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Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains. (James 5:7)
Be patient, therefore, brothers. What are the brothers to be patient about? The wrongs that were being done to them that were mentioned in 5:1-6. (1) The wealthy were hoarding their money unnecessarily and refused to use any excess to help those struggling financially. (2) Worse still, the wealthy declined to pay the man doing work for them what he deserved, what was due to him. (3) All the while, the wealthy were busy living a life of extreme comfort, indulgence, extravagance, pampering, and sensual pleasure. (4) The rich and powerful were taking the poor to court to confiscate their property, oppressing the righteous one. Yes, these brothers were suffering greatly, and James asked them to be patient and bear up under this oppression without grumbling and without resistance. Those being oppressed and the oppressors were being addressed here in this letter that rewards awaited the oppressed and punishment awaited the oppressor. The brothers needed to know that judgment was coming, and it was in the hands of God, so they need not take any actions on their part. (cf. Matt. 5:38–41, 43–45) The sense of the Greek (μακροθυμέω makrothumeō) is to be even-tempered while enduring trying circumstances, or to exhibit internal and external control in difficult circumstances, long-suffering (Mt 18:26, 29; 1Co 13:4; 1Th 5:14; Heb 6:15; Jas 5:7, 8; 2Pe 3:9). They were not to let their patience run out, regardless of the difficulties that lay ahead. Their mettle, strength, and tolerance were not to be fleeting but long-lasting. They needed to let their patience persist if there was a need for it, even until the second coming of Jesus. Then they would never know such suffering ever again. So, James exhorts the brothers to go through these difficulties with patience, the things above that come upon them from wealthy oppressors, and the sufferings that come in everyday life. Christians are not exempt from the sufferings of human imperfection, nor are they protected from the ills of Satan’s fallen world. They suffer the same difficulties. However, balanced, and correct obedience to God’s Word can lessen those experiences.
Until the coming of the Lord.
“The ‘last days’ is not some future event to which we look. It is now, Jesus Christ initiated this epoch, and it will continue uninterrupted until his return.” So, in other words, the “last days” were to run from the day of Jesus ascension in 33 C.E. until the coming of the Lord. “The word ‘coming’ translates the Gk. parousia, which means basically ‘presence’ see 1 Cor. 16:7; 2 Cor. 10:10; Phil. 2:12). It was applied in secular Greek to the ‘arrival’ of a king or dignitary. It is probably from this background that the technical sense of the word in the NT developed, for the early Christians consistently used the word to refer to the ‘coming’ of Jesus at the end of history to judge the wicked (e.g., Matt. 24:37, 39; 2 Thess. 2:8) and deliver the saints (e.g., 1 Cor. 15:23; 1 Thess. 2:19; 3:13; 4:15; 5:23). To be sure, the exact phrase that James uses here and in v. 8—’the coming of the Lord’—occurs only one other time to depict the return of Christ (1 Thess. 4:15).” The presence of the Lord was worth waiting for, even with patient endurance. Those brothers in the first century died before the Lord came, and we could see death as well. Nevertheless, their long-suffering with patience was going to give them a righteous standing before God. When the parousia or “presence of the Lord” judgment comes, the oppressors will receive their judgment and those who endured their reward. – Matthew 24:3, 37-39
So, James now turns his attention to the burdened Christians to reassure them that their long-suffering spirit will not be in vain. He encourages them not to become envious, irritated, resentful, or to grow tired, but rather to be steadfast in their carrying out the will of God. James urges the brothers to be patient in the face of these adversities as well as whatever else this imperfect world has to offer until the coming of the Lord. Again, looking back, those first-century Christians would die before the second coming of Christ. Nevertheless, a lifetime of patience and endurance in a righteous standing before God would get them written in the book of remembrance, i.e., the book of life. (Ex. 32:32; Mal. 3:16; Phil 4:3; Rev. 3:5; 20:15) In the end, they will receive “the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment.” – John 5:28-29.
See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains.
Zondervan Bible Background observes, “in Palestine, the growth of crops was particularly dependent on the rain that came in late autumn and early spring. Note, for example, Deuteronomy 11:14, where God, in response to his people’s obedience, promises: ‘Then I will send rain on your land in its season, both autumn and spring rains, so that you may gather in your grain, new wine and oil.’ Every passage in which the language of “early and late rains” appears in the Old Testament affirms God’s faithfulness to his people. James’s readers may well have detected an ‘echo’ of this faithfulness theme in the illustration here.” The farmer cannot control the weather or how his plants will turn out, but he is very familiar with the different seasons and how they progress. The farmer knows that it is God, who sets in motion, the components of weather, seasons, seeds, soil and so on, and the day of harvest will come when it comes. Therefore, while he highly anticipates the harvest, which brings life-sustaining food for his family, he must patiently await the day. He patiently waits for the grain to grow. He understands that it takes much time for the crops to grow until they are fully mature, so the farmer does not grow anxious. He needs to wait for things to unfold in their correct season and should not wear out before the presence of that season. He cannot speed up the harvest. He is unable to control the elements that lead to the harvest: the sun and the rain and the season. Thus, he must wait as the events unfold. Keener writes, “Palestine’s autumn rains came in October and November, and winter rains (roughly three-quarters of the year’s rainfall) in December and January. But residents of Syria-Palestine eagerly anticipated the late rains of March and April, which were necessary to ready their late spring and early summer crops. The main wheat harvest there ran from mid-April through the end of May; the barley harvest was in March. The main grain harvest came in June in Greece, July in Italy. Farmers’ families were entirely dependent on good harvests; thus James speaks of the ‘precious’ (or ‘valuable’—NIV) fruit of the earth.” (Keener 1993, 681) That is, the farmer’s patience is not drained because he understands. It stretches through the entire time when God’s divine arrangements must take place, and he can expect the harvest.
 Knute Larson, I & II Thessalonians, I & II Timothy, Titus, Philemon, vol. 9, Holman New Testament Commentary (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2000), 300.
 Douglas J. Moo, The Letter of James, The Pillar New Testament Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI; Leicester, England: Eerdmans; Apollos, 2000), 221.
 Clinton E. Arnold, Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary: Hebrews to Revelation., vol. 4 (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2002), 114.