1 Come on, you rich people! You should weep and wail for all the problems that are coming your way! 2 Your wealth is ruined, and your clothes have been eaten by moths. 3 Your gold and your silver are corroded, and this corrosion will be evidence against you, eating away your flesh like fire. You hoarded up your wealth in these last days. 4 Look, the wages of your farm workers that you cheated are crying out against you—the cries of the farm workers have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty. 5 You've enjoyed a life of luxury here on earth, full of self-indulgent pleasure, fattening yourselves up for the day of slaughter! 6 You have condemned and killed the innocent who didn't even resist you.
7 Friends, be patient as you wait for the Lord's return. Think of the farmer waiting patiently for the earth's precious harvest as it grows with the early and later rains. 8 You need to be patient too. Stay strong for the Lord's return is near. 9 My friends, don't complain about each other, so you won't be judged. Look, the judge is standing right at the door! 10 Take the prophets as an example, my friends—see how they spoke in the Lord's name as they suffered and waited patiently. 11 Notice that we say that those who endure are blessed. You've heard about the patience of Job, and you've seen how the Lord brought this to a positive conclusion—for the Lord is full of compassion and mercy.
12 Above all, my friends, don't swear. Not by heaven, not by earth, and not by any other kind of oath. Just let your yes be yes, and your no be no, so you won't fall under condemnation. 13 Are any of you suffering? You should pray. Are some of you cheerful? You should sing songs of praise. 14 Are any of you sick? You should call for the church elders and have them pray over you, and anoint you with oil in the Lord's name. 15 Such a prayer, trusting in God, will heal those who are sick, and the Lord will make them well. If they've committed sins, they will be forgiven. 16 Admit the wrongs you've done to each other, and pray for one another so that you'll be healed. Earnest prayer from those who live right is very effective. 17 Elijah was a man who had the same human nature as we do. He prayed earnestly that it wouldn't rain, and it didn't rain on the earth for three and a half years. 18 He prayed again—heaven sent rain and the earth gave its harvest.
19 My friends, if any one of you strays from the truth and someone brings you back, 20 let them know that whoever rescues a sinner from the error of their ways will save them from death, and will gain forgiveness for many sins.