Deuteronomy 4:6

Hebrew Bible

5 Look! I have taught you statutes and ordinances just as the Lord my God told me to do, so that you might carry them out in the land you are about to enter and possess. 6 So be sure to do them, because this will testify of your wise understanding to the people who will learn of all these statutes and say, “Indeed, this great nation is a very wise people.” 7 In fact, what other great nation has a god so near to them like the Lord our God whenever we call on him? 8 And what other great nation has statutes and ordinances as just as this whole law that I am about to share with you today?

James 3:13

New Testament

11 A spring does not pour out fresh water and bitter water from the same opening, does it? 12 Can a fig tree produce olives, my brothers and sisters, or a vine produce figs? Neither can a salt water spring produce fresh water. 13 Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct he should show his works done in the gentleness that wisdom brings. 14 But if you have bitter jealousy and selfishness in your hearts, do not boast and tell lies against the truth. 15 Such wisdom does not come from above but is earthly, natural, demonic.

 Notes and References

"... A third option is to combine the two aforementioned preferences. We can then see both the warning to teachers and the misuse of the tongue in wrongful teaching as the topos of 3:13-18. The main support for this idea is the earlier suggestion that James has in mind in 3:1-12 teachers who employ their “tongues” to articulate false notions that corrupt the “entire body” (verse 6), i.e., the whole ethos of the church. They are not only formalistic in their profession of the faith (verse 2, “bridle” goes back to 1:26); their example and influence is positively and potently injurious to the community (verse 8). They introduce dangerous and destructive (verses 5, 8) matters, which not only are signs of their self-assumed importance (verse 4), but actively lead people astray (5:19—20). The brief vice list of 3:15 indicates what our author thinks of these teachers’ claim to be “wise and understanding,” a collocation of terms that (in Deuteronomy 1:13-15 LXX) is used of Israel’s tribal judges, who were to set a norm for the nation’s conduct as “a wise and understanding people” (Deuteronomy 4:6; compare Hosea 14:9) ..."

Martin, Ralph P. Word Biblical Commentary: James (p. 127) Zondervan, 1988

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