Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? My brothers, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.
I decided to keep all three of these verses together. There is one idea contained in these verses, one simple idea.
The mouth produces praise and cursing. This doesn't make sense to James. He asks whether or not you see a spring of water producing both salt water and fresh water. He then asks if fig trees can make olives. What about a grapevine, can it bear figs? These questions are rhetorical. James gives the answer to the question about the spring, which in a way, gives the answer to the original problem: A salt spring doesn't make fresh water, so what's wrong with your tongue?!?