*Minor differences ignored. Grouped by changes, with first version listed as example.
For he beholdeth himself - While he looks in the mirror he sees his true appearance.
And goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth - As soon as he goes away, he forgets it. The apostle does not refer to any intention on his part, but to what is known to occur as a matter of fact.
What manner of than he was - How he looked; and especially if there was anything in his appearance that required correction.
For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way,.... He takes a slight glance of himself, and departs:
and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was; he forgets either his spots, blemishes, and imperfections; or his comeliness and beauty; the features of his face, be they comely or not: so a bare hearer of the word, who is not concerned to practise what he hears, while he is hearing, he observes some things amiss in himself, and some excellencies in Christ; but, when the discourse is over, he goes his way, and thinks no more of either.
beholdeth--more literally, "he contemplated himself and hath gone his way," that is, no sooner has he contemplated his image than he is gone his way (James 1:11). "Contemplate" answers to hearing the word: "goeth his way," to relaxing the attention after hearing--letting the mind go elsewhere, and the interest of the thing heard pass away: then forgetfulness follows [ALFORD] (Compare Ezekiel 33:31). "Contemplate" here, and in James 1:23, implies that, though cursory, yet some knowledge of one's self, at least for the time, is imparted in hearing the word (1-Corinthians 14:24).
and . . . and--The repetition expresses hastiness joined with levity [BENGEL].
forgetteth what manner of man he was--in the mirror. Forgetfulness is no excuse (James 1:25; 2-Peter 1:9).
He beheld himself, and went away - To other business. And forgot - But such forgetting does not excuse.
*More commentary available at chapter level.