The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire BibleJames 1:23
But if any man be a hearer of the word, and not a doer,
&c.] The Arabic version here again reads, "a hearer of the law", and
so some copies; not hearing, but practice, is the main thing; not
theory, but action: hence, says R. Simeon, not the word, or the
searching into it, and the explanation of it, is the root, or
principal thing, (hvemh ala) , "but the work" F16: and if a man is only
a preacher, or a hearer, and not a doer,
he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass;
"the face of his generation"; the face with which he was born; his
true, genuine, native face; in distinction from any counterfeit one,
or from the face of his mind: it means his own corporeal face. The
Ethiopic version renders it, "the lineaments of his face".
F16 Pirke Abot, c. 1. sect. 17.