Proverbs 16:27

Hebrew Bible

25 There is a way that seems right to a person, but its end is the way that leads to death. 26 A laborer’s appetite has labored for him, for his hunger has pressed him to work. 27 A wicked scoundrel digs up evil, and his slander is like a scorching fire. 28 A perverse person spreads dissension, and a gossip separates the closest friends. 29 A violent person entices his neighbor, and then leads him down a path that is terrible.

James 5:3

New Testament

1 Come now, you rich! Weep and cry aloud over the miseries that are coming on you. 2 Your riches have rotted and your clothing has become moth-eaten. 3 Your gold and silver have rusted and their rust will be a witness against you. It will consume your flesh like fire. It is in the last days that you have hoarded treasure! 4 Look, the pay you have held back from the workers who mowed your fields cries out against you, and the cries of the reapers have reached the ears of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. 5 You have lived indulgently and luxuriously on the earth. You have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter.

 Notes and References

"... James explains the tongue's disastrous impacts by converting his active voice participle into a passive voice: 'and is itself set on fire by hell.' The tongue is a world of injustice in that it is stoked by hell. The word 'hell' translates the Greek word gehenna (from 'valley of Hinnom,' 2 Kings 23:10; Jeremiah 7:31), the fire pit where rubbish was burned outside Jerusalem. The term became an idiom, not for the dwelling place of Satan or demons but for the place of condemnation because it was an everlasting fire (Matthew 5:22; 18:9). Hell inspires the abusive tongue, and James personifies hell as something 'on the march' because he wants to drive home to the teachers that they will be held accountable to God for what they say. The punishment, then, fits the crime: if it sets things on fire, it, too, will be set on fire (e.g., James 2:13; 1 Corinthians 3:17; compare Proverbs 16:27; Sirach 28:22-23; Psalms of Solomon 12:1-4) ..."

McKnight, Scot The Letter of James (pp. 285-286) William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2011

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