Verse 3: Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. (Rom. 2:5) Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days.
[Your gold…has rusted (thus Montanus, Æthiopic), κατίωται] With corrosion (or, rust [Syriac]) it has been vitiated (Erasmus, Pagnine, Beza, Piscator, Estius); and therefore corrupted and decayed (Gataker). He continues in similar figures. For, just as Garments are wont to be corrupted by moths, so Iron by rust: see Menander [in Grotius]. But gold is ἄφθαρτον/incorruptible, says Pindar, ἰὸν οὐ παραδέχεται, does not admit rust, says Methodius in Photius, and Philo (Gataker). So also in Pliny’s Natural History 31:3. Which things are thus to be understood, that it is not vitiated or cheapened easily or quickly: but it does finally contract rust, as Baruch testifies, Epistle of Jeremiah 6:4, 24 (Menochius). Others: What was proper to Iron, that he also transferred to Gold and Silver; not because that very thing is wont to happen, but because there is often a similar outcome. Compare Ezekiel 24:11; χαλκὸς ἰοῦται, the brass rusteth, Ecclesiasticus 12:10; and concerning a Looking-glass κατίωσεν, it became rusty, is used (Grotius).
[For a testimony (that is, a sign and evidence of your avarice and cruelty [Menochius]) to you (that is, against you, as in Matthew 8:4; 10:18; 23:31 [Piscator]; Acts 13:51 [Gataker]) shall it be] Namely, on the day of judgment (Piscator, thus Estius). A Prosopopœia, of which sort you may find in Habakkuk 2:11; Luke 19:40; Galatians 4:2 (Gataker). Concerning this expression, see on Mark 1:44; 6:11; Luke 5:14; 21:13. Is it not so that it is shameful that those things were reserved as useless, in such a way they might go to waste both to you and to others, things often obtained through injustice and mercilessness, as he is now about to say? See on Matthew 6:24 (Grotius).
Your gold and silver is cankered; the most precious and lasting metals; yet even they, with long disuse, canker, and go to decay. Under these, other metals in esteem among them may be understood. And the rust of them shall be a witness against you: by a prosopopœia, that which properly belongs to living persons is ascribed to dead things, as Habakkuk 2:11; Luke 19:40. It is as much as if he had said: The rust shall be a certain evidence against you, and which will as effectually convict you, as any living witness could do, of your folly in putting your trust in perishing things, your greediness in hoarding them up, your unmercifulness in not supplying the wants of others, and your unreasonableness in denying the use of them to yourselves, when you had rather let them lie by and perish, than enjoy the comfort of them, or do good with them. The like expression we have, Mark 6:11.
[And it shall eat (or, eat up [Beza, Piscator], that is, consume [Drusius]: Φάγεται is a word elegantly Greek: For the Greeks say φάγομαι, ἔδομαι, πίομαι, I shall eat, I shall consume, I shall drink, and thus φάγεσαι, ἔδεσαι, πίεσαι, thou shalt eat, etc., and φάγεται, ἔδεται, πίεται, he shall eat, etc., in the place of φαγοῦμαι, ἐδοῦμαι, and so the rest: This came for the Æolic dialect into common use [Grotius]) your flesh (namely, ὁ ἰὸς, the rust, shall do so, which a manuscript repeats here [Grotius]: Rust, which shall some day consume their riches, shall at that time beset the memory and bite the conscience [Estius, thus Gataker]) like fire] That is, it shall torment both their bodies and souls forever (Estius). In the Syriac and certain manuscripts the ὡς/ like/as is wanting, which here is superfluous, unless it be taken in the place of ὄντως, in reality, as in John 1:14 (Drusius). The sense: Your very goods, reserved unto such abundance, beyond the use of men, inasmuch as they have often perished without use, shall be the cause of the most grievous punishments to you after the time of Judgment, quite as if ye had reserved fire in [perhaps the Printer omitted them] to your hurt. Fire is said to devour flesh, Isaiah 30:27; 33:11. And under the name of fire the Divine anger is wont to be denoted, or its instruments (Grotius).
And shall eat your flesh; the rust (the witness of your covetousness and cruelty) which now eats your money, shall hereafter devour yourselves, soul and body, (which he means by flesh,) viz. by procuring and kindling the wrath of God upon you, (compared to fire,) and likewise by galling your consciences with a vexatious remembrance of your sin and folly; and so what in the judgment is a witness against you, in hell will be a tormentor to you. As it were fire; as if you had reserved fire in your treasure, as well as treasure in your chests.
[Ye have gathered up treasure, etc., ἐν ἐσχάταις ἡμέραις] In the place of εἰς ἐσχάτας, unto the last (Piscator, Grotius). Ye have heaped together treasure (either, 1. of wealth [Gataker out of Piscator, etc., Pareus, thus Estius our of Cajetan]: or, 2. of wrath, which the Latin here supplies [Gataker, similarly Estius]: It is irony [Gataker]; that is to say, Ye have heaped up, not riches, as ye suppose, but wrath [Gataker, similarly Estius]: take θησαυρίζειν here as in Romans 2:5 [Grotius]: This is to be joined with the preceding ὡς πῦρ, as it were fire [Hammond], as also the Arabic appears to have read it [Grotius]; that is to say, Ye have heaped up riches like fire, that is, in such a way that they do not at all support, but rather destroy, you [Hammond]) at the last days (Pagnine), or, in the final days (Erasmus), that is, in the last age of the world (Vorstius): or, now being in extreme old age, that is, the more travelers exert themselves, the less remains of the journey (certain interpreters in Estius). Or, for the last days (Beza, Piscator), either, 1. of the age, or life, of man (Piscator, thus Vorstius); for many years, as in Luke 12:19 (Piscator): or, 2. of the Jewish Republic, when the Romans shall plunder all your goods: which is thought to have been the reason why those Christian Jews would have sold their fields, Acts 4. Which is called the time of the end, 1 Peter 4:7 (Mede’s Works 3:819), and the coming of the Lord, James 5:7; John 21:22 (Mede’s Works 3:872). That expression, when it is speech to the Jews, is wont to be referred to the time of the destruction of Jerusalem, of the Temple, and of the Republic, at which time many thousands of Jews perished in the worst way, especially by fire: which is a type of the universal Judgment (Grotius). Or, 3. of the world. The sense is, either, 1. that rich men, as if they are going to live forever, amass what might be sufficient unto the end of the world: or rather, 2. that they heap up the wrath of God against the last day (Calvin).
Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days: either this may be understood metaphorically, ye have heaped a treasure of wrath for the last days, Romans 2:5; or literally, ye have hoarded up your wealth against the last and fatal days, in which God is bringing those judgments upon you which will consume all.
 Greek: ὁ χρυσὸς ὑμῶν καὶ ὁ ἄργυρος κατίωται, καὶ ὁ ἰὸς αὐτῶν εἰς μαρτύριον ὑμῖν ἔσται, καὶ φάγεται τὰς σάρκας ὑμῶν ὡς πῦρ. ἐθησαυρίσατε ἐν ἐσχάταις ἡμέραις.
 Menandrea 540:3. Menander (342-291 BC) was a Greek playwright. He wrote more than a hundred comedies, but they remain only in fragments.
 Banquet of the Ten Virgins 8. Methodius (died c. 311) was Bishop of Olympus in Lycia. He was an accomplished theologian and author, heavily influenced by Platonic philosophy, and an opponent of Origen.
 Photius (c. 820-893) was a Patriarch of Constantinople. He is most remembered for his controversies with Rome. His Bibliotheca preserves extracts from two hundred and eighty works of classical antiquity (including Methodius’ Banquet).
 Epistle of Jeremiah 6:4: “Now shall ye see in Babylon gods of silver, and of gold, and of wood, borne upon shoulders, which cause the nations to fear.”
 Epistle of Jeremiah 6:24: “Notwithstanding the gold that is about them to make them beautiful, except they wipe off the rust, they will not shine: for neither when they were molten did they feel it.”
 Ezekiel 24:11: “Then set it empty upon the coals thereof, that the brass of it (נְחֻשְׁתָּהּ; ὁ χαλκὸς αὐτῆς, in the Septuagint) may be hot, and may burn, and that the filthiness of it may be molten in it, that the scum/rust of (חֶלְאָתָהּ; ὁ ἰὸς αὐτῆς, in the Septuagint) it may be consumed.”
 Ecclesiasticus 12:10: “Never trust thine enemy: for like as iron rusteth (ὁ χαλκὸς ἰοῦται), so is his wickedness.”
 Ecclesiasticus 12:11: “Though he humble himself, and go crouching, yet take good heed and beware of him, and thou shalt be unto him as if thou hadst wiped a looking-glass, and thou shalt know that his rust hath not been altogether wiped away (ὅτι οὐκ εἰς τέλος κατίωσεν, that not unto an end hath it rusted).” Note again in James 5:3a: “Your gold and silver is cankered (κατίωται); and the rust (ὁ ἰὸς) of them shall be a witness against you…”
 Greek: εἰς μαρτύριον ὑμῖν.
 Matthew 8:4: “And Jesus saith unto him, See thou tell no man; but go thy way, shew thyself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them (εἰς μαρτύριον αὐτοῖς).”
 Matthew 10:18: “And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles (εἰς μαρτύριον αὐτοῖς καὶ τοῖς ἔθνεσιν).”
 Matthew 23:31: “Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves (μαρτυρεῖτε ἑαυτοῖς), that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets.”
 Acts 13:51: “But they shook off the dust of their feet against them (ἐπ᾽ αὐτούς), and came unto Iconium.”
 Mark 1:44: “And saith unto him, See thou say nothing to any man: but go thy way, shew thyself to the priest, and offer for thy cleansing those things which Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them (εἰς μαρτύριον αὐτοῖς).”
 Mark 6:11: “And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them (εἰς μαρτύριον αὐτοῖς). Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.”
 Luke 5:14: “And he charged him to tell no man: but go, and shew thyself to the priest, and offer for thy cleansing, according as Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them (εἰς μαρτύριον αὐτοῖς).”
 Luke 21:12, 13: “But before all these, they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues, and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for my name’s sake. And it shall turn to you for a testimony (ὑμῖν εἰς μαρτύριον).”
 These forms were introduced later in the history of the Greek language.
 John 1:14: “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as (ὡς, in reality) of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”
 Isaiah 30:27: “Behold, the name of the Lord cometh from far, burning with his anger, and the burden thereof is heavy: his lips are full of indignation, and his tongue as a devouring fire (כְּאֵ֥שׁ אֹכָֽלֶת׃; ὡς πῦρ ἔδεται, in the Septuagint)…”
 Isaiah 33:11: “Ye shall conceive chaff, ye shall bring forth stubble: your breath, as fire, shall devour you (אֵ֖שׁ תֹּאכַלְכֶֽם׃; πῦρ ὑμᾶς κατέδεται, in the Septuagint).”
 Romans 2:5: “But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up (θησαυρίζεις) unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God…”
 Luke 12:19: “And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years (εἰς ἔτη πολλά); take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.”