Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament

James 4:1

Whence (poten).
This old interrogative adverb (here twice) asks for the origin of wars and fights. James is full of interrogatives, like all diatribes.

Wars (polemoi)

--fightings (maxai).

War (polemov, old word, Matthew 24:6)
pictures the chronic state or campaign, while maxh (also old word, 2 Corinthians 7:5) presents the separate conflicts or battles in the war. So James covers the whole ground by using both words. The origin of a war or of any quarrel is sometimes hard to find, but James touches the sore spot here.

Of your pleasures (ek twn hdonwn umwn).
Old word from hdomai. Ablative case here after ek, "out of your sinful, sensual lusts," the desire to get what one does not have and greatly desires.

That war (twn strateuomenwn).
Present middle articular participle (ablative case agreeing with hdonwn) of strateuw, to carry on a campaign, here as in 1 Peter 2:11 of the passions in the human body. James seems to be addressing nominal Christians, "among you" (en umin). Modern church disturbances are old enough in practice.

Copyright Statement
The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright © Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)

Bibliography Information
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on James 4:1". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". <>. Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960.