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. Chapter 5.

Warning to the Rich

1 Next a word to you who have great possessions. Weep and wail over the miserable fate descending on you. 2 Your riches have rotted; your fine clothes are moth-eaten; 3 your silver and gold have rusted away, and their very rust will be evidence against you and consume your flesh like fire. You have piled up wealth in an age that is near its close. 4 The wages you never paid to the men who mowed your fields are loud against you, and the outcry of the reapers has reached the ears of the Lord of Hosts. 5 You have lived on earth in wanton luxury, fattening yourselves like cattle—and the day for slaughter has come. 6 You have condemned the innocent and murdered him; he offers no resistance.

Patience and Prayer

7 Be patient, my brothers, until the Lord comes. The farmer looking for the precious crop his land may yield can only wait in patience, until the winter and spring rains have fallen. 8 You too must be patient and stout-hearted, for the coming of the Lord is near. 9 My brothers, do not blame your troubles on one another, or you will fall under judgement; and there stands the Judge, at the door. 10 If you want a pattern of patience under ill-treatment, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord; 11 [ Dn.12.12. ] remember: 'We count those happy who stood firm.' You have all heard how Job stood firm, and you have seen how the Lord treated him in the end. For the Lord is full of pity and compassion.

12 ABOVE ALL THINGS, my brothers, do not use oaths, whether 'by heaven' or 'by earth' or by anything else. When you say yes or no, let it be plain 'Yes' or 'No', for fear that you expose yourselves to judgement.

13 Is anyone among you in trouble? He should turn to prayer. Is anyone in good heart? He should sing praises. 14 Is one of you ill? He should send for the elders of the congregation to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 The prayer offered in faith will save the sick man, the Lord will raise him from his bed, and any sins he may have committed will be forgiven. 16 Therefore confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, and then you will be healed. A good man's prayer is powerful and effective. 17 Elijah was a man with human frailties like our own; and when he prayed earnestly that there should be no rain, not a drop fell on the land for three years and a half; 18 then he prayed again, and down came the rain and the land bore crops once more.

19 My brothers, if one of your number should stray from the truth and another succeed in bringing him back, be sure of this: 20 any man who brings a sinner back from his crooked ways will be rescuing his soul from death and cancelling innumerable sins.

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