeping over the plague of the heart, the impurity of nature, and the various sins of life; after a godly sort, and because contrary to a God of infinite love and grace; in an evangelical way, looking to Jesus, and being affected with the pardoning grace and love of God in Christ.

Let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness; meaning their carnal joy, on account of their friendship with the world, and their enjoyment of the things of it, since they consumed them on their lusts, and which betrayed enmity to God.

Barnes' Notes on the Bible

Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep - That is, evidently, on account of your sins. The sins to which the apostle refers are those which he had specified in the previous part of the chapter, and which he had spoken of as so evil in their nature, and so dangerous in their tendency. The word rendered “be afflicted” means, properly, to endure toil or hardship; then to endure affliction or distress; and here means, that they were to afflict themselves - that is, they were to feel distressed and sad on account of their transgressions. Compare Ezra 8:21. The other words in this clause are those which are expressive of deep grief or sorrow. The language here used shows that the apostle supposed that it was possible that those who had done wrong should voluntarily feel sorrow for it, and that, therefore, it was proper to call upon them to do it.

(All who feel true sorrow for sin, do so voluntarily; but it is not intended by this assertion to insinuate that repentance is not the work of the Spirit. He operates on men without destroying their freedom, or doing violence to their will: “in the day of his power they are willing.” Nor is it improper to call on men to do that for which they require the Spirit‘s aid. That aid is not withheld in the hour of need; and everywhere the Bible commands sinners to believe and repent.)

Let your laughter be turned to mourning - It would seem that the persons referred to, instead of suitable sorrow and humiliation on account of sin, gave themselves to joyousness, mirth, and revelry. See a similar instance in Isaiah 22:12-13. It is often the case, that those for whom the deep sorrows of repentance would be peculiarly appropriate, give themselves to mirth and vanity. The apostle here says that such mirth did not become them. Sorrow, deep and unfeigned, was appropriate on account of their sins, and the sound of laughter and of revelry should be changed to notes of lamentation. To how many of the assemblies of the vain, the gay, and the dissipated, might the exhortation in this passage with propriety be now addressed!

Your joy to heaviness - The word here rendered heaviness occurs nowhere else in the New Testament. It means dejection, sorrow. It is not gloom, melancholy, or moroseness, but it is sorrow on account of sin. God has so made us that we should feel sorrow when we are conscious that we have done wrong, and it is appropriate that we should do so.

Clarke's Notes on the Bible

Be afflicted, and mourn - Without true and deep repentance ye cannot expect the mercy of God.

Let your laughter be turned to mourning - It appears most evidently that many of those to whom St. James addressed this epistle had lived a very irregular and dissolute life. He had already spoken of their lust, and pleasures, and he had called them adulterers and adulteresses; and perhaps they were so in the grossest sense of the words. He speaks here of their laughter and their joy; and all the terms taken together show that a dissolute life is intended. What a strange view must he have of the nature of primitive Christianity, who can suppose that these words can possibly have been addressed to people professing the Gospel of Jesus Christ, who were few in number, without wealth or consequence, and were persecuted and oppressed both by their brethren the Jews and by the Romans!


Copyright Statement:
New Living Translation
Copyright © 1996 by Tyndale Charitable Trust. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers. All rights reserved. For more information about the NLT, please click here.

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